Weekly Release: Better Color Management and more

Hi friends! This week's release is a colorful one! πŸ™‚

One of the nice things of finally having someone with graphic design sensibility in-house (yay Mike!) is that we can finally start making things a little prettier for everyone. Today's release is just a start, you'll see many more improvement to the app, the website, and everything else we produce from now on.

What's new?

  • All Versions: A new color palette!

    The new colors are less LOUD and more useful in a wireframe, and they are finally sorted in a way that makes sense. I've been using them in my mockups in the last few days and I really like how they look now. A big thank you goes out to adrienne who gave me the right input at the right time for this.
  • All Versions: you can now simulate multiple selection properly: just add a borderless canvas above what you need to mark as selected, pick the right color, make it 50% opaque and voila', multiple selection! Here's an image to show how it works:

    One day we'll make this easier by just letting you multi-select the pop-up list in the Selection inspector, but at least now you have a workaround until then! πŸ™‚ Thanks to Phoenix, Andi and others who have asked for this in the past.
  • All Versions: fixed a bug in the icon library. Thank you Heidi Ulrich for reporting it, with screenshots!
  • All Versions: changed the default color for links to be one of the colors in the new palette. It's more subtle, less loud. I like it:
  • All Versions: added a new row color for List and DataGrid controls. The old one had a shade of green in it, which was a bit confusing. This one is #EEEEEE which is nice and neutral
  • All Versions: changed the background from gradient to solid white. It looks cleaner, and it makes it possible to use white rectangles as masks, which is useful in some cases.
  • All Versions: removed selection color from the progress bars (they are now gray). Progress is not a selection, so why did I make those green in the first place? I can't recall. πŸ™‚
  • Mockups for Desktop: You can now customize the selection color! It's just a new tag in the BalsamiqMockups.cfg file: as an example, add <selectionColor>FF0000</selectionColor> to make the selection color be red (#FF0000). Full instructions here. This was a VERY popular request, originally by Michael Bourque. Thanks to all who participated in the discussion!
  • Mockups for Desktop: new "edit this mockup" button in full-screen.

    This is very useful when you're navigating around a big prototype and need to make a change halfway through. Thanks to Mike, Bill Muchmore, echan1, Darren and Victor Gamolsky for asking for this very useful little feature in these two threads.
  • Mockups for Desktop: fixed a bug where going full-screen would set your mockup as "dirty" (showing the * before its name as if you had modified it) even if it wasn't.
  • Mockups for Confluence: fixed a bug that said "EULA violation" if you had an unlimited Mockups for Confluence license. Woops!
  • Mockups for XWiki: fixed a compatibility issue with XWiki 2.2.3 and above and a couple of other little bugs here and there.

How do I update?

Easy! Just use our badge button below!

As always, if you hit any snags with the new build let us know immediately and we'll fix it right up! πŸ™‚

For posterity, these are the version numbers of today's release:

  • Mockups for Desktop: version 1.7.10
  • Mockups for Confluence: version 1.7.11
  • Mockups for JIRA: version 1.7.11
  • Mockups for XWiki: version 1.7.9
  • Mockups for FogBugz: version 1.7.12
  • Web Demo: version 1.7.11 launch it

Company Update

  • Marco is making GREAT progress in the components feature. He's at a point where we are THIS CLOSE to be able to double-click on a group to edit its contents. This is a MASSIVE refactoring effort and I am SO GLAD that Marco is doing it, I don't think I would have come out of it alive if I tried. This feature will be awesome, and we'll release it as soon as we can. If you want to follow along our roadmap for the components feature, here it is.
  • Luis, Mike and I are making GREAT progress on the new myBalsamiq design. We are also working with JΓΆrn Zaefferer for our jQuery UI components, and he's really awesome: doing-40-hours-worth-of-work-in -20-minutes kind of awesome. I'll write a whole blog post about how we were able to convince one of the top jQuery and jQuery UI committers to help us with myBalsamiq after we ship it. Very fun stuff! πŸ™‚
  • Valerie celebrated her first year as a Balsamiq employee! It feels more like forever to me, we've done so much together already! Valerie, thank you SO MUCH for everything you do every day. Even with 20k+ customers to support, you make it possible for the rest of us to be heads-down coding for weeks on end. We are SO LUCKY to have you! πŸ™‚
  • As a nice celebration for Val, last week was our biggest week yet in terms of new customer sales: 475!
  • I really like the way we're working these days. The switch to Bazaar, with its co-located, server-bound branches, makes it very easy for us to do new releases and work without interfering with each other. The ability to make local check-ins is great for big features...I can see Marco diffing against his own "old" code often. I also have FINALLY understood, digested and internalized TDD. It really helps me think through new tough features. I'm using FlexUnit "for real" for the first time and I'm loving it (here's a primer if you use Flash Builder 4). It's one of those no-going-back life changes. As for Hudson, it's made our build process much faster, with parallel and more streamlined builds. I must thank Luis for showing us the path on all of these fronts.

Other than that, everything is going great. We're cranking! πŸ™‚

Oh, I'm going to be on Mixergy next Wed. at 11PST, come show your support in the chat, I'll need it! I'm also speaking at BetterSoftware in Florence soon. If you can't make it to Italy, I'll also be giving another talk at LessConference, in Atlanta, at the end of May. Come say hello!

Onward!

Peldi for the Balsamiq team

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Comments (10)

  1. Hi Darren,

    You can enter any HEX color in the color picker, as detailed here: https://blogs.balsamiq.com/product/2013/10/24/colorpicker/

    That should help but feel free to reach out via support@balsamiq.com if you need anything else. πŸ™‚

  2. Can we have more colours please? Or maybe allow custom colour selection?

  3. @AFPC: You can change the default selection color using the Project Inspector in Balsamiq Mockups version 3.x. See the docs here: http://support.balsamiq.com/customer/portal/articles/1895403

  4. How can I change the selection colour on the Desktop Mac version? Any suggestions appreciated.

  5. Hey, everyone. We fixed the link color to use a dark blue and will roll that out soon. Thanks for pointing out the problems you’ve been having.

  6. “All Versions: changed the default color for links to be one of the colors in the new palette. It’s more subtle, less loud. I like it:”

    I don’t like it. I like all other improvements you made but this one. I think the new link-color is less distinct and clear. It reads very bad on shades of grey.

    The new color looks good on white. But when is Balsamic about looking good?

    Maybe I can change the default link color in some sort of settings?

    [Peldi: I agree, it’s too washed out. We see it now as well. We’ll make it darker in the next release, thanks for reporting it! We’re also going to improve the selection color as well.]

  7. Hi,

    1) Great to hear about the progress on the components feature, this adds so much value to Mockups. Could not believe that it’s not in there already. I think it will be used heavily from the start to deal with webpage layouts (as in “elements on every page” => Top Level Navigation use case, https://our.mybalsamiq.com/project/143/mockup/454). I tried Napkee(.com) to export a “living” prototype, which is a must-have feature for us. It worked kind of great but needed some side-by-side editing in Napkee and Mockups so that everything looked nice. The components feature would helped a lot doing that (at least everything is pasted in the exact place when copied from one Mockup to another).

    [Peldi: yup, we’re doing this as fast as we can]

    2) Completely out of context: Great aligning-helper! I did not see something like that anywhere else than Visio. So far, I was never _not_ able to align something the way I wanted.

    [Peldi: thanks!]

    3) Are you considering to use a public issue tracker (maybe JIRA, I heard there might even be a Mockups plugin for that…)? I really don’t get along with this getsatisfaction platform when I want to report a bug. When you see a high “bounce rate” from Germany for your getsatisfaction instance… that would be me trying (and giving up) to search if a problem has been reported yet. Does Mike as the “UX Guru” have an option on its interface? I’m really not an expert, but it doesn’t strike me as intuitive or welcoming for first time users.

    [Peldi: sorry you didn’t like GetSatisfaction. We really like what they stand for, and it’s been working very well for us. I’ll report your feedback to them though, so that everyone wins! :)]

    Keep up the great work,

    Wolfram

    Wolfram
  8. Thank you so much for this great work!

    All we need now is a “Rotate” function, so that I can rotate the “volume slider” πŸ˜‰

    Thanks again!

    [Peldi: Good idea. In the meantime, try using a Vertical Rule control and a little circle icon overlaid on it, or maybe a vertical slider control?]

  9. Really hoping to see the release with Components soon.. would save me a lot of work that I’m doing right now.

    Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  10. Thank you thank you thank you! Gone with the green selection color.

    See this post – we are almost there!

    http://community.balsamiq.com/balsamiq/topics/can_we_have_an_option_to_change_selection_color_instead_of_green

    Michael Bourque