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Website mockup - What is it and why should it be created?

Website mockup
AUDIO VERSION: Website mockup - what is it and why should it be created?
When you plan to create a website, one of the initial phases is to prepare a mockup, or mock-up. What is behind this concept and why is it so important in the process of website design? Is it worth investing time and money in this stage? In this article, we will explore the topic of website mockups, look at their definitions, discuss the main benefits of using them and present the best tools to support the mockup design process.
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The article was tailored to the needs of two audiences. The first is professionals who are looking for more precise definitions and want to systematize their knowledge of the mockup phase. The second group is people who are considering entrusting the creation of their site to professionals and want to understand how the process works, what the stages are and how specialists work.

With the information from this article, principals will be able to better communicate with contractors, verify the quality of their work and understand what to look for during this stage of website design. For those who decide to entrust the creation of a site to a specialist, our text will be a good source of knowledge that will improve the process of cooperation with the agency.

In this article you will learn that:

  • A mockup/mockup is a visual sketch that provides insight into the designed structure, layout and design of a website or application.
  • Lo-Fi mockups are simple preliminary sketches showing the main elements and structure of the site, often created by hand or with simple tools.
  • Hi-Fi mockups are advanced, interactive visualizations with graphic details, offering a realistic preview of the final product.
  • In mockup, a very important aspect is the focus on user experience (user experience).
  • Mock-ups promote team communication, help detect and resolve problems at an early stage, and contribute to greater time and cost savings.
  • The key stages of designing mockups include: Defining the purpose of the site, gathering the necessary information, analyzing the market, planning the structure, creating preliminary sketches, and then developing Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi mockups.
  • The best tools for creating mockups include: Figma and Miro.

What is a website mockup?

A website mockup is a visual sketch that shows the arrangement of elements of a website or web application. It allows developers/clients to better understand and demonstrate the functionality and overall layout of the designed interface. The mock-up can be created by hand with pencil and paper, using graphics software or specialized prototyping tools.

Creating mock-ups of a website is a key part of the web design process, as it helps identify potential problems and errors before they are translated into the design and ultimately the coding of the site. Mock-ups also enable the collection of feedback and comments during the initial phase of a project, which can lead to more effective final solutions.

Types of website mockups

A mockup is unequal to a mockup. The process of designing the layout of the site can even begin with a simple sketch on a piece of paper. Mockups differ mainly in their degree of sophistication - but regardless of their quality and detail, they should mainly promote discussion, efficient feedback and continuous improvement of the design.

Low-detail (Lo-fi) mockups

These are preliminary versions of the site that show the main interface elements, section layout and features. They focus mainly on structure and functionality and omit visual details.


  • Speed of creation: They are relatively quick to create.
  • Simplicity: They are usually drawn by hand or created with simple tools.
  • No color or graphics: They are usually black and white or have limited colors.
  • Focus on functionality: They show how the user can navigate the interface and what features are available.


  • Concept Testing: To quickly test whether the idea is understood by users.
  • Brainstorming: For generating various ideas in the initial design phase.
  • Consultation with the team: To discuss the direction of the project and get early feedback.
A mockup of the low fidelity website

Highly detailed (Hi-fi) mockups:

These are advanced versions of the site that accurately represent what the final product is supposed to look like in terms of design and interaction. Some also give a full view of how the product will work in reality.


  • Realism: Very close to the target version in terms of visuals and interactivity.
  • Interactivity: Some allow users to "click" and interact with them as if it were a real product.


  • Usability Testing: To study how users handle more complex tasks and processes.
  • Presentations to clients or stakeholders: To show how the site will look and work.
  • Documentation for developers: To provide precise instructions on how the final product should look and work.

Website mockup vs. UX (user experience)

When developing a website prototype, it is crucial to ensure that it serves not only to establish the structure and distribution of sections between the agency and the client, but also to focus on user experience (UX) aspects. 

UX, or user experience, refers to the entire experience a person has when interacting with a product, service or system. This includes emotional, physical and psychological reactions, as well as behavior and performance before, during and after using the site. Effective UX strives to create a positive experience for users, which contributes to their loyalty to a brand or product.

A website mockup is therefore more than just a sketch. It's a mockup that, in addition to effectively presenting an outline of the site before the graphic design stage, also focuses on the user experience. Creating a mockup involves analyzing the user's entire interaction with the product, including the paths they take, the decisions they make, and the ways they interact with the interface. The mockup should show schematic views, focusing on functionalities, which allows the final product to be better tailored to users' needs and expectations.

High-fi website mockup

Advantages of mock-up design - for businesses and professionals

Using mockups in the design process has many advantages that contribute to achieving the ultimate goal of a website, application or service.

Site concept visualization

A mockup is like a roadmap for designers, clients and developers - it allows for a clear representation of what the final version of a website or application will look like. Instead of imagining functions and appearance, we can see and understand them.

Clarity of vision: It is easier to identify any gaps or problems that might have been missed in the verbal descriptions.

Concept testing: Feedback can be easily obtained from the mockup. It is possible to test different versions of the design, allowing you to make quick adjustments.

Effective communication with a team or customer

Communication is the key to success in any project. Mock-ups make communication smoother and more effective, both for the project team and the client.

Unified language: Mock-ups create a common language for all project participants. There is no need to translate technical jargon when everyone can see what the end result is supposed to be.

Reducing misunderstandings: The visual representation of the concept minimizes the risk of misunderstandings that can arise from a diversity of interpretations.

Joint commitment: With mock-ups, both the client and the project team have the opportunity to actively participate and discuss the direction of the project.

Saving time and money in the long run

Saving money is one of the main reasons for using mockups.

Early error detection: Through visualization, professionals can easily identify and resolve problems early on, rather than fixing them after coding is complete.

Avoiding unnecessary revisions: The mockup provides a solid base for developers, reducing the need for constant rework and modifications during the development process.

Ability to iterate and gather feedback

The mockups are flexible and can be easily modified.

Rapid testing: Changing mock-up elements and testing different versions is easy and fast.

Openness to feedback: With early versions of mockups, feedback from different people can be gathered, which contributes to a more refined product and better satisfaction with the work done, both for the customer and the specialist.

How to create a mockup project? - a short guide for professionals and businesses

Creating website mockups is not just a technical process, but also an artistic visualization. It's a way to present a concept before it's transformed into a design and a working site. Whether you're new to the field, an experienced designer or someone looking to commission a site, understanding the process is key. The following is a concise guide.

Step by step - how to design a mockup

  1. Determination of purpose: Every website has a purpose. Whether it's an online store, a blog or a company's business card, understanding that purpose is important for a mockup to be effective.
  2. Information gathering: Meeting with the client, the team or even just asking yourself can help determine what elements are necessary on the site.
  3. Market research: The world of web design is dynamic. Checking out what's currently in vogue will help a site look modern and equip it with the best solutions for it.
  4. Structure planning: Knowing what pages and subsites will be needed will make design easier.
  5. Creating sketches: Simple drawings to help you figure out where what should go.
  6. Lo-Fi mockup: Deal with the overall layout and functionality without going into details.
  7. Hi-Fi mockup: Add color, textures, shading - anything that will make your mockup more like the final product.
  8. Testing: Show mockups to others, gather feedback, make improvements.
  9. Transfer: When you are satisfied, hand the mock-ups over to the development team.

Important elements to include in the mockup and in the mockup idea

Navigation: Make sure it's easy for users to find what they're looking for.

Content: The graphics, text and multimedia you choose should support the main purpose of the site.

Interactions: What elements will be clickable? Will there be any animations?

Mobile: The website should look good not only on computers, but also on smartphones and tablets. However, it should be remembered that mobile versions increase the complexity of designs, which affects their cost. Therefore, our agency performs adaptation of sites for mobile devices for an additional fee to ensure the highest quality and functionality on any device.

Collaborate with the team during the design of mockups

Communications key. Understanding your own or your client's vision, clarifying your needs with your team and getting feedback from potential users will help you create a mockup that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also intuitive. Using modern design tools that allow real-time collaboration and feedback collection makes the whole job easier. Remember that the best mockups are created in an atmosphere of openness, collaboration and constant striving for excellence.

Tools for creating a website mockup

Creating mockups has become much easier thanks to various tools available on the market. These tools, both free and paid, offer a wide range of features to help you create professional and effective mockups. Below is an overview of these tools worth considering.

It is worth noting that the following list is universal and aimed at both professionals and people who have had no exposure to mockup design. If you want to create a rough sketch of your vision, which you can then show to an agency and facilitate communication, there's sure to be something for you. The list includes intuitive programs that allow you to create visualizations quickly and easily, as well as advanced platforms that offer a range of features for more experienced users.

"Website mockup in Miro software.

A lo-fi mockup of the website at Miro

Free and paid tools

Figma (our recommendation) - It offers both free and paid plans. It is a cloud-based tool that enables real-time collaboration between team members. This is especially valuable for designers and UX/UI professionals who need advanced features and tools for precise design. The wealth of features and customization options make Figma an ideal choice for professionals.

Miro (our recommendation) - A tool that offers both free and paid plans. It is primarily used to create so-called whiteboards. This is a great option for those who need to visualize their ideas in a simple and intuitive way. Miro is also great for those who want to create simple mockups on their own. Thanks to its simplicity and intuitiveness, Miro is a good choice for users of all skill levels, including beginners.

Pencil Project - This completely free tool is suitable for users who have an intermediate level of experience and are looking for a tool that is easy to use, but offers more features than basic applications. - This is a minimalist online tool available completely free of charge. It has a simple interface and is ideal for beginners who need a tool to quickly create simple mockups.

MockFlow - Offering both free and paid plans, MockFlow is available to a wide range of users. It is a comprehensive wireframing tool with a variety of features and component libraries, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Axure RP - This paid tool is one of the most advanced tools for creating mockups and prototypes. Recommended for experienced UX/UI design professionals who need complex features and customization options to create detailed and precise designs.

Balsamiq - Offering a trial version and paid plans, Balsamiq is available for a variety of users, but because of its simple drag-and-drop interface, it is especially ideal for those who are just getting started with mockup design. Users can visualize their ideas easily and quickly, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

Mock-up of a website in Figma software

A lo-fi mockup of a website in Figma

Why is it worthwhile for professionals to invest in paid tools and features?

Number of projects: Paid tools or features offer the ability to create an unlimited number of projects, which is a key difference from free versions. Free versions often impose limitations, which can be quite an obstacle for agencies and freelancers who work on multiple projects simultaneously.

Advanced features: Paid tools usually offer features you won't find in free versions, such as advanced animations or interactions.

Support and updates: Access to regular updates and technical support is invaluable, especially when you are working on an important project.

Integrations: Paid tools often integrate with other popular platforms and tools, making the design process easier.


Let's summarize the most important information from the article:

  1. Definition of:
    • A website mockup is a visual sketch or representation of the appearance of a new website/application.
    • It makes it easier for developers and customers to visualize functionality, layout and overall design.
    • It can be created manually, using graphics software or prototyping tools.
  2. Types of mock-ups:
    • Low Fidelity (Lo-Fi): Preliminary sketches showing the main elements of the site and simple visualizations using tools.
    • High Fidelity (Hi-Fi): Advanced mockups for interaction and graphically accurate representations.
  3. Mockups should primarily focus on UX (user experience)
  4. Advantages of mockups:
    • Visualization of the site concept.
    • Effective communication with the team and the customer.
    • Save time and money by detecting problems early.
    • Ability to easily iterate and gather feedback.
  5. The process of creating mock-ups:
    • Defining the purpose of the site.
    • Information gathering.
    • Market research.
    • Structure planning.
    • Creating sketches.
    • Creating Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi mockups.
    • Testing mockups.
    • Hand over mockups to developers or web design firm.
  6. Important elements of the mockup:
    • Navigation.
    • Content that supports the purpose of the site.
    • Interactions and animations.
    • Compatibility with mobile devices.
  7. Collaboration during design:
    • The key is communication and cooperation with the team.
    • Using modern design tools helps gather feedback and collaborate in real time.
  8. Free tools available on the market: Miro, Figma, Pencil Project,, MockFlow
  9. Paid tools: Sketch, Adobe XD, Axure RP, Balsamiq, InVision

Creating mockups is an integral part of our approach to web development. If you are dreaming of a professional and effective website, we sincerely encourage you to make an appointment for a free consultation!

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