Annoyingly slow


#1

Our company uses Balsamiq Mockups but I find the app annoyingly slow. I recently upgraded to 3.5.5 for desktop (Windows) but it seems nothing has changed over the years. I dont consider my Mockups to be large. My project contains 7 mockups and each mockup contains about 6 dialog designs. The app is just really laggy for anything other than a very simple design. Being a software development company “simple” is just unrealistic when it comes to designing enterprise level software.

To give you an example: When I have a mockup open (with 6 dialog designs on that mockup) and I try to activate an item to change its text it takes about 1-2 seconds to activate. Task Manager is showing about 300MB of memory used by Balsamiq (seems reasonable) and I have an i7 quad core processor with 16GB RAM with a SSD drive. This should be more than enough for what i’m trying to design in Balsamiq.

I can only come to one of two conclusions: 1) Either the app is designed badly or 2) Adobe Air isnt the best platform to build Balsamiq on. I run several applications on this machine that do way more complex things a lot faster than Balsamiq can do.


#2

Hi @jphenning,

Sorry for the trouble with your project, definitely not the experience we want you to have.

Would it be possible for you to share the BMPR file via support@balsamiq.com? We’d like to try to reproduce the issue and see what we can do better. We’ll keep your data strictly confidential, of course.

On a side note, just wanted to let you know that we’re working hard on going native (away from Adobe Air). No ETA for it yet, but we’re getting very close to the private beta of our new web version.

Thanks for your report today, we’ll do our best to help with this.


#3

I unfortunately cant share our client’s application designs. I guess i’ll
just have to stick it out. Just very frustrating. Maybe it’ll work better
if instead of creating many Mockups in one BMPR i should create separate
files?

I guess my general concern is more that I dont consider the amount of
designs I have to be large by any means. But it seems if you fill a single
mockup page, or at least mostly fill it (like have several window designs
on one mockup) the application cant handle that so well.

I would recommend for you guys to reproduce this, here’s what I have on my
BMPR file:

  • 11 Mockups in the BMPR
  • Each mokcup contains roughly between 9 to 14 window items. (From
    Containers -> Window) and then the actual window designs just contain a
    normal combination of buttons, labels and grids.
  • Finally i have 12 imported images as assets that are using on each mockup.

I hope the Adobe Air removal happens sooner than later (if that’s the cause
of the slowness). Our designers are already looking at alternative tools
and since some of them even contain the ability to have interactive mockups
Balsamiq is starting to look less attractive especially since it suffers
from a performance lag.


#4

Thanks for sharing the details, @jphenning, that helps a lot!

You’re right, 11 mockups are not much for a project, but it sounds like the actual content is generating the issue. Splitting the project might indeed be a solution in this case.

While the Window, Button, and Label controls shouldn’t be the root cause, the Data Grid control is by far the most complex control that we have. The more data you add to each one makes the whole project more complex.

Also, are your image files in high resolution?
This may be another cause for this project to be slow. We usually recommend downsizing images before importing them, in case they are in very good quality/resolution.

Sorry again for the trouble, Jean. Going native is a huge project for our small but we’ve made good progress and we can’t wait to share it with you all! Again, the private beta for our new web version will be the first step! :slight_smile:

Let us know if we can do anything else to ease the pain in the meantime.


#5

In case it helps, I used to find Balsamiq slower when I had split up my designs into multiple BPMR files. Since combining them all into one, overall performance is improved. Only switching between mockups can sometimes take a second or two.

I had the same issues you described some time ago too but after uninstalling BM and Air completely and reinstalling them appeared to go away (there have been many version updates since then too).

HTH


#6

I second this feedback. Balsamiq 3.5.5 on MacBook Pro 2016 feels sluggish. Dragging/resizing of elements starts with a delay.


#7

Sorry to hear that, @averkiev.

Have you noticed this when working on a specific BMPR file?

If you’d like, we would be happy to have a look at the file and try to help with this (you can share it here). We will keep your data strictly confidential and only long enough to try to debug your issue.

Sorry again for the trouble, we’ll do our best to help!


#8

I was hoping that the 3.5.6 update (and its under-the-hood improvements) would solve this, but alas. I wanted to also mention that it’s particularly sluggish on an external 5k display (and other applications are not). Guessing this has to do with the Adobe Air thing as well.


#9

I’d bet it is an Adobe Air thing, @brianmalcolm, and I’m sorry about that.

I’m not sure when the non-Adobe Air version of the Desktop app will be ready, but we are starting a closed beta for the non-Adobe Flash version of the web app.

If you’re feeling brave, I’d be more than happy to add you to the list for that.

I’m sorry again for the trouble, my friend. Fixing this issue has been a slow process, but we are making progress.


#10

New user here with the same issue: A single page mockup with 2 data-grids. The first was manually created (by editing the example text) with approx. 1000 characters as mostly zeros per cell (with no issues), and then I found the faq page that mentioned copy-pasting an Excel sheet, so I did! using real numbers from an excel sheet.

5663 characters pasted in from Excel and everything slowed: accessing context menus for the grid, selecting/un-selecting, double clicking, moving etc. The yellow comment stickies placed upon the grid have also suddenly lost their red tape but I assume that’s a separate issue.
Total RAM size is 163MB, <0% CPU.

I wanted to use a markup tool as it would be more appropriate and quicker than using visio - but it would actually have been quicker (but painful) with visio as I have been slowed by this performance issue (and a separate issue that has docked my grid to the left edge and I cannot move it anymore!)

So to summarise: a single datagrid has drastically slowed Balsamiq to a crawl. I’d usually seek an immediate refund but as you guys mention you are close to beta that doesnt use A-Air, I’ll await the first release: but it will need to do the basic things well in its first iteration for me to continue I’m afraid.

Cheers,
DHD


#11

Hi @DHD,

So sorry for the trouble with this, that’s definitely not the first impression we want to give.

The Data Grid is the most complex control that we have, but we’d love to take a look at your project and see if there’s a way to mitigate the performance issue that you are seeing. Also, the control being locked on the left edge sounds like a bug.

Would it be possible for you to share the .bmpr file via support@balsamiq.com so that we can try to reproduce the issues here? We will keep your data strictly confidential, of course.

About the comment control, is there any chance that the skin used for the project was changed? See the result below:

Also, we definitely want you to use a tool that fit your needs. In case Balsamiq Mockups is not that tool, we’ll figure out a solution for you.


#12

Hi, thanks for the swift response.

The data grid issue didn’t present itself when I created it by hand with fake ‘00000’ values, but when I pasted a larger set of data (only 5663 bytes) it has remained laggy. I think it is hard to separate the graphical engine from this, and I wonder if such a small amount of supported data for a control could be causing this.

re: control being locked on the edge - the resultant data grid went off screen, and at some point I was not able to move it. After reducing its size, I can now move it.

I will send the bmpr file and the source excel sheet I used.
As you have provided a generic support address, do I need a case reference or a name to help route this?

Also I should add - whilst moving the control (via mouse or even by selecting and using the arrow keys) the CPU usage goes to 50% and it took minutes for 10-20 presses of the left arrow key to complete!

thanks for the anigif - project details was hidden and the sketch mode was indeed not selected!

as for meeting my needs: Balsamic supports the functions I require, but they are not working as designed/intended… I am using a tiny fraction of the complete functionality and I have issues with only 1 supported feature within my wireframe - your solution supports much more than this, and I will need to create entire sets of mockups soon…

Thanks,
DHD


#13

Thanks for sharing it, @DHD! We’re looking into it.

Just wanted to mention that the size issue you mentioned is due to the canvas size being limited to 4056x4056 pixels for now. The good news is that this will be improved in the native version that we are preparing.

I’ll get back to you via email with more information about the file. Thanks for bearing with us while we look at it.


#14

Thanks for the update. All understood.

I think the canvas size is pretty big! Just that my generated table was larger.
My two cents as a new user is that the limitation should be specified within interface feedback so that we know what is happening and why. I also think that if I were able to resize the table (scale it down) then I could fit it on the 4k canvas.

Anyway, I’ll stop hijacking this thread and speak to the support team directly if possible, as I believe others may be experiencing what the OP has too.

Thanks,

DHD


#15

I’ve just replied to your email, @DHD, so feel free to let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks for your report today! We’ll be here if you need anything else. :slight_smile:


#16

I am using Balsamiq mockups 3 (v 3.5.9) on Macbook pro. The problem is as soon as i put any element on the stage (browser window, for example), my mouse drags while i am over the image. It is so slow when i move my mouse over the element, that it is just becoming a pain to work with the elements. Once the mouse pointer is out of these elements, it starts working normally.

What could the reason be?

Thanks,
Gagan


#17

That’s…strange @gdswalia. Are there a lot of elements at that position?

Does this happen as soon as the app is loaded? Or does it seem to get worse the longer the app is open?

If it’s possible, I’d love to take a look at your project. That would allow us to run some tests on our end and see if we can reproduce the error. If that works for you and your team, you can email me, and we can continue troubleshooting there.

I’m sorry again for the trouble, my friend. We will do everything we can to get it sorted.


#19

Hi,

I’am experiencing same problem on Macbook Pro 2016 (i7 16gb ram). Application is very slow, resizing or moving elements is painfully slow and resizing of the window of balsamiq itself is the worst (with empty project too!). It’s very bad experience working in Balsamiq for me, as I like it most for it’s simplicity and speed. I haven’t had this problems on windows before.

Please help :slight_smile:


#20

So sorry for the trouble, @JAnci!

Are you using the latest version of Mockups 3 for Desktop (3.5.14)?
You can download it here if needed.

Also, does the issue persists upon restart of the app?

If that’s the case, could you please share your OS details via support@balsamiq.com?

We’ll do our best to help!


#21

Hi

I have the same problem. The application ist extremely slow …

My MacBook pro:
– MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
– 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
– 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
– Radeon Pro 555 2048 MB, Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

Balsamiq Version:
– Version: 3.5.15 – 10/16/2017
– Adobe Air Player Version: MAC 23,0,0,162

wishes
Michael