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New Release: Balsamiq Mockups 1.1

The news: Mockups version 1.1 is available as of today as a free upgrade to all customers.
What to do: go get it! For your desktop and for Atlassian Confluence. Licensed users will NOT need to re-enter your license information.

What's new?

Below is a list of all the improvements since version 1.0 shipped a month ago.

My intention for 1.1 was to be a "see what's dramatically broken and fix it quick" release. It turns out there's a lot more in 1.1 than I thought (just look at the size of your browser's scrollbar 😉 ), and now I think the main theme for the release should be "polish and power": all the bug fixes and little enhancements here and there give the app the level of polish I wanted, while the new controls types, all the new keyboard shortcuts, plus the ability to work on multiple mockups at the same time in the Desktop version or the new import flow in the Confluence version give you the power to express your wireframing creativity even better and faster.

Although there's always room for improvement, I must say I am quite happy with this release: I have used it extensively and it feels pretty smooth. It feels more like a 1.5 than a 1.1, but what's a release number these days anyways... 🙂

This release also addresses most of the issues that were raised in the very active GetSatisfaction forums, I think: correct me if I'm wrong! 🙂

Changes that apply to all product versions

New Features / Enhancements:

  • Added Callout controls
  • Added Vertical Rule controls
  • Added Curly Braces controls (both horizontal and vertical)
  • Added Red X and Scratch-Out controls
  • Added Tooltip controls
  • Added 11 new icons: Copyright, Registered, Trademark, CreativeCommons, Circled-X, Delicious, Dollar Sign, Euro Sign, Closed Folder, File and the all-important Star
  • Added "lock control" feature
  • Added "show notebook" option
  • Added a "Use System Fonts" feature which allows you to enter non-western characters in your mockups
  • Renamed Paragraph and Label controls to be more Quick-Add friendly
  • Added a background color to DataGrid, Tree and Menu controls
  • Combobox, radio button and checkbox controls support icons
  • Combobox has a disabled state
  • Links can now be disabled
  • the text of Link-bar and breadcrumbs controls can now be resized
  • Calendar control can be resized
  • Charts were renamed so that they're all together in the UI Library (good idea Jaydev!)
  • Added ability for icon-and-label to have the label at the bottom or on the right
  • TabBar control can now have tabs on top, at the bottom, and aligned left, center or right
  • VerticalTabBar control can now have tabs on the left or on the right
  • Changed the selection rectangle color so that it doesn't blend with the rest as much
  • Grouped controls now have a different selection color (so that you'll know that they are a group)
  • Removed the modal screen shown when editing a control's text (it was too jarring)
  • The export dialog now automatically puts your mockup's XML in your clipboard (resulting in less clicks)
  • The UI library now scrolls smoothly
  • You can now escape commas with \,
  • You can now cancel out of any dialog with the escape key
  • Added CLTR+E and CTRL+SHIFT+E key combination for export/import
  • mockups can now be bigger than the window (they scroll)
  • In a scrolling mockup, the arrow keys will scroll the mockup only if there's nothing selected. Otherwise it will nudge the selection.
  • improved the look of the property inspector, giving it a more "draggable" look
  • Hitting / (forward-slash) sends focus to the QuickAdd input field

Bugs Fixed:

  • Objects stay where you drop them
  • Made a few important performance improvements
  • UI Library checkmark was opposite what it should have been
  • Undo/Redo menus did not update properly
  • Fixed the default color of icons
  • CTRL+click on a ui control also re-selects it
  • Cleaned up snapping a little bit (not as aggressive)
  • Fixed bug with "show library" option sometimes not working
  • Fixed bug with crazy-repeating-characters when editing a control's text
  • Fixing "hard to deselect all the text right after double-clicking on a control" bug
  • Cleaned up the browser window control
  • Fixed the elusive "things drift by a little" bug
  • The app doesn't listen to keyboard shortcuts while dragging controls around
  • Fixed the file icon (it wasn't showing up)
  • The closed folder in the Tree control now looks closed

Changes Specific to the Desktop Version

New Features / Enhancements:

  • Now uses native menus on Windows and Mac, which means that keyboard shortcuts are now OS-dependent, and WORK!
  • Added the ability to open multiple mockups at the same time
    • new "save unsaved" dialog for multiple mockups
    • CTRL+TAB now tabs between open mockups
    • properly restores session on open (all open files)
    • added ability to copy from one mockup and paste to another
  • The application now remembers the window's last size and position
  • Now adds "xml" if you don't specify an extension
  • Now allows you to choose the file name and location on save
  • Now puts the PNG in the same folder as the mockup's XML file (or desktop if the file has never been saved)
  • Now remembers the last folder used on open and on save
  • Added "recent mockups" to the import dialog
  • Added a nice green reassuring icon to the "activate" button which shows up when the license key is correct
  • Removed the 'welcome mockup' (it's only in the web version now)
  • The app's minor version number shows up when you update

Bugs Fixed:

  • "New Mockup" doesn't ask for a license key
  • Now asks if you want to save when you close the window via the "x" icon
  • Pasting text from another application works again
  • Removed "created with balsamiq mockups" from exported PNGs

Changes Specific to the Confluence Version

New Features / Enhancements:

Bugs Fixed:

  • Now the license information is properly persisted across restarts
  • Fixed bugs with double slashes on redirect after editing a mockup
  • Now works with Confluence 2.8+ (default theme only...)
  • Now deals properly with anonymous users
  • Fails more gracefully when entering an empty license key

Enhancements to the site

  • Added a new flash detection script which makes fixes some bugs with the install badge and live demo
  • Added a help section on how to install Mockups on linux
  • Added community license instructions on the Mockups for Confluence page
  • Updated the customers page
  • Updated the testimonials page
  • Blogged a bunch and tweeted even more
  • Fixed search both on the site and on the blog
  • improved the "thank you for your purchase" email, which now contains a receipt and helpful links, as well as your license key
  • added a couple of "buy now" links here and there

Ready to upgrade?

Go download Mockups for Desktop or Mockups for Confluence, or both! 🙂

If you find any issue with 1.1, please report it either via email or in this new GetSatisfaction topic I prepared just for the occasion.

What's next?

The single most requested feature left is "image upload", and I promise I'll get to it soon. It's a tricky one and I want to take the time to do it right...I'll post more about it as I start planning the development for it.

Right now I have some more pressing concerns though, which have to do with the Confluence version:

  • I want to allow Mockups in page comments. No other plugin has done this before, so wish me luck!
  • I want to change the licensing model for the Confluence version, namely I want to allow you to buy a Team version of Mockups and install it on an Enterprise version of Confluence (the tricky part here is how to enforce it)

I will also keep fixing whatever bug you send my way and release it as a 'micro-release' (I have had 4 or 5 this month alone), so keep checking back on this blog or via Twitter.

Here's a rough timeline for the next few months

  • fix anything wrong with 1.1
  • make Confluence version changes outlined above
  • finish JIRA integration
  • add image upload and localize the app in different languages (this might be called v2.0)
  • do the Twiki integration

Special Thanks

Finally, I wanted to publicly thank a few people who have provided me with invaluable feedback this month:

  • David Heller - a fellow first-time entrepeneur who has provided me with great feedback and encouragement from the beginning
  • Jason Greenstreet - superb Quality Engineer with an uncanny ability to break everything he touches, he spent a whole week-end testing Mockups and sending me great bugs.
  • Jaydev Pinara, a.k.a. screenshot-machine, sent me 41 (yes, 41) emails in less than 48 hours, each with an annotated screenshot of either a bug or an idea for improving the application's UI. Wow.
  • Michael Matti - king of Balsamiq's GetSatisfaction pages, his precise, numerous and always respectful feedback speaks for itself.
  • Neville Ridley-Smith - Confluence-meister, his patience is infinite and his enthusiasm keeps me going.

You guys rock. Would you be interested in a Balsamiq T-Shirt or something? I haven't made any schwag yet, but I'd like to send you a tangible representation of how grateful I am to you. Ping me on email if you're interested! 🙂

Thanks for reading this far, I'm flattered! 🙂


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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