A few observations, glitches and hitches about RP 9

Hi, I’ve been a user of Axure since v5, and as I’m not a developer I enjoy what it can create, as these prototypes allow my design team to test and showcase to stakeholders in order to get buy-in and funding prioritisation.

I’ve been building a prototype in Axure v8 for a project at work and then, since it hit a natural re-factoring breakpoint (MVP to MMP) at about the time when v9 was released, I decided to pull what I had into v9 so I could learn the new interface with a real project. This has been … interesting; it is great to see some annoyances have gone and frustrating to see a few new odd (in my opinion) design choices introduced.

Anyway, I understand how these things happen, so rather than just saying Grrr at my monitor, I figured I’d be as constructive as possible and give some feedback on the things I’ve observed that could potentially be enhanced. I’m using Axure RP on Windows 10 Pro 10.0.017134.523.

  • Window+Left arrow shrinks Axure to top-left quarter of screen instead of left half of screen (so this is non-standard behaviour for Windows).

  • When Axure is shrunk to a smaller-than-full-screen window and the ‘Zoom’ control in the header menu is not visible, it is also not shown in the ‘expand’ chevron where we expect it to be.

  • When selecting a component in a dynamic panel, if the panel is ‘contracted’ in the outline tree view, then there is no visible indicator where in the tree one is working. Suggestions: 1) auto-expand the outline tree to show the active component, or 2) highlight all the visible ‘parents’ of the active component in a different style.

  • Filtering in the Outline view is not intuitive when fitering for components inside a dynamic panel, because it shows the dynamic panel name, not the component name that is being searched for. Suggestions: 1) show the parental structure relating to a component that matches the typed filter, or 2) show a row for each component that matches the typed filter, and show the parental structure on the same line after the component name.

  • Great having space outside the active canvas, but we suggest greatly reducing this because it affects the scrollbar granularity; dragging the scrollbars even a small amount results in huge pans/scrolls. And since non-standard scrollbars are being used, this means dragging the bar is the only way to pan the canvas with the mouse, this is difficult even for able-bodied designers.

  • Many icons in Axure’s UI are paired with words, so learned behaviour is the icon represents the function described by the label (Front, Back, Group, Character, Left, Top, etc). Unfortunately there are many critical functions that are only represented by (very small!) icons, and the icons are near headings that are unrelated to the icon function. I have used Axure since v5 so I knew the function I was looking for existed somewhere, but my guess is new users will struggle to find these critical functions, specifically Hidden, Manage Widget Styles, and the ‘icon with no name’ that opens a panel to edit hint text, tooltips.

  • When importing my Axure v8 file, Axure v9 UI says a Text Field will have its hint text hidden after ‘Focus’, but in the dropdown for this aspect it actually has ‘Typing’ as the selected option. And actual behaviour of the prototype in the browser is for hinttext to be hidden when typing. This was (and will be for others) a challenge when debugging, because unless a designer clicks into an apparently correct field, they wouldn’t see that it is actually an Axure UI error.

  • When editing inside a dynamic panel and Axure is operating in a smaller-than-fullscreen mode, the heading area that shows the dynamic panel name and state controls overlap. Suggestions: 1) move the panel state controls into a floating control area (would give the ability to make them larger or even save clicks by not having all state names hidden in a dropdown), or 2) left-align the dynamic panel name to make use of the space to the left of the header bar.

  • My particular prototype (it has no images, but does have a decent-sized repeater) went from 316KB in RP v8 to 1,456KB in RP v9, an increase of 360%. Is this as a result of the conversion due to coming from v8 (and if I re-created the same prototype from scratch in v9 then it would be smaller) or has the way code is stored been altered between these two versions?



I figure I may as well just add everything I find into one thread…

  • Text editing doesn’t seem to be standard. For example, I’m used to using Shift+Ctrl+Left/Right arrows to select by word, as that is pretty common behaviour in every Windows app I know about. But when editing Paragraph and Label elements in Axure it only selects by character (i.e. the Ctrl modifier has no effect).
  • It’s great that we can re-order/drag conditions in the Condition Builder with the drag handle at the left of each row, but changing the order does not update the logic that’s shown in text in the Condition Builder window, or in the Interactions pane of the main canvas. And worse, if we re-order items, save the new order, then go back into the Condition Builder to edit for something else, the new order has not been saved. This is particularly problematic when building a case to check if all the fields on a form have been completed.
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  • Many times when opening the Interactino Editor (to be honest, I find this much easier to use than the very cluttered view in the Interactions panel) the lower actions do not appear. It usually takes some clicking around and scrolling in the window to get them to show. Screenshot examples below (note these captures are all of the same panel, no changes made other than just clicking around and scrolling in the window).


This was a problem in RP 8 too I believe, seems like it would be a very simple fix.