Wireframing is one of the most important critical phase for converting project ideas into clickable and usable prototypes. They are very helpful in converting ideas to something concrete and in return validating idea with potential customers/users and investors.
We have been using balsamiq prototyping tool for some years. However, around 3 months back we decided to try axure after hearing a lot of positive feedback.
After initial research, we found out that its a great tool for wireframing. We decided to switch from balsamiq and our the prototypes created were loved by our clients (and their investors), developers and also potential users.
After using it for 3 months, we list down some of the reasons we decided to stay with this tool
Reason #1 View on your Mobile/Desktop
This is one of the biggest benefits. There are other wireframing tools out there that do this. However, the other tools we found had limitations like downloading an app first to run the wireframes.
Please note that axure is a desktop based application which enables it to become a very strong prototyping tool.
Axure also provides a free publishing service for web so you don’t need to host your wireframes on your own webserver. You can simply publish them on their free service and give the users a link to the wireframes which they can view on their mobile or desktop.
Our client’s love this feature because they can test how their apps work on a mobile and it also helps us in collecting valuable feedback.
Reason # 2 Adaptive Views
Most web based solutions need to be responsive or optimized for mobile or desktop these days. One of the biggest advantage of using axure is that it allows for prototypes to be viewed differently depending on the size of the browser.
There is a learning curve with this and it takes some time to master. However, the benefit is huge as users can see how their website will work on different devices.
Reason # 3 Dynamic Panels
Dynamic Panels are one of the best features of axure. There is amazingly lot of stuff you can do with them so it a bit difficult to explain. You can use them for things like animations, hiding, swiping e.t.c.
Some of the things you can do with them include
- Slider navigations like the one you see in the above gif
- Sliders in the onboarding process of apps.
- Scrollable areas within an app.
Reason #4 InBuilt Team collaboration
Axure has a versioning and checkout system inside the tool. If there are multiple people working on the same file, you can use it for collaboration. Please note that you will still need git or svn for the axure file.
Axure keeps a single file for all your screens so git or svn won’t help there so having its own checkin/checkout system helps team collaborate on the main axure file.