Somebody always says: I don't like the colors

21 Apr 2023 - Frans Vanhaelewijck

balsamiq

Somebody always says: I don’t like the colors

This is probably not the remark you want to hear when presenting early sketches of your new product or app. You need feedback on the function, not the form of your new product idea. Who cares what the colors will be if it turns out you are designing the wrong thing?

A design created in a wireframing tool like Balsamiq typically only uses black and white. To give the audience the impression that you’ve hand-drawn the designs, many of the straight lines are not very straight. I’ve found this to be a game-changer when it comes to focusing on the essential aspects of our projects and keeping everyone on the same page.

If you have presented prototype screens in the past, I’m sure that at one point you got caught up in discussing colors, fonts, and other visual elements during your meetings. We really want to keep the attention on the overall structure, functionality, and user experience instead.

It’s incredible how black and white tools that look like they are hand-drawn force us to be clear and precise in our designs while still looking polished and professional.

What I love about Balsamiq is that it’s so easy to use – I genuinely believe that anyone on your team can pick it up and start designing with just a little practice. And because it’s so straightforward, it’s perfect for promoting collaboration and rapid iteration.

Best practices

  1. Keep it simple: Avoid using images, stick to one font, and don’t add colors. This helps maintain the focus on the app’s functionality rather than its appearance.
  2. Use real examples and data: Ditch the lorem ipsum and use real-life examples. It makes the wireframes feel more authentic and relatable.
  3. Be consistent: Make sure your design elements like headers, footers, and buttons are consistent throughout the wireframes. It helps everyone understand the flow and get a feel for how the app will look and function.

Give Balsamiq (not affiliated) a try if you haven’t already. I think you’ll find it super helpful for your future projects. Let me know if you have any questions or want to chat more about it!

PS.

Here’s the fundamental reason why you should use wireframing tools in the early stages of your product design, rather than tools like Figma or Photoshop:

C. Northcote Parkinson’s “Law of Triviality” comes into play when people are faced with big decisions. This law suggests that individuals often focus on minor details instead of addressing more critical issues. So, rather than discussing what the app needs to do, how it should do it, and what should be on each screen, people end up talking about visual aspects. Consequently, a bad screen that looks visually appealing with great UX and color choices might be chosen over a more functional and well-thought-out design. By using wireframing tools, you can keep the focus on the app’s core purpose and functionality, ultimately leading to a better product.



frans@vanhaelewijck.com