Prototyping is a vital part of the designing process regardless of the fact whether you’re designing a website or an app. It helps your clients get an idea of what you’re building before you develop the final product. With a good prototype, you can save time and effort which otherwise you would have spent on explaining features and collecting feedback from the stakeholders.
Thankfully, there are many free prototyping tools online in the market that are meant to help designers. Prototyping tools are tools that help you make product creation faster and better. It allows designers and clients to collaborate on a single platform allowing them to be in the same context. Such tools can quickly iterate and integrate with different tools used for creating UI designs, and instantly build a responsive and functional prototype. Having the right prototype tool can also help identify and fix potential problems and challenges before the production phase.
Let’s now have a look at the popular free prototyping tools along with their supported prototype type, system compatibility, pricing & more.
Top Free Prototyping Tools for Windows, Mac & Mobile Applications
Finding the right prototyping tool is essential for any UI/UX designer. It not only makes it easier for them to explain the concept to the end user but also gives them an idea of how the app will look in the end. Out of many different prototyping tools available out there, we have listed seven best prototype makers online for free.
Figma: For Life-like Prototyping
Figma is an all-in-one solution that lets you conceptualize, create, and deliver prototypes that feel like real. The solution offers an easy-to-use drag and drop editor and a variety of collaboration features to make it easy to share your work progress with your team.
What more? You can also use GIFs to represent video elements, motion designs & more. Figma’s community is another helpful section where you can find prebuilt files and templates that you can use in your project file. Powerful editing features, an intuitive editor, and a clean UI make Figma one of the best online prototyping tools. Plus, Figma makes it easy to get started with and for free!
Compatibility: Desktop app for MacOS, Windows, Mobile app for iOS and Android
Price to Upgrade: Basic Free Plan Forever that includes 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files, unlimited personal files, to name a few. Paid plans start at INR 955.81 per editor/month billed annually.
Suggested Read: 12 Best Graphic Design Software for Beginners in 2022
Sketch – For Clickable Prototypes
Sketch is a vector-based design tool that is used to create user interfaces for web and mobile. With features like scrolling Artboards and Overlays, you can bring your design to life and simplify the developer handoff process.
Many consider Sketch as a sophisticated and industry standard tool when it comes to prototyping. It offers high design flexibility to test the ideas and create interactive prototypes with ease. Using links and hotspots, one can add layers to the artboards for designing high fidelity prototypes. Apart from this, the other highlighting features include easy drag and drop of files into the canvas, user friendly editor to add interaction effects like scrolling, swipe & more.
Compatibility: Sketch is a prototyping tool for MacOS
Price to Upgrade: First 30 days are free. The Standard plan for individuals and teams starts at INR 717 per editor/monthly with unlimited viewers and guests.
Adobe XD – For Hi-fi Interactive Prototypes
Adobe XD is one of the most popular free app prototyping tools that helps you design lo-fi to hi-fi prototypes with ease. With a click-to-connect editor, vector-based artboards to create attractive screens, and flexible design sharing options, Adobe XD is a complete solution to bring your ideas to life. It can help you stay in sync with your team during design, collaboration and handoff process.
In addition, it provides two modes for your ease of work – design and prototype. While you can use XD’s interactive tools to create elements, animations and add artboards in design mode, the prototype mode is best to draw interactive links between artboards.
Adobe XD prototyping tool is best recommended for prototype, web design, UI & UX design and mobile app design.
Compatibility: Prototyping tool for Mac, Windows & Android
Price to Upgrade: The payment plan starts at INR 789 with unlimited access to shared prototypes and design specs, adobe fonts, portfolio & more.
Suggested Read: 11 Best Figma Alternatives for UI/UX Designing
Axure RP – For Wireframes & Functional Prototypes
Axure RP puts together the power of creating wireframes and hi-fi interactive prototypes together. It is the only UX tool that allows designers to create realistic, low to high resolution prototypes of websites and apps.
Axure RP also offers a comprehensive documentation tool and better and organized handoff to developers, without the need of coding. It facilitates a better developer handoff by letting a prototype be published on the cloud with all the necessary coding details that you would need to build a design.
In addition, it is built for professional designers with special intricacies needed for building interactive prototypes. Some other features that make it an ideal choice includes adaptive views, that is, great for responsive design, dynamic content.
Compatibility: Android & iOS app, web based, Windows, Mac
Price to Upgrade: Free 30-day trial available. Axure RP Pro is priced at INR 1992 per month per user in which you get access to unlimited prototypes, reviewers, advanced prototyping, amongst other things.
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Framer – For High Quality Prototypes
Packed with amazing features, Framer is an open source prototyping tool that includes everything you need to start prototyping. Right from design, testing, iteration, preview and developer handoff, this tool has got you covered. What makes it different from other drag-and-drop feature prototyping platforms is that it is a code-based platform that uses CoffeeScript to make interactive prototypes.
With its adaptive layout, you can start iterating your ideas quickly. The truly interactive and fully customizable smart components and the ability to add rich media can kickstart your project with just a click.
Compatibility: Android & iOS app, Mac, Windows, web based
Price to Upgrade: Try for free as long as you want. The features are however limited to 100 CMS sites and 1000 visitors. The paid version starts at INR 1196/month billed annually.
Justinmind – Wireframes & Responsive Prototyping
Justinmind is a free UI & UX design platform to create hi-fi prototypes of web and mobile apps without any coding knowledge. The ability to create simple to sophisticated apps and plenty of support like tutorial videos and blogs to learn how to use the app makes Justinmind easy for designers to work with.
On the other hand, Justinmind offers just enough features like UI libraries, integrations & plugins for professional designers. It also brings co-editing, interactive HTML, images export, and other valuable features for quick prototyping.
Compatibility: Android & iOS mobile app, MacOS, Windows
Price to Upgrade: It is available for free for unlimited projects and viewers. The standard plan is priced at INR 718 per user/month that includes access to free features plus multiuser account, data stimulation among other things.
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Proto.io – Rapid Prototyping
With 1000+ customizable templates, 6000+ assets, and over 250 UI components, Proto.io makes interactive prototype creation easy without writing any code. This web-based application gives you a drag-and-drop builder to create hi-fi prototypes, animated icons library, sound effects library, audio & video components and more powerful features.
What more? You can invite feedback/comments from reviewers via Hotspot, thus making the process fast. The final prototype can be exported to PNG, HTML, PDF or any other format you like.
Compatibility: Android, iOS & web
Price to Upgrade: Free 15 days trial available. The paid plan starts at INR 1916 per month, paid annually for 1 user, 5 active projects and unlimited viewers.
While any of the tools listed above would work fine for most designers, it is important for you to compare these free prototyping tools and their features to choose the one that’s the right fit for your business.
- What is prototyping?
Prototyping is an early sample or experimental process in which a design team ideates and bring concepts to life. In simple words, it is a process of designing that is built to test ideas and make changes until it matches with the final product.
- What are prototyping Tools?
Prototyping tools allow designers to make product creation faster and more effective. These tools give life to your vision and help developers quickly develop screens, reports and forms to give users the actual look and feel of the information system.
- How to make a prototype for free?
There are various free platforms that help create prototyping for apps or webs. Some of the popular ones are Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD.
- Which tool is best for prototype?
There are many prototyping tools for UI/UX designers to build exceptional products. However, the popular ones are Sketch, Framer and Justinmind.
- How many prototyping tools are there?
There are many prototyping tools to help UI/UX designers with their design process. The best ones include Figma, Adobe XD, Axure RP & Justinmind.