Mockingbird Launch: Goodbye Beta Users

I received an e-mail a few days ago from Mockingbird, the wireframing online software which I constantly used for my project:

Mockingbird will launch on August 15th, 2010

Hurray? No. According to their blog post about the launch and a few posts on Twitter, most users seem quite disappointed and they do have a point. Some say the pay-per-month model doesn’t work for them, as they prefer to pay per project. Others say that pricing is quite weird and the active/archived projects doesn’t make any sense. Some argue about the number of pages limiting for free users.

After some feedback the guys at Mockingbird posted two updates to the post about new plans, the beta plan and the transition from beta to an upgraded account.

I say that Mockingbird simply ditched all their beta users. I’m very disappointed as I loved their service so much, that I constantly mocked up anything that came into my mind – from websites to apps, mobile apps, mind maps, graphs and charts and much much more. Now that they’re shutting the whole thing down I’m moving back to my good old Axure RP and Photoshop. Too bad.

I do think that at some point any startup has to go commercial and make some cash, but restricting access is definitely not the way. Add some new cool features and make Pro accounts with these features. Add new exclusive components and sell access to them. But restricting access to what you’re already working with, what the hell? Imagine Twitter says that in order to post more than three tweets per day you have to get a $10/mo subscription, huh? Or Gmail says that in order to read more than 10 e-mails per day you need a $5/mo subscription.. Rediculous..

Creating Mockups with Mockingbird

Everyone these days knows that creating any user interface should start with a mockup. Whether it’s something drawn on a piece of paper or almost designed in Photoshop. When speaking about application UI, software like Borland Delphi or Microsoft Visual Basic would be just fine, especially if you need to create some simple click events. The web though is slightly different, and creating mockups with online web applications is way cooler (and faster too) than VB.

Take a look at Mockflow. It’s driven by Adobe Flash, the interface is sweet, but meh.. You have to pay if you’d like to use it for more than 4 slides. And here’s an alternative that comes to rescue – Mockingbird! Totally awesome, free of charge, javascript driven, no limitations. Here’s something I managed to do based on my previous post. It took me about 1 minute and 50 seconds, sweet huh?

By the way there’s also an option to share you mockup. Both in Mockflow and Mockingbird, so you wouldn’t have to print screen your slides like I did ;)