10th October, 2017 | Blog |

5 Web-based Prototyping and Wireframing Tools to Consider

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When it comes to web development, it's important to remember that results are everything. You could have the best design this side of the globe, but you won't know how effective it is until you've found a way to see it in action. Prototyping and wireframing tools are the solutions that developers use to bridge the gap between the finished product and the first design. Basically, it's like giving yourself a rough idea of what works on your website.

Wireframing and prototyping tools are becoming increasingly popular in the DevOps world, as creating powerful websites becomes a more complicated process. Usually, these solutions make it much easier for people to communicate complicated ideas and minimise project costs. However, it's worth noting that prototyping tools can come in a range of different shapes and sizes.

So, how do you choose the one that's right for you?

Choosing Prototyping Tools

Sometimes, you'll need to test a tool out for yourself before you can know for sure whether it's going to work with your style and method of development. However, most of the time, you can help yourself make a more informed decision by simply asking the following questions:

With those questions in mind, you should be prepared to consider some of the most popular tools on the market. To help you make your decision, we've narrowed our choice down to five of the best options in our opinion.

1. InVision

InVision is a prototyping tool that gives web developers the tools they need to transform static mobile and web pages into interactive mock-ups. You can upload images from a range of environments including DropBox, Google Drive, and more. Additionally, you can share the link to your prototype with other people via text message, to improve collaboration. Benefits include:

However, InVision is intended only for use with existing prototypes, and there are no features available for editing and crafting elements.

2. Fluid

Fluid is an innovative web-based wireframing tool, which is excellent for anyone who wants to make a mobile app prototype. You can create your wireframe from an existing mock-up, or you can build screens yourself using a built-in range of widgets. Additionally, Fluid can give developers the chance to build out screens to map their ideas and show a project on a single page. The benefits of this particular tool include:

Unfortunately, Fluid doesn't support adding interactivity to elements on a page, and the editable elements of widgets are somewhat restricted.

3. Axure

Axure is a web development tool designed mostly for professional developers. It's one of the most robust and popular tools for prototyping around today, and it's great for people who want to develop desktop software or web applications. You'll need a great deal of programming knowledge to make the most out of this system. However, if you're skilled, then you can enjoy a range of interactivity benefits with Axure, including dynamic panels and variables. The benefits include:

The only problem with Axure is that it's very difficult to use if you're a beginner, and it may not be ideal for mobile app building either.

4. MockPlus

MockPlus is a relatively new tool for wireframing and prototyping that has been gathering popularity lately. It comes with a huge range of vector icons and standard components, which is great if you want to get started as quickly as possible. The interaction design is very impressive in MockPlus too. The system will allow you to add page links and interactions for components through a drag and drop design. Some of the most compelling benefits for MockPlus include:

Unfortunately, if you do have any problems with MockPlus, then there aren't a lot of help documents available. Additionally, the system comment and collaboration features need a lot of improvement.

5. Pixate

Finally, a desktop-based tool for wireframing and prototyping, Pixate allows you to build your own interactions and animations. You can build your system from images out of existing mocks that you need to import into the software yourself. There aren't any UI elements in the tool, only actions, layers, and animations. However, this can be a useful way to build mobile prototypes. The benefits of Pixate include:

However, you can only view your prototypes in the desktop environment, and Pixate has a particularly high learning curve. What's more, you can't create or edit elements yourself within the app.

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