I have used Axure,Blasamiq,Omingraffle..etc, but I think those are not the best wireframe tool for me. From my experience, I can use Axure smoothly because of it's interface, but the widget is not enough, same as Omingraffle. My ideal wireframe tool could have enough widget, and can set the interactive link, hotspot..etc to share to others who can check the overall UI flows.
I have tried their other product, Specking but I never heard they have wiframing tool before! I will try it, thanks!
Mostly for wireframing I use the old-cool pen and paper, but if you want apps for wireframing i recomend you sketch (and you can make custom templates with symbols for wireframing) and use Marvel for the animation.
PD: Coming in 2016 is Comet by adobe and looks so good.
Yeah, I also start from old-cool pen and paper. But after pen drawing, my requirement is the pages of wireframe can be linked, and can share to others. I have tried Sketch to draw a wireframe but maybe I am not skilled in it so I feel efficiency is not good enough. I also have used Marvel. Generally come to prototype phase, I would use Marvel.
For quicker wireframing in Sketch you could use a wireframing UI kit, like one of these: http://sketchrepo.com/?s=wireframe. I'm not sure if it can be faster or easier than tools that are actually designed for wireframing though.
For conceptual and not so detailed wireframes: Keynote. My main goal: Present concepts to the team and the client.
For more detailed wireframes (later on in the process): Sketch with the Fluid Plugin, so I can resize the height om sections easily.
I love sketching in the computer directly and have almost never used pen and paper. I do it so much faster directly in Keynote or Sketch, because I never get it right in the first place and I always had problems with changing pen and paper sketches.
Through the discussion, many people use Sketch for wireframeming!
Axure all the way for me. Yes it's a little bit clunky and has it nuances but way better than all these other tools that have minimal flexibility and are static. Who wants static wireframes? If you're looking to get an interactive web experience together that's not just hotspots and basic tapping/clicking and gets your client and stakeholders engaged quickly with user flow, with some interaction and can feel and use something then Axure is near the top of the list.
I would recommend Sketch. It's nice to evolve your wireframes into full design in the same environment.
What do you mean by "the widget"? I didn't quite understand that bit.
I personally use omnigraffle for wireframing and still think it kicks the ass of every other wireframing tool out there. I've used Axure, and have never liked it. As a wireframing tool it is substandard to me, it feels like MS visio from 10 years ago. As a prototyping tool it is ok, but I prefer to move to HTML for my prototyping.
Omnigraffle to me hits a nice point of complexity, illustrator and indesign are great but just offer too much control for wireframes. Whereas balsamiq offers too little. Omnigraffle has enough tools to be able to produce attractive looking documents, or simple quick sketches
With Omnigraffle's applescript support, linkback masters, linked image assets, and great stencils it is just a great tool.
Also the ability to make linked PDF files for simple click through prototypes which can be so easily shared with stakeholders is very useful. Or exporting the omnigraffle prototypes to html and then mixing and matching with more developed HTML components works great for demonstrating functionality.
Thanks for your comments.
The widget means the ready forms,stuffs,components. All I need to do is taking the widgets to layout the logical wireframe. No need to spend time to adjust how the search bar, the drop down menu...etc should look like. So the ready formed widget is important for me.
I have tried Ominigraffle, and download the ready formed stencils. But I just think it is like photoshop or illustrator, I still need to modified the components to my ideal form. But maybe that is just because I am not so familiar with it : ) I will try.
I don't get it either. Axure by default have only a basic set of widgets but there are plenty of websites where you can download additional (some free, some paid). And this is I like about Axure - the flexibility of the tool - I use it for wireframing websites, mobile apps or any other interface.
(Btw. All Axure pros have their own libraries created according their needs. It is super easy for you to create a new one. It helps you to be more productive).
No one tool is everything for everyone. Like Michal Acler says above once you pick your tool you will end up customising it and creating your own stencils and libraries.
As for your widget needs, well that is a tough one because finding a tool which exactly matches your needs can be difficult. I do know that both axure and omnigraffle have very easily modified stencil sets which you could use if you cannot find a baseline one which suits your needs.
If you did pick Omnigraffle to be your tool, then creating your own stencils is very easy, and you can use the components you modified as a basis. My own install is highly customised with my own set of stencils, applescripts, and templates which make my workflow much faster. But I have been using the tool for many years. I have seen some people do fantastic work with balsamic, axure or whatever tool. You just have to recognise what tool is best for what part of the design process for you. Either way, at least in my opinion as a designer one must always be trying new tools and processes, even as one practices at being an expert in our own process.
Have any used UXPin? What's your experience for it?
I would recommend Proto.io. It does all what you're asking of: Interativity, animations, an extensive library etc.
I am using Mockplus. It is quite simple yet powerful. I can not only build frames, but also create powerful interactions. I haven't used such a tool at such a reasonable cost before. You guys could also give it a try. It really deserves. http://www.mockplus.com/event/upgrade
I used pen and paper + sketch when turning them into wireframe.
Good thing about using sketch is that you can use the wireframe to easily add visual later :)
Not specifically for Web Design but I use an app on iPad called Prototyping on Paper to animate and interact with my usual hand-drawn wireframes. Its a really cool tool with a simple interface and shallow learning curve. Other than that I use photoshop and powerpoint when demonstrating designs to groups.
Fireworks or Photoshop
Depends. I am ux architect, I'm interested in user research and then working my way to high fidelity wires. Axure RP is the only tool that can handle most of the stuff I need to do. Yes it has got a longer lurning curve than other tools like invision, marvel etc. But it's super quick and reliable. Plus the community and support adds a huge benefit to it. If you need something just to scamp some ideas - pen & paper, then Sketch.
After getting stuck on a few duds, Axure has been my tool of choice. Like someone said earlier, if you're looking for point and click then Axure is just too much of a beast for you. If you're looking for detailed functionality that's not straight up HTML, then this is the best tool to use IMO.
I mostly use Justinmind. A large selection of widgets, interactions, conditional events, online sharing and reviews, teamwork features. Have a look: justinmind.com
I am using Sketch + Dropbox + Invision. Before I have used Axure.
I've just tried RealtimeBoard, and it's pretty cool.
It looks cool! Although I think it is not enough for wireframe, but I can use it for brainstorming!