A vital step forward in web design & development, wireframing smooths the path for prototyping, besides enables to single out probable problems very early in the task. It’s the key from the standpoint of getting a visual depiction of content, hierarchy and layout.
There are a slew of tools and techniques for creating wireframes – mostly it depends less on your budget or the kind of money you have earmarked, and more on what you intend to achieve. Sometimes all that’s needed is a pen and a paper.
Designers mostly build wireframes with the help of purpose-built tools like Illustrator, Fireworks or PowerPoint. There are threefold benefits of building wireframes – they ease tasks, saves designers time, and the final product created is of a high standard. There’s no dearth of interactive tools that help you create wireframes. All you need is to get hold of good ones – which by no means is an easy task.
Presented below are some of the best wireframe tools that web designers can put to use, for making basic or high-end wireframes.
Mockingbird a top-end wireframe tool is developed on Cappuccino framework which lets you build, link-up, scan and share wireframes of your site or application. Its standout features include click-able page linking, an intuitive drag-and-drop UI, and a handy and clean user-Interface. A web-based tool Mockingbird makes it easy for you to make and share mockups from anyplace.
PowerMockup is an efficient add-on tool that changes Microsoft PowerPoint into a wireframe designing tool. It’s loaded with an exhaustive collection of elements and icons which you can drag and drop onto a PowerPoint slide. Use PowerMockup to design custom elements from the standard PowerPoint shapes – and save them to the library.
ForeUI is a well-designed UI prototyping tool. It’s a user-friendly tool which enables building wireframes for a wide array of apps or websites. Give it a pat on the back – this tool will make your prototype project skinnable. ForeUI will enable you to give a new look to your prototype, by merely changing the UI theme. You can even design the behavior of prototypes by putting together intuitive flow charts to control specific events.
Gliffy is a handy, chic wireframe building tool that enables you to drag and drop almost any element – boxes, buttons, even lines from the web wireframe tool shape library to anywhere on the page. Want to add text text to your site wireframe to give your website mockup a clean look? With Gliffy it’s possible. A unique benefit of having Giffy is that it is totally free of cost.
WireframeSketcher is an awesome tool for building wireframes. It features two unique styles of wireframes – Sketch (which bestows hand-sketched like look to wireframes) or Clean (which has crisp, straight lines). It allows for creating interactive prototypes or display wireframes as storyboards. This tool comes in two versions – as a plugin for any Eclipse-based IDE or standalone app for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.