I have historically done mock-ups in two ways:
- Just code it up
Neither are really good solutions. But as a developer for an enterprise product, the above tools just are not sufficient.
So I have recently introduced to SketchFlow. This is a tool for quickly mocking up your UI. It has some features that are quite nice and I am impressed. I can create a UI very quickly and maybe even faster than I could with Paint.NET on the first try. After using SketchFlow for a while, it will be a lot faster.
There are three features that make SketchFlow an amazing tool for UI prototyping.
- The ability to map and design at the same time
- The ability to package it for a demo
- The ability to export the prototype to word.
These features make it so that for the same or less work that we have to do anyway to provide sample screens, we also get 1) a Map that we otherwise would have had to spend extra time creating in Visio or elsewhere, 2) A packaged demo that we can send to customers for feed back early on before development so we develop it right the first time, and 3) Stub documentation with all the screens and topical guides exported to word in seconds.
All three of these features are demonstrated in this Video.
Note: For my FreeBSD readers...this might not be for you though it would be interesting to see if Moonlight can load this video.