Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Of Tools and Toolers

What sets apart a professional from an amateur or hobbyist  in any field, is how well and efficiently a job is done with minimum expenditure of resources (read time, effort and money) while returning the maximum possible gain. Therefore in any field, the tools employed by the professional in getting the job done are of paramount importance. Ditto in the software world.  While sometimes we require the extensive features and dedicated support that a priced tool offers, at other times, we just need a tool that gets the job done. It also helps if its free and does not hurt if it's user friendly.  In a series of posts, I plan to cover a set of useful tools at the disposal of the software community at large, with each post covering an aspect of the software development life-cycle. These posts will be iterative, meaning I will re-visit an area already visited, if I come across new tools, not already reviewed before.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to: Create Webpage mock-ups in 5 easy steps

You've just had a lengthy requirements session with your business folks/customer(s)/ or client(s), and you need to make sure you got everything right about the UI/design of the webpage/application so that all the stakeholders are clear and in agreement. Or perhaps you are typing out a Business Proposal (RFP) or Business Requirements Document (BRD) and you need to put in pictures/layout of the webpage that is yet to be developed. How do you do that quickly, neatly without spending a dime? Enter Lumzy.

Lumzy is an online tool, that allows  you to quickly create mock-ups or wireframes of webpages in a matter of minutes. Allows you to export the mock-ups to various formats (jpg, png, pdf) or email them. Better still, it allows for online collaboration (via chat, comments, real-time editing and versioning) in case you need to discuss and nail those UI nitty-gritty right. This makes it easy to iron-out UI requirements (or potential flaws in them) before actually prototyping the same in code and helps save valuable time and money. And finally,  its absolutely FREE!

Step1: Navigate to the webpage http://lumzy.com/

Step2: Launch Lumzy by clicking on "Launch Now" button on the home page. Below portal is opened.

Step3: Register if you want to save the mock-up and share it with others online. Takes no more than 30 seconds and its FREE. I tried it and they DONT spam or send annoying email beyond registration confirmation.

Step4: Create a new project and drag and drop webparts from the menu. Examples below:

Step5: Choose Export options as JPG, PNG or PDF or email it.

You are done!

Signal vs. Noise