• Rapid Prototyping Tools Revisited

    Earlier this year I wrote about the value of prototyping. Along with my thoughts on why and how to create effective design prototypes, I listed some rapid prototyping tools. My hope was to offer non-technical folks in the UX field the inspiration and the means to create something interactive instead of a standard wireframe and visual design comp.

    I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the original post. Sixty of you offered suggestions for additional tools and techniques. In the months following I’ve collected these, and found a few of my own. The list of rapid prototyping tools has been updated and can be found below. The list has grown to 42 items with 18 new or updated tools. Please comment with your own perspective on these tools and send me links for more! I’ll update the list (hopefully more frequently) with your suggestions.

    Tomorrow I’ll be leading a workshop at UX Week titled “Making Things”. Yep, you guessed it, we’ll be breaking out laptops and building prototypes! As of right now, there’s still four spots available, so either sign up for the workshop if you are already a UX Week attendee or register for the last two days of the conference (use the promo code blog for 10% off).

    Read this spreadsheet in a new, wider tab

    There are 23 thoughts on this idea

    1. Rob Edwards

      Great list – I’ve been an avid Balsamiq user for the past year but I’m going to have a look at some of these.

      Thanks for taking the time to do this.


    2. Peter Severin

      WireframeSketcher is a wireframing plugin for Eclipse. Also works with Aptana Studio, Flex Builder and other Eclipse-based tools. It’s available for $75. Open-source developers and other do-gooders can get a free license key.

    3. Stephen Wolff

      Just what i was looking for – although slight shame the embedded google doc iframe made your wonderful list hard to read!

    4. Peldi

      Hi there, there’s a little error on the Balsamiq Platform cell. Mockups’ correct platform are: “web, win, mac, linux, confluence, jira, xwiki, fogbugz”

    5. Dan Harrelson

      Stephan, thanks for the suggestion to make the list easier to read. I added a link to the full spreadsheet in the post body.

    6. Sean Panter

      I haven’t used anything quicker than Balsamiq, but am looking at SmartDraw as a mockup tool. It might be one to add to this list too.

    7. WD Becvar

      Would be great to see HotGloo listed. If you need any further informations just let me know.

      Thanks, WD

    8. Roland Smart


      Thanks for posting this!

      I’m actually wotking with another tool that’s worth considering for rapid prototyping of engaging online experiences. It’s called Sprout Builder.

      I’d love your feedback.



    9. Lichtbringer » iPhone Prototyping with Flex

      […] I continue with presenting the prototype, I just want to point you to Dan Harrelson’s post, who also lists Flex as means for prototyping, just in case that you think that Flex might be too […]

    10. Daniel Engelberg

      Great list! For prototyping with dynamic effects and animations, and without any coding, Expression Blend/Sketchflow and Fireworks are way ahead of the others. Maybe Adobe Catalyst will join them when it gets out of beta. Have I missed any serious contenders in this class?

      I tried Flex; without programming knowledge I found it impossible to use. Ditto for Dreamweaver.

      Powerpoint actually has some amazing transition and animation capabilities; it’s a good introduction to effects for beginners.

    11. The Business of Design » Blog Archive &raquo

      […] day. In the meanwhile Dan Harrelson at Adpative Path has a nice list of Prototyping Tools in his article. Many are mentioned in this post since they do double duty.  Here then are a few products and […]

    12. — Informal Learning Blog

      […] Rapid Prototyping Tools Revisited- Adaptive Path, September 16, 2009 […]

    13. Robin

      Balsamiq Mockups is for desktop too through Adobe Air. It’s great little app!

    14. Start with wireframes.

      […] Rapid Prototyping Tools Revisited (adaptivepath.com) […]

    15. Julien

      Here’s another tool for your list:

      Workflow for Visio

      It’s a plug-in for Microsoft Visio which can generate clickable prototypes AND makes wireframing way faster & more fun. Check it out and let me know what you think!


    16. Creación de wireframes | Viva el Pixel

      […] En resumen, actualmente existen múltiples herramientas para crear wireframes estáticos y prototipos clickables. Puedes encontrar una amplia tabla resumen en en este articulo de Dan Harrelson. […]

    17. mediacritical

      Axure RP Pro is now available on Mac.

    18. mediacritical

      Mockflow is a Flash-based Online-Tool for Mockups. There’s also an AIR-Application available, that can be synchronized with your online version.

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