• Using Balsamiq as a Design Tool for Individual and Team Projects

    Balsamiq is a web-based, collaborative wireframing program that functions as a playground to design mockups for software projects. We (Jamie Henthorn and Sarah Spangler) are interested in using this to design a writing accountability app, and we are hoping that some of you might want to play with us. We propose a workshop for wireframing beginners wherein participants will dabble in designing applications using this online mock-up tool. Participants should come prepared with their own ideas for projects that are conducive to a mock-up process. We recommend laptops rather than tablets for this session. Participants will download a trial version of Balsamiq the day of the conference.

    To give an example of Balsamiq’s functions, we are interested in developing a social media application for writers that accountability tool for writers. At its basic level, writers would set up an account, friend other users, create groups, set writing project goals (e.g., daily word count, dates) and deadlines, and share this information with other writers in the group. We would like to include a comments feature as well as a way for users in the group to encourage each through “cheering” icons, both visual and audio (?). We are aware that other writing apps exist; however, our vision is to create something with a sleeker user interface design, which leads to the second level of our project proposal.

    Before development happens, we obviously need to begin with some design concepts for the user interface as well as define more clearly the various specifications and features we want for this application. We hope that you will join us in developing these wireframing skills.

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  1. This interests me a lot, both in terms of the tool and the app you describe. I’m a fan of NaNoWriMo (though I can’t do the Nov. version, what with being a prof), and of the tools for logging words and seeing progress. I’d like to suggest you look at that and at Camp NaNoWriMo (which I can do, and love), as well as considering gamification–points, trophies or badges, etc. Look forward to meeting you!

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