Prototyping Tools Overview
What is Prototyping?Prototyping is a part of the design process that allows team members to review concepts, share feedback and collaborate during the early stages of a design project. Designers create an interactive mockup of a website, software product or mobile app in order to test concepts before designing the full project. Often UX designers use wireframes to evaluate the flow and usability of the concept before investing too much time in the actual design, and so prototyping platforms may also contain wireframing tools. Some tools also offer usability testing programs wherein real users will test and provide feedback on your design concept.
Prototypes, as opposed to wireframes, are working models or mockups of websites or web apps, designed to present a closer to finalized experience for user testing than a wireframe. Prototypes include animations and graphics to exemplify the aesthetic and functional qualities of the web application or website.
Prototyping Features & CapabilitiesPrototyping tools may include some of the following functionalities:
- Image editing capabilities
- Drag-and-drop design tool
- Direct uploading of various file types (PSD, GIF, JPG, etc.)
- Interactive mockups
- Advanced animations and transitions
- Photoshop sync
- Sharing features
- Collaboration features such as commenting and threading
- Version control
- User testing
Pricing InformationThere are a wide range of tools to help designers create and test prototypes. The simplest tools may be free and support small teams or single individuals managing a single project. Enterprise level tools brand themselves as collaborative design platforms and allow teams to build workflows and collaborate, with features such as commenting, threading, version control, etc. Many tools offer free plans with no collaboration features, and paid versions that allow multiple users to interact.
InVision is a collaborative design and prototyping platform with features such as freehand drafting mode and interactive mockups, collaboration, idea management, user testing, and integration with Slack and other collaboration tools. According to the vendor, 1 million designers are using the free ve…
Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD software offers professional-grade 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulation tools.
Axure RP is a software prototyping tool used by UX designers, from Axure Software Solutions in San Diego.
Adobe XD is a prototyping and UX/UI option for website and mobile application design, featuring a range of UI tools and and templates, a versatile artboard and contextual layer panels, and deep integration with Adobe's creative suite of products for fast import of objects from these applications.
Sketch is a visual design tool of use for application prototyping, coming with a wide variety of extensions, plugins, and an active user community.
OmniGraffle is a wireframing tool for Mac users.
Figma, headquartered in San Francisco, offers their collaborative design and prototyping application to support digital product and UI development.
UXPin is a UX design platform with wireframing, prototyping and interactive mockup features.
iRise offers a prototyping and design platform for software development.
Marvel is a prototyping and wireframing app.
Proto.io is a prototyping tool for creating interactive mobile apps.
Frontify is brand management software in the cloud. The purpose of Frontify is to gather all essential brand tools in one place, such as style guides, UI patterns, media assets, etc., with the goal of making brand information more accessible and simplifying the life of everyone working with a brand.…
Justinmind offer prototyping and interactive mockups for web and mobile apps, supporting interactive graphics, animations, and user testing, collaboration and feedback sharing, and requirements management.
Accorind to the vendor, Draftium has 350+ ready-made blocks and 300+ prototype templates that allows you to visualize a website idea within 15-30 minutes. It is a free online turbo prototyping tool for website ideation and collaboration. It helps web-designers or studios, marketers, and account mana…
Pixate is an obsolete prototyping platform acquired by Google in 2015 and End-of-Life in October 2016.
HotGloo is an online wireframing and prototyping tool. This solution has been designed for all those engaged in the concept, design and development of web or app projects: project managers, information architects, usability experts, freelancers, concept people, digital agencies, web companies, publi…
Indigo.Design provides your design and development teams with a solution to deliver pixel perfect apps as quickly as possible without losing focus on UX. With Indigo Design System with Sketch UI Kits you can create the best-in-class UI designs using our 50+ design library components & 45+ UX pat…
Mentor Graphics, a Siemens business, offers Vista, a TLM modeling and testing solution, supprting architectural design exploration, verification, and virtual prototyping.
Altimetrik headquartered in Southfield offers the IPE application prototyping environment.
Aspiring to create a faster way to prototype, Uizard uses AI to transform hand-drawn wireframes into working prototypes with code. Uizard is an AI platform that transforms hand-drawn wireframes into functional prototypes and front-end code, in seconds. The vendor aims to change the future of the de…
Sympli is a digital product development collaboration platform that automates the connection between designers, developers, QA, & product managers. Sympli delivers all design components and assets to team members where they work enabling quick commenting, implementation, and testing. Sympli is d…
Origami is a free prototyping tool offered by Facebook. It allows users to build a prototype, run it on an iPhone or iPad, test it, and export code snippets. It was used to create Instagram, Paper, Messenger, Slingshot, Rooms and Groups.