It’s no secret–the start of great website design is a strong, custom wireframe. You can’t expect greatness to come from putting together a basic prototype and then launching it on Six or Squarespace, just like everyone else. That would make creating five-star websites too easy.
The key is to utilize the best tools available to ensure your wireframe is where it needs to be before it comes time to code it all together…because we all know a custom-coded website rules supreme. Luckily, with this handy toolkit by your side, crafting the perfect user experience through design can save you a whole lot of time.
To compete in the modern digital landscape, using more advanced tools isn’t so much an option as it is a necessity. These 10 wireframe and design resources can help streamline your workflow and keep you up to date with the latest practices–and of course, the modern-day user.
Voted the best all-around UI design tool on many lists, Figma is a multi-champion tool. The popular platform has set new standards for UI collaboration across teams, enabling co-editing and standardizing the cross-team collaboration workspace.
Figma isn’t end-to-end, but most UI tools don’t translate into real code components anyway, so you’re not missing out on much when using it. The platform is the best of a lot of worlds in one, making it a great design canvas, as well as a presentation tool for many website design projects.
Pricing: Free starter plan + starts at $12 per editor/month
Pros: Full-featured, works in browsers, excellent collaboration tools
Cons: Relatively expensive for solo users or small teams
2. Adobe XD
All Adobe products are a classic, but Adobe XD is well-known for its excellence in website design. The program is known to be more reliable than Figma and supports Windows for non-macOS Sketch admirers (can it get any better than that?) Yes!
What makes it even more useful is it being a part of the Adobe Suite, so your Creative Cloud subscription gives you access to all you need for your projects. Adobe’s seamless integration makes it also easy to hand off projects and keep your workflow in order as you roam from app to app.
Pricing: 7-day free trial + starts at $9.99/month for the single app
Pros: Seamless integration with other Adobe programs
Cons: Trial is short to test, no standout features
Whether we’re talking Freehand, Spaces, or Integrations–InVision is a collaborator’s dream. The platform is exceptionally amazing for those who are fans of whiteboard-style workspaces and productivity-enhancing features. And when wireframing is the goal, those two things are essential.
Simplicity is the main perk known to InVision, making it great for beginners or projects that call for simple prototyping. Although great for low-fidelity wireframing, we’d say the platform is best for projects that require minimal technicality.
Pricing: Free starter plan + starts at $4 per user/month
Pros: Highly productive for collaborative teams, affordable
Cons: Limited prototype functionality
If you’re a macOS fanatic, then Sketch might be the go-to UI tool for you. Although the platform no longer dominates the market share, it’s still the 2nd most popular UI design tool today despite the fact that they’re exclusively used on macOS.
Its interface is very friendly and easy to use, making it great for seamless high-fidelity prototyping, collaboration, and handoff. If you’re looking for an all-in-one inclusive tool to carry you from the start of a project to the very end, Sketch is great–but again, for macOS users only.
Pricing: 30-day free trial + starts at $9 per editor/month
Pros: Friendly interface for beginners and Mac users
Cons: macOS only, slow to implement industry-standard features
5. Axure RP
If you’re reading through this list wondering where the tools for technical projects are, we’ve got you. Axure RP is best known for technical UI website design projects. Where other platforms cover the basics, this one is known for its functionality, complex interactions, and dynamic data.
It’s also built with wireframe components to help designers break down complex information into a design that offers a seamless UI experience. Wherever you need more power–this platform has your back, and it’s compatible with both Windows and macOS.
Pricing: 30-day free trial + starts at $24 per user/month
Pros: Wireframe components, ability to build complex prototypes
Cons: Costly for solo users or small teams
A key element of a website is the customer journey, so naturally, UX design is a major focus. FlowMapp makes understanding and creating customer journeys easy by providing tools to build flowcharts and journey maps. We’d say this tool is one of the most overlooked resources designers tend to forget.
In case you’re not convinced, FlowMappp provides more than just in-app guidance, but is also flooded with a library of elements you need to create high-quality flowcharts. So if you’re unsure where to start when it comes to UX design, this resource will hold your hand along the way.
Pricing: Free starter plan + starts at $199/year
Pros: Affordable with a yearly plan, extensive tools
Cons: The only available integration is Slack
Prototyping is an extensive phase of website design and Justinmind provides a great all-in-one platform designed to create a user-friendly, size responsive website. If your next project sits in e-commerce, then you’ll find this platform to be the best-fitting tool for the job.
Justinmind is one of the most beginner-friendly tools for those looking to improve their UX design skills. Aside from being the main resource, the platform also supplies a wide range of learning resources to better utilize the platform. So if you ever find yourself dug into the learning curve, this platform won’t leave you hanging.
Pricing: Free starter plan + starts at $9 per user/month
Pros: Optimized for e-commerce websites
Cons: Not suited for high-fidelity prototypes or data-driven design
Interface designers love UXPin for a variety of reasons and it’s also usually one of the first tools recommended for anyone who’s learning how to wireframe. Although for starters, we’d also say there is a bit of a learning curve, however, it’s all proven to be worth it in the end.
With a built-in library of UI elements, the platform allows you to drag and drop your wireframe piece-by-piece directly on a canvas. It also has the ability to read Sketch and Photoshop files so that you can turn your basic wireframe into high-fidelity prototypes–isn’t that just wonderful?
Pricing: Starts at $19 per editor/month
Pros: It makes collaboration easy, in-app tutorials are available
Cons: The learning curve can be steep, no free version
Let’s face it, most wireframe tools ignore all the admin and organizational tasks that go along with designing a new interface. We all know how important these pieces of the process can be, so finding the right tool that covers it all is key. Mockplus is the perfect wireframing platform to enforce collaboration through the design process.
With the option to add notes and documentation–teams can speed up the feedback process so that nothing falls through the cracks. It’s the perfect collaborative platform that handles everything you could possibly need during the wireframing process and more.
Pricing: Free basic plan + starts at $5.95 per user/month
Pros: There’s a desktop app available
Cons: Lack of support documentation
If you’re looking for a popular free wireframe tool, Framer was made for you. Although it’s most known for its free starter plan, it also offers paid plans with more bandwidth to handle larger projects and teams.
Framer is most popular for its interactive-by-default wireframing workflow, with ready-made starter kits and UI components to accelerate the process. The best part is that it isn’t just great for websites, but it’s great for mobile applications as well. So if you plan on converting your website projects to mobile, this platform supports it all.
Pricing: Free starter plan + $20 per editor/month
Pros: Many integrations with popular apps, free to use
Cons: Requires some basic programming knowledge
Website design always seems so simple when the wireframe phase is left out of the conversation. Building a modern and engaging user experience while also considering design can be a challenge, but it’s nothing helpful resources can’t assist with. While today’s digital landscape is quite competitive, nothing will ever beat a custom website designed with purpose.