Designing a solid prototype is a big part of creating a good final product. You can go about it in many ways, from traditional pen and paper to stencils. However, as a designer, you should always try to better yourself, continually learn and discover new tools. Making a prototype is not as hard as one might think, especially now that we have various tools that are designed to help us, at our disposal. If you are not quite familiar with them, we have come up with a list of 13 tools that are arguably the best ones on the market.
It is, quite possibly, the only designing tool that you will ever need. You will be able to successfully create mockups even if you lack previous experience. It is easy to use, clear and offers many options. It allows you to design whatever you need, whether it’s a blog post or an iPhone app, and once you’re done creating, you can transform your mockup or wireframe into a functioning prototype. From there, you can share it, get feedback or even include others in your creation process. It is somewhat pricy after your trial has expired, but it will be worth it.
This app allows you get right to work and makes it easier than ever. You don’t have to know anything about coding in order to get started. The interface is clear and all of your files can be stored on Dropbox, so you have access to them anytime you need it. Not only is it super easy, it is also free to use.
The app comes in Web and Desktop versions. You won’t need to worry about such things as fonts or icons, because Balsamiq has limited options. It makes you focus on the layout and layout only. It will help you create a solid plan for your mockup or wireframe, before you start coding. The best thing about it is its simplicity – it gives you a better idea of your vision, without having to obsess over many details.
This is as close to pen and paper as you can get. The interface is clutter-free, so you can really focus on your ideas without distractions and over-the-top options. You are able to choose from two templates: a mobile phone or a browser window. There are basic shapes, lists and images, so it’s a perfect tool if you need to design quickly.
Proto.io is mobile-oriented and is a great tool not only for creating a prototype, but for testing, as well. It doesn’t require any knowledge about coding, but allows you to make complex prototypes that you can test and gather feedback. It can be used for both Android and iPhone devices, and the prototype will work just like a finished app should.
6. Fluid Ui
The app has over 1,700 elements ready for you to choose from, and their database is updated quite often. You can create prototypes for Android, Apple and Windows 8, with and easy drag-and-drop system. Fluid Player will allow you to preview your prototype and get instant feedback, and you can even export your content as PDF of PNG files.
On Pidoco, you can create Web and iOS prototypes. On the left side, there is a selection of all the stencils you would need. It’s not only easy to pick up, but also lets you test your finished prototype on real-life devices for a better insight.
With this app, you can immediately choose from four different templates: iPhone, iPad, Android app or Windows Phone, or you can start from scratch. It’s the best app for team collaboration, because it includes a chat feature and every participant can make changes to the prototype (but on different pages, so you won’t get in each other’s way). Once you’re done creating, you can also test your prototype to see if it’s functional.
Moqups is easy to use and has an unassuming interface, for the fastest results. It offers many stencils, including links, sliders, text boxes and so on. It is somewhat minimalistic, with a black-and-white interface, but if you need to get a better grasp of your concept fast, it is a great choice. Another hefty feature is snap to grid, which aligns all of the selected stencils perfectly.
The app has many features, from a large collection of stencils, to 2D or even 3D transitions. It allows you to create your wireframe or mockup in great detail, without making it too complicated for you. In the Review interface, you can gather feedback and communicate with other team members.
Justinmind probably offers the most variety design-wise. Apart from the fact that your prototype will look beautiful, you will also be able to create customized widgets and group them into widget libraries. Interactive wireframes can easily be made without coding and you can test them on any type of device. For what it has to offer, 19$ a month seems very reasonable.
Axure exports to HTML, so there’s no need to download additional apps to view your prototype. There is also a downloadable widget collection that includes Android library, iOS elements and so much more. Whatever you need to create, Axure will meet your needs.
This fun and simple app allows you to create iPhone app mockups. You can choose from two different styles of wireframing (pencil and illustration) and we should also mention that anyone who has your mockup’s URL can see it. It is impossibly simple, though, so if you need a less complex idea, it will work for you.
You may also try some similar wireframing apps like: (Omnigraffle, Flair Builder, Mockabilly etc.). They all virtually do the same thing, so you want to do your research before you choose the one you line. The apps that we’ve mentioned here should cover everything you need when it comes to prototyping so just pick one and start designing your app!