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The dust is definitely settling after the big 3.0 release. Bug reports are slowing down, and people are generally happy with v.3.
Today's release squashes the following issues:
Today's build number is 3.0.8, and you can download it from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
As always, if you hit any snags with the new build let us know immediately and we'll fix it right up! :)
Right now we are working on bringing you a new exciting feature, previously only available to myBalsamiq: the possibility to create alternate versions of mockups! It's awesome, we can't wait to show you.
We are also very close to being able to ship the new v.3 hotness in Mockups for Google Drive, and we continue to work on bringing v.3 to myBalsamiq, Mockups for Confluence and Mockups for JIRA.
Peldi for the Balsamiq team
Another week, another release! As expected after the major update that was v.3, we're in the "let the dust settle" period, fixing bugs here and there as they come up.
Here's what's in today's update:
To install build 3.0.7, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
Peldi for the Balsamiq Team
It was with mixed feelings that we switched to the Font Awesome icon set with Balsamiq Mockups 3.
Our original icons were hand-drawn by Peldi's wife Mariah so they had special meaning to us.
But creating new ones and keeping them updated as logos changed (our Twitter icon was three generations old, for example) was time consuming and didn't provide as much value to our customers as adding new features and fixing bugs.
And then Font Awesome came along and it was free and, well, awesome. We used it internally and added it as an easy-to-install icon pack on our Extensions page and our customers loved it too.
In our Beta feedback forums our users started talking about integrating Font Awesome when we decided to remove the Account Assets feature. So Peldi contacted Dave Gandy, creator of Font Awesome, and asked him if we could use them in our tool.
From: Giacomo Guilizzoni email@example.com
Date: Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 6:28 PM
Subject: Hello from Peldi from Balsamiq!
To: Dave Gandy
This is Peldi from Balsamiq. We make a wireframing tool called Balsamiq Mockups, maybe you've heard of it?
We have noticed that quite a few of our customers use your awesome Font Awesome set of icons in conjunction with our tool. There's even a github repo of someone who made it easy to do.
We are working on a new version of Mockups, and were wondering if it would be possible to include your Font Awesome set as a built-in set, replacing our homegrown (and much inferior to yours) set.
I looked at your licensing page and it looked feasible, but I thought it'd be worth maybe having a quick chat first?
What do you think? I am excited about the idea, as it would give our users a standard set of icons that their developers would understand immediately...and probably also help cement Font Awesome as "the standard" for app and web design, even more than it is today. :)
I am in CET, and happy to meet any time.
His response was delightfully straightforward.
From: Dave Gandy
Date: Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: Hello from Peldi from Balsamiq!
To: Giacomo Guilizzoni firstname.lastname@example.org
Heck yeah. Go ahead and throw them in. It’s as open source as I can get it. :)
A few days later Peldi had swapped out the old ones for Font Awesome and remapped the labels so that existing projects with icons wouldn't break.
We were a bit giddy here when we used the first Beta build with the new icons. Getting so many great icons all at once felt like Christmas to us.
We'll also be updating our icon set whenever Dave updates Font Awesome. So, now, if you want us to add icons to Balsamiq Mockups, request them in Font Awesome and they'll make their way into our product!
We hope you're enjoying the new icons. And, if you're nostalgic for the old ones, we've made them available for download as custom icons.
Hello again friends!
We're back with another round of bug fixes.
Here's what's new in today's release:
Install build 3.0.5 from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
You can expect another release similar to this one in a week or so.
Hello friends of Balsamiq!
We are happy to report that our big Balsamiq Mockups 3 release from two weeks ago has generally been very well received.
As is to be expected with all major updates, some bugs have surfaced. We're still working through them, but we fixed a bunch already so we want to get these fixes into your hands as quickly as possible.
So, without further ado, here's what's in today's Mockups 3 for Desktop release:
Some of our developers had a mini-retreat to kick off the "v.3 in myBalsamiq" project. It will take some time, but it will be awesome.
We are also working hard to bring v.3 to all of our plugins, and making great strides too.
Last but not least, we are also working on bringing the concept of "Alternate Mockups", now only available in myBalsamiq, to all of our versions.
Install build 3.0.4 from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
Hello friends of Balsamiq! :)
Today is a big day for us: after almost a year of heads-down work, we are releasing the biggest update in our little company's history: Balsamiq Mockups 3.
Today we are shipping v.3 on the Desktop and in the Web Demo. The plugins and myBalsamiq will be updated to v.3 as soon as possible (think weeks, not months).
Balsamiq Mockups 3 is both simpler and more powerful at the same time.
The core editing experience should feel very familiar, but we have made what used to be hard simple - single-file projects, using reusable symbols, a more standard editing UI with left and right panels, immediate auto-saving.
We also added powerful features for the experts: tons of new keyboard shortcuts, a new Project Information panel, big performance improvements for large projects, a Trash bin, a hugely more powerful full-screen presentation UI, notes for the Project, Mockups, Assets, Symbol Libraries and Symbols, and the ability to open multiple Project windows at once.
We also gave the app a nice and modern new coat of paint, a new application icon, and even threw in a new huge set of icons at the last minute.
Oh, and we also fixed over 900 bugs while we were at it, because why not. :)
Balsamiq Mockups 3 is the culmination of almost a year of really hard work, almost a complete rewrite of our 6-year-old codebase.
In many ways though, this feels like a new beginning: Mockups 3 feels to me like the product I should have built from day one, had I known everything you have taught us in the last 6 years. The new UI also lays the foundation for what’s to come in the future. We have big plans, and we’re certainly not stopping here. In fact, the new codebase will allow us to add things really fast again. We hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride, helping us make Mockups the best it can be for all of us.
So, without further ado, here it is for download: Balsamiq Mockups 3.
We cannot WAIT to see what you’ll do with it.
Some useful links:
We took this opportunity to adjust the pricing of Mockups for Desktop for the first time, mostly to adjust for inflation after all these years. A single Desktop license went from $79 to $89 (full pricing info). Desktop licenses are still tied to you and not a particular machine, you’re free to use the app on any machines you own and use. Balsamiq Mockups 3 also comes with free minor-version updates, so you’ll be able to update to 3.1, 3.2, 3.3...for free. That’s probably a couple of years worth of updates.
When we ship v.4 (which will be native and probably sold via app stores), we’ll try to give existing customers a discount for updating, but we can’t promise anything as we’re pretty far away from that date and things are changing quickly with app stores.
For posterity, today's full release number is 3.0.2.
If you have any questions or find any issues with Mockups 3, you can email us at email@example.com or head to our new community forums. We're all-hands-on-deck and ready to pounce on any bug you might uncover! :)
As always, happy wireframing!
Hello? Is anyone still reading this? After being quiet for 10 months, we can understand if you thought we had sent our developers on a long vacation somewhere... ;)
Well, we didn't. In fact, we have been working really hard on a lot of different things: see my recent Look Back at 2014 post for the nitty-gritty details.
Today marks an important milestone for our little team, we are releasing a beta version of Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop, the next major version of our best-selling product.
Let's dive right in: What's new in Balsamiq Mockups 3?
In a word, lots! In many ways, this feels like the product we should have built from the beginning. It takes care of some of our longest-standing feature requests, and lays a solid foundation for exciting future developments.
Here are the "highlights" you should know about. For a more detailed list, see this article.
Probably the biggest change in Balsamiq Mockups 3 is the transition to a new file format, called BMPR (we pronounce it bumper).
It stands for Balsamiq Mockups Project aRchive, and it contains all of the mockups, images, custom icons and symbols for a project.
BMPR files are super-easy to share, and designed for the future: we plan on adding revisions, branching and comments to them soon.
To convert your existing project folders or ZIP files downloaded from myBalsamiq into BMPR files, just head to the Project > Import menu:
Gone is the annoying flying property inspector. Now you have mockups on the left, and properties on the right. Simple, predictable and quick.
We greatly simplified how to create, manage and edit reusable Symbols.
We added a way to manage your project's assets easily, and even added a project Trash bin.
Autosave is the new norm: we always auto-save every change immediately so you won't ever lose any work, and you won't get bugged by annoying dialogs while trying to quit the app.
The full-screen presentation mode has been greatly improved too, check it out (below with every option showing):
You can also save notes for your mockups and symbols, and even open multiple project windows at the same time!
Balsamiq Mockups 3 no longer runs as a desktop application on Linux. We also removed support for account assets, the BalsamiqMockups.cfg configuration file, and exporting from the command-line.
Those were tough decisions, but we think they were the right thing to do. If you have any questions about those, come talk about it on the new Balsamiq Forums: we're listening!
We spent months re-architecting and refactoring the whole application, cleaning up 6-years worth of technical debt and fixing literally hundreds of bugs and feature requests in the process.
The app is noticeably faster, even with big projects.
To sum it up, let me tell you this: after getting used to v.3, going back to 2.2 feels like a HUGE step backwards. You have to use different files and save them in specific folders and save manually like some kind of animal? And what's that ugly floating thingy!?!?! Ugh. Who built this crap!!! ;)
To download Balsamiq Mockups 3 Public Beta, head to our Next Release Preview page. New builds are pushed there automatically after every check-in.
It will run side-by-side with Balsamiq Mockups 2, no need to uninstall anything.
Balsamiq Mockups 3 will be a free upgrade for existing customers (it automatically migrates the old license), and cost $89 for a single new license (a $10 increase over today's price).
If you find any issues or have any comments, please use the Help > Send Feedback menu in Mockups to comment in the new Balsamiq Forums. We'll see you there!
Although the app is already in very good shape, we expect the public beta period to last a month or two. Once the app is SUPER-SOLID, we'll do an official release and announce it here. We also plan on bringing all the new goodness to myBalsamiq and our plugins as fast as possible, so sit tight! 2015 is going to be awesome! :)
The following is a guest blog post by John Turner of UsersThink. Enjoy!
But being able to get objective feedback is also important in the process of designing, and that hasn't always been easy. I started UsersThink to make it easy to get focused feedback on your mockups and prototypes, without needing endless setup or recruitment or any of the usual hassles.
And the combination of an easy-to-use mockup tool like Balsamiq with an easy-to-use feedback tool like UsersThink is like peanut butter and jelly, especially when you see how well they work together.
Here's how to get UsersThink feedback on a myBalsamiq design in just a few steps:
Head over to your project and open the mockup you want to receive feedback on.
In the upper right corner of the mockup screen, there should be an arrow pointing to the upper right.
If you hover over that arrow, it should say "Launch Prototype".
Click it, and you'll get a publicly shareable URL of your mockup. Make sure to copy that URL, you'll need to enter it into UsersThink.
UsersThink provides you with focused feedback on any landing page you give it, including a myBalsamiq mockup, like the one you've just prepped for feedback.
To get an example of what a UsersThink participant's feedback will look like, check out a sample user response on the home page.
Click on the Pricing option, and then select the test option you want. The test options are distinguished mainly by the number of participants who will be giving you feedback.
Select the option that works best for you.
In the first part of ordering, there is a field labeled "Your Landing Page URL".
Paste the Launch Prototype URL into that field, then hit the right-facing arrow button.
Enter your payment information, and click Pay Now.
That's how simple and easy it is to order feedback from UsersThink. We got tired of the endless options and configurations of other tools, so we standardized and streamlined the process so you can focus on the feedback, and not waste time on setup.
Within 24 hours (often much sooner) you'll get the results of the feedback via email.
Read through the feedback on your prototype and you'll notice trends in terms of what's working and what isn't with your initial design. Since Balsamiq is so easy to use, you can take your newfound knowledge and quickly turn it into improvements in no time.
If you have any questions or if there's anything you'd like to know, feel free to reach out to me, John Turner (CEO of UsersThink) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week's release was a big one, and very well received. As it often happens with big updates, a couple of little issues snuck in.
Today's little release addresses those, as well as a few other bugs. Here's the list:
If you're using myBalsamiq or Mockupsfor Google Drive, you're already updated.
For other versions, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
For posterity, these are the version numbers of today's release:
Hello friends of Balsamiq! It's been a couple of months since our last release, but I think you'll be happy with what we have in store for you today! :)
This is a hugely requested feature, and one that will make creating prototypes SO MUCH faster and less painful.
In short, whenever using the [bracketed text syntax] to specify a link in your controls, you will be able to specify a link target as well, and the link will become clickable in Full Screen Presentation mode or in your exported PDFs.
The feature works in the following control types: Paragraph of Text, Geometric Shape, Data Grid, Label, Text Area, Sticky Note, Callout, Tooltip, Arrow, Horizontal and Vertical Curly braces, Checkbox, Radio Button, Tag Cloud, Icon and Label, Multiline Button.
There are two ways to specify the target for a text link: either via the property inspector or via text.
Using the inspector: you just enter links in your text with [this notation], then in the inspector, you use the pulldowns in the Links Inspector - it automatically finds [text links] and lets you choose link targets:
Using text: as we often do, we followed the markdown syntax many people already know and love. To specify a link target, you add it to the link in parenthesis. Here's a few examples, all will work:
These two link to the company.bmml mockup:
These all end up on our website:
Thanks so much Kevin Stevens, Michael Bourque, Michal, tvandeputte, Jamie Newman, vcombs, Jonathan Endersby, Joe Winton, Lucas Partridge, chris, kbaum88, Amit Sawhney, and Peter for requesting it. The first request is from 5 years ago! When we say "we'll get there some day", we mean it! :)
We finally added an iPad control. We also added a Popover control, and revamped the look of our iPhone controls to match iOS7 a little bit more. We also renamed the category in the UI Library from "iPhone" to "iOS" and enhanced the iOS keyboard control to make it fit in both the iPhone and iPad controls.
Here's the new iPad control (click to enlarge). As you can see, it can have either a white or transparent background, and an optional top bar as well (just like the iPhone):
Here's the new Popover control. It's really flexible, we suspect you'll be using it for much more than just an iOS Popover:
Thanks so much dbowlerhb, James J Rickards, Kensai (and other 80!!! people) and Joe Schaap for requesting this!
This one is a small one but highly requested one. Moving the selection with the arrow keys (what we call "nudging") used to move stuff 2 pixels at the time (20 if you held the SHIFT key down).
Now that we have a more precise wireframe skin, sometimes that 2 pixel granularity made it hard to align things. Starting today, we now move things 1 pixel at the time, but if you're in a hurry, you can continue to hold SHIFT down and jump 20 pixels at the time.
While we were at it, we also implemented a neat little feature: you now see snap lines appear for a half second while nudging, so you know when to stop. It's the little things, you know? ;)
Thanks so much Matthew Forr, Jon Chang, Breon, Joakim Fläder, Matt Nicolosi, per sjörs, Matty Sallin, Matt Lavoie, beingbrad, DJW, Simon H., Steve B. and Jonah S. for requesting this!
If you're using myBalsamiq, you're already updated. Just log back in and enjoy.
The Mockups Blog is where we announce new releases and share what we're working on. Everything about Balsamiq Mockups.
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