What users are saying about
70 Ratings
17 Ratings
70 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 100
17 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 100

Likelihood to Recommend

Balsamiq

Balsamiq is excellent for creating low-fidelity wireframes where the designer is trying to communicate a general, loose idea of how the design should look. Because of this, it should be used early in the design stage, when there are still many decisions to be made about how the final design should look like. However, it is less suitable for situations where one wants to communicate a more final-appearing version of a design. There are limited functionalities (which appear intentional, as the Balsamiq website says that the tool "has 'just enough' prototyping capabilities, but not more”). Because of this, it is likely wise to choose a more high-powered tool, such as Axure, to create a fuller design toward the later stages of the design process
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

Marvel is a very strong tool in scenarios where designers seek to quickly create simple prototypes on their desktops using a simple, intuitive interface. It offers “just enough” functionality to create somewhat realistic designs to present to stakeholders and other designers. However, there’s a limit to how “realistic” those designs can be, given that Marvel has somewhat limited functionality around animations. Marvel is not a strong option for those who want to create very complex prototypes with many animations, or for those who want to edit prototypes on their tablet or phone. Marvel is a jewel for simplicity but starts to be difficult to use when creating complicated designs. For creating more complicated prototypes, I would recommend a more robust tool, such as Axure.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pros

Balsamiq

  • Balsamiq makes wireframing and prototyping very fast and easy. You have a lot of pre-defined assets such as buttons, icons, titles, text, labels, placeholder items etc. that you can drag and drop, letting you finish an idea for a landing page or app quite quickly.
  • I use Balsamiq not only for wireframing, but also sketching processes or business models. The visualization is sketchy enough to keep discussions in the idea-phase, instead of wasting time on detailed discussion.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

  • Easy to use with a fast learning curve
  • The handoff option allows developers to extract CSS code to copy design styles
Ronald Melendez | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Balsamiq

  • Transition to design: In recent years, we have started to move away from Balsamiq to do wireframes in Sketch. By using Sketch for wireframes, we can establish our design patterns and symbol library early. When it's time to add colors, graphics, fonts, and more, our designer simply layers on top of the wireframes. This saves the design team a lot of time. We still use Balsamiq for quick mock-ups, but when building from scratch, we typically use Sketch. If there were some kind of easy way to transfer the Balsamiq symbols library to a design platform like Sketch, we might use it more often. Sadly, I think Sketch makes Balsamiq a bit irrelevant for experienced designers.
  • Rulers: The lack of rulers in Balsamiq is very frustrating. The design does have a "snap to grid" as well as arrangement features like horizontal and vertical distribution, but this is NOT enough for my perfectionists out there.
  • Icons: The icon library in Balsamiq is pretty limited. We typically use font-awesome to source icons for design projects. It would be great if Balsamiq tied in directly with font-awesome to offer a more complete set.
  • Opening projects: Balsamiq changed it's software significantly a few years ago. Previously, each page of a project was saved as a .bmml. Now, each PROJECT is saved as a .bmpr, and can have as many pages as you want. This means in the past, you might have 10 separate files for a single project, and now you only have one. This is definitely a change for the better; however, I find that it's way too easy to accidentally save pages to the incorrect project. Why? Because when you open Balsamiq, it loads the last screens that you were working on rather than a blank new project. To me, this is confusing.
Elizabeth Remaklus | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

  • Not really many fancy animations which makes it quite limited but its great for simple stuff.
  • You do have to pay if your making multiple designs and you want to take the marvel branding off your designs.
  • To actually use it for businesses it can be quite expensive so you want to be able to password protect the designs to share externally and also to get support.
  • You can have some trouble resizing prototypes sometimes because of the basic interface.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Balsamiq

Balsamiq 10.0
Based on 1 answer
I'm not sure how else we would be able to complete our work without Balsamiq or another similar tool. All of my experience with Balsamiq has been positive and they continue to develop new features so that my job gets easier. I would be very surprised if we didn't renew Balsamiq
Tracy Walton | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Usability

Balsamiq

Balsamiq 8.0
Based on 1 answer
Very intuitive and easy to understand. It only takes minutes to get the hang of it and get back to work. For new analysts (like, brand new, fresh out of school) it's not difficult and they need minimal to no hand-holding. The training content that is embedded is easy to find and use.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Support Rating

Balsamiq

Balsamiq 5.0
Based on 2 answers
We haven't had to use the support feature yet
Karen Chamberlain | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Alternatives Considered

Balsamiq

We have used some other alternatives and Balsamiq is the best one for fastest results.InVision and Justinmind both work very well and have great tools for collaboration and making interactive mockups. With Justinmind, I have done some app mockups that felt almost functional because I even used real assets. But unfortunately, a lot of time and dedication is needed. It can be good if your application isn't too big.In this case, I mention powerpoint because we have also used it to make some mockups based on assets we already had. Just by cutting, pasting and cropping different images and assets.
Alexis Medvedeff | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

Ultimately, InVision was just a better fit for our company's needs. It's probably faster to create prototypes using Marvel, but InVision's collaboration features (comments, notes, etc.) are much more robust, which was helpful for our large team spread across multiple continents. InVision also offers more advanced features, and Marvel felt a little too limited for our overall business needs.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Balsamiq

  • It has definitely saved time when negotiating interface changes with a large variety of stakeholders
  • Building a new layout is very quick and saves a lot of time when prototyping any clean basic interface
  • All of this eventually leads to better functionality for less money, which while hard to quantify is very useful
  • The only potential negative impact is that the design features are limited so may discourage the use of custom features which would have been particularly useful.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Marvel

  • It helped me improve my productivity. It took me lot of time to manually design mockups earlier when I used Adobe Photoshop to do it.
  • Because of quickly creating mockups, now I provide my clients with more than 4-5 options which is welcomed by clients and make them happy.
  • Definitely the ROI and improved, because of time saved and happy clients.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Balsamiq

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Marvel

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

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