February 7, 2014

Easel – Build Prototypes & Designs

When Photoshop is too heavy and mockup software is too light, Easel is the middle-of-the-road solution for designers, product managers, and developers. The in-browser web design application can be used to quickly generate prototypes based on elements from existing pages.

Download Easel’s Google Chrome extension or bookmmarklet to get full use out of the web-based application. The Google Chrome extension allows you to copy elements from your existing website pages and paste those elements onto your Easel documents. Create clickable prototypes by making certain elements in your documents link to other documents. The genius behind Easel is that you can do this without typing a single line of code. Go a step further by viewing your prototype in a browser and designing with CSS3. Once again, this can be done without typing any code. If you already use Bootstrap on your website, then you can use Easel to generate markup that can be dropped directly into your site.

When your prototype is complete, send a unique link to your colleagues. Anyone who has the link can leave feedback on your prototype. Easel’s commenting feature allows collaborators to highlight the specific parts of the design they are most interested in talking about. All previous commenters are notified via email each time additional feedback has been added.

Practical Uses:

  • Create a prototype of a web project you’ve been working on
  • Solicit feedback on your latest design
  • Copy elements from an existing page onto your Easel prototype
  • Export your prototype as HTML/CSS

Insider Tips:

  • Download the Google Chrome extension or bookmarklet to copy elements from existing website pages
  • Adjust the screen to see how your prototype looks on mobile devices
  • Receive notifications when collaborators have commented on your prototypes
  • Create an export of an entire document or an individual element

What we liked:

  • Developers that use Easel don’t have to reproduce designs from images
  • Small teams can use Easel to work together effectively on group projects
  • Users can send link to colleagues to ask them to test their prototypes
  • Easel users typically design with CSS3 properties

What we didn’t like:

  • Nothing


Company Info:

  • Launched: August 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Matt Colyer and Ben Ogle
  • Web site:


  • Personal plan is $15 per month
  • Freelancer plan is $30 per month
  • Small Team plan is $50 per month
  • Medium plan is $99 per month

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