When working with clients most of the time I have to work with web designers to find tune websites and landing pages. In the beginning this took a lot of time because their are many steps involved. It usually takes 3-4 mails to get the layout as exactly as I need it. Then you need to take it to the client and get it approved from them. If they fail to approve it for some reason then you need to do the email process all over again. This is where user interface mock-ups can save you hours of your time and hundreds of dollars.
One big reason for such time delays is that non web designers like consultants and software engineers don’t have an easy way to communicate their design ideas. You might have an idea on your head but it isn’t easy to pass that same idea to someone else. Most of you might have seeing the famous picture below. Although funny it gives an clear message. It’s hard to explain what you want to someone else.
But with tools like Microsoft Visio anyone can draw user interface mock-ups and share it with the web designers. If Visio is not within your budget then you can try some web based mock-up tools like Creately mock-ups. If none of the above is to your liking then do a Google search and you can find plenty more mock-up products.
These tools have plenty of features to help you draw mock-ups. They provide you with professionally designed templates to get started quickly. Easy to use drag and drop interface with all the web design objects including tabs, buttons, tool bars and drop down menus. With the tools at your disposal you can let your creativity do the rest.
The biggest advantage with mock-ups is you can communicate your ideas in a visual way. This leads to less or no confusion and you tremendously cut down your discussion time and email conversation time. Also now you can get the clients thoughts about the design even before contacting the designer, so you don’t have to worry about a design getting rejected at a later date.
With advanced web based tools that supports real-time collaboration you can take this even further. Then you can share the diagrams with the client, designers and your programmers and work on the same diagram at the same time. Understandably this cuts down even more time and adds some fun into your mock-up design process.
Mentioned above are some benefits I get from user interface mock-ups as an consultant. Know of any other benefits? Please share them in the comments section.