Best Wireframe Tools for UI/UX Designers

wireframe tools for UI/UX designers

Every creative design starts with a vague concept. A website wireframe, also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint, is a graphical representation of a website’s skeleton architecture.

Starting your product design process without wireframing is like starting on a round-the-world journey without a map: you’re sure to get lost along the way.

Wireframes provide a clear and fundamental sketch of your product’s page structure, layout, and overall direction. Most importantly, wireframes are critical for getting vital user feedback, which will help you fine-tune your product concept.

Designers can use UI design tools to create realistic hi-fi wireframes, mockups, and prototypes and produce minimally viable products. They depict a design’s nuts and bolts, expressing its functionality.

UX design tools are focused on the user and how they will interact with the content. UX tools are intended to help designers paint a larger picture of how content and organization will affect user experience.

We’ll look at some UI and UX tools that you can find helpful during the design process. 

Best Wireframe Tools for UI/UX Designers

Adobe XD

Adobe XD is a powerful and user-friendly vector-based experience design platform that provides teams with the tools they need to create the best experiences in the world. 

Adobe XD was initially introduced as “Project Comet” during the annual Adobe MAX conference in 2015.  

It’s entirely compatible with other Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator and with services like Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock. 

Adobe XD is perfect for vector-based UI design, wireframing, interactive design, prototyping, and high-fidelity web/app design, for single designers or whole teams.

It’s also primarily focused on making the process of sketching wireframes for designers as simple as possible, from designing site maps, flowcharts, and storyboards to producing functioning prototypes. 

A ‘Repeat Grid’ for quick design, auto-animation, voice triggers, and powerful collaborative capabilities are among the best notable features. Adobe XD is free to trial, but you’ll need a Cloud subscription to access the complete set of features. 

Features of Adobe XD

Some of the exciting features of Adobe XD are given below.

  • Design tools for prototyping
  • 3D transformations
  • Transitions and animations
  • Dynamic components
  • Third-party plugins and extensions are supported.
  • Responsive content and layout resizing
  • Repeat grids
  • Voice control

Benefits of Adobe XD

  • It provides a clean and straightforward interface.
  • It offers a repeat grid feature.
  • It provides all types of artboards.
  • It provides a basic tutorial for every component.
  • It works seamlessly with other Adobe products.
  • One-click animations.
  • Easy collaboration with developers.

Drawbacks of Adobe XD

  • It does not allow to design of customized shapes.
  • Repeating objects does not work as it should do.
  • Cannot export CSS for design.

Pricing of Adobe XD

It does not allow a free trial, but you can use a limited free version. In addition, it offers a single-app plan.

  • Creative Cloud Photography: $9.99/mth
  • Creative Cloud Single App: $20.99/mth
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $52.99/mth

Availability: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Figma

Figma is a browser-based UI and UX design application that includes robust design, prototyping, and code-generation tools. It is now (arguably) the industry’s premier interface design tool, with extensive capabilities that help teams working on all stages of the design process.

Figma enables designers to create dynamic prototypes and mockups, test them for usability, and keep track of all progress. 

It provides a collaborative environment in which multiple people can work on a project simultaneously, allowing you to see who has it open for real-time collaboration. 

Wireframing with Figma is easy and quick. Then, when it’s time for your development team to take over, they can pull CSS code from the design file and export individual elements to utilize as needed. 

Features of Figma

Some of the best features of Figma are as follows:

  • Accessibility and team collaboration
  • It has the iterative capability and the ability to develop deliverables. 
  • It can build prototypes and tests.
  • Define product design easily.
  • Smooth handoff
  • API integrations

Benefits of Figma

  • Collaboration is simple and familiar in Figma
  • Sharing in Figma is uncomplicated and flexible.
  • Best team communication using Slack
  • Best for design review feedback
  • It provides real-time updating of embedded files.
  • It facilitates developer handoff.
  • APIs offer third-party integrations.
  • Prototyping is easy.
  • It provides a rich library for designs.

Drawbacks of Figma

  • Limited range of decision tools.
  • It lacks some useful plugins.

Pricing of Figma

It offers three different plans as below.

  • Starter plan: Free to use
  • Professional plan: $12/editor/month
  • Organization plan: $45/editor/month

Availability: macOS, Windows, Linux, Web

UXPin

UXPin is a specialized wireframing tool with a delightfully easy design, clear icons, and a great library of UI elements you can drag and drop into your wireframes, as well as Bootstrap, Foundation, iOS, and Android components.

It is a fantastic design tool for interactive prototyping, design systems, and documentation. You can start your wireframes with UXPin’s built-in collection of UI elements, which you can drag and drop immediately onto your canvas.

UXPin can read Sketch and Photoshop files, so you can use those to develop your basic wireframes into high-fidelity prototypes.

It stands out in a crowded area of wireframe because of its live presentation and documentation capabilities. 

UXPin makes it simple to display a working prototype of your design through the Preview mode, get feedback, and include specs/documentation all at once.

Features of UXPin

Some of the exciting features of UXPin are as follows:

  • Built-in contract checker.
  • It has Hi-fi visual design and UI prototyping.
  • Fast wireframing
  • It has integrations with Sketch, Ps, and many more.
  • Advanced collaborations
  • Documentation and developer handoff

Benefits of UXPin

  • Best collaboration with teammates.
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Sharing and requesting feedback.
  • Version branching
  • Allows you to simply share previews of your projects with your clients.
  • It has annotation capabilities.
  • It provides spec modes for developers.

Drawbacks of UXPin

  • It lacks anchor links.
  • Customer support is only available via email.

Pricing of UXPin

It offers four different pricing plans for both monthly and yearly plans. You will get a 20% discount if you take service annually.

  • Basic plan: $24 per editor/month.
  • Advanced plan: $39 per editor/month.
  • Professional plan: $83 per editor/month
  • Enterprise plan: You should contact the vendor for a custom price.

Availability: Web, macOS, Windows

Sketch

Sketch is a macOS vector graphics editor created by the Dutch company Sketch BV.

Sketch is an excellent tool for creating simple wireframes, and its Symbol feature allows you to automatically repeat elements across your layout.

It is mainly used for website and mobile app user interface and user experience design and does not contain print design features. Sketch has recently added prototyping and collaboration tools. 

Since Sketch is only available for macOS, third-party software and handoff solutions are used to see Sketch drawings.

Sketch makes collaboration difficult since there is no way for multiple designers to work on the same design file simultaneously. 

You may, however, sync your design to Sketch Cloud, which allows you to share a link to the most recent version of your design and collect comments and other feedback without having to waste time with a time-consuming export procedure.

Features of Sketch

Some of the exciting features of Sketch are as follows:

  • Plenty of toolsets
  • Vector editing
  • Code export
  • Export presets
  • Grids & guides
  • Symbols
  • Libraries
  • Plug-Ins
  • Instant preview

Benefits of Sketch

  • It has exporting capabilities.
  • Non-destructive editing.
  • It has reusable components.
  • It supports a collaborative platform.
  • It provides customer support.
  • Grids and Guides.

Drawbacks of Sketch

  • It does not have a repeat grid.
  • It is a heavy tool.
  • Need plugins to get a more responsive design.

Availability: Mac

Axure RP

Axure RP is a software tool for wireframing, prototyping, documentation, and specification for online and desktop applications. It supports widget placement, resizing, and formatting through drag and drop.

Axure helps in prototyping and workflow management. In addition, it has an easy-to-use interface for documenting as you go. 

It allows you to not only create low-fidelity wireframes but also add functionality and produce high-fidelity ones. It allows you to create interactive HTML mockups for both websites and apps, and you can view your app design on your phone using the built-in share option.

It enables testing of functionality and brings everything together for an easy developer handoff. 

Features of Axure RP

Some of the features of Axure RP are as follows:

  • Design Interactive Prototypes, Wireframes, and Diagrams
  • Annotations on prototypes and diagrams.
  • Organize Notes for Various Audiences
  • Content that changes on the fly
  • Flow with Conditions
  • Animations
  • Adaptive Perspectives
  • Projects with Password Protection
  • View Mobile Device Prototypes and Diagrams
  • Simple Team Collaboration
  • Check-In/Check-Out System

Benefits of Axure RP

  • It is easy to use.
  • Enhance collaboration.
  • Share projects with ease.
  • It provides a documentation feature.
  • Create Prototypes, Wireframes, and Diagrams in Minutes
  • Distribute Projects and Collect Feedback.

Drawbacks of Axure RP

  • Team and cloud functionality need more features.
  • It is challenging for beginners to use.

Pricing of Axure RP

It offers different pricing plans. It provides a free trial as well.

  • Axure RP 9 Pro: $29/user/month or $495/user for a perpetual license. 
  • Axure RP 9 Team: $49/user/month or $895/user for a perpetual license. 
  • Axure Cloud for Business: plans start at $30/month for up to 5 users.

Availability: macOS, Windows

InVision Studio

InVision Studio is a prototype and animation tool that allows you to quickly develop advanced, vector-based screen designs. It’s widely considered as one of the most excellent high-fidelity prototyping tools available.

It is a digital whiteboard that allows team members to share their ideas, communicate, and get that all-important sign-off before continuing.

InVision provides all of the UI design tools required for designers to build fully realized and functioning prototypes with dynamic features and animations.

The UI is simple to learn, and the preloaded icons are clean and well-designed. Thanks to features like comments, transitions, and desktop synchronization, it is a competent tool for creating everything from low-fi wireframes to full-featured prototypes.

It excels at responsive design capabilities and works well with Invision Freehand for real-time collaboration with others.

Features of InVision Studio

Some of the best features of InVision Studio are given below.

  • Image editing without masks.
  • Fix elements on scrolling
  • Link several artboards into single animations.
  • Create a prototype without writing codes.
  • Mirror images for the phone.
  • Short cut keys

Benefits of InVision Studio

  • It is a simple and intuitive interface, effortless to use and share.
  • Great for collaboration with multiple users and stakeholders.
  • It has an adaptive layout for responsive design.
  • It has rapid prototyping and advanced animation.
  • It has a shared design pattern to connect with team members.

Drawbacks of InVision Studio

  • It does not have sufficient integrations.
  • It is expensive.

Pricing of InVision Studio

It provides a free version to use it. Also, it has three other pricing plans as below.

  • Starter: $15 per month/3projects
  • Professional: $25 per month/Unlimited projects
  • Team: $100 per month/ Unlimited projects upto five team members

Availability: Windows, Mac

Justinmind

Justinmind is a wireframing and prototyping tool for creating high-fidelity prototypes of online and mobile apps.

It is not only simple to use and fun to learn; it also focuses on allowing you to develop a wireframe that can be tested as a functional prototype straight away.

It is designed for all sizes of businesses and aims to improve user experience through visual designs, web interactions, and mobile gestures. Furthermore, the platform enables designers to publish UI designs with a single click and invite comments from teams and other stakeholders.

In addition, the ease with which realistic wireframes can be created and shared may save you hours or days of work on any given project.

Features of Justinmind

Some of the exciting features of Justinmind are as follows:

  • Mobile transactions and gestures
  • Management of requirements.
  • Navigation based on conditions.
  • Shapes and sketches
  • Pre-built UI Libraries.
  • Responsive design.
  • Interactive prototypes.
  • Management of comments and reviews.

Benefits of Justinmind

  • Comprehensive prototyping tools.
  • It supports the construction of codeless wireframe designs.
  • Distribute wireframes and solicit comments.
  • Management of Reviewers.
  • It has an AIO package.
  • Data Grids and Smart Forms

Drawbacks of Justinmind

  • Problems in customizing
  • It is not a free version.

Pricing of Justinmind

It offers a free version. Also, it offers other plans as:

  • Standard: $9 per user/month or $8 per user/month billed annually
  • Professional: $29 per user/month or $19 per user/month billed annually
  • Enterprise: Contact the vendor for details.

Availability: Windows. macOS

Balsamiq Wireframe

Balsamiq Wireframe is a UI design tool that allows you to create wireframes. It is used to make digital sketches of your idea or concept for an application or website to facilitate discussion and understanding before writing any code.

Balsamiq’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to produce low-fidelity wireframes. As a result, even somebody having no prior knowledge of wireframing could step in and create some that look good.

It includes both UI and UX, but its low-fidelity wireframes particularly stand out. Hence, this is an excellent choice for non-techies and lean UX teams with well-integrated communication tools and user testing.

Features of Balsamiq Wireframe

Here are some of the best features of Balsamiq Wireframe.

  • Collaboration tools. 
  • It has data linking feature.
  • It has a drag and drops editor.
  • Feedback management.
  • It has mockup creation and presentation tools.
  • Software/UI prototyping
  • Revision history

Benefits of Balsamiq Wireframe

  • It has an iteration and versioning tool so, it helps to save wireframes in versions.
  • It tracks changes in UI easily. 
  • Small learning curve.
  • It is quick to use.

Drawbacks of Balsamiq WIreframe

  • It does not include photo-realistic UI elements.
  • It does not support high-fidelity prototypes.

Pricing of Balsamiq Wireframe

It offers its pricing plan based on several projects.

  • For 2 projects: $9/mont or $90/year
  • For 20 projects: $49/month or $490/year
  • For 200 projects: $199/month or $1990/year

Availability: Mac, Windows, Linux, Web Browser

Conclusion

The free wireframe tools listed above are among the best UX designers can use to enhance their website optimization.

Choosing a wireframe tool is not as simple as you might think — you must consider several aspects such as the usage of the wireframe, the expected outcome, the system specs, and the team’s design process.

Which tool impresses you the most and why? Mention your thought in the comment section below.

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