low cost wireframing/diagramming solution?

15 Jun 2009 - 3:23pm
5 years ago
20 replies
1331 reads
Jerome Covington
2008

I am a front-end developer who only occasionally has need for a
wireframing/diagramming application.
I had been using an online tool called Lovely Charts for a previous project,
and was going to turn to it again for some new work, but found that they
wanted to charge a fee to save more than one project.

I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be possible to
find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for help.

If any of you have any recommendations, at an entry-level price-point, I'm
all ears!

Thanks in advance.

Comments

16 Jun 2009 - 1:12am
Anonymous

Hi Jerome,

You might want to check out Gliffy - http://www.gliffy.com/ - another
on-line diagramming tool.
I used it in the past briefly and my only real complaint for basic
diagramming was the lack of off-line support, which caused me to move
to OmniGraffle.

They offer a free and a reasonably priced premium service based on the
number of users, but the free version may in-fact meet your needs.

Regards,

Bryan

Yiibu: Mobile user experience and design
http://yiibu.com | hello at yiibu.com
tel: +44 (0) 7595 185 668
twitter: bryanrieger

Mobile Design UK
http://mobiledesign.org.uk/

http://bryanrieger.com
...on design, devices and distractions.

http://linkedin.com/in/bryanrieger

On 15 Jun 2009, at 22:23, Jerome Covington wrote:

> I am a front-end developer who only occasionally has need for a
> wireframing/diagramming application.
> I had been using an online tool called Lovely Charts for a previous
> project,
> and was going to turn to it again for some new work, but found that
> they
> wanted to charge a fee to save more than one project.
>
> I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be
> possible to
> find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for
> help.
>
> If any of you have any recommendations, at an entry-level price-
> point, I'm
> all ears!

16 Jun 2009 - 3:19am
Stew Dean
2007

If you're only doing things now and again then there are other applications
you can use at a pinch. For example Powerpoint can be used to create
wireframes. I've yet to find a online tool that is offers much more than you
can do in powerpoint. Usual tools are Omingraffle and Visio, they more or
less do the same thing. I'm currently dabbling with Flash Catalyst but it
has a few holes at the moment in the Beta but is available free for the time
being.
Others use Illustrator / In Design and pototyping tools like Axure - or just
sketch it on paper or on a white board. A few use photoshop but it's not
great at vectors and can make it tempting to try and impliment before you
concept.

Stewart Dean

2009/6/15 Jerome Covington <jeromecovington at gmail.com>

> I am a front-end developer who only occasionally has need for a
> wireframing/diagramming application.
> I had been using an online tool called Lovely Charts for a previous
> project,
> and was going to turn to it again for some new work, but found that they
> wanted to charge a fee to save more than one project.
>
> I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be possible to
> find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for help.
>
> If any of you have any recommendations, at an entry-level price-point, I'm
> all ears!
>
> Thanks in advance.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Stewart Dean

16 Jun 2009 - 5:56am
pradeepnayar
2009

Hey Jerome,
Bryan & Stewart mentioned some good tools. My personal favorite is Balsamiq Mockups (http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups).

It helps you make a very low-end interface which is very useful especially initially in a project when a client can tend to get distracted by a color or font in the mockups. I also tend to use this extensively for paper prototyping as it's better than me trying to draw a straight line.

You can use it online and if you download the tool that is just $79 which is much better than other more expensive modeling tools.

Another cool thing about Balsamiq is that there are some ready made templates for the i-phone interface and other typically created patterns made by a passionate community of users at: http://www.mockupstogo.net/

Hope that helps!

later,
Pradeep

16 Jun 2009 - 5:55am
devesh jagatram
2005

If you are looking only at wireframing, you can also look at Balasmiq
Mockup. You will need to buy a paid version in order to save any drawing,
but it is simple and easy to use, and also gives the feel of paper
prototype.

Devesh Jagatram

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 2:49 PM, Stewart Dean <stewdean at gmail.com> wrote:

> If you're only doing things now and again then there are other applications
> you can use at a pinch. For example Powerpoint can be used to create
> wireframes. I've yet to find a online tool that is offers much more than
> you
> can do in powerpoint. Usual tools are Omingraffle and Visio, they more or
> less do the same thing. I'm currently dabbling with Flash Catalyst but it
> has a few holes at the moment in the Beta but is available free for the
> time
> being.
> Others use Illustrator / In Design and pototyping tools like Axure - or
> just
> sketch it on paper or on a white board. A few use photoshop but it's not
> great at vectors and can make it tempting to try and impliment before you
> concept.
>
> Stewart Dean
>
> 2009/6/15 Jerome Covington <jeromecovington at gmail.com>
>
> > I am a front-end developer who only occasionally has need for a
> > wireframing/diagramming application.
> > I had been using an online tool called Lovely Charts for a previous
> > project,
> > and was going to turn to it again for some new work, but found that they
> > wanted to charge a fee to save more than one project.
> >
> > I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be possible to
> > find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for
> help.
> >
> > If any of you have any recommendations, at an entry-level price-point,
> I'm
> > all ears!
> >
> > Thanks in advance.
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Stewart Dean
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

16 Jun 2009 - 5:12am
Todd Diemer
2009

You can also consider some open source desktop applications. I don't
think any of these are as good as Visio or OmniGraffle, but the price
is right:

Dia
http://live.gnome.org/Dia

OpenOffice.org Draw
http://www.openoffice.org/product/draw.html

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jun 2009 - 10:32am
Candy Bernhardt
2009

balsamiq.com?

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:23 AM, Jerome Covington <jeromecovington at gmail.com
> wrote:

> I am a front-end developer who only occasionally has need for a
> wireframing/diagramming application.
> I had been using an online tool called Lovely Charts for a previous
> project,
> and was going to turn to it again for some new work, but found that they
> wanted to charge a fee to save more than one project.
>
> I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be possible to
> find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for help.
>
> If any of you have any recommendations, at an entry-level price-point, I'm
> all ears!
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42842
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Candy B

;Cb

16 Jun 2009 - 3:03pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Jun 15, 2009, at 2:23 PM, Jerome Covington wrote:

> I thought if I was going to spend any money that it might be
> possible to
> find a better solution and figured I would turn to the community for
> help.

Pencil and paper or a whiteboard with a digital camera.

Seriously.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

16 Jun 2009 - 3:15pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

In addition to all the other answers, you can try the openoffice.org
draw application (requires a download of the whole suite, but it
costs nothing). It has a reasonable diagram function which I've used
in the past. There's no reason it couldn't be used for wireframing
too.

http://openoffice.org and
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/OOoAuthors_User_Manual/Draw_Guide/Drawing_a_flow_diagram

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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17 Jun 2009 - 6:32am
Janel Blattler
2009

A few months back I stumbled upon this link and found it was rather
useful for seeing what's on the market in a variety of price ranges:
http://www.sitepoint.com/article/tools-prototyping-wireframing/

For a reasonably priced product (read: sub $200) I've had success
with both Balsamiq and iPlotz (see page 2 of the link for reviews of
both). Of the two, I have been using iPlotz more, as I like the
ability to make my low-fi prototypes interactive and post a link for
users to interact with the prototypes.

As an occasional user you can get away with using the free version of
either if you don't mind being reminded you can upgrade (as with
Balsamiq) or being limited to 5 wireframes at a time (iPlotz).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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18 Jun 2009 - 6:56am
aschechterman
2004

FlairBuilder (http://www.flairbuilder.com/) is really nice as well . . .

Andrew Schechterman PhD

aschechterman at gmail.com

www.Linkedin.com/in/andrewschechterman

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 11:32 PM, Janel Blattler <threesix at gmail.com> wrote:

> A few months back I stumbled upon this link and found it was rather
> useful for seeing what's on the market in a variety of price ranges:
> http://www.sitepoint.com/article/tools-prototyping-wireframing/
>
> For a reasonably priced product (read: sub $200) I've had success
> with both Balsamiq and iPlotz (see page 2 of the link for reviews of
> both). Of the two, I have been using iPlotz more, as I like the
> ability to make my low-fi prototypes interactive and post a link for
> users to interact with the prototypes.
>
> As an occasional user you can get away with using the free version of
> either if you don't mind being reminded you can upgrade (as with
> Balsamiq) or being limited to 5 wireframes at a time (iPlotz).
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42842
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

28 Jun 2009 - 2:26pm
Lisa Rex
2009

If you have a Mac and iWork, you can create clickable wireframes with
Keynote. Otherwise, Post-Its or a whiteboard are always good!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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29 Jun 2009 - 9:51am
Stuart Cruickshank
2009

For a more rounded list of wireframing/prototyping tools (i.e. not just those at that cheaper end of the spectrum), check this post on Adaptive Path titled "Rapid Prototyping Tools" http://www.adaptivepath.com/blog/2009/03/24/rapid-prototyping-tools/

29 Jun 2009 - 9:06am
rajit
2009

I use Balsamiq and OmniGraffle. Balsamiq works well when trying to
turn out a quick "sketch" to get your brain working. It is capable
of a bit more than that though.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Jun 2009 - 9:18am
matthewlarn
2008

Balsamiq is the best program ever for quick wireframing and prototyping. If
you write a blog post or promote their product on the web at all, they will
give you a free license.
-Matthew Stephens
Co-Founder, deviantART.com
Lead UX Designer, OneSpot.com

1 Jul 2009 - 2:23am
Nils Clark-Bernhard
2009

There is also a young Berlin based startup doing
http://www.rapidrabb.it

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Jul 2009 - 7:01am
aschechterman
2004

Balsamiq is terrific, also a big fan of FlairBuilder (www.FlairBuilder.com)
. . . very nice. - A

Andrew Schechterman

aschechterman at gmail.com

www.Linkedin.com/in/andrewschechterman

303-886-2440

On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 7:23 PM, Nils Clark-Bernhard <
nils.clark-bernhard at human-aspects.de> wrote:

> There is also a young Berlin based startup doing
> http://www.rapidrabb.it
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42842
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

1 Jul 2009 - 7:12am
Shelly Cawood
2009

I use Omnigraffle, being a Mac user, as it is much quicker for
producing wireframes than things like Illustrator, which is very time
consuming. Viso for PC users is also good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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2 Jul 2009 - 5:56am
Rajesh Jha
2008

You can use Powerpoint to create wireframes really fast. After
creating few initial slides, with headers, footers etc, all you have
to do is duplicate and modify slides. It is also easy to iterate on a
wireframe created with Powerpoint. Furthermore, with little effort,
you can simulate a task flow too. In our group, we started creating
wireframes in Powerpoint about three years ago and never felt the
need for any other software. Really...

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2 Jul 2009 - 1:32pm
pyces
2007

I like Visio best. You can do so much with it. For example, you can
either find or write VB code to copy pages automatically so that they
are the same size, then whenever you want to make a new iteration of a
page, just run the macro. You can also use GOTO, if you right-click on a
shape or text or whatever control, then select Format > Behavior. The
last option on the Double-Click tab is Go to page. Select the page you
want the control to go to and you're all set. The only difference is
that you double-click the control rather than single-clicking it to
invoke the go to action.
You can also write code (or find some and modify it) to show and hide
levels so that when you select an option button, it really appears to do
something (shows a different level - so basically conditional display),
or when you click a link to display optional controls, they really
display. There are so many tricks to Visio. Using available code, you
can also auto-create a table-of-contents and copy pages to another
document, to name a few. There's also all sorts of fields (Insert >
Fields) that can be auto-populated, such as the name of page, what
number page it is of how many pages, who the author is, and many other
things that I've found to be very helpful. Just dig around on the net a
bit - there is a ton of information out there.

Courtney
-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Shelly Cawood
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 2:13 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] low cost wireframing/diagramming solution?

I use Omnigraffle, being a Mac user, as it is much quicker for
producing wireframes than things like Illustrator, which is very time
consuming. Viso for PC users is also good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42842

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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6 Jul 2009 - 12:46pm
Riaz
2006

Gliffy is another online software similar to lovey charts (maybe not as lovely)... but honestly I've been training my team to accept sketches done on paper and pencil.

Gliffy > http://www.gliffy.com/

Paper Wireframe Examples > http://ahmedriaz.com/uxsketches/?cat=5

` Riaz
http://www.ahmedriaz.com

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