If you’re one of the blessed product designers, this is not a post for you. I’m not a designer. I mess up Sketch files and if I have to make something from scratch I keep staring at a blank canvas.

Up until some point last year, I tried to get flows on paper with words only. I used paper to sketch a couple of times, but this made for a difficult workflow. For one of our internal projects I really needed to sketch the user interface, to be able to work out if a certain flow would work. After some research, I ended up using Balsamiq. Obviously, there are other tools around, but this one really works for me: it is simple, webbased and has a lot of default components to play with.

It helps to get visual, to get basic ideas for each view on paper. Another great feature is that it allows you to make click-models and chain each view. This makes for a really rough clickable demo that can be put together in minutes.

We’re using the Balsamiq for Google Drive plugin, so everything is shared and available to everyone. It even allows editing the same document with multiple people at once, which is great for working together with for example a copywriter.

I’m still learning how to fit wireframes into different workflows, but we already hugely benefited from getting flows to paper, getting copy ready faster, getting developers on board with new features and thinking trough edge cases. Give it a spin.

Are you using wireframes? What kind of tools are you using?