SAP released a new Fiori widget library for Axure RP and is making the switch from PowerPoint. The change coincided with the release this month of the Fiori Design Guidelines Version 1.28.
For those unfamiliar with Fiori, it is a set of user experience design principles developed by SAP to build business software that is simple, consistent, responsive, role-based and delightful.
Kai Richter, the company’s Director of UI Concepts and Guidelines, wrote an in-depth article about SAP’s experience in using Axure. Among SAP’s reasons for switching, he cited, “First and foremost, Axure allows us to create interactive prototypes that can be used for usability testing. The scripting and animation capabilities are sufficient to create click-through mockups that can cover complex business scenarios.”
Here’s an excerpt of “lessons learned,” reprinted with his permission, from the article, which you can read in full on SAP’s blog:
As our new stencils are now being used by application designers internally, we can already report some first lessons learned:
- The overall quality of the mockups that are being shown in review sessions has dramatically increased – fidelity and attention to detail is much better than before. It is clear very early on what controls are being used and how implementation can be achieved.
- Training efforts were limited. Most designers were able to get started after a short introduction. The material available from the provider is also a valuable source.
- The interactivity features are being used by the designers. The applications become more tangible for the development teams very early in the process so that uncertainties in the interactivity can be clarified early in the process. We have created a community space where designers exchange their designs and stencils so that good solutions can be leveraged by colleagues.
Richter noted on his post that Axure is not as ubiquitous as Microsoft PowerPoint. “This excludes most of the business experts who before that could easily modify or sketch prototypes using Microsoft Powerpoint,” he said. As an alternative, his group is exploring the option of offering simplified page-level stencils for users who have PowerPoint but not Axure.
Overall, Richter concluded that his group’s transition to a “professional design tool” has led to “improvements in design quality.”
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