Team members looking at website mockup ideas on a table
Website mockups can be a useful visualization tool for both new designs and redesign projects

Interested in creating your own website? A webpage mockup can help bring your vision to life and allow you to settle on design ideas before developers get to work. 

The web design process starts with a sketch that transitions into a wireframe. Using the wireframe, a website mockup is created. Designers then turn this mockup into an interactive prototype and hand it off to developers for project completion.

Here, we'll go through everything you need to know about a web page mockup - what it is, why it matters, which tools to use and how to transform it from a static image to an interactive model and it hand over to developers to make a functional website out of it.

Let's begin.

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What Is A Website Mockup? 

A website mockup is a full-size model of a design that demonstrates what the website would look like. 

It can be a mid-fidelity image, consisting of all necessary interface elements but with placeholder images and texts, or it can be a high-fidelity image with a complete visual layout. A mockup can be turned into a prototype to provide dynamic functionalities that can be tested.

Designers and stakeholders often use sketches, wireframes, mockups and prototypes interchangeably as synonyms. But there are slight differences between each of them, so let's start with definitions.

  • A sketch is freehand drawing of the design concept. It can be drawn using pen and paper or a digital tool and it’s part of the initial phase of design visualization. 
  • A wireframe is a low-fidelity design deliverable that depicts only basic elements of a user interface (UI) and it serves as a skeleton of the design concept.
  • mockup is a mid-fidelity to a high-fidelity representation of a web design project. It's a static image depicting the visual look of the website.
  • A prototype is high-fidelity, interactive model of a website. Its purpose is to simulate the interaction between a user and an interface, as well as to evaluate user flow and test website usability and functionality. 

Website mockups are an important part of every web design process. They add form and style to navigation menus, links, buttons, forms, sliders and other elements and they provide core visual aspects of design accessibility and usability.

Why Is Creating A Web Design Mockup Important? 

Webpage mockups can be a useful visualization tool for both new designs and redesign projects, as they provide clear insight into the look and feel of the website. 

Sincmockups are created in the middle of the design process, these models are open to UI design experimentation and various element combinations. 

Website mockups can be used to: 

  • Decide on color schemes and evaluate color contrast 
  • Choose typography elements like fonts and font sizes  
  • Implement images, videos and other visuals  
  • Evaluate relations between copy and images 
  • Comply with web accessibility recommendations 
  • Ensure that everpage is consistent with the overall design 
  • Experiment with styles to create several different mockups 

Mockups are an excellent way to showcase website design and get client feedback. That’s why mockups are typically a deliverable that designers show to their clients and/or stakeholders.

How To Create A Website Mockup 

If you have a website wireframe as a structural model of the website, you can upgrade it by adding color, typography, content and other features to complete a mockup. 

For this, you can use some of the popular design tools like InVision, Figma, Sketch and similar ones. To help you decide which tool to use, we are going to present the pros and cons of each of them.

But before that, a few things to keep in mind while designing a website mockup: 

  • Try implementing as many design ideas as possible – this phase is the best time to experiment with colors, fonts, images, videos, copy, form, buttons and other UI elements 
  • This is the best time to style UI elements such as navigation bars, buttons, links, sliders, forms and content containers  
  • You start with a mobile-first design to put only necessary elements first and then scale up according to the website dimensions  
  • Avoid using Lorem Ipsum or any other dummy text at this stage – this might seem like saving time in the beginning but neglecting to include a writer at the mockup stage of your project could actually prolong the workflow and produce unsatisfying, incomplete layouts  

The best practice is to use a digital tool to create hi-fi mockups that will truly represent your design vision. Using such tools enables you to download your mockup as PSD file or a vector image (SVG file) to show it to clients and hand it off to developers.

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Top 5 Webpage Mockup Tools For Your Design Projects 

There are many online design toolkits, applications, platforms and other software solutions for creating design wireframes, mockups and prototypes.

Each of these tools can help you:  

  • Bring your design concept from idea to completion 
  • UsUI element libraries with a drag-and-drop feature 
  • Collaborate with team members and stakeholders 
  • Give feedback on every page and every transition 
  • Evaluate design solutions and iterate to improve 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of thtop five web design mockup tools.

Tool #1: Sketch 

Overview: Sketch is a design platform for macOS users that enables designers to create mockups and work on design solutions with team members, clients and stakeholders.

Pros: It’s fast and reliable. Beyond integrated options, Sketch offers more possibilities through implementing third-party plugins.  

Cons: The biggest downside of Sketch is that it’s available only for macOS users and it requires macOS Mojave or a newer version. 

Price: For individuals, theres a one-time price of $99 for the first year and a price of $79 for every year that followsFor teams, the price is $9 per user per month. 

A home page screenshot of a website mockup tool Sketch
[Source: Sketch] 

Tool #2: Adobe XD 

Overview: Adobe Experience Design CC, also known as Adobe XD, was Adobe’s response to the popularity of Sketch. With the same target audience – UX/UI designers – Adobe XD has quickly gained momentum and became one of the most used tools. 

Pros: Adobe XD is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) so it comes together with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, programs which designers often use to create mockups as well. For anyone familiar with Photoshop’s and Illustrator’s interface, there’s a much shorter learning curve for Adobe XD.   

Cons: Even though users can get access to the whole Adobe CC package, it can be a bit of an expensive solution.    

Price: For individuals, there is a free option for personal use, an option to purchase only Adobe XD for $9.99 per month and an option to buy the whole CC package for $52.99 per monthFor businessesAdobe XD costs $22.99 per month and the price for a CC package is $79.99 per month. 

A home page screenshot of a web design mockup tool Adobe XD
[Source: Adobe XD] 

Tool #3: Figma 

Overview: Figma is a design tool for creating vector graphics, vector editing and prototyping. It’s one of the most popular and best-rated tools on the market. 

Pros: It’s an online tool, but it provides offline features for macOS and Windows. Besides that, its accompanying mobile app, Figma Mirror, is available on both iOS and Android devices. Plus, it offers real-time collaboration and commenting.   

Cons: There is a version control function within the tool, but it can sometimes change the whole version even if you want to tweak a single element. This can lead to version mishaps. 

Price: There is a Free plan for up to two editors and three projects, while the Professional plan costs $12 per editor per month and the Organization plan costs $45 per editor per month (billed annually). 

A home page screenshot of a website mockup tool Figma
[Source: Figma] 

Tool #4: InVision Studio 

Overview: InVision Studio is a screen design platform that helps designers, developers and businesses of all sizes create and manage web wireframes, mockups and prototypes.

Pros: Its clean, easy-to-use dashboardtemplates and infinite canvas enable users to create quickly, while real-time collaboration and testing features save time in the overall design workflow. Additionally, InVision provides a cloud-based Freehand tool as a digital whiteboard for collaboration. 

Cons: There is no support for reusable styles and no possibility of building a library of reusable components. 

Price: For individual and small teams there is a fully-featured Free plan, while the Pro plan costs $9.95 per user per month and the Enterprise plan comes with a price on demand.

A home page screenshot of a webpage mockup tool InVision Studio
[Source: InVision Studio] 

Tool #5: Whimsical 

OverviewWhimsical is a visual workspace with an infinite canvas that designers and project managers can use focreating wireframes, mocking up a page layout and debugging user flows.

Pros: It includes a rich library of configurable UI elements, unlimited team members to collaborate in real-time and thousands of categorized, searchable icons that can be used for free in wireframes and mockups.   

Cons: The possibility to share a link to a mockup exists only if the document is public and there are limited capabilities for more detailed wireframes and mockups  

Price: The Starter plan is free for up to four boards. For an unlimited number of boards, the price is $12 per user per month, billed monthly or $10 per user per month, billed annually.

 A home page screenshot of a website mockup tool Whimsical
[Source: Whimsical] 

How To Transition From Static Mockup 

To An Interactive Prototype 

You can use all of the beforementioned tools to create interactive prototypes out of a website mockupThis is beneficial because mockups are static images and prototypes are interactive, working models of your website.

If you need to test the usability of a website or evaluate user flow to find and fix issues before launching a new website, prototypes are the perfect solution to that. Plus, using a library of reusable components can be an important part of a modular web design process.    

Tools like Figma, InVision, Adobe XD and Sketch have built-in solutions for prototyping which can save a lot of time in the web development process. These platforms are also the most popular tools for real-time collaboration and quick design iteration.

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Find Your Inspiration And Start Designing 

Design (or redesign) of your website is going to depend on the purpose of the website, industry, niche and desired functionalities.  

Iyou don’t know where to start or if you need a boost of inspiration, you can browse through online collections of visuals, mockups and prototypes from designers around the world.  

Some of the best platforms for inspiration are 

  • Dribbble and Behance – two of the most popular platforms for showcasing work from designers, web developers, illustrators, photographers and other creatives  
  • Awwwards – a platform where every website gets evaluated for design, usability and content quality and the best are awarded on a daily, monthly and anual basis; it's a great place to find the best website solutions from designers and agencies around the globe
  • Muzli by InVision – a Chrome extension that helps you discover inspiring design while browsing the internet
  • One Page Love – a collection of inspiring one-page websites spanning across 30 categories 
  • pttrns – a collection of interface patterns and design resources categorized by OS platform, interface category, year of creation and UI elements
  • Typewolf – a valuable resource for typography enthusiasts and everyonwho wants to find font inspiration for upcoming design projects
  • Hoverstat – a collection of alternative web design, code and content solutions that experiment with interactivity, typography, copy and other elements 

You can also find inspiration in our list of best web designs of 2020 to unleash your creativity and start designing a professional website for your business.

Key Takeaways For A Website Mockup

To wrap it up, creating a useful and highly functional mockup includes these steps:

  • You can start with a freehand sketch to capture the design idea on paper 
  • Choose the right mockup tool based on the needs of your design project 
  • Transform the sketch into a wireframe to add structure to web pages 
  • Add colors, typography, content, visuals and other UI elements to make a mockup 
  • Transition from a static mockup to dynamic state by creating an interactive prototype 
  • Collaborate with your teammates, clients and stakeholders to get valuable feedback 
  • Test your website design prototype for usability, functionality and user flow 
  • Iterate patterns as you go to complete the design before handing it over to developers 

While creating a mockup for every page, keep in mind a bigger picture of the overall website design to create pages that are consistent in look and feel and aligned with the brand style. 

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