Monday, July 28, 2008

Balsamiq Mockups: Taking the evilness out of prototypes

Everyone that has heard Odd Helge Gravalid's presentation "Gui prototyper Onde" (GUI Prototypes Are Evil) knows why prototypes are evil shit. The main point is that proptypes create expectations about the functionality in the GUI that may not be fully implemented or may not be present at all, but it seems like it is. So what's wrong about that? Well, as I recently experienced; A couple of weeks after you presented the prototype, when you actually have implemented the functionality, the customer's project manager says: "What have you guys really been doing lately? This is nothing more than you showed me two weeks ago". And then you are in trouble. So the moral is that you should never make a prototype that actually looks like it's really implemented. It will most certainly backfire! Last Friday I came across this great GUI mockup tool called Balsamiq Mockups. The tool makes it really easy to create mockups by using the more than 60 pre-built controls. The cool thing is that it looks like they're actually drawn by hand, "so that people don't get attached to “that pretty color gradient”". This can certainly help us out not going in that prototype trap and rather let us concentrate on the important aspect of prototyping: Discussing functionality! Check it out: You can even try it out here!


  1. Goran, I love your blog. Your tip about balsamiq mockups changed my life.

    I am counting the days till I see you again Goran. Remember the first time we meet during the Gathering in 2004, it was magic. When we lay in our sleeping bags beneath the computertables discussing the still ongoing global problem: "how can we take the evilness out of prototypes?" Your vision and engagment for the challenge was magnificent. Who gives a shit about problems like global warming? We need people like you Goran, to solve the real problems of the world!

    Goran - I salute you!!

  2. The problem here is the insane project manager..

  3. Agree! But still a quite commom scenario :)