Interview with Nilesh Jethwa (Mockup Tiger)
Mockup Tiger is an online application that allows you to build wireframes, mockups and prototypes.
I interviewed Nilesh Jethwa, Mockup Tiger founder to find out more. This interview is the thirtieth in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Nilesh for the interview!
How would you describe MockupTiger in under 40 words?
MockupTiger is a beautiful web application that helps you build wireframes and mockups for Dashboards, web applications and for any type of software UI.
What made you decide to start working on MockupTiger?
My first product was a Dashboard application and I did consulting work related to Business Intelligence and Dashboards. Users would regularly ask me to build dashboards using my own software as they did not have the time to do it themselves. During the initial conversation I would ask the client to send me sketch or describe what they want on the dashboard. It slowly became apparent that my tool InfoCaptor needed an easier way to build wireframes. InfoCaptor is a desktop tool and built using Java and I was in the process of rebuilding it entirely for the web. So I thought this is the perfect opportunity to build the best dashboard software.
Building good software takes time and if I am going to provide the user the ability to sketch their dashboards and then feed it with live data for real-time dashboards that would be a long development timeline. So I decided to build the wireframing part as an individual product and market it separately. And that is how MockupTiger was born!
How did you come up with the name?
It is funny that you ask but I did write about in detail over here.
The basic idea was that the name should be catchy and the world should be able to distinguish it from rest of the competing products. I followed a simple rule of including a verb and a noun in the name. The article above has more details on how I came up with the name.
Your first product was InfoCaptor, what did you learn from building InfoCaptor that you’ve made use of in building MockupTiger?
There are so many things InfoCaptor has taught me. It has given me a 5 yr MBA experience without going to college. The most important thing that I have learnt is “Just keep building a better product and users will follow”. I built InfoCaptor without doing enough research on the tools and platform. I just built it so I could learn Java. Down the line I realized that I should have chosen a web based platform. I lost so many opportunities simply because my software was not web-based. Potential clients would regularly email or call me and say, “your software is so easy to build dashboards but how do I put it on the web, any plans to build a web based software?” and so on. I have often had to refer them to my competitors websites directly.
Having all this knowledge, I was sure that MockupTiger was going to be web based and I spent literally 2 months researching various web based frameworks before writing a single line of code. I wanted it to be as native as possible to HTML so no Flash, no Java, no Silverlight etc.
What technologies have you used to build MockupTiger?
The backend database is MySQL that stores the user, projects, groups, permissions and high level page details. The scripting is done using PHP and the client side rendering is done using HMTL5 Canvas. It uses jQuery for all the nice UI interactions.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Our target audience is Project Managers, Product Managers, Web designers, Business Intelligence Companies/Consultancy, Dashboard Consultants and Developers.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
I think all the established wireframe softwares are a couple of years ahead in terms of product maturity and online presence. I think gaining traction is going to take lot of hard work, constant innovation and patience.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
This is the first time I’ve built something web-based, I learnt PHP+jQuery+HTML5 while I’ve been building, it gives me so much joy everytime I login and use my own software. I just want users to feel the same vibe when they use the MockupTiger.
Can you convince the reader to start using MockupTiger in under 60 words?
MockupTiger is a snappy little wireframing and mockup application that helps you build quick prototypes of Dashboards and Web applications. You can use our Free online edition or download on your desktop or host it on your own server. We are the first wireframing software that you can self host it on your domain or network.
Finished reading? Check out Mockup Tiger!