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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] iRise - round 2

Re: [Sigia-l] iRise - round 2

Date: Thu Aug 26 2004 - 14:33:32 EDT

I recently used iRise to develop two prototypes. We also had the
opportunity to usability test both prototypes.

iRise in a nutshell: There are two parts, a requirements management piece
(iRise Online) and a simulation development environment (iRise Studio).
iRise Online allows a project team to collaborate on requirements. It
seems fairly robust, however I did not get to use it that much. iRise
Studio is a development environment that allows you to model business
processes, IAs, and application flows and create fairly interactive
prototypes. My comments are about iRise Studio.

Here is what I liked:
* Usability testing in iRise worked very well.
* Showing the iRise simulations to the project team was extremely
effective at defining and redefining requirements. The team could really
relate to seeing a functioning prototype of the application rather than
seeing Visio wireframes or lists of requirements.
* Once the initial simulation was created it was not that difficult to
make changes based on project team feedback and usability feedback.
* The help system had a lot of examples. (You will need them.)
* We did not need any IT resources to create the simulations.

Here are some things that I learned about iRise after working with it:
* The iRise website says they developed it for non-technical business
analysts and that it is as easy as creating slides in PowerPoint. I would
recommend anybody who is going to develop simulations have some basic
programming knowledge, understand basic database concepts (especially if
you are going to create dynamic content), and understand HTML. It's not as
easy as PowerPoint!
* iRise Studio uses a client server concept. When you are developing a
simulation, nothing is stored locally on your machine. Everything is
stored on the server. I found this created slow response times for doing
very common tasks like dragging and dropping.
*Using variables to store information is necessary when creating complex
simulations. iRise does not manage variables very well. Instead of
remembering what variables you have already used you have to remember the
exact name of each variable. This really got frustrating when I would have
dozens of variables in a simulation.
* There seems to be a lot of little things about the UI that are annoying
and when added together make it a very frustrating experience: no global
find and replace; when you make a copy of a simulation (i.e. you want to
create a second version) iRise will copy all the pages but not the
underlying logic on those pages; embedding a hyperlink in a paragraph of
text requires the creation of at least three individual text objects (all
the text prior to the link, an object for the link, and then all the text
after the link) you don't just highlight the text you want to link. There
are many others.
* Don't use iRise to create an IA. Something like Visio is much easier to
use, has more functionality, and look better when you print it.

With all that said, I do see benefits in using iRise for creating
prototypes. The prototype was most helpful in fleshing out project
requirements and for usability testing. Also we did not need to use IT
resources to create the prototype. I think that the requirements
management in iRise Online will tie in nicely with iRise Studio. However,
plan on a very steep, and often painful learning curve, to get up to speed
with iRise Studio

Steve Schang

Listera <>
Sent by:
08/25/2004 11:40 PM


[Sigia-l] iRise - round 2

There's been some discussion here about six months ago on iRise as an
IA/ID/prototyping tool:


Does anyone have anything more recent to add, either installed or as demo?

Is it easier to reject a good solution or accept a bad one?
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