To kick off our reviews of the tools we love, we thought we would start with Balsamiq Mockups. Not only is this a great product, but the story behind it is truly inspiring.
What is Mockups?
Built entirely in Flex and deployed through AIR, Mockups for Desktop is a simple tool for sketching up user-interface (UI) mockups. We use it to get a rough idea of what we want our UI to look like and we love the sketch-like approach for a number of reasons:
- its ease of use replicates the scribbling on paper we do anyway
- it really does only take minutes to create a mockup
- it’s so easy-to-use that even your clients can participate in the process
- it constantly reminds people that you are developing a work in progress and this seems to facilitate better collaboration
- it forces you to focus on the form and function of what you are designing before even getting into the look and feel
Additional benefits include the affordable price, the perpetual free upgrades (hear that Omni Graffle) and the excellent support.
Who is behind Balsamiq?
Balsamiq was founded by Giacomo ‘Peldi’ Guilizzoni in March 2008. Prior to setting out on his own he was a Senior Software Engineering Lead at Adobe.
The company’s first product, Mockups, has generated over $100,000 in sales in less that 5 months. Check out the company blog to learn more about Peldi’s inspiring approach to developing software and running a small business.
You can download a trial of Mockups for Desktop (Windows, OSX and Linux), minus save and export options, so you can give the software a good work out before you buy. Plug-ins are also available for Confluence, Jira and XWiki.
You should definitely give it a trial, you won’t regret it.