Mockups with Balsamiq

by Ruben 2 Minutes

Mockup creation is an extremely important part of how I start a new project. I usually work on paper or a whiteboard for this part of a project. This time I decided to give Balsamiq Mockups a try.

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?

  1. 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.
  2. I love being able to reuse my mockups. Can’t do that on paper.
  3. 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.
  4. The interface is great. Not the biggest fan of the horizontal navigation but everything else works smoothly.

Any complaints?

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.

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by Ruben
Ruben originally founded proposal software, Bidsketch as a one-person company while working as a software developer for a billion dollar payroll company. Since its early days as a “company of one,” Bidsketch has grown to help over 2,000 paying customers win billions of dollars in new business and save thousands of hours in the process.