The List of Best Tools for designing Wireframes and UI Design for Mobile Apps in 2021
What is Mobile App Wireframing?
Wireframes can be described as pure black and white layouts that outline the specific size and placement of page elements, features, conversion areas and navigation on an app or website. They lack real design elements like colours and fonts and are used to bring out an app’s structure specifically. Done at early stages of development, wireframing helps team in visualizing the composition of a concept. Not only do wireframes bring out the underlying app architecture, but they also place an enhanced focus on the app’s usability.
During wireframing developers can rearrange elements quickly and easily for iteration as they seek approval from clients, before moving on to a higher-fidelity prototyping stage. Choosing the right kind of wireframe tool that aids the development team’s needs can streamline the app development process. It should be noted that wireframing is different from prototyping.
Composition of a Great Wireframing Tool for App Development
Wireframing tools tend to strip the product down visually and enable all stakeholders to focus purely on user interactivity and functions. Choice of a befitting wireframing tool depends on the development process the team follows, size of the development team and the app development steps involved. While in-house app development teams can manually get done with wireframing the app design, for a remotely distributed team, digital wireframing is a viable option where ideas can easily be shared virtually with multiple collaborators. Ease of iterations and revisions are also crucial to the nature of an excellent wireframing tool.
Best Wireframing Tools for Mobile Apps Development in 2020
Using Wireframing tools can help business clients of an app development firm to understand how the proposed app will work. Various Wireframing tools ease the process of mobile app development. Some of them are discussed ahead:
1. Axure RP
A popular choice in developer’s circle, Axure RP is often used to create advanced click-through wireframes, visual diagrams and more. Developers achieve static wireframes with the tool. It allows developers to add annotations to wireframes to store project information and specify functionalities. A wide range of built-in widgets and UI elements makes it an efficient wireframing partner. The easy to use, drag and drop interface allows transfer of elements from the given inbuilt library.
Choice of using it on-premise or cloud-options makes it convenient to access files and work on team project on the Axure Share in the cloud or SVN.
Another credible choice with flexible drag and drop UI, Moqups is famous as a wireframing tool for interaction design flows. Developers can place icons and images from its built-in library and personal folders into projects. A unique Diagram tool in Moqups allows users to make logical markups on the wireframe to help identify where links and interactions will live, or even how the UX logic will flow within the app design.
Moqups offers multiple-platform integration like iOS, Android, Web, macOS, and Windows. Stencil kits, range of stylish fonts, organized pages, and more make Moqups a developer’s preferred tool. Moqups’s cloud integration allows developers to work remotely through Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
App developers can connect their entire product design workflow with Mockplus. It is famous as an excellent online design collaboration tool between designers and developers, thus promising easy wireframing for apps. It offers multiple ways of assessing specs, viewing duplicate items and features tailored resources. With Mockplus static design files can be transformed into working prototypes with just a single click. A unique feature of Mockplus is that it allows developers to have a preview of the project they create and get the remarks from the users. It allows one to create interactive wireframing without having to code.
Balsamiq is a rapid wireframe tool that speeds up the wireframing process. Developers can sketch out wireframes with Balsamiq with touch of a digital medium. It also promises multi-platform support like MacOS, Windows and Web-based. It helps developers create low-fidelity wireframes with focus on the usefulness.
The comprehensive wireframing tool offers a huge repository of UI elements. It allows developers to work with third party apps as well.
Marvel is an all-in-one design platform. The easy to use tool allows developers to move from the idea stage to wireframe stage swiftly. It helps in early stages of mobile app development for coming up with a tangible wireframe from an intangible idea. The popular wireframing tool has premade templates for web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, and even Apple Watch. Numerous simple wireframe assets can be simply dragged-and-dropped for use. It also allows easy integration of the platform with apps such as Slack, Dropbox, and Confluence to streamline your workflow.
Proto.io is essentially a browser-based prototyping tool which brings out the beauty of static designs and wireframes with stellar performance. The tool supports platforms like support Mac and Windows. Developers achieve high fidelity interaction experience while working with complex logic and structure. The tool caters to user experience testing. As a wireframing tool, it helps developers create interactive wireframes as well as test how users interact with the wireframes to gather early user feedback. It comes with unique Sketch import and Dropbox synchronization.
What is Mobile App UI/UX?
Mobile App User Interface (UI) is graphical and usually touch-sensitive display on a mobile device. UI allows users to interact with the device’s apps, features, content and functions and make up mobile app user experience (UX.) The right mix of design elements can elevate the user experience many-fold and contribute to the success of a business in a significant way.
Composition of a Great UI/UX Tool for App Development
Developers have numerous tools at their disposal that can help them visualize the concept and create an excellent interface. These tools help mock a realistic app experience. With a direct focus on end-customer experience, colour palettes and input control, mobile app, developers attempt to create an intuitive and engaging user experience.
A million different app development tools offer vivid opportunities for UI design in mobile apps. While some of these tools help create a UI design from scratch, the learning curve involved is steep. Other devices feature sets of premade UI assets which can be integrated into app design. They promise sleek resultant UI design with minimal effort. Depending on the coding skills of developers, mobile platform guideline knowledge and creativity that the app project required, businesses can choose the UI/UX tools that suit them the best.
Best UI/UX Tools for Mobile App Development in 2021
A useful UI/UX tool easy integrates into all sorts of app design processes to serve the creative requirements of the project efficiently. Underneath we have enlisted some of the best UI/UX tools for mobile app development in 2019:
Sketch is a unique tool for designing UX/UI for Mobile and Web Apps on the MAC Operating systems. Sketch stores all developments in its own proprietary Sketch format. It comes with excellent resizing and prototyping option, new layer lists, improved icons in the toolbar, new filtering mechanism and can be well integrated with cloud. Latest development libraries allow developers to improve design systems. Sketch Cloud also has shared libraries where designers to share their designs with team members and receive their feedback and comments.
Touted as one of the best wireframing tools for real-time collaboration, Figma is cloud-powered. It allows the liberty to design custom UI components, artboards, add shapes and text with an organized approach. Even geographically scattered team members can log in and access the design file simultaneously, whether to tweak the design or add content with Figma.
3. Adobe XD
A multi-purpose wireframing tool, Adobe XD is the latest addition to the Adobe suite of products. It features a minimalistic interface, with a set of onboarding lightboxes to ease the user orientation. Left-hand navigation in Adobe XD allows access to very essential wireframe vector design tools. Responsive design aids in Adobe XD help developers create multiple artboards or use resizing tool to create variations of each element.
With Adobe XD developers can create the wireframe, mockup, and prototype in the same design file. It omits the need to integrate multiple tools and makes it easy to share the wireframe with the team.
Invision is an intelligent workflow, collaboration, and designing tool that developers love to rely on. The device can convert a static application design into a fully functional prototype having an interactive nature. Developers greet their clients with a firsthand design navigation experience all thanks to Invision. It lets app designers execute design without knowledge of coding and even helps them iterate accordingly.
Invision’s vector drawing tool helps develop customized web applications. The tool makes it simpler to create applications for various screen sizes of different electronic devices i.e cross platform development. Developers can share critical project-related data like coding and design components, with other members of the team through cloud integration .
5. Skala Preview
Skala Preview is a magnificent tool that helps app makers with contrast, text sizes, fonts, and testing colours. Mostly, it displays image previews on both Android and iOS devices. Developers get an accurate colour as well as size presentation with Skala Preview. With this tool app developers enjoy access to real-time previews that act as a bridge between prototypes and working files, thus promising rich UI/UX for the app being developed. The tool also allows a remote connection, so that every update is noticed and highlighted instantly.
6. Fluid UI
App designers choose Fluid UI tool for turning their ideas into a prototype within minutes. Featuring a drag and drop editor, the tool is relatively easy to use and learn. With easy and speedy prototyping, app developers can get feedback quickly from users, stakeholders and investors. The tool allows users to choose from Material Design, iOS, Windows and Wireframe libraries.
I hope this comprehensive list of best wireframing and UI tools will help you streamline the app development process for better. Did I miss out on any important tools? Comment below to let me know!
Note: This article first appeared at The Comprehensive Study of the Best Tools for Wireframing and UI/UX for mobile apps