There has to be some irony in using the iPad to design iPhone Apps, but that is exactly what Groosoft’s Blueprint app on the iTunes store is for. Blueprint has all of the widgets, sliders, buttons, and toolbars that you usually see in an app and allows you to lay everything out by tapping around on the screen. You can even string everything together, and run a simulation, complete with transition animations.
Blueprint is the perfect app for getting your thoughts down “on paper”, and helping you to start to formulate the user interface. Often I find whatever I do in Blueprint is merely the starting point for what ends up truly being design. I almost never finish the mockup either, but it serves its purposes in getting the juices flowing.
Here is one of the first mockups that I did of my very first app, VCP5 zApp:
Blueprint Lite for the iPad is absolutely free and will allow you 2 mockups, each with 8 screens. This is quite enough to get the basic layout or menu system figured out. If you do a lot of app layouts or presentations, you may want to spend the $20 for the full version. I got it when it was on sale, and don’t regret it one bit. I can’t say I’d spend $20 on it, but definitely $10. You can also send your mockup to someone else to view, and they can download the free Blueprint Viewer to play your simulation.
Anyhow, download Blueprint Lite if you have an iPad and check it out. I find that I use it for almost every app as a starting point.