It would be interesting to hear what is used besides sketches from UX engineers during development of a GUI. Unfortunately our UX team provides just a minimum of requirements for GUI screens. I believe that a better solution would be to use some tables with requirements and state machines or may be just some text description of GUI behavior? Is that something you use ?

I tried speaking to our UX team but looks like it's impossible to get anything besides graphic sketches from them and I am wondering what others use.

Our project is for iPhone currently, but it is could be useful to hear any advice even if you develop for any other platform or even desktop or web.


  • You should find a proper GUI design / concept guy/girl to do the job and pay them well -> presto. – Till Dec 5 '11 at 19:40

Our team had used Balsamiq Mockups for this purpose, and it works well.

From their website :

Mockups also excels as a communication tool, a way for the whole team to come together around the right design.

  • it enables Product Managers to better present requirements with a tool as easy to use as Powerpoint
  • it’s polished enough for UX Designers to use, with all the familiar keyboard shortcuts of the Creative Suite tools
  • it’s fast, geeky and very power-user-friendly. Developers love that
  • it’s so easy to learn, clients and customers can use it (for free even), to describe their needs more clearly
  • +1, Our team of 5 developers even uses Balsamiq to clarify design ideas between ourselves – Izkata Dec 12 '11 at 21:32

of what I have used and to some degree use, depending upon the context of the project, please see the following:

  • style guides (these docs, from the client, are the instructions and rules for how color, shapes, placement of code are placed with the app and/or website...)
  • storyboards (this visually displays the way in which the app can be used and seen before creation and deployment...)
  • content models (I use Visio to display content placement...)
  • prototype (semi-functional website in a sand-boxed environment)

A further example can be found here; http://www.uxforthemasses.com/resources/example-ux-docs/. Hope that helps!


This is going to sound pithy, but I think they should provide whatever the development team needs and asks for. Software development is a collaborative process, and everyone responsible for the product needs to work together.

What the development team needs is going to vary greatly from group to group, so there's no one answer. If the team is full of experienced UI developers, they may not need more than some vague drawings. At the other end of the spectrum there are developers who are developing their first UI. And in between are UI designers of varying quality -- UIs that are logical and well designed may not need as much documentation as those that are poorly thought-out.

I would think at a minimum they should provide screen mockups, and organized in such a way that the developer can visualize the flow from step to step, screen to screen. That might mean using a tool that provides a way to simulate the use of the product, or it could mean simply a series of sketches, numbered in the order in which the end user would encounter them.


This is going to vary from place to place, but at a minimum I would expect a sketch that with markup explaining the basic expected behavior and field descriptions.

Ideally your designers are also going to be familiar with any data that you will be working with and will also list the data sources of any part of the interface that displays or is driven by data.

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