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I am on a project where we would like to test with visual designs. I have an extremely detailed Axure prototype and completed designs for most pages. I know you can put designs into Axure and do the interactions on top but to me this is rather time consuming. I believe it would be faster to just code the pages?

Which method is most effective?

A. Dropping designs into Axure

B. Coding the pages to make an interactive prototype

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Personally I think this sounds like it will be totally up to personal preference. Some people can't stand setting up prototypes in Axure, think it gets too messy and they don't feel like they're in control. Others will think implementing the design through coding will take too much time and that their implementing skills aren't good enough to have it done in good time, and they will prefer prototyping in Axure. Investigate the different approaches and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. –  AndroidHustle Oct 31 '12 at 10:08
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What do you mean by effective in this context? What is easier to do, or what garners the best response from testing? –  JonW Oct 31 '12 at 13:47
    
which is easier less time consuming. –  user19592 Oct 31 '12 at 17:51
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Seems like this we come down to resources. If you are good and fast in Axure -- use Axure. If you have a good and fast front-end developer available -- code it. If you have both, maybe flip a coin? –  Scott Simpson Oct 31 '12 at 21:52
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closed as not constructive by AndroidHustle, dnbrv, dhmholley, Ben Brocka Nov 2 '12 at 21:53

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3 Answers

This depends on two points: first how interactive you want to get? and second what skills do you have available?

If you have access to skills such as HTML/CSS and javascript and the interactions are quite complex then a HTML prototype is probably the way to go.

If the interactions are simpler and or you dont have the skills then Axure may be a quicker route.

Personally I think HTML prototypes give you a much closer approximation to the final functionality, but will often take a little longer than Axure, particularly for simple prototypes.

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If you are a competent web developer/ JavaScript developer there is no reason to not have a functioning prototype. You use placeholder images and just start programming.

If your strengths however rest in Graphic Design, a visual prototype might be more practical.

I have found in personal experience as a software developer, it's much easier to do a super quick layout on paper and then program away. Once I have a baseline minimum viable product, then I put some work into the designs and try and get them to look cohesive with how I programmed it.

So my vote is, put your strong foot forward.

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What do you mean "test visual designs"? Do you want to get feedback on how the application looks or on how it works?

If you want looks, the Axure wireframes are already done. If they incorporate look and feel, then you're done: get feedback on those, move on.

If you want to test how it works, it makes no sense to try that with Axure. Axure is a wireframing app that you use to document and model how the application's screens are laid out. But it's not the format people will actually use, that's (presumably) HTML. So if you want to test, test in the format people will actually use, or you're just testing an abstraction, which is a waste of time.

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