Tools for iPhone UI (user interface) design, mockups, wireframes or just a sketch

Shyamal Mehta

iphone-mockup.pngWe tried several tools and methods for user interface designing of iPhone applications. We now use a combination of these tools and our choice depends on what best suits the product as well as the customer. The key point is communicating the design clearly to both the customer and developers.

Before going into details, let me just list the iPhone design and mockup (wireframe) tools/methods in no particular order:

  1. Use Interface Builder (Mac only)
  2. Use Balsamiq mockup tool (Mac, windows, linux) – (
  3. Use Omnigraffle (Mac only) and import an iPhone stencil – ( and
  4. Use paper and a stencil-
  5. Use a pre-printed sketch paper –
  6. Use photoshop and the iPhone PSD –
  7. Use Adobe Fireworks – and
  8. Although not there yet, you can try
  9. Use the stencil kit from Yahoo! which is available in a variety of formats –
  10. Use the sketchbook available at

Some bonus stuff

Lazy as I am, I decided to write details about each iPhone UI design tool later, so till then please use the list above and explore them.

If I missed your favorite tool, please let me know in comments and I will gladly add it here.

about the author

Shyamal Mehta

Shyamal is an experienced technology professional having expertise on the web and mobile technologies. His strength lies in his ability to successfully and repeatedly deliver projects and products (large and small) for a variety of industries.

  1. Dotan Saguy

    October 29, 2009

    One more: Mockapp templates for Keynote and Powerpoint.
    Probably the largest iPhone UI library available and also the most accessible software: everyone knows Keynote or Powerpoint. Free download at

  2. Lee Probert

    February 12, 2010

    Hey, don’t forget the humble Moleskine sketchbook as a great tool for sketching ideas down quickly. And if you own an iPhone UI Stencil it fits really well within the gridded sketchbook. Check out my blog post on the subject :

  3. Sameer

    February 20, 2010

    [StencilsApp][1] is an iPhone app for creating mockups. You can even create transitions and triggers between screens using gestures and actions in a multi screen mockup. Its got all iPhone UI elements, a large icon library and great 2D drawing tools. Its free to download.


  4. Peter Severin

    April 19, 2010

    WireframeSketcher is a wireframe/mockup tool that comes with an iPhone stencil:

  5. Sparky

    December 30, 2010

    “Blueprint” is an UI Design app for iPad. It is really awesome.

  6. Lenny

    March 21, 2011

    Another one to add to the list is where I’ve done a couple quick mockups. Amazing how much easier it is now than a couple years ago!

  7. Peter

    September 3, 2011

    Blueprint – try it – it’s simply the best one out there.

  8. click true

    November 5, 2011

    Just started reading your blog a few days ago; and I’m loving your newest series. Looking forward to the next installments.

  9. top mistakes

    December 9, 2011

    Your blog is really cool to me and your topics are very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of site managers are guilty of these 5 mistakes”. You will be suprised how fast they are to fix.

  10. Lora Dykhuizen

    December 30, 2011

    I?ll right away grasp your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me know so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  11. Nishadha

    January 25, 2012

    We have recently launched our iPhone mockup toolkit. It has some really cool features including easy editing, fully customizable objects, self styling and much more. It has some very comprehensive tools to make it as realistic as possible. Check out our blog post about the iPhone Mockup Toolkit. If you like what you see please consider adding us to the list.

  12. Private Investigator UK

    March 30, 2012

    Private Investigator UK has a lot of imagery and clichés attached to it. There is the “lone wolf” investigator who, for one reason or the other is unattached to the government. There is the trusty sidekick/chronicler who manages to either accidentally make discoveries which are crucial to the case or get himself into a situation where he needs rescuing. There is also the scene where the hapless client (often a beautiful blonde) goes to the office of the private investigator to seek his help. However, this last scene is slowly becoming obsolete simply because of the advent of private investigation

  13. Mariel Schradle

    May 10, 2012

    Hi I have recently come across your weblog while searching Google and just wanted to express how much I enjoyed reading several of the posts on the blog, and will be back to take a look yet again as well as to remark for myself.

  14. Song Lopus

    July 7, 2012

    you are in reality a just right webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have done a great job on this topic!

  15. Peet

    December 13, 2013

    Great work, a couple of pretty strong suggestions! I appreciate you crafting this blog post and the rest of your web site is amazing!