Learning Balsamiq Wireframing

A few years ago I started hearing about using wireframing to do mockups of web sites and apps. Prior to this I had been the type of person that I just opened up either Fireworks(yes, Fireworks) or Illustrator to start getting an idea of where the site would end up. It was not something that I was taught to do, it just seemed natural to get a cup of coffee, sit down, and start creating. That was, like I said until I started to hear more and more about people using wireframing to mock up a web site or app.

“I tried different software and no matter what I did, it was just too boring. “
My first few goes at trying this method didn’t go very well. I tried different software and no matter what I did it was just too boring. I couldn’t connect to it visually and as an artist I decided that it wasn’t for me.

So what changed? Well, the truth is that I want to stay current with standards and procedures when it comes to my area of study. Eventually I came to the conclusion that this was a skill that was required, and even if I didn’t use it for my own layouts, I needed this tool in my proverbial toolbox.  I also believe that new methods and techniques are usually useful so I decided to give wireframing another try. This time I researched as much as I could about why it’s useful, who benefits, and which application would fit me the best.

I found out that the majority of people, if the web is to be believed, used either Sketch, Adobe XD, or Balsamiq. The other software recommended were too specific to platforms or intended use. What I mean by that is much of the software was specific to mobile app wireframing, or maybe wireframing on mobile. Some were PC apps and some were mostly for a team to work together on. Since I’m working alone on a Mac laptop and am only really concerned about web sites, many of these didn’t seem to interest me right now.

Basalmiq Logo

I ended up choosing Balsamiq Wireframes as my learning platform since it seems fairly intuitive and their documentation looks to be complete. I’m just guessing about the documentation right now and no doubt I will eventually find out.

As I work through the learning curve of wireframing on Balsamiq I thought that it might be interesting to others if I share what I’m doing as I teach myself the ins and outs of the software. I’ve worked with it a few times now and I think I’ve got a fairly good handle on it, but like most software it probably has secrets and hidden gems that I have yet to discover.

If you’re like me and never really spent time wireframing, then I hope that you’ll follow along as I learn. Maybe you will let me know if there was a trick or something that I should have done. The only thing I’m not sure of is if I should write articles or do videos. possibly both are warranted.