26/04/2009

iPlotz: wireframing, mockups and prototyping for websites and applications

iPlotz: wireframing, mockups and prototyping for websites and applications

iPlotz seems to be the answer to many a web designer's prayer or should that be dream. It's an on-line system allowing wire-framing of sites so they can be viewed by other developers or even customers to ensure they have the right look and feel before any major coding is done. There's also some basic project management functionality so different wire-frames can be assigned as different tasks.

The combination of tools allows complex designs to be simulated while allowing the designer complete flexibility. Wire-framed items can perform actions such as jumping between pages, loading graphics etc so some site functionality is even available.

There's an on-line version at iPlotz and there's a downloadable version available as well. The downloadable version requires Adobe AIR.

Though some knowledge of how a site is put together, this is even useful for pre-design stages so that technical users could mock-up the functionality of a system then pass the mock-up to a designer to prettify. There's also scope for use in pitches before a site has even got to the drawing board (well iPlotz is the drawing board).

Having been on the thought stages of several sites where various Powerpoint or other static pages have been built, iPlotz would have given the extra flexibility to show how things fitted together and would have saved several days worth of re-jigging buttons or inter-page actions.

iPlotz uses the Freemium model whereby it's free to sign-up and that gives access to 1 project which is limited to 5 pages. There's a $15/m plan (on-line access to unlimited projects and 1GB storage). The downloadable version costs $75 (again there's a free trial), but the downloadable version is included in the $99/yr package (so you get 12 months which would normally be $180 and the $75 downloadable version). There are also 5 and 10 multi user versions for $295 and $495 per year respectively.

Definitely worth a look if you're building websites or a business based on a future website.

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