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Ken KoellnerKen Koellner 

wireframe tool for use with VF

I'd like to discuss wireframe tools for use specifying pages for development in VF.  I've done some specs for my developers just using MS-office tools like Viseo/Word/Excel.  For one page I used the trial version of Balamiq.  I'm starting to read about more powerful tools like axure.


I'd like to hear what other people are using and get ideas of benefits of each tool.


It would be nice for any tool if there was already existing, or a way to build an element that looked like pageblock, pageblocksection, and pageblocktable.  But I was able to fake it enough with just regular drawing in Balamiq.


I don't know how important it is to have a tool that actually produces a prototype page in HTML.  It might be a total rewrite when you implement in VF if you are using the native VF tags.  On the other hand, if you scrapped the SF look-and-feel and wanted a custom HTML page that resides in VF, it might be a good feature.


So what are people using?



I read this morning that sfdc uses UXPIN. (I'm sure they use more than one - at least to try).


I went to a mtg yesterday wnere Axure was demo'd, but some people said the html generated was not useable.


Seems to me that this would be a wonderful opportunity for someone.


Does UXPIN generate something that's "useable"?

Ken KoellnerKen Koellner

I read a bit about axure.  It seems hugely powerful but possibly two specific for VF.  I'm not sure I want to mock-up and actually generate HTML that may become part of the final product.


It might be that Axure would be good if you disabled all the standard VF style sheet stuff and coding in VF using mainly regular HTML with merge variables for data.  I have had a few pages done that way to match a corporate web stie.  But for the majority of of pages, I use the VF look-and-feel so I get the programming efficientcy of VF/Apex.


I did do one page in Balsamiq with the demo version.  For $80 or whatever it costs, it might be worth it.  I wish it had some ad-ins that looks like SF constructs but there are some examples on their site.


I'll also use Excel for quick-and-dirty stuff.


Ken, I'm wondering if you have committed to one tool over another.  I did some quick mockups with Moqups, and I think I'll try a Balsamiq free trial to see how that feels.  I'm in your camp; I don't want to generate any code. I simply want to give my developer a solid visual guide so he doesn't have to ask as many questions before getting started.  

Ken KoellnerKen Koellner
I ended up getting my group to spend $85 for a Balsamiq license for me.  We had a consultant do about 1/2 dozen mock-ups and they used Balsamiq and since I was picking up the project it was easiest to just use the same tool.  I like it well enough.  The nice thing about it is it isn't too precise; I like that it gives sort of a pencil drawing thumbnail sketch look to the output and doesn't try to be pixel for pixel the final page.  I want to define content, basic look, and basic layout of the page and leave the type-setting and fine detailed work to the HTML programmer.