I’ve been using the full desktop version for only a few days, but already love this tool! In just a matter of minutes, I am able to draw a mockup for a screen and start getting feedback. Here is a sample, a CodePlex-like UI, that took less than five minutes.
Creating this mockup goes as follows:
- Drag a browser element onto the design surface, stretch it and type a URL and title
- Using the “Quick Add” box, type “tab” <Enter> to add the tab control. Type “Home, Downloads, Documentation, Discussions, etc.” and <Enter> again. Reposition the tab element.
- Using the “Quick Add” box, type “link” <Enter> twice to create a link bar for the top right and another link bar to be positioned below the tabs.
- Continue using the “Quick Add” box to add textboxes, label text, search boxes, images, subtitle text, links, and data grids. Type values and reposition.
This tool has a few features I find to be more compelling than the imitators:
- Speed - Being able to create and recreate mockups with such speed and usefulness really promotes a good prototyping/review process.
- Look and Feel - Having an obvious “rough draft” look and feel gets your customer thinking about usability and element placement and less about colors, styles, images, copy, fonts, etc. This makes for a very productive meeting involving customers in “the task at hand” and nothing more.
- Demo mode - Similar to MS SketchFlow, you can assign links to buttons that can simulate events. When entering full-screen demo mode, you can click on these links and move between your mockups as if it were a live site. It also has a large pointer (arrow) and always points to the center, staying out of the way.
- Good user community - tons of free extensions like wizards, toolbars, reporting chart elements, and plenty of iPhone/iPad junk for “those people”. I’m a PC.
- Updates and Upgrades - weekly updates based on user feedback and perpetual free upgrades. My emails have been answered within 12 hours, which is quite impressive considering the 6+ hour time difference.
This is free to try on the web, but you cannot save or export the images. You can, however, export the PNG with a watermark. Desktop version gives you some nice added features like copy/paste, undo, and demo mode.
Try it out, buy it, and love it!