Posts Tagged ‘Mock-ups’

The Best Tool for Creating GUI Mockups

February 10, 2010

Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I just found (Thanks Uri) the greatest tool for UI Mocuups - Balsamiq Mockups. If you are a product manager, a UI developer or a techie marketing person, I highly recommend it.

The traditional ways of creating Mockups are quite annoying.

  • Visio is expensive and is not really suitable for this task, although It is a wonderful tool in other cases.
  • MsPaint requires some artistic sense, and using the fill brush to erase screen bits feels so 80′s :) .
  • Coding is time-consuming and not relevant to many product managers.

The things I like about Balsamiq Mockups :

  • It works ! I created Seven mockups screens in 5 hours for a complex feature
  • It feels “Just Right” . It does not try to create a real application, but it comes with many components to make life easy
  • The UI looks great, but it is intentionally “sketchy” to avoid Graphic Design distractions
  • The developers seem nice and “get it”. I even got an evaluation copy as a blogger.
  • Fair price – just $79
  • It’s really cute. For example this is how the comments look like, within the mockup.
Comment in Balsamiq

Comment in Balsamiq

Some minor issues:

  • The properties pane behavior is quite bizarre, it keeps popping up in the wrong place and fading away. Should be dockable.
  • Sometimes the Flash application feels a bit sluggish.
  • The regular evaluation is very limited, and does not allow one to save their work.

I’m looking forward for the SaaS version that would allow easier team work and revision control. A grouphub and TRAC plugin would be cool as well.It would also be amazing to generate “applications” from the Mocks.

To summarize

try it out , it is well worth your $79 and would put a smile on your face.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now; your gambols, your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? Quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come.

William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”, Act 5 scene 1

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