all. I'm wondering how do you spec./plan out your project? For example, for webiste you can use Wireframe. How about for desktop or add-ins such as MS Office add-ins? I want it as simple as possible and don't want spend all day using some sort of diagram software to sketch it out. Do I simply write down what features I want to build for the software then filter out what is possible and what is not possible? Any tips is appreciated.
Wireframes will work for any GUI - it doesn't have to be a web GUI. I've absolutely used them for client apps in Java using Swing, for example.
I think in general, you need to spec at the level at which you need to communicate. Since your UI involves both developers and users, you need to spec at a level at which everyone involved can understand. For a fast, 1-3 man project, that's probably a sketch in a notepad or on a white board. For a big 20 + person project that's probably:
- initial team brainstorming on a whiteboard
- elaboration with Visio or another tool that will at least draw GUI-looking objects
- Use case elaboration of what happens before, during and after the pictures
- over arching style guides and dictionaries so that as people draw GUIs, the interfaces look alike
- specifications between systems if needed
I'm a big proponent of putting out only as much design as you need. If you can draw it, have the user feel confident in your solution, and have your team reach a shared understanding of the plan - then you're good.