Photoshop is well-known among designers, and tools like CSS3Ps and FontAwesomePS have made it useful for making web design prototypes. However, it’s not originally meant for this task. With new trends in responsive design, CSS Pre-processors, CSS Frameworks, and scalable graphics like SVG, Photoshop is becoming less suitable for web design.
No need to worry, though, because there are many other apps created by independent developers that can fill this gap. In this post, we’ll explore these apps and discover how their features surpass Photoshop in making web design prototypes.
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Webflow makes it easy for you to create websites using a drag-and-drop method. It is built on a Bootstrap grid, making sure your designs look great on different screen sizes. Webflow has basic web parts like blocks, lists, and text choices that you can add to your design space.
You can quickly choose styles from a side panel and adjust the details of various elements. Once your design is complete, you can change it into HTML and CSS code. Webflow also lets you share your work with your team members.
Webflow is a tool you can use online.
Sketch is ideal for creating interfaces and websites. It uses vector-based shapes, so changing the size of your canvas won’t harm the quality of your designs. Tools like the ‘built-in grid’ assist you in organizing objects or web layouts efficiently.
Besides, Sketch displays fonts in a way that’s similar to Webkit browsers (such as Chrome, Opera, and Safari), ensuring that text in your designs is clear and precise. Sketch also lets you turn each element in your layers into CSS.
Sketch works online and supports a Mac app, as well as working on iPhone and iPad.
Antetype is a vector-based tool that specializes in visual design. It’s excellent for making interface elements like gradients, shadows, borders, and rounded edges. Antetype also provides hundreds of widgets that you can use directly in your designs.
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For responsive design, you can set breakpoints to change the screen size. Plus, you can export each element as an image or in CSS format.
Antetype is available as a Mac app.
Figma is known for being user-friendly and efficient, a great alternative to Photoshop, especially for team-based design work. Its ease of use makes it a top choice for casual users and professionals alike. Figma is unique because it serves not just graphic designers but also experts in UX, UI, and web design. Its tools are perfect for making prototypes with smooth interactions and animated transitions. The auto layout feature is particularly impressive, allowing for quick graphic adjustments, which makes the design process faster.
If you’re a beginner or looking for an easy-to-use design tool, Figma is ideal. It has a free basic account that includes unlimited cloud storage, unlimited drafts, a 30-day version history, and the ability to work on one team project at the same time.
Figma is an online tool. It also supports Mac and Windows apps, as well as iOS, Android, and iPad.
Moqups is a cloud-based tool great for working together on visuals, especially when creating and testing prototypes for web and mobile apps. It offers a dynamic whiteboard feature, allowing teams to work together on diagrams, wireframes, and mockups.
The platform’s tools for making diagrams are excellent for creating sitemaps, storyboards, and flowcharts, ensuring smooth transitions between different design parts. Moqups also has customizable stencil kits, letting users make unique designs with many elements from its large built-in library.
Moqups is an online tool.
Bonus: Adobe XD
Adobe XD is a versatile tool for user interface and experience design, especially good for web design prototyping. It offers a wide range of design tools for creating visually appealing interfaces, including screens, icons, and interactive elements. Its vector-based graphics, along with various colors and fonts, help in making both beautiful and functional designs.
The main strength of Adobe XD is its advanced prototyping abilities. Designers can easily link screens, embed interactions, and add animations to create realistic prototypes that closely resemble final websites.
Additionally, Adobe XD supports real-time teamwork and works well with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Its compatibility with Windows and macOS, plus its responsive design features, make it a crucial tool for modern web design.
Adobe XD works on both macOS and Windows.
Macaw is no longer in service.
Macaw allows you to design web layouts and elements as if you’re using an image editor like Adobe Photoshop. You can create columns or block areas, adjust their positioning, and set typography as needed. Macaw enables you to modify the styles of multiple elements at once. You can also use its library to store elements for future use.
For responsive design, Macaw provides breakpoint settings to optimize your site for various devices. Once you complete your design, Macaw can generate the corresponding HTML and CSS.
Avocode was sunseted since October 1st, 2023.
Avocode can handle PSD files, enabling you to edit them and convert them into functional websites using HTML and CSS. It extracts all the components of your project, including CSS, images, and SVGs. It simplifies the process of extracting CSS, supporting formats like Less, SASS, or Stylus, thanks to its integration with CSSHat.
Moreover, Avocode has version control, allowing you to revert to previous designs if needed.