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Tools for easy user-interface(UI) prototyping

Published by vasiliy.kiryanov on March 17, 2010 under design, web-development  


Every software development company needs special software to make prototypes of user-interface,
and it doesn’t mater if we do a new system or redesign of old one.
Often people say: they don’t need to prototype or they have special person for such tasks. Don’t believe them, it’s task of developers as well as writing tests.

If you still think differently about prototyping read famous book of Alan Kuper
“The Inmates Are Running the Asylum” : http://www.amazon.com/Inmates-Are-Running-Asylum/dp/0672316498

let’s do prototyping

On Interaction Design Association (IxDA) [http://www.ixda.org/] discussion forum we can find that people use almost any tool to do prototyping: ACD Canvas, Microsoft Word, SmartDraw, Inspiration, Microsoft Power Point, etc.

First of all forget about software for graphic manipulations like: Adobe photoshop or Corell draw, then about software that don’t have any connection to prototyping at all. With such software you will lose your time, and will think that prototyping is hard work for designers.

There are big amount of commercial software to prototype user-interfaces.

As famous commercial software I can note:
Axure: http://www.axure.com/
Adobe inDesign: http://www.adobe.com/products/indesign/
Omnigraffle: http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnigraffle/
Pidoco: http://pidoco.com/en

great and free applications


site: http://www.evolus.vn/pencil/
* Multi-page document with background page
* Good text editing with rich-text supports
* Exporting to HTML, PNG, Openoffice.org document, Word document and PDF.
* Installing user-defined stencils and templates

pencil editor


site: http://gomockingbird.com/
* Multi-page document
* Good text editing
* Exporting to PNG, and PDF.

mockingbird editor

Balsamiq Mockups

site: http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups
* No multi-page document, and background
* Good text editing
* Exporting only to PNG
* Installing of user-defined elements only thru importing them as a pictures

additional feature: integration to popular project management tools

balsamiq editor

Still can’t select something

As start point try Pencil: http://www.evolus.vn/pencil/
It should meet all you basic expectations and save your money.

If you prefer to have commercial software that contain all features you ever wanted then try Axure:

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3 Responses to “Tools for easy user-interface(UI) prototyping”

  1. Mauricio Dehaan says:

    wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You should proceed your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  2. Krysta Messey says:

    It’s arduous to seek out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you recognize what you’re speaking about! Thanks

  3. Also consider WireframeSketcher, a desktop wireframing tool: http://wireframesketcher.com

    It helps create wireframes using clean or sketchy styles; comes with lots of builtin controls and icons but can also be extended with custom controls; comes with stencils for mobile apps; screens can be linked to create interactive prototypes; results can be exported to PNG or clickable PDF and HTML.

    Some users will find interesting the fact that WireframeSketcher can be plugged in into an Eclipse IDE. This also gets you version control support.

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