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Release: Prettier Icons, Cyrillic Glyphs, Confluence 4.0!

Hello friends!

Today's little release brings a few little goodies:

Much prettier icons!

The work we did to optimize our application's loading time had the unwanted side-effect of making our icons a lot uglier. 🙁

Sure Mockups is about roughness, but those icons were a little too rough, even for our taste. So we went back to Mariah's original drawings and re-imported the icons, this time adding a middle step of tracing them into vectors in Illustrator.

Mike then did a pass to make the strokes consistent between the icons. The end result is gorgeous. Take a look at this comparison:

As an added bonus, removing the grays and the ugly dirty pixels here and there on all the icons resulted in an additional 257Kb savings in file size! 🙂

Thanks johanmiller for reporting it!

Marco says we're the only app he's ever known that gets smaller as it gets better. I love it! 🙂

We also added four new icons while we were at it:

We plan on adding more soon, Mariah just needs to buy a new sharpie and draw them up! 🙂

We might also use this same tracing technique to improve the look of the controls themselves, as some of them don't look so great when stretched big.

Cyrillic Glyphs and better diacritics

Mike did some more work on our font to fix some diacritics (that's all the glyphs with accents etc) and to add some Cyrillic glyphs.

We're trying to resist adding more and more glyphs to the font as it impacts the file size, but Алексей Волков convinced us that adding these few glyphs would get us 90% there in supporting Russian and other eastern European languages. We hope this is enough for now, we're learning a lot here! 🙂

Confluence 4.0 support!

Today's release makes Mockups for Confluence compatible with Confluence 4.0, which should ship any day now.

Take a look at these cool screenshots:

Cool stuff huh? 🙂

With some effort Paolo was able to make the plugin backward-compatible, so it will work on Confluence 3.0 as well, and when you decide to upgrade, you'll still be able to see and edit your old mockups as well (of course).

Other fixes

  • All versions: tweaked the text padding on some controls a little more.
  • All versions: fixed a bug with jumping controls inside groups. Thanks Jim Jarret for reporting it!
  • All versions: fixed the tooltip for the Opacity slider inspector (from Transparency to Opacity). Thanks Jack for reporting it!
  • All versions: fixed SumbleUpon icon name. Thanks Briston Davige for reporting it!

How do I update?

Easy! Just install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.

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

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

  • Mockups for Desktop: version 2.1.3
  • Mockups for Confluence: version 2.1.3
  • Mockups for FogBugz: version 2.1.3
  • Mockups for JIRA: version 2.1.3
  • Mockups for XWiki: version 2.1.3
  • Web Demo: version 2.1.3 launch it

What else is going on?

We are working on a myBalsamiq beta update which will include the following features: project upload, export project to PDF and "renaming mockups without breaking links". We are stress-testing the build right now, hopefully to release the build to the beta group next week.

I forgot to mention this a while ago, but I was interviewed by Software Promotions. They are the fine folks who manage our Google AdWords account. If you know you need AdWords but can't be bothered learning about its ins and outs, take a look at the interview! 🙂

Another product that we use every day finally launched last week: it's called DigMyData and it's the perfect "CEO dashboard". If you're interested in how we use it at Balsamiq, read this post.

I have also been blogging a bit about our company policies:

I certainly did not expect such a big reaction, but I'm glad to have shared our policies: the feedback has been useful and hopefully the posts will help other micro-multinationals like ours. 🙂

Last but not least, Marco and I are going to be at the Business of Software 2011 conference in Boston again. I am interviewing one of my heroes on stage, and running a workshop as well. There are still a few tickets left, hope to see you there! 🙂


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (9)

  1. Thank you! I totally freaked out just now when I installed 2.1.1 and so many of my large icons looked fuzzy and terrible. Now upgraded to 2.1.6 and everything looks lovely and in fact better than ever.

  2. This is a *huge* improvement. Well done guys/girls 🙂

    It would be great to allow the community to add icons (or complete mock-ups), or at least suggest and vote for them. One that I’m personally am missing is a language flag. Now I abuse the Delicious icon for that, but it would be great to have a real flag.

    What are you plans for more community involvement? Something like a Balsamiq Ideastorm?

  3. Its true the icons do look smoother…great job!

  4. Allright team! Mariah back on the drawing board!! Brava!!

  5. Thanks Ross, sorry about my ignorance on this matter. We’re learning! 🙂

    Peldi Guilizzoni
  6. Ok, just let you know that “Russian alphabet” is Cyrillic, but Cyrillic is not “Russian alphabet”

  7. Thanks, Ross. We took a small step this time to meet the needs of those who requested the minimum for Russian alphabet. We’ve plans to support the larger Cyrillic set, but for now you may have to continue to use System fonts or another font until then.

    See font info here:

  8. That artist’s desk looks like mine!!!

  9. You missed some very important letters from Bulgarian alphabet (where the original Cyrillic was invented) – ъь, and probably a lot more from other languages.