Top Tools / October 26, 2021
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Top 30 Prototyping Tools for UI/UX Designers

Designers are bound by the client’s requirements which are sometimes hard to understand and then follow a series of meetings to finalize their design. All this hassle can be circumvented with the use of top prototyping tools for UI/UX designers.

Using a prototyping tool helps a designer to weave visuals, interact with designs, and navigate elements for a solid representation of the final design. It is an important tool for a designer to have in their arsenal.

Here is a comprehensive list of the top tools used by several designers in the industry.


1. Adobe Experience Design

Adobe XD is an all-in-one app that allows its users to perform a series of tasks ranging from drawing and remixing vectors to building artwork. It helps you easily switch from your design to the prototype within the app. Its users can also interact and share the design with other teammates for a test run.

An Adobe end product will let you integrate with various of its other products like After Effects and Photoshop, which is an added bonus.

As a designer, you can be more productive by importing files from the Adobe tools. When you share the final design of the prototype, your client can make comments on it in real-time, which makes it clear which parts need adjustment.

Key Features:

  • Allows others to make comments directly on the prototype

  • Allows viewing design in real-time on devices

  • Adobe tools can be imported without any hassle

Cost:

Free


2. InVision

InVision is one of the most popular prototyping tools that keeps on updating with new features constantly. You can easily organize the components of design into workflow stats with InVision’s project management. You can also add columns that show the status of the work done and the work that needs to be reviewed.

Key Features:

  • You can add animation to static images

  • Allows you to upload multiple file types

  • Integrated with apps like Trello, Slack, Box, JIRA, and many more.

Cost:

  • Free for a single project

  • 3 projects at $15 per month

  • Unlimited projects at $25 per month


3. Sketch

Sketch tool is very similar to Photoshop in a lot of ways but it has many more features that benefit designers. Sketch’s functionality is driven by uniformity and consistency. It has a smart feature that changes the dimensions of the reusable elements depending on the content. Many designers consider Sketch as a standard tool for prototyping because of its features.

Key Features:

  • Functionality is very flexible

  • Has reusable assets and symbols

  • Sharing the prototype with others is very easy with Sketch

  • Has a user-friendly interface

Cost:

$99 for the complete version


4. Principle

Principle is a prototyping tool that has been built for OS X. It comes with an iOS app that allows live mirroring of the prototypes. This tool lets you create amazing designs whether you are designing a multi-screen app or new animations.

The interface of Principle appears a lot like the UI of Sketch because of the similar aspects of alignments, real-time previews, and screen connections. The only drawback is that Principle does not allow collaboration with teammates. However, this is overshadowed by the offline capabilities of this tool.

Key Features:

  • Working offline is very flexible and also increases the speed of working

  • Allows mirroring the design using an iOS device

  • Has an interactive user interface

Cost:

$129 for the full version


5. Axure

Axure is a powerful prototyping tool that does not require coding. It allows designers to create interactive prototypes of low to high-resolution. Axure also offers a documentation tool that keeps track of notes and important tasks. With a handful of professional features, Axure is ideal for designers who always want more from their prototypes.

Key Features:

  • Dynamic content available to provide hover functions

  • Allows you to check conditions with conditional flow statements

  • Has data-driven sorting

  • Offers an adaptive view to size the screen

  • Allows you to publish the prototype on Axure Share

Cost:

Starts at $25 per month


6. Framer

Framer is one of the most-used prototyping tools that allow designers to prototype anything using coding. With Framer, it is possible to create novel and beautiful designs. It offers a seamless workflow along with device previewing and version control.

Framer has well-structured documentation that helps designers understand the tool very well. Additionally, there are several videos that help you learn the tool better.

Key Features:

  • It supports Sketch and Photoshop projects

  • It will preserve your designs in layers

  • Provides line previews while you write the code

  • Allows you to import graphics from Figma, Sketch, or Photoshop.

Cost

$15 per month


7. Webflow

Webflow is known for its robust functionality without having to write code. It is focused on creating web animations and web designs. You can also design and publish the whole site with the help of a visual-based UI.

After you are done refining the mock-up UI, you can create a production-ready site with a click. These features offer benefits to independent designers because they have the option to share the prototype without developers on hand.

Key Features:

  • Allows you to host your prototype with Webflow.

  • Allows you to export the code in clean JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

  • Offers ready templates to choose from

Cost:

  • Free for 2 unhosted projects

  • $16 for personal projects

  • $35/month for the pro version


8. Origami Studio

Origami Studio was created by Facebook for designing and building products. This prototyping tool can be used to preview the live mock-up on any device in real-time. It also allows its users to show off their designs in full screen using the presentation mood on several different devices.

Origami studio allows the designs from Sketch and Photoshop to be imported directly into Origami. The project layers thus created will be saved and ready to be linked as per the requirement.

Key Features:

  • It allows you to export your prototype components in just one click by copy and paste

  • You can view version histories

  • It is ideal for freelancers or individuals that are starting out their business

Cost:

Free


9. Just In Mind

JustInMind is another popular prototyping tool that is known for creating designs of high quality even though at a steep cost. An advantage of using just in mind is that it can be downloaded on the PC for offline mode. This tool is packed with several guides and tutorials that help you understand the tool better.

Key Features:

  • It allows you to export your prototype to a completely functional HTML document that is available for viewing in any web browser

  • It provides access to items from the UI library

  • You can download numerous add-ons

Cost:

$19 per month


10. Zeplin

Zeplin is one of the most useful plug-ins of Sketch. It helps the designers to easily check the fonts, size, and dimensions of the interface. Additionally, Zeplin allows downloading every element directly from the artboards. It saves front-end developers a lot of work because it can create a CSS file of the interface.

Key Features:

  • Allows designers to organize screen variants easily

  • It supports Figma, Photoshop, Sketch, and Adobe XD

  • Provides clarity without the wall of screens

  • Compatible with Windows and iOS

Cost:

  • Free for one project

  • 17$ per month for 3 projects

  • $26 per month for 12 projects


11. Balsamiq

Balsamiq is an ideal prototyping tool for beginners who do not know much about designing prototypes. It is as simple as creating mock-ups on paper; the only difference being that it happens digitally. There are hundreds of pre-made icons and items that designers can choose from.

The low-fidelity prototype feels like a highly interactive wireframe. The UX ideation phase of Balsamiq is the most-used and most-liked feature.

Key Features:

  • Can produce rough sketches of the prototype for the clients to see, which is beneficial for brainstorming sessions

  • It has fast keyboard shortcuts that increase the productivity and speed of mockups

  • Easy to collaborate and get quick feedback on the prototype

Cost:

  • Free trial for 30 days

  • $12 per month for web app

  • $89 for a single user


12. Figma

Figma is a new tool with many similar features as Sketch. It allows an entire team of designers to collaborate and give feedback on the project in real-time. All the different departments can stay connected and take part in the process of developing the mockup. The flexible styles of Figma to control the appearance of the prototype gives it a consistent look.

Key Features:

  • Offers color-accurate pictures for the preview of the mockup

  • Helps collaborate with anyone at anytime

  • Allows easy access to elements of the library

  • Ensures that every department of the business takes part in the process

Cost:

Free


13. Mockplus iDoc

Mockplus iDoc is a powerful prototyping tool that allows collaboration between designers and clients. It provides the designers access to export any design directly from Sketch, Adobe XD, and Photoshop. It specializes in creating interactive and animated mockup designs.

Key Features:

  • Allows exporting designs from other apps in just a click

  • Automatically generates accurate code, specs, and code snippets

  • Has a full-view storyboard

  • Allows commenting in real-time for instant feedback

  • Lets you build interactive prototypes using real design files

Cost:

Free


14. Flinto

Flinto provides perfect integration with Sketch that allows designers to create prototypes easily. It can create designs for desktop, mobile, and all web applications. It enables the designers to create micro-interactions on the exported layers of Sketch.

Key Features:

  • Allows you to take complete control of all the varied complexity layers

  • Has a drag and drop system for prototyping

  • Lets you navigate the prototype with 3D touch, scrolls, taps, and swipes

  • Helps add customizable scrolling

Cost:

  • $99 for Flinto software

  • $20 per month for Flinto Lite


15. Rapid UI

Rapid UI is a prototyping tool that is extensively used to transform Photoshop files into

sites without having to write the code. You simply have to drag and drop your PSD file into the dashboard of Rapid UI and it will transform into HTML and CSS within minutes.

The platform of Rapid UI allows you to create fully interactive designs that bring your thoughts to life in a few clicks. Additionally, the code is in sync with the design which enables complete collaboration with the programmers when required.

In addition, the code is completely accessible and synchronized with the design, enabling full collaboration with programmers if necessary.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Windows and iOS

  • Allows you to create fully interactive designs

  • Code is in sync with the design

Cost:

Free


16. Hype

Hype allows its users to develop animations just like in After Effects using keyframes. This tool is known for its interactive features that help give life to animations and record them automatically to HTML5.

Key Features:

  • Compatible for Mac users

  • Code is not required for creating designs

  • Works on all devices such as mobile, tablet, Mac, PC

Cost:

Free trial, Standard version at $49


17. Proto.io

Proto.io enables its users to create lifelike mockups from rough designs to completely ready-to-use designs in the browser. It offers a lot of features for your projects such as detailed animations and custom animation templates. You can start with a hand-drawn style and develop your initial ideas into wireframes.

Proto.io was first designed to prototype on smartphones, but it has expanded its features to enable users to prototype apps with any device, be it Smart TV, gaming consoles, or screen interface.

Key Features:

  • The plugins of Sketch and Photoshop are available

  • Handles end-to-end design process very well

  • User testing helps validate designs

Cost:

15-day free trial


18. ProtoPie

ProtoPie is a recent prototyping tool that is created for the development of sophisticated micro-interactions. It is easy to learn this tool while producing prototypes because it syncs with Photoshop and Sketch. ProtoPie lets you test the functionality of your mockup designs by simply scanning the barcode.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Windows as well as Mac

  • Offers ready-to-use elements in the design

  • Helps you share your design for instant feedback

Price: Free Trial (buy for 99$)


19. UXPin

UXPin is an end-to-end UX platform that has the ability to develop design systems. It is ideal for large design teams that have to work on the same styles and guides. This will save time since all the members will have access to the design.

It provides thousands of ready-made elements so that you don’t have to start with a blank canvas every time. The collaboration features offered by UXPin can be customized so that you can decide how much you want the stakeholders to be involved.

Key Features:

  • Interactive elements are already present in the library for instant use

  • Allows you to use radio buttons, checkboxes, and text fields to draw static imitations

  • Helps import the prototype by importing any existing web page to UXPin

Cost:

Free


20. Atomic

Atomic is a prototyping tool that enables its users to solve complex problems in building the prototype of the product. The entire process of prototyping can be done on the platform of Atomic, starting from the beginning to the end. Designers need not design through vector tools and then export them to the Atomic tool.

There is a remarkable resemblance between the interface of Sketch and the interface of Atomic with regards to the artboards, shortcuts, building columns, and layering.

Key Features:

  • All the developers get easy access to the prototyping system by effortlessly sharing the design with them

  • You can rewind to the previous iterations to have a look at the changes that have been made and need to be made

Cost:

  • Free for 1 project

  • $19 per month for unlimited projects

  • $39 per month for teams

  • $59 per month for organizations


21. Mockitt

Mockitt is a prototyping tool that enables its users to illustrate their ideas and elevate their client’s experience. It allows its users to customize the workflow of their prototyping system.

Key Features:

  • Allows you to design your prototype with the ready-made templates available on the platform

  • The project visibility can be easily customized

  • Allows you to create and reuse the libraries

  • Allows you to organize the communication between stakeholders without any hassle

  • Provides a variety of browser-based import and export tools


22. Adobe Comp

Adobe Comp is one of the best UI design tools that is used by top designed to create and conceptualize their thoughts on the go. Whenever inspiration strikes you, you can grab your smart pencil and develop the new concept anytime, anywhere.

Just create an Adobe ID and enjoy all the free features to create an amazing prototype. For extra features, you can pay for Creative Cloud and access all the assets of Adobe Comp.

Key Features:

  • Allows you to preview the prototype in immersive mode

  • Easy to make diagrams with this tool

  • Helps you put your thoughts into action anytime, anywhere

Cost:

Free


23. Marvel

Marvel is another great option for developing quick designs and refining interfaces. It is focused on the fast prototyping and testing of modern design teams. It offers a neat way to build pages and allows you to simulate every design through the prototype. It also offers some excellent integrations that allow you to insert your own designs into the workflow.

Key Features:

  • Helps you develop realistic prototypes without writing code

  • It allows you to validate your idea using user testing

  • Offers quick sharing of URL and embed codes to your prototype

  • Allows you to directly upload particular image types

Cost:

Free


24. Mockflow

Mockflow is a great tool for creating wireframes. It helps designers work on initial ideas and enables them to develop their thoughts into a presentable form. It offers a free plan for single users and a paid version with advanced featuring for collaboration.

Key Features:

  • Provides instant search options for elements

  • Offers a simple drag and drop option for adding items from the library

  • Ensures that all the teammates can participate in the process

  • Has a low learning curve

Cost:

$16 per month per user


25. Fluid UI

Fluid UI is a great prototyping tool that allows designers to build low-fidelity as well as high-fidelity component libraries. The live team collaboration offered by this tool makes sure that every member of the team can participate in the prototyping process.

Key Features:

  • Offers quick options for prototyping

  • Has a built-in library with over 2000 elements

  • Existing assets can be easily uploaded

  • Allows designers to create interactive protypes


26. Prott

Prott is an excellent prototyping tool that offers designers a say in the entire process of design. It is a simple-to-use tool that has a low learning curve and can be easily used by beginner-level designers.

Key Features:

  • Helps you design screens in no time

  • Allows you to select from a wide variety of integrated UI kits

  • Lets you build your own library and reuse it as many times as you want


27. Draftium

Draftium is a free-to-use prototyping tool that is great for website ideation and collaboration. It helps designers to simplify their daily routine by offering a wide range of features for the entire prototyping process.

Key Features:

  • Allows designers to visualize the idea of the final design within 20 to 30 minutes

  • Offers more than 300 ready-made templates for prototype

  • The prototyping is based on blocks in Draftium

  • You can take a look at all your edits online in display mode

Cost:

Free


28. Wireframe.cc

Wireframe.cc is an excellent prototyping tool that offers a free environment to build an ideal prototype for any product. It allows its users to focus on their ideas and instantly sketch them before they forget them.

Key Features:

  • Helps designers keep their wireframes simple with a limited palette

  • Has a context-sensitive UI

  • Allows annotation of wireframes

  • Previews can be seen in vertical as well as landscape orientations

Cost:

Free


29. Pidoco

Pidoco is a prototyping tool that allows designers to develop click-through wireframes and practice interactive UX prototypes quickly. It helps its users test prototypes on iOS and Android devices in real-time.

Key Features:

  • Allows you to collaborate with all the members of the team and collect comments in real-time

  • Offers specification documents with the click of a button

  • Allows you to customize building blocks that help improve your design’ consistency

Cost:

Free


30. Kiteapp

Kite is an effective prototyping tool for Mac and iOS users. It allows designers to view their entire design in full-screen mode.

Key Features:

  • Allows designers to customize the background color and transparency of the playback window

  • It offers a simplistic and easy user interface that adapts to the needs and tasks on hand.

  • Has an independent timeline that factors your design into multiple pages of content

Cost:

$99 for the complete version


Things to Consider When Choosing Prototyping Tools

It is important to choose the right tool for describing your thoughts better and collaborating with your clients without any hassle. With so many options for prototyping tools online, it is a difficult task to choose the right one because every tool is different and uniques in its own way regarding the features that it offers.

Here are a few aspects that you should consider for choosing the right prototyping tool for your design.

Ease of Use

Firstly, you have to analyze how easy it is to use and adapt the tool. Since all the tools are unique in their own way, it would take a lot of time to learn different tools. Depending on the skills that the designer has, the tool should be selected. For someone who has standard and basic skills, an easy tool would be ideal.

Sharing Options

Collaboration is very important to check with all the teammates and especially the clients for everyone to test the designs. The tool should allow the designer to collaborate with multiple people so that everyone is in sync with each other. Every designer has their own perspective, so it is imperative for all of them to stay on the same page.

Integration

Another aspect to keep in mind while choosing a prototyping tool is how well it integrates with the other designing tools that you use. For example, if you are using Photoshop regularly, it would be extremely helpful if the prototyping tool that you use could directly use Photoshop’s files without exporting them separately.

Cost

There are several prototyping tools available online with niche features but not all of them fit our budget. Therefore, the cost of the tool is another important factor to consider before choosing a prototyping tool. If your requirement for designing is standard, you can work well with the free version as well.


Conclusion

Different prototyping tools have their own special features to offer and suit different requirements. We have included in our list, almost all the different types of prototyping tools that are used by top UI/UX designers. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing the prototyping tool that meets your requirements.

If you work on complex animations, you might want to use Principle because it will work best for the animations. On the other hand, if you are a newbie, Balsamiq can be your go-to prototyping tool.


FAQ

What are prototyping tools?

Prototyping tools are an important part of the digital design process that allows you to explore user experiences and test designs. They allow the designers to develop designs to give the clients the final “look and feel” of the information system. It helps the developer get valuable feedback on the project and make relevant changes.

They help designers make their prototype creations quickly and efficiently. The prototypes demonstrate the designer’s thoughts and ideas and give a look into the final design that will be uploaded.

What should you consider while choosing prototyping tools?

The important things that you should consider while choosing prototyping tools include:

  • Ease of use

  • Cost of the tool

  • Learning curve

  • Sharing options

  • Fidelity

Which prototyping tool is ideal for amateur designers?

Balsamiq is one of the simplest tools for prototyping for amateur designers. It has an easy-to-use interface with all the basic features. It is ideal for creating wireframe mockups as well. Using Balsamiq is as easy as writing on a whiteboard; the only difference being that you’re doing it on software.

Which is the most useful method of prototyping?

The storyboarding method is used for early prototyping to help with the visualization of how the end-users will experience the product.

Storyboarding is the most useful method of prototyping because it ensures that the designer knows the end users well enough. It allows the designer to consider the designed solution’s context and develop a sensitive understanding of the users. It is useful for generating excellent discussions.

What are the different types of Prototyping?

The different types of prototyping are:

  • Iterative Prototyping: It involves developing a prototype from the product design and testing it to revise what didn’t work.

  • Parallel Prototyping: It is a concept-based prototyping method in which different prototypes are simultaneously compared.

  • Rapid Prototyping: It is a recent method that utilizes innovative technologies to test the prototypes.

Top 30 Prototyping Tools for...
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