The need for wireframes is ever present in our dear business of web design. Being able to effectively diagram a site's information and navigation proves helpful in the beginning concept stages, especially when presenting to people outside the domain of UI, IA and design. But selecting the wireframe tool that's right for you can be challenging. As more wireframe tools become available, the focus is shifting to include IA. Here is a selection of wireframes that are sure to prove useful. Whether you're a Mac or PC user, on a budget or with some financial freedom, these five wireframe tools offer creative and practical solutions, all with the main purpose of helping you build diagrams and organize information quickly, effectively and successfully.

For the Mac User


A diagramming application made by The Omni Group and built specifically and exclusively for Mac OS X. Users cans create simple and complex diagrams, flow charts, organization charts and illustrations, and features a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG interface. Similar to Microsoft Visio, OmniGraffle Pro can both import and export Visio files created using Visio's XML export function. OmniGraffle 5 can also open Visio's native binary .vsd files.OmniGraffle takes full advantage of Mac OS X's graphics layer, known as Quartz, and benefits from on-the-fly antialiasing, smooth scaling, transparent drop shadowing and other features. Features of the OmniGraffle Pro include: * New Layout Engine* Bézier Lines * Bézier Shapes* Mini Inspectors* Style Tray* Stencil Search* Outline View* Multiple Page Documents* Diagram Styles* Improved Import/Export: PDF, PICT, OmniOutliner* Graphing Tools* Smart Guides* Auto Layout

OmniGraffle creates objects in the main window and automatically laying them out

Pricing ranges from US$ 99 to US$ 299. More information available at

For the Non Designer


Sketch screen mockups of your application and organize them in scenarios. Users can experiment interactively with clients and quickly visualize scenarios of applications before the coding has started. MockupScreens is easy to use and makes you productive immediately. You don't have to know programming, and you don't have to be an artist to create great screens.Features of Mockup Screens include: * Screens and Scenarios* Fast Screen Drawing* Standard Set Of Screen Elements* Additional Elements For Web Applications* Integrated slideshow feature* Export one or all scenarios to HTML* "Mockup" Look And Feel* Screen Annotations With Icons And Comments

You can also sketch web pages. Great time saver is collection of predefined 'dummy' images. Of course you can add your own images, too!

Pricing ranges from US$ 79 to US$ 349. More information at

For Advanced Budgets and Analysts


A single user, standalone visualization authoring tool, allows individual business analysts, interface designers and project managers to employ visualization techniques to get business critical software projects to market faster, with less cost and risk. iRise simulates the workflow and basic behavior of proposed business applications through direct communication with stakeholders via interactive requirements gathering sessions.Once these needs are captured in iRise, a high fidelity version of the simulation can be quickly created and shared with stakeholders through face-to-face or online meetings, where final feedback can be gathered and acted on. iRise Enterprise Edition includes:* Self-guided stakeholder walkthroughs * Powerful comments management functions * SmartView™ definition * Export into self-contained files called iDocs* Facilitated multi-user usability tests * Check-in/Check-out for disconnected authoring* Secure access to critical intellectual property through LDAP enabled user authentication

Used in synch with interactive simulations, iRise Manager is a requirements automation solution designed to help teams be productive quickly

Pricing: US$ 6,995 per seat. Free 30-day trial available. More information at

For the Designer


Axure RP Pro is a rapid wireframing and prototyping tool used by professionals responsible for defining requirements and specifications for an application and designing the user interface and functionality. Creating wireframes and prototypes in Axure RP Pro helps you design more efficiently, experience your design, present and engage stakeholders, automate specifications and design collaboratively with team members.In a drag and drop environment, annotated wireframes are quickly and easily created. Basic links and advanced interactions are defined on the wireframe without programming. From the wireframes, an interactive HTML prototype is generated along with documentation in Microsoft Word format.Features of Axure RP Pro include:* Main Menu & Toolbar* Sitemap Pane* Widgets Pane* Masters Pane* Wireframe Pane* Interactions Pane* Annotations Pane* Pages Notes & Page Interactions Pane* Interactivity and Conditional Flow* Dynamic Annotations* Instant Documentation* Built-in and Branded Templates* Configurable Content* Flow Diagrams* Shared Projects* Dynamic Elements

The Axure RP environment with a brief description of each area in the interface

Pricing ranges from US$ 149 to US$ 589. Free 20-day trial available. More information available at

For the Free-Form Thinker

MindJet MindManager

MindManager Pro 7 is software that inspires people and businesses to align individuals and teams to achieve critical strategic goals. MindManager’s intuitive and interactive visual maps capture and organize the knowledge and experience of your people and consolidate data from other desktop tools in one location for quick access. The maps clearly communicate ideas and information, unleashing the creativity of your people and enabling them to work faster and smarter – and generate measurable results. Touted as a free-form thinking, highly visual, interactive technology designed to capture ideas, data and knowledge in a limitless arrangement that lends clarity to any task or project. Users can build meaningful, multi-dimensional relationships between information – and share it with everyone on your team.Features of MindJet Manager include: * Core Mapping* Multi-Map Workspace* Information Organization* Topic Styles* Topic Sorting* Power Select/Filter* Visual Elements* Microsoft Fluent UI* Enhanced Microsoft Outlook® Integration* Microsoft® Excel® Linker* Microsoft Project® Integration* Microsoft Visio® Export* Seamless Integration* Collaboration* Topic Alerts* Extensibility* Macro Editor

Evaluating potential solutions is a process which leads to the selection of the best of several alternatives. This map helps you identify a variety of alternatives and compare them.

Pricing ranges from US$ 174 to US$ 349. Free 30-day trial is available. More information is available at www.mindjet.comAnything we missed?Feel passionate about a wireframe tool not mentioned? Tell us what you think.