Creating highly compelling, interactive prototypes with Axure that will impress and excite decision makers
- Quickly simulate complex interactions for a wide range of applications without any programming knowledge
- Acquire timesaving methods for constructing and annotating wireframes, interactive prototypes, and UX specifications
- A hands-on guide that walks you through the iterative process of UX prototyping with Axure
Wireframes, interactive prototypes, and UX specifications are among the fundamental deliverables of every UX project. They are also the most labor and time intensive to produce due to constant changes in business requirements. Given these circumstances, Axure is quickly taking over as the preferred tool for prototyping. However, prototyping in Axure is strikingly different from the conventional method of producing static wireframes and to rapidly develop interactive prototypes in Axure, you'll need to have a good understanding of the tool and its features.
Whether you are an individual practitioner or a member of a UX team, a consultant, or an employee, this book will teach you how to use Axure, one of the leading UX tools. You will learn to use Axure for producing top-quality deliverables and tackling the demands of rapid iterative UX projects of any complexity and size, and for any platform and device.
Axure RP 6 Prototyping Essentials takes a very pragmatic approach to showing you how to use Axure and produce impressive deliverables while saving labor and time. You may not be in a position to change how projects are scheduled, budgeted, and managed, but you can be more creative and productive by mastering one of the leading UX tools in the market.
After an initial introduction to Axure's user interface, terminology, and features, this book walks you through a medium-size UX project: a digital library that sells books, newspapers, and movies. Although some aspects of the prototyping process are simplified for the sake of clarity and efficiency, the demo project is an opportunity to discuss in context and in sequence topics such as addressing business and technical requirements, handling use cases and flow diagrams, low and high fidelity wireframe construction, interactivity, writing annotations, generating detailed UX specifications, and traceability.
For the most part, Axure 6 RP Prototyping Essentials can be read in sequence or used as a reference guide.
What you will learn from this book
- Learn the essential principles of prototyping
- Construct well-formed wireframes
- Create interactive prototypes in low and high fidelity
- Manage iterative design workflow
- Annotate and generate UX specifications documents
- Team work: Develop UX prototypes using Axure's collaboration features
- Use and create custom widgets and libraries for interaction and visual design patterns
- Plan and organize your prototype to support complex, multiple-phased projects
Axure RP 6 Prototyping Essentials is a detailed, practical primer on the leading rapid prototyping tool. Short on jargon and high on concepts, real-life scenarios and step-by-step guidance through hands-on examples, this book will show you how to integrate Axure into your UX workflow.
Who this book is written for
This book is written for UX practitioners, business analysts, product managers, and anyone else who is involved in UX projects. The book assumes that you have no or very little familiarity with Axure. It will help you if you are evaluating the tool for an upcoming project or are required to quickly get up to speed in a project you just joined. The book assumes some familiarity with the principles of the User Centred Design methodology.
Series: Community Experience Distilled
About the Author
Ezra Schwartz is an information and user experience architect, who specializes in logistics of complex user interface frameworks. He focuses on device and locale agnostic global enterprise applications, team collaboration strategies, UX requirements traceability and specification documentation for phased, multi-release projects.
Ezra helps clients to integrate successfully rapid UX prototyping, validation and testing with their development culture. He assists clients with adoption of user-centered-design methodologies, compliance and best practices. He has lead mission-critical user experience projects in the finance, aviation, healthcare, mobile, publishing, media research, manufacturing, academic research and software development industries. Ezra also provides his services pro-bono to select non-for-profit organizations.
Ezra is the founder and organizer of AxureWorld.org, a free community-driven international conference, dedicated to rapid UX prototyping. He talks regularly about user experience topics at conferences and on his blogartandtech.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpfulBy Lana Carlene on April 11, 2012 Format: Paperback
I had high expectations for this book because there's no other Axure books out there that I know of... and this book completely met that expectation. But at the same time, it OVERmet the expectation, since it went into history of prototypes, interviews of the importance of prototypes, advice about deliverables, insights from others outside of the UX practice, etc. Mostly I just wanted a quick reference to Axure.
I've used Axure on several projects already so I'm mostly interested in learning what I don't already know. I appreciated the tips on managing annotations and notes; but in my reality the PMs and tech team members aren't working in the Axure environment.
Diving into the "meaty" parts of the book where it was describing functionality proved challenging, since the text required me to decipher the annotated diagrams. It wasn't quick or easy but the information is there. This isn't "Axure for Dummies" after all. And I did occasionally stumble on the collegiate-level writing of the text. I wanted the simple English approach to software documentation, because I'm spending a lot of brain time in the software itself; I want the instruction to be dead simple. I found myself re-reading sentences several times just to distill the meaning. Not a good thing when you're just trying to get through a prototyping project.
But overall, I can't downplay the usefulness of an Axure reference book, no matter the cons. I'm confident of finding the answer to any issue I have when prototyping my next project. The knowledge of this proven Axure user will no doubt provide me with many time-saving tips, and I thank Ezra for all his detailed work in creating this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpfulBy shiraluk on March 1, 2012 Format: Paperback
When I first came across this book I though - well I've been working with Axure for so long, what can it possibly teach me?
Coming from a programming background, learning to use (and hack) Axure for my needs was pretty easy and straightforward, so I was sure I had everything figured out. I assumed that the book is "Axure for Dummies" style book, maybe I'll learn a few tricks, but nothing more.
Boy, was I wrong!
Lucky I'm in the UX business, when being wrong about something is good news :)
From the moment I started reading, I immediately realized that the vast potential of the book and the huge value of the author's and his colleagues own experience.
The book fell into my hands in just the right time, as I just recently moved from a working for a consulting firm, to an in-house UX Desinger for a product company. This shift in careers also requires a shift in skills. From working mostly on my own, presenting honed ideas to a passive and not very involved client, I needed to shift to working closely with the Program Manager and Development Leader, brainstorming together, constantly changing and refining ideas in terms of days, or sometimes hours. The need to rapidly and accurately bring my ideas to life was ever so prevalent.
And this is what makes the book so valuable. Ezra writes from a perspective of a UX Designer working within the eco-system of the organization. He shares the dilemmas and difficulties of our everyday work, and provides powerful insights to dealing with them. The book goes far beyond the technical aspects of Axure. It describes the best practices of using the tool, throughout the long and changing demand of the project life cycle. Its the difference between learning to use PowerPoint's features, and learning how to create a good presentation.
The first chapter is a must-read for every UX practitioner. Like a true UX professional , Ezra does not tell the reader what's wrong and what's right, but rather lets reality speak for itself.
By interviewing various stakeholders in the project life cycle, and sharing his colleagues' real life scenarios, the message gets clearly across. While reading this chapter it hit me that working with Axure is not an individual endeavor, as I once thought. It is how you use the tool to communicate your thoughts and ideas to other people in the team, and to keep up with the evolving project needs.
I like the very honest approach of the book, presenting Axure's benefits along with its problems. This gives way to dealing with the problems, and finding creative solutions (or patiently waiting for the next version :))
Regarding the technical aspects of the book, I enjoyed the various "eureka" moments I had when discovering the little secretes of Axure. Remember the feeling when you first discovered you can use CTRL+C, CTRL+V instead of using the right click menu? The book is worth the reading just for those hidden Gems.
The explanations and walkthroughs are easy to follow and understand, and the diagrams are very clear. Not an easy feat when it comes to outlining the complicated flow of working with the more advanced features of Axure.
To conclude, it's not an easy decision where to invest your time to develop your professional skills. UX is a rapidly changing field, and with ever extending plethora of websites, conventions and books, it's easy to get lost in irrelevant information.
For me this book was the exact opposite - relevant, insightful and extremely practical for my everyday work. Thanks Ezra!
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