Balsamiq Mockups is one tool I use to build my upcoming community site. Following a tweet I made last week, I saw that many of you were curious to know what I was thinking of Balsamiq Mockups. So, here we are.
Before you build any software, Web site or even a blog, you need is to draw mockups of the interface. This step is not about being pretty. This step is about defining how the Web pages will operate. Plus, you identify what content and how it will be shown to the users.
I used many tools and methods to create wireframes/UI mockups over my UI and Web design career. The most efficient I found so far is Balsamiq. It feels natural and you work fast.
How Balsamiq works?
Using Balsamiq Mockups feels natural since it reproduces hand drawing on a piece of paper done but quickly done with a computer. Once you learned where are the 75 pre-set controls, it goes fast to create your interface. You have access to more than 150 icons. For the expert users, they are plenty of keyboard shortcuts.
The pre-set controls come with context-sensitive properties to give you more options. You can import an image if there is no ready-to-use controls that fit your need. Plus, you can download custom control made by the members of their Mockups To Go community.
In team meetings, you could easily modify and create new mockups while you are having a discussion. For all these reasons, I love it!