Use Balsamiq to show website ideas to people that don’t know anything about making websites.

So I’m currently working on a project for the House of Mews in Memphis, TN.  It’s a volunteer project, and kind of a long story on how I got wrapped into it – so I’ll save it for another time.  Anyway, a problem I’ve run into is how to effectively communicate ideas to the House of Mews proprietor.  Using words like content management system, web services, and flex app only draw blank stares.  Bumbling through a long discription of site features elicits some nodding, but the only response I get are questions like, “Can we keep the same music from the old site?”


Enter Balsamiq.  The folks at Balsamiq Studios were nice enough to give me a free license since I’d be using it for a non-profit project.  I can’t be more grateful.  This app blows visio out of the water.  It’s so ridiculously easy to use. I cranked out a handful of wireframes in about an hour.  Since it’s all drag and drop, it appeals to the whole ‘instant gratification’ thing.  And when you’re done, you have this neat drawing that looks like you drew it yourself on a piece of paper.

Showing this to the ‘client’ avoided comments like, “that’s the wrong font,” and “that shade of red needs to be lighter.”  Instead I get, “Ohh, so you can click on the little pictures, and the cat’s bio appears. Great!”


Here’s an example of a ‘first draft’.

Neat, right? Too bad it looked like crapola when I built it.  So I started over.  After shuffling things around, adding new ideas (and subtracting new ideas), I wound up with this – the mighty ‘work in progress’.

Go try Balsamiq.


  1. Love this book! It has made gift decisions so much easeir for a while too! I was hoping to clarify a few things. I am allergic to eugonol, iseugonol and found a few sections which referred to eugonol properties in smoked fish. imparted to food by the smoking process’. Does this mean the fish releases the compound eugonol when smoked or that eugonol is being added via clove extract to the smoking process. Holy basil?.. Does this contain eugonol or does it just taste like it. You also say it occurs naturally in tomatoes and ripening bananas. I have been told to avoid all eugonol foods but I can’t pin down exactly what food I need to avoid. Many of the foods you mention are not on other eugonol lists. I hear so many contradictory things. Can it be grouped do you think to a decisive list ? Can you recccomend any books which may help me research this? Internet info is very limited. Any guidance very much appeciated .and..Again thank you for the fabulous book on my kitchen shelf.

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