Before starting the programming of a website, there are many steps to be taken, such as information architecture or interaction design.
Good wireframe software should make the development process and interaction with clients easier. I have been looking for a tool that not only satisfies all our demands, but is also available for a reasonable price. You know, something that allows us to afford a good glass of wine at the end of the day.
The must-have feature checklist:
- intuitive user interface
- possibility to create master pages and reusable snippets
- custom colours, fonts and styles
- image import
- complete GUI (graphical user interface) library, if possible extensible
- a clear file hierarchy
- for an easy collaboration with clients, the tool should work online or have good export functions
On this website we found a nice collection of links to wireframe software and I took a closer look at some of them.
Mockingbird is a free, completely web-based tool with an elegant interface: intuitive to use and an extensive GUI. While this is a great software for what I would consider to be scribbles, for more complex projects you´ll soon reach its limits: there is no file tree and there are no colours available.
I love the well-designed Interface of this German engineered, completely web-based software. You can get a free 30-day trial version and start working immediately with Pidoco. After the trial period, the license price varies between 10 EUR/month for a basic version to 90 EUR/month for expert-version. With the advanced version you can handle most of the things from our feature list, but the high price tag of minimum 40 EUR/month was the killer argument against this software.
You can download a 15-day trial and start working quickly. Wow, nice and clear interface, really easy to handle and most of our feature list is covered. At a $100 per license you get a great tool with a rich GUI library with fully functional widgets, custom colours and easy image import. The tool even offers two display modes: a sketch mode and a regular mode.
Presently however, it is rather complicated to export your work for online viewing. If you are looking for a wireframe software, Flairbuilder rates serious consideration.
This software claims to be “… the most advanced wireframe-software …”
Well, the look of the website and also the software itself could use some redesign and made me dubious, but I was able to easily start working with it. The software itself almost covers it all: real master pages and snippets, custom colours, automatic site map creation and notes for each single element. Oversite also automatically creates a list of all elements used in the project. The export of the project to html-files works flawlessly. Besides the look of the software only the small included GUI library are the real down-sides here.
At $65 US this is a real winner and definitely leaves you some money for that glass of wine.