Gartner reports that mobile apps generated $26 billion in revenue in 2013 with over 83 million downloads. This figure is set to grow as more and more number of smartphones are purchased.
This is both heartening and worrying. As the number of apps increase so does the impatience amongst users. They have a wide palette with unlimited choices.
The key is to optimizing it, conducting A/B tests, taking feedback and getting into the user’s shoes and screens.
Earlier the focus was entirely on optimizing websites and desktop applications. But with the mobile sphere set to explode, there are many tools that you can aid you in optimizing mobile apps.
80-90% of apps are deleted after using them for the first time shows research conducted by Compuware. First impressions count more than ever in this burgeoning world of mobile apps and it is essential to look good.
With the tools that we list, we will make sure that we leave no stone unturned in making your app look good.
We have divided the post into the following categories:
1. Wireframing and Mockup
3. Ask – Feedback/survey tools
5. Honorable mentions
Let’s dive in
1.Wireframing and Mockup tools
Indigo studio is the fastest user interface interaction and prototyping tool.
Infragistics team released a new version Indigo Studio v2.0 with a bunch of improvements. The other big thing about the release is that it supports specifically iPhone and mobile.
There is a screen cast video that shows how users can work with canvas size, mobile viewpoints. Adding can be easily done using built-in iOS controls.
Users can also see demo prototypes for mobile using this app.
With this latest prototyping tool, you can create hundred different wireframes, scenes with numerous built in interactive controls for your mobile applications, desktops or web.
There is no need of coding. Now touch gestures, design storyboards, PDF support, is also available. You will be amazed to see what Indigo studio can do for you. Download the free trial or watch the video on the website.
Available for US$ 495 and 30 day trial is also available
This diagramming app lets mobile users in creating professional diagrams of all types like —sitemaps, flowcharts, organization charts, business processes, and wireframes and so on. Lovely Chartshas an iPad edition, Desktop edition and also a web based edition.
It is a modern mobile prototyping tool with inbuilt functionality to imagine what kind of chart you are sketching and optimize the procedure of prototyping.
History management is an additional feature. The application stores up to twenty previous versions of the sketch in the memory in an automatic manner. The mobile user can return back to any previous editions easily and quickly.
Moreover, the widespread library of crafted symbols is huge enough to fulfill all the mobile requirements.
iPod touch/iPad/ iPhone
Concept.ly is used as a mobile and web mockup tool. This helps to transform your mock-ups and design into easy and simple interactive and attractive applications. It is the perfect tool to validate or evaluate the ideas and thoughts faster with tip startup thinking.
It is also used to share, integrate and attain feedback immediately. It also builds prototype on the website which can be used to access and build the real design anywhere, build, engage customers, collaborate, iterate and validate ideas. It can used in collaboration with Dropbox.
By having this app store, you can download the particular software and establish this software for free of cost.
Realizerallows you to make different prototypes for iPad and iPhone apps.
It helps in conveying your vision while displaying app ideas to the clients.
Using this tool, you can begin creating from scratch an easy and simple sketch or a more completed photo comp. Also, it turns your custom presentation of the app into an attractive one – resulting in a better user experience. Using Nascent Digital, the company originally created the software as a method to fine tune the vision while displaying various aspects of the apps to clients.
This tool is very easy and simple to use and is also available for free of cost.
Mockup Builder, is a prototyping solution that permits you to create a model of the website or the latest design or outlay quickly and simple.
The software can be used for trying and finding the unlimited possibilities of internet prototypes. It consists of all the essential tools to create original and unique websites. Utilizing this software for the design of GUI could not be any easier with a number of components in the UI encouraging the development or enhancement of modernized thoughts.
Comprehensive support is available to aid you all the way through.
The tool lets you create the models for mobile applications for smartphones, draw a model of the website and perform breadboard prototypes for the programs on the desktop.
iPhone and iPad
The different version of this software differ in cost and ranges from $7/month to $99/month.
This app helps quickly create low fidelity sketch like wireframes of your application concepts.
Drag and drop a variety of stencils
Organize the work with projects and pages
Fine tune the frames with prebuilt alignment tools
Sprite HD is one of the most powerful iPad prototyping tools that you can use. It may take only 3 minutes for you to create your first app prototype with it.
▪ Easy-to-use interface.
▪ Automatic saving
▪ Undo & Redo available.
▪ Collaborate and discuss your design quickly and easily with full-screen Presentation mode.
▪ Email editable projects to your colleagues’ or clients’ iPads, or PCs for easy collaboration.
▪ Back up your project to your PC with iTunes File Sharing.
▪ Continue the design via PC.
It’s a design utility app for iPad which lets you create incredible mockups on the iOS platform.
Around 140 object icons are available to use for the iPad and 83 for the iPhone/iPod.
It’s has a number of in-built controls that save time. The app features a multi –touch interface along with customizable canvas.
Low fidelity mock-ups encourage constructive criticism and feedback.
A speedy prototyping tool that enables you to share the designs with your entire team.
Drag & drop iPhone UI elements.
Manage various mockup layers.
Create multiple mockups.
Share single mockups or complete projects with others.
2. Prototyping tools
POP changes hand-drawn pictures to app prototypes.
*Create and import prototypes
*Duplicate mock-ups with ease
* 5 types of transition effects are included— fade, next, back, rise and dismiss.
Live Wires is one of the best solutions available for designing basic content organization. It lets you see how screen elements interact with each other at different screen sizes.
- Customizable native controls
- No monthly fees
- Flip between iPhone 4 and iPhone 5
- Export feature
Interface HD lets you create mockups of iPad or iPhone apps using native widgets.
- Has an advanced editor that comes with features like layout assistant, undo redo and inspector
- Link screens with iOS animations
- Can also export the entire project as a web presentation
It’s another app for Paper prototyping, turning sketches into tappable prototypes.
- Draw app screens on anything and then take pictures of those with the app and choose whether it’s for the iPhone or iPad.
- Once you’re happy you can link each screen together using touch areas to form your app demo
- Everything is synced with Dropbox
Pittari Preview in an image viewer which makes it easy toview your app design mockups
and wireframes at full size on your iPhone.. Just import your images into the
app and you are good to go.
A dedicated mobile prototyping platform that lets build fully interactive mobile prototypes.
- You can add animations, gestures and screen transitions to your mobile app.
- When developing the app you will find that all gestures are supported— tap, tap-hold, swipe, pinch, zoom, slide, fade, pop, flip, flow, and turn.
- High fidelity designs are supported, can import images
- Easily export the file in html 5
AppCooker lets both amateurs and professionals design mobile apps with ease. It comes with lot of graphic design tools, vectors and solid colors to aid the process.
- Mockup editor with all the iOS 7 UI widgets
- Overall screen view with connections, export PDF Map.
- Portrait & landscape editions
- Add notes to any of the screens.
- Link the screens with various type of inputs and transitions
- Bitmap drawing, vector shapes and text tool
- Export backups, playable mockups (AppTaster), Jpeg, PNG and PDF
- Dropbox integration, also add images through Dropbox
- App icon editor
- App idea planner
With ProtoTouch prototyping apps is merely a four step process. Just load the images for your app from the iPhone library, link the views with transitions, upload your prototype and finally install and see how it works.
Dapp lets you push out apps faster than ever by completing XCode projects for you. You need not spend money on developers for this.
- True WYSIWYG mockups
- Complete control over SDK objects
- Get live versions of your app running on your iPhone.
Blueprint is a powerful design application that lets comes loaded with widgets, icons, controls and buttons.
With just a few taps and clicks you can design a UI screen.
- You can change properties—colors, shape, text, images with the Property Inspector.
- Assign actions for each widget and make a flow of UIs
- With the map view you can see all the screens
- Screen transition effects are available.
- Undo/Redo feature
- Dropbox support
3.Ask – Feedback/survey tools
The tool helps conduct real time surveys via iPad. It sports a wide variety of templates based on the business say a restaurant, dentistry or massage center.
According to the creators the response rates are 30 times higher than traditional surveys.
Sending surveys on iPad has the benefit of the user seeing them immediately and responding to them.
There are two versions- the free Lite version and the paid PRO version. The Lite version lets you conduct 1 survey with a maximum of 50 responses while the PRO version has no limits on the number of surveys or responses and comes at $99 per year.
It enables you to create beautiful online forms and surveys for your digital audience. When creating surveys you have two options — either start from ground zero or use one of the templates.
The surveys can also include GPS location information and photos.
There is no free trial. The cheapest is the individual plan that starts at $9.99 per mo and the costliest that can save up to 10gb of data comes at $199 per mo.
Survey Master Lite lets you create:
· Surveys of unlimited questions
· Questions with Check Box Answers
· Questions where the answers can be sent via free text messaging
· Questions to gather client information
· Date related questions
· Ability to create new surveys from existing surveys
· Export your survey data to a spreadsheet format and email it
· Create survey templates and copy them to create new surveys
Survey Master Lite is 100% free.
It’s a survey app for iPad. It also offers real time analytics and makes data really easy to understand by showing variables with largest changes over time.
They offer two choices. You can either go with the Forever free plan with a maximum of 250 answered questions per month or choose pay as you go plan that charges 2 cents per answered question.
The SurveyMonkey app for iPad and iPhone lets you create surveys from the phone itself.
- Write and design surveys and polls in minutes
- Send surveys to anyone through the web, email, or social media
- Keep track of responses in real time
- Turn your data into actionable insights
Conduct surveys easily with PollDaddy. The data you collect on iPhones is automatically uploaded to Polldaddy servers and can be accessed from a PollDaddy account anywhere in the world.
Also get on the spot responses.
It has been listed among the top 100 business apps by TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
* Create your own survey
* Templates included
* * Collect data right on the iPad and iPhone
* Poll via email and social networking sites
* Collect data even when there is no Internet
Zoho Survey for the iPad lets you create surveys and access reports on the go. An intuitive interface, ease of survey creation, variety of customizable options, themes and custom reports make it the go to app for conducting surveys through mobile.
• Create unlimited surveys on iPad
• Mobile optimized surveys
• Analyze comprehensive reports
• Create custom reports for specific view of data
• Embed surveys on webpages
Loop survey enables you to setup surveys easily. You can see instant results too.
Collect results even without internet and poll on email, twitter, facebook etc.
With UXRecorder,you can record the user’s face via the camera audio through the mic and also their on-screen gestures— taps, swipes and scrolling behavior.
Use the in-built browser to record, pause or stop test sessions.
UXRecorder works on a Freemium model with features like 30 seconds sessions along with session playback. With $1.99 you can record 1 session, no time-limit and also export the file. $7.99 lets you have 5 sessions, unlimited time and finally $59.99 gets you unlimited sessions, unlimited time, unlimited exports and unlimited projects.
Magitest records the user’s screen from either an iOS app or a website.
To allow this functionality a few lines of code are added to your app’s SDK. iPhone 4s is recommended for using Magitest.
What makes it different?
- Compared to UXRecorder, the interface is much cleaner
- Testing is native apps possible via SDK
- Can be used to test online, and offline apps
Actual finger movement is not recorded.
iPhone 4s and above
Magitest offers unlimited free 1 minute recordings. Monthly plans are priced at $49.99.
Web Demo is a web browser that has capabilities of recording your browsing sessions.
It can also record audio.
Their homepage says, “you create the test, we’ll get the testers”.
It works in a few ways:
1. Select participants their user panel, who are typical internet users and not usability experts
2. Run tests with your own app users.
How to get the feedback?
You can get feedback in the form videos (15 minutes long, generally) of the testers testing the app out, in the form of answers to the questionnaire and also interact with them after the test (which is a unique feature).
You can study all these things for your mobile app:
· Device-specific Bugs
· Navigation problems
· Sign Up & Log In Processes
· Device Detection/Redirection
· Touch targets
· Interaction Design
· Network Performance
· Shopping Cart
· Location Functions
Mobile usability testing works with video files. The webcam set-up records user’s computer screen, mobile interface and also the person’s face.
iOS /iPhone/ iPad/Android
I don’t quite understand their pricing. The homepage says its $49 per tester and on clicking sign-up leads you to a page that says that the basic account includes 15 minute of a tester, testing the app or site. This implies there is no free trial for the basic version.
The enterprise version has a 30-day free trial but they don’t quite specify what would be the prices after.
5. Honorable mentions
GoToAssist facilitates real time viewing of user’s mobile screens. Researchers can hire people to use apps and then see how the app is performing. Earlier it was used for testing desktop applications. However, it can also be utilized for mobile apps testing and fine tuning.
With 1.3 million Android devices being activated every day, GotoAssist makes it easy to offer support to them with remote control.
Here are a few features:
· Live Chat ‒ Real time with end user
· Multiple Sessions ‒ Representatives can simultaneously support up to 8 customers at a time, including both mobile and PC and Mac users.
· Session Recording ‒ Archived sessions can be used for evaluation or training.
GoToAssist offers a fully functional 30 day trial. The monthly plans start at $69 per mo with one technician and goes up by $69 as you add more.
The users also need to install the GoToAssist App.
GoToMeeting lets you attend a meeting, record it and also share the screen with others. The sharing can be done with a remote device and in this case the iPad.
It doesn’t however allow mobile usability testing
The features are discussed below:
· Start meetings from remote device like iPhone or iPad, also present it through that device
· Connect audio through device’s built-in mic and speakers.
· Ability to record meeting
iPhone and iPad/ Web based
The different version of this software differ in cost and ranges from $7/month to $99/month.
The tool, known as Cacoo, which is used as a diagram making tool, which works in your browser. A number of the individuals can perform the task together on the similar diagram in the real time. Different diagrams can be put out directly to blogs, wikis and websites. This tool is used for creating diagrams,collaboration, sharing diagrams, managing diagrams, security, time zones and languages and also you can use this tool utilizing the API and the API supports an API key and OAuth. It permits you to make a diversity of the diagrams like network charts, UML, wire frames and site maps. . A diversity of the stencils is accessible on this software, therefore, it is simple to draw graphs you require WireFrame, Sitemap and much more.
API and Google Apps
It’s price range is from $24.50/month to $99/month.
It is the template, which is attractive, imaginative, innovative and inspiring. This template of Frame Box makes a framework or platform with the colored edge that is utilized for giving quality tool for designing mockups. The 2st parameter (not obligatory) can be of any color such as scarlet, red, dark blue, average green, sand, salmon, purple, orange, gold, yellow, blue. Its default color is gray. This kind of template is used for easy and simple frame sharing. It consist of 3 simple and easy steps, i.e. sketch frame utilizing UI units, also save it & also get the link or connection to already made frame. You can see the profile pages of the individuals who have used these templates on Facebook.
Frame Box is 100% free
It is a tool designed to help designers and developers with their projects. This prototyping application consists of a number of convenient tools that permit the user in staying organized.
JumpChart is another wire framing tool boasting the ability of creating rapid prototypes and wireframes. A distinct feature to the export ability of this tool is to export directly into the WordPress platform. Its features include enhanced print styles, sitemap printing support, export to PDF and Drupal, Dumpster divers, focus on content and many others.
You can select from 4 membership plans, incorporating a 30 day trial free of cost. In order to use it, you have to make an account on the website and then start using it. WordPress Export and SSL Security are not provided with these accounts, when signing up with them.
Web based tool
Simple Account: $5, Super Account: $25 and Deluxe Account: $50 per month
It’s an online diagramming app with real time collaboration.
Creatlyoffers a visual communication platform for effective teams.
This tool can be utilized to make flowcharts, info graphics, organizational charts, Gantt charts, UML designs, website wireframes, doodle art, circuit board designs and so on. It is a completely featured and intuitive interface tool to create mobile apps.
This tool is a perfect option for those mobile users, who prefer to do offline diagramming. All your content and diagrams shared with you are backed up as native files in your PC. You can create and access content, in spite of internet availability. Get its free trial version and then move to the paid one. The cost depends on the number of users.
Runs on Mac OS and Microsoft Windows
Starting from $5 per month
Simulify is a web based and desktop application which is especially used for wireframes, and designin prototypes.
There are plenty of features such as the web based version of Simulify requires no installation or downloading, you can simply run it on your browser.
The designs you make can be shared or can be authorized by the user.
This prototyping tool is also based around the user defined widgets like other wire framing tools For web based version different price plans are also available. This wireframe can run on two modes ‘Author’ and ‘Simul’, it runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. With this tool users can create clickable wireframes and prototypes that can be shared or kept private as user’s desire.
Linux, Windows, Mac
Simulify is available at $89
This UI prototyping tool is simple to use designed to create mockups, prototypes or wireframes for any site or application you want.
ForeUIsupports different languages like French, German, English, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese and many others.
This mobile prototyping tool provides a wide range of features when it comes to creating mobile apps like numerous UI themes, downloadable resources and custom elements, define behavior with flowchart, cross platform and many others.
Due to its worthwhile features, a mobile user can alter its style by easily switching the UI theme. With it, you can get a streamlined approach to communicate your needs for an outsourced project. All the features can work with a trial version also.
Works and compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, and Solaris and Linux platforms
It is an instant mockup and prototyping tool available for software developers and designers.
Being a mockup tool, it offers you a chance to make a rough drawing of how the final site or app will appear.
While on the other hand, as a prototyping tool, it adds actions and events to trigger a working version of your formation, where your customer can communicate and essentially use your formation. Features of Lumzyinclude easy drag and drop, master pages, powerful stimulation, share with your clients, extensive component library, versioning, change simulation skins and so on.
Works on different platforms such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
Starter pack for $10, Basic pack for $15, and Professional pack for $25, 30 day trial available.
Applause offers lots of cool features ranging from expert usability surveys, audits to narrated captures.
With Applause’s team of usability experts your app will receive the right feedback to develop high usability. Detailed reports, consultations and even mock survey questions are all in the pack.
There are over 100,000 professional testers to assist you in the quest.
iOS /iPhone/ iPad/Android
The pricing is not shown on their website but they do have a pricing estimator through which you can calculate your costs.
With MockingBird— creating, adding links together and sharing mock-ups of applications and websites becomes a child’s play. The explosion of cloud computing and mobile applications made way for the development of Mockingbird.
Mockingbird aids users in saving huge amount of time and money. With this wireframing tool you can make links, collaborate, all the UI elements, clean and clear mock ups, grids and columns.
Unlimited subscriptions pay $85,
Pro $ 40,
Team $ 20
Personal is available at $9
Solidify is a tool that aids developers and designers in creating and testing clickable prototypes of their mobile and website applications. Solidify can aid its users in getting a well structured feedback for how real user interactions happen.
Testers can try prototypes of mobile devices.
Solidify also comes with in –depth analytical tool. It lets users create wireframe, sketches or mockup.
It validates user flows on different devices by performing a test which is in person. There are more than 100,264 companies and others using this tool.
There are plenty of reasons why you should use Solidify such as it tests concepts early, validate interactions, get unbiased results and it also lets you conduct a user test. This is one easy and fastest way to create clickable prototypes.
$19/month and 30 day trial is also available.
Framer is a both a mobile and desktop prototyping tool with a boatload of features.
The most powerful feature of this advanced prototyping tool is that it can turn Sketch mockup or Photoshop into its prototype in just one click on your mobile phones.
It can prototype different gestures, especially the ones you drag or swipe. It is an open source so you can invent experiment and design with framer.
Give your imagination wings with this advanced prototyping tool. With this tool you can define your imagination and it runs on mobile devices, making the job much easier.
Framer is available at $59 and 30 day trial is also available
[JR9]http://www.usertesting.com/mobile > android supported as well
[JR10]In situation when pricing is hidden/hard to understand let’s write “-“
[JR11]I have found only MAC verison, is there an app? http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/41903/airparrot