Web designers toil a lot to select the most appropriate layout, colors, text styles, structure, graphics, images, etc and develop a creative and unique website that is likely to be appreciated by targeted market and clients. Considerable effort is put in every web design that looks different in the crowd of similar industry websites.
Web designers can make use of prototyping tools to solve design problems in an easy way without writing even a single line of code. Top 20 prototyping tools are detailed here below:
You can use Origami to develop mockups for a number of apps such as Paper, Messenger & Instagram. It is widely used for iOS apps on account of its integration with Apple’s Quartz Composer. But, it also supports the development of interactive Android prototypes, which provide designers a suite of gestures and transition animations that are common to mobile UI patterns.
This tool provides several useful features for interactive prototyping which includes an extensive documentation library complete with forums, sketch, and photoshop. Using this tool, you can test out your interactive mobile prototypes easily on an iOS device with the companion app, Origami Live.
Cost: Free & Premium
Marvel is a browser-based prototyping tool which simplifies the process up to a great extent. Once you sign up for Marvel account, you get dropped into the interface and can create your first prototype. You can easily upload your image files to Marvel and can add gestures and transitions. This platform supports direct uploading of particular image types such as JPG, GIF, and PSD apart from third party uploading through Dropbox, Sketch, Google drive, etc.
This tool doesn’t offer complete image editing capabilities which are found in other software. But, you can access some nice features such as background color changes, image re-sizing, 17 different device templates and facilities to optimize your mockups for specific devices. Generally, web designers start their projects on paper. Marvel’s mobile companion app can turn your sketches into prototypes and photos are automatically synced with your Marvel account.
Adobe Comp offers the tools that you require to change natural drawing gestures into production-ready graphics. This tool allows you to create print, web and mobile layouts easily, which can be integrated with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
It works with Adobe Stock and Typekit and offers you images, graphics, and numerous fonts that can be merged when you work on your design prototype. Adobe Comp has a user-friendly design and it offers several tutorials to help new web designers to design and develop prototypes easily.
InVision is one of the most popular prototyping tools in the world as its team adds new features constantly and help designers to create prototype more efficiently and easily. Smooth Management of project feedback is one of the best features of this tool. Clients and design teams can easily give their feedback directly on the prototype.
With the help of InVision’s project management page, you can easily organize design components into a status workflow and set them into appropriate columns. Using this tool, you can easily animate, design assets, import design files from Sketch or Photoshop, preview prototypes on mobile devices and link pages to simulate real-life website. This tool easily gets integrated with apps like Slack, Dropbox, Box, and others.
Vectr is a free prototyping tool with which you can design your prototypes on its web or desktop apps for Mac and Window. You can share Vectr prototypes easily with an URL and can integrate into apps such as slack for strong collaboration. You can also share your mockups and edit them easily.
This prototyping tool contains several features such as offline desktop apps, built-in feedback and annotation tools, clickable mockups, plugins, image effects, full collaborative editing, etc. But, currently, this is not as feature rich as several other similar options.
Sketch is a well-known prototyping tool, which is created especially for modern graphic designers, software designers, and web developers. In several ways, it is similar to Photoshop and allows you to edit photos.
Using this prototyping tool is easier than Photoshop. It adapts the changing styles, sizes, and layouts easily, which allows you to avoid plenty of agonizing hand-tweaking. You can also preview your prototypes on your device with the help of Sketch Mirror.
Cost: $14 -$54
You can use HotGloo to develop prototypes and wireframes for web and mobile and visualize website content in an easy way. This web-based platform helps you to co-work with team members, synchronize website contents with clients and offer an accurate framework for designers and coders.
You can run this prototyping tool at any point and at all places and it has a low learning curve. Use this tool freely to complete web and mobile projects.
Cost: $19 per month, free trial for 30 days
Justinmind allows you to create attractive simulations of your web and mobile apps. Using this tool, you can include your corporate identity elements in your prototypes instantly, dispatch them to HTML for online presentation and automatically generate specification documentation in a Microsoft Word document in an easy way without having any programming knowledge and editing a single line of code.
Cost: $79 ( For a single-user, multi-computer license)
Balsamiq is a desktop-based wireframing and mockup tool that allows only basic prototyping. With this tool, you can do simple prototyping with linked mockup. It is integrated with Atlassian Confluence, Atlassian JIRA, XWiki and FogBugz and its collaboration and client previews are limited.
It is a useful tool for you if you lack the skills to create hand-drawn sketches. It allows you to create quality roughs and offers interactive screen elements.
Cost: Free trial for 30 days, Basic account $69
iRise is a powerful prototyping tool which allows you to create interactive and amazing prototypes for the web, mobile and wearable products. You can easily pick the accuracy level of your prototypes lo-fi wireframes, hot spot driven prototypes or hi-fi apps with real data.
This tool offers a large collection of global assets: UI elements, interactive widgets, and supports mobile gestures such as swipe, long press, pinch, rotate. It combines prototyping with requirements management with an intention to bring all files on the same page. With this tool, you can easily make user flows, business process diagrams and dispatch your information quickly into the documents.
Axure is the most versatile wireframing, rapid prototyping, documentation, and specification software tool, which allows you to create mockups, wireframes, flowcharts, prototypes, web designs, presentation slides, iPhone Mockups and iPad Mockups.
This tool offers the facility of drag and drop placement, resizing, and formatting of widgets. It helps you to build almost ready applications, which is a great advantage in time-management and testing.
Mockup Builder is another competitive prototyping solution for web and mobile prototyping. This feature-rich and versatile prototyping tool allows you to create a number of prototyping styles such as UI mockups, screen navigation, desktop software prototypes, website layouts and interactive wireframes.
Pencil Project (Firefox Extension)
Pencil is an open source GUI prototyping and sketching tool, which is based on Mozilla technologies. With the help of its built-in stencils, you can easily develop linked multi-page UI documents and export your mockup eventually in Word document, PDF, Openoffice.org document, PNG, and HTML.
You can use this friendly and unobtrusive tool easily on all platforms. But, on Linux, this tool is entirely self-contained. So, you need to extract the archive file to use it. This tool contains floating panes and toolbars, which can be docked and undocked from the main window in an easy way.
This prototyping software allows you to change your static designs into appealing prototypes for mobile apps and web … in a few minutes, literally. While using Savah app, you can either upload your files directly from Dropbox or drag-and-drop files manually.
With this tool as well you don’t need to edit any code to make prototype designs. You can easily share your prototypes with your team/clients with a single click and can get their feedback. It supports easy integration with 3rd party services for sharing and management of prototype designs.
Cacoo is a free of cost online software for creating various types of diagrams such as network charts, UML, wireframes, and sitemaps. It provides lots of clip art and vector images, using which you can create diagrams for almost all needs. You can connect Google Drive accounts with it to save and share diagrams on the online drive.
You can access more clip art and vector images by using the “Find stencils on the Cacoo store” feature. This link will take you to the Cacoo website, from where you can find more art and templates to create your diagram. You can also set the digram for private sharing or post the link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for social sharing with the help of “Property” control feature. The “Inspector” window allows you to customize all aspects of the diagrams such as colors, image placements, font attributes, etc.
Web designers and developers worry a lot about the fonts they use while creating new website designs. Nevertheless, they can use Typekit to access high-quality fonts & use them on their websites by availing a subscription plan.
This flexible prototyping tool can also be integrated into other platforms. Using this tool, you can add your favorite fonts to IDs, CSS classes or in HTML tags in your markup. You can also customize them before publishing them finally. It also allows you to scrutinize the weight and style of all fonts and have a look at various samples of all sizes.
Naview is an online service with an accent on navigation prototypes. Easily create and test navigation usability and benefit from several features while drawing sketches and mind maps.
Lumzy is considered one of the best among prototyping, mockup and wireframe tools available in the market. It serves the designing needs of both developers and designers. This tool has some interactive features such as the ability to version your mockups, simple drag and drop interface and the live-chat feature to interact with clients and customers.
Creately is actually a set of tools (web-based diagramming tool for wireframes and software designs) created within a single desktop application. These tools can help designers a lot when they build software prototypes, diagrams, wireframes and mockups for their clients.