Archive for August, 2011

Wire-framing with PowerMockups

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

As a web developer, there are often times when you want to get across a layout or display transitions and interactions interactively to a client in order to speed up the design process and encourage rapid feedback and iteration cycles. I have tried a number of wire-framing tools ranging from straight up PSDs to Balsamiq to Expression Blend SketchFlow, each of which definitely has their pros and cons in relation to ease of use, speed to develop, ability to incorporate feedback etc.

A little while ago I came across a wire-framing tool which is a plug-in for Office PowerPoint at These guys have put together a tool which works seamlessly with PowerPoint and enables users to very quickly and easily create wireframes which can then easily be distributed. Thanks to the inbuilt functions of PowerPoint, clients or users can then amend the files with their own comments, or move things around themselves and return.

I figured one of the easier ways to test this would be to do a wireframe version of the site the tool came from :) . For those interested, this is the PowerPoint file I created.

I was amazed that with no training, and no reading or education, I was able to start getting effective very quickly. The whole site was done in less than an hour! See what I mean about rapid iterations for feedback cycles? I need to play a little more with some of the inbuilt animations of PowerPoint to see how easily integrated easing animations can be brought into things but I am very hopeful.

Overall I was very impressed with the tool; I shall definitely be using and recommending it with other clients and developers (those on the Microsoft stack at least).