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Briefs: Wireframes remade for Cocoa Touch

Presenting a toolkit for packaging your mobile concepts into prototypes that run live on the iPhone and iPod Touch. It allows you to experience the feel of your concept without expensive development.

Script your Idea

Organize your Thoughts

The logical structure of a brief is broken down into scenes and actors. Using a hierarchy of these objects, you can define an entire application flow and position controls into a designed layout.

Set the Stage

Think of your app idea like a script to an interesting movie. Scenes shot in exotic locations and a cast of actors that tell the story. Great UI design is great story telling.


Each scene contains a set of controls,
called actors. These actors are responsible for movement between scenes, instead of an explicit ordering of the scenes themselves. This allows for non-linear flows and pathways through the brief.


Each actor represents a control that accomplishes a particular task for the user. Actors are responsible for traversing from scene to scene. Actors can perform actions on themselves or other actors.

Build it on your Mac

Use Familiar Tools

No need to learn a new interface or modify your current workflow. Briefs was written to integrate into your existing design process. Build scene backgrounds in your favorite image editor, then write .bs files in your text editor of choice.

Download the Starter Kit

Simple Syntax

Briefs are eventually compiled into binary .plist files for delivery to the iPhone. But authoring uses a simple language called bs. BS is a simple language written specifically for creating briefs. Its syntax is very similar to CSS (helpful for those experienced web designers).

TextMate Integration

Drag images into the text window to create new scenes. Syntax highlighting and auto-completion are all standard in the textmate plugin. It also automatically recognizes scripts with the .bs file extension.

Run it live on the iPhone

(Also on the iPod touch and eventually iPad)


Since Briefs makes use of any existing digital images, you can use anything from photoshop mockups to hand-drawn sketches. This makes Briefs extremely flexible and gives you the ability to increase the fidelity of your prototype as your mockups become more specific.

Cop a Feel

Using Briefs, you get to touch your designs just as you would a typical application. Better understand and adapt your designs to the evolving touch platform. Want to try something daring? Now you can without the wasteful development cycles.

Go ahead, create and refine the next great interface for the platform. We dare you!

Take it with You

Take your mockups where no mockups have gone before. Does it work while biking? Hiking up the side of a mountain? How about using your app discretely during a meeting?

With portable mockups, there is so much more you can do.


There are two ways to share your briefs:

Briefcasts. A briefcast is a way to publish your briefs. It’s a standard RSS 2.0 feed that uses enclosures (much like podcasts) to embed briefs. Browse these feeds in app and download the embedded briefs onto your device.

Example briefcast://

App URLs. Link to a single brief or a briefcast by using the app-specific URL schemes. Both to a web hosted address, replacing the http:// with brief:// for a brief and briefcast:// for briefcasts.

Example brief://