Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

Times are tough. We have less money, and less resources. My team has gotten smaller and our budget is in lock-down mode. In these times, demand for performance increases while resources decrease.
Fortunately for me, I soon discovered Balsamiq Mockups. Our company has gotten more distributed, and the usual face to face meetings, and whiteboard work needed in the past, now needed to be done in a fashion that made it easy for people to communicate over email and was easy to manipulate (read: something that played well with our rapid development environment). I personally do not like Visio, and other heavier tools. I needed something light-weight, that could take numerous iterations with ease.
And text goes only so far. We don’t have GUI personnel on staff anymore, so I couldn’t have someone else do this either. I started off a discussion about the new features via email, and having described the new page in our app, I kept getting more questions. Guess what? Everyone else is busy and overwhelmed with work just like me, and they too needed a quick (read: visual) interpretation of what I was thinking.
So I went to Balsamiq’s website and tried their web-based version. I was able to create a visual version of the page I was communicating via email in less than 5 minutes, and took a quick screenshot and sent it off to the same folks. Guess what, I got agreement shortly thereafter.
Take a look at some of the sample creations on Balsamiq’s website. Best of all, its written in Adobe AIR and is continuously being improved.
Payoff: Big time! | Ease of Use: High | Software Cost: $79

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Comments on: "Tools of the Trade #5: Balsamiq Mockups" (2)

  1. Raul Riera said:

    I enjoyed Balamiq for a while, but if you use Omnigraffle there is a pretty good stencil that enables you to do that just great.. and there are even “Blueprint” and “960 grid” sheets you make your life even easier.

    http://konigi.com/notebook/omnigraffle-sketch-stencils-now-available

  2. @Raul,

    I know someone who uses OmniGraffle and is happy with it, however we are a Windows shop, so Mac tools are out of the question.

    The good thing about Balsamiq is that its cross-platform. Would love to see a Windows version of OmniGraffle, I’m sure they would make a killing.

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