Axure RP Pro prototyping tool

30 Jun 2006 - 9:21pm
8 years ago
8 replies
2337 reads
Sam
2006

You may want to take a look at stpBA at http://www.stpsoft.co.uk/story.

The tool is a Visio based GUI storyboarding and prototyping tool to visually validate requirements with business users. The tool generates HTML storyboards, screen flow diagrams, reader friendly UI specifications, functional specifications and test scripts.

One of the main strengths of the tool is the ability to capture requirements and validate these using a prototype. The UI spec isn't just a Word dump - it really is useful and easy to read, providing the type of detail a user wants to see before approving a spec. Another strong point is integration - the tool integrates with RequistePro and CaliberRM, and integration with Visual Studio 2005 Team System is scheduled later this year.

Comments

10 May 2006 - 3:03pm
Jessica Grann
2006

Anyone using Axure RP Pro to generate prototypes? I'm evaluating the
program and curious if it's worth the money. I'm really like that you
can generate your functional specs and html prototypes from it with just
a click of a button. Are there any tools that are better for this?

http://axure.com/

10 May 2006 - 4:04pm
George Schneiderman
2004

Regarding Axure:

In practice, I haven't found the "generate functional spec" feature to be useful. It simply produces a document that is so unwieldy as to be rather unusable. Maybe this would be less of an issue for something that was a bit simpler, or more of a web site versus a transactional web application. I fundamentally quite like its ability to generate prototypes, and in particular its ability to attach widget-level annotations those prototypes. We are treating those prototypes as part of our spec. But Axure's actual "generate spec" feature we gave up on after a couple of tries.

My biggest issue with its prototyping capability is the inability to set state when you enter a page. Basically, Axure has a rather powerful tool set for manipulating the state of any given page--when someone presses a button, for instance, you can display or hide particular interface elements, or set the state of an element. As a very simple example, you might have a element that displays a different text message depending upon what action a user takes. The problem, however, is that when you use define a link to another page in the Axure prototype, that page will always load in its default state. For instance, suppose that you have an Account Detail page, which gets used for user account types A, B, and C, which share certain features but vary on others. There is no way to have one link take you to the Account Detail page for a type A user, and another take you to the Account Detail page for a type B user. All you can have is links that will take you to the Account Detail page, in whatever its default state happens to be.

The other noteworthy issue I have had is is with the annotations. Fundamentally, this is a great feature. You can define your own custom categories of annotations, which can be text, number, date, or customizable "select" fields, and then annotate just about anything. The annotation shows up in the prototype in the form of a little question mark button, and when you click on it you get the content of the annotation. The issue I have had is that sometimes annotations are visible even when the widget they are annotating is hidden. This seems like it is probably a bug, and it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen often enough to materially hamper the utility of this feature.

--George

-----Original Message-----
>From: Jessica Grann <JMGrann at daktronics.com>
>Sent: May 10, 2006 4:03 PM
>To: discuss at ixda.org
>Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Axure RP Pro prototyping tool
>
>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>Anyone using Axure RP Pro to generate prototypes? I'm evaluating the
>program and curious if it's worth the money. I'm really like that you
>can generate your functional specs and html prototypes from it with just
>a click of a button. Are there any tools that are better for this?
>
>http://axure.com/
>
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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10 May 2006 - 4:12pm
Dennis Morrow
2006

One tool that just came to market is a product called Intuitect
www.intuitect.com. It debut during the 2006 IA Summit.

Although I have not used Axure, after watching the demo video and
personally using Intuitect, I would say that Intuitect can do everything
Axure can do and more.

Intuitect is an add-on for Visio 2003, so if you are already using Visio
for your prototyping you'll be one step ahead. If you aren't, you may
want to consider using Visio after seeing everything Intuitect has to
offer

Some Highlights:
- Easy to use and visual Sitemap creator (actually creates a visual site
map)
- Able to assign properties
- Auto numbering of Notes
- Pre-made widgets for Wireframes
- Ability to create Process Flows
- Auto generation of navigation elements
- Ability to create clickable prototypes
- Export navigation hierarchy to HTML, XML, Excel
- Functional specification based upon widget notes and properties.
- and more

Pricing is a little cheaper then Axure, at $499 per seat. However, since
they are in pre-release (1.0 due out in July), if you participate in
their Feedback Program you can have it for only $299. Not a bad deal.

Also they have a FREE 14-day trial (I know Axure has a 30 day) so you
can test it out. Keep in mind that they are still in pre-release and
the 0.8 version does not have all the functionality 1.0 will have.

If I were you, I would sign-up and try both of them and see which one
has the features you need and like.

Just my 2 cents :)
Dennis Morrow
Manager, Information Architecture
Web Associates Inc.
http://webassociates.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Jessica Grann [mailto:JMGrann at daktronics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 1:03 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Axure RP Pro prototyping tool

Are there any tools that are better for this?

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10 May 2006 - 7:33pm
Christian Sosa-Lanz
2006

Another tool to consider is iRise. It's a fully WYSIWYG simulation
tool that allows you to connect logic, without any coding. So you can
simulate a login page that, depending on the user's 'permission',
they are taken to page A, B or C. Mock data can then be displayed and
updated per the interaction. So it all works as if were a coded
prototype. Additionally, and this is big, you can write your
documentation along side your simulation. This may be narrative and/
or requirements that developers needs to follow.

The Studio portion, where you create simulations, is sold with the
Shared Server. This allows you to work on your project in a truly
collaborative environment. So multiple people can work at the same
time without checking out or handing off. And finally the iRise
Reader (free download) allows you send the project as a single file
with documentation to people for review. They can add their feedback
and email it back to you where you then import the notes into your
project.

This is an enterprise software so it will definitely require getting
the big wigs involved.

Christian Sosa-Lanz

10 May 2006 - 10:07pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> The problem, however, is that when you use define a link to another page in
> the Axure prototype, that page will always load in its default state.

Indeed, but I get around that in a more traditional way, by using
callouts to point to what the user is supposed to click to see an
example of the particular interaction.

It's not going to build a site for you, but it can certainly help
illustrate things well in most cases, and it's a heck of a lot faster
and easier to deal with than Visio. It's an 80-20 kind of tool. 80% of
the time, it'll be great. The other 20% of the time, you need to get
creative.

-r-

10 May 2006 - 10:11pm
AlokJain
2006

>>>Another tool to consider is iRise. It's a fully WYSIWYG simulation

I have heard iRise is faster than prototyping. each License costs about USD
10K.

Regards
Alok Jain

10 May 2006 - 10:13pm
Jay Morgan
2006

we reviewed Axure RP, Serena's ProcessView Composer, and iRise in a
side-by-side comparison. we were picking a prototyping tool for people of
various skills to use in prototyping and requirements definition. we chose
iRise.

Axure seemed like animated Visio with constraints like George mentioned
above. Also, Axure didn't give us the ability to use data to simulate
transactions for our site, which is a requirement for usability testing
our work. It seems there are a few ways to get more out of Visio with
add-ons and stencils, that would be just as good if not better than Axure.
I'm uncertain on that, but I would stick with Visio and our other internal
prototyping tools/methods over Axure.

To make something clear about all of these tools: The requirements document
generators are mostly hype. All three have different approaches, and it
seems the users typically don't use them. George described Axure above.
Serena tries to sell other Serena apps to complement PVC for requirements.
iRise's version is pretty good, but you still have to be
sufficiently disciplined and staffed to maintain those documents. For
instance, if you document features, then change them, does the application
track the change and update the requirements document? What is the output
format? Who is going to use it? Does that intended audience use something
like that document now? You end up streamlining your requirements
documentation a lot when you have more deadlines than daydreams.

I hope you focus on what your needs are. That's what we did, and are quite
happy with our choice. It was expensive and took a long time, but it's
worth it to have our needs met.

(I must note: describing iRise as a WYSIWYG is like describing a Porsche as
a vehicle. You will experience sticker shock. You might be very impressed
with its performance, too.)

Good luck.

On 5/10/06, Christian Sosa-Lanz <public at yellowmobile.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Another tool to consider is iRise. It's a fully WYSIWYG simulation
> tool that allows you to connect logic, without any coding. So you can
> simulate a login page that, depending on the user's 'permission',
> they are taken to page A, B or C. Mock data can then be displayed and
> updated per the interaction. So it all works as if were a coded
> prototype. Additionally, and this is big, you can write your
> documentation along side your simulation. This may be narrative and/
> or requirements that developers needs to follow.
>
> The Studio portion, where you create simulations, is sold with the
> Shared Server. This allows you to work on your project in a truly
> collaborative environment. So multiple people can work at the same
> time without checking out or handing off. And finally the iRise
> Reader (free download) allows you send the project as a single file
> with documentation to people for review. They can add their feedback
> and email it back to you where you then import the notes into your
> project.
>
> This is an enterprise software so it will definitely require getting
> the big wigs involved.
>
> Christian Sosa-Lanz
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
_________________________________
Jay A. Morgan
jayamorgan at gmail.com

11 May 2006 - 10:23am
Josh Seiden
2003

I've used Axure regularly on a recent project, and find it fills a very
specific need very well.

It's very good at producing low- to medium-fidelity annotated prototypes
very quickly. For me, it fits somewhere between PowerPoint/Visio and
Dreamweaver/Fireworks.

It is very well suited for producing moderately interactive, robustly
clickable, non-linear simulations. (These are great for communicating with
our offshore dev team.)

It does not require any technical skill on the part of the user who is
building the prototype. No HTML, no javascript, no VB, no nothing.

I agree with all of the cited limitations:
- the one-click documentation is of limited use. (It's not useless, though.
The annotated screens print out pretty well, and make good meeting support
tools.)
- State management is clunky, but improving in each version.
- Not good for data-driven prototypes

I would add one more: it's very good if you are working with a very standard
set of UI widgets: buttons, pull-downs, grids, check boxes, etc. (I'm using
it to design a client/server desktop app with a standard set of UI
controls.) If you are doing anything that needs custom widgets or richly
interactive widgets, there is little benefit to using this tool.

For the right project and right team, I think it's a good value.

JS

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Jessica
Grann
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:03 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Axure RP Pro prototyping tool

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Anyone using Axure RP Pro to generate prototypes? I'm evaluating the program
and curious if it's worth the money. I'm really like that you can generate
your functional specs and html prototypes from it with just a click of a
button. Are there any tools that are better for this?

http://axure.com/

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription
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