The 20 best wireframe tools

With more wireframe tools to choose from than ever, we select the pick of the bunch.

Wireframe tools make the process of knowing how to create an app or website fundamentally easier, by visually stripping the product down and allowing all involved to focus purely on functions and user interactivity.

Clients need to understand how your proposed app or website will work. But simply explaining to them verbally or in writing leaves the vast majority of functions down to their imagination. Wireframe tools can be extremely helpful in squaring that circle.

There are more wireframe tools on the market than ever, each offering varying levels of functionality. Some software can be used purely for simple wireframes, while others will allow you to create a working prototype.

Taking advantage of trial downloads or free software and finding the one that fits in with the way you work is the only way of finding out which one is right for you. Here we've selected 20 of the best wireframe tools to get you started. Enjoy!

01. Wireframe.cc

Wireframe.cc offers a clean, minimal interface
  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: Free-$99/month

Wireframe.cc offers a simple interface for sketching your wireframes that eschews the toolbars and icons of a typical drawing app. There's a limited colour palette to help you avoid that particular avenue of procrastination, and UI elements are context-sensitive and only appear when you need them. Whether or not you enjoy this is a matter of personal taste. 

02. Moqups

Work collaboratively on wireframes, mockups, prototypes and more
  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: Free-€49/month

This tool is designed to take you through the whole process of roughly sketching your wireframes; collaborating on them with others; creating site maps, flowcharts and storyboards; and building functional prototypes. 

03. UXPin

Quick tutorials show you how to build advanced animations in the UXPin editor
  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $19-$99/month

You can put together wireframes in UXPin at top speed by dragging and dropping custom elements. There are regularly updated libraries for Bootstrap, Foundation, iOS and Android, and your wireframes can be quickly converted to high-fidelity mockups. From there you can create fully interactive and animated prototypes of your final product. 

04. Fluid UI

Each project generates a QR code you can scan to get the prototype working on your phone
  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $8.25-$41.58/month

Fluid UI has 16 built-in libraries for iOS, Android, Windows and more, and pages are created by dragging in elements from these libraries. This app provides a great way for you to map out your projects visually by creating links to join screens, forming a diagram of how everything fits together. Hovering over a link gives you the option to change the kind of transition you're using. 

05. Balsamiq Mockups

Wireframe tools Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamiq Mockups aims to replicate the experience of sketching on a whiteboard
  • Platform: Mac, Windows, web-based
  • Price: Various

Balsamiq Mockups includes several drag-and-drop elements, from buttons to lists, each styled as a hand-drawing. The basic premise behind this wireframing tool is to keep the mock-ups 'intentionally rough and low fidelity', to encourage as much feedback as possible.

06. Axure

Wireframe tools Axure

Axure lets you create interactive HTML mockups for websites and apps
  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: $29-$99/month per user

As well as creating mockups, Axure allows you to add functionality to your layout and create an interactive prototype. Features of this wireframing tool include sitemaps and various widgets in the form of various UI elements. Interactive HTML mockups can be created for both websites and apps, and you can even view your app design on your phone with a built-in share function.

07. Pidoco

Wireframe tools Pidoco

Pidoco includes a handy library of drag-and-drop interface elements
  • Platform: Web-based
  • Price: $12-$175/month

Pidoco is similar to Axure in that it includes library of various drag-and-drop interface elements, as well as the ability to add multiple pages and layers. Your prototypes can be shared online with clients, and includes functions for collaborative feedback and discussion. Viewing your prototypes on your phone is as easy as downloading the Pidoco app.

08. Visio

Wireframe tools Visio

Viseo's interface will be familiar if you're used to using Microsoft Word or Excel
  • Platform: Windows
  • Price: £9.80 or £11.70 per month

Viseo's real strength lies in technical diagrams rather than wireframing; however, for those already accustomed with other Microsoft apps such as Word or Excel, the interface will be very familiar. It is quite clunky, Viseo does offer add-on tools such as Swipr, which allows you to create and export a usable HTML prototype.

09. InDesign CC

Wireframe tools InDesign

InDesign lets you use animations and videos in your wireframes
  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: From $16.44/month as part of Adobe Creative Cloud

By including animations, video and object states, InDesign can be used to create an interactive PDF that acts as a wireframe for your website or app. The software also includes the ability to create libraries of page elements, so you can create collections of various reusable interface graphics.

10. Photoshop CC

Wireframe tools Photoshop

Never thought of Photoshop as a wireframing tool? Think again!
  • Platform: Mac, Windows
  • Price: From $16.44/month as part of Adobe Creative Cloud

Photoshop doesn’t offer libraries of interface elements, but for straightforward, fast wireframing, it is a very easy choice for designers. If you're familiar with Adobe products, it's simple to sketch out quick ideas, group various elements and layers, and build an effective wireframe.

Next page: 10 more top wireframe tools to explore