Best Balsamiq Features For Wireframing Your New Ecommerce Website
We’ve been reporting on the development and evolution of Balsamiq Cloud throughout 2019 and so we’ve rounded up all the features released in one place.
If you’re not familiar with it, Balsamiq is one of our favourite wireframing tools boasting a powerful drag and drop interface and its trademark ‘sketched-out’ design style.
Track every change your web project team makes
The Cloud app was released earlier this year to much fanfare and has rapidly become popular among teams and client/agency relations to allow multiple members to work on the same project, suggest feedback and have discussions. When it launched, there was a notification system built in that sent out emails to all members of your project team, but they said that the ability to see who had changed what was coming soon. Well, it’s finally here.
The new-look Balsamiq Cloud notification
The second new feature released this month was the most requested update made by the Balsamiq users: the ability to create a direct link to full screen presentation mode, which can then be sent by email, added to the daily notifications or whatever you like. This makes it easily shareable with your team, your clients or stakeholders at any time, which is very useful, if not exactly earth-shattering.
Direct linking is now just a couple of quick clicks
So, two welcome new features, but the exciting bit is that the all-new Balsamiq desktop app is due to be released in the next few months. So, watch this space for updates as I for one am excited to see what they have come up with next.
Source: AWA, June 2019
Big improvements to presentation and user review modes
Everyone’s favourite wireframing tool, Balsamiq, have been busy improving the way in which we can all use their tool, rather than the tool itself.
This is important, successful use of wireframes requires both internal collaboration and feedback from external user tests… it doesn’t matter how pretty the proposed designs are if no one else sees them or is able to feedback on them.
So the team have made big improvements to both the Full-Screen Presentation feature which incorporates several different ‘modes’:
The Review preset basically enables all the extra bells and whistles that Full-Screen Presentation Mode offers. In addition to existing features like Link Hints, Markup, and the Big Arrow Cursor, they have added the Wireframe Navigator, Notes, and Comments. This makes the Full-Screen Presentation mode the most powerful version of the Review and Comment permission level.
Users won’t be able to edit, but they will be able to make comments and add callouts to your designs. It’s a nice way to review a project without distraction.
The User Test Mode is the complete opposite of the Review Mode – it has everything turned off by default. This streamlines the view so that all someone is interacting with is the content you have created. If you have linked your wireframes together, your users can click through your project as if it were a real website or app.
This is a much better situation, making it much easier to user test projects without distractions and get more honest (brutal?) feedback.
This is a nice addition to an already great tool, and will make it easier to get good quality feedback. There are more announcements in the pipeline, including a V1.5 of this where you will be able to send links direct to users and it automatically loads in full screen mode.
Source: AWA, April 2019
Cloud collaboration gets notifications
I’ll be honest, we use Balsamiq for nearly all of our wireframing. It’s quick and easy to use and you can fire out wireframes in next to no time.
However, the cloud collaboration has, to date, been a little underwhelming as you could share docs, but not really collaborate on them in any useful way.
That’s now changed. Balsamiq have launched notifications so you and your colleagues will get email notifications for changes and updates in the Balsamiq Cloud spaces that you are a part of. You can also change the frequency of the emails in your user settings so you don’t get bombarded with messages on those bigger projects.
From the screen grab above, you can also see that they have also added the ability to @-mention other people on your projects (in case you need to notify someone directly – or quickly).
The guys stress that this is just the first step in a set of new features, so watch this space for more ways to use this great tool as part of a team.
Source: AWA, February 2019
To learn more about wireframing for conversion success, read our guide on How to Ensure Your New E-Commerce Website is a Conversion Success.
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