Mockups for JIRA: Now Shipping!
I am thrilled to announce the immediate availability of Balsamiq Mockups for JIRA, the latest version of Balsamiq Mockups.
Quick and dirty Screencast
I suggest watching the video in HD and going full-screen, it's so much better! Here it is as well.
Benefits of Mockups for JIRA
"Editing with Mockups for JIRA saves a lot of back and forth and makes the remaining back and forth so much more productive." - Adam Wride, Advanced Process Designs
If a picture is worth 1000 words, how many words is a UI Mockup worth? Whether you're using JIRA as a bug tracking, project management, or support tool, or all of the above, Balsamiq Mockups for JIRA will add the ability to visualize UI concepts quickly and easily, reducing churn, improving your team's productivity and overall increasing the "communication bandwidth" between your JIRA users.
- Be Agile: JIRA has already sped up your development considerably. Mockups allows anyone, technical or not, to jot down feature ideas quickly and easily. Add a UI Mockup to a new feature issue and improve the chances it will get built!
- Improve QA/Dev Relations: Issues bounce back and forth because plain text is not enough to convey what's wrong. A screenshot helps, but sometimes what you really need is a new UI variation.
- Great for Beta Programs: Your beta testers live inside your product day in and day out. Let them contribute to it visually via Mockups and make your software as good as it can be.
- Crowd-source! You get it. Transparency is good for business. Empower your customers even more buy giving them the ability to show you how they think your software should behave. You'll be amazed by the wisdom of the crowds!
Feature Tour: Adding a UI Mockup to a JIRA Issue
To add a UI Mockup to a particular JIRA issue you simply click on the "Add/Edit UI Mockup to this issue" link:
You will be taken to the Mockups Editor, which you may already know from testing it on this web site or the desktop version. Here's a quick video reminder of how fast you can create mockups with it:
When you are happy with your mockup, you simply go to the Mockup menu:
and select "Save and Close" (also note the "Save as New Mockup" menu item, which is exclusive to Mockups for JIRA. More on that below).
You will be prompted to name your mockup, and the software will auto-generate a simple date-based name for you, which is handy when you have many mockups on the same issue:
You can just hit enter to accept that name or give it whatever name you wish.
You will be taken back to the issue:
Notice how the UI Mockup is now attached to the issue, both as an image and as a bmml data file (BMML is the flavor of XML that Mockups uses). Also notice how Mockups for JIRA has added a comment to the issue for you, saying "Worked on UI Mockup: mockup name". This means that if any of your co-workers is watching the issue, they'll get an email notification to check out your new work of art. 🙂
So that's the basic workflow of creating a new mockup for an issue. It gets better!
How to edit / iterate on Mockups
Say you want to tweak an existing UI mockup or create a new mockup as a variation of an existing one. The workflow is simple. Click the "Add/Edit UI Mockup to this issue" link again:
This time you will be presented with a dialog like this one:
You will then be able to either start from a blank canvas or edit an existing Mockup from the ones already attached to the current issue.
To simply iterate on the same mockup, you just select "Save and Close" from the Mockups menu, to create a new mockup variation, you select "Save as New Mockup" instead.
If you select "Save and Close", you'll have a chance to enter an optional comment about your edit:
As the dialog says, if you leave the field blank no notifications will be sent. Otherwise your comment will appear on the Issue's comments list, and watchers will be notified.
That's it! Couldn't be simpler right? 😉
Balsamiq Mockups for JIRA has a simple interface to register your serial key and to keep track of your support period. Simply go to the ADMINISTRATION tab and notice the "Balsamiq Mockups License" link on the left:
This will take you to the licensing screen, which looks very similar to JIRA's licensing page:
I'm sold, what do I do next?
You can download Balsamiq Mockups for JIRA and take it for a test drive. The software is fully functional, but until you register you'll see a big "Balsamiq Mockups Demo" watermark on the mockups you generate.
If you are ready to buy, here's the link! Mockups costs $799 per JIRA installation, regardless of what version of JIRA you are running.
As usual, without Jonathan Nolen and Richard Wallace's help from Atlassian this product wouldn't have been possible. I also wanted to thank Adam Wride and Bill Quintrell from Advanced Process Designs for providing me with enormously useful feedback during the last phases of development...Mockups for JIRA 1.0 is so much better because of their ideas.
On a personal note, this is a big milestone for me. It shows that my strategy of building Web Office Plugins and porting them to multiple platforms is not just talk! We'll see if it pays! 🙂