Mate of the Week – Balsamiq Mockups for Desktop

I was introduced to Balsamiq Mockups for Desktop at the SA UX meetup in Cape Town last night, and I’m thanking my lucky stars! Finally, a rapid prototyping product that can match Axure. But unlike Axure’s Windows only desktop application, Balsamiq uses Adobe’s AIR platform. Thus no problem running on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Oh, and then of course there’s the fact that Balsamiq costs $79, as opposed to $589. A slight difference…

Here’s a screenshot of a wireframe done in Balsamiq:

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The pencil drawing style is rather deliberate. As Bertus pointed out, mockups that look like final versions of software, are often interpreted by non-technical clients as being just that: final. Because they don’t see it as a pen-and-paper mockup, their reactions are often different. Because they think that the mockup is an almost final design, they suspect that there might be further costs if they ask the developer to redo the design.

See the 2:30 minute video below to see how quick and easy Balsamiq is to use.

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