Balsamiq Mockups is an Adobe Air based app developed by a dude that used to work for Adobe in the US (now in Italy working for himself). There are several versions of the app but I opted for the desktop version as I’m a small one-person company right now.
I won’t go into the details of how it works, you can check out the demo video or just do a search on Google for a billion results to choose from. I will talk about my experience using Mockups.
My start was a little rough in that I kept encountering what I think is a bug in Mockups. Another issue I encountered was that it crashed on me when reopening a recent mockup — after which I couldn’t open up the application.
The maybe-bug I encountered I still have to report, and I’m hesitant to call it a bug until I get confirmation that I’m not doing something wrong. The crash was solved by deleting my preferences folder for Mockups. It hasn’t happened since so it looks like it was just a fluke that could’ve been caused by an Adobe Air update I ran when installing the app.
One thing I’ll say is that when my problem occurred, I emailed Peldi (the dude from Italy) with the Apple diagnostic error information. He replied back immediately. The guy is fast. I’m not kidding when I say fast. I think I had a reply back before I hit the send button. I can see why there’s so much positive talk about Balsamiq support. For a moment, I thought he might be using Google’s April 1st gmail service or something.
So now that I’ve been using it, how is it?
- It’s fast. Extremely fast. I’m actually more productive using it than when I use paper or a whiteboard. Drag and dropping entire controls is a timesaver.
- I love being able to reuse my mockups. Can’t do that on paper.
- Works great for web design projects. You get browser window you can slam down (that’s what I do) on the canvas. It’s awesome.
- The interface is great. Not the biggest fan of the horizontal navigation but everything else works smoothly.
I don’t really demand much from a tool like this since it’s meant for quick pre-project work so I don’t have much to complain about. If you do any type of web design work, you really need to give Balsamiq Mockups a shot.