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Ask DN: What do you use to wireframe?

over 4 years ago from , Designer @ MojoTech

Recently I've been on the hunt for a better solution to wireframes for the agency I work at. Previously, we've used Balsamiq, which seems to be the go-to for many people but I've always found it a bit, clunky? This led me to switch to the old fashioned pencil & paper route, which works fine for me, but not as good for other team members. I'm fine with switching to another software alternative, in order to accommodate team members that prefer that route.

Some people are using Sketch, others like myself are going the analog route and some hold outs are using Balsamiq. So, in your opinion, is there a perfect wire framing software that can unite my team?

15 comments

  • Richard Earney, over 4 years ago

    I don't waste time producing electronic wireframes. I prefer to work them out on a whiteboard, get the basic elements, flow and pain points worked out, then go to Sketch.

    5 points
    • Jesse Hoyos, over 4 years ago

      This was really my mindset when I personally switched to hand sketches for wireframes. Its quick and without a software interface theres really only a need to get ideas on paper.

      One question, do you ever have wireframes as a deliverable to clients? how does that workout with a white board if thats the case?

      1 point
      • Ryan MackRyan Mack, over 4 years ago

        We've sent photos of our whiteboards in the past—usually received very well and appreciated by clients.

        1 point
  • Ryan MackRyan Mack, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    I prefer Moqups, but like others said as well, whichever works best for your need.

    1 point
  • Brittany HunterBrittany Hunter, over 4 years ago

    My process starts with lots of hand sketches to go wide and get the ideas out. From there, we typically evaluate as a team and choose a concept or a few concepts to take to higher fidelity. I do these in either sketch or a quick and dirty HTML/Bootstrap type prototype (Depending on what I'm trying to prove out). If they're done in sketch, they typically become the basis for a high-fidelity mockup (less rework in the wireframe>hifi transition.)

    1 point
    • Jesse HoyosJesse Hoyos, over 4 years ago

      Thanks for the perspective!

      I'm starting to think that it more of a matter of process than program…

      0 points
  • John Peele, over 4 years ago

    I believe quick, frequent collaboration is key for successful wireframing. Wireframes are destined for the trashcan eventually, so we should be wise with how much time we invest in them before moving to higher fidelity artifacts. My team strives to stay in each level of fidelity as little as possible - paper, Balsamiq, Sketch, and then HTML - with a functioning prototype being the goal.

    That said, we are currently beta testing Figma which, so far, has combined everything we love about Sketch with some great collaboration features. Figma is about as close as one could get to having Sketch in the browser. We are very excited about Figma's potential to allow us to use Sketch/Figma as our digital wireframing and design toolset, once we have moved on from low fidelity paper sketches.

    1 point
  • David Holman, over 4 years ago

    Balsamiq is a miserable mess, IMHO.

    Axure is a UX nightmare too, but more capable overall. On the presentation side, it's easy to make some really ugly wires, so I'd spend time setting up a decent UI kit first — you'll be much happier.

    These days, I find myself spending less and less time in a proper UXer's wireframing tool and more time in Sketch. It's just such a pleasure to use. And with so many free UI kits, you can throw a view together pretty quickly. Drop the images into whatever prototyping tool you prefer (InVision, Principle, Pixate, even Axure) and you can have some fun.

    1 point
  • Dan BurzoDan Burzo, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Hi everyone, Dan from Moqups here. I missed this conversation two weeks ago, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the app :-)

    0 points
  • Yuri Frolov, over 4 years ago

    Yes, typicaly 960gs, but sometimes photoshop built in tool.

    0 points
  • Scott ThomasScott Thomas, over 4 years ago

    I been using UXPin for 3 years. I can knock out an interactive prototype fairly quickly. Its like sketch and invision. You are able to share a link and comment off of it. They also allow breakpoints. However, they are about to revamp their platform very soon its $20/month per user.

    I found sketch to only be good only if you have existing library of elements. Otherwise I find it to distracting for myself. I find myself worrying about design elements way to soon in the process. I just want to drag and drop and test.

    0 points
  • Jernej Horvat, over 4 years ago

    I use Photoshop or Illustrator. It's fast and you don't complicate your life with too many different tools during the whole process. I also prefer using Adobe tools because of the wide variety of mobile apps such as Comp that allows you to pit together a wireframe directly on your smartphone.

    0 points
  • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 4 years ago

    We use Axure at work, and I find it pretty fast. I like that it does visual wire framing, but can easily be made interactive. The problem with Axure is it's expensive, so unless you're a big team or someone else is paying for it, I can't really recommend it.

    0 points
  • Akshar Patel, over 4 years ago

    No tool can make the process "better" for the Team. What I believe is you can use any Software which everyone is comfortable with. Moqups is one which we use at our Agency, but there's no right or wrong tools. If Pencil and Paper is good enough to be explained, it may serve the purpose. But, seriously go with something which is agreed and accepted by each team member.

    0 points
    • Jesse HoyosJesse Hoyos, over 4 years ago

      What I meant by better is just that, something everyone doesn't mind using ha.

      I guess I was looking for a software panacea that could cure every individuals woes, but that doesn't seem to exist, yet.

      0 points