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Wireframing with balsamiq

I am not a web designer. I know what I like when I see it; but, I’m much more experienced working on the backend of systems or building desktop applications (I know). I was recently tasked with mocking up the appearance of a new product targeting our web customers. Knowing the way I would historically tackle this kind of problem is slow, and also that my target audience was most likely to get lost in minute details, I decided to take a step back and mock up the new solution with wireframes. Wireframes are great because the sketchy and simplistic style reproduces a whiteboard experience.

After a bit of searching, I went with balsamiq. I’m writing this blog post to acknowledge what a great product this is for rapid wireframing. I’m only using the Web App at the moment, although I foresee purchasing a personal license for my desktop in the near future. I doubt I’ve scratched the surface on what it can do, but I was able to have a product time using the tool with a minimal learning curve.

My one complaint about the software is that I couldn’t find how to bring my “demo” wireframe into the Web App. I created one mock with the online demo and decided this was the tool to use. There was no obvious way to take that mock and bring it into the Web App version. Users can import and export on both versions, but the file type used differs and is not compatible. Finally, icons are handled differently between the two versions. There is a standalone tab for icons in the demo, while there is only one (easily missed) item for icons in the Web App. You select the actual icon (facebook, envelope, etc) after dropping the icon item onto the canvas.

Tournament Types

There are several different types of tournaments. This article focuses on 4 primary types. Tournamatch has tournament management support for the first two.

Single Elimination
This is the most common type where one competitor competes against another. The winner advances and the loser is eliminated. Eventually, the remaining player or team is the only one not yet to lose any match.

Double Elimination
Like single elimination tournaments, one competitor competes against another with the winner advancing. In double elimination tournaments, the loser is added to a loser’s bracket and competes against other losers. The the loser of a match in the loser’s bracket is eliminated and the winner moves on to play future losers from the winner’s bracket. The same process can be repeated for triple elimination if desired.

Round-Robin
These tournaments differ significantly from the two above. In a round-robin tournament, one competitor will compete against every other competitor. The competitor with the best record after all matches have been played is crowned the winner.

Swiss
Similar to Round-Robin except every competitor is not required to face every other competitor. No competitor is every eliminated, and the number of rounds are pre-determined. The goal with Swiss tournaments is to determine the winner without playing as many matches as a round-robin tournament. Competitors are initially seeded randomly or based on some ranking, and in subsequent rounds competitors are paired against other competitors with similar scores or records.

Bonus Type: Scheveningen
In this style, individuals within a team compete round-robin style against another team. The team with the highest number of games won is the winner.