Wireframing Tools for Designers
Designing is not always about letting loose and allowing creativity to take over at every step. You would still need a clear guide that would point out which direction you should go – thus, the wireframe.
What is a wireframe?
Think of it as a blueprint that an architect lays out to guide everybody involved in the project. It displays where everything goes, how big each of the elements should be, and how everything will be connected.
A wireframe goes beyond the surface, and can actually be used to lay out how visitors can interact with each page. Dropdown menus, for example, can be part of the layout. It can help you visualize how each menu would react with every click or hover.
Just think about your wireframe as the most basic foundation of the pages you will be working on. Without a strong wireframe, it’s easy enough for the entire thing to crumble down to pieces. Ensure its strength, and you’ll have a strong enough website that can go beyond what you expect it can do.
Efficient Wireframing Tools for Designers
As with any other technical process, wireframing requires a few tools for the job to be executed for seamlessly. These five tools have proven to be more efficient than all the others, helping designers create the framework that they would eventually turn into the kinds of websites that dreams are made of.
Mockplus has become a favorite among designers because of its code-free system. Everyone knows that if there’s one thing that designers hate, it’s coding. And that’s one thing that Mockplus eliminates with its drag and drop system.
The system also allows a lot of flexibility for designers who still rely on the power of their hands to design anything. It allows hand-drawn components to be included into your foundation, and also has markup components, over 400 icons, and around 200 pre-made components.
Yet another great pick in the wireframe market, UXPin has also become a go-to tool for those hoping to create effective wireframes the most efficient way possible. What stands out about UXPin is its ease of use. The interface is so easy to interact with, and documents and images you’ll be using can be easily incorporated into the design you’re creating.
The preview mode is also seamless, allowing you to see not just how your mockup looks like to an outsider, but also how each page will work as they click or hover on different parts. People collaborating on the project will also be able to add their comments instantly, making it easier for people to work together on a single project.
Unlike a lot of other prototyping tools, proto.io is actually web-based, so you would need to be connected in case you want to use the system. If you’re always online however, then it wouldn’t be a problem at all and you can fully enjoy the great features that proto.io has.
The built-in widget libraries could be one of the most important features that proto.io has, as everyone knows what a hassle it could sometimes be to have to hunt for what you need through third-party libraries. Of course, in the event that they do not have what you’re looking for, then it’s also easy enough to integrate other sources. It also allows you to work on unique screen sizes should you find yourself working on wearables and other similar tech.
MockFlow makes it easier to create wireframes because of its clean and simple interface. It gets rid of all the clutter – all you have left is a clean space to work with, with a standard menu on top and a toolbar that you can hide in case you need more space. You have every possible pre-designed component you might need as you work as well.
MockFlow also allows you to make your first mockup for free, which gives you the chance to get a feel of how the entire thing works before taking the actual plunge. As for the workflow and functionality, this is hands down impressive. The drag-and-drop and double-click interface makes it easier to add components without having to code, and each component can also be adjusted from there. The export process is also a breeze, in case there are pages that yu would have to export from somewhere else.
If there’s one thing that makes InVision stand out from all the rest, it’s the fact that InVision offers a free-for-life plan that allows you to do one project. This is perfect for students and beginners who just want to try their hand on the system and see what they can actually do with it without having to worry about their budget (which beginners usually do not have). As for the paid plans, InVision has proven to be one of the cheapest in the market, with low monthly subscriptions for the different packages they offer.
Sharing and collaboration is also easy with InVision. You can have team members and clients adding comments directly to your designs, and you can easily keep track of different conversations as they are organized by thread.