Design

December 6, 2013

Best Tools to Build Your App Prototype in a Day

I have been writing about why you should start in mobile business, how to craft a beautiful and usable mobile app and a top hit – an inspiring story of Matt Loszak of JamCam. There are numerous of problems to solve or apps to improve and opportunities are endless.

You might feel like getting into the mobile industry but you lack skills, knowledge and experience. To create a prototype is easier than you think. Many people keep asking me where to start designing mobile apps. I’d say start on paper, make it clear what are you creating and then jump onto one of the tools online to make an interactive prototype, then test it with potential users, see if it works, if not, iterate or kill it.

Creating a working prototype with the tools listed here will take you no more than 1 hour or 1 day depending on how much of details and graphics you want to include.

No designing or coding knowledge required to use these tools and finally put your idea into a tangible and testable product.

In this collection you will find 15 different tools and services that will let you quickly create working and testable prototypes for your mobile targeted products. Some of the tools are free, some of them cost quite a lot but all of them offer 15-30 days free trials. The thing with choosing the tool is not to choose the best or cheapest one but the one that you feel comfortable with and in the end gets the job done.

Flinto

Flinto

From $8/monthBeautifully designed and functional product which allows you to make quick and functional prototypes by linking to screens and setting transitions for that app-like feeling.

InVision

InVision

Free – $15/monthCreate interactive high fidelity walkthroughs of your app prototypes, gather feedback and collaborate with the team.

Proto.io

Proto.io

Free – $24/monthProto.io allows you to design interactive prototypes for any device. Create your mobile app including smart touch, taps, swipes and other app actions to get valuable feedback.

Marvel

Marvel

FreeMarvel links your prototype with Dropbox to create an interactive prototype on your mobile device or desktop. No need to code or save PSDs as images.

Codiqa

Codiqa

From $16/monthAmazing product with everything ready for mobile app development. Lightweight interface, rich assets library, team collaboration and exporting to compliant or even native code.

POP

POP

FreePOP is a super quick solution for making your first working prototype in minutes. Draw rough sketches on paper, take pictures, link up and test. It’s that easy.

UXPin

UXPin

$14.99/monthUXPin allows you to create interactive wireframes by linking to different screens, easy interface with super fast workflow.

FluidUI

FluidUI

From $12/monthFluidUI is a tool for creating working prototypes for mobile devices, easy drag and drop interface with rich assets library and HTML5 exporting.

Skala Preview

Skala Preview

FreeSkala Preview allows you to design and preview your designs on iOS or Android devices in real time. Prototype in Photoshop and preview files quickly.

MockingBot

MockingBot

From $7/monthMockingBot provides you with a quick prototyping tool for iOS apps. Simple drag and drop interface, collaboration and preview possibilities.

Concept.ly

Concept.ly

FreeTurn your images, sketches or wireframes into interactive prototype, collaborate and get feedback in real time.

Justinmind

Justinmind

From $19/monthDesign highly interactive and rich in effects and transitions prototypes with a feel and look of the actual app.

FieldTest

FieldTest

FreeTurn your images into interactive prototype preview. Build on desktop and preview on mobile devices.

Mockabilly

Mockability

FreeCreate quick mockups on your iPhone and test out your prototype. Unfortunately still not compatible with iOS 7.

Antetype

Antetype

$189Antetype is a software for Mac OSX which allows you to create beautiful and responsive user interfaces (UI) for any project you are working on, either a desktop software, website or mobile app.

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Author

Tomas Laurinavicius

Adventurous designer and entrepreneur. Editor-in-chief at Despreneur and Product Manager at Refe. Currently based in Podvis, Bulgaria. Connect with me on Twitter.

5 Comments

  1. I have used just about all of these apps to create prototypes. Invision is the most robust, full-featured app of the bunch.

    It allows for mobile, tablet and desktop prototypes. Review comments and feedback with ease. Version history is one of my favorite features. I never save every version of a design. Now I can go back and take note as to why certain design decisions were made. Viewing the activity on projects, storing assets and demoing on mobile devices are just a few of the reasons you should use Invision. Demoing a prototype on a mobile device always gets a “that is amazing” reaction from clients.

    Invision makes it all simple and easy. Build your app prototype in a day? I would use Invision.

  2. Hey Tomas,

    This is quite an exhaustive list of apps. But, I would strongly urge you to check out Demonstrate by NFN Labs. It was launched two weeks back.

  3. Tomas, that’s a great collection of Apps builder, thanks for the article.

    I have been looking for such tools recently as I am helping [best I can] on start up events and I see many participants lacking technological skills but with great ideas.

    This actually may be worthwhile making a small workshop for appli creation before our participants register to the Startup event. I will need to discuss this with the other team members and leaders.

    thanks again (Kudos also to Grade for the feedback)

  4. Awesome post, I shared. For all the Photoshop diehards, I’d also recommend Pixl Preview that allows you to see what the interface would look like on your Android screen. Unfortunatelly, it doesn’t offer interactivity.

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