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This is so wild...watch the video below...I could have given the exact same talk! OK, probably a lot less eloquently, but I am amazed at how closely what Jason Fried says maps to my thoughts about software and Balsamiq.
Video: The Philosophy of 37signals - Jason Fried
One thing that they do differently from me is to jump straight into HTML+CSS for their Mockups. I still think that's too time-consuming compared to using Mockups to flesh out your UI ideas. I do agree that you don't really need more than a mockup, or a set of mockups, as a spec.
If you think about it, this is all just common sense. Hats off to 37Signals for turning common sense into a great self-marketing tool! Only in this crazy industry... 🙂
And before you comment with jabs that balsamiq.com looks a lot like 37Signals.com, you should know that the design is mine, I have the Illustrator file to prove it! 😉 I designed the site at what I think was peak of my "37Signals fan-boy" phase, so I'm not surprised if it comes across as heavily inspired by it. I like the text-heavy, readable style, what can I say? (I'm actually not very satisfied with the site's navigation structure, I'll work on it as soon as I have some free time).
Anyways, thanks to 37Signals for speaking for all of us small bootstrapped lifestyle ISVs who like to solve small problems really well! 🙂
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> One thing that they do differently from me is to jump straight into HTML+CSS for their Mockups. I still think that’s too time-consuming compared to using Mockups to flesh out your UI ideas.
I totally agree with you.
I’m building a Cashflow App right now, and I came to the same conclusion.
Mockup is the best tool I ever used to quickly design application screens.
I talk about it here :
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Yeah, nice talk 🙂
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As a user of Balsamiq for a heavy-duty Flex/Flash site, I can tell you that doing the mock-ups is they way to go!
Not only did it help us get the design ideas on paper quickly (a couple of hours), but it brought up issues that we would not have “noticed” if we just spec’ed out the concept in words.
This tool is worth its weight in silicon!
Keep up the great work.