An important aspect of planning a new web project is the initial rough draft, or, as the industry tends to call it, wire frame.

Wire frames allow the designer to effectively communicate how they plan to lay out a web project. This is a brilliant way to experiment, and quickly pick up any issues that may arise in the user interface.

Why use wire frames? Why not just design the site from the beginning?

When used with appropriate software, wire frames are super quick to work with, keeping the cost of the project to a minimum. Major changes can be processed with minimal effort and time, and provide instant feedback on the user interface.

What wire framing / UI prototyping software is available on Ubuntu?

ubuntu-wireframe-ui-sketching-exampleAs a keen Ubuntu user in the web development industry, it can sometimes be tricky finding appropriate software for designing and prototyping.

With the power of HTML5 now dominating the internet, you have no limits to what apps you can run in the browser.

We’ve trialled three different browser based wire framing web apps, all of which have been fantastic.

  • Moqups 8/10 – Free trial, $9 per month
  • Balsamiq 7/10 – Free trial, $79 lifetime
  • Mockflow 9/10 – Free, $19 per month

Going native

Browser based apps aren’t always suitable, especially for older computers. Thankfully, there are a few native desktop options on Ubuntu for wire frame sketching.

In house, we use WireframeSketcher, at a cost of $99 per license. It’s fast, robust and very flexible.