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I'm looking for a method/tool/software to easily create a GUI. The GUI should look good, but nothing very fancy. It should have checkboxes, lists, radio buttons etc.

The important thing is that since this is just a mock, it should be quick to prepare. While I am a programmer and know C/Python, I would prefer something where I can just drag and drop elements and make a GUI rather than code.

The tool must be free or very cheap. I thought of Dreamweaver, but it's expensive and I guess I'd need a small learning curve (CSS, HTML).

What should I choose?

  • If you have Microsoft Office already installed, then Access would be a good way to create a GUI layout using drag and drop (buttons, checkboxes, and lists). You don't have to worry about programming a database since it's just a mock. I'm not sure LibreOffice Base can do it, but it's the free equivalent. If you're okay with a little coding, then also check out QT Creator – Tymric Aug 7 '14 at 20:03
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    Balsamiq is 79 USD, not sure if cheap enough for you but it's a great tool. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 7 '14 at 20:20
  • For which operating system(s)? Microsoft Windows? What about web applications (hosted, self-hosted)? – unor Aug 7 '14 at 20:34
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    Windows 7, or any Linux works for me. Web applications are fine too. – sbhatla Aug 8 '14 at 20:51
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You can use Pencil:

  • free (+ open-source)
  • Windows/Linux/Mac + can be used as a Firefox add-on too
  • Can be used to create a scratch for application or website:

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  • Okay, but have you used it? What are some unintuitive aspects of it? Drawbacks? – Parthian Shot May 21 '15 at 23:28
  • @ParthianShot I've briefly used it a while ago, I don't recall except than it did the job I was supposed to get done :/ – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 4 '15 at 1:49
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You can use moqups:

  • HTML 5 app
  • Vectorial
  • Unlimited team members for all the premium plans

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Answering my own question, the one I'm using is Axure. I was able to quickly start off with a mock application. It's free for a month, but it's expensive to buy after that.

This is a sample-

sample Axure project

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+1 on using Webflow. My workflow has gone

from: Photoshop > [unknown developer stuff] > client

to: Photoshop > lo-fi prototype (grayscale) > hi-fi prototype (theming) > client

I can now publish full wireframes based on client specs before even starting the project sometimes. Pretty intense.

Full disclosure: some bias since I work for Webflow but before joining the team I used Webflow daily for client projects - transformed my workflow entirely.

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I'd recommend Webflow for advanced prototyping:

  • it has a free version (limited to two pages only)
  • coding is done in a visual manner which allows non-programmers to create fully functional web pages
  • it does require a learning curve and it is actually a highly modernized Dreamweaver, but let me assure you, the high-fidelity prototyping that you would achieve would pay off a number of times.
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I would recommend creating a Windows Forms application using the free Visual Studio Community Edition. You have access to a wide range of User Interface controls and you can even add some basic programming actions (button on click) to show how the program would work.

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