Top Prototyping and App Creation Tools and Resources
When you're crafting websites, web apps, and mobile apps at a professional level, it makes sense to recruit the best tools on the market, those that are certain to help you achieve your purpose and do a great job, time and time again. Below is a list with some of the finest resources for passionate web developers and web designers, who make it their pleasure to prototype and create websites or apps on a regular basis.
The brainchild of IGenApps Inc. derives its identity from the concept of creative professionals not having to program while they devise fantastic apps. Hence, the name of Apper was chosen to reflect a do-it-yourself mobile app that enables web designers to make, share, and publish top quality apps, in a process that does not involve a single line of coding. Truth be told, Apper may well be the only solution in the industry to ‘codelessly' let users strike up mobile web apps that come across as identical to native apps.
Apper's singularity is most evident with its intelligent URL feature, which automatically adapts apps to have a distinct UI/UX, depending on various modern devices, such as iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon Fire, and Android. Besides, Apper does not force its users into an overpaid service, but lets them pay only for what they need. Other than that, Apper charges as little as $4.99/month to host the apps and maintain their compatibility with the above-mentioned devices.
Siberian CMS would be a worthy choice if you're after excellent app building software. It stands out from the other tools in more than one way. To begin with, this is an open-source app builder that falls along the same lines as WordPress, in the sense that it's incredibly easy to customize everything and organize your own modules. Needless to say, manual coding is not a tedious reality with this resource.
What is more, Siberian CMS is not actually an online app creation platform, which brings forward several benefits. You are free to install it on your own server, and you are also provided with all the source code, so you won't be subjected to additional subscription fees. And most importantly, Siberian CMS sports two commercial versions, which enable you to launch your own online app building platform in exchange for $250.
InVision is a magnificent prototyping app that takes great pride in its 400K-strong retinue of users. A huge number of web designers, UX researchers, and marketers are counting on this tool to help them prototype various products without sacrificing any aspect of their design quality. Some of the most prominent clients include renowned companies like Adobe, LinkedIn, and Evernote.
The first thing I need to mention is that InVision is a cost-free and code-free platform that unites prototyping and design-specific elements in an uncompromising manner. The extra emphasis on design translates to integration with Photoshop, Sketch, and other creative programs. Therefore, you will be able to build realistic prototypes that completely express your vision, share them with your teammates/clients, and easily test the soundness of their UX capabilities.
HotGloo truly deserves to be in our top five list offering the most advanced wireframe UX prototyping solution I have stumbled upon. HotGloo has a feature rich editor, is easy to use and getting started is really easy. A huge wireframe widget library is there to support you and you will get started in almost no time. Add your colleagues, so you can work together to build a responsive prototype, then save it in different versions and send a preview link to your client(s). Whether you are wireframing for desktop, tablet or mobile, this tool would be a great choice.
You might also like to consider using Proto.io the next time you're trying to perfect the prototype of a mobile app to be fully interactive. This resource lets you use exquisite animations, spares you from coding, and has an effective drag-and-drop user interface. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better way to share an interactive prototype that comes very close to the final form. The prototype can be viewed through a short URL,or over the player app of iOS and Android devices.
AppMachine is a reliable sidekick for building native or web apps. Building your app doesn't cost a thing; you only pay once you decide to publish the app to the stores. With over 35 pre-coded building blocks at your disposal from the very start, you can have an app ready in just a matter of hours. Apart from that, you can import your own data, connect to web services, and use CustomJS to code independently and add your own features.
If you're intent on delivering a winning presentation of your wireframe, go with PowerMockup. It's safe to state that it's quite affordable, seeing as a single-user license is only $59.95. PowerMockup is an amazing add-on for Microsoft PowerPoint, versions 2007, 2010, and 2013. Make a comprehensive slideshow for your customers by searching and taking hundreds of wireframe stencils and icons from an extra large library. On top of that, you may even come up with new stencils using ordinary PowerPoint shapes.
DRONA Mobile is the height of simplicity. It caters to non-technical users who want to set up mobile apps for their organizations. Indeed, literally anyone can take a few minutes and use it to achieve this purpose in just three easy steps. One need only choose a layout, then import relevant data, and finally publish the app and invite other users.
It wouldn't do to leave out Antetype from my list of favorite app creation and prototyping tools. I liked the fact that this solution allows you to create and re-use your own widgets, apart from giving you a sturdy library of more than 400 pre-designed widgets to choose from.
The Creator platform from GameSalad is an ideal solution when it comes to developing and designing addicting games that get along famously with all mobile and web platforms. It will help you devise, publish, and distribute complex games. Since 2009, GameSalad has facilitated the creation of no less than 180K awesome games.
Few people know that ProtoShare was the first ever cloud-based tool for wireframing and prototyping. It's particularly recommended for team efforts and currently sports an enticing 30-day trial that does not require any credit card information. You can use it to collaborate simply, and join forces to create mockups, prototypes, and website wireframes in real time.
I recommend Bizness Apps for easy projects with a fast turnaround. It's inexpensive, and it will help you save plenty of time when creating mobile websites or native apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad. Specifically, it gives you the opportunity to take your pick from myriad templates depending on your client's area of interest.
As the name aptly suggests, Gridset responds to the needs of web designers who are looking for a fine tool to help them build simple or sophisticated layout grids for the web. It only takes a few minutes to customize a unique grid, and you won't have any issues managing, saving and reusing the same grids again.
ShoutEm earned its place in my exclusive list of designer go-to resources and tools for prototyping and app creation. You will grow to appreciate the fact that you need only spend $19.90 per month for HTML5 apps (the Basic plan), $49-a-month for the additional iPhone and Android apps (Advanced plan), or $119.90 for the extended Unlimited plan.
Last but not least, I would like to introduce you to an accomplished prototyping solution named FlairBuilder. It's complete with many useful features, and won't require too much of your precious energy to learn how to make the best of it. Feel free to trust this platform to create interactive wireframes for mobile apps and websites.
I did what I could to compile an updated list of prototyping and app creation tools that you can use. Hopefully, here, you will have found some of the solutions that are most capable of complementing your requirements. If you have any thoughts related to either of the resources mentioned in this article, or would like to suggest some of your own favorite ones, then you are welcome to leave a comment.
About Kate Dagli
Kate enjoys writing roundups for web dev and technology websites. She is currently a staff member of the-webdesigner.co.