One of the most important steps in designing a website is creating an outline of the fundamental website elements. These basic elements include the content of the website, the navigational tools, and UI entities. A complete visual representation of these elements in terms of how they need to be arranged in the website and how they will interact with each other is called as a Wireframe. A wireframe mainly focuses on the structural and functional parameters of a website and not on the graphics and colours.
Developing a detailed wireframe is an important step as agreed by developers from professional website designing services. A website’s wireframe bridges the gap between the basic information architecture and the enhanced visual design. A wireframe is an effective visual aid for creating webpage prototypes that are rich in both usability and aesthetics. Much analogous to a building’s blueprint, a wireframe represents a flowchart of all the workable entities of the webpage.
It provides a distraction-free platform for designers and developers to integrate their thinking. Hence, for creating such effective webpage prototypes, it is important to know which tools are best suited for this task. The internet is rife with various wireframe designing tools. One should carefully make a choice amongst these by analyzing design priorities. Some useful wireframe tools can be found here. Read on to know more about some of the best wireframe tools available for website designers today.
Looking for a tool that will help you generate a wireframe in no time? Balsamiq is the answer for you. This wireframe tool is a popular choice amongst website designers who simply want to create a time-saving and effective wireframe for their app. It is available in both forms – desktop and web application. The biggest USP of this tool is its simplicity. The wireframes created through Balsamiq have been intentionally made to look a tad rough to encourage brainstorming. Easy resizing and customizing features have made Balsamiq one of the most sought after wireframe tools.
Balsamiq aims to provide a very fundamental representation of the workflow. Hence, it should be used where animated or interactive prototypes are not required for designing the wireframe.
The cost for this tool starts from $89/user for the desktop version and $12/mo for the web-based application.
Founded in 2003, Axure is a leading name in the arena of wireframe designing tools. It is one of the most comprehensive platforms for designing, testing, and sharing webpage prototypes which are highly interactive in nature. It allows developers and designers to work collaboratively through creation of “Team projects”. In these projects, one can create footnotes and labels of various parameters for a detailed documentation of the work. It also provides various in-built tools for organizing notes according to different fields and audiences.
Through Axure, one can create flowcharts, mock-ups, user-journeys etc in addition to building wireframes. Axure provides rich prototype designs, animations, and interactions which are hugely data-driven. It is the best choice for your website if you are looking for a wireframe tool that takes care of all the designing needs. It is not a surprise that 87% of the top 100 Fortune companies make use of Axure for developing software prototypes.
The cost for both Mac and Windows version of this tool is $ 495/user.
3- Marvel App
Marvel App focuses on providing a one-stop destination for creating designs, prototyping, and collaborating work. One can easily add images through Dropbox, Photoshop or Sketch. Its design tool, Canvas, helps create simple yet elegant designs for the prototypes. Easy integration of designs through Google Drive and minimal steps in creating wireframes make Marvel App a smart choice. Unlike other elaborate wireframe tools, Marvel App doesn’t require several stages in creating a wireframe. The user needn’t arrange and set-up hotspots and building tools separately. All these steps are easily integrated through the use of Dropbox.
You can login for Marvel App using your Dropbox account. It instantly converts your psd files to jpegs. The ease of these features is more pronounced when using the app on mobile phones. You can take pictures of your sketches and immediately these can be turned into prototypes. Once the prototype is created, automatically a link is generated for sharing it with others (other designers, clients, investors etc.)
The yearly cost of using Marvel App wireframe tool is $168/user.
A relatively new player in the field, Mockplus provides an extensive and engaging set of wireframe tools. The best part about using Mockplus is that it uses WYSIWYG design features. WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interactive design features let the developer dynamically observe the end-result while the interface is being designed. It provides more than 3000 icons along with 200 in-built design components which enable designers to focus well on creating the wireframe.
It is a great platform for beginners since it requires no knowledge of coding. You can instantly test the prototypes on native devices without using a cable and upload them on cloud for sharing it with colleagues or clients. The mock-ups created can be used across any platform, be it ios or Android. The wireframe tools are highly customized. Many users are finding this tool much simpler and easier to understand compared to other big names in the market.
Mockplus costs $79/year and hence a much affordable choice.
True to its motto, “Prototype faster, communicate better”, Justinmind is truly altering the way businesses are creating wireframes and prototypes. It provides a code-free, sophisticated, and user-friendly platform for creating wireframe modules. The basic list of tools contains more varieties than just plain square and rectangle shapes. It also provides a horde of web-widgets, gestures, animations and dynamic transitions which facilitate the creation of realistic website designs.
The parallax feature included within this wireframe tool aids in the creation of multi-layered visuals as a part of your wireframe. This trending feature makes the wireframe more compelling, engaging and narrative in nature. It helps in creating high-fidelity wireframes which are highly interactive in nature. The clean and sophisticated interface eases users (even non-programmers) into the process of creating wireframes.