Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Wireframing Tools Every Designer Needs to Consider

As an ardent designer, I am sure you might have experienced the tedious task of gathering feedback on page layout and navigation. Web design requires proper planning and communication for completing the project fruitfully. To assist you throughout and to make your web designing process uncomplicated, you need a wireframing tool.

Using a wireframing tool is indeed a fast and easy technique to plan the layout and to easily communicate your ideas with the clients. This part of design supports the entire web design process starting from its preliminary stage. Its unique ability to detect any errors at the early stage has made wireframing a valuable practice for web designers worldwide. While there are numerous wireframing tools available over the internet, locating the most prominent ones can be a daunting task. With that in mind, here I am going to give you a sneak peek into the top tools every designer should consider.


Balsamiq is a rapid wireframing tool that allows the users to create sketch-like mockup designs for websites and applications. With 75 pre-built controls to select from, this amazing tool helps you to design anything from a super-simple dialog box to a full-fledged application ranging from a simple website to a rich internet application.



Omnigraffle is a decidedly user-friendly wireframing tool that allows designers to create simple and complex diagrams, flowcharts, shapes, organizational charts and even Bezier lines with great ease. This tool features manifold built-in stencils, powerful style tools and a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface. This wireframing tool is built specifically and exclusively for Mac OS X.


Wireframe Pro

Wireframe Pro by Vandelay Premier is a simple-to-use wireframing tool that allows you to create amazing wireframes for your own web design projects, right in Photoshop. The massive version of this wireframing tool includes over 400 individual pre-designed elements including buttons, navigation menus, slider, dividers, pagination and more. You can simply drop these elements in your designs to create wireframes in minutes. Apart from this, there are 13 sample wireframes that can be customized to suit your needs.

Wireframe Pro


Moqups is an impressively powerful HTML5 application that helps you to create wireframes, mockups or UI concepts and prototypes. This tool features plenty of common web elements including desktop, mobile and tablet templates, which you can make use while designing your web pages.



Cacoo is an online drawing tool that allows you to create several diagrams including UML and network charts, wireframes and site maps. This tool comes with effective UI of drag and drop options, numerous stencils and amazing functionalities such as background sheets, freehand options, etc and real-time collaboration.


Axure RP

Axure is another popular and advanced wireframing tool available for both Mac and PC. This comprehensive tool enables you to draw wireframe sketches, create interactive high-fidelity design prototypes and to create detailed specifications with extreme ease.



Pidoco is yet another easy to use wireframing tool that helps you in rapid creation of clickable wireframes and UI prototypes for web, mobile and enterprise apps. This web-based prototyping tool boasts efficient sharing and collaboration options and benefits you with handy usability testing as well.



Gliffy is a very cool wireframing tool that allows dragging and dropping boxes, buttons and lines from the web wireframe tool shape library to any place on the page. With this tool you can easily add text to your website wireframe for creating a neat website mockup.



Mockingbird is an interesting wireframing tool that allows you to create, link, preview and share wireframe. This user friendly tool features drag-and-drop interface, decent set of stencils, smart guides and the ability to generate interactive inner page linking.



With Mockflow, you can collaborate and design user interface mockups for your software and websites. This wireframing tool comes with stunning features including sitemap creator for pages and folders, version tracking, image and component collections, chat and HTML5 export.



Jumpchart is a collaborative content wireframing tool that has revolutionized the way we plan our websites. This tool aids you in architecture planning, organizing the content, collaborating different design elements, creating sitemap and several other elements of wireframing. It not only saves your valuable time but also gives a clear idea about how the final website design would look like.



HotGloo can be named as one of the most attractive wireframing tools that help in the creation of interactive wireframes. This awesome tool allows you to drag and drop elements, scale, link, name and rename them. Besides collaborating with others and being web-based, HotGloo boasts an auto-saving feature.

Hopefully these  wireframing tools will help you to create quick mockups, sitemaps and relate content to one another thereby building a fantastic user experience for your ultimate users.


About the Author:

Alfred is a tech lover who writes for Dot Com Infoway, a multinational and website development company offering web development services to business needs with their expert team.

Top Wireframing Tools Every Designer Needs to Consider

27″ iMac free PSD mockup

27" iMac free PSD mockup

Free PSD mockup of an Apple 27″ iMac. Fully scalable photoshop vector shapes in two angles, from left and right. Designed by Breezi.

The post 27″ iMac free PSD mockup appeared first on Freebiesbug.

27″ iMac free PSD mockup

OSX meteo widget PSD

OSX meteo widget PSD

A small OSX meteo widget showing the city and the temperature, popping up from the upper bar. Free PSD created by Stedesign.

The post OSX meteo widget PSD appeared first on Freebiesbug.

OSX meteo widget PSD

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Switches with lights and shadows PSD

Switches with lights and shadows PSD

Some cool white switches with realistic shadows. A free PSD designed by Fernando Maclen.

The post Switches with lights and shadows PSD appeared first on Freebiesbug.

Switches with lights and shadows PSD scrobbler redesigned PSD scrobbler redesigned PSD

This free PSD contains a redesigned scrobbler, including a mini widget and a full size app. Freebie designed by Oisin Lavery.

The post scrobbler redesigned PSD appeared first on Freebiesbug. scrobbler redesigned PSD

Github PSD icon

Github PSD icon

If you need a resizable Github icon, here you have a free PSD one made with vector shapes. Created by Antoine Llorca.

The post Github PSD icon appeared first on Freebiesbug.

Github PSD icon

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Microsoft Surface With Windows RT Review

2012 is ending with a bang… when it comes to tablets. For one thing, many new tablets are making its way into (or are already in) the market, tablets such as the Nexus 7 (32GB with data), Nexus 10 and Apple’s iPad Mini. One of the most publicized tablets of the year is none other than the Microsoft Surface tablet.

In the past, Bill Gates had introduced the Tablet PC or Slate which had little impact in the tech consumer industry back then, but luckily for Microsoft, Surface is doing way better than its predecessors. The Microsoft Surface tablet has been catching a lot of media attention, together with the Windows 8 launching. And it’s about time we took the Surface for a spin.

Microsoft Surface RT Review

This review will cover the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT in terms of design, hardware, operating system, ease of setup and price.

A Kickstand With 22 Degree Edges

The Microsoft Surface is probably the only tablet that comes with a built-in kickstand; unlike other tablets where you’ll have to buy a separate case or stand to make it sit on your table top.

This study kickstand is much like that hinge that connects a laptop’s body to its screen. Having it built-in signifies a need for the Surface to be used on a table top together with its Touch Cover keyboard available in 5 different colours.

Surface RT Kickstand

But when you take leave from the desk and puts in on your lap, that’s when things start getting awkward. The kickstand puts Surface at an awkward angle. While in landscape mode, the keys on the keyboard are too far apart, and honestly, it is too long and bulky to be held in portrait mode. Not very good news for something built for mobile users.

However, it makes up for this with a lot of other features. It is the first tablet to be built with a magnesium alloy back, which makes it only 1.5 lbs light in spite of its size, and the edges are angled – unlike the more common curved sides we see in tablets – for a better grip.

The kickstand places the tablet at a 22-degree angle view, but its back camera is also adjusted 22 degrees so that at rest, the camera feed does not look angled or need further adjustments.

Surface RT Back

Hardware Design

The new Windows 8 logo at the front is upright when the kickstand is flipped out; it also acts as a capacitive Start button that vibrates when touched. You’ll find the power button and 2 microphones on top, a volume rocker on the left together with a 3.5mm headphone jack and left speaker.

Surface RT Left

On the right, there’s a full-sized USB 2.0, micro HDMI out, right speaker and magnetic charging outlet. The micro SDXC card slot is also located on the right but hidden behind the kickstand.

Surface RT Right

At the bottom there is the Cover Port that at this time only works with its Touch Cover keyboard.

Surface RT Cover Port

So is it a tablet or a laptop PC, a tabtop maybe? We feel that it will solely be used on a table top more than on your lap or in bed. In terms of design, it is clean and minimalistic and it looks great with our black Touch Cover.

USB 2.0, 16:9 Display & Quad-Core Processing

It’s good to see a full-sized USB 2.0 port on this tablet which gives it access to plug-and-play devices and flash drives. We tried using a cheap 4-port USB hub on the Surface and it was able to power a mechanical keyboard, Logitech G400 optical mouse and a SanDisk 16GB Cruzer Blade flash drive. It doesn’t work with an external hard drive though.

The USB port also works with plug-and-play wireless devices like Logitech’s M950 Performance mouse that comes with a Unifying USB Receiver that can power up to 6 Logitech devices. However, we cannot confirm that it will work with more than one wireless Logitech device other than the M950.

Its 16:9 ClearType HD Display only flaunts a 1366×768 resolution, the same screen resolution found in many entry level laptop displays. Although the Surface is not comparable with a Retina display iPad, the colors and clarity is (surprisingly) great when viewed at a ‘table top’ distance.

TabletResolutionDisplay Size (Inch)
Microsoft Surface1366×76810.6
iPad with Retina Display2048×15369.7
Nexus 102560×160010
iPad Mini1024×7687.9
Nexus 71280×8007

Surface RT Screen

It’s front and back cameras are marketed on their website as 720p HD LifeCams but are really just 1 mega-pixel cameras. This results in low quality images, but are good enough for basic video conferencing. We doubt you’ll want to hold its massive frame 172 x 274.5 x 9.4mm to take scenic photos anyway.

Finally, there is the very thin Touch Cover keyboard. The thickness of the keyboard is made possible by having the keys only slightly raised from the keyboard surface. Every registered stroke releases key tap sounds you hear from the speakers and nothing else from the keyboard which leaves plenty of room for typos. At times, we had to hit the same key more than once for the stroke to register. This will get some getting used to.

Surface RT Keyboard

The touchpad has swipe gestures, a great step up for easy scrolling: double-finger tap for right clicks; double-finger swipes for scrolling. Alternatively, you can tap on the area below the touchpad to simulate left and right clicks.

Besides being a keyboard, the Touch Cover puts the tablet to sleep when it covers the screen and wakes it up when you ‘open’ the cover. The Touch Cover can also detect if you’re using the keyboard, and if you are, the on-screen keyboard won’t be shown.

Windows 8 RT Experience

Windows 8 is built for touchscreens and utilizes a lot of gestures. Expect a lot of swipe-enabled features coming up.

Unlike other operating systems where you would tap on a Gear icon to go to the settings, on Windows 8, you swipe in from the right to open the Charms menu where you can search, share, view app settings and device settings (brightness, Wi-Fi, power).

Swiping in from the left lets you multitask and shows apps you recently opened as well as lets you switch to the previous app (enable in settings).

Surface RT Multitasking

Swiping in from the top or bottom shows the address bar and tabs in Internet Explorer. Swiping from the top all the way to the bottom also allows you to close an app, removing it from multitasking entirely.

Surface RT Tabs

The apps that came with the Surface work smoothly with it’s Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 2GB RAM. Pinching and zooming in on webpages respond quickly with no sort of lag.

Multitasking between apps is also smooth with no animation jerks and there is no performance issues when using the multitasking method Windows have incorporated in its operating system.

Surface RT Multitasking

To set things straight, Windows 8 RT is not the Windows 8 you might find on a PC as RT is built for ARM processors. At this moment, the only programs you can run on the desktop of RT are Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office Previews of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (Paint and Notepad too).

Programs that work on Windows 8 Pro will not work on Windows 8 RT; so you won’t be able to install the classic Windows Start Menu replacement or customize the Modern UI like you can on your desktop.

Surface RT Desktop

Instead, you would find yourself using the Modern UI, (aka the new Windows 8 Start Menu aka formerly known as Metro UI). On the Modern UI, you can install apps found in the Windows Store which, we’re sad to report at the moment, is limited to very few apps. Microsoft says there are more on the way.

In terms of file support, common document files like PDF, TXT; movie files like AVI, MP4, WMV, and common music and image files are supported. Any file not supported by apps found on the device will prompt you to search the Windows Store for a supported app.

As for a simple battery test, playing a 1080p movie from a 2.5-inch external hard drive with full volume and brightness for 20 minutes resulted in a 9% battery drop.

Ease Of Setup And Syncing

If you’re an existing Windows 8 for PC user, all your settings for the Windows 8 Calendar, People, Mail apps and SkyDrive files will be synced the moment you login with your Windows account, which takes your desktop experience right into your brand new Surface in a matter of seconds.

If you’re not using Windows 8 yet, you won’t benefit from this ease of syncing.

Heavyweight Price For A Tablet/PC

Surface with Windows RT starts at 9 for a 32GB model, adding 0 to that gets you a Touch Cover, but if you add another 0 and you cab get a 64GB model with Touch Cover. Here’s a tablet to put the price range into perspective.

Microsoft Surface (with Touch Cover)9
iPad with Retina Display9
Nexus 109
iPad Mini9
Nexus 79

For the average user, 32GB should be sufficient as you can just add a microSD card for more storage or use SkyDrive cloud storage. However, take note that the 32GB model, unboxed only has 16GB of free space; the rest of it is taken up by Windows RT, the pre-loaded apps, and the restore feature found in Surface. Unlike iPads where you have to download the new iOS file from iTunes, the Surface allows you to restore factory settings without bypassing a desktop first.

Final Thoughts

Many people in the corporate world use Microsoft Office products, mainly Word, Excel and PowerPoint. An Android or iOS tablet might not be a laptop replacement for travelling as you need to rely on third party apps to open and edit Microsoft Office documents. In situations like this, the Surface with Windows RT comes in handy. It is preloaded with the still necessary Microsoft Office products to open, edit or present your documents.

The protective cover is a keyboard and it has a full-sized USB 2.0 port which makes transferring files to clients hassle-free via USB flash drive. Then there is the Micro HDMI port, with a compatible cable, which makes it easier to connect your presentations to projectors.

Surface RT

Other than these benefits, it definitely won’t keep a child as occupied as an iPad or Android tablet would. The lack of engaging and necessary apps (by today’s standards) in the Microsoft Store is also a big drawback.


Here’s a final summary of our Microsoft Surface with Windows RT review:


  • Easy setup and syncing for Windows 8 users

  • 2-in-1 protection Touch Cover and keyboard

  • Microsoft Office products pre-installed

  • USB 2.0, micro HDMI and micro SDXC slot


  • Windows RT limitations

  • App store needs repopulation

  • Pricey for 16GB storage, despite 32GB label

  • Not for entertaining kids

Microsoft Surface With Windows RT Review

30 Professional Looking e-Commerce Sites For Your Inspiration

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Tatiana T., a blogger and published author currently working for, an established provider of web templates and turnkey web solutions. Contact her via her Twitter.

A well thought-out and perfectly designed eCommerce website is a guarantee of success. But it takes a lot of effort, knowledge as well as careful planning to provide a rich shopping experience, turning shopping into a pleasant and invigorative process.

Planning for Your e-Commerce Site

When planning for your eCommerce website, there is a great deal of things to consider and set up: detailed product information, quality product images, a simple and transparent checkout process, adequate product filters and search options, reliable customer service options, variety of payment options, user-friendly navigation and catchy website design with a focus on the products – the deeper you get, the more dilemmas you face. Not the easiest task, right?

That’s why before you design your new eCommerce project or improve your current online shop, take a look at the collection of catchy eCommerce websites to get some ideas. You might be able to find workarounds for some of the problems you have from these sites.


This eCommerce design presents a creative way of website navigation done in the form of a collage, which makes it really easy to find the needed product. The website looks trustworthy, as it provides a great variety of customer care services and contact options: phone number, mailing address, e-mail, and even live chat. The product images are also huge and attractive.

Red Velvet Shop

Cool typography together with the muted color scheme and bright images add a little touch of style to this eCommerce design. Everything is neat and clear.


Everything is perfect about this website: catchy images, informative and detailed product description pages, convenient product filters that make product searching fast and easy. The hot pink and green go well together, and the use of stitching and bright colours creates a pleasant and funny atmosphere.


The minimalist website design of this Custom Dog Collar Shop speaks for itself. The Home page slideshow, featuring high-quality, striking images, catches a user’s attention within the first few seconds. The product description page provides an opportunity for customers to leave reviews on different products.


This online shop is characterized by a muted color scheme, eye-catching image slideshow, big product images, and descriptive product pages. The design is worth your attention.

Jenier Word Of Teas

This website design has been chosen to demonstrate to you how many ways of contact the Tea Shop provides: phone number, contact form and mailing address. The phone number is placed on the most easy-to-find places: in the website header and footer. The customers will definitely trust the site and are more likely to do business with it.


This online shop attracts with its unusual background color, attractive images, yet providing user-friendly navigation as well as a simple checkout process.

Art & Mabel

The website belongs to Art and Mabel, a shop which offers personalized gifts for children. The home page is clean and stylish, without being overloaded with distracting elements, yet informative enough. Due to the easy-to-use website navigation, the whole order process is simple and transparent.


Here is another eCommerce website with an interesting background. Simple user-friendly navigation, well thought-out layout, high quality images, a variety of customer service options and payment options – everything makes this online shop stand out among others.

The Russian Store

The Russian Store design looks really simple, yet informative. The unobtrusive color scheme combined with the striking images will definitely create a good impression on each customer.


Here is one of the most laconic eCommerce website designs which leaves and impression with the simplest navigation and high quality product images. Minimalist design is always a win.

Just Cuckoos

This eCommerce design is created in a minimalist style and meets the most significant requirements: extensive product filter, huge and detailed product images, various means of contact, namely phone number, e-mail address, mailing address, and contact form, etc. The green used is an accent color which has a strong emotional correspondence with safety.

Rex Monkey

Here is one of the most creative and striking eCommerce websites! And though the website home page doesn’t look like a store at all, it still provides user-friendly navigation, a contact section, really HUGE product images, descriptive product information, a simple checkout process and much more to provide customers with a rich shopping experience.

The Coffee Hopper

This online store, selling coffee and tea, impresses with its flawless and well thought out design. The color scheme is perfectly balanced.


This online store sells fishing equipment and apparel. It’s really obvious that its owner thought through his categories and navigation elements very carefully: it is easy to move around the site, browse different categories and get to the shopping cart.

VIF Jeans

At first sight this eCommerce design may seem a bit complicated and overloaded, but after browsing a little you’ll find it rather convenient and attractive.

Black Goat Cashmere

This simple, yet stylish online shop design illustrates the products, raw materials and production process in their fullest, providing some interesting extra information.


Timefy online store sells fashionable watches providing a convenient search feature with a great number of filters for let customers refine their results.

Carpet One

This design is remarkable for its winning slideshow where images perform the function of the background. Must admit, it’s a rather good solution to place the Testimonials sections just right after the header and navigation section.

Kids Plan-it

The yellow and green color scheme of this online store evokes pleasant and cheerful feelings. There is more to it than meets the eye, as the website sells furniture for children.

Wild and Bare

Here is another catchy website selling tea and tea gifts online. It delivers with a splendid landing page featuring an attractive background slideshow. That’s what makes this online store stand out among others.

Timeless Design

A brilliant minimalist design with a decent layout gives a touch of class to this furniture online store. Easy navigation, descriptive product pages, Next/Previous product links and other handy features provide a pleasant shopping experience.


JOY managed to create a splendid, perfectly balanced and informative landing page. At the top we can see contact information, a little lower, there is shipping information and special offers. The slideshow featuring fashion images simply mesmerizes the shoppers, whereas stunning high quality images just keeps them viewing the collections and well, shop!


This blinds store impresses with its collage-style navigation featuring some eye-catching images. The additional info is hidden to not overwhelm the design, but it is expandable by the customers.

Hello Lucky

The slideshow is a very popular feature of effective eCommerce design, that’s what makes it attractive and stylish. And Hello Lucky is one of the best examples.

Poco Nido

While the customer info links and payment methods are presented at the bottom of the page, the whole home page design looks roomy and not overloaded. It makes you want to click around and see more.


Here is one of the extraordinary designs for an online clothes store. The background slideshow catches the visitors’ attention, while the product pages, done in minimalist style, are clean and simple.

Reed & Barton

As you have noticed, this website is designed in grayish colors, but it uses orange as an accent. Interestingly enough, Orange has very high visibility and stimulates customers to make quick decisions.

Vintage Optical Shop

This online store sells vintage eyeglasses, and the whole design is also created in the same way. This style is emphasized by vintage style images, textures, icons, buttons and etc.

Faucet Face

White is dominating in this online store design. And there is something behind that, as the company sells safe, non-chemical leaching glass bottles. They chose white, as it is often associated with purity, safety and clearness.

Chateau Sophie

This online store design impresses with its creativity and details. Flowers, butterflies, bows, lace, fanciful frames and statues – that’s what makes this design really special and vibrant.

Mokuyobi Threads

This eCommerce design is colorful and energetic, yet simple and clear. Red, being an emotionally intense color, has very high visibility and brings text and images to the foreground.

Love Culture

Here’s one more fashion store website that catches the eye with its rich design and professional images. Decent navigation provides invigorative shopping experience.

More on E-Commerce

30 Professional Looking e-Commerce Sites For Your Inspiration