Sqetch, an Illustrator Wireframe Toolkit
Sqetch is a little Illustrator-toolkit I built over time, consisting of several templates and elements:
It evolved one by one as an answer to several problems I encountered related to wireframing:
Like many designers I frequently experienced that clients did not understand my wireframes. More than once they were not able to distinguish between a layout and a wireframe. Suddenly I found myself debating about colors and font-sizes, when it would have been appropriate to talk about processes and information-architecture instead.
Presenting wireframes can be arduous. Sometimes you must go through countless screens with slight variations of one single situation. This requires a lot of discipline by the designer as well as the client.
Even experienced clients often react disappointed or bored to wireframes. Clients want us designers to "wow" them. Wireframes do a bad job at wowing anybody. Using Omnigraffle or keynote doesn't help either. Some clients do not understand the labour that is involved and think we are overpaid. I remember a client who actually told me he would prefer to do the wireframing himself, as he saw no reason to "pay a designer for pushing some boxes around in word".
As a consequence I began to create high-quality versions of my hand-drawn wireframes and use them in client-presentations. The hand-crafted, artistic component helped circumvent many of the problems described above. Unfortunately it came for a price: labour-intensiveness. Drawing a lot of variants of one screen is much more time-consuming than making changes in a digital document.
Therefore I began transferring my drawings to illustrator. And after some time a little wireframe-toolkit had evolved, which you can download here. For maximum flexibility everything was created with vectors, no bitmap in sight. Every element can be scaled without loss of quality, every single stroke can be edited separately, to adapt the look of a sketch as ever you like. Colors are in CMYK for easy printing. And if you are a CS5 user you will be pleased to find out that all symbols are attached to a 9-slice scaling grid.
The font in use is Nymph's Handwriting, a beautiful font from talented Lauren Thompson, which you can download from her blog. And as you are already there you should take a look at her other fonts, it's worth it.
Download of sqetch is free and you are allowed to use the toolkit in commercial projects. Anyway, should you use it on a website or in a printed publication I expect you to give me credit and link to www.eleqtriq.com (respectively mention the internet-address in printed publications). If this shouldn't be possible for some reason, contact me and we work something out. Happy wireframing!
Update! Thanks to Jakub and Smashingmag for linking. Anyway, as traffic increased over the last few hours I decided to test a mirror server. If you experience problems, please send me a note in the comments.Download ToolkitTweet me!"