Prototypes are remarkably useful in effectively and affordable when communicating an idea. It is mostly used in creative fronts where the creators have a bunch of ideas and need to discuss those ideas with clients.
Today, we will be involved with prototyping tools for UI and UX designers.
Having a good prototyping tool can help demonstrate your ideas, this, in turn, can create a collaboration between you and the client, while in doing, making products faster.
The outstanding prototyping tools are those which can seamlessly have features that blend in with the ease of use of sharing and collaborating with. Once you’ve found something that delivers both, you can now turn to narrow down your search based on which solution offer the best features that are compatible with your working style. While last and finally the price should also be taken into consideration.
Unfortunately, the market is saturated with many tools that you might find yourself a “deer in the headlights” with so many choices, so here to help you I’ve collected a list of 8 Prototyping Tools that could help you find something that suits your creative needs and help you be more productive.
Framer can be considered to be the an interactive, lightning and fast design tool that can bring all of your creative ideas and design to life. Where every piece of graphic you need to create is interactive and responsive.
This tool allows for prototyping that is suited for everyone, that means that a lot of the tools that are offered within are for everyone and those tools been classified according to their ease to create high-quality interactions in just simple steps.
The link tool allows for adding changes such as push and overlay or even creates nested scroll views with many angled gestures. Other features such as advanced scrolling allow you to draw movable areas that are connected to the content layers without any limits and boundaries.
While there are other options included such as nested scrolling, vertical sides, fixed headers, and much more such as you can go from static to motion in minutes. With Framer it offers customised transitions, while you can customise the directions of their animations.
Additional with Framer it has a Live feedback feature as well. With your design you can preview within their preview window. Also, you can pick any of the presentation options within Framer library options such as hands to photo-realistic device frames.
Price: Ranging from Free to $20.00 per editor/month
Figma is another designing tool which is sort of a budget-friendly edition of Sketch. It has the same interface as you have seen within the Sketch app, which itself been loved for being such user-friendly. Yet, unlike Sketch, Figma gives space for team collaboration features as users can give comments on other team member’s designs and that’s in real-time.
So whichever team you are from everybody can pitch in together to make sure everyone is on the same page. This makes the process much more easy and efficient. Uniting this with the user-friendly interface which was inspired by Sketch, this mixed together gives you have an extremely productive prototyping tool.
Figma is available for both Mac and Windows users. It can be used for free for the first three projects but after that cost a price for unlimited projects.
Price: Ranging from Free to $45.00 per editor/month
Now lets talk about Sketch, this tool looks like a mixture between Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s lightweight and has unlimited artboards at your end.
The tool features are jam-packed, and mastering all of them is a test of its own. Sketch is one of the most flawless vector-based designing tools for quick and intuitive prototype creation.
There isn’t any feature that will help you with team-based collaboration, however, to make up for it, you’ll find many particular features that make the designing process easier. For instance, there’s an option to pre-design elements and replicate the design on various art boards and shapes. While there is another feature which lets you format your design into code.
Price: For Individuals just pay-once license, just for you its $99.00 and that’s one-time payment, while for Teams you’ll need to purchase a subscription for the whole team it’s $9.00 per Contributor seat, monthly or $99.00 billed yearly
4. Adobe XD
So above I said that Sketch looks like a mixture between Photoshop and Illustrator, so let’s talk about another tool from Adobe. This time it’s Adobe XD which been specifically designed to help with UX prototyping.
There two cores of Adobe XD – Design and Prototype. Following the design core, you’ll get features to help you create your design, including features like simple vectors and text tools.
While on the Prototype tab, you get features for previewing, and sharing your design. Adobe XD is available on both Mac and Windows.
Price: Ranging from the Starter which is for personal use is Free, while you can purchase just Adobe XD for $9.99 per month or spend $52.99 per month for all 20+ Creative Cloud apps, including XD, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.
Invision Studio comprises essentially all of the features that is desirable in UI and UX prototyping tools. Its core, is designed to build better teamwork and communication within your team.
Invision Studio comes with advanced wireframe and high-end designs, with minimal interactions, you’ll be able to develop a desired prototype quickly and share it with your team and collaborate on what needs to be done. All these features and options in-store, it further adds to the appeal that InVision Studio is free to use and compatible with all OS’. Also it is one of the widely used tools in the product design process.
Price: Ranging from Free to Pro Cross-collaborative teams $7.95 per month/user
Marvel is a design tool which is very intuitive to use and can be easily comprehended by non-designers as well. The user interface is remarkably simplified which makes it easy to learn, and fast when it comes to producing results.
With its simplicity, the tool also has great integration with the likes of Photoshop and Sketch. You can seamlessly import libraries of helpful elements from Sketch and implement them into Marvel prototype.
Marvel has a feature called Handoff that provides developers with all the HTML code and CSS styles they need to start building.
Price: Ranging from Free to $42.00 per month
Origami Studio was built by and for Facebook designers, this app packs in more complexity than you find in InVison or Sketch, which are a bit easier for beginners to design in. Those who needs a more advanced prototyping tool as a part of their design system, Origami Studio has a more to offer.
With this platform it has the tools you need to build complete prototypes that are powered by a sophisticated patch editor which gives designers the opportunity to integrate advanced functionality and with prototypes they ends up looking and working like a real app or web-page.
Plus Origami Studio also integrates well with Sketch and Figma so if you’re working in parallel with either one, it lets you brings in layers and copy and paste them directly without any hang-ups.
Craft is a plugin from InVision, which works right alongside what you might already be doing in Photoshop or Sketch, this plugin comes with a sync function that keeps you updated on what you are working on.
Beside this time-saving feature in Craft it offers everything you need for prototyping and collaboration; and the changes in styling, edits and other tweaks are updated across the board so everyone is referring to and working on the same version of a project.
What sets Craft apart from other UI design tools is its placeholder content, you gain access to both Getty and iStock photos which lets you fill your layout with better visuals. Furthermore if there’s data in your layout, you can use your own or bring it in from other sources. You’ll will notice that not many UI design tools let you fill your mockups with more of your own content. This special feature is what separate Craft from the rest and it gives your mockups more authentic representation of what a final design might look like.