Following up on a recent post comparing online wireframing applications, here's a look at another application. I began with particular criteria for wireframing tools:
- Share files and collaborate with remote coworkers
- Work from home on my Mac, and at the office on my PC
- Use web apps to build web apps!
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Great customer care
- A cool looking interface
Keying on layout
Laying them out works well and is pleasant to mess around with. The components snap into alignment with each other in a way that Microsoft Visio should imitate -- although it's not quite best of breed. Snap doesn't center to other objects, so in my mind it's not as good as the smart layout implementation in Apple's Keynote presentation software.
Keyboard shortcuts don't appear to work on my Mac. The help says Command instead of Ctrl should work on Macs, but in Safari, the browser shortcuts rule. A few minutes of using the pulldown menus to copy and paste had me gritting my teeth in frustration. There's a one-click Duplicate icon, but still, keyboard shortcuts are the fastest solution for a productivity tool. I hope Balsamiq fixes them.
Balsamiq's getsatisfaction presence is a big plus. Getsatisfaction.com is a terrific way for companies that really care about customers to both do good and look good. It's more usable and scannable than a message board interface, and more trustworthy that testimonial stories. A couple minutes of browsing shows how much the company works to add features and please users.
In addition, I can't get used to the pencil-sketch style of the wireframes. For me, boxes and gray lines say "wireframe," and an obtrusive computerized sketch style is unnecessary. This is just personal preference though -- I think other users will like the style.
P.S. Sorry about the horrendous markup and formatting in this post. Typepad and I have some work to do together on my new template.