IDEO says, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a 1000 meetings.”
It does not matter if your design is only an experiment or if you are trying to change your idea into something concrete, website prototypes help in testing and creating while maintaining overall design compatibility.
Sometimes when clients give directions, it might not be exactly translated by the designer since the conditions might differ.
This is then succeeded by a series of phone conversations, emails or meetings to reach their ultimate design which is honestly a hassle.
All such issues can be meetings, emails or phone conversations to reach their final design which truly is a hassle.
All these problems can be bypassed by applying the Best Prototyping Tools.
Prototyping tools enable any Web Design Company and its clients to cooperate more efficiently in similar conditions rather than have conflicting thoughts.
The clients can see a preview of what the final product will be. It assists teams to create comprehension, to explore limitations and opportunities that only become prominent when you create and test designs.
Best Prototyping Tools, at the end of the day, become a space for total experimentation and creativity for the team.
The biggest advantage of the web and mobile app prototyping tools is the risk – when you fail in the early stage, you get a better chance at fixing things and learning from the mistakes.
When the mockups don’t work, you have a much softer landing – there is always the opportunity to verify things that work, repeat and develop.
What to Look For in a UI/UX Prototyping Tool:
So, you have your own web and Mobile App Design Services, you have your client, now you are thinking about how to look for the Best Prototyping Tools.
As the author of UX for Beginners, Joanna Ngai, recommends, it is all about what your requirements are. Sometimes you might only need to animate ideas through wireframing how a thing could operate, so you can determine any issues beforehand. Other times, you might want to show something responsive and functioning to the clients.
CreativeBloq recommends you pick your tools based on:
- What needs to be learned from the prototype
- Available skills
- Test plan for the prototype
Besides this, you also have to think about:
- How easy it has to be to cooperate and share with other involved team members in the project
- How simple usability is
- Whether you need testing ideas (low fidelity), testing main interaction and layout (medium fidelity) or testing visual, micro-interactions, and so on (high fidelity)
- The tool’s price and your budget
A fundamental portion of the prototyping method is considering the information structure, user flow designs, and arranging content together.
Basically, your design tool and prototyping tool should be compatible. That said, we will now look at 15 best web and mobile app prototyping tools.
Top 15 Best UI/UX Prototyping Tools:
#Tool 1: Sketch
The sketch is among the most popular tools for designing apps and websites. A sketch is a design tool based on a vector that assists you design interfaces swiftly and intuitively.
It works great as a prototyping tool as well. In fact, Sketch is among the most widely used user interface tools around.
It is lightweight with an easy interface, allowing designers the freedom to concentrate on the job at hand.
Sketch allows you to migrate effortlessly between artboards (design screens), put animations, and design working prototypes with a few clicks.
Additionally, you can share prototypes easily and obtain quick feedback through the cloud interface on Sketch.
Price: a one-year license from Sketch is 99 USD. Teams can obtain a volume license, beginning from 89 USD per two devices and lowering as the number of team member’s increase.
Compatibility: For Mac users only
#Tool 2: Adobe XD
With Adobe Experience Design, you can draw, remix, and reuse vector and create artwork to build production-available assets, interactive prototypes, screen layouts, and wireframes all under the same application.
You can move easily from design to the free online prototyping tool right inside the application. Any product created with Adobe allows integrations with many of its products such as After Effects and Photoshop, which is a huge advantage.
Designers can do more by just importing files from their Adobe tools with no problems.
Clients can also comment on the prototypes when you directly share and view designs in real-time on real devices.
Compatibility: OS X, Windows, Android, and iOS
#Tool 3: Axure RP
Axure RP is popular in the user experience design field. Undoubtedly, it is among the most intensive prototyping tools when it comes to functionality.
The user experience and web designers apply it to create sitemaps, click-through wireframes, user flows, and interactive prototypes.
It enables you to put interactions, use ready-made elements, and design Master Pages from Widget libraries.
If you are a professional, you can apply Axure RP to create more complex, responsive prototypes but it needs some time to understand basic programming knowledge.
It is not suggested for designing mobile app prototyping since it is not compatible with mobiles and consumes a lot of time.
Price: Free trial; 29 USD every month for one user and 49 USD per month for teams
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
#Tool 4: Balsamiq
Balsamiq duplicates the convenience and speed of making mockups on paper on a digital platform.
Designers can decide from over 500 pre-made items and icons or elements they draw on their own. The interactions are simple and the low-fidelity, the end result feels more like a high-fidelity, interactive wireframe.
If you are new to user experience, Balsamiq worked well since it is extremely easy to use. The best part about Balsamiq is the user experience ideation stage.
It generates surprisingly amazing rough prototype sketches for clients to see, which a huge advantage for brainstorming gatherings is.
With every low-fidelity feature, it is alright to consider Balsamiq to be more alike a wireframing than a Prototyping Tools for UI/UX Designers.
If you are not a professional and you need a tool that enables you to create static and simple wireframes, this tool is useful.
Price: Free trial for 30 days; web apps are for 12 USD every month; 89 USD for single users; and the volume license differs according to the number of individual users.
Compatibility: Web, OS X, and Windows
#Tool 5: Rapid UI
If you are comfortable with Photoshop, then you can design website templates quickly and make them into sites utilizing Rapid UI.
This tool is among the most beneficial best Prototyping tools for designers, who are also comfortable with graphics.
Rapid UI is easy to use. You only have to make a PSD file, drag it and then drop it onto the given dashboard. Under a few moments, you will have a finished CSS and HTML supported demo websites.
The generated code is totally accessible by users, which makes sure Rapid UI is all the more beneficial in cooperative situations.
Price: It is still in beta stage, so it is free
Compatibility: Mac and Windows
#Tool 6: Figma
Figma is the newest in the world of tools for designing and making web prototypes. Figma’s interface is a lot like Sketch’s, which is a favorite of many.
However, Figma offers you space for cooperation, which Sketch does not. Users can allow comments on the designs of other team members and in real-time too.
From the design team to the product team, and the development team, everybody can work together to ensure everyone is on the same stage.
This allows the process to become more efficient and fluid. Adding to this, the already friendly interface for users makes this tool extremely productive.
Price: Free for the first three designs and 12 USD every month for countless designs
Compatibility: Windows and Mac
#Tool 7: Origami
Origami was originally designed by Facebook to assist teams design and develop products. With this tool, you can view live mockups on mobile in real-time utilizing Origami Live.
Additionally, you can show your designs on full-screen presentations on several kinds of devices.
Photoshop and Sketch designs can be put into Origami and your design layers will be maintained, ready for linking, animating, and modifying when required.
You can also migrate your prototype elements with one click only, so designers can copy-paste into the design.
One of the worst limitations of Origami though is the lack of cooperative features. There is not much of a way to view and comment version records.
This tool seems more focused on beginners or freelancers.
Compatibility: OS X
#Tool 8: Framer X
If you need a macOS high fidelity prototyping tool, Framer X is definitely worth checking out.
It provides you access to a comprehensive element library, so you can create your user interface with a few clicks. You can utilize an infinite canvas to user flows of user interface prototype tools.
It is also easy to manage navigation and scrolling, and designs slide-in and popup components with Framer X. This prototyping tool also contains motion effects.
Price: Personal plans are 12 USD every month
#Tool 9: Invision
Invision is the most popular tool for prototyping right now. Their team is always adding the latest features to assist designers prototype better.
With the tool’s project-management section, you can arrange design elements into a status workflow. You can create columns for In progress, To-do, Approved, and Needs a review, and drag-and-drop your design elements into the right column.
Also, You can put animations and interactions to static images. You can upload many file types, including PSD, AI, GIF, PNG, and JPG. It has pulled and push integrations with applications like JIRA, Trello, Box, Dropbox, Slack, and more.
It has made each collaboration and workflow aspect easier between development and design.
One can create more cooperatively, better, and faster in real-time, and it is in-browser design presentation and cooperation tools, seamlessly launch meetings and make guided tours for clients, and also present the designs to the stakeholders.
Many big companies use this tool for UX/UI needs such as Linkedin, Twitter, Salesforce, Uber, and so on.
Price: A single project is free; Starter plans are 15 USD every month; Unlimited Projects are 25 USD every month
#Tool 10: Principle
The principle is developed for OS X and includes an iOS app to duplicate live prototypes. Whether you are creating a multi-screen app flow, or the latest animations and interactions, Principle enables you to make designs that feel and look great.
The app allows a lot like Sketch’s UI and includes other similar aspects of screen connections, real-time previews, alignment, and artboard development.
You can also duplicate your designs on any iOS platform.
While Principle does not offer space for working collaboratively, but this disadvantage is shadowed by the tool’s offline capacities.
The scalability of operating offline is additionally emphasized by improved speeds as it does not depend on a potentially slow or unreliable connection.
Price: Free; 129 USD for the full version
Compatibility: OS X
#Tool 11: Webflow
The key selling point of Webflow is that it offers robust functionality with no need to compose even one line of code.
Webflow is highly focused on interactive web design, web animations, and interactions. Even though you can only publish, build, and design the whole website applying the UI based on visual.
After you make your User Interface Prototype effective, you can change it into a site ready for production with just one click.
These functionalities appeal to individual designers, who now don’t need developers to export prototypes.
Price: Free for two unhosted projects; personal projects are 16 USD every month; pro projects are 35 USD every month
#Tool 12: JustInMind
Another successful prototyping tool, JustInMind is recognized for producing high-quality work but at a very high cost.
A huge advantage is that it can be installed on your computer for working offline. If you are new to JustInMind, it includes guided videos and tutorials for anyone from experts to beginners.
You can export prototypes to a live HTML document and it will be seen on any web browser. Additionally, it offers you access to utilize items from user interface libraries and install many add-ons.
Price: 19 USD every month
Compatibility: OS X and Windows
#Tool 13: Marvel
Marvel includes all of the best tasks and tools for designers under a single neat application: design specifications, wireframes, and prototypes at quick, easy-to-spin rates.
Realistic responses are simple to present, which is important when taken into account complicated hierarchies and user journeys. XML, CSS, and Swift can be generated quickly in the app, along with incorporating with Sketch, Jira, Dropbox, Confluence, and so on.
Marvel’s dashboard supports your team in staying synchronized with project updates. It is also accessible on an app, so even non-designers can leave comments and feedback easily on a project.
Price: Free for a single user and single project; paid accounts begin at 12 USD every month; custom pricing for larger teams and agencies
Compatibility: OS X
#Tool 14: Mockplus iDoc
Mockplus iDoc is a dynamic product creation cooperation tool for engineers and designers.
It enables designers to make exporting and the handoff of designs automatic from Sketch, Adobe XD, or Photoshop, and see the specification instantly being prepared.
This is a good free prototyping tool. You can develop animated and interactive prototypes and make design cooperation less complicated.
Compatibility: Window and Mac
#Tool 15: Atomic
This tool based on the web and demands to be used with Google Chrome. As it does not have an application for desktops, it is a disadvantage for developers who use Safari, Firefox or any other web browsers.
It provides you the control and flexibility you need to refine your interactions: just hit the play button to view your animations and changes in action.
Atomic offers easy availability for all developers by offering a shared system of prototyping that is simple.
Therefore, you don’t need to install any app for cooperation. The highlighted feature in Atomic is the history tab that lets you replay and see earlier repetitions and make new versions anytime.
Price: One prototype is free; unlimited prototypes for one user is 19 USD; unlimited prototypes for 10 users is 99 USD
These prototyping tools have their own distinct specialties, benefits and suit various needs. There are many tools out there that have similar features to the ones mentioned in this list, such as Flinto, Proto.io, UXPin, Moqups, and so on.
However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to deciding on the one that is the best fit for you and your project.
If you are an expert working on complicated animations, Principle works best. Or if you are a newcomer to design, Balsamiq is the best option. Or if you want to Hire Designer for your project, make sure you know what their skills are and then decide on a prototype tool.