Whether you want to design a mobile app, Desktop software or simply trying to design a website, by creating UI Mockups, you can get the first visuals of your future projects and also present the design idea to the client in a better way.
Creating UI Mockups is different than Wireframing. Wireframing is like creating a blueprint for your house or engineering project whereas creating a Mockup is coming up with the with actual creative design (final looks) of the house for the clients.
Having access to a handy Mockup tool helps you in the UI designing phase and also speed up the whole process.
There is no dearth of UI Mockup tools; however, with so many options to choose from, it can get confusing as to which is one you should start using first.
Whether you are a professional looking to add more power tools to his current arsenal or a beginner trying his hands at Mockup designing for the first time, this guide will introduce you to some of the best tools to create UI Mockups in 2019.
- Price – Free limited / Premium $19 monthly plan – $14 per user-per month yearly plan
MockFlow is a premium cloud-based solution that offers Wireframe, Prototyping and UI Mockup tools for individuals and organization. It comes in both free and premium plans and can be used on your PC as well.
The pricing is divided between yearly and monthly plans. When compared to yearly plans, the monthly plans are not only expensive but also misses out on some features. On annual plans, you not only get a fair discount but also get 3-month free service, offline access, and power-ups.
To use the tool, you need to signup with a free account. The free accounts allow you to create one project in each app, two reviewers per project, limited selection of apps and no support. However, the free account gives a fair idea about the usability of MockFlow.
MockFlow offers offline access on Windows and Mac OS running computers. The MockFlow extensions allow you to use the tool with apps like Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Slack, JIRA and more.
MockFlow has six basic functions namely WireFrame and UI Mockups, Sitemap, StyleGuide, DesignCollab, Annotate Pro and Website Pro. To create UI Mockups use the first WireFrame option from the dashboard and click on the + icon.
The editing dashboard is divided between 6 tabs as well. From the Element tab you can drag and drop pre-designed objects like Mobile frame, icons, background images, menu tabs, checkout options and more or you can simply start from a blank page if you want to.
The objects are further customizable with a simple double-click. You can group multiple elements together for easier movement and scaling of UI.
Other tabs in the editor are Pages, to create multiple pages for the same app, Images tab, Flow tab to add and check the status of the projects, Store and Power-UP tab to add more apps and templates.
MockFlow is an excellent multipurpose tool to create UI Mockups and more. However, the premium plans mean it is for serious users who can make use of at least half the feature it has on offer.
- Price – Free 30-days trial / Online version starts at $9 per month / Offline version starts at $89 perpetual license
Balsamiq is a modern cloud-based solution for UI designers and developers offering a fast, approachable, collaborative wireframing. If you prefer an offline solution, Balsamiq got it covered as well.
Balsamiq offers two versions of the tool, online and offline desktop app for Mac and Windows computers. The offline version is a onetime purchase that costs $89 for a single user. The online version starts at $9 per month per user with space for two projects.
Fortunately, you can sign up for free and use the web app for 30 days free of charge with unlimited wireframes and unlimited users on offer.
Signing up for the free trial account is easy but requires the users to validate the email. Once done, begin by creating your space and give it a name. Then proceed with creating your first project.
The project editor has a very simple and user-friendly interface. All the properties are nicely spread on the toolbar. The pages or Wireframes are displayed on the left side and you can add multiple pages by clicking on the + icon on top.
You can begin by dragging and dropping a template to the editor or start from the scratch using basic editing tools. Use the More Controls option to search for more templates and icons from the library. From desktop applications and diagrams to hardware and layout UIs, Balsamiq library has everything you need to create a Mockup and Wireframes with ease.
To change the object properties, select the object, and the applicable options will be displayed on the right-side pane.
The developers can invite clients to make a presentation by sending a link through email. You can also add your team members to the project and assign a role to each team member.
In addition, Balsamiq also offers integration with business apps such as Google Drive, Confluence and Jira. The UI design resources on the website are helpful for the experienced as well as newbie users.
Balsamiq is an excellent tool and with offline and online software suite it is undoubtedly one of the best in the business. Combine that with free 30 days free trial, and you get enough time to assess the tool before making a purchase.
- Price – Free trial / $59 a year Individual license / $199 perpetual license / Team plan starts at $299 per year
For those looking for a flexible tool to create mockups and prototyping for every screen size and platform, MockPlus is a good choice. It is an offline application and is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
MockPlus is used by some of the leading names in the tech industry including Microsoft and IBM. There is a 7-days free trial to try the tool before making a purchase.
The user interface of MockPlus is well laid out and looks modern. It offers a good amount of space and does not clutter the workspace with unnecessary tools. It also has a multi-window option to use the software in multiple windows for better productivity.
You can easily build interactive prototypes by simply dragging and dropping pre-designed components to the editor. The library comes equipped with over 3000 icons and nearly 200 pre-designed components to get you started all supporting drag-and-drop functionality.
The prototypes can be tested instantly using the QR code generated by the app. In addition, the projects can be published on the web to get comments from clients and team members by sharing a web link to the prototype.
MockPlus excels at what it does, and the features and functions of this prototyping software makes it an ideal tool for UI and UX designers irrespective of their expertise.
- Price – Free trial / Starts at $19 per month – Personal plan
It is a premium tool with personal and team accounts. The free trial requires you to register an account and offers 5MB of storage with one project limited to 300 objects.
The user interface is similar to MockFlow, but the tools and layout are different. After creating a new project you can drag and drop elements from the Stencil tab.
You can add more pages to the project, customize outlines, create templates, upload and add images, browse from the vast library of icons and add comments to the project.
The objects can be edited to resize, rotate, align and style. The grouping feature makes it easy to group together multiple objects for easier movement.
Once the Mockup is ready, you can export to Google Drive, Dropbox or your computer’s local drive-in PNG, PDF or HTML format.
Moqups is an easy to use tool for wireframing and to create diagrams and mockups in no time. Signup for the free account and take the tool for a spin to see if it is something that meets your requirement.
Whether you are a professional UI designer or just a beginner, knowing what tools to use to create UI Mockups is important. If you are looking for just a wireframing tool, then I would recommend you to try Wireframes.cc.
It a web-based app with minimalistic design and a handful of features to create simple and effective wireframes for apps or websites. After all more is not always better.
However, for UX/UI designer looking for feature-rich Mockup tools should try all of the above-recommended tools. All of these tools offer a free trial or basic free account without any limitations to get you started.
You can spend some time with each of these tools before deciding on the one that checks the most boxes in your must-have list.
Knowing the fact that not one tool will ever be able to meet everyone’s need, we tried to include the best tools to create UI Mockups that can meet most of the designers’ needs.
Do let us know your favorite mockup and wireframing software or if you think we have excluded a worthy alternative in this list in the comments below.
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