Initial beta feedback

Hi folks. I’ve been using the beta for a couple days and have recorded some preliminary feedback. I’ll probably post more in the upcoming days.

THE GOOD:

-Finally some styling for DPs!! Bless you!

-the new player is slick. Mad props for using CSS and SVGs where appropriate instead of rendering everything as PNGs. Scaling to fit the screen is also REALLY nice.

-Hooray for text field styling and focus effects!

I can’t say how much I appreciate these things and I wanted to say thank you before I start on the not-so-good. Please remember that no matter how I rage in the coming paragraphs, I do it from a place of love.

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THE NOT-SO-GOOD:

-General visual feedback: I really liked Axure before it tried to look like Sketch.

-In the new console, I have to click “begin trace” before the trace begins, so there’s no way to see what’s happening on pageload. So when something breaks there, I’m SOL.

-is there no way to have multiple “IF” statements anymore? Can there only be one? I have two statements: one that should ALWAYS execute and one that should execute ONLY IF item.isfirst == true. But this apparently breaks the entire page — even DPs that are 100% wide don’t size themselves onload.

-The new design of the interaction panel is pure FOLLY! My cognitive load is going through the roof trying to understand the layout. Was it designed intentionally to try to keep people from using a lot of conditional logic? I’m worried for people learning this for the first time. SO MANY horizontal lines. I miss the old modal way; I could see a lot more stuff at once. And then once I had edited the interactions, the panel was nice and readable. Now, I can’t tell which actions are in which cases. Speaking of which…

-the case editor is super confusing now. There’s no contrast between the window and the text fields (this is a general problem with Axure now – it’s SO WHITE and the containers are SO UNBOUNDED. It took me forever to figure out “value” is now a subsection of “text”. I will remember this, but it was not intuitive for me. Text strings are text. Values are different.

-oh, another thing about the interaction panel. Copying and pasting interactions is broken. It used to be that I could quickly copy an interaction from one widget and paste into another. Now, I can still copy & paste ACTIONS, but to paste INTERactions I have to use the “add interaction” dropdown before pasting. Minor but annoying.

-The new way of editing DPs is awful. I miss opening them as if they were pages. When the rest of the page is still there, even when it’s masked, it’s impossible to tell at a glance whether something is at (0,0) within the panel or some other location. Infinite canvas is a double-edged sword.

-the infinite canvas aspect of the new design is causing Axure to run extremely slowly on my older (2013) macbook.

-There does not seem to be a discoverable flow for loading a widget library from Axshare.

-Have I mentioned that having the entire UI be white, with only occasional thin gray lines to separate sections, is making it really difficult to navigate? Or how making all text fields lines instead of boxes is making things unscannable? It’s like accessibility wasn’t even a consideration.

-KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS: why can’t I incrementally scale text with cmd + shift + > anymore? That was one of my most-used ones D:

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This is a huge issue for me. I use this all the time. I just tested it and it seems like it’s true—there is no way to see the OnPageLoad interactions…

Axure team, please consider changing this back to the way it worked before. Unless there’s a way to see the OnPageLoad interactions, I won’t be able to debug my prototypes.

Thanks,
-skb

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Hi lshillman,

Thanks for trying out Axure RP 9 Beta, and for the feedback! I’ve passed along everything you shared in this post with our designated teams for review, so hopefully that helps.

I did want to address some specific issues, though:

is there no way to have multiple “IF” statements anymore? Can there only be one? I have two statements: one that should ALWAYS execute and one that should execute ONLY IF item.isfirst == true. But this apparently breaks the entire page — even DPs that are 100% wide don’t size themselves onload.

Hmm, I’m unable to reproduce this from a simple test. For example, I’m seeing that DPs that are 100% wide resize themselves OnLoad, either with the “100% Wide (browser only)” option selected or through the DP’s OnLoad event. Could you post an example file where this is not working for you?

There does not seem to be a discoverable flow for loading a widget library from Axshare.

You can load a widget library from Axure Share by clicking on the library dropdown and looking to the “Available From Cloud” section, here:

Please note, however, that team project widget library RPLIBPRJ files are not yet supported on the Axure RP 9 Beta.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS: why can’t I incrementally scale text with cmd + shift + > anymore? That was one of my most-used ones D:

The hotkey for incrementing/decrementing font size has changed to [Opt] + [Cmd] + [+/-]. Please note that this has been implemented in the newest build of the Axure RP 9 Beta (9.0.0.3612), available via “Help > Check for Updates” from the main menu.

You can find the new hotkeys for Axure RP 9 Beta here:

Hi Jane,

Sure, here’s an example file of the broken page I was talking about. I realize there are a number of things that could be breaking the page; maybe it isn’t the multiple IF statements but rather something in the repeater or something I haven’t figured out.

broken_page.rp (1.5 MB)

Thanks for the heads up on the keyboard shortcuts and the Axshare widget libraries. I guess I was mainly talking about team libraries. It’s a relief to hear it’ll be back.

Cheers,
Luke

I also super confused by the Interaction Panel. I can’t understand the interaction structures at a glance. It looks colorful and pretty, but useless. The most powerful component of Axure was the interaction panel, even though It looked different from the Adobe & Sketch panels. I suppose that Axure wants to appeal their tool to visual designers and non-tech guys, but they will lose their loyal power prototypers.

As you mentioned, the search library panel is a very silly UI either. Please consider people and discoverability of the features. Apple and Flat design messed up the entire design industry, and Axure is following that way now. Axure is losing their core strength and unique & efficient UI design approach. I am a chief UX consultant of a small UX Consultancy, and I said that Axure 8 was an example of a good UI design. Easy to use and easy to understand. I was very impressed by the implementation details, but Axure 9 is very disappointing.

I think that I have to consider moving to other tools like Just-in-mind or Adobe XD or stick to Axure 8.
Jane, Do you have any plan to upgrade Axure 8 using Axure 9 engines? I’ve waited Axure 9 so long, but very disappointed now and don’t want to upgrade now even if it is free. (and, It’s not free)

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Hi Luke,

Thanks for sharing your .rp file! It looks like the Text Area widget conflicts with the repeater’s OnItemLoad if there are two conditional “If” cases in the 9 beta, and this is strange but the second bug manifests from the first one where having a repeater with two conditional “If” cases with the Text Area widget breaks the 100% wide setting for dynamic panels. I’ve filed both of these with our QA team to get looked at, but in the meantime, a workaround would be to remove the OnItemLoad’s second conditional case and instead move it to the OnLoad event of the first Text Area widget in the repeater.

Hopefully this helps!

broken_page_EDIT.rp (1.0 MB)

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Thanks Jane! This works.

Two more!

The first is pretty arcane: it seems that if I have a master inside a repeater, and that master contains an image with a different image as a mouseover style, that mouseover image is broken.

The second is more normal and a huge impact on my workflow: I can’t copy or paste into repeater datasets. A lot of info I use in my prototypes comes from a big ol’ CSV of actual product data, and having to type it all out by hand is painful. Hoping this one is a known issue!

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Hey lshillman!

For bug #1, thanks for the clear repro steps! I was able to reproduce this on my end, and I’ve filed this with our QA team for further investigation.

For bug #2, yep! This is a known bug we have on file, and our teams are currently looking into the issue.

I send that. MS Excel > Axure Repeater workflow is very important

Although I have liked the new interface, I must agree with @lshillman on most of the issues:

  • the interaction panel is worse than the old modal panel. As I’m used to create high fidelity prototypes, it’s now much harder to view all interactions. Even making adjustments are harder than the previous method.
  • The infinite canvas made (at least for me) editing pages much more confusing. Even when I had widgets out of the visible area of the page, it was much more intuitive. Now every time that I use the scroll whell to go back to the top of the page (which is much more quickly than clicking on the target at 0x0), I’m throw “out of bounds”. I wish there was some way to prevent this.
  • I’d much more prefer if the panel for Outlines could be docked at the bottom right (as in the previous versions). Having it coupled with the Pages (or other panels) really doesn’t help, as I’m constantly having to switch tabs. I really don’t like to leave it undocked, as it can easily be lost out of my working area.
  • Editing the DPs is really awful and make it much more harder to alternate between DPs from different pages.
  • Where is the paintbrush?! Please, this is something that was really useful - specially for copying interactive states.
  • Overall I feel that most of my actions now take much more steps to be done. When working on complex prototypes this can make a huge difference on a project and I really can’t see myself upgrading to the 9 while these issues are present.

Hi fernando.maciel,

Thanks for trying the 9 beta, and for the feedback! There are a couple of things I wanted to address that may help a bit with the frustrations you ran into:

  1. Build 3295 introduces the option of “condensing” your interactions. If you go to “Axure RP 9 Beta/File > Preferences” and select “Condensed View”, this should compress the space dedicated to viewing your interactions. If you like vs hate it, please feel free to give your feedback here:

    Interactions Condensed View

  2. I’ve filed your request of disabling the negative regions, but a quick way to go back to (0,0) is to click on the icon in the top left corner of the horizontal and vertical rulers, or to use the [Ctrl]/[Cmd] + [9] hotkey.

  3. In Axure RP 9, the UI panes (e.g. Outline pane) can be dragged and dropped about anywhere. To do this, simply click-drag the Outline pane to the bottom-right corner of the Axure UI, and this should dock it to the location you prefer.

  4. The format paintbrush is gone is the 9 beta, but we introduced a new feature of pasting styles, where you can copy a widget’s style - including interaction styles - and paste the style onto another widget via right-click > “Paste Special > Paste Style”.

To see all the new features we introduced with the 9 beta, please feel free to take a look at our “Axure RP 9 Tour File.rp” file, available as the most recent file from the Welcome Screen.

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@Jane_Axure definitely appreciate the condensed view. I posted my thoughts on the forum you linked:

Copy/pasting styles sounds like a great idea on paper and it is in keeping with how many other graphics apps do it, but the format painter in v8 was significantly more powerful and surgical in precision. For example, losing the ability to “paint” IX styles from one object to another is a HUGE blow to productivity.

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