6

I would like software to help me design websites. I can code, but do anything visual on paper and in the browser. I know there may not be something I'm looking for as there are people still using Fireworks, but I would like something still supported.

Required

  • Windows or Linux
  • Desktop Application/Browser Based
  • Full-color mockups as opposed to wireframes
  • Price not an issue if it does the job
  • Still supported
  • Something a step up from Inkscape

Other

  • Interactivity/linked pages support would be nice
  • I don't need any kind of code generation whatsoever
  • Any other kind of mockup generation like general UI interfaces or documents.
  • Can you give an example of a full-color mockup? – Franck Dernoncourt Oct 8 '14 at 21:29
  • An image? When I mean full color, I mean in comparison to wireframing tools which are often in greyscale. Often designers make designs in an image format as a specification. That is what I would like to do. – nobrandheroes Oct 8 '14 at 22:18
  • @nobrandheroes The designers I know use Photoshop for that task if colors are important. – Angelo Fuchs Oct 9 '14 at 21:49
  • I lack the time to detail my experiences here. Balsamic has already been spoken of. Mocking Bird is similar. StackOverflow used Invision when designing the new navigation, which has some interactivity elements. – Chop Sep 1 '15 at 16:49
  • @Chop Thanks, I'll check those out. – nobrandheroes Sep 2 '15 at 5:51
6

My recommendation won't fit all your must-have requirements, but as far as I know its the best thats out there that comes close so I want to show it anyway.

I've used Balsamic Mockups in the past to mock up web applications, so I think it will be good to mock up websites as well. But keep that in mind, I'm not a web designer but a web app developer.

Unfortunately it is not a full-color-mockup tool but a wireframe thing so it won't do if you really need this.

You can try the webapp in action on User Experience Stack Exchange: in a question or answer edit box, use the “UI wireframe” tool (Ctrl+M).

Your bullets:

Required

  • Windows or Linux YES, both.
  • Desktop Application/Browser Based YES, both depending on your requirements.
  • Full-color mockups as opposed to wireframes NO, This is a wireframe tool.
  • Price not an issue if it does the job ... This is a commercial tool with various pricing depending on the use-case. Not expensive from my point of view.
  • Still supported YES. Latest version is from March 2014, the company is up and alive with good prospects to be around for a while.
  • Something a step up from Inkscape YES. At least from my point of view.

Other

  • Interactivity/linked pages support would be nice YES You can link mockups.
  • Any other kind of mockup generation like general UI interfaces or documents. YES This is the reason I post this recommendation even though it doesn't match all your required entries.

Balsamic Screenshot

I took that image from their homepage as I don't have an installation myself anymore

When I was developing web applications a few years back (~2012/2011 or so) I used Balsamic intensively in the pre-code phase to get the users and developers on the same page. It worked great in producing a common idea of what was needed and how it would look later on. We didn't continue using the mockups once the tool was in its early betas but we had the UI ready (directly coded from the Basamic by a human into Flex) before the program so the devs "just" needed to add the flesh part by part.

That had the upshot of users that felt that everything was on the way to how they wanted it the whole beta phase and the improvement iterations were quite short so everything felt moving all the time.

It had the downside that the users always thought the program would be ready next week because the "hard part" (defining how it should look like) was already done. It took some time to explain to them why "just adding that button" took three weeks.

  • 1
    Balsamiq is a very good answer, especially as I think there just isn't the market for this kind of thing. – nobrandheroes Oct 9 '14 at 23:17
2

Maybe you could have a try of the Mockplus. Actually, it may not meet all you requirements, while, I still suggest to try it out.

Here is its characteristics to your requirements:

  • Windows or Linux YES, but just for Windows & Mac.
  • Desktop Application/Browser Based YES, it has desktop version.
  • Full-color mockups as opposed to wireframes NO, it helps you produce wireframes.
  • Price not an issue if it does the job YES, price is its competitivity and you will find it quite beneficial.
  • Still supported YES, still supported right now.
  • Something a step up from Inkscape YES.

It support links between pages well to create good user experience. enter image description here From my experience, it really helps me a lot during my work as a UI product manager. Fast and easy to express my ideas and designs. That's why I strongly recommend this design tool to you.^^

1

I would highly recommend using RealDraw Pro (free, fully-functioning trial version).

  • It's extremely simple to use
  • Supports Layers
  • Exports to many different formats (including PSD)
  • Can create HTML slices (but who uses those now anyway)
  • Better than Inkscape
  • Runs on Windows
  • Runs on Linux (with Wine) / I've used it on Ubuntu
  • Bundled with thousands of existing effects, shadows, etc and you can create your own effects/shadows.

Think of it has kind of like Photoshop, but easier. Much easier. I use RealDraw for my Mockups every day, and I can tell you that is literally beats the hell out of any Wireframe/Mockup app I've ever used, and it sure does save you a lot more time compared to doing the same work in Photoshop, Inkscape, Gimp, Paint, Paint.NET, etc (although Paint.NET is pretty awesome).

RealDraw Pro 5.2.4 by MediaChance

1

There is a Wireframe.cc which will work on all operating system, since it's a web services. Going to that site starts wire-framing experience in a second. It has tree templates: a browser window, a table and a mobile phones.

Public single-page wireframes are free, for more advanced options, there is some premium pricing.


InVision App which has cross platform support for all major mobile, desktop and wearable screen sizes. It also support advanced animations and transitions. One active prototype is free of charge.

  • Could you include the dots of the OP and state if your suggested solutions support those? That way the answers get easier to compare to each other and a reader can find the right solution without having to check out every possibility. – Angelo Fuchs Apr 15 '16 at 7:19

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