by Andreas Wulf on 03/06/12 at 9:08 am
[Note: This giveaway has ended!]
Wulfsoft is giving away five free PowerMockup licenses (worth $39.95 each) to the readers of UX Movement. PowerMockup is an add-on for creating wireframes in Microsoft PowerPoint. It provides a handy library of common UI elements to help you quickly sketch out the layout of a website or software application.
Why use PowerPoint for Wireframing?
Before exploring the details of PowerMockup, let me explain why I think PowerPoint is a good choice for creating wireframes:
- PowerPoint encourages non-UX people to take part in the design process. By using simple, widely used software, nobody gets left out and everyone can instantly contribute to a design. This makes it an effective communication tool among designers, business analysts, developers and business users.
- PowerPoint is great for telling a story. Its presentation features make it easy to create storyboards that present the flow of an application or website. To create non-linear presentations (prototypes, if you will), you can add basic interactivity via custom hyperlinks.
- PowerPoint has all the design features required to create wireframes. It’s vector-based, offers a range of import/export formats, has (basic) layer support, supports grouping and ungrouping of shapes, and comes with good printing capabilities. Of course, PowerPoint falls short when compared to expert design tools like Adobe Illustrator or OmniGraffle, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inferior choice. It can actually be a good thing if wireframes look a bit rough and unpolished, so that nobody mistakes them for the final design.
- PowerPoint plays nicely with other Office applications. For instance, it’s possible to embed a PowerPoint slide into a Word document so that you can directly edit your wireframes within Word. This feature is especially useful when writing specs.
However, one aspect PowerPoint is missing is ready-to-use wireframe templates. This is where PowerMockup steps in.
PowerMockup: Wireframing Add-on for PowerPoint
PowerMockup integrates itself into PowerPoint as an additional panel from which you can drag and drop UI elements onto a slide. The current version lets you pick from a collection of 89 fully editable UI stencils and 104 icons.
Finding the right element is easy using PowerMockup’s quick search function, which not only finds exact name matches but also takes tags into account. This means that a search for “Input” will lead to results that include a “Text Box” and a “Text Area” stencil.
One of PowerMockup’s most useful features is the ability to add custom stencils and categories. Simply select a shape on a PowerPoint slide, click on “Add Stencil,” and a new stencil will be created. Stencils can also be imported and exported, making it easy to exchange them with co-workers or clients.
If you would like to give PowerMockup a try, feel free to download the demo version from the PowerMockup website. The tool requires PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 (for Windows) installed on your computer. A version for Mac OS X is currently not available.
5 PowerMockup Licenses Up for Grabs
For a chance to win one of five PowerMockup licenses, simply leave a comment below (with your name and a valid email address) telling us why you would like to win this wireframe tool. We will pick the winners randomly from all comments received.
Andreas Wulf is the founder and owner of Wulfsoft, a software company located in the beautiful city of Münster, Germany. He holds a Master's Degree in Information Systems and has a background in designing and developing large software systems for the financial industry.