Top 10 tools for creating a simple mobile app prototype

11 min read
How to create a simple mobile app prototype

Prototyping is the backbone of any project, including the mobile apps. Wireframing should not be the first step in creating a new product, before that you should invest some time in research to identify the underline user requirements. And only after that start wireframing. When we are talking about mobile app prototyping, it might be simple for a designers and app developers, but for a non-designers. Luckily, in the modern world you could create a mobile app without any designer or tech skills, but with the help of proper software.

CB Insight found out that over 70% of tech startups fail because they skip or underestimate the prototyping stage. You need to properly analyze and refine your product before going on the market to reduce the risk of failure.

The process of application prototyping could be easier if you follow the best toolsets linked to your skills. That’s why we have handpicked 10 best tools for simple mobile app prototyping that will come in handy for even non-designers.

Why rapid prototyping helps avoid product failure?

Creating new digital products is quite a challenging and risky task. According to Forrester Research, the IT industry spends $30 billion per year on products that don’t deliver value. 

For a large number of customers, this kind of disappointment isn’t an alternative. One of the best approaches to keep away from the risk is quick prototyping. Prototyping can not only save you from a huge failure but also save you a lot of time and money. Even if you are not a designer or developer, you can use cheap yet useful wireframing tools.

Benefits of prototyping an application
Prototyping can help you save money, specifically as it can turn your ideas into tangible prototypes. Here are some of the major benefits:

  • You build exactly what you want.
  • Reduced designer cost
  • Easy design concept sharing
  • Easy access to customer feedback

Making a prototype of your first app is simple even as a non-developer, and all the knowledge you need on how to prototype an app as a non-designer is here:

Justinmind

Pricing:
Professional – $19 per user/mo
Enterprise – $39 per user/mo

This is a free desktop app that helps you prototype an app for any platform you want. The output of your prototypes can be viewed on various platforms such as Android iOS and your web browser. With this platform, you can realize your ideas without the need for technical expertise and modify them to fit your needs.

Pros

  • Easy creation of low or high-resolution prototypes – simple drag and drop.
  • Monthly pricing so you can easily pay when you want to make use of the platform.
  • Easy to use templates that is making it easy to prototype any app of choice.

Cons

  • No yearly reduced pricing for users who constantly make use of the platform.
  • There are no learning videos in case of difficulties.
Mockplus

Pricing:
Individual – $199 /yr
Team – $1999 /yr
Enterprise – $9999 /yr

A simple and effective prototyping tool that helps you design your app of choice with many new features like scroll box, pop-up, and stack panel, amongst others.

Pros

  • Easy to use software for UI/UX designs
  • The free version gives basic functionality, allowing you to understand whether the app is for you or not.

Cons

  • Single project user functionality which means that multiple people cannot work on the same product at the same time.
  • You must pay if you want to know the full functionality.
Balsamiq

Pricing:
2 Projects – $9/month or $90/year
20 Projects – $49/month or $490/year
200 Projects – $199/month or $1,990/year

Balsamiq is a classic wire-framing tool which has its strengths in functionality and customer feedback. It makes use of the whiteboard sketching protocol using a computer.

Pros

  • Easy mockup interface
  • Easy to connect to other users simultaneously, which makes work easier.

Cons

  • Mockup management difficulty
  • Web browser synchronization issues occur sometimes

Pricing:
Freelancer $ 24 /mo
Startup $ 40 /mo
Agency $ 80 /mo

Proto.io is a simple platform with a lot of prototype and design templates to choose from. As a non-designer, you can easily work with proto.io as there is no coding or technicality attached to the use. You can import your UI components if you have any from photoshop or any other app of your choice.

Pros

  • Clean UI HTML exporting ease.
  • Big library of preset tools for your use.

Cons

  • No desktop platform available for now.
  • Expensive to use with a starting price of $24 per month.
  • Import functions still need to be worked on.
Moqups

Pricing:
Free 1 project
Pro – $20 per month
Individual $13 per month

This is a great and streamlined web app that helps you create as well as collaborate in real-time on all sorts of prototypes. It helps you test and validates your ideas with simple and effective mockups.

Pros

  • Great at creating wire-frames that you can forward to your designers.
  • Many features which make it beginner-friendly.

Cons

  • Poor customer service
  • Not very strategic with version upgrades.

Pricing:
1 active prototype for free
Starter $15/Mo. / 3 Prototypes
Professional $25/Mo / Unlimited Prototypes

InVision is a digital design-to-development platform used to build quality apps and great mobile prototypes. It is very versatile, which means that you can get a lot of work done within a short space of time.

Pros

  • An interactive interface which allows you to work with your colleagues whenever you want.
  • Many tools allow you to work easily without stress.

Cons

  • The importation of SVG’s is a big problem as sometimes it gives you a shrunk
  • version of your imports,
  • Some of the basic tools which are available with the competition seem to be lacking here.
  • Not cost-effective with a starting price of $15 t $99 per month depending on the number of users.
FluidUI

Pricing:
Solo $8.25/month $99/year
Pro $19.08/month $229/year

Fluid UI is a prototyping tool that allows you to design the prototype of your app and get feedback without the technicality of coding. What is great about Fluid UI is that it is easy to navigate. It is one of the tools found at tech stack under the Wire-framing category.

Pros

  • The app flow creation process is very fluid.
  • One of the best software under WireFraming.

Cons

  • Navigation sometimes moves things without you knowing when it happens.

Pricing:
for individuals $99 one-time payment
for teams $9 per contributor, monthly

This is a simple and lightweight UI/UX design tool for MacBook users. It is like Adobe Photoshop solely for prototyping.

Pros

  • Many effective plugins and integrations are useful for your prototyping ease.
  • Fast and effective graphic rendering platform.

Cons

  • Same version compliance when working with other members of your team.
  • Non-availability of the print-ready feature which is available to many users on other platforms.

Pricing:
Standard – $29/mo for an editor
Professional – $49/mo for an editor

This is one of the best collaborative prototyping tools that help members of a team understand their prototyping requirements with the wire-frame of the website, giving members to work together effectively in real-time.

Pros

  • The collaborative side of this platform is one of a kind.

Cons

  • Pricey with the standard plan starting from $29 per month going ass high as $59 for the business plan.
Wireframe

Pricing:
starts at $16.00 per month

Wire-frame .cc is one of the best static wire-frame design tools online. As a non-designer, and you want to get going, this tool is effective and straight to the point.

Pros

  • Easy to use for all users at all levels.

Cons

  • Work is not saved as you go, which means you have to save up work as you go; if not, you would lose progress.

Over to You

So, start wire-framing today! Just as we have provided information on some of the best platforms for prototyping apps, we can also help you through the steps of wire-framing. Even with the challenges of wire-framing such as feasibility, low task completion rate, and tester and developer, we have the right formula to help you through all the stages.

Ready to launch a new prototype? Let’s work together

Let's talk

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