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Hello friends of Balsamiq!
In December we released a new version of myBalsamiq that offers annual plans and billing improvements. You may not have noticed it while creating mockups over the past month, but we hope December's release will make your financial departments swoon!
Our old subscription service provider served us well, but it has some limitations. So we built a custom integration with Stripe which has been working well in Mockups 3 for Google Drive since May 2015.
We are excited to finally be able to offer you some billing features in myBalsamiq that you've been requesting for years.
Here are just a few:
If you are still in the 30 day trial, simply sign up! You'll have access to everything immediately.
If you already have a myBalsamiq subscription, because of how credit card authorization works, we can't automatically switch you to the new system. All you'll need to do is make a change of some kind to your subscription, such as updating your credit card or upgrading to an annual plan.
All changes that migrate you from the old system to the new system will require you to re-enter your credit card, but after that you'll have access to the new billing features.
You'll of course receive credit for any time remaining on the old system, and any unused site credit you have will also transfer.
One temporary issue before switching to the new system is you may have previously been sending invoices to someone in your company who was not a member of your myBalsamiq Staff. The new system requires invoices to be sent to either the site owner or the secondary billing administrator.
So the easiest thing to do, is to first set up your finance team member as your official secondary billing administrator. Here is how.
After that, they'll be able to directly make changes to your plan, and update or retrieve invoices.
If you have any questions or problems, please let us know!
Here's what we fixed:
For posterity, today's release is build 3.3.6.
Simply install 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! :)
Natalie for the Balsamiq Team
We hope you all took a refreshing break during the holidays, and wish you all a fantastically creative and productive 2016!
We have a small release for you today, and we hope you'll like it!
You can now select multiple controls and resize them to match the widest, narrowest, tallest or shortest in the selection. This is SUPER-handy when creating sets of Buttons, for instance.
Thanks for those who requested this over the years; last but not least, ArticMe.
You can now change the text color, you can set a pulldown item as selected, you can set it to focussed mode (both when in Open and Closed state), it's now the same height as the Text Input control in the wireframe skin, you can use the x and o notations for checkboxes and radio buttons, the - or = notation for separators, you can add a scrollbar to it...it really is very powerful now.
Thanks to all those who requested these improvement over the years, here or here or here or here or here or via email.
The new Arrows have been universally very well received.
As with all major updates to a feature, some minor issues came up, which we're fixing today.
We fixed an issue with arrow resizing and padding in groups, improved how arrows resize when near the canvas edges, made arrows markup again (we had inadvertently changed this in 3.3), made it possible to revert overriding arrow positions and fixed an issue when exporting them to BMML.
We also made it possible to hold down SHIFT while dragging an arrow end-point to snap at 45 degree intervals. This also makes it very easy to draw straight horizontal and vertical lines, a request by sgiroux and harjeetgulati.
You can now create a Site Map control based on the contents of the project with just one click!
If you're using the Web Demo or Mockups for Google Drive, you're already updated.
For Mockups for Desktop, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
For posterity, today's release is build 3.3.4 3.3.5 (we updated real quick to fix a few little regressions).
We released yearly subscriptions on myBalsamiq! We'll write a separate post about it soon, but you can already find them on your Site Settings page.
We are also hard at work bringing all the v.3 goodness to myBalsamiq. It's a big project, thanks for your continued patience.
We also published these four blog posts:
Peldi for the Balsamiq Team
We're very excited to share today's release with you. It's a big one, so we're switching the minor number from 3.2 to 3.3 for it.
Make yourself comfortable and let's dive in! :)
This has been one of our most requested features for years, and we've finally done it! You can now organize your mockups in groups, creating a simple parent/child relationship between them, just by using TAB and SHIFT+TAB. If you've used Powerpoint or Keynote before, this will feel very familiar to you.
This feature is useful for projects of all sizes, but it especially shines with larger projects.
Here's a little video to see it in action on a simple project:
As you can see at the end of the video, we also increased the size of the thumbnails in the Grid view, to make them more recognizable at a glance.
Thank you so much afeinman and all the others who contributed to the feature request, as well as JeromeR, Trevor A. and Andrei B. via email.
We now resize the thumbnails in the navigator proportionally, instead of just horizontally like before. Take a look:
This works for Assets thumbnails as well, so if you want to see your images nice and big, now you can!
The term "big boy arrows" comes from our friend and long-time-power-user Adam Wride, who used it in the Balsamiq Interviews eBook to describe what he wished our Arrow control would behave like.
Well, our arrows have finally grown up! You no longer have to fiddle with weird property inspectors about direction and curvature, you can simply drag the ends where you want them to be, and drag the middle control point to specify the curvature.
Take a look, it's so simple now:
As you can see, the property inspector has been simplified, and we even added a couple of highly requested features:
As you can see in the video below, you can select either a curved arrow or one made of straight lines, and you can double-click on the middle control point to make the arrows straight or at a right-angle. Handy!
You can also adjust the position of the arrow's label, another highly requested feature.
We also, FINALLY, fixed the clipping bug for arrows when exporting them to PNG or PDF!
Thanks so much to all the people who requested these improvements over the years! You're too many to list, but you know who you are! :)
This is another little feature that's been requested for years. In short, you now have the ability to create a link that goes to the previous page visited while in Full Screen.
This is especially useful for modal dialogs that have to be invoked from different screens, as shown in the little video below:
Due to technical limitations of the PDF format, this feature will sadly not work in exported interactive PDFs.
Thanks for all those who requested this over the years!
We added the "Link to a New Mockup" feature a while ago. Today, following a good idea by ariley, we're also adding a variation that duplicates the current mockup instead of creating a new blank one. Handy!
Another little but highly requested feature. We now do a better job at re-creating the exact situation you were in when you last closed a project, by saving zoom level and canvas scroll position on a cookie on your computer.
Thanks mikecimelli, melogranato and megdesilva, Matt, Alex R., Andrew K., Visnja Zeljeznjak, Steven S., Mark G., Bob J. and others for requesting this!
We incorporated the newly released version 4.5 of FontAwesome, which comes with 20 new icons and a bunch of little fixes here and there (see details).
With this update, we were also able to improve how some 2.2 icons in BMMLs are converted when imported into v.3.
For Mockups 3 for Desktop, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
For posterity, today's release is build 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 (we just did a little update on Friday Dec 4 to fix a little regression with symbols, and another on Monday Dec 6 to fix an issue with resizing arrows in groups and symbols).
Peldi for the Balsamiq Team
The following is a guest post by Ritvij Gautam of TryMyUI.
Every designer faces a dilemma: we become so familiar with what we have created that we can't see aspects of the flow or copy that might be confusing or misunderstood. We’re so close to our designs that it’s just not possible to see it through objective eyes.
The answer to this dilemma is user testing. Putting our designs in front of users and listening to what they don’t like or don’t get is the only way to put feelers into those blind spots and fix our designs in the areas where they fail to meet people’s needs. And the earlier this process happens, the better.
To help Balsamiq customers create usable designs with a great user experience, TryMyUI is offering 5 free usability tests with users from our extensive panel to help you find the blind spots in your myBalsamiq prototypes.
Here’s what you’ll need to know to start testing.
First, make sure all the pages in your myBalsamiq mockup are linked to create an interactive, clickable prototype. Then, click on the Launch Prototype arrow.
Your prototype will launch in a new tab. Copy the URL from this new tab to your clipboard; this is the URL that your TryMyUI testers will be sent to, so you’ll need it when you set up your test in the next step.
Go to www.trymyui.com/campaign/balsamiq and enter your information to sign up with TryMyUI. Now you can create your test.
Fill out the New Test form. Make sure to set Prototype as the Site type so that users can be prepared with the proper instructions. Then, paste the URL of your Balsamiq prototype into the “Website Address” field.
After you’ve entered your URL, input the promo code BalsamiqUI into the field below. Five test credits will be added to your account; you will see them at the checkout step.
Our tips and hints will help you along the way as you set up your test. For extra guidance, read through the Tips & Pointers at the top right.
Review your test, then advance to select the number of users you’d like for your test. Your account will have 5 credits from the promo code – this will allow you to order up to 5 users for free, or you can get an even larger batch by buying additional credits.
Select your desired number of testers, and then hit Checkout.
You will receive an email notifying you when your results are ready. Log back into your TryMyUI account to watch your user videos and read through users’ written survey responses.
Your basic account with TryMyUI is always free, so you can return at any time to view your results again. You will never be charged unless you would like to order more tests or choose to upgrade your account to access our full analytical suite.
Usability testing your prototypes saves time and trouble. Doing your research in the early stages of design makes it easier to change things and build a more usable final product, and with just 5 users you can uncover 80% of the problems in your design.
So what are you waiting for? Get started improving your designs today! www.trymyui.com/campaign/balsamiq
Mockups 3 for Desktop is already super-solid, but we take great pride and joy in making it more and more reliable every day. Squashing software bugs is fun! :)
Here's what we've fixed in this release.
For other versions, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
For posterity, today's release is build 3.2.4.
Our latest release had some exciting new stuff in it, so now it's time to do a little "let the dust settle" release to fix some bugs here and there.
We were able to squeeze a little new feature in there though, check it out! :)
We're very happy to see the Alternates feature being used so much. Many of you asked for a taller Alternates panel in the Info Panel, so we made it resizeable in this release! Just drag it up, and Mockups will remember the size for that project.
Thanks to Jerome R., Vivek, Chris, Léo, and Lisu for requesting this feature! :)
For posterity, today's release is build 3.2.3.
Today we have something so exciting to share that we're switching the version number from 3.1 to 3.2 for it. Check it out!
Our sweet spot is the ideation phase, so it only makes sense that we offer you ways to create rough, quick-and-dirty wireframes.
With today's release we introduce two new control types, which help you do just that: the Block of Text and Line of Text controls.
Here's what they look like, in Sketch and Wireframe skin:
The idea is that you'll use them when first coming up with ideas, and swap them with more precise control types at a later stage in the design process (see below for an awesome new way to do just that).
This is something we're really excited about. Starting in 3.2, you can hold down R, T or Y on your keyboard and simply "draw" Rectangles, Blocks of Text or Lines of Text controls.
Just check out this little video (no audio), notice how INCREDIBLY FAST this is:
Notice how automatic snapping makes it so that your UIs will look clean even if you create them at hyper-speed: try to do that with pencil and paper! :)
This feature alone is a huge boost to your productivity, but it really shines when coupled with our next super-exciting new feature:
That's right! Want to switch a Label control to a Text paragraph? Easy! Want to switch a rectangle to a DataGrid? It takes two clicks.
Just watch this video, in which I create an old version of iTunes in 60 seconds!:
You can also switch a symbol with another symbol, or switch multiple controls at the same time. Just hit CTRL+T and the swap pop-up will show up, or click on the little "v" icon next to the Control Type name in the Property Inspector.
You can also hit ENTER or F2 or double-click on a Block of Text or Line of Text control and have it automatically transform to a Text or Subtitle control.
When editing a Label, you realize you need more than one line? Hit CTRL+ENTER and it will be transformed to a Text control, and you can just keep on typing.
Here's a quick video showing both of these time-saving tricks:
This would have taken so long before 3.2...how did we survive so long without these features! :)
This feature will take care of this request from Chris_Gatland and this one from jneander.
As you may know, our new project-based, sharing-friendly file format (called BMPR) is based on SQLite, a common database format used by many other professional applications.
SQLite is great, but it has one major drawback: it doesn't really work well when files are stored on network drives. In some cases, it might even result in data corruption and loss.
We have implemented several techniques to work around this issue, but it still wasn't enough, and we lost some customers' data, which is possibly the worst thing we can do to our customers. :(
With today's release, we're taking a pretty radical step to squash these issues once and for all: moving forward, whenever you open a BMPR file, we automatically make a copy of it in a local folder, and have Mockups work off of the local copy (which, by the way, is very fast). Then whenever you stop making changes for 5 seconds, we copy the file to the original location, automatically.
This is similar to how Keynote works on the Mac. Incidentally, if you store your files on Dropbox or similar tools, this results in far less updates, which is nice on your bandwidth.
We also keep the local copies around for 7 days, as an additional backup for your files. Better to err on the side of safety!
You can now select multiple symbols at the same time and perform operations on them, like dragging them or deleting them. This makes keeping your symbol libraries nice and clean much much easier.
That's right, you can now finally zoom all of your mockups at once, either to Actual Size (1:1), or "to fit".
We added two handy keyboard shortcut for these commands: CTRL+SHIFT+1 and CTRL+SHIFT+0.
Thanks so much Liz A. and Aras_Kannu, Catherine_Azzarello and meldeliz for the feature requests!
Up until today, the wireframe skin used #000000 for the text color and #666666 for icon color. This doesn't really make much sense since you wouldn't use different pencils for your text and your icons while sketching on paper, right?
Starting today, we now use #555555 for both text and icons. It blends in with the border colors of the controls, and we think it looks much much better. Take a look:
You can now specify default link color for your whole project, just like you could already do with the Selection Color. You can find the new settings in the Project Info Panel:
For Desktop, simply install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.
For posterity, today's release is build 3.2.1 (we just released version 3.2.2 to fix an El Capitan bug, see above).
We hope you're having a great summer. We are too, and we're excited to share with you today's releases.
As you know, we switched to using the FontAwesome icon set with the Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop release back in March.
With today's release, we bring that same huge icon set (585 icons!) to all of our other products: myBalsamiq, Mockups for Confluence, Mockups for JIRA and even the old Mockups for Desktop 2.2!
This change will greatly improve the experience of using more than one of our products together. No more "image not found" errors when trying to upload a v.3 bmml to myBalsamiq! :)
You can now keep your symbol libraries nicely organized by dragging and dropping single symbols from one library to another.
You can even drag a single symbol from a project to another, without having to drag the whole library with it!
Thanks so much Liubi and WeeDz for requesting this!
If you're using myBalsamiq or Mockupsfor Google Drive, you're already updated.
You can find Mockups for Desktop 2.2.28 (with FontAwesome icons!) in our Build Archives, and you can find the new versions of Mockups for Confluence 2.2.28 and Mockups for JIRA 2.2.27 on Atlassian Marketplace.
For posterity, today's Balsamiq Mockups 3 release is build 3.1.9
Hello again friends of Balsamiq, I hope you're all having a great summer! :)
As always, we've been busy improving our little tool for you all, one step at the time. We're pretty excited about today's release, so let's dive in!
This was a long time coming, and we're pretty happy about how it came out!
You can now select more than one mockup, asset or trashed resource, and perform operations on the selected items all at once.
This is especially useful when you want to reorder multiple mockups, or delete unused assets in a project. We also have plans for making this feature more and more useful in the future, you'll see... :)
To select multiple items just use SHIFT+CLICK or CTRL+CLICK, just like in most other software that supports multiple selection.
As part of this feature, we also gave the Mockups and Assets navigator the ability to maintain keyboard focus. This means that after clicking on a mockup you'll be able to use the arrow keys to navigate through your project, or do things like hitting ENTER or F2 to rename the current mockup or asset (a heringsfilet idea). It's a small thing, but it will save you lots of time in the long run.
The navigator, without focus (left), and with focus (right). Subtle!
Thank you Jenni Merifield, alindsay55661 and others for requesting this useful feature!
Our partnership with Dave from FontAwesome is working out really well.
We worked with him to add some icons that were part of our old Mockups 2 set but were missing from FontAwesome 4.3, and now they're part of FontAwesome 4.4, along with a ton of other new useful icons.
Here are the icons we're directly responsible for in FontAwesome 4.4:
I asked Dave how much I could share about our influence on the FontAwesome project, and he said: Truthfully, you’re the kick that got 4.4 out. :)
We're really proud to support FontAwesome and in the process make not just Balsamiq Mockups, but the entire Internet better for everyone.
Check out all of the new icons released in FontAwesome 4.4 (and included in today's Balsamiq Mockups 3 release) here:
Thanks to Roland_Struder, RaeHanley, Chris_Gatland, andi and neeklamy for requesting the mouse pointer icon. Keep your icon requests coming, both Dave and us are listening! :)
The Site Map control is a popular one, but we've heard many times that it takes up a lot of space.
With today's release, you'll be able to use a new "Direction" toggle in the Site Map inspector to switch to a Horizontal view, which is just as clear, but more compact.
Check it out!
Thanks so much to all of you who requested this enhancement!
For posterity, today's release is build 3.1.8.
We continue to crank out new features and fix bugs for your enjoyment.
Today's little big feature is called...
Did you ever wish you could keep all of your collateral files together with your wireframes? Logos in Photoshop or Illustrator format, requirement documents in .docx format, zip files, PDF files, etc. etc.?
Well, now you can embed them into your BMPR! Just add them as assets, or even drag them on to the Mockups 3 for Desktop project window.
That's it! Now they'll be in the BMPR file, so your collaborators can just click on them and save them to disk, or update them to a new version with the recently added "Import new Version" feature:
You can think of Assets like a little suitcase: it stores your images, icons, and now anything else you want to keep in the same file as your wireframes. Handy! :)
A small note: right now we limit the size of each file to 20Mb for performance reasons. Let us know if that's not enough and we'll try and make it work.
If you're using the Web Demo or Mockups 3 for Google Drive, you're already updated.
For posterity, today's release is build 3.1.5. Update: we did a 3.1.6 release on Jul 13 and a 3.1.7 release on Jul 15 that fix a few more bugs (see above).
The Mockups Blog is where we announce new releases and share what we're working on. Everything about Balsamiq Mockups.
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