SketchFlow and Balsamiq: How do they compare? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been using Balsamiq for creating ui wireframes of web pages and winform apps. 

    How does SketchFlow compare with Balsamiq for these types of tasks?

    Michael Herman (Toronto)

    Xpert Search Agents for Microsoft web sites: http://www.parallelspace.net/MicrodeX
    Friday, March 26, 2010 2:39 PM

All replies

  • SketchFlow is WAY better :)

    OK, I might be biased a little bit...

    In reality though, SketchFlow has the advantage of including all of the power of Blend, as well as the WPF/SL platforms. You can go as deep or as shallow as you want in prototype.  We've heard of customers prototyping all sorts of things in SketchFlow, including static html web pages, flash apps, and may more.

    Hopefully you can get some opinions from users here as well.


    Friday, March 26, 2010 4:30 PM
  • I think that Sketchflow & Balsamiq are not really concurrent :

    * Balsamiq is a (really good) fast prototyping tool, really good, in a way, to produced "clean and showable" versions of paper mockups. But Balsamiq mainly aims at creating static, non interactive screens (apart from really basics interactions on buttons & so on). It fits very well for simple, non dynamic websites (eg. non RIA websites).

    * Sketchflow is much more powerful. It can be used to create really advance mock ups, illustrating, not only the general layout, but also animations (Sketchflow animations are really a must-see feature), and much more using behavior or code behind. But, in order to "create" the first stage of your mock up (the component compositions..), things are a bit more complicated than in Balsamiq (Sketchflow IS blend).

    I believe that you can lead a mix approach : Paper mock up and Balsamiq for very low fidelity prototyping, then switch to Sketchflow when the main principles are validated.

    But if you have to choose one, choose Sketchflow, for all the powerful feature it offers.

    I generally advise the Sketchflow users I've to train to keep it simple when building a Sketchflow prototype. E.g, getting rid of the layouting issues & so on ( e.g using only canvas... ), you can be very productive, and concentrate on what has to be illustrated.

    Friday, March 26, 2010 6:05 PM
  • Great answer Roland!
    Friday, March 26, 2010 9:13 PM
  • Hi,

    but nevertheless i'd prefere Balsamiq for the simple reason of money. MS decided to not include Sketchflow (part of Expression 4) into MSDN "for the mere mortals" so we'd have to buy the full 600 $ Expression package just to get sketchflow whereas Balsamiq is available for less than 100 $ as far as i can see it.



    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 11:56 AM
  • Agreed with Roland and Chuck! SketchFlow can be a bit overwhelming and cause some brain melting, but if you try to keep it simple when you first start out, you'll see it really does as much as Balsamiq and more. Once you start diving in, you can use Sketchflow to demonstrate page flows and more complex interaction. And then, of course, there's the ability to work directly with developers to give them something they can actually work with.

    Balsamiq is good, but the lack of interaction prototyping and page flow/sitemapping makes Sketchflow the clear winner.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:28 PM