When making and app or website then most developers or designers need wireframe tools. Wireframe tools help in designing websites and apps by visually constructing the product and making sure that there is user interactivity in it. It helps in diagrammatically showcasing how the website or app will look to the client. Wireframe tools are very helpful in explaining the final product to the client not through words or long texts but they bring reality to imagination.
There are many wireframe tools available in the tech market, that offer a variety of interaction and functionality. Many software are just for creating wireframe mockups but other can build on working prototypes. There are many free versions available of it on the internet as well. Here are some wireframe tools that budding designers and programmers can make use of:
UXPin is a web base application that can put together wireframes with great speed and produce customized elements. The price ranges from $19, $29 or even $99 per month. This wireframe tool has a library that is updated regularly for Bootstrap, foundation, android and iOs. The wireframes can be made into high-working mockups. The user can then create a full interactive and animated prototype of the final product.
FluidUI is a web base wireframe tool which has 16 built in libraries for Android, Windows, wearable and many other pages. Price ranges from $8.25, $19.08 to $41.58 per month. Fluid UI makes maps out for users to project visually by creating links to join screens and forms diagram on how quickly it fits together. If the mouse hovers over the links then it gives an awesome transition.
Wireframe tools help in building easy mockups
Balsamiq Mockups is an app that can be used on Mac, Windows and other web base platforms. If you plan to install the application then the fee is $89 but if it is just for browser base use then it the price is $12 or $5 depending on the plan. The wireframe tools have several drag and drop elements which range from buttons to lists. All of these are styled as hand drawing. The software keeps every mockup rough and low fidelity so that clients can give as much as feedback as possible.
Axure is very well known for creating mockups that add functionality to the layout and create an interactive prototype. It is available on Mac and Windows. The price is a bit expensive with $495-$895 for a one time purchase but per month it costs $29-$99. The most awesome feature of this wireframe tools is sitemaps and widgets in the form of UI elements. Interactive HTML mockups are easily created for websites and apps. Users can view app design on their phone through a built-in function on shareability.
Online mockup tools
Pidoco is a web base mockup tool that costs about $12-$175 per month. It is highly similar to Axure and can be considered a cheaper alternative. It has a library of various interface elements that can be dragged and dropped. The application also adds multiple pages and layers to the prototype. Pidoco also has the feature of online sharing and tools for discussion providing a collaborative feedback channel. Pidoco app on phones is helpful in viewing the prototype on phone.
Visio is a Windows tool that costs $8.10-$9.70 per month. It is the cheapest in the lot. The app is awesome in creating technical diagrams instead of wireframes. Its interface is very familiar to Word and Excel. The app does not offer add-on tools. Users are able to create and export usable HTML prototypes.
Adobe CC products provide simple tools for mockups
InDesign CC is offered on both Mac and Windows. It is $19.99 a month and is a part of Adobe creative cloud. It includes animations, videos and object states which are easy to create mockups of in the form of interactive PDF. The software can also create libraries of page elements so users can create multiple collections of usable interface graphics.
Photoshop CC is very famous for making image alterations and is in use as a wireframe tool as well. The software is available on Mac and Windows for about $19.99 a month. It does not have libraries offering interface elements but is fast enough to provide basic wire framing. Layers and grouping elements provides a more quick affordable prototype.
Protoshare is also an online web base application that majorly focuses on collaboration and sharing. It has different price ranges from $29-$59 per month. The library has drag and drop elements along with sitemaps. Users have the ability to use custom css and insert their own personal elements. It lays emphasis on online collaboration unlike some other tools that offer PDF exports.
Penultimate is available on iPad for 69p. Users who are working only for an iPad design would find this very useful. The app makes sketching ideas directly on the device helpful in determining that correct ratio and well-sized active areas. The sketches of the prototypes can be sent to the clients through easy saving option.
Some tools are free for browser usage
Pencil project is available on Windows, Linux and Mac for free. It is an open source wire framing tool. The features that stand out are multi-page documents, import of external objects, z-and z-ordering along with scaling and rotation. Users are able to work with various templates and export files in HTML, PNG, OpenOffice.org document, PD and Word document.
OmniGraffle is avialble only on Apple products. Mac, iPad and iPhone are all compatible with it for a price of $99.99 for Mac. It quickly puts together website wireframes, diagrams and charts along with page layouts. The document type is selected from the document type and the app makes context-sensitive hooks between elements. It quickly links the diagrams and aligns shapes in the wireframe page layout.
The last tool is Mockflow which is also web base and comes free. It can be bought for more features for $14 to $29 per month. Mockflow helps in the creation of working prototypes but lays emphasis on collaboration and sharing. Along with other features it also includes sitemaps and folders, version tracking, image, HTML5 export, chats and component collection
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