For me, new programs, and new gadgets are like presents wrapped in shiny paper under the Christmas tree. I can’t wait to put my hands on them, and start playing with them. In the last year, I have tried Axure, Justinmind, Balsamiq, Mockups, etc.
I ended up using the sketch-look of Balsamiq the most often, even though I was told it lacked that professional look. It looks sketchy …. and that’s exactly what liberates me. The smooth look of other tools makes the wireframe “finished”, polished, and, may I say, untouchable in the sense of a marble statue. It is finished, no need to change. Whereas I like to think of design (even wireframe design) as a work in progress – there is always room for experimentation, re-thinking, re-tooling. Wireframes are more thinking tools than deliverables for me at this point. Once developers take over, it becomes a deliverable and will loose its sketchiness.
A plethora of studies prove that external props go far in defining how we think. A recent study (I will need to find the reference) showed that when college student dressed up in doctor’s smocks, complete with a stethoscope, they performed significantly better than when the same people were dressed in their regular clothes. They identity of a medical doctor made them take on the qualities of intelligence. The same smocks lost their magical quality when the participants were told they are dressed as painters.
Props and tools go a long way influencing our mental behavior.