7 Design and Wireframing Tools for Product Makers
Any new idea passes through a design phase before it gets implemented by the engineering or development team. The design process may involve paper prototyping or wireframing using digital tools or it may require creation of mockups using specialized tools.
Any product maker or manager is handicapped without a set of tools in his or her arsenal. In this article we will explore 7 most popular tools used across the world by product and design teams for creating wireframes or designs for their product development process.
Axure RP Pro is a wireframing, rapid prototyping, documentation and specification software tool aimed at web, mobile and desktop applications. It offers drag and drop placement, resizing, and formatting of widgets.
Axure supports prototyping Rich Internet Applications by mapping desired interface behaviors (such as displaying or hiding an element) in response to actions like mouse clicks or touch gestures.
Axure RP generates HTML web sites for preview and team collaboration as well as Microsoft Word documents as output for production documentation.
The Axure RP Pro application window is divided into 7 main areas:
- sitemap – a hierarchical list of pages
- masters (templates, or reusable collections of widgets)
- design area
- page notes and interactions
- widget annotations and interactions
- widget manager – a list of all elements on the page
Balsamiq Mockups is a graphical user interface mockup and website wireframe builder application. It allows the designer to arrange pre-built widgets using a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor. The application is offered in a desktop version as well as a plug-in for Google Drive, Confluence and JIRA.
See Balsamiq in action
Invision is a prototyping tool that turns your designs and wireframes into interactive prototypes which can be shared with your team and stakeholders.
It allows you also to share projects with your team, comment screens, create animations and transitions and interact with most common design tools as Sketch and Photoshop.
Mockingbird helps you you create and share clickable wireframes. Use it to make mockups of your website or application in minutes.
You can do the following with Mockingbird
- Drag and drop UI elements to the page, then rearrange and resize. Go from idea to mockup in minutes.
- Link multiple mockups together and preview them interactively to get a feel for the flow of your application.
- Share a link, and clients and teammates can edit wireframes with you in real time. No more emailing images back and forth.
Moqups is a streamlined and intuitive web app that helps you create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, diagrams and prototypes — for any type of project.
It has ready to use Stencils for all popular use cases and a built-in library with thousands of popular icon sets.
Sketch is used primarily for designing UI and UX of mobile apps and web. The files designed in Sketch are saved in its own .sketch file format. The designs can also be saved in the popular PNG, JPG, TIFF, WebP, etc., formats. The designs created in Sketch are used by app engineers to design mobile apps and web developers convert designs into websites.
It is a fundamentally different design tool. Build prototypes that feel real, with powers of code components, logic, states, and design systems.
UXPin is the premiere UX design platform for interactive prototyping, design systems and documentation. Some of the latest features include:
Data generator (integrated with Unsplash to get their free stock photos directly in UXPin!)
And much more!