Sunday, August 23, 2009

Axure for Building Wireframes, Prototypes and Specifications

Axure RP is a wireframing, prototyping, and specification tool that allows you to design applications and websites faster and easier than with your current tools.

For our web development projects, developing web site wireframes and information architecture is the first step in the process. In the past we have used OmniGraffle, MockUpScreens, Mind Manager and Microsoft Visio as the wireframing and prototyping tools.

Recently we have started using a tool called Axure RP for creating wireframes and prototypes. Axure is a tool that is specifically designed for creating web site wireframes. As a result, all of the tool bar elements are strictly catered towards the web design world. We really enjoy working with the Axure for a number reasons:

1) Drag and Drop Elements

Using Axure, a web designer can easily add form elements and place holders to the page. Since all of the tool bar elements are designed for creating web site wireframes, there is no need to search for the right icon. This is the case for Visio since there are so many different elements available on the tool bar.

2) Export Wireframes as HTML

The wireframes created in Axure can be exported as HTML pages. This makes it possible for clients to easily review the wireframes using a web browser. There is no need to download any PDF file. Also, the form elements can be simulated in the web browser such that when you click on a link in the wireframes, it will actually lead you to the appropriate page.

Overall, we find Axure to be a really user-friendly and effective wireframing tool.

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