Posts Tagged ‘opensource’


Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Clickframes is an open source software requirements tool which takes an XML notation as a source and generates a clickable document. First the requirements are written in the form of an appspec, are then fed into an interpreting tool (such as the hosted CLIPr), which in turn generates interactive documentation. Now don’t get me wrong, the generated documentation looks nothing like traditional wireframes. Clickframes are requirement abstractions which do not contain any structural information about various UI elements’ position or size (typical wireframe meat). Clickframes do however indicate the input elements which reside on each page as well as the paths of actions and the resulting outcomes that users can take. I find this interesting as this tool takes a stronger stand on the element of time as represented through such interactions. Hence, this tool visualizes cause and effect of user interactions explicitly, as opposed to having to be discovered.

Another definite Clickframe analogy which comes to mind is that of an interactive and auto-generated page description diagram. What both page description diagrams and clickframes in my opinion lack is the concreteness of elements in a given space which have been traded off for abstraction. For this, I assume there would be designers who start of projects by sketching and designers who begin by writing requirements. Perhaps Clickframes also resonate with what Ryan Singer of 37signals was speaking of when he mentioned that before the pen is laid to paper, a UI model should exist.

Credits: Jonathan Abbett & William Crawford of Beacon16


Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Plumb is an open source tool (GitHub source) for drawing out placeholders on top of the Blueprint framework. You can simply draw out the boxes and it will automatically create the HTML for you. So what’s in it for me you ask? I noticed in the past that there is a community of HTML prototypers out there who like to do their interactive wireframes with grid systems in their most native form. With that, I thought this tool might be interesting to some. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed already, I have a thing for open source software. Hence a separate opensource tag just appeared in the right navigation bar to separate out these types of projects. Cheers!

Credits: Michael Daines

Protokit 0.1

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Protokit is an emerging experiment of Michael ( targeted at those who like creating HTML prototypes. Protokit is a toolkit composed of existing Javascript libraries which work are combined to together to make the process easier. Hats off to open source prototyping. :) Also be sure to have a look at the working online demo. The toolkit is best described in his own words:

Protokit is a toolkit for creating HTML prototypes. It uses the following open source libraries and plugins: Blueprint, jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Templates, and iXEdit. More information about the included libraries and their licensing agreements can be found in the README file.

Credits: Michael Angeles


Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

In the light of the previous post about creating Functional Mindmaps, XMind is another open source tool to help with just that. The software is available for Mac, Windows and Linux, and allows to brainstorm ideas in a social way. Mind maps can be generated to explore abstract requirements or ideas. After a mind map is created, the document can be shared online free of charge. XMind also comes in a Pro version which allows to share your work privately. Pretty cool.

Download it here.

Infomaki 0.1 Goes Open Source

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Infomaki is a tool for gathering early user feedback based on displaying individual screens and asking simple questions. Typically, the questions look something like “where would if click if…” with the mouse clicks being recorded and eventually summed up and displayed as heat maps. Infomaki has been developed by the people over at NYPL Labs, and just a few days ago finally went open source (requires Ruby on Rails 2.2+). One interesting thing about this software is how flexible it is to the participants in terms of the duration of the evaluation. Since each screen shown is basically a independent evaluation of its own, it makes it possible for users to choose how long they wish to participate – being able to stop at any time. Thumbs up for going open source! :)

Download it from here.

Credits: Michael Lascarides – NYPL