Normally I don’t preview my layouts to anyone, which is probably a huge mistake, so I decided to go for it this time!
I build a lot of different website layouts to test different theories, play with new design elements or, in this case, play with a flippin’ awesome new framework. Most of them are abandoned pretty quickly, but some I pull out to work on every so often.
Things are out of alignment and the colours are still a work in progress, but I’ve had enough for tonight and since I’ve been pretty quiet here lately I thought you guys might like to see what I’ve been doing.
It’s been almost a month in the making, but I’m finally rolling out the new look for Babblative! A few things have changed, actually a lot has changed, but not so much that it’s totally unrecognizable… I hope.
Most of the website was built from scratch, the most obvious holdovers being the X/HTML and styles (more on that in a bit) and the Textpattern tutorials. Other than that I ditched my old archives, abandoned most of the content and started fresh so that I could make my site make more sense for the both of us.
Not that long ago I found this wonderful little program called Balsamiq Mockups. I immediately downloaded it and started pushing buttons and fiddling with things.
I loved it. The only downside is the $75 price tag which, if you’re like me and on a strict budget, is probably worth it to most others. So I played with it until the trial finished, or rather almost finished, and started hunting for a cheaper, or better yet free, alternative.
The first place I went was AlternativeTo to see what other options there were. There I found two options that fit the bill: The Pencil Project and ScreenSketcher (which is roughly $10 less than Balsamiq Mockups.)
A third option that I looked at but didn’t really consider that closely was Lovely Charts. I never bothered signing up, so if you do let me know how it works out for you.
I downloaded Pencil and I’ve been making mockup after mockup after mockup. Two of which have already made it well past the initial design stages. It has a “clean” set of wireframes and a sketchy set as well. It’s free, it works on most platforms and it’s pretty darn sexy.
So go on, give it a try and let me know how it goes!