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10 Best Wireframing and Prototyping Tools

A wireframe is more than just a simple sketch; it’s the foundational framework that outlines the structure and functionality of a digital project, be it a web page, mobile app, or any other digital interface. Acting as a visual guide, wireframes are crucial for aligning the team on the design vision, thereby streamlining the development process. While traditional pencil-and-paper methods are still in use, the advent of digital wireframing tools has significantly elevated the design process by adding layers of efficiency, collaboration, and shareability.

To assist you in choosing the perfect wireframing tool that aligns with your design objectives, I’ve conducted extensive research, sifting through dozens of available options. The result is a carefully curated list of ten top-tier wireframing tools that stand out for their features and user experience. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just stepping into the world of design, these tools are equipped to help you transform your design ideas into tangible, testable concepts with ease.

Understanding Wireframing

Wireframing is the blueprint phase for digital projects like apps and websites. It uses simple shapes to map out future components, such as text and buttons. This basic layout is then refined into a detailed prototype, paving the way to the final design.

Why Wireframe?

Wireframing is crucial for exploring design ideas efficiently and affordably. It helps in visualizing the project early on, whether in a simple sketch or a detailed preview, aiding in usability testing and decision-making.

From Wireframe to Prototype

After wireframing, the next phase is prototyping. This involves using tools to build a working model of the website, offering a sneak peek of the user experience and the final look. Prototyping is a fast track to reviewing and refining the project.

The Right Tools Make a Difference

Today’s design tools are equipped to handle both wireframing and prototyping, offering flexibility for both designers and clients. These tools provide a variety of options to cater to different project requirements.

Overview of 10 Best Tools
PlatformBest ForPricingFree Plan Available?
LucidchartOnline/WebEasy use, real-time teamwork$7.95/monthYes
FigmaOnline/WebBudget-friendly, all-in-one design$12/user/monthYes
UizardOnline/WebAI-powered design$144/year or $12/monthYes
WhimsicalOnline/WebUser-friendly, focus on content$10/user/monthYes
BalsamiqOnline/Web, DesktopSketch-like approachStarts at $9/monthNo
VisilyOnline/WebAI-driven, easy for non-designersFree plan with limitationsYes
UXPinOnline/WebDetailed design, design-to-code transitionStarts at $14.50/user/monthYes
MockFlowOnline/WebReal-time collaboration$14 to $19/user/monthYes
MoqupsOnline/WebBeginners, limited features$9/month for individualsYes
SketchMacMac users, large community$120/year for individualsNo
JustinmindDesktopUser-friendly, interactive wireframingStarts at $9/monthYes

Lucidchart

LucidchartLucidchart

Lucidchart simplifies the process of creating app wireframes directly in your web browser, without the need for any downloads or installations. It provides a selection of ready-made templates along with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface on an unlimited canvas. The platform is designed for straightforward use and supports real-time collaboration through features such as in-app chat, instant data updates, and secure file storage. These capabilities make it suitable for individuals new to wireframing as well as for teams working remotely or in different locations.

More than a wireframing tool, Lucidchart integrates with a wide range of software and services. It offers compatibility with Microsoft Office and includes free add-ons for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Additionally, it supports connections with services like Salesforce, Atlassian, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Slack, AWS, and GitHub. Lucidchart also links with Lucid’s brainstorming tool, Lucidspark, allowing for a smooth transition from brainstorming ideas to developing formal wireframes and diagrams.

Price:

Lucidchart is priced affordably at a monthly subscription of $7.95. There is also a free version available for those who wish to try its features before committing to a subscription.

Visit Lucidchart

Figma

FigmaFigma

Figma stands out as a comprehensive, cloud-based wireframing tool that caters to individuals and teams seeking an affordable, all-encompassing design solution. It integrates flawlessly with FigJam, Figma’s collaborative online whiteboard, facilitating a smooth transition from brainstorming to wireframing and prototyping. Although users must either create or import their own UI elements, Figma eases the design process with its straightforward interface, equipped with vector tools for precision and a variety of other design features.

Designed with teamwork in mind, Figma operates entirely online, enabling real-time access and editing of design projects. It enhances remote collaboration through features such as live demos via its Spotlight tool and an in-app commenting system reminiscent of sticky notes for straightforward feedback and discussions. For development handoff, Figma’s Dev Mode provides developers with the ability to extract CSS code and detailed object information directly from the design files.

Price:

Figma’s pricing structure is designed to accommodate various needs. The free tier is particularly generous, supporting up to three active projects. For those requiring more, the Professional plan is available at $12 per user per month, offering unlimited project capacity.

Visit Figma

Uizard

UizardUizard

Uizard stands out for its advanced AI features that make UX/UI design easier. Launched in March 2023, its Autodesigner tool lets you create UI designs just by typing a text prompt. The platform can even turn hand-drawn sketches and website screenshots into digital wireframes. These AI tools make Uizard a time-saver for designers, even on the Pro plan, which costs $144 per year.

While Uizard has some cool features, it’s not perfect. For example, the AI text generator could be better. But it’s still a strong tool for wireframing, offering real-time collaboration, multiple export options, and high-quality prototyping. It also has a variety of templates and design elements to make your work easier.

Price:

Uizard has pricing plans to fit different needs. There’s a free version with limited AI features and up to two projects. The Pro plan is $12 per month per creator and gives you full access to all templates and extra AI features. Overall, Uizard is a versatile and innovative tool worth considering for your design projects.

Visit Uizard

Whimsical

WhimsicalWhimsical

Whimsical is a wireframing tool that’s easy to use for both experts and beginners. It works right in your web browser, so you don’t need to download anything. It has a wide range of customizable elements like buttons and checkboxes, as well as a big selection of icons. This makes it simple to create basic but detailed wireframes that look good and focus on content.

Whimsical is more than just a wireframing tool. It also supports different types of files like mind maps and flowcharts, letting you easily switch between different parts of your project. Teamwork is a breeze with options to set who can edit, comment, or view your work. For extra security and to make your work easier, Whimsical can connect with GitHub, be added to Notion documents, and supports two-factor authentication.

Price:

Whimsical is affordable, starting at $10 per user per month. If you want to try it out first, there’s a free plan with some limited features.

Visit Whimsical

Balsamiq Wireframes

BalsamiqBalsamiq

Balsamiq Wireframes focuses on a sketch-like approach to wireframing, keeping things simple so you can concentrate on the structure of your project. It’s easy to use and popular among UX designers. While the main color scheme is gray to avoid distractions, you can add some color through notes and callouts.

Balsamiq works well with Atlassian’s Jira and Confluence, as well as Google Drive. This makes it a flexible option whether you’re in a big company or freelancing.

Price:

Balsamiq has different pricing options to fit your needs. The cloud version starts at $9 a month for up to two projects and offers a 30-day free trial. There are also desktop and Google Drive versions for more flexibility.

Visit Balsamiq Wireframes

Visily

VisilyVisily

Visily is designed for people who aren’t designers, using AI to make wireframing easy. You can turn hand-drawn sketches into digital wireframes with just a few clicks. It also has strong collaboration features and organizational tools like project folders and a handy navigator view.

While its AI features are still being developed, Visily offers a sketching guide to help you get the most out of the tool as it improves.

Price:

Visily aims to be accessible, offering a free plan with no credit card needed. This includes unlimited viewers and editors, 100 AI credits, over 1,000 free templates, and multiple export options, making it a versatile choice for individuals and teams.

Visit Visily

UXPin

UXPinUXPin

UXPin is a robust wireframing tool that’s popular for its detailed capabilities. It allows for high-fidelity wireframing, meaning you can create very detailed designs easily. It’s compatible with Sketch and Photoshop files and has a live presentation feature for sharing and getting feedback.

UXPin has a lot of features, which can be a bit much for beginners. However, it’s built to make the transition from design to coding easier, offering HTML-ready elements and a feature to import React.js components from Git repositories.

Price:

UXPin offers various pricing options. There’s a free plan for up to two prototypes, and the paid Advanced plan starts at $14.50 per user per month if billed annually, including unlimited prototypes and reviewers.

Visit UXPin

MockFlow

MockFlowMockFlow

MockFlow is an online wireframing tool that’s great for real-time collaboration and is easy to use. You can manage multiple projects from one dashboard and even sort your wireframes automatically. It works well with Slack and Microsoft Teams, and also offers extra features like AI-generated images and text.

Price:

MockFlow has different pricing plans, starting with a free option for one UI project. Paid plans range from $14 to $19 per user per month and offer more features like advanced organization tools. Some users have reported occasional lag, but overall it’s well-received. For comparison, Mockplus is another tool with similar features, starting at $199/year for individuals and $1999/year for teams.

Visit MockFlow

Moqups

MoqupsMoqups

Moqups is aimed at beginners and teams, offering a simple platform for wireframes, flowcharts, and more. It has a variety of templates and an easy-to-use side panel for adding shapes and icons. It also offers real-time editing and works with Google Drive, Trello, Slack, and Jira.

Moqups does have some limitations like no offline use and fewer features compared to other tools. The free plan limits you to two projects and doesn’t allow exporting designs. Some advanced features are also missing.

Price:

Moqups is affordable, starting at $9 per month for individuals and $15 per month for teams, making it a good option if you can work within its limitations.

Visit Moqups

Sketch

SketchSketch

Sketch is a long-standing favorite among Mac users, offering a versatile platform for wireframing and more. It’s easier to use than some other design tools and benefits from a large online community that shares wireframe kits. It also offers templates for Android and iOS app icons and integrates with Unsplash for royalty-free images.

Sketch offers real-time collaboration with color-coded cursors to show who’s doing what. While it’s Mac-only, it does offer web viewing and various export options, as well as third-party integrations for a smooth design hand-off.

Price:

Sketch has pricing options for individuals and teams, starting at $120 per year for individuals and $10 per editor per month for teams using Sketch Cloud. You can keep using it after the first year without updates.

Visit Sketch

Justinmind

JustinmindJustinmind

Justinmind stands out for its user-friendly design and interactive features. It lets you create functional prototypes right from the start, with easy-to-add interactive elements like text inputs and dropdown menus. The layout is intuitive, with design components on the left and organizational tools on the right.

Justinmind does have some downsides, like the need to download a desktop app and a check-in/check-out model for collaboration that can limit simultaneous editing.

Price:

Justinmind offers various pricing plans, including a free option for basic wireframing. More advanced features start at $9 per month. It’s a comprehensive tool for detailed, interactive wireframes but may not be the best for quick, simple designs.

Visit Justinmind

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