Using Balsamiq for Information Architecture and Wireframing
Today's champion is Puya Turkiyan. He recently wrote an article on his blog called "Using Balsamiq For Information Architecture & Wireframing". He is an SEO Specialist in the Internet Marketing industry.
In his article, Puya describes how he used Balsamiq Mockups to create a wireframe for his own website. He provides some good tips for getting started as well exporting files for sharing with clients.
He starts by describing the benefit that defining the information architecture prior to starting coding brings.
Anyone that takes IA seriously knows a site without wireframes is like building a house without an architect.
Regarding Mockups, he values the fast learning curve and the speed of creating wireframes in Mockups compared to previous tools he's used:
...these guys really do know what they’re doing and by using their product, I’ve sped up my work process by at least 40%.
One of his tips is to start with the "Window/Dialog" control set to 960px by 1000px for use as a web page template. One of his favorite features is the ability to link mockups together for testing purposes.
I personally always export to PDF and export every page with all elements linked properly.
Q&A with Puya Turkiyan
What interesting trends do you see in your role or industry?
A huge trend I see is how people like myself actually have to show solid numbers for our online marketing efforts. This is why Balsamiq is important for IA. We're getting more involved in the design process, which is another big trend.
What suggestions do you have for someone looking to succeed in your role or industry?
What is your favorite Mockups feature?
What has been your best experience using it?
My best experience has been when my current client realized how important wireframing really is and helped me build along the way.
Do you have any Mockups tips or tricks that you'd like to share?
Save templates so you can save time and reuse them.
Do you have any feature ideas or suggestions for how we can improve our product(s)?
I would love it if Balsamiq gave the option to save templates and have it load quickly. And, of course, export everything in a folder to PDF without actually having them open in Balsamiq. (Editor's note: while we don't provide the ability to apply specific templates on start up, we do offer creation of templates using symbols.)
Thanks, Puya, for sharing your expertise with the community!
Update: Puya has written a new article about wireframing landing pages, which includes 3 free templates in Balsamiq Mockups format.
Do you have a story to share about the awesome things you do with Balsamiq? Send an email to email@example.com with your stories or blog posts!