What are Wireframe Tools?
Wireframe software is especially designed to mock up a wireframe layout quickly and efficiently. Wireframing is deployed for drawing two-dimensional skeletal outlines for apps as well as webpages. There are several web wireframing tools available that allow you to drag and drop placeholder elements for images, text, banners, and logos. They add up to the enthusiasm of drawing your first draft design.
Being a critical part of the product design process, wireframe design tools offer a representation of colour, styling and graphics of a webpage/app’s initial stages. Using these designing tools you can perform a wide range of tasks that includes analysing the intended behaviour, functionality, page structure, user flow and layout of all app or website designs.
In simple terms, a wireframe is a schematic or blueprint useful for assisting you, the programmers and designers in thinking & communicating about the structure of the software or website you're building.
Professionals like UX designers rely on wireframe creators for doing initial iterations for webpages and apps. Such iterations help developers understand how a proposed webpage or an app would work. Wireframe apps contain a UI library that offers elements like forms, generic shapes, widgets and buttons for custom styling necessary for iterations.
You can also go for wireframe apps for creating interactive prototypes using built-in tools like widgets and sitemaps. Adding multiple layers and pages to such prototypes is comparatively easy with this app. It also enables converting these prototypes into interactive file formats for better collaboration.
Different Types of Wireframes
A unique characteristic that differentiates one wireframe from the other is the amount of design details contained in them. Based on this differential, the following are the different types of wireframes available.
Basic visuals on a webpage are represented using low-fidelity wireframes. Low-fidelity wireframes are rough hand-drawn sketches that mostly include only block shapes, filter texts, mock content and simplistic images. This category of wireframes is mostly used for mapping user flow and deciding a navigation’s layout.
Mid-fidelity wireframes are more accurate representations of a layout when compared to low-fidelity wireframes. Features, components, page’s structure and body content is more detailed here unlike low-fidelity ones where these are mostly in the form of rough sketches.
High-fidelity wireframes support pixel-specific layouts for all the written content and featured images. When deployed during later stages of a product design cycle, high-fidelity wireframes offer better documenting with options of exploring complex concepts such as interactive maps, menus systems, etc.
Characteristics & Functionalities of Wireframe Software
- Displaying site architecture
Wireframe design tools are important for displaying visually the architecture of a sitemap. The best wireframe tools take into account factors like subpages, user flows, structure of primary pages and navigation for taking sitemaps to wireframes.
On a website, there are multiple features that need to be correctly placed such as map integration, images, light boxes and product filtering. Wireframing all such project features is a quick and easy way to decide on their correct placement. Therefore, clients/customers get to understand what exactly the features on a website are, where are they placed, how they will function and what is their specific purpose.
An appropriate layout of a page can be created using the best wireframe apps. Wireframing processes by popular wireframe mockup solutions takes many factors into consideration for building the best site architecture. Factors like conversion paths, navigation/feature placement and names for links are also included.
Paid and free wireframe tools online are flexible and scalable by nature. Think of a situation where you decide to expand your business and plan to showcase hundred instead of twenty products. The best wireframe software would let you make such changes to help your business scale without impacting the design of your existing website in any way.
- Iterative design processes
Wireframe creators have built-in collaboration tools for sharing continuous feedback and comments. This way the entire design process is interactive and flexible. For best results, wireframe tools work by considering one by one take factors like layout, functionality, branding and other creative aspects.
Wireframe design tools help businesses save time with their resource management capabilities. The software from the very beginning considers the conversion path and make sure all processes related to content creation and developing designs are calculated. All these are communicated well in advance to keep the development team, agency, clients and the web team on the same page.
Popular wireframe apps depend on modules like logical hierarchy and compact interface to let clients find out the function of every feature with ease. Other options like prebuilt UI kits, communication tools and integration plugins are available for the purpose.
Even the best wireframe tools open source or the paid one would be useless without their inbuilt testing capabilities. Wireframe online free or paid allows you to test a website on every browser and operating system. This is done to ensure that the web design so created is adaptable and the best for that particular platform.
Best wireframe apps enables the building of responsive and clear websites to ensure complete usability of the website in question. Bugs, architecture or functionality of a webpage, all is been taken care of by the software. Content on a website is never an issue as the software makes sure that its placement, arrangement and font size is well taken care of.
Important Elements Illustrated in online Wireframe Tools
Wireframes are different for different websites. They can be either computer-drawn or hand-drawn. Whichever be their kind, these tools are important for identifying the level of a wireframe’s functionality and production. There are standard elements in a wireframe that are to be universally applied irrespective of the type of a wireframe. These are:
- Search field
- Headers and navigation systems
- Share buttons
- Contact information
- Body content
Factors to Consider While Getting Wireframe Design Tools
There are some important factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting the best wireframe design tools. The most important being the ability of the software to be in sync with your existing design workflows.
- Capability to build different types of fidelities- high or low
- Regular updates with a friendly user interface
- Inbuilt standard symbols, UI components and templates
- Option to collaborate with other UX designers
- Ability to record and capture user feedback
- Pre-built UI libraries and kits
- Kind of layout that is being provided, whether static or responsive
- Simple icons and buttons for mocking up quickly rudimentary designs
- Ability to handle challenges like error handling, edge cases and such challenges as arising from complex design processes
10 Best Wireframe Tools for Web Design: Wireframe Tools List
Moqups Wireframe Creator
Moqups wireframe design tool is used for designing wireframes for web applications and mobile. The software is compatible with different stencil packages to help end users build diagrams and prototypes. Along with a range of ready to use multiple font options, the wireframe mockup application also offers different icon sets for immediate use.
Key features of Moqups wireframe creator:
- Flowcharts & sitemaps
- Object editing
- Scalable and flexible page management
- Low-fi/hi-fi prototypes and wireframes
- Charts and graphs
Looking for an online wireframe tool that helps with developing high fidelity wireframes? Mockplus wireframe online application might be the answer. Develop wireframes for mobiles and interactive websites using Mockplus's customizable template and component library. The mobile wireframe app lets you design life-like transitions, animations and interactions with ease.
Key features of Mockplus mobile app wireframe design app:
- Sketch import with backup history
- Previews for fast testing
- User roles/permissions & cloud storage
- Page remarks
- Permission management
InVision Wireframe Mockup Tool
InVision wireframe mockup tool lets you create wireframes for websites and mobile using prototypes with clickable model support. Besides these easy to use prototyping capabilities, the mobile wireframe creator also supports a range of collaborative tools for smooth cooperation. You can thus InVision wireframe app to share links for the designs created with other architects for prompt feedback. The best part about using the software is you can easily attach micro-interactions into all working prototypes with simplicity and ease.
Key features of InVision mobile wireframe creator:
- Freehands and boards for archiving/documentation purposes
- Developer-ready specs
- Digital whiteboard
- In-context feedback system
- Customizable freehand templates
- Design system management
UX Pin is one of the best wireframing tools highly popular amongst web designers and related professionals. Besides designing high-fidelity mockups, you can also use the software for modifying the CSS code. The software also offers interactive and sturdy prototypes along with drag and drop functionality for augmenting wireframes.
- Interactive text fields
- Vector drawing tools
- HTML import
- Code components
- Variables for storing user preferences
Key features of Fluid UI wireframe tool open source:
- Interactive previews
- Prebuilt component library
- Touch & mouse gestures
- Option for adding links to screen flows
Balsamiq Mockups wireframe software is unique for two reasons. One, it lets you create wireframes on an instant, and two, it offers a user friendly interface for easy handling of all designs. You p easily print prototypes and attach different types of wireframe/sketch skins with this wireframe design tool. Create wireframe online using this UI elements archive built-in into the software.
Key features of Balsamiq Mockups wireframe online tool:
- Drag and drop functionality for assembling elements
- Option to export designs into PNG or PDF format
- UI icons and components
- Reusable symbols
- Interactive prototypes
Justin mind Wireframe Tool
Create reliable wireframes for websites and build prototypes with Justinmind free wireframe tool online. The one feature that makes this mobile wireframe tool unique is its ability to let end users test wireframes on actual mobile devices to collect user responses in real-time.
Key features of Justinmind wireframe tool:
- A plethora of web animations, transitions and interactions
- Liquid layouts
- Automated auto-resizing capabilities
- Data grids and lists
- Prototyping forms interaction
- Masters and templates for sharing content
Wireframe.cc online wireframe tool is known for its sleek interface that lets you draw wireframes using just the mouse support. Being one of the best wireframing tools, the software offers a URL for every prototype saved for both better collaboration as well as collecting feedback. Build context-specific designs instantly with the software’s limited design & colour palette so that not much time is wasted on decoration, etc.
Key features of Wireframe.cc:
- Master pages
- Single and multipage wireframes
- Clickable wireframes
Axure RP wireframe tool is best for creating fixed wireframes and interactive models. This wireframe app also offers conditional logic for testing designs other than a flow shapes library for slicing and cropping images
Key features of Axure RP wireframe tool:
- Dynamic content
- Adaptive views
- Animation effects
- Connector mode
- Code export
- Automated redlines
Marvel is one of the best wireframing tool used extensively for designing websites, photoshopping files as well as creating sketches. The software is highly flexible as it lets you check the designs on screens of different sizes as well as add comments to prototypes real quick.
Key features of Marvel wireframe software:
- User testing
- Automated handoffs and specs
- Wireframe templates
- Option to add gestures and transitions
- Cloud storage