I joined recently to run marketing here at mighty Atlassian, and in addition to being a fan of our own products, I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of some of the great technologies from our partners. Many of these products seem purpose-built for Confluence and JIRA – and are like a shot of anabolic steroid in the arm of a weightlifter (if you’ve seen me, you know I have no idea what this is like).
Recently I’ve been using Balsamiq Mockups to riff on site changes to www.atlassian.com with our high-octane Web team. Mockups is incredibly cool, and unbelievably easy to pick up. Here are my top five reasons it rules:

  1. It does what it says, and says what it does: this product works as advertised, and it’s very well documented.
  2. So easy, the “marketing” guy can use it: I’d normally defend myself against this dig, but man if this tool isn’t easy to learn. Even if I prided myself on going Web off-roading, for this task I no longer need to. It’s pretty much point-click-drag-and-drop. I didn’t even need the tutorial.
  3. Better than PowerPoint: for the job of creating and communicating a visual mockup, Mockups is far sweeter and way easier to use than PowerPoint. And because it’s on the Web it’s one less orphaned artifact I need to lose on my harddrive or figure out how to share with my team.
  4. It’s integrated with Confluence and now JIRA: Naturally, I use Confluence a lot, and the Mockups integration with Confluence is “like buttah.” In one simple step I can add a mockup to any Confluence page. It knows who I am, keeps track of mockups I’ve created across different Confluence Spaces, and works like a charm. I can’t wait to use it with JIRA – and neither can our Web team, since that’s how we request and prioritize work.
  5. Thumbnail image for FishEye Mockup.jpg

  6. Balsamiq listens to customers, and moves quickly: Balsamiq is an open book, a philosophy near and dear to our hearts here at Atlassian. From talking about how to start a business, to reporting progess as the business takes off, to talking about tough feature decisions, Peldi has started a refreshing and transparent dialogue with his customers. And he’s pursuing his own version of Legendary Service that, as a customer, makes his products that much sweeter to use.

Bonus feature I love: the quick ability to import a previously-created mockup directly from the UI.

Thumbnail image for Import Balsamiq.jpg
So, hats off to you, Peldi. You’ve created a wickedly cool tool that both Confluence and JIRA are quickly falling in love with. And you’ve made those of us trying to visually communicate ideas a lot happier.

About Jay Simons

Eats shoots and leaves.

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