What is Wireframing?
Wireframing is an illustration of the overall look and function of a website’s page design. Wireframes allows designers to check for spacing, where the human eye naturally goes on the overall page layout and the functionality of the design.
Wireframe tools allow you to create a website or an app and really zero in on the overall user experience (UX) of the design. You can also utilize wireframing tools to show a client how the design will look and work during the planning process. This can help save time with the back-and-forth on design elements and functionality of your site, and allows different people to make changes until the project is perfect.
However, you may also be on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are some excellent wireframe tools that are 100% free.
This wireframing tool is web-based, meaning you don’t have to download any files to start using it. You can create mockups that are clickable. This helps you check navigation and other functions easily. You can also view mockups on mobile devices.
iPlotz has a number of options if your business grows and you want to upgrade to a paid package at a later date. The free package allows you to work on one project with up to five wireframe pages. You can add as many team members as you want, but you will be the only manager of the mockups. You’ll also get up to 500 MB of free storage for media files.
Pencil Project works with both Windows and Mac computers, and is an open-source software solution for wireframing. You can create multi-page documents, export objects, and scale and rotate within the platform. Features include built-in shapes, the ability to export as PDF, single webpage, PNG, Multi-Page SVG or OpenOffice. The software comes with stencils for Android, iOS, and UI prototyping. Pencil Project is completely free, but you will need to download and install the software on your computer.
Gliffy offers drag-and-drop functionality and the ability to collaborate easily with others users, such as a client, or graphic designers who are working on various components of the website. The software works with both Windows and Mac platforms, and will integrate with JIRA, Google Drive and Confluence for team work. You don’t have to download any software, because you use the software directly from the website. It works with a number of different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. This means you can easily make adjustments on-the-fly.
The tool is also adaptive. In addition to wireframing, you can create flow charts, Venn diagrams, site maps, technical drawings and floor plans. The free account will only allow you to make up to 5 public diagrams (you won’t be able to keep them private), but it’s a great tool when you’re just getting started trying out wireframing for free. You can upgrade later if your business grows, or switch to a different system or a new account.
JustInMind is a free wireframing tool. They offer a 30-day Pro trial, but will automatically switch you over to their free software after that. While you will lose some functionality, the software is still very useful. And, if you ever want to upgrade, you’ll already have used the Pro edition, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your upgrade money.
The software comes with interactive UI kits for iPhone and Android. The software is simple to use with drag-and-drop features. Images in your mockups are clickable on both web and mobile.
Unlike a lot of other free software wireframing platforms, JustInMind allows you to create an unlimited number of wireframe pages with the free plan.
Moqups is another free wireframing tool. With this one, you won’t have to download any plugins or software. It works via your web browser, so you can take designs with you wherever you go and work from them in any browser window.
Some of the features include page zoom, image cropping, reusable templates, object editing and a library of fonts and images. The simple drag-and-drop interface is very easy to use and intuitive.
Lumzy lets you use the software without downloading anything or signing up. It’s also free, but they do ask for a small donation if you like the tool and can afford it. You can easily send prototype files to clients. Create popups on the page, use a template to create a quick mockup or pull from the component library. You can also share the project with others simply by sharing a URL.
Wireframing is essentially creating a blueprint of your website. Designers who like to save time and perfect their ideas before moving forward will find these applications extremely beneficial.