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
  • 3
    Balsamiq is 79 USD, not sure if cheap enough for you but it's a great tool. 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
  • 1
    Windows 7, or any Linux works for me. Web applications are fine too.
    – sbhatla
    Aug 8 '14 at 20:51

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? May 21 '15 at 23:28
  • 1
    @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 :/ Dec 4 '15 at 1:49

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


+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.


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.


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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