I wanted to mock up a control panel for a project (a real physical control panel, not a software control panel) and remembered that I had OmniGraffle on one of my machines, so I started with that. Unfortunately it appeared that it was a demo version and was limited to 20 objects.
OmniGraffle is a sweet application, and I considered buying it, but at $99 for an individual license, for an application I probably won’t use that much, I opted not to pursue it. (Oh, and I did think about just using Inkscape, but I thought it would be more fun to use a diagramming specific application for this project.)
I found Dia, an open source, multi-platform application for creating diagrams. Dia actually looks like a pretty nice application, and I do prefer open source when possible, but I also find X11 applications a bit clunky, and while I’ll keep an eye on Dia, it didn’t quite live up to what I wanted…
I ended up revisiting the Pencil Project, which I looked at last year, and I really like it. It’s a great application for mocking things up, and it even ties into one of my favorite sites, OpenClipArt.org.
The one annoying thing about Pencil is the menus. I’m using Mac OS X, and I’d like the menus to work as they do on Mac OS X, and these are just weird.
Here’s the output I got from each application. It should be mentioned, these are all rough, and by no means final. I really just wanted to quickly kick out a design from each application.
I’ll probably use Pencil moving forward and see how much I can push its capabilities. (And yes, it’s also open source and multi-platform, which is one more great thing about it.)
2 replies on “UI Mockup/Diagram Apps”
What’s with the non-round circles and Comic Sans in Pencil? Are those style settings?
That’s the “Sketchy GUI” library in Pencil. I think it’s supposed to look “organic” or “not final” or something. Which is often useful when you are in the early stages of design, since clients assume it isn’t final art. (If you’re lucky anyway!)