• Balsamiq Mockups for Desktop, Version 2.2.19
  • Keynote 6.1
  • Omnigraffle 6 Pro
  • InVision (cloud platform, 03-19-14)

Today I focused on creating the same low-fidelity iPhone 5 prototype in 4 different applications: Balsamiq, Keynote, Omnigraffle and InVision.

My end product was a login for an e-commerce store.  By developing the same clickable prototype in all 4 softwares, I was able to getter a richer understanding about which one(s) I want to fall back on when needing to rapidly prototype a product.

Here’s what i learned …

Balsamiq
pros:
• very quick & easy to learn

cons:
• have to drag/drop an image
• no mask abilities
• no layers (a workaround is to make an object “markup”)

balsamiq

awesomely simple and quick

 

Keynote
pros:
• very quick & easy to learn
• simply hyperlink buttons (versus creating “hotspots”)

cons:
• no iphone 5 artwork
• no layers: using master template is less intuitive then using layers

keynote

also quick and easy to use

Omnigraffle
tough to figure out, but quite robust
pros:
• has layers
• has precise info on grid positioning

cons:
• doesn’t come with iPhone 5 stencil artwork (only iPhone 4)
• in preview mode, I got an awful hover highlight over the entire main content
• hotspot navigation falters when using masked artwork in combination with layers

omingraffle

robust feature set, including layers

InVision
pros:
• very, very quick and easy
• don’t have to mask overflowing content, as the software handles it for you
• preview is phenomenal
• comes with iPhone 5 artwork

cons:
• no layers - so you might have to merge some artwork
• resolution is confusing (uploaded artwork gets stretched)
• can't edit device once past the selection screen

invision

very simple for quick drafts, but tough to edit

=====================

THE WINNERS:
inVision and Balsamiq: both are easy to learn, with inuitive flows and ready-to-go artwork; thus, allowing us to focus on the task at hand (quick prototyping, low-fidelity) rather than thinking about how to use the software