Gliffy design tool

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Nerd alert: If you are allergic to nerdy posts or you simply dislike nerds, please do not read the rest of this post.

I found myself spending a great deal of free time designing a new web-based product (more to follow on this). While not rare, this time was particularly enjoyable, because of a new cloud-based tool that allows a non-designer to quickly do things like map out a site structure, and design the user interface. The site is called “Gliffy” which offers a hint at why they can offer it so cheaply.

Within the first two days of a 30-day free trial, I mapped out a simple web-based tool with 11 pages on a high level site map, then designed each of those pages, all the way down to which button goes where on the page. I’m sure you could easily do this work in a number tools – one of which is the Adobe Creative Suite – but I’m not sure you could do it for $4.95/month or figure out how to use the tool within minutes of starting. The feature I liked the best is that you can easily open a new document using a previously created document as a template. Simple stuff, but very well-designed.

Image representing Gliffy as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The feature that I have not used yet is the collaboration feature, which could be huge in terms of breaking out of the submit, tear down, re-work feedback loop that we tend to get stuck in.

If there are other similar tools out there that work just as well or better, let’s hear about them in the comments section.

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4 Responses to “Gliffy design tool”

  1. John Mentia Says:

    Try lucidchart.com. Especially for collaboration since it’s real-time like Google Docs (Gliffy doesn’t support that).

  2. Nishadha Says:

    I personally use Creately for my site maps. It has real-time collaboration which is extremely useful when working with clients and peers. Also they give you the ability to link to objects within the diagram. So you can add a link another mock-up easily. They also provide some great templates to get started.

    • David Rajakovich Says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. Creately does look pretty good and the pricing is similar. Real time collaboration is a big plus. I’ll check it out further and post my thoughts here…if I remember to get around to it!

  3. Talkin’ Gliffy: Enjoyable, Web-based Tool… | Says:

    […] In his post, David Rajakovich described his Gliffy experience as being “enjoyable.” […]

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