Storyboarding and sketching out ideas are indeed extremely useful techniques during iterative development processes. My favorite tool for designing eLearning storyboards and more recently, mLearning mockups is PowerPoint. So, I was thrilled to bits when RJ Jacquez pointed to me that there was a very interesting tool that I would definitely enjoy trying. Power Mockup is an application that leverages the design capabilities and the easy use of PowerPoint and allows designers to create software and websites wireframes. Since it makes it so easy to sketch out ideas I think it has great potential for designing eLearning and mLearning as well.
A powerful kit
Power Mockup offers different types of containers (web-like and also, mobile device templates), graphics, icons, text holders and navigation as well as markup elements and all these components can be used to rapidly select and organize content.
Now, let me share with you some sketches that I prepared in less than 30 minutes with Power Mockup. I thought that it would be interesting to sketch up a collaborative platform to share training videos.
Drawing my ideas
I started by defining a clear concept of what I wanted to design and that helped me list some ideas as well as useful information, navigation and interface design elements for my layout. But I didn´t stop there. I started to imagine how this platform would look like in different devices so I adapted my design to multiple screen sizes.
All the elements I needed to sketch out my ideas and assess the functionality of my design were right there for me, clearly displayed to the right of my PowerPoint canvas. By drawing upon my own experience as a mobile user, the use of containers, icons, graphics, etc became intuitive and my ideas started to flow.
Why Power Mockup?
I am a great advocate of tools that:
- are easy to use, giving me the freedom to concentrate on the experience I want to create,
- can stimulate my creativity and help me think outside the box, and also,
- can foster an effective generation and communication of ideas through visual thinking, just as Mike Rhode states as he describes the process of sketching here:
“sketching provides a unique space that can help you think differently, generate a variety of ideas quickly, explore alternatives with less risk, and encourage constructive discussions with colleagues and clients.”
In my opinion, a product like Power Mockup encompasses all of these characteristics and after spending some time working with it, I highly recommend this great application since it allows me to quickly shape my design ideas into working mockups.