25 Wireframe Tools to Aid Your Creative Process

Creating wireframes for your web site or application design is an important and integral part of any successful design progress. Wireframes helps to summarize your ideas into visual components and summarizes the overall structural proposals.

There are a bunch of wireframing tools available with each ones combining unique features. Some of these includes:

  1. Platform (online based service or desktop software)
  2. Type of GUI supported (web, desktop or mobile)
  3. Library of elements supported (forms, widgets, text tools)
  4. Pricing – free or commercial
  5. Wireframe export format (vector, HTML, PNG)

Based on these features, here’s our list of 25 tools for digital wireframing – all aimed at helping you with this decision-taking step of the design process:

Balsamiq Mockups

This tool has the objective of reproducing sketchy wireframes like the ones that would result of working on a whiteboard. It provides both web and mobile application GUI elements as well as those used for markup purposes, and it has the option of working with a free online demo or buying the desktop application.

Mockingbird

A web-based wireframing application of straight-lined GUI for constructing layout mockups for web applications. Its use is completely free and it gives the option of creating interative links and multiple pages.

Mockflow

Mockflow is a free wireframing tool with both the online and the desktop application options for working convenience. It not only gives the option of simple web application and mobile application wireframing, but it also provides the Facebook app option, Chrome extention, and differentiation between mobile operating systems and devices diagraming.

Gliffy

Gliffy isn’t only a tool intended for wireframing purposes, but for many other types of diagrams (e.g. venn diagrams, UML diagrams, network diagrams, among others). It can be quickly used online with no need for sign-ups and completely free.

Pencil Project

A free downloadable desktop application, which provides both sketchy and straight-lined GUI elements for web applications and Windows XP widgets. It also provides several markup elements to compliment the diagrams with.

iPlotz

iPlotz offers a web-based wireframing application with the possibility of saving your work online via the creation of a personal account. It provides a wide variety of web application elements and various canvas adjustment tools for better cutomization. It is completely free to use.

Pidoco

Even though Pidoco isn’t a free alternative, aside from offering interactive prototype construction tools it provides the possibility of online team collaboration. It also brings the added functionality of remote usability testing, with live screensharing and recording tools available.

HotGloo

HotGloo is a web-based application for we application wireframe building and online team collaboration. The wireframes built using HotGloo can also be fully interactive and easily shared online. It provides a 30 day trial in order to help you decide if its the right option for you.

Web Site Wireframe Tool

This tool is a web-based application that, even though provides a limited amount of elements for diagramming, offers a simple and easy-to-use interface that is of completely free access after registration.

Dub Denim

This wireframing application offers a free downloadable desktop application with a sketchy GUI for early design stage prototype building. It has good OS compatibility and online documentation available.

MockApp

Do you enjoy working with PowerPoint or Keynote? MockApp is a solution that gives you the appropriate elements to start building mobile application wireframes using these softwares. It’s free to download, and its author merely requires you to share a link online about the application after you’ve downloaded it.

Prototype Composer

Serena Prototype Composer is a free application that, apart from offering interface design elements and templates, permits the creation of many other types of business diagrams and documents. It is a downloadable desktop application.

fluidIA

This free application for UI diagram design also provides the option of building interactive diagrams. As an addition, the source code is available as well.

Cacoo

Cacoo is an online collaboration diagram tool that, aside for web application wireframe building, also offers other types of diagram templates and elements to work with (e.g. UML diagrams, site map diagrams). Even though it offers a payed plan, it also offers a limited free plan for you to test the tool beforehand.

Lumzy

A completely free online wireframing tool with a variety of web application elements to chose from. It is easy to use and it provides the possibility of multiple page creation (as part of a project). Another remarkable capability is the simulation view, where one can test out the interaction with the interface at hand.

iPhone Mockup

Specifically for mobile application wireframing, this tool focuses on working with iPhone application diagrams. It offers both a sketchy and a straight-lined interface options and it is completely free and web-based.

Lovely Charts

Even though this tool has a limited variety of elements to choose from, it has a very neat and easy-to-use interface to work on. It is free and offers a wide variety of diagram options apart from web application wireframes. The tool is also web-based and requires a registration process completion to use.

Jumpchart

Jumpchart is a web-based prototyping tool that, through a code-based interface, lets you create entire website prototypes in a short amount of time, available for sharing online with your team and clients. It provides interaction capabilities and detailed documentation of its use, and it offers a free-to-use limited plan for testing purposes.

Omnigraffle

Omnigraffle is a desktop application created for the Apple Mac OSX. It offers a 14 day trial free before paying for its use, and offers a wide variety of elements and diagram templates to work with. It is a very popular tool that is now available for the Apple iPad, too.

GUI Design Studio

A very interesting attribute of this tool is the high amounts of downloadable documentation it offers for support. It is a desktop application available for download as a free 30-day trial for testing purposes. It had de capacity to build interactive wireframes and other additional types of diagrams, along with the creation of custom elements and templates for future use.

ForeUI

ForeUI offers a very complete wireframing tool for web applications with a free online demo. Apart from having the necessary basic elements, it offers customizable more complex elements like a login form, an input dialog, among others. It supports multiple page creation and various formats for final export.

FlairBuilder

FraiBuilder is a desktop application that offers a 15-day trial download for testing purposes. It comes with both web and mobile GUI elements to work with, and has the capacity of building interactive wireframes. Its interface is very precise and clear, and it supports multiple page creation.

Justinmind Prototyper

This is a very complete and powerful wireframing tool with a free 30-day trial to work with. It lets you create both mobile and web application diagrams, and it provides a high level of interactivity capacities for them. It also provides tools for usability testing, data simulation, and exporting to HTML and Doc files.

Protoshare

Also with the option of a free 30-day trial, Protoshare is a rich interactive wireframe tool that has the capacity to wireframe CSS, Javascript, and HTML prototypes and share this prototypes online with online collaboration options. It is a web-based tool and supports easy exporting of fully interactive website prototypes.

Axure RP

Axure RP is a well-known desktop application dedicated to interactive wireframes creation. It works on both Mac and Windows operating systems and has the option of a free period trial to test its functionality. It provides easy collaboration options and customer service in case of doubt.

About the Author

Pamela Dominguez is a 24-year-old interaction and interface designer located in the city of Monterrey, México. Currently working full-time for a user experience consultancy, she also runs a daily-updated personal blog. You can contact her through Twitter and view her LinkedIn profile.

One Comment

  1. Morris T

    Very thorough list. And thanks for including information about whether the products are free, trial or pay.