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Balsamiq stencils for Series 40 UI Design
This article is a short introduction into the Series 40 UI design stencils (aka toolkit, design templates) for Balsamiq.
What are you looking for?
You want to create a concept for your app quickly in electronic format?
You do not want to learn Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator?
You are looking for a complete set of available LCDUI components as UI design stencil set?
This article is for you.
What can you get?
The only complete stencil set for all current Series 40 releases, like non-touch, touch-and-type and full-touch.
The stencils are available as
- Standard *.bmml file.
- Symbol file.
Due to large amount of graphical elements, the bmml and symbol files were split up into:
- Full touch
- Touch and Type
The files were split up because of their large size. Due to naming conventions, the symbol files cannot reside in the same folder.
Downloads (Fast lane)
The idea behind Balsamiq is that you visualize your idea fast in electronic format – preferably faster than with pencil and paper. The point is that you do not deliver something pixel perfect but some sketchy. People will not start arguing about pixel perfection, but they will talk about the basic arrangement of your layouts. Nevertheless, the layouts look clean and you can organize them very easily.
Baslamiq’s success is partially build on people contributing to their libraries – like these stencils submitted by the author. Baslamiq is still affordable and you can try with a 7 days trial to figure out if Balsamiq is for you. There exist standalone versions, cloud and wiki solutions with reverting possibilities. Personally, I like Balsamiq because of various reasons:
- It allows teams to work on layouts and solutions – not only for mobile app but whatever you want to draw sketch about.
- You are not carried away by layout details. There is just a limited amount of icons and so far I always managed to make something from that. But if really necessary, you can import an image, e.g. a company logo.
- It is fast, really fast, especially if there are ready symbols available.
- The result is perfect for interaction design - no graphics overhead.
- You can get pdf and png as output.
- Faster results then e.g. Inkscape or Illustrator.
However, there are other solutions out there, but so far Balsamiq has ticked all the right boxes for me and I do not see a reason why to change to anything else, not saying that there might be something out there what suits you better. Please check Balsamiq.com for more information about Balsamiq software and solutions.
Oh yes, I am not endorsed in any way by Balsmiq, I am simply a fan.
How does it work?
How to open
- Double click the *.bmml file and copy the elements you need.
- The symbol file must be placed in the “assets” folder of your project. The items load automatically to “assets” and “all” from the upmost bar.
How to operate
- After placing the asset, break the symbol apart and ungroup the asset to enable editing.
- The checkboxes are “activated” by reducing the opacity of the overlaying (square) geometric shape.
- In full touch, radio buttons are “activated” by reducing the opacity of the overlaying (square) geometric shape.
- Check boxes and radio buttons are created with square geometric shapes to get close to the surround (squircle) shape.
- The form items should be placed on the Canvas.
- The stencil sizes are very accurate when it comes to amount of pixels.
- The font size might differ by one or two points, since Balsamiq is not using Nokia Sans.
- The amount of actual amount of text for an item might vary. But in case things get tight it is anyways a good idea to rethink the layout at this point.
The minimum touch area is a reference for custom UI touch components. As the name implies, the touch area of a custom UI component should not be less than what you find from the minimum touch area. The sizes are related to amount of pixels
How to get the correct size for paper prototypes
Scale the printout (png or pdf) according to the target release:
- Full touch diameter is 3″ = 76 mm
- Touch and type diameter is 2.4″ = 61 mm (there exist also phones with 2.6″, but you should test for the worst case )
Which components are there?
The stencil set focuses on LCDUI, but LWUIT layouts should be easy to add where needed. The important thing is that you have the “ballpark size” at hand and from there it should be straight forward to add LWUIT UI components, e.g. Tab bar instead of a Category bar.
However, the LCDUI components visualization and interaction changes between platforms. Therefore also some names will vary. But it is very likely that you will find the components just by looking them up from the upmost bar. A mouse hoover over the item will reveal the full name.The following items are available:
|LCDUI component description||Full touch name||Touch and type name||Non touch name|
|Timed Alert||Alert 0btn||Alert 0btn||Alert 0btn|
|Alert, 1 button||Alert 1btn||Alert 1btn||Alert 1btn|
|Alert, 2 buttons||Alert 2btn||Alert 2btn||Alert 2btn|
|Alert, 3 buttons, image,indeterminate progressindicator||Alert 3btn img progrbar||Alert 3btn img progrbar||Alert 3btn img progrbar|
|Standard icons for Alert||-||Alert Icons||Alert Icons|
|Base layout||-||Base layout||Base layout|
|Category Bar||Canvas CategoryBar||-||-|
|Category Bar extension, 6 items||CategoryBar extn06||-||-|
|Category bar extension, 15 items||CategoryBar extn15||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group exclusive, 2 items||Form ChcGrp excl2||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group exclusive, 3 items||Form ChcGrp excl3||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group exclusive, max items||Form ChcGrp excl4||Form ChcGrp excl4||Form ChcGrp excl6|
|Form - Choice Group multiple, 2 items||Form ChcGrp mlt2||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group multiple, 3 item||Form ChcGrp mlt3||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group multiple, max item||Form ChcGrp mlt4||Form ChcGrp mlt4||Form ChcGrp mlt6|
|Form - Choice Group popup, closed||Form ChcGrp pop-||Form ChcGrp pop-||Form ChcGrp pop-|
|Form - Choice Group popup, focus||-||-||Form ChcGrp pop focus|
|Form - Choice Group popup,2 items||Form ChcGrp pop2||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group popup,3 items||Form ChcGrp pop3||-||-|
|Form - Choice Group popup,max items||Form ChcGrp pop4||Form ChcGrp pop5||Form ChcGrp pop7|
|Form - Custom Item, paired button A||Form Cstm sgmbtnA||-||-|
|Form - Custom Item, paired button B||Form Cstm sgmbtnB||-||-|
|Form - Custom Item, 3 buttons with label||Form Cstm btnlbl3||-||-|
|Form - Custom Item, segmented button||Form Cstm sgmtbtn||-||-|
|Form - Custom Item, switch||Form Cstm switch||-||-|
|Form - Date Field, time||Form Date time-||Form Date time-||Form Date time-|
|Form - Date Field, time edit||Form Date time2||Form Date time edit||Form Date time focus|
|Form - Date Field,time am/pm edit||Form Date time3||-||-|
|Form - Date Field, date||Form Date date-||Form Date date -||Form Date date-|
|Form - Date Field, date edit||Form Date date3||Form Date date edit||-|
|Form - Date Field, date + time||Form Date datetime-||Form Date datetime-||Form Date datetime-|
|Form - Date Field, date + time, date edit||Form Date datetime date||Form Date datetime date||-|
|Form - Date Field, date + time, time edit||Form Date datetime time||Form Date datetime time||-|
|Form - Gauge, determinate progress indicator||Form Gauge progbar||Form Gauge progbar||Form Gauge progbar|
|Form - Gauge, slider||Form Gauge slider||Form Gauge slider||Form Gauge slider|
|Form - Gauge, slider edit||-||Form Gauge slider active||Form Gauge slider focus|
|Form - Gauge, indeterminate progress indicator||Form Gauge spinner||Form Gauge spinner||Form Gauge spinner|
|Form - String Item, button||Form Strg btn||Form Strg btn||Form Strg btn|
|Form - String Item, button + label||Form Strg btn label||Form Strg btn label||Form Strg btn label|
|Form - String Item, hyperlink||Form Strg hypl||Form Strg hypl||Form Strg hypl|
|Form - String Item, hyperlink + label||Form Strg hypl label||Form Strg hypl label||Form Strg hypl label|
|Form - String Item, paragraph of text||Form Strg paragraph||Form Strg paragraph||Form Strg paragraph|
|Form - Text Field||Form TextField||Form TextField||Form TextField|
|Form - Text Field edit Abc||Form TextField edit||Form TextField edit Abc||Form TextField focus|
|Form - Text Field edit 123||-||Form TextField edit 123||-|
|List - exclusive||List Exclusive icon||List Exclusive||List Exclusive|
|List - implicit||List Implicit||List Implicit||List Implicit|
|List - implicit with icon||List Implicit icon||List Implicit icon||List Implicit icon|
|List - multiple||List Multiple icon||List Multiple icon||List Multiple icon|
|Menu - Context/Longpress/Item||Menu Longpress||Menu Longpress||-|
|Menu - Options||Menu Options||Menu Options||Menu Options|
|Nokia Popup list||Popup List||-||-|
|Nokia Popup list||Popup List icon radiobtn||-||-|
|Text editor ITUT||Text Editor Java ITUT||-||-|
|Text editor QWERTY||Text Editor Java QWERTY||-||-|
|Text Box, editable||TextBox editable||TextBox editable||TextBox editable|
|Text Box, not editable||TextBox not editable||TextBox not editable||TextBox not editable|
|Touch area minimum, finger + thumb||Touch Area minimum||Touch Area minimum||-|