10 Best Prototyping Tools for UX Designers in 2024

10 Best Prototyping Tools for UX Designers in 2024

by Mads Soegaard | | 22 min read
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Prototyping is the heart and soul of UX design. It's where ideas become hands-on experiences, helping designers share their vision and try out concepts before starting development.

As UX designers, you're always on the hunt for tools that can: 

  • Streamline your workflow.

  • Enhance your creativity.

  • Empower you to create engaging user experiences.

With the plethora of prototyping tools out there, it can feel overwhelming to make the right choice. That's why we've created our definitive guide to the 10 best prototyping tools for UX designers in 2024. 

We've done the heavy lifting for you, curating a list that caters to a wide range of job types, design preferences, and budgets. 

Overview of UI Prototyping Tools

For those who prefer a quick overview, we have also compiled a table to discuss user interface prototyping tools at a glance:

Name

Features

Best for

Pricing

Ease of use

Free/Paid

Figma

  • Cloud-based

  • Real-time collaboration

  • Vector editing

  • Team working on Web & mobile app design

  • Free plan

  • $12/editor/month (Professional)

  • $45/editor/month (Organization)

Easy to learn

Free and paid plans

InVision

  • Clickable prototypes 

  • Collaboration

  • Design handoff

  • Free plan

  • $7.95/user/month (pro)

  • Custom pricing for enterprises

Easy to learn

Free and paid plans

Adobe XD

  • Free plan

  • 5 pricing editions between $9.99/month and $79.99/month

Moderate learning curve

Free and paid plans

Sketch

  • Vector editing

  • Plugins

  • Symbols and styles

  • UI/UX design

  • Web & mobile app design

  • $9/user/month (standard)

  • $20/user/month (business)

Moderate learning curve

Paid only

Axure RP

  • Advanced interactions

  • Conditional logic

  • Adaptive views

  • Complex prototyping

  • Web app design

  • $25/user/month (Pro)

  • $42/user/month (Team)

Steeper learning curve

Paid only

Proto.io

  • Rapid prototyping

  • Mobile app design

  • $24/month (Solo)

  • $40/month (Startup)

  • $80/month (Agency)

  • $160/month (Corporate)

Easy to learn

Paid only

Balsamiq

  • Low-fidelity wireframes

  • Drag-and-drop interface

  • Early-stage concepts

  • Wireframing

  • $9/month (2 projects)

  • $49/month (20 projects)

  • $199/month (200 projects)

Easy to learn

Paid only

Webflow

  • Visual CSS editor

  • Responsive design

  • CMS integration

  • Free plan

  • $14/month (basic)

  • $23/month (CMS)

  • $39/month (business)

Moderate learning curve

Free and paid plans

Marvel

  • Rapid prototyping

  • User testing

  • Free plan

  • $10/month (1 user - unlimited projects)

  • $30/month (3 users - unlimited projects)

Easy to learn

Free and paid plans

Origami Studio

  • Layer-based design

  • Native components

  • Code export

  • Free

Steeper learning curve

Free


Now, looking at various factors, we'll compare 10 design prototyping tools to help you choose the right one for your needs. 

1. Figma

Figma Wiraframing

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Figma is a versatile, cloud-based prototyping tool that has gained immense popularity among UX designers. Its collaborative nature allows teams to work on projects simultaneously and in real time, which makes it an ideal choice for remote or distributed teams.

Figma's powerful vector editing and prototyping capabilities enable designers to create detailed wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes. It offers an extensive library of components, responsive layouts, and a robust plugin ecosystem that streamlines workflows and helps create good designs.

User ratings: 4.7/5 on G2 (Based on 823 reviews), 4.7/5 on Capterra (Based on 624 reviews)

Pricing: Free plan available, paid plans starting at $12/month per editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and browser-based

Ease of use: Beginner to intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, Figma offers a free plan with limited features.

Pros

  • Real-time collaboration

  • Extensive library and plugin ecosystem

  • Cross-platform compatibility

  • Regular updates and feature additions

Cons

  • Limited offline capabilities

  • Can be resource-intensive on low-end devices

2. InVision

InVision Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

InVision is another popular cloud-based prototyping tool that offers a wide range of features, from basic wireframing to high-fidelity interactive prototypes. Its seamless integration with design tools like Sketch and Photoshop makes it a go-to choice for many designers.

InVision's standout feature is its robust commenting system. This feature allows team members and stakeholders to leave feedback directly on designs to streamline the review process. It also provides excellent version control to ensure designers can easily track changes and revert if needed.

User ratings: 4.4/5 on G2 (Based on 671 reviews), 4.6/5 on Capterra (Based on 722 reviews)

Pricing: Free plan available, paid plans starting at $7.95/month per user

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, browser-based, and mobile apps

Ease of use: Beginner to intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, InVision offers a free plan with limited features.


Pros

  • Seamless integration with other design tools

  • Robust commenting system

  • Version control

  • Wide range of features

Cons

  • Limited design capabilities to create the final product within the tool

  • Can be slow with large files

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD Wireframes

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Adobe XD is a powerful, all-in-one prototyping and design tool part of Adobe's Creative Cloud suite. It's well-suited for designers familiar with other Adobe products, offering an intuitive interface and seamless integration with tools like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Adobe XD's features include advanced vector editing, responsive resizing, and the ability to create interactive prototypes with micro-interactions. It also offers a vast library of UI kits and plugins to help designers streamline their workflow.

User ratings: 4.2/5 on G2 (Based on 427 reviews), 4.5/5 on Capterra (Based on 1005 reviews)

Pricing: Free plan available; paid plans starting at $9.99/month per user

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS

Ease of use: Beginner to intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, Adobe XD offers a free plan with limited features.

Pros

  • Seamless integration with other Adobe products

  • Advanced design capabilities

  • Regular updates and feature additions

  • Extensive library of UI kits and plugins

Cons

  • Difficult to introduce into your design workflow

  • May require a more powerful computer for optimal performance

4. Sketch

Sketch Wireframes

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sketch is a popular, vector-based design tool primarily focused on UI/UX design. With its clean interface and extensive design features, Sketch is an excellent choice for creating detailed mockups, wireframes, and interactive prototypes.

Being a Mac-only application, Sketch excludes non-Mac users from the platform. To address this limitation, they could consider expanding to other operating systems and making it accessible to a broader audience.

However, for Mac users, it provides numerous plugins, integrations, and extensive symbol libraries as a powerful design platform. The Sketch Cloud feature allows easy collaboration and sharing with clients and team members.

User ratings: 4.5/5 on G2 (Based on 1123 reviews), 4.6/5 on Capterra (Based on 759 reviews)

Pricing: $99 per year per user

Compatibility: Mac OS only

Ease of use: Beginner to intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, Sketch offers a 30-day free trial

Pros

  • Clean and intuitive interface

  • Extensive design features

  • Strong plugin and integration ecosystem

  • Efficient collaboration with Sketch Cloud

Cons

  • Mac-only application

  • Limited real-time collaboration features

5. Axure RP

Axure Wirefame

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Axure RP is a robust prototyping tool that creates complex, interactive prototypes with advanced functionality. It's best suited for experienced designers and developers who require extensive control over their prototypes' logic, interactions, and dynamic content.

Axure RP offers features like conditional logic, dynamic content, and adaptive views for creating data-driven and responsive prototypes. Its comprehensive documentation capabilities make it excellent for large projects or enterprise applications.

User ratings: 4.2/5 on G2 (Based on 273 reviews), 4.4/5 on Capterra (Based on 107 reviews)

Pricing: Starting at $29/month per user

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS

Ease of use: Intermediate to advanced

Free version or trial: Yes, Axure RP offers a 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Advanced prototyping capabilities

  • Conditional logic and dynamic content

  • Comprehensive documentation features

  • Adaptive views for responsive design


Cons

  • Steeper learning curve

  • Limited collaboration features

6. Proto.io

Proto.io Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Proto.io is a feature-rich, web-based prototyping tool that allows designers to create high-fidelity, interactive prototypes without any coding. With its extensive library of UI components, animations, and transitions, this web-based tool is perfect for designers looking to create engaging user experiences quickly.

One standout feature is the ability to import design assets from tools like Sketch and Photoshop, which allows for seamless integration with existing workflows. Proto.io also supports user testing and collaboration to easily gather feedback and iterate on designs.

User ratings: 4.1/5 on G2 (Based on 61 reviews), 4.4/5 on Capterra (Based on 20 reviews)

Pricing: Starting at $24/month per user

Compatibility: Browser-based

Ease of use: Beginner to intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, Proto.io offers a 15-day free trial.

Pros

  • High-fidelity, interactive prototyping

  • Extensive library of UI components and animations

  • Seamless integration with Sketch and Photoshop

  • User testing and collaboration support


Cons

  • No native desktop app

  • Limited offline capabilities

7. Balsamiq

Balsamiq Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Balsamiq is a simple, easy-to-use wireframing tool that helps designers quickly create low-fidelity mockups for their projects. Its primary focus is speed and simplicity, which makes it an excellent choice for rapid prototyping and early-stage design exploration.

Balsamiq's sketch-like interface encourages a focus on content and functionality rather than aesthetics, which is ideal for quickly validating ideas and iterating on designs. It also features a large library of pre-built UI components which further speeds up the design process.

User ratings: 4.2/5 on G2 (Based on 493 reviews), 4.4/5 on Capterra (Based on 372 reviews)

Pricing: Starting at $9/month for a cloud plan

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, browser-based

Ease of use: Beginner

Free version or trial: Yes, Balsamiq offers a 30-day free trial.

Pros

  • Simple, intuitive interface

  • Rapid low-fidelity prototyping

  • Large library of pre-built UI components

  • Focus on content and functionality

Cons

  • Limited high-fidelity and interactive prototyping features

  • May not be suitable for advanced projects

8. UXPin

UXPin Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

UXPin is a standout tool in the prototyping software landscape. It offers a comprehensive platform that merges design, prototyping, and collaboration. The tool has the power to accelerate product creation with its integrative approach and a focus on simplicity. 

UXPin boasts of a streamlined interface and rapid prototyping, which provides an intuitive way of working without getting bogged down in unnecessary documentation. The tool eradicates the need for a clear transition from design to development. It helps designers, developers, and product managers to collaborate continuously. 

User ratings: 4.2/5 on G2 (Based on 118 reviews), 4.2/5 on Capterra (Based on 25 reviews)

Pricing: Free trail available, paid plans starting at $29/editor/month

Compatibility: Browser-based

Ease of use: Intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, UXPin offers a free plan with limited features.


Pros

  • Enhances design consistency through Design System Libraries and symbols

  • Offers creative freedom with both lo-fi and hi-fi prototyping capabilities

  • Streamlines teamwork with intuitive comment tracking, design approvals, and project tracking

  • Integrates with Sketch, Google Fonts, and Slack

  • Reduces need for documentation with Spec Mode

Cons

  • Slight learning curve for beginners

  • Lacks a birds-eye view of prototype screens

  • Does not integrate with Adobe Illustrator

9. Marvel

Marvel Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Marvel is a user-friendly, cloud-based prototyping tool that enables designers to create wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes quickly. Its focus on simplicity and collaboration makes it an excellent choice for small teams and individual designers who want a straightforward, efficient design process.

Marvel offers a smooth drag-and-drop interface to make it easy to create interactive prototypes from static designs. It also integrates with tools like Sketch and Photoshop for seamless asset import. Marvel's user testing and feedback capabilities help streamline the design iteration process and improve collaboration.

User ratings: 4.4/5 on G2 (Based on 224 reviews), 4.6/5 on Capterra (Based on 86 reviews)

Pricing: Free plan available, paid plans starting at $12/month per user

Compatibility: Browser-based, with mobile apps for iOS and Android

Ease of use: Beginner

Free version or trial: Yes, Marvel offers a free plan with limited features.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface

  • Smooth drag-and-drop prototyping

  • Integration with Sketch and Photoshop

  • User testing and feedback capabilities

Cons

  • Limited advanced design features

  • No native desktop application

10. Origami Studio

Origami Studion Wireframe

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Origami Studio is a free prototyping tool developed by Facebook, focused on creating interactive, high-fidelity prototypes for mobile applications. It's best suited for designers who want to create realistic, native-like experiences for iOS and Android apps.

Origami Studio offers a wide range of features that include multi-touch gestures, device-specific components, and real-time preview on mobile devices. It also supports importing designs from Sketch and exporting code snippets to help streamline the handoff to developers.

User ratings: 7.7/10 on TrustRadius (Based on 5 reviews)

Pricing: Free

Compatibility: Mac OS only

Ease of use: Intermediate

Free version or trial: Yes, Origami Studio is entirely free.

Pros

  • High-fidelity, interactive mobile app prototyping

  • Wide range of mobile-specific features

  • Real-time preview on mobile devices

  • Free to use

Cons

  • Mac-only application

  • Steeper learning curve compared to other tools

Which UX Prototyping Tool Is Best for You?

When it comes to beginner-friendly UX prototyping tools, ease of use, an intuitive interface, and accessible learning resources are crucial factors. After all, it's a UX designer’s job to weave visuals, navigational elements, and interactions together. These tools are imperative to give a solid representation of how a design will behave and feel.

Digital Design Tools Landscape

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Learn more about how visual design affects communication, the interface, interaction, and usability of a digital product in our post on What is Visual Design?

From our top 10 list, Balsamiq, Figma, and Marvel are the most suitable choices for you.

  • Balsamiq is an excellent choice for rapid, low-fidelity prototyping, offering a simple drag-and-drop interface and a focus on content and functionality. It's perfect for quickly validating ideas and iterating on designs. Balsamiq offers a 30-day free trial to allow you ample time to explore its features.

  • Figma provides a user-friendly, cloud-based environment that supports real-time collaboration, making it ideal for team projects. Its extensive library, plugin ecosystem, and responsive layouts help streamline the design process. Figma offers a free plan with limited features. So, you can start without financial commitment.

  • Marvel is another beginner-friendly option, with a straightforward interface to create prototypes, wireframes, and mockups. It integrates with Sketch and Photoshop and offers user testing and feedback capabilities. Marvel provides a free plan with limited features, which makes it accessible for those starting in UX design.

However, remember that your design approach and knowledge of design principles are more important than the specific tool you use. Tools change, but design principles remain constant. Adaptability to new tools is crucial, as different companies use different tools.

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UX experts and recruiters prioritize your design knowledge, problem-solving approach, and practical application over tool proficiency.

For more information on UX tools, including those tailored for beginners, check out this comprehensive post on UX tools to help you make an informed decision and start your UX design journey on the right foot.

Start learning UX today!

Unlock the full potential of the UI prototyping tools mentioned in this article by enrolling in Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF) courses. Our beginner UX courses focus on best practices and essential principles in UX design, providing you with the knowledge and skills to excel in this field.

From basic principles to hands-on practice, we tailor our courses to help you master the concepts and best practices so you can then apply them and these tools to create outstanding user experiences.

Don't wait any longer to kickstart your UX journey! Join our beginner UX courses today or enroll in one of our UX courses to enhance your design skills and advance your career.

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