Chris Castiglione Teacher at One Month. Faculty at Columbia University where I teach Digital Literacy. I write about coding, the internet, and social impact.

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

1 min read

Omnigraffle vs. Balsamiq

OmniGraffle and Balsamiq do about the same thing. They are desktop apps for quickly making wireframes, mockups, page layouts, etc. Here are some of the differences:

1. Omnigraffle

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

  • Desktop app: $149.99-$249.99
  • Web app: n/a
  • High fidelity: high level of detail, therefore take longer to create but look more like the actual page
  • Slightly higher learning curve than Balsamiq (in my opinion). But I prefer Omnigraffle overall for my style of developing wireframes.

OmniGraffle Examples:

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

 

2. Balsamiq

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

  • Balsamiq pricing starts at $9/month
  • Low fidelity: meaning the wireframes have less detail. Often times Balsamiq wireframes will resemble a rough sketch.
  • Pro: Because they are low-fidelity, you can often draw up Balsamiq wireframes very quickly
  • Cons: Sometimes they don’t look as professional as using OmniGraffle

Should you choose Balsamiq of OmniGraffle?

Balsamiq is better for sketching, OmniGraffle is best when you have to show clients something more sophisticated. Both Balsamiq and Omnigraffle have free trials. So why not give them a try and see what you think.

Balsamiq examples:

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

 

Here are a few of my favorite alternatives to Balsqmiq and OmniGraffle.

3. Keynote

keynote wireframes
keynote for wireframes

Honestly, Keynote is probably the best wireframing tool out there. It’s easy to learn. It’s cheap. Everyone with a Mac has Keynote so it’s compatible and others can easily open it up on their laptop. Plus the final result looks pretty dang good!

  • Pro: Free with an Apple MacBook, easy to use.
  • Con: Not as full-featured as the other options on this list
  • Pro tip: Look into Keynotopia for the template to use with Keynote

4. Wireframe.cc

  • Pro: An easy way to just… start. Great for something quick, and low fidelity
  • Con: You can “save” to a URL, but can’t export to a file

The following are the questions my students asked me after UX class and my honest opinions:

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019

5. What are some other popular wireframing tools? 

Here’s a list of three more wireframing tools that are very popular:

Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019
Fluid UI
Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019
Axure
Top 5 Best Wire-framing Tools in 2019
Sketch

FAQ:

a. Can you use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for wireframes? 

You can. But they aren’t as optimized for wireframes. I find that it takes me more time using those programs.

b. Can you use Adobe InDesign for wireframes? 

I’ve never tried it personally. But here’s a tutorial with some thoughts on InDesign and wireframes.

Chris Castiglione Teacher at One Month. Faculty at Columbia University where I teach Digital Literacy. I write about coding, the internet, and social impact.

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