Book Review: Mobile Prototyping with Axure 7

CommentJuly 22, 2014 by ssdesign

If you are experienced in using Axure RP, and in making prototypes of apps and websites, check out the book Mobile Prototyping with Axure 7, by Will Hacker. If you’re a beginner in Axure RP, there are tutorials on Axure’s site that can help you get started in learning on how to use the program, before reading this book. As Hacker states: it “is intended to introduce experienced Axure users to some of the mobile prototyping features” of Axure RP 7.

Respectively, the first two chapters explain what prototypes are and how they are developed in the making of software and sites, and introduce the reader to mobile features they can design for; such as touch, gestures, location, and the accelerometer. In rest of the book, the reader learns how to install and set up Axure 7, how to get around in the Axure 7 interface, how to use the mobile prototyping features in the program, and how to view prototypes on mobile devices. There is also a bonus chapter on best practices in using Axure 7 that is a PDF you can download (I’m not sure why this chapter wasn’t included in the book).

The mobile prototyping features include adaptive views (which enable responsive designers to create versions of their app or site for different mobile devices and desktop machines), and mobile interactions; which include gestures, drag and drop, mobile-friendly forms, menus, and dynamic panels; which enable designers to create dialog and alert boxes with different states.

I really liked how Hacker emphasized in the first chapter the importance of finding flaws in the designs, correcting them, and trying out new designs before the website or app is developed. As you might have guessed, this is the process of prototyping. I also liked how he gathered sites and other resources for learning more about each topic he covered, and included them in each chapter; especially interface guidelines on how to design for Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices.

When I did the tutorials in the book, there were times when I found them confusing, because there didn’t always seem to be a lot of details on how to make the widgets in these tutorials. For example, when I did the tutorial on how to build a Facebook-like menu system, I didn’t know the menu was supposed to have the items it did until the end of this tutorial. It also wasn’t always clear to me what the tutorials were supposed to look like when completed; largely because in each tutorial, the reader is never asked to preview it so he or she can see what it should look like when done. Granted, I am a beginner in Axure 7, so I don’t know how a more experienced user would react. But if a code download of sample Axure 7 files of unfinished and finished versions of these tutorials could be included with this book, I think both novice and experienced users of Axure 7 would find it helpful.

I still enjoyed this book, because I really like Axure 7 and will definitely be using it. And if you’re a mobile designer who hates to code, you will love this program because it requires no programming experience.

Mobile Prototyping with Axure 7 is published by Packt Publishing.

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