9 Best No-Code Prototyping Apps to Bring Your Ideas to Life

Bringing an idea to life often starts with creating a prototype. A prototype allows you to translate concepts in your mind into something tangible that you can test and iterate on. However, building a functioning prototype typically requires coding skills. This is where no-code prototyping apps come in – they allow anyone to create realistic prototypes by simply dragging and dropping components, without needing to code.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the top 9 no-code prototyping apps that empower people to turn their ideas into testable prototypes quickly.

What is No-Code Prototyping?

No-code prototyping refers to creating a realistic model of a product using pre-built components and functionality, without needing to manually write any code. The no-code apps provide various widgets, templates, icons, animations and logic that can be assembled through a simple drag-and-drop interface to construct a functioning prototype.


Here are some of the major benefits of using a no-code prototyping app:

  • Speed – Building a prototype without code is significantly faster. You don‘t need developers and can test ideas much quicker.
  • Usability testing – Prototypes can be used for user testing to gather feedback and validate concepts.
  • Collaboration – Great for collaborating across teams on ideas.
  • Cost saving – Eliminates expenses of hiring developers for early stage mockups.
  • Customization – Many apps allow some level of customization as per needs.

Top 9 No-Code Prototyping Apps

Here are the top 9 no-code prototyping apps that allow anyone to create realistic, interactive prototypes quickly without coding:

1. Proto.io

Proto.io is one of the most full-featured no-code prototyping apps in the market. Some key highlights:

  • 15,000+ UI components and templates for mobile, web and desktop apps
  • Hundreds of animated interactions and micro-animations to choose from
  • Supports high to low fidelity wireframing for all stages of prototyping
  • Auto-generate code snippets to hand-off designs to developers
  • Real-time collaboration allows teams to work together
  • Integrates with Sketch and Photoshop

The app is very easy to use even for beginners. The pricing starts at $24/month billed annually. They offer a 15-day free trial to test it out.

2. Adobe XD

As part of Adobe‘s design suite, Adobe XD provides powerful tools for designing and prototyping user interfaces. Some major features are:

  • Drag-and-drop responsive web and mobile designs
  • Transition animations and voice trigger interactions
  • Real-time co-editing and commenting for teams
  • Auto-animate similar objects to quickly create detailed transitions
  • Connect prototype to other Adobe apps like Illustrator or Photoshop
  • Generate design specs and assets to share with developers

This is one of the most popular tools used by both UX designers and web/app developers. It starts at $9.99/month and has a 7-day free trial.

3. InVision

InVision is focused 100% on interface design and prototyping. Some of its capabilities are:

  • 25+ interactive animation types like overlays, headers, transitions
  • Clickable rapid prototypes with hotspots and gestures
  • Single product to take ideas from design to developer hand-off
  • Real-time collaboration and version control
  • Design spec documentation to detail requirements
  • Integrates with Sketch, Photoshop and Slack

The app is free for unlimited users and prototypes. Paid plans with premium tools start at $15/month billed annually.

4. Marvel

Marvel makes it simple for anyone to design and prototype websites and mobile apps. Some notable features:

  • Huge library of customizable components, icons and templates
  • Responsive prototypes to test across various devices
  • Clickable links, overlays and dynamic views
  • Handoff designs with specifications, assets and code snippets
  • Real-time collaboration with team members
  • Available as a web app with nothing to install

Marvel starts with a generous free plan. Paid versions with enhanced functionality and cloud storage start at $12/month billed annually.

5. Figma

Figma is an innovative cloud-based app for interface design and prototyping. Some capabilities:

  • Multiplayer mode for real-time collaboration on designs
  • Design system libraries to organize UI components
  • Prototyping interactions and transitions without code
  • Clickable prototypes to easily gather feedback
  • Version history to track all changes
  • Plugin ecosystem to integrate with other apps
  • Generous free tier with unlimited files and collaborators

The well-designed collaboration features make Figma stand out from the rest. Professional and organization plans start at $12/month per editor billed annually.

6. Framer

Framer is focused on delivering high fidelity, production-ready prototypes. Some interesting aspects:

  • Responsive layouts automatically adapt across breakpoints
  • Drag and drop rich media, animations and components
  • Advanced prototyping interactions and gestures
  • Clickable prototypes to test user flows
  • Generate code components to accelerate development
  • Review tools to gather feedback and make decisions faster
  • Integration with leading design tools from Sketch to Figma

Framer starts with a very generous free plan. The paid version Framer Pro is $19/month billed annually and unlocks more advanced capabilities.

7. Mockplus

Mockplus is an all-in-one prototyping, collaboration and design system platform. Key features include:

  • 5000+ components across desktop, mobile and web apps
  • Powerful interactions, animations and transitions
  • Built-in design collaboration workflow
  • Repeating panels, dynamic data and fully linked prototypes
  • Auto-generate style guides, design specs and assets from prototypes
  • Integrates with Sketch, Photoshop and XD via plugins
  • Affordable pricing starting at $7.07 per month annually

The well-designed interface makes Mockplus very easy to use for prototyping realistic web and mobile app designs quickly.

8. Axure RP

Axure RP, created by engineers, takes a very technical approach to prototyping that allows emulating complex dynamic functionality. Some highlights:

  • Create fully-functional prototypes with complex logic
  • Features like dynamic tables, panels, popups
  • Advanced interactions based on triggers, events and conditions
  • Adaptive views automatically display prototypes on desktop or mobile
  • Generate full documentation for developers and project managers
  • Version control and release tracking
  • 30 day free trial, paid plans start at $29/month

The technical nature of Axure RP makes it very popular among engineers, however it has a steeper learning curve.

9. Sketch

While Sketch is primarily a graphic design and wireframing tool, it does provide some basic prototyping capabilities built-in:

  • Create wireframes, mockups and high fidelity visual designs
  • Link screens together into a clickable prototype
  • Export production assets, code snippets and specifications
  • Real-time collaboration lets multiple people work together on designs seamlessly
  • Hundreds of plugins to extend functionality including prototyping
  • Fully native experience on Mac with excellent performance
  • 30-day free trial, paid plan is $99/year

Many teams use Sketch in combination with dedicated prototyping tools like InVision. For simple use cases, the basic prototyping functionality may suffice.

Key Factors for Comparison

With so many great no-code prototyping apps to choose from, here is a look at some key factors you may want to consider when selecting one:

Learning curve – Some apps like Proto.io or Marvel are very easy to start with, while others like Axure or Framer have steeper learning curves. Consider how easily your team can get started.

Fidelity – Fidelity refers to how visually realistic a prototype looks and behaves. Apps like Framer and Proto allow very high fidelity, while Figma is medium fidelity.

Interactions – The types of gestures, animations and dynamic behaviors supported varies greatly. Framer and InVision focus heavily on advanced interactions.

Collaboration – Real-time co-editing allows teams to collaborate seamlessly and is supported by Figma and XD. Other apps rely on manual version control.

Hand-off – The specifications, code components and assets exported to hand-off designs to engineers varies. Framer, Marvel and XD have excellent hand-off functionality.

Integrations – Consider what other tools your team uses for design and development. Apps like InVision hook into the Adobe suite very nicely.

Pricing – Pricing models also differ greatly. Figma and InVision even offer free versions, while the rest provide trial periods.

Think about your specific priorities across these fronts while choosing a platform. Mixing multiple tools is also common to leverage strengths of each.

Integrating Prototypes into Workflows

To maximize the benefits from no-code prototyping apps, it is important to integrate their use properly into your existing design and development workflows.

Here are some tips:

  • Start early – Create wireframes and prototypes even before visual designs to quickly experiment with alternative ideas.

  • Design handoff – Use detailed design specs, assets and code components provided by tools like Framer and Marvel to eliminate back-and-forth with engineers.

  • Develop in parallel – Development can start in parallel while prototypes are refined based on user feedback.

  • Use libraries – Building up reusable libraries of UI components helps accelerate future prototyping and promotes consistency.

  • Bridge gaps – Use no-code tools as a solutions to bridge communication gaps across business, design and engineering teams.

Limitations to Consider

While no-code apps provide many benefits, some limitations to keep in mind are:

  • Very customized designs may be harder to prototype if existing components don‘t match needed functionality.

  • You often still need developer help connecting APIs or integrating complex business logic.

  • Collaboration capabilities might not be as advanced as dedicated platforms like Figma.

  • Often sufficient for consumer apps, but more complex internal enterprise scenarios may pose challenges.

  • Quality of code export varies greatly limiting reusability – some manual cleanup is likely needed.

For such complex scenarios, you may need to use actual code-based tools or work with developers early on.

The Future of No-Code Prototyping

No-code prototyping tools have come a long way in capabilities over the past few years. Some interesting trends shaping the future are:

  • Continued improvement in exported code quality and reusability to streamline development.

  • Tighter integration with design tools into complete end-to-end platforms.

  • Leveraging AI to further simplify and assist with creating prototypes faster.

  • Expanded library of pre-built components covering more complex interactions.

  • Platforms tailored for specific industries given differing needs.

  • Scaling collaboration features for larger teams and enterprises.

We expect constant innovation in this space given explosive demand.

Key Takeaways

Here are the major things to remember about no-code prototyping apps:

  • Enable anyone to build realistic prototypes without coding via drag and drop interfaces.

  • Allow quick and iterative experimentation with concepts at a fraction of cost.

  • Facilitate collaboration across business, design and developer teams.

  • Integrate well into existing design and engineering workflows.

  • Help validate ideas with target users early via realistic prototypes.

  • Limitations still exist involving complex logic, customization and handoff.

With capabilities improving rapidly, no-code prototyping represents the future of how cross-functional teams will ideate, experiment and bring new ideas to life quicker. Their intuitive interfaces invite less technical people to actively participate in shaping products.

So try out some of the excellent no-code tools highlighted here to give wings to your ideas! Let us know if you have any other favorite prototyping apps to consider.