Quick mock-ups with Balsamiq

After a demo by Jay Simons, I am taking Balsamiq Mockups for a test drive – and I like what I’ve seen so far! The tool helps you to quickly draw mock-ups of web, windows or iPhone applications. The tool addresses the issue I feel with some other means of making mock-ups in that the result looks too real. The cool thing about Balsamiq Mockups is that the result looks like a good drawing: this gives your audience the right feeling about the state of the design.

The tool comes with 75 pre-defined controls that you can drag and drop on a canvas. Simply by editing a text description and properties you can change the controls. No programming, no problems and a simple syntax (for instance, by placing a text within “[” and “]”, it becomes a hyperlink in the interface). Of course, the options you have to tweak each control is limited, but for mock-ups that should not be a problem. Fortunately, the nice people from Balsamiq helped me with a free licence, because without a licence the tool is nagging all the time and quite crippled (it does not even want to save a mock-up). Good news for users of Atlassian Confluence: Balsamiq Mockups is now standard part of the Confluence enviroment.

So, if you would like to discuss an early design of a website, Windows application or iPhone application with stakeholders, give this tool a try and see if it works for you.

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