Just recently I did a review of a number of prototyping & wire framing tools that would enable me to create many rough sketches during ideation phase together with Product Managers I work with and then move on and refine gathered ideas to a higher fidelity both visually and conceptually. Depending on the context, you should have a different tool or rather a pair of tools as they usually complement each other nicely.
This tool is at the same time powerful and simple to use. Within minutes you can transform your static assets into dynamic prototypes. It features not just hotspots but also hover states, which allow for even more realistic interactions. In the mean time, while you do all this stuff, you can get feedback from your colleagues, another team or clients seamlessly. And, we are just getting started. Invision has also great LiveShare feature, which enables you to present your latest developments with the entire team or collaboratively gather ideas with Whiteboard/Freehand mode. Inspect feature on the other hand lets your DEV team to get all the details, copy, assets and measurements without opening the designs ever again.
- Powerful & Easy
- Great plugins (CRAFT) for Sketch and Adobe Photoshop to remove tedious tasks from your work flow
- Versioning & Syncing
- Dedicated team adding new great features
- Might be a bit overwhelming to get your head around all those great features:)
Balsamiq is the very basic wire framing tool. It helps to focus on ideas and not the pixel perfection or color palettes. By default all wireframes created with it are grey. Of course you can add colors if you wish to. It has been made to quickly prepare a digital equivalent of paper sketches and prototypes with all the added benefits of being able to share it with your team and get feedback. For some it might be too simplistic. I myself have been using elements from the assets library in a somewhat creative way. All in all, the first tool that comes to my mind when I want to express quickly my ideas and share it during a brainstorming session.
- Great way to express first ideas in ideation phase
- Low number of assets related to mobile UI
- Very Easy
Axure RP 8
- Strong community of advanced users
- A huge number of asset libraries available for iOS, Android and Web.
- lo-fi to hi-fi as needed
- Weak collaboration options (checking in/checking out)
- A lot of time needed to get started and even more to get value out of more advanced features