There are many tools available that can be used to help with wireframe mockups and prototyping. In the last post, we talked about what wireframes, prototypes, and MVPs are, as well as, their pros and cons.
In this post, we are going to focus on some of our favorite tools.
Below is a list of tools that can help you get started with your wireframe mockups and prototyping:
Mockflow is a prototyping and wireframing tool that can be used for mobile and desktop application projects and websites. If you want to just brainstorm ideas, you can also use Mockflow for this purpose to sketch your idea. Mockflow is a great tool because it comes with readymade UI kits for various devices and project types that a user simply has to drag and drop onto the screen to bring the concept of their product to life. You can collaborate with teams on Mockflow and can even create fully finished designs that you can handoff to a development team.
Mockflow has a free version that lets you create 1 UI project with up to 3 pages. To learn more about their other pricing options, you can visit their pricing page here: https://mockflow.com/pricing/
InVision is a well-known design tool that many designers and creatives use to bring concepts to life. With InVision, teams can work together to build product layouts and designs that define the user experience and interface.
InVision is mostly used to show more completed designs for products with workflows and storyboards that allow you to create a clickable prototype to show the flow of the product from start to end. You can import Sketch projects into your InVision account and continue working on them from there. You can also integrate with other popular tools such as Dropbox, Jira, Basecamp, Trello, Slack, and more. In addition, InVison has a free sign up so that you can get started for free to determine if it will be the right tool for you. Also, InVision has a developer handoff that allows you to share the specs of your completed designs to developers so that they can build the user interfaces of your product solution.
“Figma helps teams create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish.” – Figma.
It’s a powerful UI/UX tool that allows you to collaborate with your team to get an idea to wireframe, to clickable prototypes to fully finished designs and then developer handoffs. The interface of Figma is very easy to navigate and use. Just like the other UI/UX tools in this post, it comes with premade UI kits so that you do not have to start from scratch. You can drag in elements that you want to use and then customize them to your liking. You can create reusable templates, install plugins, and migrate from other applications such as Sketch and InVision where applicable, to enhance your experience and use.
Figma comes with a free version that allows 3 projects, 2 editors, 30-day version history, and unlimited cloud storage and viewers. To learn more about their other pricing options, visit their pricing page here: https://www.figma.com/pricing/
Sketch has quickly made a name for itself in the design world. It has become one of the popular options for creating modern, slick, and engaging designs. It’s a tool that is primarily made for designers. It allows designers to create prototypes of products and collaborate with other team members such as developers for handoffs. Sketch’s interface provides many tools and templates that designers can use and expand on. It also comes with plugins and integrates with other applications such as Zeplin, PixelSnap, Abstract, and others. With Sketch, you can create pixel-perfect designs to scale for mobile and desktop applications as well as for websites. However, Sketch is most popular for being Native to macOS. Many designers choose Sketch when designing for macOS applications because it provides many features. Such as, dark and light UIs, support for retina and non-retina displays, Native macOS versioning and more.
There is no free version available for Sketch. They offer a 30-day trial for free, but after that, you will need to pay for the application. You can either choose the one-time payment option or a subscription option. To learn more about their pricing options, visit their pricing page here: https://www.sketch.com/pricing/
Axure has stated that, “Axure RP 9 is the most powerful way to plan, prototype, and hand off to developers, all without code.”
Their software is a well-known and well-liked prototyping tool. It can create wireframes and show the flow of your product from start to finish by connecting your pages together. This tool also allows you to create a functioning prototype with dynamic content, conditional logic, and adaptive views. With this software, you will also be able to import certain file types such as SVGs and interact with other popular tools such as Sketch, Adobe XD and Figma. Not only is the tool great for wireframing and prototyping, but it also has a developer handoff option that makes it easy for developers to get the needed code specs to develop the UI.
Axure allows team collaboration and because they are primarily used for prototyping, it is easy to test a solution concept with this tool before final decisions on development need to be made.
The Axure software comes with a free 30-day trial. Afterward, you will need to pay for the tool via one of their subscription options: https://www.axure.com/pricing
Adobe XD is just one of the many Adobe products that have been widely used in the technology industry to bring many UI/UX projects to life. With Adobe XD you can wireframe, sketch, prototype, animate, collaborate and create designs that look and feel like the real product solution you are planning to build. Adobe XD comes with many tools to help you design your solution whether it’s for a website, web application, or mobile application. With clickable prototypes, you are able to show the flow of your product from start to finish so that your viewers can get an understanding of the intended user experience you wish to achieve.
Like the other UI/UX tools mentioned above, Adobe XD allows for team collaborations as well as developer hand-off with design specs that can be used for building the interfaces.
If you want to sign up as an individual to use Adobe XD they do offer a free version for personal use. Beyond that, they provide various pricing options for individuals and businesses alike. To access their individual pricing, visit the page here: https://www.adobe.com/products/xd/pricing/individual.html
Their business prices can be found here: https://www.adobe.com/products/xd/pricing/business.html
Marvel is a UI/UX tool that allows you to create rapid prototyping and testing. You can bring an idea to life with Marvel through your interactive mock-ups and wireframes. Marvel has premade UI kits that allow you to drag and drop various elements you will need when building a page for your product solution. This allows you to generate clickable prototypes without needing to know code. As well as, use this for user testing to see how users interact with your designs. With Marvel, you can also integrate with other popular applications such as Jira, Sketch, Dropbox, YouTube, and more.
Marvel allows team collaboration and easy development handoffs.
There is a free version of Marvel that you can sign up with. It allows 1 user, 1 project, and 1 user test result per project. For other pricing options, you can visit their pricing page here: https://marvelapp.com/pricing
In conclusion, there are many UI/UX tools available for use. The 7 listed above have all been used to some degree in various Grata client projects. As a result, our team has experience with these tools when it comes to transitioning from design to development. If you are trying to decide which tool to use, there are a few things to consider. These considerations are ease of use, pricing, features and requirements for your product solution. We usually recommend that you try out any free versions of the software’s. That way, you can decide which ones you like best before you make a monetary decision. Since many of these tools interact with each other, you also shouldn’t have a problem if you want to switch from one to another. However, make sure that you verify the migration will be possible first.