Parallaxure – Theme (Preview)

I’m wrapping up work on my most ambitious theme to date.  So far everything I’ve done has been single pagers, or rather simple projects.  But I’ve been to work on a very robust theme that will be the most comprehensive high fidelity Axure template in existence.  Here are some screen shots.

home-page

About-Page

functional-carousel-light-boxContact-Page

Portfolio-PageBlog-Page

It has several different working carousels, font awesome icons, embedded google fonts, ease in ease out transition effects, working form, parallax scrolling effect (which is where the name came from) and a complete components page for styled elements not found on the page.

Will probably be releasing in 7-10 days. I have a lot of QA to do, and I still need to create the library of widgets. I’m gonna include a .rp and .rplib file with all downloads.

Creativ – Axure Theme

Creativ-Gumroad-Image-2

Live Preview

This was the first Axure theme I made.  It’s a pretty simple one pager with half a dozen sections.  It’s based off a commercial free design, found here.

Working off of preexisting designs can be a mixed bag.  On the one hand it’s mentally easier, even a bit meditative getting everything to be exactly the same.  Since you’re not creating the design, you don’t have to make any decisions about how things should look.  There’s none of the second guessing going on.

On the other hand it’s slow work, especially if you are OCD like me about pixels.  I’m throwing 30-40 guide lines up at a time making sure everything is exactly where it should be.

I think going forward though I won’t be using many designs like this, where I’m just recreating someone else’s design in Axure.  I want to create some of my own things.

Here’s a full screenshot of the theme:

Creativ-Full-Screen-Scrape

Anyways, you can download this for free on Gumroad. And shoot me some feedback if you end up using this for a project.

The Indecision of Forward Thinking

This blog is going to be a lot more extemporaneous than I’d prefer, but it will serve as a good outlet as I work through a lot of the issues I face trying to launch a new product.

It can be difficult staying committed to an idea when you notice that idea has never been done.  I mean, most everything has been done.  How is it that I have an idea no one else has had?  Well that is unlikely.  My guess is that other people have had this idea, but never followed through in any serious way.  And therein lies the question.

For anyone wondering, my general idea is creating a theme/template marketplace for Axure.  This doesn’t really exist, at least not how I envision it.  There are libraries, and a handful of lo-fi design pattern prototypes you can download.  But I want to make full fledged themes for Axure, like you would find on a site like WrapBootstrap or template.co.

Up until Axure 6, this didn’t make sense.  Axure lacked a lot of the things needed to do this, at least without heavily hacking things.  Web fonts, font weights, full width and full height dynamic panels, and so on.  Given this, I think people only look to Axure as a UX tool.

But since Axure 7, I don’t see why it can’t be a design tool.  I’ve been creating exceptionally high fidelity designs that perfectly mirror a production level website.

Here is an example: http://28ryyk.axshare.com/home.html

I could even take it further and add in break points and make it fairly responsive.  But I’m holding off on going that far with themes, at least until I can tell whether or not people will want to use them.

It seems like they should have a huge advantage over libraries.  A typical drag and drop library will still have you spending hours piecing together a website, and even then, it might not be all that great.  There’s more to a site than the styling of the widgets.  Without the keen eye of a designer, your composition will still be less than stellar.

On top of that, you’ll spend hours doing the tedious of work of importing fonts, making all of the backgrounds 100% width, F5ing, bug checking, repeat.  Who wouldn’t want to start with a premade template that you could quickly customize?

Well the answer seems to be everyone, at least so far.  No one looks at Axure as a design tool.  But I’d really like to change that.  I think I might be ahead of the curve here by half a year or so.  But it seems to me like this is bound to happen, and if I don’t do it, someone else will.

Especially once Axure 8 is released.  I don’t know what improvements we will see in Axure 8, but by then you might as well just prototype in production level fidelity.  Why not?  Build your wireframes.  Then build your design.  Why mess around with these middling fidelities?

So that’s where I’m at.  Trying to stay jazzed about my idea, and keep pushing forward building new themes, while not getting too invested that I sink into a deep despair when the idea flops.  Maybe people don’t wanna design like this (although it’s so fast and easy, I don’t know why you wouldn’t.)  Maybe too many companies are ingrained within the wireframe -> Adobe -> code workflow.  Who knows?

I hope at some point I’ll be able to get more feedback from people who can tell me if this is the dumbest idea ever, or pure genius.  Also, if it’s pure genius, don’t steal my idea!

Axure Bootstrap UI Widget Library

DOWNLOAD

This was the first professional library I ever made.  It’s 109 widgets based off of the Bootstrap 3.2 theme.  I believe Bootstrap 4 will be launching soon, and I’ll likely have to update the library then or make a new one.

This is currently featured on Axure.com’s widget library page.  And has received almost 10,000 downloads in the past year.  It’s completely free, you can pick it up here.

I never added proper h1 h2 and paragraph text to the library, but I feel like that can easily be done yourself.  The one thing I need to do though is add proper input fields.  For some reason Bootstrap doesn’t feature those on the theme page.  So I disregarded them.

axure-bootstrap-ui-widget-library

I initially created this library as a personal project.  I wasn’t even planning on releasing it.  I wanted to test the fidelity limits of Axure.  And what I found was that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish, design wise.  This project has led to a much larger project which is my axure themes site.

I love designing with Axure, it’s so fast.  I can make a new website, and iterate it several times before I could even finish designing one in Photoshop.  Of course Photoshop can do things that Axure can’t, but if I need some graphics then I’ll just make them in Photoshop and import them back into Axure.

This blog, and my Axure Themes site, are all about pushing the design limitations of Axure, and opening a new world to Axure users.  It’s currently not seen as a design tool, but I intend to change that.