11 amazing prototyping tools: choose the one for your needs

Posted May 24th, 2019 in Web Design. Tagged: , , , .

The first impression means a lot. The way how users perceive software has a direct impact on whether they will use this software or not. Therefore, the building of prototypes is very important for UI/UX design. Well, today, designers have many useful tools they can apply successfully to turn mockups into prototypes that may show the real value of web or mobile app.

In this article, we will list the most popular prototyping tools, and we will divide them into free and paid ones. Let’s go!

prototyping tools

Free prototyping tools

Tools that we will show can be completely free or have free versions with limited functionality. But first things first.

Adobe XD

Adobe XD

Price: Free
Available platforms: Mac, Windows

Adobe XD is a product built by Adobe company and it can be used for creating a full-fledged UI/UX design of any software. Adobe XD may be applied both for mockups creation and for prototypes building.

This tool makes it possible to switch between various design patterns. Besides that, other Adobe design tools like Illustrator can be used along with Adobe XD for more comfortable work and copy required elements from Illustrator and easily paste them to Adobe XD.

Adobe XD - screenshot



Price: Available for free for 1 prototype. For $15 you will get 3 prototypes, and $25 and $99 plans will provide you with an unlimited number of prototypes.
Available platforms: Web

This tool is very popular among many UI/UX designers from different parts of the world. It has an intuitive and attractive interface, besides that, it provides users with many collaboration features. InVision became a perfect option for large teams because it offers the following features:

  • Write comments on prototypes
  • Monitor the history of changes
  • When files are edited, they are automatically updated
  • All projects can be synchronized with cloud storages like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
  • Project management process is elaborated since it has a management system like Jira

In addition, InVision has a plugin that makes it possible for users to send files to InVision via Sketch or Photoshop. It is also used for working with animations.

Invision - screenshot



Price: Free
Available platforms: Mac, iOS, Android

It is a tool built by Facebook and it is targeted at prototyping specifically. It is available for free so anyone can start using it right now. However, you should consider important points to start working. If you a Mac user, you need to register as Apple developers and then download Xcode together with Quartz Composer. Once it is done, feel free to launch Origami. Despite the fact it may seem that the process is rather time-consuming and complex, you will eventually get a free prototyping tool with a bunch of useful features. These features include a library with main patterns, gestures simulation, animations.

Apart from this, Origami offers one more amazing Export to Code feature – it converts a design into code for Android, iOS, or web. So users can share their design specs with the development team.

Also, Origami has Photoshop and Sketch plugins, detailed documentation with examples. A detailed manual will help users start using Origami quickly.

Tool for Origami comes with Origami Live app that makes it possible for users to test and preview their design on mobile devices.

Origami - screenshot



Price: Available for free only for 1 project, but it also offers unlimited projects for individuals and teams. Price varies from $12 to $84 per month.
Available platforms: Web, iOS, Android

No, this tool has nothing in common with a famous comics company. It is a web prototyping tool that allows building powerful wireframes as well. Marvel offers a large number of pre-installed elements like buttons and menus. To perform collaborative work, it is required to buy a paid version since the free version limits the process of collaborative work.

Marvel’s interface is clear and crowd-pleasing, everyone may deal with this tool without problems. It also provides users with Sketch plugin.

Marvel - screenshot



Price: Free
Available platforms: Web

Webflow is more than just a prototyping tool. It is a full-stack tool that makes it possible for users to build websites. add animations, publish it, and even manage afterward using Webflow CMS. Webflow tool generates responsive code that works well in all browsers and devices. This tool is considered to be a perfect option for freelance UI/UX designers.

But mind that if you build eCommerce website, you will need to use a third-party payment system so this fact may become a drawback of Webflow. Also, keep in mind that Webflow is appropriate only for web design, no mobile design.

Webflow - screenshot

Paid tools for prototyping

Well, these tools are available only for money, but most of them offer trial versions that you can test for free. Let’s check them out!



Price: $99 per year (if you want to extend your license, Sketch offers good discounts $64-$69 per year depending on the number of licenses you need)
Available platforms: Mac

We can call Sketch one of the most popular and well-known tool for UI prototyping. Its interface is a completely clear and well-thought-out interface, it is used for wireframes and mockups creation.

Sketch has plugins of many third-party services like Marvel, Origami, etc. for working with animations. It simplifies prototyping process and makes the job more flawless.

Sketch - screenshot



Price: $129 per year
Available platforms: Mac

Principle is also designed for Mac only. Principle makes it possible to build interactions and animations for any platform. Principle may import files from Sketch and turn them into animated from static ones.


Principle - screenshot



Price: $29 per individual user per month and $49 per user as a team member per month. However, the perpetual price is $495 and $895 accordingly.
Available platforms: Mac, Windows

Perhaps, Axure can be called the most progressive prototyping tool for UX. Using Axure, you can build prototypes for mobile operating systems as well as for web and use a large number of preinstalled elements that reduce time.

Gradients, effects, pictures importing, transparency – everything is available for a high-quality and comfortable working process.

Axure - screenshot


Just in Mind

Price: From $29 per month to $39 for enterprise
Available platforms: Mac, Windows

One of the largest advantages of JustInMind is that you can install the software on your PC and work in offline mode, even if you don’t have the Internet connection at the moment. It is good for collaborative work, you can share all your prototypes with colleagues. Besides that, colleagues may leave comments and edit prototypes if necessary. In addition to prototyping, you can also build UI design for web and mobile apps. JustInMind has preloaded UI kits.

Just in Mind - screenshot



Price: $199 per user annually or $399 per user for a perpetual license
Available platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

Mockplus tool is an easy-to-use and high-speed. It is not abundant of features as many other prototyping tools, but it has all the necessary features to work and build prototypes quickly.

This tool has all convenient collaboration features, it can export and import files, and provides with pre-installed UI patterns and components. Also, it offers repeater, auto data fill, UI flow design mode, etc.

Mockplus - screenshot



Price: From $25 up to $99 per user monthly
Available platforms: Web

Designers may combine various design scenarios and switch between them. UXPin users mya build wireframes quickly and upload files from Sketch and Photoshop.

UXPin is also a perfect tool for collaboration with colleagues, and, on the whole, this is a tool that lets users focus on prototype building without any troubles and delays due to complicated functionality.

UXPin - screenshot

So, this is a full list of the most popular prototyping tools you should know about. We think that you will find a tool that is more appropriate for you. You just need to understand what exactly you need and what goals you plan to achieve. So enjoy this article!

About the Author

Vitaly Kuprenko

Vitaly Kuprenko is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It’s a web and app development company in Ukraine. He enjoys telling about tech innovations and digital ways to boost businesses.

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