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PowerMockup, A New Tool for Low Fidelity Mockups

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Agile teams seeking to deliver a high quality user experience often create mockups of varying fidelity to hone in on an appropriate design prior to coding (e.g. prior to sprint/iteration planning). PowerMockup is a new product for those seeking to create low fidelity mockups using a tool they are already familiar with, PowerPoint.

Low fidelity mockups, often called wireframes, are intentionally basic, often consisting of just black and white shapes and text. The lack of color and texture is intentional as it puts the focus on usability, functional design and flow instead of esthetics like color and font. The simplest technology for creating wireframes is paper and pencil, which suffers from a few flaws, including: it is time consuming to create even a basic page layout, updates are difficult, and there is no easy way to share a design.

To fill the gap, digital tools like Balsamiq Mockups, were created. With Balsamic Mockups you can create and manipulate a wireframe that for all intensive purposes looks like it was hand drawn with a felt tip pen. Many also use an old standby, PowerPoint, applying the standard built in shapes to create something that resembles a web page. All digital tools have advantages over pen and paper, including greater speed in modifying a mockup, consistency across mockups, and ease of electronic sharing.

PowerMockups is a new entrant that adds interface elements (shapes) to PowerPoint, allowing many to use a tool they already know. Features include:

  • 78 fully editable user interface elements
  • 84 wireframe icons
  • Compatible with PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 for Windows

Interface elements include basics like a browser window, text box, message box and button, along with many others. They are organized on a ribbon bar into containers, navigation, text, graphics and icons. The interface elements for navigation are shown in the image below.

PowerMockups Navigation Shapes

The interface elements are designed to simplify the creation of mockups, and they can be mixed with, and manipulated like, the built in PowerPoint shapes. To create dynamic representations you can use standard PowerPoint functionality to create slides shows or add links between pages. You can also use static representation to show flow and functionality, as in the following example.

PowerMockup Registration Example

Find out more at the PowerMockup website.

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