Top 5 Prototyping Tools For Mobile Apps
Is prototyping turning into your Nemesis? Well, it shouldn’t because this world of ours is full of easy-to-use, super interactive, and mobile-friendly prototyping tools.
In my previous article, ‘What is Mobile App Prototyping’, we discussed the need and importance of prototyping, if you are not a believer I suggest you give it a read. This article is all about me guiding you to some of the best mobile app prototyping tools.
1: InVision App
InVision App is one of the oldest players in prototyping tools. As we say, the older the wiser. Same is the case with this one. It provides everything you could wish for in a prototyping tool.
You can spice up already made UI screens with InVision. Add interactivity by incorporating hyperlinks and then share them to get feedback. It is ideal to use this with other tools like Photoshop and Sketch. You can enhance your app’s UI considerably with InVision App.
It also provides other powerful tools like whiteboard collaboration, dynamic prototyping, user testing and much more.
Strengths in a nutshell:
- A mature platform.
- Complete integration with Sketch offers supreme control and great high fidelity prototypes.
- Even though mature, still constantly being updated with new features and functionalities.
- Although fully collaborative but not very powerful.
- A lot of features tend to overwhelm on first use.
- Sketch is not available on Windows, only on Mac.
2: Marvel App
- Integration with Sketch
- Web-based, so can be accessed from any device
- Simple click and drag mechanism to link designs
- Web-based only
- No offline designing
UXPin packs a full punch. It is a product of years of research and development and contains really cool and powerful features. The most obvious give away is the focus on UX. You can guarantee an amazing user experience by your prototypes. It gives a lot of control over the designing process by letting you create your own animations and custom elements and understanding how elements interact with each other and the user. To list all its amazing features would make this article unbearably long.
Some key strengths:
- Rapid Prototyping. Work with a huge range of UI elements. Either get them from the library or you can even add Photoshop or Sketch files to the prototyping process.
- Strong communication and collaboration. Add notes on the designs and elements to better communicate with the team. Every element is customizable, that means apart from notes, you can also add code snippets or description for the use cases.
- User testing. UXPin offers a great user testing process. You can test your prototype at any instant of the process and UXPin records every action taken by the user. Number of clicks, facial expressions, usage ease, audio – Everything!
- There is a slight learning curve. With all these features the software is a little complex to use in the beginning.
- No offline mode. You can only work with a good internet connection.
- Although UXPin supports Photoshop, but not having an illustrator integration is very much missed.
- Mobile gestures are very limited, which is kind of sad because gestures are all about interactive user experience.
4: Adobe XD
If you can create perfect prototypes but dread the aftermath of showing app flow and screen connections, then Adobe XD is the tool for you. You can achieve a very clear and understandable app flow just by connecting respective buttons. No fussy lines and messy artboards. Just drag and drop what you need to connect and voila!
A clean and easy understandable workflow, for you and your users.
App flow is not the only great feature of this prototyping tool
- Native functionality. No need to download plugins, or get extensions or use third-party From high fidelity prototypes to sharing, user flows and feedback Adobe XD offers everything natively.
- Real Feedback. Adobe XD also helps in taking real feedback from your users. You can create prototypes on actual devices and later on share them with the users to see how they interact with them. Getting real feedback at prototyping stage really helps smooth the development process later.
However, the software is in its beta version and we expect a lot of great added features soon, there are some weaknesses as well.
- No Modification for animation elements. You have to stick with the default animation elements. Considering Adobe, that is a very unexpected aspect to miss.
- CSS Export. No mechanism to extract CSS code from the design. That becomes quite a nuisance for the developers.
- Prototype live preview is only available on If you are a Windows user, you have to go through the trouble of using Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Webflow offers the most responsive prototypes. Website layouts can be optimized for all kinds of devices. Be it, desktop, mobile or tablet. The thought of designing animations that would work on all mobile devices and web browsers (updated to latest versions) is just exhilarating.
Webflow is not only extensible and easy to connect with over more than 400 services like Google Drive but prototypes can be designed with lightning speed and without any interruptions.
- CMS Feature. Create powerful, dynamic and fully visual websites without writing any code.
- Blog Feature. It allows you to create a blog using a blog page prototype as a concept.
- Deep Control. You can control and modify styles and animations to the most basic level.
- Complexity. A complex interface for a beginning user.
- Missing E-commerce features. There is no default capability for E-commerce websites. plugins and add-ons are comparatively complicated to use.
- Expensive. Webflow is expensive for basic website needs as compared to other tools in the same category.
- Fewer The number of templates provided is very limited
Using prototyping tools is important, but using the right tool is more essential. There are plenty of other prototyping tools that you could use to refine your user experience and app interface and functionality. Be sure to involve everyone, your designers, developers project manager and all before you decide which tool to use. If you want to look at more tools, Here is a link that makes the comparison easy.