What (Missing) Features Are Really Needed?
April 7, 2009

Now that version 4 is out, it’s time to turn to the future. There have been many feature requests during beta stage, it’s time to see which of them would really boost YOUR productivity the most (I know my own answer, but you make the majority here ūüėČ )

Why not add them all? ¬†Well it’s simple, really. As zillion features make it into any tool it becomes more and more bloated and cumbersome. And that is the exact opossite of the very idea of MockupScreens, which is to remain as slim and productive as possible. As some of you guessed, the most work on version 4 wasn’t implementing new features, but how to add them all but not let them to get in the way.

Frankly, I wanted to do this for quite a long time. I summarized below some ideas (both yours and mine) and I invite YOU to discuss them here, with me and with other MockupScreens’ users!

  • Export to Word: would the exporting the project to Word readable file (.doc or .rtf) make it real easy for you?
  • The way to make changes on single screen and have all it’s copies updated automatically : when you create several copies of the same screen and then make them slightly different, then when something basic changes you have to make exactly the same change to each copy by hand… Wouldn’t it be great if you just made a change once, on ‘original’ screen (something like ‘Master slides’ in powerpoint) and changes were done automatically on all it’s copies?
  • ‘Sizing’ commands for elements: you select group of elements and then just click to make them of same width, height, etc.
  • ‘Hand drawn’ look and feel: with skins mechanism now in place in version 4, a new skin could be added, that makes screens look like they are hand drawn by a pencil. Nice, huh?
  • Turn on/off web toolbar for individual screens: Currently, when you switch to ‘Web’ skin, all forms are automatically drawn with web toolbar. Several people stated that the way version 3 did it made more sense for their work: you just turned it on or off for any individual form.
  • Relying more on the keyboard: it is true that in MockupScreens since it’s very beginnings you didn’t have to use mouse that much. If that is what makes you productive, won’t it be nice to have a keyboard shortcut for every single action in MockupScreens?
  • Tables improved: there are many ways how existing Table element and Table Editor ifself could be improved, like ie. highlighting individual rows, switching headers on/off, make alternating rows different color (for table) or ie. undo/redo capability, pasting single rows/columns from Excel etc (for table editor). While we are at it, why not make a Tree editor, too?
  • Drag&Drop elements from the left toolbar, instead of clicking on them and then ‘sniping’ at the exact position on the form. It surely is a more standard way to do this.
  • More elements: options are limitless here. Calendars, multimedia bars, predefined standard toolbars, you name it. Btw currently you can add them as custom image and use them that way, but would any of the zillion possible additional elements make a difference? Have in mind that adding more than a few elements would require fundamental changes in the interface to avoid the clutter.
  • Changing color of elements: some elements could benefit from ability to change their background color ie. form, and others from changing their color alltogether ie. line. How much does it matter for you? (Most of you already know I’m pretty heavily biased towards black & white prototypes, but of course I may be wrong)
  • Separate go-to for each tab: Tab element can jump only to single screen at the moment. Sometimes it could be useful if you could set the separate screen to jump to from any tab on Tab element…
  • Submenus displayed for some elements: sometimes you want to show to your clients what are exact commands on that menu, or what options that ¬†dropdown offers to end-user. It could be implemented like single checkbox (or something) on the Form or Dropdown element, you know…
  • Word-wrap for Text: Text element could benefit from word-wrap feature. You wouldn’t have to resize it again and again as you paste some long text. In fact I think I’ll do this anyhow, it’s helpful plus it doesn’t complicates the interface equals ‘go’.
  • Predefined ‘Template’ screens: are you missing the ‘Templates’ quazi-scenario from the version 3? Not many people used it so it fell as one of the victims to make the interface simpler. Especially since you can anytime create your own ‘Templates’ group and use it in the same manner.

Well I think that’s quite enough to make you think. And be sure to comment on what would be most important for you!