A prototyping tool is something that allows a designer to weave visuals, and navigate elements and interactions together so that they can give a solid representation of how a design will actually behave and feel. Prototyping is considered to be an essential tool in any UI/UX designer’s arsenal. They are basically considered to be an opportunity for trying things out and fine-tuning the details. Similarly, they are also a very important tool in communicating with stakeholders and decision-makers. With the help of a prototyping tool, we can find how all of the elements of an idea will function together.
In this article, you will explore the best prototyping tools for not only web design but app creation, animations, and more.
InVision is a very efficient prototyping tool that was released in the year 2011. It has a well-established reputation and gives designers the freedom to put together functional prototypes quickly and also share them with others. Similarly, InVision offers a variety of nice and helpful features. This includes a handy vector drawing tool, repeatable components which can also be changed sitewide, and lastly a variety of tools for creating animations and visual effects.
It is 100% free to use so register today and get a chance to use a collaborative platform that can help you drive your product design process forward.
Figma is second on our list and it is considered to be an all-in-one tool. It makes collaboration and accessibility quite easy for UX designers, developers, and all those individuals using the browser-based and cloud-hosted platform. Figma offers flexible styles that can help you control the appearance of text, grids, and other elements across a project. Similarly, it offers a variety of useful plugins including Autoflow for illustrating user flows, Figmotion for creating animations, and many other plugins that can enhance Figma’s functionality.
Figma offers a free trial for 30 days where you can test the software’s features and decide whether this prototyping tool is suitable for you or not after that you need to register with one of their pricing plans.
3. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is one of the best prototyping tools that offers a vector-based system used for putting together prototypes. It helps in creating interactions, transitions, and other types of dynamic functionality. Since Adobe XD is vector-based, scaling and resizing elements is not a problem here. Adobe XD tends to work really well alongside other Adobe family apps like Illustrator and Photoshop.
You can try out Adobe XD for free. So start creating UI/UX designs for websites, apps, and so much more.
Marvel is a rapid prototyping tool that gives users a complete suite of prototyping tools. It allows users to instantly generate design specs and connect with other tools via integrations. Marvel lets you go beyond static mockups and offers great interactivity, dynamic transitions and gestures to bring prototypes to life.
Marvel is free to use but to use advanced features, pricing starts at $12 per month and is billed yearly.
5. Axure RP
Axure RP is a prototyping tool that puts the power of wireframing and prototyping all in one package. With the help of Axure RP companies can improve their digital product design process. It also helps designers to create low to high-resolution interactive prototypes of websites and apps and all without even having to code. Axure RP also offers a comprehensive documentation tool that can help you keep track of notes, tasks, and other important assets.
- Axure RP Pro starts at $29 per month per user.
- Axure RP 9 Team starts at $49 per month per user.
- Similarly, Axure cloud for business plans starts at $30 per month for up to 5 users.
- Axure Cloud is available for free to use for a single user.
JustInMind also happens to be an effective prototyping tool that offers unique features. It has managed to gather momentum as a popular website and app prototyping tool due to its drag-and-drop functionality and providing the ability to create the simplest to most sophisticated apps and websites. It offers unlimited projects and pricing options that range from free to enterprise-level.
JustInMind is a free prototyping tool for web and mobile apps.
Proto.io is a prototyping tool that offers a comprehensive selection of components. It is a web-based tool that helps users make the creation of interactive prototypes possible without having to code. Proto.io offers a variety of drag-and-drop UI web components, templates, digital assets, icon libraries, and audio/video integrations.
It is free to use for the first 15 days but then you have to choose a plan for yourself starting from $24 per month and billed yearly.
Balsamiq is known to be a low-fidelity wireframing tool that offers a great place to create website wireframe mockups. It can be used for more than just websites and is considered to be a great option for sketching product design, desktop software, web apps, mobile apps, and user interface wireframes.
- Balsamiq Cloud and integrations all come with a free trial period.
- But a paid license starts at $89 per user.
Flinto is a Mac app that is widely used by top designers from all over the world. With the help of Flinto, you can create interactive and animated prototypes of your app designs. You can also navigate your prototype in Flinto using taps, swipes, and scrolls even 3D touch. With Flinto, you are free from the hustle of timelines, programming, and transitions.
You can download a free trial or also buy a yearly license at $99.
Moqups as we speak is a streamlined and intuitive web application that helps you create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and diagrams. It allows you to envision, test, and validate all your ideas through detailed mockups and quick wireframes. With Moqups, you can explore and iterate your momentum easily.
You can create an account for free or choose from their given plans starting from $13 per month.
For all large-scale projects that have many moving parts, it is natural that prototyping is indispensable. Prototyping tools in this regard allow you to gather feedback, test usability, and pull a design along the way as well. Therefore, it is your job to find the right prototyping tool that can fulfill all your design needs.