As a developer, it's often difficult to give a client a sense of how an application will behave without actually building it, by which time it's often too late to get any useful feedback.

You often have to resort to hand drawings to illustrate what you want to build, but that approach often ends up looking like a very nerdy puppet show when you actually try to show how different screens will interact. (I mean no disrespect D7UX team, they're doing some MUCH needed work on making Drupal more usable). I recently faced this problem myself.

I have been using a system called ePresence to capture live presentations for on-demand web distribution lately. (In a nutshell, the ePresence system allows you to capture live video and synchronize it with a speaker's presentation slides). The system works very well but the interface would sometimes let you easily make mistakes that required a lot of effort to correct. I wanted to give the developers some meaningful feedback, but writing a long email to try to illustrate my "pain points" seemed like a lot of work which could be easily misinterpreted. So I started looking around for an alternative and I found iPlotz.

iPlotz elementsiPlotz let's you easily create "wireframe" interfaces and add some basic interaction to create a sense of how an application will behave, without having to build it! You start with a blank canvas and you add interface elements such as text fields and buttons through simple drag-and-drop. This approach lets you iterate a design very easily because changing it is as simple as creating it, and iPlotz features a large library of elements to quickly build up your web (or iPhone) application. All of this with zero coding!

That functionality alone would have been enough to impress me but the iPlotz team went further by making it easy to share your wireframes (you can see the one I built here) and to manage the process of actually building your design. With iPlotz, I was able to communicate *exactly* what I had in mind, with a minimum of effort and with very little chance of being misinterpreted. The feedback from the ePresence team was that they appreciated the thoughtful input, and they now plan to implement some of my suggestions. Smile

The only "complaint" I would have is that the free version only allows you to build a maximum of 5 screens before upgrading to a paid version. That seemed a little stingy to me, but certainly in this economic climate I can't blame them for that. 5 screens turned out to be the exact number I needed, but it would have been enough to evaluate the product's features before buying.

I highly recommend iPlotz, but I feel the need to disclose that part of my motivation in writing this review was that they offer a year's license for honest reviews of their product (did I mention the current economic climate?).