Queron Jephcott Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Information Architecture

The top 5 things to put in Axure 7

Queron Jephcott Team : User Experience and Information Architecture Tags : Information Architecture

With the dust settling from Axure’s 6.5 release, UX designers around the world have spent the last couple of months rotating squares to 32 degrees and swiping dynamic panels left and right. The ability to copy and paste cases as well as actions within cases saves heaps of time. While these are all great features to help demonstrate web site interaction (an area commonly overlooked) there are still a couple of basic annoyances that I hope come in Axure 7.

  1. Sitemap, Masters and Dynamic Panel Manager – these areas of the Axure interface are all pretty much the same. They display a list of items in a tree structure. Why then, do they not behave the same? Why can’t I duplicate panels? Why doesn’t the Dyanmic Panel Manager have search? It’d be great to see a consistent way to use these three sections.
  2. Flattening Dynamic Panels – Panels can be pretty straight forward to extremely complicated. Now dynamic panels do all sorts of things, e.g. swipe, drag and move, I’ve got plenty of dynamic panels lying around with just one state. It’d be great to flatten a panel with one state or even pull a specific state out of a panel.
  3. Resize droplists, radio buttons and checkboxes – This speaks for itself. Why are droplists fixed at 22px high? I’m resorting to building my own droplists with rectangles, triangles and a dynamic panel to get one that’s 40px high. 22px just doesn’t cut it for an emerging tablet market. Ditto on radio buttons and checkboxes.
  4. Annotations, Interactions and Formatting – Give me the option to split these out. I’d never be able to keep track of the number of times I click between Interactions and Formatting.
  5. Better callouts and information in the prototype – I’ve worked very hard with my company to ditch the gigantean 1000 page monster of a functional specification fondly referred to as “that thing nobody reads”. We’re a digital company, I don’t like delivering printed documents. It confuses me, the client and the developers. They waste paper, they get lost, there’s little version control, plus it’s a nightmare to update. Axure prototypes are great until you have to annotate something. The little yellow square is unclickable on a touch device and it gets cut off by panels. Page notes have never been in the right place. Axure could cement its place as the number one prototyping software if it would just drag its prototype annotations into 2012.


Lastly… this isn’t number six, because that would stuff up my nice blog title.

Performance – I’d happily give up all Axure 6.5 functionality as well as the previous five points if I could just get rid of that half-second lag on every click. My quad-core 3ghz processor powered beast should be drag 20 shapes without lagging for a second. There’s nothing more frustrating than having half the time you need to do something and being able to click too quickly for a piece of software.

As selfish as this list sounds, I’d like to close with the fact that Axure is above all, great prototyping software. I’m not going anywhere else.