A recruiter once asked me “Why would you create interactive prototypes…” it seemed he had never heard of it before.
I used to be well bonded with Omnigraffle but given that creating interactive prototypes was one of my objectives for the year, I had to turn to Axure to help me out. After asking some colleagues to get me on the way, It wasn’t until a specific project to redesign a mobile microsite came up that I fully immersed myself into it. Now, I had tried some other software both web based and stand alone because I wanted to avoid Axure, but I didn’t find any that made me as comfortable as Axure.
Why Create These Interactive Prototypes?
1. A lot of people don’t have the time to read through your annotations. Seeing how things work, or how they go from A to B is usually much more valuable. You can get people on the same page without spending many man hours actually building the product.
2. You get to test early! If you want to work AGILE, you don’t wait till a product has been built before testing it. You can iterate between sprints.
3. For some reason, not only is your work interactive, your communication also becomes more interactive. When people catch an idea visually of what it could be like, it’s easier for them to give input.
4. You can generate UI specifications and annotations which are easily updated.
5. People can view your work on their own computers without you having to physically guide them through the process
6. You can view your prototypes on any device and have it work accordingly, tapping, sliding, clicking. Drop-downs, tabs, accordions, all basic functionality you can think of.
7. It helps you focus on the important bits, you would quickly see what works and what doesn’t.
8. There’s so much more benefits, you might start off slow, but you would be creating these things in an hour.
Annotated Wireframes still have their place, they are useful for documenting iterations and versions. The better you become at using Axure for prototypes, there is no doubt that wireframing on the platform would be fluid. I had thought I would have to switch between Omnigraffle and Axure, but that hasn’t been the case. I haven’t touched Omnigraffle for almost two months now.
As with all tools, there are Pros and Cons. One of the cons of Axure [for me presently] is the inability to create responsive prototypes. You could probably hack it, but I don’t think It’s worth the effort.
I really like Axure and I can’t wait to use the newest version, 7 that would be released pretty soon.
- Here Are The Hard Skills You Need To Succeed As A New Designer (usabilitycounts.com)