I have found over the years that while pen and paper is great for sketching workflows or defining the number of screens, at some point end users and stakeholders may need a rundown of how the app will work. Wireframing used to be a painful and tedious process using archaic tools like Vision or Powerpoint. With wasted hours flushing out layout, user workflow, and positioning of elements I always knew there had to be a better way!
I was introduced to Balsamiq years ago from Mico Yuk at BI Delivery Formula (BIDF), and it quickly become one of my most valuable tools in my arsenal for creating dashboards and apps. Now, I use Balsamiq to flush out details with my software engineering team for how end users will interact with anything from our Centigon Gurus site, to our new generation of location analytics tools at Centigon Solutions.
The beauty of Balsamiq, is that the end results have a hand-sketched theme that transforms your app into a context sensitive wire frame. I have found that not having a polished end result provides a more efficient discussion for validation from potential end users. Why? End users are not getting hung up on colors and other visuals that are irrelevant in early stages of app design.
For a non-developer, Balasmiq is the perfect tool to communicate your ideas for how an app should work for an end-user and creates the opportunity to find defects in workflows with other colleagues before a single line of code is written.
Give it a go! It will take you 10 minutes to master and save you hours quickly wire-framing your next creation.