April 26th, 2011

PowerMockup is a simple UI design plugin for Microsoft PowerPoint that makes it easy to create low fidelity wireframes. Perhaps one of its core strengths is that it has a low barrier to entry, since many people out there already have access to PowerPoint. The plugin speeds up the design process by letting users insert fully editable UI elements (containers, navigation items, icons, and text elements) onto the canvas.

The merits of PowerPoint as a prototyping tool have been discussed in the past and are definitely worth to consider. For one, PowerPoint supports basic interactivity and nonlinear page linking. Personally however, I still like to think of a the page-by-page linear narrative nature of PowerPoint as an equally strong alternative presentation style to interactive prototypes. With a defined beginning and an end, a PowerPoint deck ensures that viewers don’t have to discover interactivity, but instead can be guided across flows.

Would I personally use this tool as an interaction/interface designer? I’m not sure. I’ve come to love Illustrator, endless canvases, and free-form electronic sketching as a technique. So moving away from that style of working would require something more than a set of pre-canned elements. I’d still recommend it to others on a more multidisciplinary team – especially if there were people with less of a design background, but still a desire to express their ideas quickly.

Overall, a great little product. Thanks Andreas!

Credits: Andreas Wulf

6 Responses to “PowerMockup”

  1. Naveen Says:

    They are damn expensive.

  2. John Clark Says:

    I still believe that using PowerPoint for prototyping is like trying to hammer in nails with a saw: http://softwareprototyping.net/powerpoint-just-sa

    That said, add-ins like this certainly pave the way for people to use it when there are no other options, but a tool like Balsamiq (www.balsamiq.com) is a FAR better option IMHO.

  3. mobilegui Says:

    This is expensive. Just use MockApp, it's free (although it's mockups not wireframes). http://mockapp.com/about/

  4. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Sure, for interactive prototyping there might be more advanced tools. I still think however that the linear narrative nature of PowerPoint and its low barrier to entry makes it an attractive communication tool. I mean, a screen by screen presentation mode is still quite awesome for showing off flows (a different intent from interactive prototypes). So I have to disagree with you and I wouldn't cross this off the list so soon.

  5. Sheila Says:

    seems to be Windows only

  6. johan Says:

    I have searched a lot but found the free http://www.lumzy.com/ to be the best tool for me.