PowerMockup: wireframing in PowerPoint
Of the many wireframing tools available, there’s dedicated software, web-based applications, plugins for creative software and tablet apps. One of the more interesting offerings I stumbled across was PowerMockup – a library of interface components for creating wireframe diagrams in Microsoft PowerPoint .
Though PowerPoint wouldn’t be my first choice for diagramming, the design and layout tools in the newer versions of the application have come a long way. Adding the PowerMockup library to your PowerPoint application is as simple as downloading and executing the small (6.0MB) PowerMockup installation file. I’m using PowerPoint 2010, however PowerMockup is also compatible with the previous (2007) and latest (2013) versions.
On starting up PowerPoint, the PowerMockup Stencil Library presents a collection of over 250 interface components – containers, graphics, icons, markup, navigation and text – which will meet the majority of any web or app designer’s wireframing needs. The library components are nicely illustrated vector graphics. Using these components is simply a case of dragging them from the library and dropping them on to the PowerPoint slide. Once a component has been placed on a slide, it can be customised and coupled with PowerPoint’s standard drawing and editing features. You can even save your own components into the PowerMockup library for use in other projects.
PowerMockup’s few shortcomings are a result of it relying on PowerPoint, a tool designed for creating presentations rather than diagrams. Having to rely on slides as the canvas, which use centimetre units and have few options for grid/guide customisation, means designers with a preference for pixel-perfect wireframes as part of their workflow won’t favour the PowerMockup/PowerPoint combination.
At $60 for a single-user license, the price of PowerMockup may seem steep for what it is. For designers who own PowerPoint and don’t require pixel-perfect accuracy for producing wireframes, PowerMockup is a choice worth considering. Finally, it would be great to see PowerMockup’s availability extended to Apple Keynote (for Mac users) and Adobe Illustrator (as a symbols pack).
I’m giving it 4/5.
If you’ve used PowerMockup or another wireframing solution which you’ve liked, please leave a comment below. @robvnet