Wireframing in Microsoft PowerPoint using PowerMockup

Hello everyone. Once again, there’s some interesting information that I must share with the web design community.

I was in touch with the people of Wulfsoft and found out a very interesting software they have been working on. They were kind enough to let me try it out and I have to say I was pleased with the outcome. Maybe it’s partly because of my normal excitement over finding new wireframing tools, but it also relates to a question that had been wandering about inside my head for a while:

If Keynote can be used for wireframing, why can’t PowerPoint?

I’m sorry, I know the design community in general is greatly constituted by Mac users, and I recently joined in since my current employer got me a big one to work with. But my home computer is still a PC, and Microsoft is still a big part of my life. And everytime I have a huge presentation or an upcoming class, my material is done via Microsoft PowerPoint, so it’s a tool I’m very used too (and very fond of since its 2007 version).

That’s why I was very excited to know about the PowerMockup tool.

PowerMockup is actually a plugin for Microsoft PowerPoint so that it can be used as a complete wireframing tool. What PowerMockup does is that it adds a group of tools to your main menu, as the following image describes.

So, from each group of elements provided this way, you just have to select the one you want to have on your PowerPoint slide. It’s as easy as that.

It has all the main elements you need plus many others, markup elements and a wide variety of icons.

Advantages

  • It’s easy to install and it’s not obtrusive, since it merges with PowerPoint’s normal menu.
  • It’s easy to use, no instructions needed
  • It’s fast to use, you get wireframes done very quickly since you can take advantage of the customizing possibilities of Microsoft PowerPoint elements.
  • It has all the web design elements you need.
  • Most elements are actually a group of smaller elements, so they are fully customizable (for example, the browser window’s URL bar can be customized, and its icons too).

Disadvantages

  • Since it stands fully as a Microsoft PowerPoint plugin, it’s obvious that real time online collaboration can’t be accomplished. But this will depend on your specific needs, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a disadvantage.
  • Just as it takes advantage of Microsoft PowerPoint’s capabilities, it also suffers from its limitations (for example, its not-pixel-perfect positioning scheme, which bugs me sometimes).
  • It doesn’t include mobile design elements (which I have to admit, given my main current line of work, would have been very useful).

What are your personal insights on the tool? You should try it out and judge it personally!