Balsamiq: Can You See It Now?

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 in .NET, SQL Server | 1 comment

Wouldn’t it be great to sit down next to your client and sketch out ideas?  Now there’s an online, user-friendly tool called Balsamiq Mockups that allows you to do that remotely.

Balsamiq Mockups helps you and your team or clients iterate on wireframes as early in the process as possible, when it’s cheapest to do so. Not surprisingly, it was developed by a former Macromedia/Adobe software engineer.

Balsamiq Mockups hits the bulls-eye for firms like DesignMind.  We can use this inexpensive tool to rapidly create mock-ups of both desktop and web applications.  It’s got a lot of power, and is easy to learn.  One of the really great ideas in this tool is that the prototypes look hand-drawn.  This informal appearance makes stakeholders more comfortable about giving the developers early feedback, which is so incredibly valuable.

Balsamiq Mockup 300x260 Balsamiq: Can You See It Now? Balsamiq Desktop Mockup

I learned about Balsamiq Mockups last week when Don Robins spoke to the San Francisco .NET User Group.  (Don, a principal at Outformations, gave a great overview of SQL Server Compact Edition.)

Software Application Developers have long struggled with ways to help their clients visualize what an application will look like, early in the project.  These days developers communicate their user interface designs in many ways, all the way from whiteboard sketches, Visio diagrams, Excel, and at the high end, complex software visualization systems such as iRise.

Balsamiq Mockup Wiki 300x237 Balsamiq: Can You See It Now?

If you aren’t doing prototyping, or if you’re using the paper, Visio, or Excel approach, you can elevate your development process easily with this product.  Thanks to Don for spending some of his presentation demonstrating the Balsamiq tool.

Balsamiq Mockup Rich Internet Application 300x220 Balsamiq: Can You See It Now?

Balsamiq Mockup Rich Internet Application

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Free SEO Toolkit available from Microsoft

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 in .NET | 0 comments

keyboard3 300x105 Free SEO Toolkit available from Microsoft

Earlier this month Microsoft released the first beta of a new free tool – the IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit – that makes it easy to perform SEO analysis on your site and identify and fix issues within it.

Scott Guthrie’s excellent blog tells all about it.  Thanks to E.R. Gilmore at Travis Medical Software for pointing it out to me.  The new SEO Toolkit looks incredibly useful, and at DesignMind we’re starting to test it out on several client websites.  I’ll report back on its effectiveness. I’ll also try to arrange a demo of this toolkit at an upcoming meeting of the San Francisco .NET User Group.

Scott Guthrie runs the development teams at Microsoft responsible for ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, IIS, and various Visual Studio Tools.

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