These free wireframe software solutions can help you create basic design structures for websites and apps to be shared with stakeholders and clients.
From getting approval from stakeholders to onboarding clients and continually incorporating their feedback—building websites and mobile apps is a complex, ongoing process with a lot of moving parts. If the project doesn’t get off to a good start, you’ll spend a lot of time and resources on bug fixes and updates.
A wireframe tool can help save the effort and cost of redoing work. You can draw up a basic design wireframe, create prototypes, share them with stakeholders and clients, and gather feedback in one place.
What’s more: There are free wireframe tools available that offer competent features.
We’ve compiled a list of the three top-rated free and open-source wireframe software solutions from Capterra’s directory. Each of these has an above-average overall user rating (4 stars or higher), 10+ user reviews in the past one year, and offers three or more wireframe tool features (such as wireframe creation, drag-and-drop editor, and design templates).
Read more about our methodology here.
3 best free and open source wireframe software (presented alphabetically)
1. InVision App
InVision App is a digital product design and development platform that lets users build web and mobile prototypes. Its free prototyping tool allows converting static screens into interactive prototypes. Users get one prototype and they can collaborate on it using multiple screens for an unlimited period of time.
It is a cloud-based tool that also offers an app for Android devices. The support that customers get with the free version is limited and provided via community support.
|Capterra reviewers say the Craft plugin for Sketch and Photoshop and the flexibility to draw up quick ideas and take handwritten notes is useful for designers, and the ability to visualize dimensions, colors, fonts, and download icons/images is useful for developers.||Users would like the ability to add a clickable hover state in prototype models so that they are able to add dropdown menus.|
|Users like that InVision App lets them create interactive prototypes that they can share with clients and request feedback through comments.||Reviewers would like to see a currently unavailable option for adding a prototype to custom wireframes. They also want to be able to directly import files from Adobe Illustrator and Adobe XD.|
Cost to upgrade
|$15 per month for three prototypes.|
Highly rated by
|In 2018 and 2019, 72% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 12% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 15% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). The top industries were software, design, IT services, and marketing and advertising.|
Create screen designs with InVision App‘s vector-based drawing and flexible layers (Source)
Lucidchart is a diagramming tool that lets users draw flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, mind maps, etc. Users can brainstorm, manage projects, communicate, and collaborate using this tool.
The tool is cloud-based and offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.
|Capterra reviewers like Lucidchart’s flowcharts, wireframing, mind maps, etc. They like that they can export designs in different formats such as PDF, PNG, and JPG.||Users are unable to make a diagram shared by a customer visible to everyone on the team.|
|Users also like that they can collaborate on wireframes and prototypes with unlimited stakeholders.||Some reviewers mention that Lucidchart doesn’t offer much space to save documents unless they upgrade to a paid account.|
Cost to upgrade
|Team package priced at $20 per month, paid quarterly.|
Highly rated by
|In 2018 and 2019, 60% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 14% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 26% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). The top industries were computer software, IT services, and marketing and advertising.|
Create custom shapes with Lucidchart‘s shape manager (Source)
3. Pencil Project
Pencil Project by Evolus is an open source GUI prototyping tool that helps users create site wireframes and mockups. It has a built-in shapes collection that includes general purpose shapes, flowchart elements, desktop/web UI shapes, and Android and iOS GUI shapes for drawing different types of user interfaces. The software is available as a stand-alone application and as a Firefox extension.
Pencil Project is an on-premise tool with no mobile apps offered.
|Capterra reviewers like Pencil Project’s library of shapes and icons that help them quickly create wireframe models and interfaces.||Users feel that the software slows down when graphical elements are inserted into multiple sheets of a document.|
|Users feel the tool is easy to use. They also like its compatibility with different operating systems, such as Mac, Windows, and Linux.||Some reviewers feel that with Pencil Project it is difficult to control or specify canvas size to allow printing of specific areas of a design.|
Cost to upgrade
|Pencil Project is available free of cost.|
Highly rated by
|In 2018 and 2019, 67% of user reviews came from small businesses (fewer than 200 employees), 17% from midsize businesses (201 to 1,000 employees), and 17% from large businesses (more than 1,000 employees). The top industries were computer software and retail.|
Pencil Project‘s library of shapes and icons (Source)
How to pick the wireframe tool that’s best for you
After going through the list of products, your next step will be to decide which wireframe solution you should choose. Here are the steps you should take:
- Compare products’ free offerings on considerations such as features and number of users allowed.
- Understand the cost of upgrading the software. This knowledge is useful for when you decide to scale your business.
- Read reviews to understand the user sentiment regarding software functionality.
Here are some additional resources:
Products considered for this article must be free. We classified a product as free if:
- It offers a free, stand-alone version of the software.
- It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.
The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our wireframe software definition: Wireframe software aids users in laying out the bare bones of a design concept with the help of specific content, functions, and connections between static pages. Users can create wireframe designs with the help of a drag-and-drop editor, present it to colleagues and collaborate on wireframe designs.
This check verified the basic wireframe software capabilities and appropriateness for the category. A product was classified as wireframe software if it contained these core features—collaboration tools, drag-and-drop editor, design templates, presentation tools, prototype creation, wireframe creation, page linking, and dashboard.
Software that met this market definition also needed a minimum of 10 reviews published on the wireframe software category page between Sept. 3, 2018, and Sept. 3., 2019. During this period, the product’s rating also had to be higher than 4.0 out of 5.
Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Capterra or its affiliates. Reviews data was used to determine the target business size of the product
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