Fast, useful, and extensible.
March 08, 2016

Fast, useful, and extensible.

Lucas Roe | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Axure

We are currently using Axure for quick proofs of concept. The biggest benefits we find from it are that it is easily shared with a link, so we can validate ideas quickly with our team. While the prototypes that we create in it don't produce usable code for our application, that freedom allows us to test things that may otherwise not be possible or easily implemented in the full product. Axure is currently only used by 2 members of our organization, but the two of us are the UX experts in the organization.
  • Quick and simple clickthrough mockups. Axure hits a fidelity sweet spot that's somewhere between a basic sketch and a full working prototype that allows you to communicate the meat of an experience without getting too hung up on the minutiae
  • Axure's masters system allows you to create highly inherited design patterns. Working inside of a design system like a pattern library, this inheritance helps insure that you aren't reinventing the wheel for each new interface, and instead are relying more heavily on your systemic design.
  • Axure's publishing system, Axure Share, is a fantastic way to send the prototypes to others. It's tightly integrated with the desktop application, making sharing a specific page or an enormous prototype both simple and fast. It also allows extensibility, letting you write your own HTML/CSS/JS to extend the prototype in some way.
  • The output of Axure is some bizarre hybrid of a web page and something else. Although it lives in a browser and technically uses HTML, its method of building the pages is highly inflexible and violates the DOM standards of browsers. This makes the prototypes very rigid, and greatly limits the space of what they're useful for.
  • Axure can have a steep learning curve. If you don't have experience with Javascript or Actionscript, you may find the method of adding interactivity to be very arcane and confusing. There are some other bizarre bugs that only come about through a lot of experience.
  • Axure currently only allows very basic design and structuring, as well as an extraordinarily limited outputs. Consequentially, it isn't suited for visual design or highly polished designs.
  • Axure isn't necessarily an ROI tool. It can greatly cutdown on the amount of back and forth communication with a team by clarifying ideas quickly and early. It can also help with user testing, as it's broadly available from a web browser.
  • Due to its potential for a long learning curve, it may take a while to get a team up and running in an Axure based workflow.
Axure's masters put in an entirely different space from any other tool I've tested. They allow a degree of systemic design that I have yet to see in another piece of software. Sketch (by Bohemian Coding) gets close with its inclusion of symbols. However, until the symbols have the ability to nest indefinitely, Axure's masters still hold the upper hand.
Axure's sharing features are a huge bonus when in a work environment. While that doesn't give it an edge over Marvel or InVision, it certainly makes it more attractive than many other desktop prototyping tools.
Axure is best suited when you are working in a distributed environment on cross platform tools. There are other tools that are more appropriate for mobile specific work. If you already have a robust process with a different graphics program (like Photoshop or Sketch) it may be more appropriate for you to find a prototyping tool that is better equipped to work with that existing process (For instance, a Hotspotting tool like Marvel or InVision)

Using Axure

Axure feels like a tool that started with a simple interface that wasn't redesigned over time. Simple tasks sometimes require clicking through multiple layers. Crucial pieces of functionality are hidden under text links, or just flatly aren't discoverable. Much of the quirks of the interface only come from having screwed up numerous times, and knowing that certain things are just difficult to accomplish.
ProsCons
Like to use
Well integrated
Feel confident using
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Lots to learn
  • Quick box drawing, simple functionality, and publishing
  • The difficulty curve with advanced interactions grows quickly. There are various quirks with Axure's rendering of the final prototypes that can cause display bugs or inconsistencies in user testing.