Axure RP Basics: Take about Learning Prototyping Tools from Axure RP


More and more Internet and software giants are investing in the development of huge prototype tools to shorten the development process and reduce development communication costs. For example, Microsoft Expression Blend, which is highly recommended by Microsoft, has powerful features that covers the entire development process, from the initial draft to high-fidelity Prototype which can finally be directly translated into C+, making design and development seamless. However, Axure RP is undoubtedly the most popular and ubiquitous prototyping tool out there. Its advantages are no longer long-winded here. I would like to introduce the practical application of prototyping tools in product development through my learning experience as a rookie.

Whenever we start to learn any new software, have we experienced it: no matter what kind of tutorial it is, the whole book is long and monotonous to describe all feature operations; or the case analysis teaching with a little sense of achievement, there are certain drawbacks. They just let you know, "Oh, so it could be used like this", but it's a far cry from real life practice. Because you don't know "why use it this way". This learning method is very disadvantageous for the learning of prototyping tools, because we need to understand the requirements first, and then use the prototype to explore how to visually meet the requirements and user expectations, rather than "mechanical drawing". Prototype tools are different from general drawing tools (such as Sketch, Figma and Photoshop), mainly in that their purpose is not to achieve a certain visual or interactive effect, but is mainly used for requirements analysis, logical process realization, and communication. It requires you to fully understand the feature of analysis requirements and the possible operation logic of users, and to think deeply about how to guide users through page layout, navigation, etc. That is definitely not something that can be achieved just by knowing how to implement software features.


Then the prototyping tool learning plan can be formulated like this:

1. First understand the various widgets of Axure, and know what the most basic features of each widget are;


2. Master the common interactive commands corresponding to widgets and how to use them in combination;

The classic cases are anchor point effect making and Tab switching effect making.

It's best to start with a single effect, and don't pursue interactions involving variables or overly complex in the first place.


3. Find a website you like and imitate it!

There is no need to pursue the ultimate in this process, you can start from the simple to the deep, start with a simple website, such as email registration, and try to see if you can use Axure to create a Demo from login to using a specific application;

This stage is often the most rewarding and the beginning of practical application.


4. Finally, you can innovate new idea, and you can find a certain requirement to realize it.

For example: make an online food ordering feature and open a store by yourself. Then you are not only a general interaction designer, you can complete some of the work of product managers and requirements analysts. Even if you don't want to do it, you can communicate with them more efficiently.

What are you waiting for? let's go!

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