Introduction to Axure - Part IV - Project Lifecycle With Axure

Posted 7/15/2014 12:39 PM by Curtis Lauterbach and Michael Nelson

Town of Kansas Bridge

We briefly discussed Axure’s use in project development. We now discuss how Axure can be used throughout the project’s entire development, and the benefits it brings your team. 

Lifecycle Development

When projects begin, concepts must be decided upon and require flexibility in team members and the tools they use.  Axure makes it easy to quickly throw wire frame drafts together using place holders, boxes, dummy text, and other drag and drop elements. These features provide designers with the ability to create a basic design, show it to others, collect feedback, and make changes rapidly. The whole team can voice opinions about the design, and keeps the team on track.

Once design choices are made, the wire frame requires detail, as bare wire frames no longer depict the feel of the design. With higher detailed elements, (such as color, navigation areas, text boxes, and well-crafted shapes) the design takes the shape of an actual web page or application. After adding the elements, it is critical to get feedback from the team. Even though many design elements have already been agreed upon, showing everyone how the design is taking shape can elicit new thoughts about the project and design. It is very helpful as early identification of issues/problems can be changed before work continues on the project.

Bridging Developers and Designers

Axure also allows for the involvement of developers throughout the design process.  They can see the concept, and how it may affect the programs they must write.  It becomes obvious when interactions are added to the wire frame, such as working links and functions (hover over), as it gives the prototype a real working feel. 

Axure can even assist in bridging the gap between designers and developers as the interface and interaction elements can be discussed and decided upon.  This process allows for quick development, as the interactions that are possible that provide the best possible experience can be incorporated.  With specific elements and interactions added to the wire frame, designers can use Axure to convert their wire frames to high-fidelity prototypes. Once a high-fidelity prototype has been created, the team should meet again to allow members a chance to see and play with the prototype.  The activity allows the team to understand the design’s flow and function, along with showing them its capabilities.

Communicating with Stakeholders

Axure produces an artifact that your team and stakeholders can interact with to drive home the ideas you want to communicate.   With this idea in mind, the team can use Axure to present their work to clients so they can achieve a higher level of understanding and see the potential the product has for them.

Axure is a fantastic tool for all stages of the project’s development. However, a design is only good if other people can use it and like it. Therefore, gathering feedback and opinions from your team and stakeholders throughout the process is essential for creating the right user experience.

Article Series

  1. Introduction to Axure
  2. Using Axure RP
  3. The Pros and Cons of Axure RP
  4. Project Lifecycle with Axure RP
  5. Usablility Testing with Axure RP