How to convert a Balsamiq wireframe to HTML/CSS

Nov 29, 2017 · 5 min read

(This article was originally published on Yotako’s blog)

In our last post we went through the case of PSD to HTML/CSS conversion in the app development process. With this post we will go back in time, earlier in the design process, and tackle the case of wireframe into code conversion. For this purpose we will use Balsamiq, the well-known wireframing software, and see how we can combine several online tools in order to bring some innovation in the development workflow.

Designing wireframes is usually a good way to start an application project. Wireframes help to focus on usability and architecture first without the potential distraction of a fully detailed app design. They also enable to clarify the features from day one instead of wasting precious time on PSD or Sketch mockups that would potentially end up in the trash. For all these reasons it’s important to make the design and development process as iterative as possible from the beginning. And using a wireframing tool such as Balsamiq is a good way to achieve it. If you are new to wireframing have a look at this great collection of wireframes gathered by Emma Drews.

After several iterations on your wireframes you may decide to code your app from there and keep on iterating with a real code based app instead of a design. For instance, if as a developer you plan on doing the UI yourself in HTML/CSS you will probably not go through designing mockups with Photoshop or Sketch and you would benefit from rapid iterations from wireframes to interactive online previews. Getting source code based on your wireframes would enable you to save time in your front-end development.

Imagine you can get tailor-made source code based on your own wireframes and with the stack of your choice. Let’s look at a solution to considerably improve such wireframe to HTML/CSS workflow using Balsamiq and Yotako. With such solution you can develop web or mobile apps in a faster and easier way without programming manually from scratch looking at your wireframes.

Fine-tune your wireframes

Example of an app wireframe designed with Balsamiq

Connect to Yotako and import your Balsamiq file

Import your design file

Select the stack of your choice

Select your stack

Good to know: we are working to open source Yotako, so whatever the need you have for your code (due to dependencies or home-made code), you will be able to tell Yotako the code you want and customize it directly within Yotako.

Choose a repository and get your code

Choose a repository

Congrats, you almost created your first application using Yotako. Just click on “Create”, wait a few minutes and you will receive your code in the repository you selected. Just git clone the code Yotako provided and you can keep on working on your application.

Name your project and get your custom code

What to expect from the code

  • Ready to use with test and build systems already set up.
  • A faithful translation of the wireframes you designed on Balsamiq.
The code of your application is available on your repository
You can access a preview of your application, directly deployed by Yotako
Here you can compare the result with the Balsamiq wireframe on the left side and the app created with Yotako on the right side


Hope you found this blog post helpful. In future blog posts we will show you how to convert your wireframes to useful frameworks such as Bootstrap or Materialize.

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Happy coding!

The team at Yotako

Originally published at on November 29, 2017.

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