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MockFlow makes wireframing easy for all

MockFlow makes wireframing easy for all

Karen Wilson
Website Planet spoke to Prabhuram Baskaran, founder of MockFlow to find out how the company came about, what they offer and what we can expect to see from them in the future.

What does MockFlow do, and what is the inspiration behind the company?

MockFlow started as a Wireframing tool in 2009 and has grown immensely in the last 12 years.

It was a common practice, back in the day, in early 2000, to brainstorm and visualize ideas on whiteboards or paper. Although easy and quick, this common practice came with its cons. There was no track record of different versions we sketched; reiterating them meant creating them from scratch again. Also, they weren’t very accurate, as drawn by hand, making it highly challenging to collaborate with the team, especially in a remote environment. Although a few tools were used for wireframing back then, they had their shortcomings, such as ease of use or collaboration.

That’s where we saw the gap in the market. The software industry was booming with more apps and websites being created, and UI design was essential. Brainstorming UI ideas and collaborating with the team in an easy yet efficient manner was a problem for every designer and, in fact, for anyone with an idea. MockFlow was thus conceptualized, keeping everyone in mind with its simplicity and ease of use. A digital whiteboard – super easy to use yet a powerful tool that anyone can use from the team to brainstorm and build ideas. The easy drag-and-drop editor with numerous native components made it easy for anyone to use the tool, irrespective of their technical skills. Being a web application, it came with multiple options for collaborating with the teams, and the super ease of use made MockFlow an instantly loved and game-changing tool in the industry.

Coming back to the question, making wireframing easy for all was the inspiration behind MockFlow. A tool that designers, product owners, and product managers can use to draw their ideas and collaborate with the team. As a maker, I am happy and proud that MockFlow is a tool loved by more than 1.5 million people to bring their ideas to life.

We did not stop at wireframing, though. Through the years, we researched and identified how UI design can be made more functional and how we can bring more value to the tool. Slowly, we have evolved into a complete Product Design process platform today.

What level of support can a client expect to receive from MockFlow?

Customer satisfaction has been one of the key values we as a company hold. Prompt responses to the queries, providing users with vast knowledgebase, and also very important, considering their feedback, is how we at MockFlow operate! We genuinely believe that MockFlow has grown because of the trust our community has placed in us. All the valuable feedback and suggestions our users have shared over these years have helped us improve the application and the user experience.

We are a small team at MockFlow; trust me, that’s not a drawback! Each team member is well versed with the tool and its features and is easily accessible by anyone looking for a demo, how to get started, or any other issue, and that’s why our turnaround time to any query is so quick, unlike the bigger business, where different teams handle different types of questions. Users lose out on much of their precious time until their query reaches the right people. But not at MockFlow; our process enables us to reply to any question, whether technical, product related to billing related, almost instantly. There was an incident where a user reported a bug, which was resolved the same day. The user was surprised when our team reverted to him, saying the issue was resolved.

Our team ensures we answer our users’ questions fastest and most efficiently. Since our user base is global and the time zone is a real challenge, our experts also take calls during non-working hours to ensure no delay to our users’ queries, no matter what.

That’s the kind of support we offer at MockFlow because we value our users and their time!

What is Wireframing, and who is it important for?

To understand wireframing, one must first understand the UI. UI is the front-end part of any application; that is what you see in an application when you use it. The UI development process consists of 3 stages, wireframing, prototyping, and development, in that order.

Wireframing and prototyping are often confused or overlap with each other. Wireframing is the first step toward designing your UI. It is when you visualize your idea on a diagram. This is the initial stage where there can be multiple options, rigorous brainstorming, and many iterations. This stage requires frequent collaboration between the team members and stakeholders if any. At the end of the wireframing stage, you have one definite UI design you want to implement. Prototyping, on the other hand, is to add details on top of this finished wireframe and see how the users will interact with these designs without putting in the coding effort—and finally, pass it to the development team for the actual UI development.

Wireframing is the core step in building a website, software, or web/mobile application. A wireframing tool must have features that enable users to build iterations quickly and easily.

It should allow the users to collaborate even when they work in a remote environment. And the tool itself should not pose any difficulties in getting the work done. These are why a wireframing tool should be different from a prototyping tool.

Please tell us more about your Freebie offerings.

Before I talk about freebies, I want the readers to know that MockFlow is a freemium software that allows anyone to sign up for free, create projects, and upgrade when needed. Beyond this, we also offer free tools that don’t require MockFlow sign-up. Our team started this initiative recently, which is our way of giving back to the community we owe to and love. These freebies are a suite of software, usually stand-alone tools, that users will require in their product design process.

These tools cater to different stages of the product design journey. To mention a few, we offer a Customer journey tool that allows one to create, share and export CJM easily. Creating CJM helps businesses gain insights into the common customer pain points that would enable them to deliver a better user experience. Similarly, we offer Step Guide Creator, which will help users create engaging and easy-to-follow UI Instructional guides for their stakeholders. They could use these guides to walk them through the product, a particular feature, or even the UX flow.

The other freebies we offer include Design annotator, UI Builders – Bootstrap 5, Tailwind 3, and AMP email builder.

The idea is very simple here; we love our users so much that we never want them to leave the MockFlow dashboard for any of their requirements during the product design process. These additional tools add more value to their function and help them get their work faster without paying any extra subscription.

We are delighted that we have received an overwhelming response to this offering.

Please talk us through the difference between:

MockFlow and Figma

Figma is a vector-based UI designing and prototyping tool. Being vector software, it’s not accessible to all and needs a specific set of skill sets, almost as advanced as Photoshop, to be used, like building your components from scratch, using curves, and similar things. Figma definitely provides great collaborative features for design, so if you are looking for a tool that offers advanced prototyping and is a vector design tool, Figma will fit you well.

MockFlow, on the other hand, focuses significantly on super-easy wireframing and a streamlined product design journey.

MockFlow’s advantage is the speed that fits the wireframing stage as one needs to iterate and make changes quickly. Users can access UI packs ranging from Sketchy to the latest iOS or Android UI pack as native components inside MockFlow’s wireframing editor without having to source them from elsewhere. This allows the users to build the wireframes for the initial stage quickly.

Further, we want our users to look beyond wireframing and into the complete product design with the Design Thinking approach, which consists of several stages like empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing. All these enable users to build better UI and better products.

MockFlow offers a wide range of tools like User Persona creator, UX documentation, Sitemap and Styleguide creator, and more to help users in each stage of the product design process.

MockFlow does not support vector graphics, but with the design files option, users can upload their graphic assets to the design space to manage them easily with version history, approval, and collaboration with teams using in-place comments for both image and video assets.

We made the Design space concept to help users collect everything they are working on regarding their product in one place. Hence, we brought in design embeds too, where the user can embed third-party projects like Pitch presentations, Sketch designs, Figma prototypes, etc., for easy accessibility.

So, if you are looking for a tool that can save you lots of time and help you streamline your product design process, then MockFlow fits better.

MockFlow and Balsamiq

Balsamiq is a very easy-to-use tool focused on low-fidelity wireframes. We at MockFlow also focus on rapid wireframing while giving many more add-ons and advanced tools for saving time and creating enhanced wireframe styles.

For instance, MockFlow offers ‘Bring your own component’ where designers can build or import their own native wireframe components based on HTML and CSS. These can be added to a
shared UI pack for sharing with teams. The component-level themes and the advanced CSS styling help designers enhance their designs easily and remove the limitations of standard component-level settings.

Coming to the collaboration part, in addition to the standard sharing, features like auto-shared team UI packs, video calls and text chats inside the editor, and annotated comments for feedback are extremely helpful when working with teams.

Apart from these, MockFlow is now a complete Product design platform, helping users to do more than wireframing. As mentioned earlier, MockFlow offers tools for the various stages of the Product Design process, collaborating on design assets and streamlining the entire product design process.

With all these additional features, MockFlow gives a more wholesome experience to its users by providing all that they need in one place. Another advantage MockFlow gets over Balsamiq is its pricing. Balsamiq offers a project-based plan, which may not be strategically fit for all use cases. While MockFlow offers a user-based plan. Users can create any number of projects with just one subscription, which I feel is excellent and works well for small teams and start-ups.

What can we expect to see from MockFlow in the near future?

We are constantly working to bring in more improvements and new features to add value to our users’ design journey. Specifically, we are geared towards making MockFlow synonymous with product design. We are already there, but we want to make it even more, better and well-integrated with the product design process, improving performance, user experience, and real-time collaboration.

We believe that UI design doesn’t stop with sketching a beautiful UI but rather following the entire product design process helps in achieving great UI and building better products. We want MockFlow to be the platform for people to achieve the same.

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