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What is Balsamiq?

Balsamiq is a wireframing tool that allows users to sketch out user interfaces for websites and web and and mobile apps.

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What is Balsamiq?

Balsamiq is a wireframing tool that allows users to sketch out user interfaces for websites and web and and mobile apps.

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Product Details

What is Balsamiq?

Balsamiq is a wireframing tool that allows users to sketch out user interfaces for websites and web and and mobile apps.

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Balsamiq Cloud is the industry-leading solution for fast, approachable, collaborative wireframing. Check it out at

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Reviews and Ratings


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(1-25 of 28)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is used in my organisation to assist in the development of systems. Usually in the early stages of development, we will use Balsamiq to mock up screen designs / prototype the UI / UX of the system. We also use it to mock up changes as part of a change request or new screens when the system is in the maintenance phase. It is an excellent product that makes it very easy to quickly produce high quality mock ups and prototypes. It is used in the development team of the IT services department.
  • Easy to use
  • Produces good quality mock ups and prototypes
  • Mock ups are obviously only just mock ups (this is important as if users see mock-ups in HTML, for example, they tend to think the system is ready to use or not far off)
  • Has a good selection of standard shapes that mock real world fields / controls
  • Allows not for profit organisations use it for free
  • Somewhat expensive for full commercial licences
Balsamiq is very well suited for mocking up / prototyping UIs for systems or apps. The really good thing about it is that the wireframes it produces do not look like real screens but all the same do look nice, neat and tidy. This allows you to express and design how your interface will looks and even work, but it also expresses that these are just wireframes. I have had problems throughout my career when I have mocked up UIs with HTML, often users and stakeholders think that the system is ready to be used or not far off, they can't seem to grasp that there is nothing behind it. Balsamiq helps here because the wireframes are in a hand drawn style, so they can't be confused with a near-ready or working system.
March 02, 2020

Balsamiq is Sweet

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Multiple people at my company use this for software design mockups. We've used it to gain approval for the pages in a customer's portal, including how customers would be funneled and traverse them (depending upon their goals), and how processes would work through APIs we are developing. For this type of design, we previously used Visio.
  • Toolbar at the top makes sure everything is at your fingertips.
  • Options available are generous and suited to laying out processes.
  • Viewing wireframes easy to see process down the left side of the screen.
  • Adding notes easy for collaboration.
  • Some of the objects aren't very easy to edit.
  • Adding items to a list not intuitive.
  • Resizing columns isn't easy or sometimes possible.
Anytime you have a process to map out to show others we think it works well. It is easy for multiple people to get in, review, and add their thoughts. The look and feel is nice and even the marked-up version with notes looks presentable enough to show management to get approval/buy-in. We still use Visio for things like swim lanes.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Currently, we use Balsamic to quickly create wireframes that “feel” like wireframes. In other words, we use Balsamic to create designs that communicate the idea of a design to stakeholders without presenting a design that looks “finished.” The benefit to this is that our stakeholders don’t get too tied to what a potential finished design may look like, so they can contribute big-picture feedback that helps us create a high-fidelity wireframes that answer their needs. When we offer stakeholders more polished designs earlier in the design process, we find that they get too wrapped up in the details and end up offering feedback that is less relevant to solving the design need.
  • Low-fidelity wireframing—Balsamiq offers tools to create lo-fi wireframes without the messiness and confusion that often comes along with other types of lo-fi wireframing (e.g. hand-drawn wireframes). This helps us avoid the need to heavily “translate” our designs to the people we’re showing them to.
  • Easy-to-use interface—We have never had to spend time training anyone on how to use Balsamiq. Drag, drop, arrange—that’s it! This is helpful in getting non-designers and less experienced designers to communicate their ideas of what the finished design should sort-of look like without asking them to spend a lot of time learning a new tool.
  • Ability to convert a design to a PDF—This is definitely a plus! Whereas other design tools require stakeholders to log into a design tool account or view designs on a web page, Balsamiq makes it really easy to just download a design as a PDF and hand/email it to a stakeholder. Lots of our stakeholders don’t want to deal with visiting a website or logging into something. However, they’re typically happy to receive a PDF and not have to ask questions such as, “How do I access that?” and “What’s the password again?"
  • The Sketch-like style can be off-putting to some stakeholders, and it’s not initially very clear that there is the option to turn this “off.” While I do think there is benefit to the default style, knowing from the start that this flexibility existed would have helped us be able to use this tool more often in the past and in different situations.
  • There are very limited collaborative functionalities. When it’s early in the design process, it’s often really helpful to have a number of people in the design to offer in-app feedback so the designer doesn’t have the burden of collecting feedback from many disparate sources in order to incorporate the feedback.
  • There are limited UI elements. As design evolves, there are more and more UI elements to consider, and many to stop using. Our Balsamiq wireframes would be a lot more effective in communicating design ideas to stakeholders if there was a wider range of UI elements to choose from.
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.
John Rougeux | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Balsamiq to create quick mockups for website design. This process tends to cover rough drafts, copy, layout, image needs, and other high-level ideas. It's much faster than using a more technical product and the fact that it's "low res" by design helps collaborators focus on high-level feedback and not get caught up in minutia.
  • Creating layouts and mockups to get a rough feel for how something looks.
  • Quickly getting your ideas on paper.
  • Preventing you from overthinking design details and keeping you focused on the big picture.
  • No collaboration ability, would be much stronger if web-based.
  • Support for images is awkward and a bit clumsy.
  • No ability to share files via the web.
Balsamiq is great if you're a non-designer and want to share ideas with people who will be executing design or front-end development. It's also good for getting feedback from non-designers as well - the fact that you can only create "crude" mockups helps the people you're sharing with give comments on fundamental issues like content and layout and avoid getting bogged down in fine design details.
Craig Orser | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We create a great deal of affiliate properties, and since the business case comes from marketing, we often need to describe mockups in detail to our in-house design team. Balsamiq helps us standardize the design process and give an even means of communication from marketing to design channels with little risk of misinterpretation or conjecture.
  • UX design
  • Easy to learn, easy to pick up and implement for marketing associates without much design experience.
  • Integrates well on browsers and thus makes it easy to present.
  • Menu interface for adding design elements can be confusing to a newcomer
  • Text input function can be a bit clunky
  • Less-than-stellar performance on non-traditional browsers
  • For a business scenario in which marketing is in need of constant design solutions but the structure of the company isn't amenable to sourcing design ideas or there is no process for sourcing UX resources at all.
  • Useful for marketing companies with a primarily online presence. Useful for nascent designers looking to understand the keystones of using design elements.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Balsamiq is simply a quick way of drawing out your idea and is easy to pick up and put down. When you launch Balsamiq, your previous "Mock-ups" are ready and waiting.

Its great for mapping out a system diagram, but excellent for application/web development. Each item you add to the page has a "Link" function will allow you to link this to another mock-up. This means that you can mock up a website then when you preview it, all of the links work and take you to other pages. The beauty of it is that you do not have to be a web developer to make a great mock-up. We find it very useful to plan our ideas and then hand our mock-ups over for them to develop.

  • 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.
  • Although it's not meant for sketching processes, it could be improved a bit for doing this (a bit more support for some more arrows or diagrams).
  • Sometimes it's possible to get a bit lost in different propositions. It's interesting that it's only propositions, but the offline desktop version works faster for me (lot of coping attributes and screenshots into my sketches).
  • It's using flash or something like that in their offline version, it keeps asking for updates.
Balsamiq is the easiest way to lay out a design without pen and paper. Quick ways to design without having to get into the nitty gritty of UI design. The ability to turn around designs quicker and with ease.
Ben Seigel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Balsamiq for low fidelity wireframes early in the design process. Because of its intentionally ugly approach (Comic Sans, anyone?), it allows us, and the client, to focus on layout and not get distracted by colors, fonts, or other design elements that come later.
  • Speed. Whipping up a wireframe takes very little time.
  • Ease of Use. The product works intuitively and as expected.
  • Covers common elements. Many of the common elements you need on a website are already built in, just drag and drop.
  • I can't think of any negatives for this product. It does exactly what it's intended to do.
Quick, rough wireframes that show layout without getting into the weeds of colors, fonts, or exacting element placement. In the vendor's own words:
Split the problem in small chunks > make a quick wireframe of key screens > tweak wireframe > incorporate feedback > build working screen as quickly as you can > iterate until solid.
Elizabeth Coppinger | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is primarily used by our UX department to wireframe concepts prior to design.Creating wireframes in black and white before moving into the design phase helps us (and our clients) focus on the user flows and the on-page content rather than colors and graphics. We find that this leads to more thoughtful, effective final products. Balsamiq is also a great way to create quick mock-ups of existing pages to facilitate problem-solving conversations with clients.
  • Ease of use: Balsamiq is the easiest wireframing platform I've ever used. You will be able to learn how to work with the drag-and-drop interface in less than a day. Use familiar resizing controls (click and drag) to control elements. Familiar keyboard shortcuts for grouping, duplicating, undoing, and more make the platform incredibility intuitive.
  • Cartoony: I think Balsamiq's intentionally "cartoony" style is great. Again, this helps clients focus on the "what" on the page without spending too much time worrying about the actual look. We have a content-first approach. We always want to nail down the user-flow first before we delve into graphics.
  • Symbols: The symbols library did not exist when I first started using Balsamiq 7 years ago, but it's a great addition. Assign design elements to your symbols library within a project for easy re-use throughout multiple pages. This is a great way to maintain consistency in your design and reduce re-work. For example, if you copy-paste a footer on each page of your 10 page design, you will need to go back and update all 10 versions if you make a change. If you use the symbols library, you would only need to update it once.
  • Presentation: Presentation mode allows you to display a full-screen presentation. This is extremely helpful when walking through mocks with clients.
  • Linking: You can link elements of pages in a project together. This can help you illustrate functionality.
  • 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.
Balsamiq is great for non-designers or less-sophisticated users. It's great for creating quick mock-ups, and it's great for focusing on user-flows and content prior to the design phase. However, I think that most designers will find this program too elementary for their needs. In my opinion, there's not a compelling reason for a skilled designer to use Balsamiq over Sketch for wireframing, since Sketch can so easily be parlayed into a complete design whereas Balsamiq cannot. If you need a software for creating quick mockups and you are not a designer, Balsamiq is for you. If you're a graphic designer, go somewhere else.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It is being used in my project to create wireframes and mockups for software development. It is being used across my organization.
  • The drag and drop features are very user-friendly in order to create mockups in a short span of time.
  • The PDF conversion feature needs to be improved.
  • It is very difficult to adjust the sizes of the created designs using Balsamiq.
  • No options for creating interactive prototypes
  • Limited UI elements
It is well suited to create mockups/wireframes and to present the mockups to stake holders.
Sketch-based wireframes allow designers to focus on functionality.
Miguelangel Nuñez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is used in our department to sketch all screens of our application. We draw in an easy way the mockups and later we use the images with another tool to get the app workflow done.
  • This application lets you use default or custom predefined components in an easy way, It allows for a fast prototyping phase.
  • It is possible to realize several versions of a screen, this allows to send the user different versions for approval.
  • The application is very easy to use. It's easy for a user to post comments or make modifications.
  • Balsamiq's UI is very simple. Color combinations are unattractive and it's old-fashioned
  • Symbol libraries can be duplicated easily and it is a problem because is possible to work with two different instances of the same library at same time
It is very good to present, clarify, approve and modify the screens of the application to the client. In addition to this, it helps developers to have a clearer idea before starting to program.
Alexis Medvedeff | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have been using Balsamiq as a prototyping tool at the Product department. Being a small software startup this allowed us to make low fidelity prototyping very fast. It has been great for showing users the basic functionality of new features and iterate rapidly with the feedback. It's also perfect for the development team to understand the basic idea and complement it with some written specifications.
  • It is very easy to create a layout and show an idea. With just a couple of clicks, you can state the main screens of an app of any kind.
  • Simple. Even though you can import assets and make a mockup with real assets, I think the main power of Balsamiq is keeping it in wireframes. This allows you to focus only on layouts, available information, and interactions and then in another stage of the project you take care of the design and look.
  • Good library of components available by default. This makes it straightforward to open it and work right away in your project or idea.
  • The project can get a bit laggy around 70-100 pages (on a MacBook Pro). It didn't happen to me but I've seen it in a presentation of a project and it froze in a moment and had to restart the app.
  • I don't find the design of the components very "pretty". It's totally subjective but still wanted to mention it. I know this is the style they have had since the beginning and it's almost something that identifies Balsamiq, but I think it can be improved.
It is probably the best option for people who need to move fast and don't care about the aesthetics of the mockup.
It is also very good for a presentation as it has a special cursor that points out easily parts of the design.
It is great when you care most about layout and functionality and less about the final look.

It is probably not the best option for a high definition mock, even though you can do it.
I would not suggest this for a sales/marketing/PR presentation as it is not as good looking.

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I've used Balsamiq off and on for a while. First while working on the design of a new user interface for a software system for a defense contractor. The software functionality was quite complex, and needed significant amounts of prototyping and iteration. Balsamiq allowed us to prototype the functionality and general layout on each screen without getting very attached to any particular look and feel. This helped significantly with iterating designs from a functional standpoint while separating out any distractions of particular colors and aesthetics. I'm currently using Balsamiq to prototype a GUI interface for wind speed monitoring equipment that we are using.
  • Very easy to learn to use with little previous experience using the software
  • Great design which allows you to create interface prototypes of a system functionality, in a way that it is really a wire frame and doesn't look so professional that people are afraid to critique it. This allows for gaining feedback from many stakeholders quickly.
  • New iterations of a design can be built quickly for rapid prototyping and learning
  • Easier to learn for people with a technical background. The limits of our ability to use balsamiq easily to create new iterations came when program management and business development people with little background in the software wanted to use it.
  • Complex or particularly custom functionality is difficult to demonstrate in Balsamiq.
  • Limited ability to make a mockup interactive
Balsamiq is best suited for early mockups and interface prototyping where you are trying to define the general layout of your screen as opposed to particular aesthetics. It's great for scenarios where you want to get a lot of feedback from stakeholders and integrate the feedback quickly into a new design. Balsamiq is less useful for final designs or designs that require a large amount of custom and interactive features to be displayed on the prototype as it will not allow for this functionality.
Eliz Marvic Melicio Carvajal | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is currently used in the Software Development department, as a design tool. We rely on the tool to design screens that are discussed with the internal users, the versions of the screens are made and it is possible to assemble a whole process with all the screens and it is shown as a presentation for the final approval before starting to develop.
  • It is possible to make several versions of a screen and remain related to then submit them to evaluation with the user.
  • The application is inductive, or requires much explanation to use it. When working with a functional user it is easy for him to post comments or make a modification.
  • Integrates with the bootstrap symbols, which allows the screens to be seen as close to the final developed version.
  • Duplicating a library should only be done from the libraries, it has happened that I duplicated a library, and when I realized I have already designed several screens with the duplicated library, which makes me lose information when I delete the duplicate library.
  • I would like to see a blackboard-type version, where at least two people can interact in the same design at the same time. This is because there are clients with whom remote reviews are made.
  • It does not have a Spanish version, there are functional users who are asked to make comments or changes and do not use another language.
Because it is simple to use, it adapts very well when you want to present, clarify, approve and adjust with a client the models of the product that you request. In addition to this, it supports the developers when starting the code to have a clear idea of ​​what the client wants and to minimize rework or scope changes.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is being used in the business in multiple departments and by multiple people, mainly in design, product and project teams. The tool helps to communicate ideas and flows in a quick and effective manner. Balsamiq wireframes are often attached to design briefs which makes the whole creative process much more efficient and successful.
  • Creating wireframes in Balsamiq requires little investment in time or effort
  • Balsamiq offers easy to use drag and drop components
  • Linking allows creating click-through prototypes that then can be tested
  • Balsamiq has lots of built-in user interface controls and icons
  • Linking provides quite limited options for creating interactive prototypes, other similar tools do it better
  • Navigation between the screen a in the mockup is sometimes confusing and takes time to set up
Balsamiq is a great tool for any product and project managers, UX designers, and development teams in general. It helps to communicate ideas and flows. It can also be used to create clickable prototypes that later could be used in user testing. Thanks to Balsamiq a product manager doesn't have to wait for a proper design, they can simply create something themselves and get the user feedback. This way time, effort and money are saved.
February 01, 2018

Balsamiq - Easy Peasy

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The analyst team uses Balsamiq regularly to wireframe use cases for business review and approval of concepts. The real gain is translating and throwing back to the business their requests as drawings, "You mean like this, with a drop down? No? Oh, those are called radio buttons; no problem." Ensures a common understanding.
  • Break out screen by screen so users can see what their final concept flow will be.
  • Ability to use multiple different kinds of images and icons (buttons, text, scribble, calculator icon, etc.).
  • Stores working concepts in different project folders to prevent overlap yet allows easy re-use.
  • I always just use a snippet to capture the drawing. If there is an export feature I've never used it. not really a complaint though, snippets are super easy.
  • Expanding the drawing area has to be manually done by putting in new objects and shapes. If you're not careful when you go to look at the final page (web version) there are hanging shapes off the edge.
  • Typing in longer text strings doesn't work well. I always just use multiple single entries.
I always start with a fast and furious white board drawing to get the basic flow and concept down, then sharpen it up with Balsamiq to run up the chain for management review and approvals. It works really well on single screen designs that are typically printed out for manual mark-ups. One team I'm on uses JIRA and there is a plug-in, but I haven't used it yet as that team sits together so the need to explain stuff to others is pretty minimal.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is used in an Interface Prototyping class at Georgia Tech, the class is meant to provide skills/training for a professional career in UX design. Every semester about 20 students register for the class with different levels of understanding of design and level of comfort with manual sketching. Balsamiq is a tool that the students in the class are offered to do their assignment in case the students are not comfortable with their hand sketches and would like a more refined version of their sketch. It is pointed out that Balsamiq doesn't help overcome the need for sketching - as that is still the best way to think rapidly - it is just a way to present some final designs for feedback.
  • Default gestures and associated icons native to Iphone and Android are available.
  • Throws the design in to context of screen and the relative aspect ratios to imagine scenario more easily.
  • Overcomes the problem of read-ability and consistency in size of icons and texts.
  • Once the project is set up - it is easier to copy some sections without having to re-draw them.
  • The UI is very clunky - it could be more vivid and simpler.
  • Shortcuts could mimic design software, some shortcuts are not intuitive.
  • The toggle and button options could be more vast.
If you are creating a lot of screens and would like to develop some consistency and clarity in your final sketches Balsamiq can help overcome/streamline things like font size, aspect ratio of the device etc.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our company purchased Balsamiq software after using the free trial. It was mainly bought for wireframing for a new website we were creating for a new software platform. It's mainly used by the marketing department to relay the vision for the new website to the developer team overseas.
  • There is hardly any learning curve for using this software. It's very easy for a beginner to get a hang of it and start using immediately.
  • This is perfect for a very fast layout or a wireframing for a website or app. The whole app wireframe can be done in just a few hours with the click and drag options.
  • The first thing I miss is COLOR! There aren't very many options for really adding some creativity with colors.
  • There could be better layout for all the elements. Sometimes the elements are hard to find.
  • Names of the Elements are sometimes a bit confusing too. Once you search or look through ALL of them, you can usually find what you are looking for, but it can be confusing for new users.
Balsamiq is built for software engineers and their development teams if they don't want to invest in a graphic designer or a UI/ UX designer from the beginning, as there isn't too much room for creativity. I have used it for simple wireframing and the software teams understand it really well, however those wireframes aren't going to sell any investor to invest in the project as the full vision of the software can't be recognized.
I really love how easy it is for beginners to get started on this without any prior training. However the more you use it, the more you want the fancier, more elaborate options to be there.
February 24, 2017

Cooking Up Quick Mockups

Grant Wilkins | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is software being used by the UX Design team for the e-commerce channel of Northern Tool + Equipment. Balsamiq provides a great way for us to quickly create mockups and prototypes to share with other members of our team and project stakeholders. The style of Balsamiq elements intentionally looks cartoony. This helps communicate to others that it's a work in progress and not a finished pixel perfect mockup.
  • Pre-built icon and widget library has every web page element you can think of. This speeds up mockup creation.
  • The ability to export mockups into both PNG and PDF format is great for emailing, sharing, attaching to project tickets.
  • There is now a tabbed interface that allows you to quickly move between in progress mockups.
  • The auto save feature prevents you from losing your work.
  • While the icon, element, and widget library is diverse, it would be nice to have a view where you can see all of the icons at once instead of having to scroll them horizontally.
  • It would be nice to be able to 'favorite' commonly used icons and widgets to find them again quickly.
  • The document boundaries (aka artboard from Adobe Illustrator) automatically crops to the elements on the page. This is not always helpful and you sometimes have to move the entire mockup to make room in the layout for additional sections at the top of the layout.
Balsamiq is a great tool for getting mockups put together quickly. Its focus is on speed and so it's fairly simple. If you need a low cost and lightweight tool to just get up and running, this is where Balsamiq makes an excellent choice. If you're looking for a robust UX tool to create interactive layouts, then there are probably better choices available.
Pooja Sawant | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is used in our organization for creating wireframes usually in the early stages of the design phase. Whenever there is a need to create rapid prototyping and/or getting feedback. We use it in our creative department. Mainly, during collaborative sessions where the creative team works on them and we need feedback from our clients. It typically addresses any redesign problems that we may have or could face.
  • Balsamiq is good when you have to use a low fidelity prototype and want to make wireframes which need to be done quickly or have a lot of changes.
  • Balsamiq is easier for collaborators to work together. The easy drag and drop options, website site like looking templates makes it easy to create wireframes.
  • It is easier to save and do check in and check out since it's offline.
  • There could be more interactivity added to it, sometimes clients need to see interactivity and the distinction between a wireframe and prototype are difficult to explain.
  • UI component library is there but it's limited when compared to other tools like Axure RP that could be improved
  • It is not as versatile as other tools and things you can add becomes limited after certain point
Balsamiq is best suited for creating rapid prototypes or wireframes within the team for collaborative work. It is also suited for getting approval from the clients for the initial design phase. It is not suited or is less appropriate if you have a high fidelity prototype and need to add more interactions. If you have the need to create more robust prototype I would not recommend Balsamiq
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I used Balsamiq in one of my projects with my previous employer. This product is used by almost all the engineering teams which focus on designing the front-end portal applications. It is basically used to design and structure your thoughts in the form of wireframes which can be further leveraged by the software developers.
  • It has a lot of tools for designing wireframes.
  • It has a very small learning curve.
  • It is cross platform and portable.
  • Communication can be improved between designers and developers.
  • The gap can be bridged between content writers and designers in order to collaborate in a more fruitful way.
  • Functional specifications should be allowed to be imported to any .docx or .pdf format.
Balsamiq is well suited for:
  • Sketchy, low-fidelity wireframes which focus on rapid design conversations and functionality.
  • 75 built-in user interface components and 187 icons, plus a whole lot of community-generated components.
  • Linking lets you generate click-through prototypes for demos & usability testing.
  • Share or present mockups with embedded links using PDF export, or use a 3rd party tool to export to code.
Jordan Sakowitz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are using Balsamiq within the product management department to create wireframes that will be used for requirements documentation. We find it to be a good alternative to Photoshop or Illustrator for quickly mocking up layouts and workflows, where the visual design is secondary to determining which components are needed on a page, and where they should go. This is much quicker to implement than a full Photoshop/Illustrator mockup, and much more useful than trying to describe requirements in words to the developers.
  • It's incredibly easy to use. The built in UI component library means that creating a new wireframe is as simple as dragging and dropping components onto a page. Keyboard shortcuts are generally simple and easy to remember. A new user can become very proficient with just 0-30 minutes of training.
  • You can create and iterate on a mockup very quickly. If you know what you want to do, you can mock up a simple page/tool in as little as 10 minutes. Moving a component, rearranging a page, adding or removing components, etc., is all very quick.
  • It is very easy to collaborate with your team. Pricing is by the number of projects you have, so you can have as many users collaborating as you want. This includes sharing your work, allowing others to comment on your work, edit, and propose alternate versions. Sharing a mockup is as easy as copying and pasting a hyperlink- you do not need to download and email files.
  • There is very good support, and help pages/videos. If I don't know how to do something, I can often figure it out by Googling it.
  • Working with grids can be difficult. Resizing columns to specific widths can be very tricky. Adding data to a grid with many columns can also be somewhat frustrating. If you work with data grids a lot, this is something you will notice very quickly.
  • Working with imported images is not great. If you want to import an existing image (say, a screenshot of an existing tool) as a basis for a wireframe, you might have some problems. Image quality of imported images is not great, and the process of uploading images into the tool is cumbersome. This is really a tool for starting from scratch, not augmenting existing designs.
  • You can't really create interactive mockups using Balsamiq. You can add in links, either to web pages or other mockups, but no other components "function". For example, if you want to add options to a dropdown, and then click on the dropdown and see how it looks, or have some behavior contingent on the selection of an option from the dropdown, you will be out of luck. This is a simple, quick wireframing tool, and does not provide support for "prototyping" functionality. This is their intention, and there are other tools that focus on that, but it's something to be aware of.
It is very well suited for rapid, simple prototyping. If you just need to demonstrate where a certain component should be on a page, this is a great tool for you.
If you want to show exactly how something is going to look (color scheme, styling, etc.), build an interactive prototype, iterate on existing tools, or use a lot of custom/non-standard controls in your design, this will not be a great tool for you.
Abbie Cataldo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
UX designers use it at their discretion depending on the situation and need of the project. Sometimes designers opt for more visually stimulating tools. However, I use and encourage the use of Balsamiq to put together a basic design solution to communicate with engineering and product team members. I think having a quick way to wireframe without the "noise" of colors and highly polished design elements is important to starting a conversation.
  • Balsamiq is quick. You can put an idea down in the tool very fast and not have to focus too much on detail.
  • Balsamiq allows me to start a conversation with my team members. I can show them the general idea and get feedback and then make rapid changes.
  • The use of symbols, as implemented a few years ago in Balsamiq has made it a better tool and even faster to use.
  • Balsamiq shows the workflow of a process very easily. I think it's the best tool for UX and IA work, as it does not force me to put in UI element details. I can always work on that later, while development of the interaction and structure of the interface is underway.
  • If I place a symbol in a page, then edit one part of it (like a bit of text) the symbol does not sync properly any longer. I understand that I've made an update and broken the link, but I'd like it to link to individual elements rather than the whole symbol so that I can edit text but still get general updates to the symbol that are made.
Balsamiq is definitely used on a case-by-case basis by my team. I will use it when:
  • My development team has worked with UX a lot and is very in tune to our visual language--when they just don't need as many details to pull off the design properly
  • I need a quick design to communicate an issue or solution
  • For internal tools, where the overall UI is going to be less important than the interaction
I do not use Balsamiq when
  • I need to communicate to customers who are not very knowledgeable of UX or its processes
  • My development team needs a lot of guidance and detail
  • A full UI layout with colors, styles, measurements, etc. us required
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our team uses Balsamiq to get high fidelity napkin sketches put together. We have a team of key stakeholders that are spread across the country and having the ability to create, share, markup and version has been tremendously valuable. Having Balsamiq helps us all envision the same end in a way that using only words tends to leave too much open to interpretation.
  • Ease of use - once you are using the tool it is pretty much like any other tool of this type.
  • Look and feel - it comes with a number of prebuilt items that provide functionality out of the box like: "checkbox groups", "calendars" and "button bars".
  • Repositioning and inserting items requires a fair amount of rework to the layout.
  • it would be nice to have wire up events to take you to a new layout when "this" happens.
Balsamiq is great for rapid prototyping of ideas. If inserting items automatically did a reflow, I could probably see myself using it in meetings where we are typing to prototype. As it is now I need to use it to capture the ideas after the meeting. It does work well for getting consensus on the ideas discussed.
Tracy Walton | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is used across the software development teams to help our customers visualize what a new feature enhancement could look like. This is a great way to have an open dialogue and discover additional requirements or clarify details to refine our understanding of their expectations. The mock-ups are then refined until we have enough detail to move forward with written requirements.
  • I really like the alternate version feature. This allows me to stay organized and reuse designs when needed easily. I can also quickly share a few options with stakeholders to elicit feedback.
  • The wide variety of form fields, controls, buttons, icons make it very easy to mock up a screen. Not to mention each one can be modified to show just the right form field state or data so even though its a rough mock up I can still create a relatively realistic representation of the screen.
  • I've been a Balsamiq user over the last few years and I commend them for continuing to add features that make my job easier.
  • LOVE the auto save feature.
  • Some people who I've shown the mock ups to for the first time are sometimes taken aback by the cartoon-like look and feel.
  • I'd like to see a few more markup features so that I can have more options for visually explaining or highlighting certain portions of the screen. I don't always get the luxury of having a discussion when reviewing the mock ups with stakeholders. Sometimes its all through email.
Balsamiq works great for mocking up screens where precise, exact replica type mock-ups are not necessary. Otherwise I find Photoshop to be more appropriate for mocking up screens that require specific graphics or that need to look as much as real-life as possible.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Balsamiq is being used by 2 or 3 departments. This is helping product developers, engineers, and application designers see a basic idea and allows for them to be on the same page. It helps engineering, especially, because it is quicker than a full mockup and allows for quick turnaround with feedback allowing for bigger changes to occur early and often, rather then being locked into a design and wasting time trying to change it.
  • Quick to make changes
  • Easy to use and understand what you need
  • There are wireframes objects for almost any type of UI imaginable
  • More icons selection
  • Not having to store and keep assets with the wireframe
  • Easier to share and collaborate at the same time
If you're looking for a final mockup, Basamiq will not look as pretty as Photoshop. For displaying a basic concept or idea it is perfect. Now if only I could do full use cases in one smooth motion it would be perfect.
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