Ambiguity is the enemy when you're developing a Web page or application. The client and developer meet to discuss work ahead. Both take notes and go home thinking they now have a shared understanding of what's required. Unfortunately, when using written language to describe something like a Web page, something almost always gets lost in translation. This opens the door to ambiguity and the resulting mismatch between what the client was expecting and what the developer delivers.

This is why I really like the idea behind the Firefox Pencil project. This project aims to make it easy to create a non-functional mock-up of a Web page using standard widgets for common elements such as drop down menus and radio buttons. If there is some debate regarding what needs to be built, generating a visual representation of what's required is a snap, helping client and developer speak the same language, at last!

The Pencil Project