Every few years or so we like to revisit our growing lists of tools and recommendations to offer an updated perspective. It’s been two years since we updated our wireframing tools, but thanks to your comments and suggestions, we give you four more tools to help you with your wireframing, information architecture and interaction design needs.
Back to Basics
App Sketcher is built on the idea that prototyping is such a small piece of the development cycle that it must be fast and easy to use. Because of this, App Sketcher strives to make the working process simpler and easier, without sacrificing functionality. App Sketcher is also about getting back to basics. The purpose of prototype or mockup is not just for managing customers’ expectations, but also for showcasing designs, creativity and ideas.
From these ideas, a prototyping tool that enables users to create interactive designs with no coding needed was born. App Sketcher can be used by various users, from analysts, UX designers or developers in an effort to create concepts and wireframes, share ideas, develop clickable prototypes and demonstrate application workflows.
App Sketcher is an easy-to-use rapid prototyping tool for your application or website
Features of App Sketcher include:
- Drag 'n’ drop creation
- CSS styles and themes
- Dynamic prototype designed for all browsers
- Browser-based design surface
- Ability to add dynamic content, actions, links and widgets
Price: US$ 79 per license. Free trials and downloads available.
For Options, Functionality
Available as both an online and desktop application, Lovely Charts is a diagramming application that makes it easier to create professional-looking diagrams of all kinds, such as flowcharts, sitemaps, business processes, organization charts and wireframes, while making it simpler to share, collaborate and engage with others.
Lovely Charts boasts its sexiness and efficiency above all else, and with two versions, it provides users with a plethora of features designed to meet their needs. For those looking for a streamlined, affordable and accessible tool, the Web app provides both the means and method to get the job done without getting weighed down with unnecessary or clunky functionality. For those looking for a little more control and customization, the desktop version offers a wider functionality, including ways to share and collaborate, be it on your hard drive, on a shared file server, in a version-controlled folder, or in a DropBox folder.
Features of Lovely Charts include:
- Drag 'n' drop diagram creation
- "Snappable" drawing grid
- Alignment tools, drawing guides*, zooming & panning support
- Built-in libraries: Flowcharts, sitemaps, people, network, wireframes, BPMN
- Share libraries*
- Automatic layouts*
- Enhanced text formatting options*
- Versioning support: access diagram history
- Comment enabling*
*available on desktop version only.
For Simple Elegance
If you’re looking for clean, crisp designs, FlairBuilder is for you. With more than 60 wireframe components, users can build wireframe designs out of commonly used website elements. FlairBuilder also offers mobile applications elements, so you can design customer experience across all interfaces. Currently iPhone is supported, but more platforms are easy to build using existing components.
Combining elegance with simplicity may seem counterintuitive, but FlairBuilder works to do just that. It helps users organize projects in logical modules and sections, while providing functionality that makes it simple to embed, move and drag 'n’ drop pages.
An example of FlairBuilder's clean, crisp prototyping tool
With Flairbuilder 3.0 slated for release soon, here are some of the current features:
- Large palette of built-in wireframe components
- Clean toolbar with all common functions
- Easy and fast preview
- Master pages
- Guides and rulers, with support for CSS grids
- Multiple themes support
- Rich interactions prototyping
- Mobile applications
Price: Grab n’ Run Plan: $99 USD, Volume Licenses: less than $99 USD. Free trial is available.
For the Team
If it’s not enough to create mockup designs, and you’re looking for ways for an entire team to manage workflows and designs, then JustProto may be for you. JustProto takes a realistic, practical view at how web creations are developed and evolved. It’s usually not a singular activity, but yet an initiative that is great facilitated by teamwork.
Whether you’re a project manager, art director, marketer, web developer or client, JustProto provides tools that are relevant and effective for everyone. Project managers have access to vital information for each application being created, no matter what its size, described in detail on one, dedicated page. Art directors can sketch their feedback, rather than just describe them, while developers can communicate with the right people in an effort to solve problems through the right design. Marketers and customers have the freedom to make comments and monitor the process throughout.
Features of JustProto include:
- Drag 'n' drop assembly of prototype elements
- Multiple websites and subpages creation
- Rich library of useful icons and banners
- Streamlined workflow and web elements
- Transparent setup of every element's parameters
- File manager
- Real-time team collaboration
- Live preview
Price: Unlimited US$ 99/mo; Plus US$ 49/mo and Standard US$ 19/mo. Free 30-day trials available for all plans. A free plan for one managed project is also available.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. If we missed a tool or if you have one to suggest, please let us know in the comments.