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On 5/30/08, Oleg Krupnov <oleg.krupnov@...> wrote:
> I am a little wary of Axure though because it looks to be designed
> primarily for prototyping, not for wireframing. I.e. its ideology is
> to *implement* some functionality in the prototype rather than
> *present & explain* it to the developers. Then the stuff that you have
> implemented in the prototype is "self understood" and slips out of
> attention, unless the developer clicks through all buttons and
> interactions of the prototype, which is not a reliable method.
I can definitely see why you'd think that, and to an extent it's true. From
my perspective, the actual way the prototype functions *is* part of the
documentation. I'm a fan of showing *in addition to* telling. That's one of
the major advantages of interactive prototyping for me. I'd never want to
just show *without* telling.
There are many ways I "tell" in Axure:
1. I use the Flow shapes to create navigation diagrams that are linked to
pages in the prototype.
2. I use the Page Notes section to talk about how the page is supposed to
work, what it's supposed to communicate, etc.
3. I create a separate document that details things like audience
characteristics (i.e. rough personas), high-level business requirements,
purpose of the site, etc. I then use this document as the "prefix" that gets
prepended to the specification when the printed documentation is generated.
4. You can generate prototypes that give users access to the annotations.
E.g., if you have a text field with annotations, in the generated prototype
you'll see a little note icon. Clicking on the icon will display all the
annotations for that object. (You can turn this feature on and off in the
Generate Prototype dialog... obviously you would not want this during a user
Are there other opinions about Axure? What is its catch?
It has a few:
1. It's not good for site mapping. So I still have to use Visio. *sigh*
2. No Mac version.
3. No way to trace business requirements to UI elements automatically. If
you need to do this, you have to do it manually.
4. No facility for quickly importing fake data. If you need to display a
lot of data in your prototype, you need to put it into pages or dynamic
5. Specification generation options are limited, though Version 5 has
addressed this. I haven't played with that version too much yet. Yet!
6. There are a LOT of dialog boxes... that spawn other dialog boxes...
eek. The net result of this is that to do anything you end up doing a whole
lot of clicking.
7. You really have to learn its language... it's developer-centric in
some of its terminology.
8. It makes it possible to waste a lot of time if you make a big change
late in a project and have not set up your project appropriately to make
such changes a simple matter.
I guess that's more than a few. : ) But despite those catches, it allows me
to do what I need to do. Better.