WHY WE LOVE AXURE
Axure is a prototyping tool that does many things well. It let’s us quickly mock up ideas for user flows and simple interactions. It’s also robust enough to produce high-fidelity facsimiles of websites or apps to put in front of clients as well as users for usability testing. In cases where it’s easier to show rather than tell our clients our developers how something is supposed to function, Axure is a great asset in our arsenal of tools.
WHEN AXURE (SORT OF) STINKS
WORKING AROUND THE CONS
While this feature was intended to give UX Designers an additional level of control over their prototypes it also gives us the opportunity to tack on features that may help in other ways for the purposes of client presentations and usability testing.
For the latter, Usability Matters needed a method to show where users click or tap when interacting with a prototype. During usability testing we almost always record their actions happening on the screen using the screen capture tool, Silverback. This app, which also records the user themselves through the use of an additional webcam, works well enough for most situations, but with one small caveat: the videos that are generated provide no visual indication of what they tapped or clicked during a session.
While Android devices provide a “show touches” option within the Developer Settings of the phone, iOS-based gadgets offer no such feature. It may seem like a minor quibble, but being able to see these actions post-testing makes it easier to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t– both in terms of our team as well as our clients who are often given the footage to review.
Now when our usability testing participants touch the screen, a circle appears beneath their finger and follows it for the duration of the gesture. When a particular item is tapped, a pulsating animation appears. This same animation appears on desktop platforms whenever the user clicks.
This is a relatively simple add-on that makes use of the jQueryTouch plugin, a few custom functions and a handful of CSS. The only particularly complicated aspect involves detecting the difference differences between a tap, a click as well as a swipe—even though it’s a gesture that involves a tap, albeit more of a prolonged one.