There’s no doubt that as a product manager, having the skills to build a quick prototype is critical. The tools below all offer great usability, especially for non-designers/product managers who may have limited design background. These tools all do a good job of allowing a product manager to mock up ideas fast, whether it’s for a board meeting or some guerrilla testing.
Axure is by far the best tool I have ever used for prototyping. It’s relatively expensive, but if you need to create robust and detailed wireframes then this is a great easy to use tool. It’s also extremely easy to publish your prototypes to the cloud and share them externally. You can find out more by going to axure.com
Balsamic isn’t as feature rich as Axure, but it’s also a lot less expensive. It’s a really light tool that can be used to quickly mock up low fidelity wireframes. At about a third of the price of Axure, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth the cost. You can find out more by going to balsamiq.com
JustinMind is also less feature rich than Axure, and not quite as usable in my experience as Balsamiq. But, it offers a very simple interface that is quite usable and for the basics is just as quick as Balsamiq. JustinMind is by subscription and is fairly cheap on a per month basis. So, if you’re only a periodic user it may make more sense to get access to a few months when you need it. Head on over to JustinMind.com