Top 5 Mobile UI Mock-Up Tools
By Neha Bharati, Community Contributor - September 14, 2022
Any application has a blueprint before its product launch. Websites start with a basic mockup of how it should look and how the UI should turn out. Similarly, mobile applications also begin with a similar blueprint where the basic idea is mapped into a minimal UI mockup that gives an idea about how the application should look. This has several advantages, and many tools are available to mock the UI for mobile applications and eventually conduct visual testing.
Let’s understand these mobile UI mockup tools and how they help in the mobile application development process.
What are UI Mockup tools?
Building neat mockups or wireframes for a mobile application process is a very tedious task unless you find the right tools. These mockup tools make it easy for designers to showcase their applications and give an idea of what they want to build.
Example of a Mobile UI mockup (Source)
Mockup tools are meant to help product designers develop a basic UI for the application that can help them explain the flow and functionality of the application. This is not an easy task to achieve conventionally. Mockup tools provide a range of built-in features, making it easy to build custom designs from scratch. There are other benefits of UI tools like
- Providing a roadmap for mobile application development projects
- Saving cost and effort to build a UI design from scratch
- Accelerates feedback cycle since these tools help deliver fast mockups and leave more room for tweaking the app as required
- With mockup tools, it is possible to make downloadable files that are compatible with any kind of device, either Android or iOS.
- Some mockup tools are even password-protected providing a secure platform for creating and testing app designs
Read More: UI Testing Checklist with Examples
Choosing a Good UI Mockup Tool
When it comes to investing in a UI mockup tool, consider these 5 key factors before committing to anything.
- Learning curve: Any tool can be widely used based on how easy it is to adopt it with its dynamic features.
- Collaboration: Design relies heavily on collaboration so the mockup tool must make it easy to collaborate across teams
- Usage: Another point to consider is how well it fits into your design process. For example, use sketch or Photoshop. The mockup tools should be able to import these files instead of separately exporting assets and then building everything from scratch
- Cost: It is important to choose a tool that fits our needs but also take care of whether the tool provides basic features for free. There can be some niche features that are paid but it is up to the designer to opt for it or not.
- Fidelity: depending on whether you need to mockup the application layout or some complex interactions, one can classify the project requirement as low, medium, or high fidelity. Low fidelity is when one wants just to test an idea. Medium fidelity is when the focus is on layout, information, and interaction design. High fidelity is when the focus is on visual design, animation, and micro-interactions.
Top 5 Mobile UI Mockup Tools
Sketch is one of the most popular mockup tools for iOS users. It is used for design, prototyping, collaboration, visual design, testing, and iterating the design.
- It comes well equipped with vector graphics, interactive prototypes, and pixel-perfect icons
- Provides reusable and responsive components
- Contains many plugins and animation interactions
- Shared cloud workspace for design access
- It has monthly and yearly paid access
- It is only for Mac and iPhone users
Follow-Up Read: How to Perform iOS UI Testing
2. Adobe XD
Adobe XD is the most popular and best mobile UI mockup tool in the market offering a plethora of features for both Android and iOS wireframing. It has wireframing layouts, unique UI elements, flowcharts, navigational structure, informational architecture, and many more.
- Allows users to work with Illustrator and Adobe effects
- Allows multiple accounts for multiple users
- Very easy to create functional prototypes with auto-animate feature
- It has a free trial period, after which a subscription is required
Balsamiq is a useful prototyping tool for beginners and is available for Android and iOS. It has various drag-and-drop elements Balsamiq wireframes are low fidelity.
- Flexible, convenient tool
- Encourages feedback on designs
- Provides many UI elements and icons
- Preferred for usability testing
- Version control is available
Figma is another well-known browser-based tool that lets designers make effective, functional mockups in just a few clicks. It also helps in collaboration, task automation, and cloud access.
- Clickable prototyping feature
- Enables built-in commenting
- Provides collaboration and version control
- It has a free starter version and paid versions for advanced features
Read More: Top Web Design Tools for Designers
Invision is another mobile app UI mockup tool for designers that helps create rich interactive mockups quickly. It helps make freehand wireframes, brainstorm design ideas on a digital whiteboard and collaborate with teams via text messages.
- Easy to upload and use images from Google Drive, Dropbox or the local system
- Seamless project management, reporting, and analysis
- Push and pull integrations with apps like Slack, Dropbox, Box, Trello, Jira, and more
There are so many mobile testing tools available in the market each with its features. Depending on the requirements of the design process, designers can choose the tool suitable for them.
Designing mockups is an inevitable part of any mobile appl, and mockup tools make it possible to move from paper for prototyping to making neat, functional complex designs. These mockups also can be used for beginners and experienced designers too. The future of visual comparison testing relies on enhancing these tools for effective UX and UI design.
- Once the mobile UI mockups are validated and the app is developed, you should test it to validate if its features and functionalities are working as expected.
- Conduct manual and automated testing using BrowserStack App Live and BrowserStack App Automate.
- No matter which Mobile UI mockup tool you end up using, use BrowserStack real device cloud for instant access to a wide range of real iOS and Android devices for more accurate App testing results.