Balsamiq Community Discussion

Balsmiq & working collaboratively

Hi Friends - I am working with another designer on a fast paced project. We badly need the ability to collaborate together.

For example, a common scenario we face: A header, that appears throughout the application requires updating. At the moment we are working using seperate Balsamiq files. Updating the header, requires one of us making the update and then sharing the balsamiq file so the other person can open manually import it into their Balsamiq file. This process is very slow and risky.

We did try placing the Balsamiq file on a network share, but this scared us when the file became corrupted. After that we said “No way” and have been working on our files separately and locally. In addition, these files are becoming quite large - around 14mg despite clearing the trash and so forth, so it’s becoming impossible to email them back and forth.

I am aware that we can break the file up and so and so forth, but that is only going to make life more complicated.

I can’t be the only designer in this situation. I’d like to hear how other folks are beating this challenge and working collaboratively. Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you!

That’s a tough nut to crack with Mockups 3, Doug. Are you guys planning on working on the file at the same time? Or would it just be a handoff (you work on it, then one of your collaborators, etc)?

If that’s the case, you could do the network store thing and just disable auto-save. The reason your file got corrupted is likely that our autosave collided with your network drive’s sync. If they don’t recover gracefully from that, it can lead to corruption (and why we added backup folder a few years back). As long as you aren’t working on the file at the same time, and autosave is disabled, you shouldn’t have any corruption issues.

Working together in real-time is harder, and something only our web apps (like Balsamiq Cloud or our Google Drive integration) can do.

Let me know if that helps at all, Doug.

Hi Brendan,

Thank you for the response. We really need the ability to work on different mockups within the same file at the same time though.

Our current approach is that we each have different balsamiq files. We manually “sync” the header/footer and different “common mockups or symbols” and then update these controls in the mockups. The process is very slow and error prone. It’s difficult to remember each change and then email each other informing of the update. This difficulty is compounded by the size of our files which has now reach upwards of 14mg.

Some form of Checkin/checkout would be the ideal solution.

Thanks again,


I totally understand, Doug.

Unfortunately, because the files are SQL databases, you need to have something to manage the changes that isn’t just a blind sync server - it has to understand the file and manage the changes.

We have a collaboration server that all of our online apps connect to, but the desktop apps don’t connect to it yet. We are trying to figure out the best way to do it.

I don’t know if it’s worth waiting for the feature to come to the desktop (it will be a while, if ever), or if it’s worth looking at using Balsamiq Cloud instead.

Balsamiq cloud is great. And very affordable I think. I use the desktop version and the cloud version but find myself using the cloud version more and more. Collaborating with my colleagues and being able to show my work to others with just a link, is a breeze.