Wireframing is one of the most effective methods available for crafting a great user experience without getting hung up on the ins-and-outs of visual interface details such as typography, colors, images, etc. It lets us get into a design’s core structure and functionality and enables us to identify and resolve areas of friction.
However, there are many great wireframing tools on the web today and finding the right one can be tricky. So we polled our turtle-necked, premium coffee-sipping design team and gathered a list of wireframing tools that we love and are most familiar with. Take a look and see which one’s best for your needs!

 

Axure (http://axure.com)

Axure is a robust wireframing tool that allows you to prototype complex interactions
Axure is a robust, multipurpose tool with great prototyping capabilities that we love using for testing design and usability.

Things we love:

Ideal for: Design teams collaborating on a interactive, complex project.

 

Mockingbird (http://gomockingbird.com)

Mockingbird is a browser-based wireframing tool that's excellent for freelancers working on simple website designs

Mockingbird is a bit of a departure from many of these other tools, in that it’s entirely browser-based.

Things we love:

Ideal for: Freelancers looking for a simple, inexpensive tool for pitching concepts into their clients

 

Adobe Illustrator (http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator.html)

illustrator provides a lot of functionality that's great for small-to-medium sized website projects

Surprised to see this one in here? Don’t be – Adobe’s industry-standard vector graphics software allows for unlimited possibilities in wireframing and can be a great fit for any one’s typical workflow.

Things we love:

Ideal for: Smaller projects that can easily be transitioned from the wireframing stage to design stage.

 

Omnigraffle (http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnigraffle)

Omnigraffle is great for complex diagrams and process flows

A powerful diagram and process chart creator that also has added functionality for creating simple wireframes for web projects and applications.

Things we love:

Ideal for: Diagrams and process charts of all shapes, sizes, and complexities.

Do you have a favorite wireframing tool that’s missing from this list? Let us know about it in the comments!

Comments
  • Thanks great ressource, you site is very often useful to me .

  • Great job. Thank you for sharing!

  • Great list! I love that you have written about the best cases to use the tools. My company provides a collaborative wireframing tool that’s great for larger team projects. You can check it out at http://www.pidoco.com Keep up the good work!

  • Have you seen Moqups yet? It’s a nifty HTML5 app and it’s free! Give it a spin and let us know what you think!

  • Jay

    What’s missing here is at least one free option.

    • Hey Jay

      Actually, Mockingbird offers a free plan, and both Omnigraffle and Axure offer limited-time free trials.

      • Jay

        Going this route you could also say that illustrator is available as trial as well. Come on Jason, i believe you have full understanding that’s not what I meant 😀
        You don’t expect professional to use different trial for each new project.
        I just found that mbird has a free option. But again it is so limited that it’s useless for any professional use.

  • Theo

    Mockflow by far