How to Make a Mockup of an App? Try PowerPoint!

You don't need to buy expensive design tools like Photoshop to create a mockup of your app. The tool you need you probably already have: PowerPoint!

One of the first things you want to do to develop your app idea is to create a mockup of the app. A mockup, as the name implies, is a basic visual prototype of the look and feel of your app. Mockups serve two purposes, one is to test the core concepts of your app and the second is to serve as a blueprint to use when working with developers to build your app. A good mockup will lay out what every screen in your app looks like down to the buttons, colors and fonts and will illustrate how someone moves through the app to complete basic tasks. Building a mockup is actually quite simple and you don’t need to run out and buy any specialized software like Photoshop or Balsamiq to do it. No my friends, the tool you need you probably already have:  Microsoft Powerpoint (or alternatively Apple’s Keynote)

Check out this video from that shows you how to use PowerPoint to create a mockup of a Windows 8 app:

Yes, PowerPoint does have some use beyond boring hoards of office workers on a daily basis.  All you need to start is to buy a template file for the particular smartphone platform you want to model your app on. These templates come with a whole whack of UI controls, buttons, panels, icons, etc… that replicate all the major parts of an app. You then can create a mockup of your app by simply copying and pasting these objects from the template file into your PowerPoint file.

By using PowerPoint built-in layout tools along with a template you will be able to create a realistic mockup of your app that you can either market test with your customer, or hand over to a developer to spec and quote for you.

You can purchase and download templates for iOS and Android platforms at Keynotopia, or if you want to mock up a Windows 8 app from

About Bobby Gill

I am the creator of Bahndr, founder of New York based app development lab, Blue Label Labs and editor at Idea to Appster. I like crepes and I am fascinated by big data.

  • mcrisp

    Make PowerPoint even better for creating UI Mockups /Wireframes and Storyboards….take a look at PowerStory

    PowerStory makes it easy to create your UI Mockups / Wireframes by providing you with a library of over 250 UI Controls that you can extend and share. Since these UI Controls are all built using PowerPoints native drawing tools, you can change or enhance them using the existing tools already in PowerPoint, or even add your own brand new UI Controls, ensure that you will not be limited to the pre-defined Controls in the library. You can even define your own standard UI controls for a project to keep things consistent across your UI/UX Team. PowerStory it easy to access the UI Controls you need quickly with type ahead search and user defined group names.

    PowerStory combines the best of Use Cases, Wireframes and Storyboards into an integrated deliverable called a “Use Case Storyboard”. This keeps your use cases, storyboards and UI Mockups in sync with each other.

    PowerStory also “generates your test cases” directly from the “Use Case Storyboard”. It creates a test case for each of the paths through the main flow and alternate flows of the “use case storyboard.” These test cases can be exported to Word, Excel or even Microsoft Team Foundation Server with full automated traceability between the requirements and the test cases.

  • Marcy White

    This is a good idea, but another great option is Lucidchart’s iPhone app mockup tool. It is easy to use and it has a lot of great and helpful features!

  • Marcy White

    This is a great resource, but you should also check out Lucidchart. They have great tools for iPhone app mockups and it is easy to use!