Have Fun with Axure

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.

Examples on Axure Site

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.


3 thoughts on “Have Fun with Axure

  1. Nice write up. Executable/and or interactive prototypes have always been the missing void IMHO. The void between me and the Engineer. So previously I would spend countless hours bulding the prototype in HTML but with Axure, you’ve got something demoable within an hour or two. I host my interactive prototype on dropbox where I enable discussion. I’m also a big fan of the new feature in 7, where I can make use of web-fonts. Been through the mill getting that to work externally hosted though, so if you need help give me a shout. BTW the responsive feature in 7 is also spot on. Again, the Axure developers have built the responsive feature similar to how we would code it in HTML/CSS. Seriously good software and compliments your toolkit. Don’t forget although Axure does a good job of making the prototype come alive, I still run Balsamiq mock-ups reguarly. More of a static prototype builder — its powerful when responding to a question on uxstackexchange or simply a colleague.

    • Yeah! I need all the help I can get on Axure, it’s still quite new to me. Responsive, web fonts! sounds good. I’m currently trying to see if I can run what I build in Axure as a Live site.


  2. Pingback: Learning by Prototyping | Tonianni

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