Wireframing with Macaw

Macaw was the first high-fidelity web prototype tool that I bit on. I’ll admit the first time I saw this tool it kind of blew my mind. So, I decided I had to get my hands dirty with it.

Needless to say it ended up not doing exactly what I would hope it would do for me. I’m not going to get into the weeds talking about where it fell short of expectations/hopes. Basically it was just a buggy program, if you want to read more about it here ya go: macworld.com/article/2936724/macaw-1-5-15-review-promising-web-design-program-falls-short-of-its-goals.html.

But, even after messing around with it for a little bit and realizing it wasn’t going to do everything I wanted. I still had high hopes for it being able to help with creating wireframes and turning that into a prototype. I was pleased to say that it worked pretty well for that. I actually created a wireframe and prototype using Macaw. I have that URL to show right here: cartertilman.com/stvincents-wireframes/index.html.

I was able to create a 10 template system for a web project in a prototype format in order to get the client’s buy-in. It was actually a pretty decent product to use for creating prototypes. It was one of the first projects where I used a piece of software to develop a grayscale prototype. It was a nice change of pace from either coding it by hand or leaving it up for a development partner to create.

However, I will have to say the Macaw product still did leave me wanting more. It particularly left me wanting more with it’s responsive capabilities. For me this is where the product got really buggy and predictable. I fought the good fight with trying to make the responsive behavior work correctly with the Macaw product. I ultimately ended up falling short of getting that to do exactly what I wanted it to do.

If I were to do that part over again I would just use Macaw to create the working prototype at the desktop version and then just control the smaller breakpoints by hand. Because what was nice about the product is that it would generate the HTML, CSS, and JS code for the project that would allow for custom creation by hand outside of the software.

Even though the product did not do exactly everything I hoped I was still very impressed at the attempt. It turns out the Macaw team folded on their original project, and is teaming up with InVision (http://macaw.co/invision/) in order to help rock their product out.

The Macaw product can still be used if desired. But, I am sure that there is likely a better solution out there at some point. Something along the lines of: InVision, Muse, Sketch, or XD; may be better fits for high-fidelity designs, and responsive prototypes.

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