9 Best Wireframe Tools For Your Website Design [2022 Guide]

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Every great idea starts with a good wireframe - creating a wireframe is an important step in web design. Today, there is no shortage of wireframing tools available in the market. Therefore, selecting the appropriate one for your online business website can be a daunting task. 

Luckily, this post is a 2022 guide for the 8 best wireframing tools for your website design.

What is a wireframe?

The term ‘Wireframe’’ is certainly not jargon for tech gurus and those well-versed in the field of web design. However, this lingo can be mind-boggling if you’re relatively new to the industry. 

Best Wireframe Tools For Your Website Design

Wireframes are synonymous with the blueprint of a building. Simply put, they are rudimentary sketches or designs that skip colors, fonts, sizing, and graphics to focus on functionality, space, content, and interplay. These sketches can be drawn by hand or created digitally using online tools, depending on how much detail is required. 

There are three main types of wireframes: low-fidelity wireframes, mid-fidelity wireframes, and high-fidelity wireframes. The most distinguishing factor between these wireframes is the amount of detail they contain.

Wireframe tools offer options for designers, allowing them to rough out their ideas and get the basic building blocks in place so that the overall design can be assessed and refined. 

Most wireframe tools contain libraries of symbols and mockups to help a designer visualize what a wireframe could look like. 

Wireframe terms you need to know

Before diving deep into wireframing, it is important to understand some of the most frequently used terms. 

  • Artboard: An individual canvas or paper used when creating multiple separate designs without having to switch files.
  • Mockup: A fully designed interface that includes colors and images.
  • Prototype: An interactive wireframe or mockup that allows users to click through and “use” the design before it has been translated by developers.
  • Vector graphic: An image made up of points, lines, and curves that are based on mathematical points.
  • UX: stands for user experience and pertains to how users interact with a design, such as optimal button placement.
  • UI: stands for user interface and is related to how a web design appears to users.

Why is wireframing important?

Wireframing is an essential part of the web design process. As an entrepreneur, you’ll probably have countless ideas on what you want your website to accomplish. Wireframe testing helps to differentiate priorities that will help you reach the goal of your website from “nice-to-have” features that can be left out.

Why is wireframing important

Wireframe tools can help you with simple things like an affiliate marketing landing page to designing a complex system. 

It also has the following benefits:

  • Prioritizing content creation and make content development better
  • Connecting the information architecture of a site to its visual design by highlighting the paths between pages
  • Determining intended functionalities
  • Focus on user experience
  • Determining consistent methods for displaying information of different types on the user interface.
  • Save time and money

What makes a great wireframe tool?

Experienced web designers can tell you that selecting a good wireframe tool can be more complex than it appears. That said, here is a quick breakdown of the evaluation process.

1. UI: What is the user experience like? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?

2. Integrations: Does the wireframe tool have any pre-built add-ons, such as Jira or photoshop?

3. Value for money: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use? Is the pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

4. Features & functionality: Check how many of the key website design and app design features and functions does it provide? Specifically check: 

  • Drag and drop simplicity
  • Feedback and collaboration tools
  • Interactive elements
  • Fidelity levels
  • Presentation tools
  • Revision history

While selecting a wireframe tool for your business, remember to prioritize content placement over visual design. 

8 best wireframe tools [2022 Guide]

There are loads of wireframe tools available, so you can experiment to find the one that suits you best.

design layout

The best wireframe tools enable you to nail the design of your website right from the onset. Here’s a list of wireframe tools designed to help you craft that perfect idea.

1. Adobe XD

Adobe XD tops this list thanks to its easy-to-use option for wireframing and interface design projects. It is a vector-based design tool that’s available for both Mac and Windows. Once you open the app, a set of interactive onboarding lightboxes enables you to get oriented with the design tools at your fingertips. The clean interface and quick onboarding are invaluable for beginners who want to use a professional wireframe tool, without spending too much time learning the software.

If you’re looking for a wireframe tool that is suitable for beginners, maybe Adobe XD is what you need. It not only offers great options for setting up and designing your homepage, but also keeps track of the basic CSS and HTML for your designs. This allows you to grab the code directly inside the interface when handing it off to your programming team. The only downside to Adobe XD is that it requires a subscription to access all of its functionality.

Free tier limitations: 1 active shared document, 1 active shared link, 2 co-editors.

Upgrade: Starts at $9.99 per month.

2. Sketch

Sketch was launched back in 2010 and has since maintained its position as an unrivaled wireframe tool providing a copyrighted vector editing platform for macOS users. It comes with complete toolkits that allow designers to create elements that reflect their ideas down to the last pixels. 

It’s a top choice because it can allow users to apply effects and modifications as they wish without fear of destroying their original data file through its non-destructive editing feature that allows users to experiment with their designs.

Additionally, as a user, you can see a live preview of your design on your iOS device, so you know how your creation appears on different screens.

Sketch pricing plans

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Standard: $9 per editor/month or $99 per billed yearly

Sketch pros and cons

Pros

  • It has a strong user interface focus
  • It’s lightweight
  • It has an intuitive interface

Cons

  • Compatible with Mac only

3. Figma

To quote popular web designer Claire Yuan, “Figma has become the playground for everyone on the team.” This design tool gives you the freedom to create wireframes from low to high fidelity. Since it’s a web-based app, multiple team members can log in and access the design file simultaneously.

It’s a favorite for most since it offers a basic free version that can give you up to 3 files with a maximum of 3 pages per file, up to 30 days’ history view, commenting, and unlimited editors. With Figma’s extra smooth live collaboration, web designers can quickly learn new user needs, or technical problems spotted, and work on more iterations in a shorter time.

Wireframing with Figma is a straightforward process however, the process is not inclusive of the user interface components such as artboards, shapes, and texts. It’s ideal for entrepreneurs who need their websites to be well-organized (the left-hand panel does this quite well). A bonus is that developers can extract CSS code from the design file and export individual elements to use as needed.

Figma pricing plans

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Free version: Yes
  • Professional: $12 per editor/ month billed annually or $15 billed monthly
  • Organization: $45 per editor/month billed annually

Figma pros and cons

Pros

  • Provides a free plan
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Has several plug-ins
  • Cloud-based
  • Cross-platform support means macs and PCs can finally work in harmony

Cons

  • High learning curve
  • Lacks advanced prototyping features

4. Balsamiq

This wireframe tool is perfect if you are keen on the creative process of designing a website. The wireframe solution is good for creating quick designs, running user testing, and sharing mockups. Balsamiq offers an extensive library of UI elements and templates that make wireframing a breeze.

balsamique

Designers worldwide affirm that its prototyping software can be as simple as dragging and dropping elements from the menu onto the canvas until you have the interface you desire. It also provides built-in presentation functionality that streamlines the process of presenting designs to clients. The platform runs on macOS, Windows, and web browsers.

Balsamiq pricing plans:

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Free version: Yes
  • 2 projects: $9 monthly or $90 annually
  • 200 projects: $199 monthly or $1,990 annually

Balsamiq pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Cool presentation mode that allows displaying a full-screen presentation
  • Small learning curve

Cons

  • Only low-fi wireframes

5. Invision Studio

Invision Studio is quickly catching up following its release in 2018. The interface is quite easy to learn, and the preloaded icons are very sleek and well-developed. It uses the Mac and Windows platforms and has everything you need for designing your website. It’s particularly strong on responsive design features and integrates nicely with Invision Freehand for real-time collaboration with others.

With handy features like comments, transitions, and desktop syncing, this is an efficient tool for building everything from low-fi wireframes to full-featured prototypes.

Another wireframe tool by Invision is Invision Freehand, which works well for designers who want to collaborate with team members on an initial wireframe sketch and/or comment on more refined wireframes.

Invision Studio pricing plan

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Free version: Yes
  • Starter: $15/month billed annually or $13/month billed monthly
  • Professional: $22/month billed annually or $25/month billed monthly
  • Team: $89/month billed annually or $99/month billed monthly

Pro-tip: With Invision Studio, you can get a discount on yearly consumer plans for eligible non-profit organizations. 

Invision Studio pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Integrates with Invision Freehand
  • Has a free version

Cons

6. JustInMind

If you’re a web designer-come-business analyst of different professional levels, JustinMind can be a great wireframe tool for you. It is known for creating high-quality creative work, albeit at a steep cost. You can download this website prototype on your computer for offline work anywhere. It also provides handy tutorials and guided videos for beginners and experts. 

JustInMind

JustInMind has a library of UI elements from buttons and forms to generic shapes and a range of widgets for iOS, SAP, and Android. 

If you want a wireframe tool that can empower you to create a wireframe that can be tested as a working prototype from the start, Justinmind is your best bet. It does this by including interactive prototype elements such as text inputs, radio buttons, and dropdowns. Apart from the content of the elements themselves, its layout is easy to decode. It all just feels very intuitive.

JustInMind payment plan

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Free version: Yes
  • Standard: $9 per user/month billed annually or $14 billed monthly
  • Professional: $19 per user/month billed annually or $29 billed monthly

JustInMind pros and cons

Pros

  • Free version
  • Build working prototypes
  • Suitable for beginners

Cons

  • Learning curve

7. Axure RP

Axure RP, which uses the macOS and Windows platform, is by far the best-dedicated wireframe tool for UX pros. This robust solution provides advanced prototyping without the need for coding and offers essential features like:

  • Dynamic content to empower hover functions.
  • Conditional flow statements to check conditions.
  • A set of useful math features (e.g. adding/removing from the cart, which reflects the amount).
  • Adaptive views for sizing the screen.
  • Data-driven sorting.
  • Animations on the prototype, etc.

Used by organizations including Microsoft, Amazon, and the BBC, this software includes cloud storage and CSS exporting and documentation. It’s a great choice for UX professionals looking to hand off their designs to developers.

Axure RP payment plan

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Pro: $25 per user/month billed annually or $29 billed monthly
  • Team: $42 per user/month billed annually or $49 billed monthly

Axure RP Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Build working prototypes
  • Advanced features

Cons

  • May be overkill

8. UXPin

UXPin is hailed for being a perennial favorite with interface designers. With UXPin, you’re able to start your wireframes with a built-in library of UI elements that you can drag and drop directly onto your canvas. 

Some of UXPin’s most notable features include: 

  • An easy-to-use interface suitable for beginners
  • Ability to import and export files to sketch and photoshop. This gives you the option to develop your wireframes into full prototypes.
  • It shows conditional flow logic with its embedded user flow capabilities.
  • It’s free for eligible students

Despite having these great features, it’s the preview mode that allows you to present a working prototype of your design, collect feedback and include specs/documentation all at once that will make you want to UXPin it.

UXPin plans and pricing

  • Free trial: Yes
  • Basic: $19 per editor/month billed annually or $24 billed monthly
  • Advanced: $29 per editor/month billed annually or $39 billed monthly
  • Professional: $69 per editor/month billed annually or $83 billed monthly 

UXPin pros and cons

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Reads Sketch and Photoshop files
  • Excellent presentation tools

Cons

  • No free version

Final thoughts

All the wireframing tools reviewed in this article are powerful in their own right. However, each has limitations. It’s up to you to clarify your website design needs, weigh the pros and cons of each tool, and finally invest in a wireframing tool. 

This could save you money and time in the long run.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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