AXURE

Founded: 2002  |  Headquarters: San Diego, CA  |  Engagement since 2005

CHALLENGES

  • How to compete in terms of pricing vs. functions and features vs. ease of use?

  • How to establish customer advocacy and an authentic community forum?

  • How to create a recurring revenue stream?

  • How do we claim market leadership?

  • How do we compete in a competitive landscape?

  • How do we teach users to use the software? 

  • How to grow without sacrificing quality, while supporting trends, customer needs, and changing technology?

  • How and where to position the brand in the next 10 years?

INNOVATION STRATEGY

  • Established go-to-market strategies

  • Established pricing and business models

  • Built community and online sharing platform for crowdsharing of prototypes and ideas

  • Designed easy-to-use training guides and strategies using gamification metrics to encourage users to download, use & advocate

  • Charted roadmaps for product releases, set UX guidelines and metrics to ensure user needs are met and aligned to company's 5 and 10 year missions

  • Established high level marketing and digital strategies that would
    build brand value through storytelling

DESIGN WORK

  • Corporate Brand & Identity Design 

  • Product Branding

  • UX & UI Design & Guidelines (Corporate Website)

  • Software UI Design & Guidelines

  • High Fidelity Interactive Prototypes

  • Social Media Campaigns

  • Art Direction

  • Storyboard & Illustrations

  • Video Animations

  • Corporate Office Interior Design

  • Collateral & Packaging Design

  • Typeface Design

  • Community Platform

How a Self-funded Software Company Differentiated

Itself in a Competitive Market

A serendipitous dinner encounter with two founders from Berkeley, turned into a decade long fruitful and successful partnership. 

 

When Victor Hsu and Martin Smith founded Axure in 2002, initially operating their new technology company out of a modest apartment, they began with a vision of growth and success, and the values of hard work, reliability, humility, and work integrity. From the company’s early humble beginnings until present day, Hsu and Smith have retained Mel Lim as their design partner and high-level strategist to help them grow and evolve their firm. After a chance meeting in 2005, Hsu and Smith invited Mel to help design their website and Axure RP branding, and create a Mac-friendly user experience.

Axure’s goal, past and present, has been to earn recognition as the industry leader in interactive wireframes and prototypes for UX design professionals. They developed Axure RP, an innovative wireframing, rapid prototyping, and specification software tool aimed at web and desktop applications and released the pilot version in January 2003. Just as technology changes exponentially at a rapid-fire pace, so too has Axure expanded its breadth of innovation excellence while ever-refining the clarity of its branding with Mel’s collaborative help and talent. Understanding that technology can be daunting to users, the company sought immediately to promote a brand image that promises simplicity and clarity, and positions its products to be accessible, engaging, hardworking, friendly and fun.

Committed to attracting and retaining long-term users by communicating that it listens to its users and enables them to tackle challenges head on, the company presented an animated “front man,” the UX Man of Axure. This hand-drawn character was created to humanize the greater software/technology industry. But the CEO of Axure was initially fearful of doing something so radical as to incorporate hand-drawn illustration work. Eventually, he chose to trust Mel’s out-of-the-box thinking, and Axure Man was introduced. Presenting a superhero was like putting a cape on Interactive Prototyping. Axure Man helped establish the company as a leader in Interactive Prototyping. 

Axure RP is now considered the standard in software prototyping tools and is used by tens of thousands of professionals in the world’s biggest companies. Moving forward with its growing fan base of loyal users, Axure will continue to develop new products and next-iterations of existing software to wow its industry, all the while making sure that all of the expressions of its brand voice and face remain consistent and friendly, and communicate the vitality and values of the Axure experience. 

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“ ”

Mel is insanely talented. She has the ability to nurture an idea into a result beyond anything you thought possible. Mel truly takes every design and experience to the next level, and I feel very fortunate to have her helping drive our creative direction.

—Victor Hsu, CEO

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