Professional wireframing and web design prototyping tools take a step forward compared with free wireframing tools and commercial website prototyping tools, by allowing you to draw highly-realistic mockups of websites. In this MasterNewMedia guide you will find the best professional wireframing and website prototyping tools that you can use to create compelling visual web design projects.
Photo credit: Designer Break
Wireframe mockups have the unique advantage of providing an immediate visual output of what your web site layout, content organization and navigation will look like. Without spending precious time and resources to design every single detail of your interface, you can produce a fully-functional visual mockup to communicate to your clients and team members your idea and also to highlight potential ambiguities and pitfalls in your design choices.
Though MasterNewMedia has already published two in-depth guides on free wireframing tools and on commercial website prototyping tools, this third one highlights and focuses exclusively on professional wireframing and web design mockup tools.
Here, what sets professional web design prototyping tools from their commercial and free counterparts?
- Computing power: All professional wireframing tools are available only as a downloadable software. None of them is offered as a web-based option.
- Comprehensiveness: In most of the tools present in this guide, the ability to create wireframes is only one of the options you have at your disposal. You can also draw flowcharts, Venn diagrams, mindmaps, landscape plans and other type of visual projects that help you communicate more effectively your idea when associated to a wireframe.
- GUI system library: All professional wireframing tools have an impressive library of ready-made widgets and design elements that you can drag and drop to your wireframes. Having readily-available design components to build your web site mockups not only is a great time saver, but it also allows you to draw your prototypes with clinic precision and to achieve a highly-realistic effect.
- Design annotations: Professional wireframing tools let you create annotations and comments to add to your wireframe designs. By using annotations, you can easily share feedback, ideas, suggestions and revisions without having to rely on another third-party communication-collaboration tool..
To help you select and identify the best professional wireframing solution for your needs, I have compared all of the best tools available out there and through an interactive mindmap, a set of comparative tables and mini-reviews, I have attempted to make your analysis and evaluation as effective as possible.
Here the criteria that I have used for this comparison:
- OS supported: Operating system needed to install the wireframing software tool.
- Interactive wireframes: Clickable mockups that simulate the navigation between web pages.
- Mobile design: Simulation of wireframed mobile websites and web apps.
- Collaboration: Interaction with customers and collaborators to receive live feedback.
- Export formats: Supported formats to export wireframe projects.
- Price: Cost of the wireframing and website prototyping tool.