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I have a query on UX documentation.

The company I work for build wireframes & interactive prototypes using Axure. However to document the work we use InDesign templates as the docs are branded. The docs include all annotations and functional specs. The outputted docs look great (clients love them) however there's a lot of work which go into these docs e.g. having to screenshot every screen (and most interactions) from the browser and then having to rename the files to make it easier to track. This includes different device screens as well. These UX docs (and design docs) are for sign off purposes.

I realise Axure does output a spec doc but these are Word docs & look very standard.

My ideal would be to get a sign off on the in browser interactive Axure prototype. However this does not cover the paper based docs for sign off illustrating all the annotations and func spec.

As a heads up - the client sign off docs are the same docs our developers use when coding, so some are quite detailed, however the tech spec is done in another doc.

How do you fellow UX'ers go about documenting your sign off docs? Is there an easier way to go about this? I am very interested to hear your views or approaches.

Cheers

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How do you fellow UX'ers go about documenting your sign off docs?

Screaming and kicking and whining and yelling the whole way.

Alas, a lot of places still work this way. I'm in the same boat. Which is frustrating, because it's typically the absolute worst way to work. UX teams are turned into these giant technical documentation factories and 80% of their time is spent building and maintaining these monolithic documentation repositories and if they're lucky, 20% of the time actually doing UX work.

Ideally, you'd handle the sign off docs with fire. Gasoline, matches, burn it all to the ground. And replace it with a more Lean-UX/Agile way of working. You keep wireframes truly wireframes: sketches of an idea to communicate direction. They're not functional specs. They are not pattern libraries. They are not design mock ups. They are not content matrixes. They are just wireframes to help the developers get started. There is no sign off of UX documentation. There is sign off of final product.

We can dream.

Barring that, if you must still pump out endless reams of 'detailed specs' then I'd suggest you do it in the least painful way. If you're doing a lot of stuff in Axure, maybe stick with that. Yea, it's ugly, imperfect, and has plenty of quirks, but at least you're doing everything in one document. Plus if you're using some sort of version control system with it, it makes collaboration a lot easier.

But keep fighting to rid our industry if this insane way of working if you can. :)

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