Most people that know me understand the fact that I read a lot of blogs. Well earlier in the week, Oren (Ayende) posted about a tool he had found for making mock-ups. Well this is something I currently do frequently as I need to display mock-ups of new areas or changes to existing, so the post piqued my interest. After putting it off checking it out for a few days, I finally came to a new task that required mock-ups.
I did not use the desktop version yet, but am planning on doing so soon. This review will cover the trial version. There are no limitations on this version, but a timer will pop every five minutes encouraging you to purchase one of the paid versions. I highly recommend you do so, it is worth it.
First off I am not a designer, I would much rather write back-end code any day of the week. So needless to say, I do not like doing mock-ups. The interface is flashed base and very smooth. The elements you drop on the canvas have that hand drawn style about them, which I think is great. After all, most of us are not dealing with production mock-ups where every detail is finalized on the page. We are dealing with mock-ups to show other team members / bosses so that they understand your concept. Here is an example, just a simple page displaying a grid of users:
As you can see nice and easy, took 20 seconds. The same thing in word (using tables, ugh) or visio would have taken considerably longer. Now for a shot of the interface:
In just the hour or so I used it, it probably saved the company the cost of one license. You can find more information as well as the Trial at www.balsamiq.com. To go straight to some sample mockups, you can go here.