It’s one thing to have a product idea, but quite another to visualize that idea in a way others can understand. That’s where wireframing saves the day. Wireframing tools bridge the gap between concept and prototype, bringing ideas to life and setting on the long journey to the finished product.
Back in the day, these initial conceptualizations were typically pencil sketches. But in today’s SaaS-driven world, there are many software tools that do a much better job. In this article, I’ll discuss the best wireframing tools and highlight what’s great about each one.
The Best Wireframing Tools
Here’s the list of the best wireframing apps I’ll cover in this article.
What do I look for when I select the best wireframing platforms? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I look for wireframing tools that offer clear, multi-dimensional views of products in development.
- Usability: I expect it to be easy to visualize the wireframes in different ways, according to the needs of individual users.
- Integrations: I look for a wide range of integrations with popular product design tools.
- Value for $: I’m seeking wireframing tools that offer professional features while still being affordable for small product teams.
Wireframing Solution: Key Features
Here are the features I look for when evaluating wireframing tools:
- Drag & drop: the ability to add or move user interface elements easily so that designers can easily create and modify wireframes
- Interactive elements: allowing users to create interactive prototypes where colleagues can click and test aspects of the design
- Feedback & collaboration tools: features allowing team members to add comments, attach files, and mark up designs
- Fidelity levels: the option to create a range of different wireframe types, from low fidelity to high fidelity
- Revision history: easy access to previous design versions, plus the ability to revert to them if necessary
- Presentation tools: converting basic wireframes into professional presentations for client presentations
- Templates: standard components and symbols that can be reused to speed up the wireframing and design process
- Add-ons: the ability to add additional functionality by installing software plugins, widgets and extensions
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Wireframing Software Solutions
Here’s a brief description of each wireframing system to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
1. Adobe XD – Wireframe templates optimized for user experience design
Adobe XD is a popular, vector-based design tool. Created for UI and UX design, it can be used to develop anything from apps to websites. Designers can create fluid and dynamic designs that you can’t achieve with traditional design tools.
This platform includes a range of wireframing templates. These help product creators turn concepts into working wireframes quickly. They give designers visual references, from which they can build out fully-fledged wireframes.
Adobe XD integrates with a range of apps and services across the Creative Cloud suite.
Adobe XD costs from $9.99/user/month, and there is a 7-day free trial.
2. Framer – Best for an interactive-by-default wireframing workflow
Framer provides ready-made starter kits and UI components to accelerate the wireframing process. You can arrange layouts with grids and use stacks to space elements evenly. You can also reuse components to speed up iterations.
A key feature is an interactive-by-default workflow. From the start, you can click buttons, move elements and customize transitions. You can link between screens to design, test and iterate until you find the optimal user workflow.
This platform integrates with many popular applications, including YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps, and ProductHunt.
Framer pricing starts from $20/user/month, and a free trial is available.
3. FluidUI – Best for prototyping and sharing wireframes fast
FluidUI is a cloud-based platform for creating web app and mobile design prototypes. Multiple designers and stakeholders can review and annotate wireframes, then provide their feedback through comments. Animations and interactive gestures can be added to demonstrate features.
The software allows wireframes to be created with a short learning curve. Pre-built UI kits are offered for material design, iOS, and wireframing. Designs can then be shared instantly with others on the team.
This platform integrates with popular tools such as Google Drive, Jira, Trello, and Dropbox.
FluidUI costs from $8.25/user/month, and a free trial is available.
4. Mockplus – Turns low-fidelity designs into interactive wireframes
Mockplus is a cloud-based design tool for rapid prototyping and wireframing. You can use the pre-built components, icons, and drag-and-drop functions to implement realistic screen designs. Team members can test the website design in eight different ways, then provide their feedback through the commenting feature.
This tool aims to help you turn low-fidelity UI design into interactive wireframes. These act like fully-functional prototypes, giving stakeholders an understanding of the concepts in action. You can also select from a library of over 3000 built-in icons, components, and templates.
Integrations are available for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD and Sketch.
Mockplus costs from $16.58/user/month, and a 15-day free trial is available.
5. Sketch – Best for wireframe kits and resources
Sketch is a digital design tool that helps you progress from brainstorming ideas to playable prototypes. It supports rapid design, real-time collaboration features, and planned handover to developers. Components can be reused and will automatically resize as required.
Sketch App Sources is a crowdsourced platform providing a library of helpful wireframing resources. Templates, tools, and other design elements are offered for various product applications.
This tool integrates with a range of design tools, including Framer, PixelSnap, and Overflow.
Sketch costs from $9/user/month, and a free 30-day trial is available.
6. Figma – Best for drag-and-drop wireframe kits
Figma provides wireframe kits to help you validate ideas and accelerate design workflow. You can go from wireframe to clickable prototype in a few steps and add interactivity without the need for code. Out-of-the-box website components include navigation bars, features, headers, and buttons.
The drag-and-drop interface means anyone can create wireframes from the provided kits. Components can be customized to suit the required style, directly from the browser.
The kits integrate with tools such as Maze, Zeplin, and Confluence.
Figma costs from $12/user/month, and a limited free plan is also available.
7. Invision Studio – Wireframe collaboration through a digital whiteboard
InVision Studio centralizes workflows so that designers can collaborate through a project life cycle. The design software includes over 100 templates from partners such as Microsoft and Atlassian to help you get results faster. You can also embed editable Google Docs, Mode dashboards, Jira issues, and Kanban boards.
Invision combines the power of whiteboard collaboration with the clarity of wireframes for design prototyping. Team members can offer feedback in a way that’s easy for everyone to share.
This tool integrates with professional design tools such as Adobe XD, Confluence, and Jira.
Invision Studio costs from $7.97/user/month, and a limited free version is also available.
8. Justinmind – From clickable wireframes to functional simulations, fast
Justinmind helps with the wireframing and design of web (Windows/MacOS) or mobile products. The design options cover everything from navigation to animations and transitions. For mobile devices, designers may choose from a library of gestures for rotating, tapping, swiping, scrolling, and pinching.
Using these features, designers rapidly progress from prototypes to functional simulations without entering a single line of code. Sequences of actions and conditions can be included in the interactions, giving testers a realistic experience.
This tool integrates with popular platforms such as JIRA, Sketch, and Adobe.
Justinmind costs from $9/user/month, and a limited free plan is also available.
9. Lucidchart – Best for combining diagramming, data visualization, and collaboration
Lucidchart is a visual workspace that helps product designers by offering all the tools they need. These include diagramming, collaboration, and data visualization. The software features a drag-and-drop interface for creating mobile, tablet, or web wireframes. The wireframe tool uses layers, links, and hotspots to showcase the various functions of the design.
You can create a shared URL and send the latest mockup version to clients or other team members. Feedback can be collected directly on the document or using the in-editor chat. The UI shape library includes everything from search boxes and text editors to accordions and breadcrumbs.
This tool integrates with business applications such as Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and Slack.
Lucidchart costs from $7.95/user/month, and a limited free plan is available.
10. Pencil Project – Best for free, open-source wireframing
Pencil Project is a free GUI prototyping tool that’s easy to install and use. It includes a library of pre-built shapes for drawing different user interfaces. Both Android and iOS user interface stencils are pre-installed, along with tools for web development.
The template collections include general-purpose shapes, flowchart elements, desktop/web designs, and shapes for mobile. Collections can be dragged and dropped into the wireframe in progress. Connectors may be used to link shapes in a logical flowchart.
This tool integrates with design apps such as Flamory.
Pencil Project is available free of charge as an open-source application.
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Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- UXPin – Best for real-time collaboration
- Axure RP – Best for realistic usability testing
- Balsamiq Wireframes – Great for low-fidelity wireframing
- Photoshop – Wireframing in the Adobe ecosystem
- InDesign – For high-level design quality
- Wireframe.cc – Best for simple wireframing with no distractions
- MockFlow – Optimized for rapidly sketching interface layouts
- Moqups – Best for wireframe and template mockups
- Miro – Wireframing on a collaborative online whiteboard platform
- NinjaMock – Helps you create wireframes in minutes
- Cacoo – Best for collaborative wireframing in the cloud
What are Wireframing tools in product management?
Wireframes are the first step in the process of designing digital assets such as apps or websites. They offer a bare-bones visualization of how the product will look. User interface and user interface engineers use them to translate product ideas into visual representations that can be discussed and improved.
Wireframes are used extensively in developing all kinds of wares. Even if the item is a ‘real world’ product, there will probably be associated digital components, such as an online store or membership rewards app. This makes wireframing an essential step in product design today.
What do you think about this list?
So there you have my thoughts on the best wireframing tools on the market. Are my suggestions on point? Let me know in the comments below—and sign up for our newsletter to get the latest insights from top designers and product managers.
You can also check out our articles on how product managers should use wireframes and the difference between prototyping and wireframing. We’re always adding new content, so check back often!
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