Microsoft Office’s Visio is a somewhat complicated software. By complicated I didn’t mean that it’s hard to use. Rather, it is usually not bundled together with the office suite. This makes Visio harder to reach a wider audience of people to take advantage of its powerful diagrams for some UI mock up or wire-framing a concept design. Visio is useful in many occasions, much better than trying to use Word to draw some ugly diagrams, but it comes at a price, you have to pay a premium to use Visio and there is no Mac version.
Lucidchart – The Web App
Lucidchart is an alternative to Visio, and is a powerful rich web app. I was blown away on how well-made this web app is. It’s one of the best web apps I’ve ever used. The benefit of using a web app is obvious: there is no limitation on what OS you are using. Students with Macs can use this tool to draft diagrams just like their counter part does on PC with Visio. Not only that, you get all the benefits of using a web app. It’s easier to share and collaborate with others. A built-in revision history on all the mock ups you and your team have made. It keeps track of a history of revisions, at any point you can go back to any previous versions you have saved.
Lucidchart Supports Visio File Format
You can even import and export Visio files to and from Lucidchart. This feature allows you to import all of your Visio files into the cloud. You don’t have to worry about losing them anymore, and they are always ready to view at anytime from anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection. Lucidchart also integrates with Google Apps and Google Drive seamlessly, you can save the documents you have created into the Google Drive as a storage solution.
What You can do with Lucidchart ?
Lucidchart doesn’t stop at just UML diagrams, you can use it as a quick mock up / diagrams tools. It’s excellent in Flowchart, see examples here and here. It’s also easy to create quick iPhone iPad mockups, business diagrams, IT network charts, etc.
You can give it a try now, it’s free for the first 14 days. Afterward, it ranges from $2 – $9.95/ month see more detailed pricing here.
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂
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Last updated: 08/04/2014