December 15, 2010

A Look at Wire Framing Tools

by Pat Walsh

Mockingbird
https://gomockingbird.com/

Priced anywhere from $9 (2 active projects) to $85 (unlimited) per month. I tried Mockingbird when it was still in beta this summer. I found it easy to use with drag and drop UI tools. I particularly liked the “share” feature, which creates a unique url that you can send to your client.

iMockups
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imockups-for-ipad/id364885913?mt=8

When I purchased my first iPad three days after its release, iMockups was one of the first applications I downloaded – just so I could get a better understanding of the iPad’s productivity capabilities. It took me some time to get used to the controls – a bit cumbersome. This app seems to be better suited for “light” wire framing. Maybe more of a brainstorming tool when flushing out concepts with your team or with a client. Although you may import images into placeholders, I recommend staying away from it. The heavier the project gets, more crashes occur.

Cacoo
http://cacoo.com/

Cacoo is another web based tool that allows you to create site maps, diagrams wire frames. Drag and drop tools are relatively easy to use, but I really like it’s real-time collaboration abilities. Try it out to see how you like it – they offer a free plan.

Pencil Project
http://pencil.evolus.vn/en-US/Home.aspx

You can install Pencil Project as a Firefox plugin or as a stand-alone application, but there is currently no Mac OS version available yet. Pencil Project allows you to create your own UI stencils along with selecting components from its library. Export to .png, .pdf or .doc.

Let us know your favorites. Post a comment.