One of the first steps in the app development process is the wireframe. It’s a great way to get a feeling of what the app’s functionalities are and which parts need further clarification. There are a lot of wireframing tools but we decided to keep it simple and only include the best four. But first, let’s clarify what a wireframe actually is.
The purpose of a wireframe
The classic definition of a wireframe is; A skeletal three-dimensional model in which only lines and vertices are represented. This means a wireframe does not include any styling, colour, or graphics. The purpose is space allocation, prioritization of content, and functionalities available.
If you want to know more about the purpose of a wireframe, take a look at this great article. A mobile app also has many gestures, that is why the right tools are essential when building a wireframe of an app.
Kiss Level (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
We say the simpler, the better when it comes to wireframe tools, so we have graded the best 4 wireframes on the Kiss scale.
We are truly impressed by this tool. Infragistics is clean, simple, and has awesome functionalities. It does have a bit of a learning curve when you are new to the wireframe/prototyping world, but once you understand the basics it’s a very fun tool to work with. The only problem is the price, and that it is not a subscription model but a one-time fee.
Price: $495 (Indigo Studio, Perpetual License)
Kiss Level: 9/10 (it’s only the price that is not awesome)
For bigger apps with more functionalities and gestures, Proto.io is a great tool. It is slightly less intuitive than Infragistics but you certainly get more value for your money. The fact that it is web-based makes it hassle-free and gives you that little extra compared to Prototype Pro from Just In Mind.
Price: $24/month freelancer version (4 different versions)
Kiss Level: 8/10
For the more advanced prototypes, Prototyper pro by Just In Mind is a great tool. The free version is already very nice and the price of the pro version is much lower than Infragistics. However, we find it slightly more difficult to use than Infragistics.
Price: $19/month (when you pay annually, otherwise $29 a month)
Kiss Level: 7/10
Fluid is a great tool to rapidly build a simple wireframe. It’s very effective for small apps, which is why we use it internally for just that. However, we find that for bigger apps it gets more complicated to keep everything simple and clean without having to compensate for the awesomeness.
Price: $29/month (Standard pack)
Kiss Level: 7/10
We have been using all of the above tools internally, and we found that for simple wireframes and quick mockups, Fluid reigns supreme. For big startup projects, we recommend using proto.io or JustInMind, as they offer more variety and functionality.