5 Cloud based design and prototype tools
Before choosing the cloud based design and prototype tool you want to use for your next design or development project, review some of the very best design and prototype tools available today to help make your decision.
1. Adobe XD
Adobe XD, is a vector-based website prototype tool that is optimal for vector-based projects as well as collaborative design with other professionals. Adobe XD was developed by Adobe, creators of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and so many more pieces of legendary software throughout the years.
Adobe XD is optimal for UX designers who are interested in creating designs that are static with the potential of turning them into interactive objects or designs. Adobe XD is suitable for static designs, artboards, and even interactive prototypes when working in Adobe XD's own "Prototype Mode", built-in for all users.
- Cost: $9.99 per month or $52.99 annually with an Adobe Creative Cloud suite membership.
- Compatibility: Windows 10, MacOS (10.15 or later), and most web browsers
Figmas is a leading popular UI/UX prototyping tool that includes all-in-one solutions for managing UI/UX design in one central location. Figma is ideal for UI/UX design, wireframing, prototyping, and collaboration efforts with team members.
Using Figma is ideal for anyone, including those who have little to no coding experience themselves. Using an intuitive builder, easily select and implement coding and design elements for any project, regardless of size. It is also possible to use Figma using a mobile smartphone with the Figma app, available for both Android and iOS smartphones.
- Cost: Figma is free with its Starter plan. However, premium plans begin at $12 per month and go upwards of $45 per month, depending on your needs.
- Compatibility: Works in-browser, with a downloadable app (Android/iOS), or with Windows and MacOS operating systems.
If you are seeking free website prototype tools that are available apps, consider working with Framer. Framer is suitable for making modern animations and realistic modern designs that can be crafted by beginners and advanced developers alike.
Framer's drag-and-drop prototype system provides the perfect opportunity to build creative prototypes that include modern transitions and advanced animations without any programming experience required. Using code-based prototypes, you can easily preview a prototype website or application in real-time with Framer and its hundreds of additional tools are also included for all UI/UX designers.
- Cost: Framer is currently free of cost for up to 3 projects and 2 employees/editors. There is an additional premium plan from Framer for around $19 per month for unlimited projects.
- Compatibility: Currently, Framer is compatible with iOS, Android, MacOS, and in-browser solutions.
If you prefer your prototype tool to be browser-based and packed with hundreds of templates and/or built-in resources, Proto.io may be the best choice for you. Proto.io helps streamline the process of developing low-fi wireframes that are quick, simple, and straight to the point. With Proto.io, you can then take your lower-quality wireframes to develop them into high-fi prototypes before launching them to the public.
Using Proto.io also makes it extremely easy to import any existing wireframe you may be using or that you have created with the use of Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, and more. One of the most appealing aspects of using Proto.io is the ability to choose from more than 6,000 ready-made animations and library assets that come included for all designers who choose to use Proto.io for their own prototyping projects.
- Cost: Proto.io currently offers a 15-day free trial for all users, followed by a $24/month plan for Freelancers as well as a $40 a month plan for Startup companies
- Compatibility: Currently, Proto.io is entirely web-based!
Sketch is a great prototyping solution for those who are looking for web-based resources that are ideal for MacOS users. With Sketch, create static designs using vector-based tools and integrate your design with interactive screens and built-in artboards as you progress.
Sketch makes it easier than ever to work with new elements in a project or to add links between artboards you have created. Using Sketch, you can view your prototypes in the built-in Sketch site on the web, in the Sketch app for Mac devices, or using the Sketch Mirror iOS application on any compatible device.
- Price: $9 per editor per month for individuals and teams alike (Standard Plan)
- Compatibility: Unfortunately, Sketch is only available for MacOS users at this time.