Thoughts on wireframes and mock-ups

I started looking around for some software that would allow a team to sketch out some quick interfaces to show clients, but I didn’t realize how many people were writing software for this. What’s more, I didn’t realize that all of them would have some special features that would would cause me to bounce around them for hours. I had to give several a test before knowing what I was looking for. Wireframing apps have been around forever, but there is a huge gap in price and facilities and these two factors are now always linked. I’ve been using real applications to mock up my screens in the past, so that no effort is wasted; I normally use Flex, Dreamweaver or Visual Studio, but more recently have needed to get into Expression Blend and now Flash Catalyst. These are all excellent tools, but when you’d like someone else to take some of the workload, you need something that they can pick up and run with straight away. Here I look at some of the utilities that might help to do that – iPlotz, Balsamiq Mockups, FlairBuilder, Axure, Protoshare among others.
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