Overall Satisfaction with Axure
Axure is used by business analysts at our company to create mockups of our various web properties before they are coded by developers. Some of our business analysts create these mockups in the context of agile scrum teams. Creating these mockups helps to provide a visual guide for developers before they start coding as well as give something to stakeholders so they have an idea of what to expect in the end product.
- High fidelity prototypes: Axure is excellent for creating prototypes that are visually indistinguishable from the real product. You do not need advanced Photoshop or other image editing software skills to create mockups that look real with Axure. If you do have Photoshop skills though it definitely can help as you can easily bring in edited images into Axure from it.
- Realistic interactions: On top of creating prototypes that look real, you can also easily make them interact like a real site would. This is useful for not only showing developers and stakeholders but for user testing as well.
- Sharing prototypes: Sharing Axure prototypes with others is easy, even if they don't have the Axure software. You can either upload your file to Axshare, Azure's free hosting service or host it on your own servers and share the link with viewers. The link allows users to interact with the site as though it were real as well as easily switch between pages with a collapsible site map.
- Collaboration: Axure doesn't make it particularly easy for multiple people to work on the same design file. Users have to keep multiple files and then manually update content from one file to the other.
- Version control: There are no built in features for managing version control which can cause problems when parties request design changes and then later want to revert to a previous design.
- Feedback collection: unlike other prototyping tools, Axure is lacking a good system for collecting feedback from others who review the design. It would benefit from social functionality to easily comment on changes or features and to have a record of back and forth discussion.
- Putting designs to paper makes it easier for those on the business side to evaluate the cost of the project beyond just looking at written requirements.
- Axure licenses are very expensive and may not be well suited for small businesses or individuals.
- Axure licenses are permanent rather than being subscription based which saves money in the long run.
Axure is excellent for creating prototypes that are indistinguishable from the original without requiring coding or graphic design (Photoshop) skills. It is perhaps less well suited for low fidelity prototypes than tools that are suited specifically for that purpose. It is also not great for projects where multiple designers are working on the same product concurrently.