Friday, May 29, 2009

WireframeSketcher

One of the eclipse plug-ins I ran into recently is really pretty impressive. I have used Viso to do user interface mock-ups before - but there are kind of two problems with this approach:

  • the result looks like a real application; so if you show it to a customer they want to stop talking to you and run the application
  • the Viso templates only provide a Windows XP appearance which is pretty lame these days

It turns out that the Viso templates were "removed" from the latest copy of Viso (along with a bunch of other useful things) and held ransom as part of a Professional Edition.

So I went off to look .... and found something better :-)



WireframeSketcher - http://wireframesketcher.com/

This is an eclipse plug-in, it is beautifully written, and very fast to quickly slam together a ui mock up.

And even better the result looks like a ui mock up; allowing every one to stay focused on the workflow; the trade offs; and how the user interface functions rather than get distracted by the font used or the icons.

Perfect.

Here is an example mock-ups done for the uDig style editor.



Stay tuned (or jump on the mailing list) for styling plans.

I have added a page on WireframeSketcher to the udig list of recommended tools in our wiki.

We keep a list of good design ideas on our wiki; in order to refine the ideas before implementation, this tool should be helpful in those discussions.
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