From Prototyping to Award Winning Apps
We chatted with Nitzan, UXPERT’s CEO and a long-time Axure RP user and UX designer, about UXPERT’s award-winning Israel Railways train app, which they prototyped using Axure RP. The success of UXPERT’s prototype is evident by its user-friendly design, seamless interactions, and capturing animations. Here’s what Nitzan had to say about his background as a UX designer and experience building this prototype.
Quick Background on Nitzan
My name is Nitzan and I am the CEO and owner of the agency UXPERT. I started off as a developer, then moved on to become a graphic designer and animator. I also have experience as a product manager and as a VP of Product and UX for hi-tech companies. I founded my company, UXPERT, 12 years ago. We design UX/UI products for customers. For fun, I also enjoy basketball!
I’ve been using Axure RP for about 10 years now. At UXPERT, we also use Figma for UX/UI design, and we use Sketch sometimes for UI design. We also use Adobe tools for movie editing, illustration, animation, and for photo editing.
Prototyping helps us demonstrate what we are looking for, and what we want the development team to do. By prototyping, stakeholders and developers can really see and understand what we are trying to achieve and we can perform usability testing with real users before we design and develop the real product.
The Israel Railways App Prototype
In this prototype, there are various user flows for choosing rides and creating a route, which are achieved using variables. For example, from the beginning you can start off as a new user and start building your ride, or use the app as a returning user, and you’ll see your ride history. In the “My Rides” section, you can also sort your favorite rides by starring them, which brings them to the top of the list.
The prototype also has a functional search feature and both working date and time pickers. Once you search and select your rides, you can see the route details, and also any updates made to the selected rides in the route. Once you have your rides chosen, you can click on the bell icon for more options such as setting a reminder for getting off the train or adding your rides to your calendar. You can also choose to set notifications for changes to your rides, either one time only or regularly, and with the option to customize which days.
The prototype also has animations and transitions when selections are loading, which helps the user to not wonder whether or not the prototype is working. This also helps to make the prototype feel like a real application.
The Prototyping Process
As long-time Axure users, building this prototype was not too difficult. For this prototype, we used Axure because of its ability to create different paths through the app and the ability to create high fidelity interaction. For example, the time picker with the ability to select from the calendar and show the date on the drop down, as well as the ability to type into fields and create a search function.
When prototyping this project in Axure RP, the main elements we relied on were dynamic panels and variables. We didn’t use repeaters, but we probably could have. We also used Components in order to not duplicate too many parts of the prototype.
This app has won three awards so far: one Israeli award, and two international awards. Nitzan will also be lecturing about this application at the HCI International conference in Copenhagen in July and the UXI Live conference in Israel in May. We’ve also seen success as the Israel Railways app has many downloads and high usage every month, and people seem to like it.
When we were nominated for the award, we actually presented the prototype and not the actual app, which has the advantage of demonstrating your work and design properly as you intended it.
You can view Nitzan’s prototype here, and you can also read more about the project and the awards it has won here. You can also learn more about Nitzan’s company, UXPERT, by visiting their website.