Evolution of style


How Axure (and nearly all recent design software) handles styles doesn’t scale properly.

If we go over to the print world and look at Indesign we can see a more mature toolset. Users there are able to define multiple types of styles

  • colors (this is done with spot colors)
  • character - for type size, tracking, line height, etc.
  • paragraph - for padding, justification, space-after, etc.
  • object - for fills, outlines, padding, etc

By breaking them into classes like this I am able to control each of these characteristics separately and mix and match them as needed. I can Have an object style for my button shape and outline, a character style for the label information, and then reference a spot color to indicate the mouse-over effect. I would then be able to change all of these independently and not break things.

As long as I am dreaming…it would be great if Axure could add Interaction Styles to that so we could have a single source of truth for how a type of transition happens and all of our timings stay consistent through our design. All the dropdown would open and close exactly the same without having to remembers the precise timing. I know we can do this with a widget that has this built in, but once the widget is on the page it is just free range and there is no way to constantly change it once it is out in the wild.


If you do head to Indesign, pretty please look at the table style feature. Of all the design tools I have used over the years, the table tool in Indesign is the best. For those of us building business apps with lots of tables…HOLY SMOKES would this be a life saver.

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