When it comes to wireframing tools, not all are equal. Some tools have the bare minimum of features, which if you’re paying to use the tool, can become frustrating when there are superior tools out there. We think wireframe tools should at least have these five tools to be considered a superior wireframing tool.
1. Cloud Sharing
Cloud storage has truly changed the way we share and save documents, photos, and every other item we save digitally. The need for bulky or even miniature hard drives or flash drives has all but been eliminated thanks to cloud storage.
Cloud storage is pretty simple really. A company will provide a website with a certain amount of storage that is hosted on their own servers, so all you have to do is upload documents, photos, or anything else you want to save via your account. You can then share with friends, family, and team members with the click of a button.
Wireframe tools often include cloud storage and sharing with their interfaces, making collaboration between team members easier than ever. You don’t have to download and save files, email or store them on portable drives, or worry about misplacing any files.
All of your work will be saved in the cloud, and when the next user accesses the files, your edits will be present. All you have to do is remember to hit the save button and ensure your team members have editing permissions.
Collaborating via the cloud saves time and money by eliminating the need for the older style of sharing via hard drives and emails. If your wireframing tool doesn’t have cloud sharing, it’s probably a good idea to find one that does.
2. Drag and Drop Interface
What’s easier to use than a drag and drop interface with all of your editing tools in one place? The best wireframe tools boast this amazing feature, allowing for timely edits and easy additions to your design.
Simplicity is key to streamlining the design process, and the drag and drop interface does just that: simplifies. This eliminates or reduces the need for coding, so you can design an entire site or app from scratch with little to no coding required.
A drag and drop interface will also allow you to explore different options without having to finalize the changes until they’re approved. You can keep the client, your team members, and managers informed with changes easily, and explore new options on-the-fly.
Drag and drop interfaces also make introducing newer designers to your design process all the more simple. Rather than explaining the process, you can simply drag and drop several designs and show the new team member what you’re looking for.
3. Team Project History
With collaboration comes accountability. You want everyone on the team to be held accountable for what they’ve done (or haven’t done) on the project. A good wireframe tool will also include some measure of team management software built in.
A team project history tool will keep track of everyone’s additions to the project, ensuring that everyone is doing their part on time. The log will include the time and date the edit was made, as well as the name of the user who performed the edit, or who added to the project.
This is especially useful for project managers who want an easy way to track their team’s progress within the wireframe tool. It can be difficult to track down team members and ask about their progress if you’re using a remote team, and the team project history feature can help alleviate some of that difficulty.
4. Easy Collaboration Tools
Real-time collaboration is a great way to unite a remote or large team. Some wireframe tools feature real-time editing by multiple users, including voice or video chat in addition to cloud-based saving and sharing.
Having the entire team collaborating on a project at once can streamline the design process and ensure the project is completed on time, or ideally, before the due date. Team management is probably the most difficult aspect of any project, so why not utilize your design tools to assist with it?
A good wireframe tool will provide the user with template options to choose from. These templates can help streamline your design process by eliminating some of the more tedious aspects of wireframing.
Templates are usually free and included with the wireframe service, but some wireframe tools also offer further templates on a marketplace for an additional cost per template. These templates are professionally designed and easy to use, making them excellent additions to your wireframe tool.
Some features such as widgets, menus, and UI containers can be time-consuming to design, and clickable icons such as Facebook or Twitter are much easier to include in a project when they’re readily available. Don’t underestimate the power of a good template; it may just save you a lot of time and money.
When you look for your next wireframe tool, don’t settle for just any tool you find. Do your research, and make sure that the tool you choose includes these useful features. If you’re paying for a service, you want to get the most out of it that you can, so these five features are a must for any good wireframe tool. Your team and your clients deserve the best, even from the tools you’re using.