A wireframe kit for Google Drawings and 5 reasons it beats Omnigraffle and Visio

Cover Image for A wireframe kit for Google Drawings and 5 reasons it beats Omnigraffle and Visio
Morten Just

Google Drawings is one of the best wireframing tools out there, but no one is using it

I’ve been playing around with the newest addition to Google Docs, Google Drawings, and I’m quite liking it. I tried drawing a few diagrams and even a wireframe, and it turns out the basic drawing interactions are just as good – in some cases even better – than what I’m used to in Omnigraffle and Fireworks.

5 reasons Google Drawings beats Viso and Omnigraffle

We know the cloud computing arguments, and they certainly apply to wireframes

  1. It’s live. The entire team can work on the same document and see each other’s work instantly
  2. The wireframes live in the cloud, no sending files around, no outdated documents
  3. The risk of losing data is zero. It saves for every edit you make
  4. It’s free
  5. Most people already have a Google account, so no sign up required

We need stencils

One thing was missing though: Stencils. Omnigraffle has stencils coming out of its ears, and Fireworks has some excellent built-in ones. But Google Drawings in its current early and simple form simply doesn’t have it. So I made one. Here's what it looks like:

Leaving the stencils in the gutter

An interesting limitation is the fact that

  • there’s no stencil library function and
  • you can’t easily copy and paste from one document to another.

One solution, it seems, is to clone one of the wireframe kits and thereby also cloning the stencils into each document. To notprint or export the stencils, I’ve left them in the gutter area of the document. Seems to work quite okay.

Kind of blue

I’ve been wanting a blue kit since I left a project years ago where we used blue stencils (the idea was Peter‘s). As you may have experienced, some customers simply don’t understand wireframes. The blue color gives that well-known blueprint feel, and shouldn’t prompt questions like “I like it, doesn’t it need a splash of colour?”

Templates you can use right now

Main blank template

Landing page

Product details

Cover Image for Parsing JSON from the command line

Parsing JSON from the command line

Handling JSON on the command line unlocks a lot of neat tricks - like integrating any API with shortcut apps like Alfred

Cover Image for A retro Macbook
Future Products

A retro Macbook

What would a Macbook look like in 1983?

Cover Image for A projector drone that follows its user
Future Products

A projector drone that follows its user

You can't have a tv on all your walls. Or can you?

Cover Image for A direct-to-machine Nespresso delivery system
Future Products

A direct-to-machine Nespresso delivery system

Coffee capsules could flow like a public utility, and we don't have to deploy pipes under the streets.