Think of wireframe as the tool that acts as the bridge between your creative thoughts in raw form and the product you’re about to create. Before wireframe, it was photoshop that played this role. But as technology advanced, and web designing became even more complicated, a series of new UI/UX tools had to be brought into the picture.
And as we speak, Photoshop is no longer the go-to tool for web designers, NOT anymore. Web designers weren’t just interested in a tool that could design. They were more interest in tools they could also use to wireframe and prototype, and that’s how the following list of tools came into being.
Now the market is swamped with all kinds of wireframe tools, including the most-used Axure and the recently released MockPlus.
In this post, we’ll be listing nine prototyping and wireframe tools you can use in Singapore. Read this bearing in mind that some of the software on the list are more suited with creating simple wireframes, whereas others work best when building more sophisticated, interactive prototypes.
Axure RP Pro
Axure RP is an all-rounded wireframing, prototyping, specification, and documentation tool for creating desktop and web applications.
The tool comes with a simple drag-and-drop feature, and an option to both resize and format your widgets. It’s one of the most sought-after and robust UX tools in the world of web designing, with the only limitation being it’s a bit tough to figure it out.
Suffice it to say that the tool is more suited with professional designers that are looking for a tool they can use to create more sophisticated prototypes.
Difficulty level: Super difficult to use
Cost: S$672 per user
MockPlus is one of the most natural wireframe tools to use. It’s a desktop-based application that’s created and managed by one of the fastest growing software startups, Jongde Software.
The software is widely favoured for supporting software prototyping on several platforms including desktop applications, website, and mobile application, to name a few.
The tool is recommended for users with all levels of experience, whether you’re starting or you’ve been in the business long enough to experiment with different tools.
It has one of the cleanest interfaces that’s a snap to work with, and can serve as an excellent mockup tool if you’re looking to create an interactive prototype in the shortest time possible, with no time to waste figuring out how the tool works.
Difficulty level: Extremely Easy
Cost: S$540 per user.
Balsamiq is another popular rapid wireframing tool that’s designed to help you work smarter and faster.
The experience of working with this tool is more comparable to sketching on a digital whiteboard. Its handwritten design is unique, in addition to stacking an enormous library of different UI elements that can prove to be useful to your project.
With the tool, you can easily arrange and rearrange the pre-built widgets provided using their sophisticated drag-and-drop editor.
The tool comes as a desktop application or as a plugin that you can use with Confluence, JIRA, and Confluence.
Difficulty Level: Easy for new designers.
Cost: S$121 per month for a single user.
S$241 per month for two users.
Justinmind is a well-known UX tool for designing web and mobile applications prototypes and high fidelity (hi-fi) wireframes for websites.
The tool offers advanced capabilities, some of which can only be found in high-end diagramming tools. These capabilities allow you to resize, drag and drop, export and import widgets, and format, to name a few.
Other than that, the tool stacks a long list of other features that you can use to define interactions and annotate widgets. For instance, there are features for animations, linking, calculations, conditional linking, simulating tab controls, an option to hide or show elements, as well as database simulations which comes with real data.
It’s the tool you settle for if you’re looking for more sophisticated prototyping results. The only downside is that mastering the tool is another learning curve if you’ve never used the tool before.
Difficulty level: Challenging
Cost: Comes with a 30 days trial
The pro version of the tool is priced at S$40 per month.
InVision is NOT your ordinary web designing tool. If anything the tool was designed to encourage collaboration on your design drafts. And the best part about it is that you get to do this while collecting immediate feedback from your clients and colleagues.
Even better, the tool allows you to convert your static website and mobile design into a clickable, interactive wireframe and mockup with so much ease. You also get to design your mockups live.
Difficulty Level: A bit difficult
Cost: Free for one active project
Starter: 3 active projects at the cost of S$21 per month.
Professional: Unlimited Number of projects at the cost of S$34 per month.
Team: Unlimited number of projects for 5 different users at the cost of S$136 per month.
Enterprise: Unlimited project for an unlimited number of users; It has a free trial.
UX Pin is a popular drag-and-drop online wireframe tool, designed to make it easy for you to drag and drop different elements to make up a mobile or web application without laying down a single line of code.
It’s simply a visual editor that lets you select the elements you want to use so you can move them around and cohesively combine them into a whole, interactive mobile or web application mockup.
Even better, the tool allows you to design high fidelity mockups and also import layered designs directly from PhotoShop or Sketch.
Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult
Their basic package costs S$26 per month.
That is followed by their pro package, which costs S$40 per month.
And on the further end is the Pro plus packages which costs S$67 per month.
OmniGraffle is a diagramming application for Mac and all Apple devices. The Omni Software development group designed app, which also doubles as a digital illustration application.
Compared to the other web designing tools on the list, OmniGraffle is a moderately simple tool to use. That’s in addition to stacking multiple web designing features, including a simple drag and drop interface and notes function for annotating and creating necessary documentation for your prototypes and wireframes.
Difficulty Level: Moderately Easy
Their standard package costs S$135 per license.
Their pro version costs S$270 per license.
Their standard package costs S$68 per license.
Their pro package for iOS devices costs S$135 per license.
If you’re a designer looking to create interactive wireframes and prototypes for mobile, desktop, and web applications in the shortest time possible, Flinto should be your go-to friend.
The tool has all the features you’ll need to whip up transition based animations quick enough. It also boasts a screen management feature that will be helping you juggle multiple apps screens at a go.
Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult
For the Flinto Lite package, you’ll be expected to shell out S$28 per month for the tool.
For the mac package, you’ll be charged S$135 per license.
FluidUI ought to be the most advanced and feature-rich web designing tool on the list.
First, it’s because the application comes with a built-in iOS, a variety of materials for web designing, and a wireframe library with an upward of 2000 customisable icons and widgets.
There’s absolutely nothing you can’t do with this tool. Besides designing and sharing wireframes, mockups, and prototypes for any platform or device in a matter of minutes, FluidUI lets you collaborate with your clients, colleagues, and team member in real time.
Also provided are video hangouts that promote user and on-device testing, in addition to providing interactive previews with a section to chat, comment and share your designs to your team members.
Difficulty level: Easy to use
Cost: They have a free lifetime account for you to choose.
For more advanced features though, you might want to sign up for an individual account which goes for S$21 per month or their team account which goes for S$88 a month.
When it comes to UX web designing tools, you have dozens of options to choose from. Which is to say, this post only covers a handful of them.
It’s also worth noting that each of the tools comes with its own set of perks and weaknesses, which makes it a bit difficult to single out the best.
Plus everyone has their design style and preference. However, if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive rapid wireframe tool, then your best bet should be MockPlus. Not only is the tool relatively inexpensive, it’s also NOT as complicated as Justinmind and Axure.
For those with a much bigger budget and are looking for a more advanced tool for building sophisticated prototypes, Axure is your tool.
And for those with more questions on the subject or have a web designing project that they’d like to assign, feel free to contact MediaOne today, and they’ll be glad to help.