Web design is the initial stage of website development, and it’s often the most important. The goal is to create mockups that show clients you’re on the right track, so you can earn their trust and move on to the next phase.
But some things are easier said than done.
It’s often difficult to strike a balance between functionality and appealing design, especially with limited resources or subpar software. The best way to overcome pain points is to find a high-quality website mockup tool.
We can help you with that, so keep reading to see some of the finest UI mockup tools currently available. Let’s take a look!
Must-have features of a great mockup tool
Before we present to you our favorite mockup tools, it’s important to explain what makes a good platform. Here are the main features:
- User-friendly interface: The best platforms have a user-friendly interface. They allow users to quickly create designs without extensive technical knowledge. A simple user interface saves you a lot of time and effort.
- Wireframing and prototyping: The design process is much more than building mockups. You need an all-round platform that can also create wireframes and interactive prototypes.
- Customization options: A mockup tool should offer customization options, allowing you to choose colors, fonts, and images. In addition, a quality platform lets you import your own assets.
- Price: If you work on a shoestring budget, look for a free UI mockup tool with enough functionalities for your design projects.
- Collaboration features: Collaboration is essential in web design, so look for features that enable designers to work together through the entire design process.
- Third-party integrations: The software you choose should integrate with other design tools like Photoshop, Sketch, and Illustrator.
Wireframes vs. mockups vs. prototypes
Many design platforms can build static mockups, basic wireframes, and realistic prototypes. However, these are the three different concepts:
- A wireframe is a low-fidelity and basic outline of a website’s layout and functionality
- A mockup is a static yet high-fidelity visual representation of a website design that gives an impression of the final product
- A prototype is a functional and interactive model of a website design used to test and refine its functionality before the actual development
Improve your design process with these 7 UI mockup tools
There are countless platforms that can help you create mockups. We did some heavy lifting in order to find the most powerful page management tools. From free software to premium platforms, here are our favorite options.
Mockflow is a design tool for designers and developers who create website mockups, wireframes, and prototypes. It provides a user-friendly interface and a variety of pre-designed elements and templates. Mockflow offers excellent customization features, so you can tailor all elements—font styles, colors, and sizes.
Designers like this software because it simplifies collaboration. Multiple users can work together on the same project without losing focus. That way, it’s easy for teams to iterate on design concepts and get buy-in from stakeholders.
Mockflow pricing plans
- Basic: Free with limited features
- Wireframing: $14 per editor a month
- Product design: $19 per editor a month
- Enterprise: Starts at $160 monthly
Balsamiq is a wireframing tool that builds appealing mockups for all types of devices. The benefit of using Balsamiq is its simplicity—you feel like you’re drawing mockups on a piece of paper rather than digitally. That helps a lot if your main idea is to build an intuitive website structure.
Balsamiq also allows designers to customize and create their own UI elements. You can save and reuse them across multiple projects, speeding up the design process and ensuring consistency across designs.
Balsamiq pricing plans
- 2 projects: $9 a month
- 20 projects: $49 a month
- 200 projects: $199 a month
Marvel is an all-round design tool that enables users to quickly turn mockups into interactive prototypes for websites and mobile applications. You can add animations, transitions, and other interactive elements to create a realistic user experience. It’s a fairly simple two-step process:
- Create screens in Marvel or pull them in from Sketch
- Add interactions, hotspots, or layers
User testing is another detail you’ll love about Marvel. There are many ways to collect feedback about your website mockups. That includes screen recording, audio, video, and surveys.
Marvel pricing plans
- Free: Free with limited features
- Pro: $12 a month
- Team: $42 a month
- Enterprise: Price available upon request
4. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications, but it’s specifically designed for building digital experiences and user interface elements. With Adobe XD, you can create high-fidelity designs quickly.
The process starts by creating wireframes to establish the basic layout and structure of a web page. From there, you can add images, text, icons, and other elements to create a more detailed design. Adobe XD offers a range of useful features, such as content-aware layout, shareable libraries, repeat grid, and collaboration.
Adobe XD pricing plans
- Free: Free for one active project
- Individual: $9.99 per user a month
- Business (single app): $33.99 per license a month
If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly tool, we recommend Mockplus. The platform contains thousands of icons and hundreds of ready-made components, so you can quickly drag and drop your favorites on canvas.
Another advantage of Mockplus is that you can export specs directly from popular systems like Photoshop and Figma. But the real highlight of the tool is the QR code feature. Each project has a QR code, so your clients or team members can scan it to see the mockup on their smartphones.
Mockplus pricing plans
- Basic: Free for up to 10 users
- Pro: $4.95 a month for up to 3 users
- Enterprise: Price available upon request
Sketch is a go-to tool for designers who want to create high-fidelity designs and interactive prototypes. This software offers a customizable workspace, grid and layout tools, artboards for multiple designs, and a powerful vector editor.
Users like Sketch because it provides a variety of plugins and integrations, so they can streamline their design process. Sketch recently added a couple of useful features—annotations on the web app and improved overrides.
Sketch pricing plans
- Standard: $9 per editor a month
- Business: $20 per editor a month
Figma is a popular design collaboration system that helps both small and large teams work together on multiple projects. The best thing about Figma is that multiple designers can work on the same file simultaneously, with changes being automatically synced in real-time.
But it’s not just about collaboration. Figma also provides countless design tools for vector editing, prototyping, and animation.
There’s also a robust plugin system that helps users extend the functionality of the tool and integrate with other services. Other notable functions include advanced transitions, dynamic overlays, and animated GIFs.
Figma pricing plans
- Free: It’s free, but with very limited features
- Professional: $12 per editor a month
- Organization: $45 per editor a month
- Enterprise: $75 per editor a month
Augment your web design projects with Content Snare
Creating realistic mockups is important, but so is client communication. You probably work with many clients who don’t respond to your content requests and fail to send you critical information. So, what’s the solution?
It’s called Content Snare.
Our platform makes it easy to gather the information you need. With Content Snare, you can send content requests, approve or reject content without email, automate reminders, and streamline processes in many other ways. It’s a hassle-free way to augment and speed up your web design projects.