Why are dumb apps like Figma and Sketch overtaking Axure in popularity?


Hi there,

I think I still feel pretty much the same. I’ve dove deep into Figma prototyping and still don’t think it has even the basic functionality needed to be a useful prototyping tool. The UX itself is very poor and what takes a few minutes in Axure can take ten times longer in Figma. Case in point is modals. If you know both apps you know what I mean. Also, for some reason everything has to be a variable. This is tedious, time-consuming and doesn’t play well with revisions. That and it can’t even do the most basic forms or textfields, etc. Pretty pathetic, to be honest.

I think Figma is a great app but it just doesn’t do well at anything beyond a slideshow.


I LOVE Axure - but there are 2 HUGE glaring problems that they need to catch up on to keep my attention.

  1. Styles. You can’t share styles between project files. At least not easily. You can’t change one color in one place and have it reflect elsewhere in other files. This is a token system that is used in Figma that I LOVE. Though Figma can’t do nearly the programmed interaction logic that Axure can.

  2. Components/Masters. Again, cannot be shared across files, and along with the styles problem, components can’t be updated from one place if colors change. Also, there’s no concept of flexibility with components. You can’t resize a component instance. It literally has to look exactly the same as the parent component in everyway. Even changing the text in something as simple as a button will not lengthen the width of the button. This is a big part of why I’ve been considering switching to Figma because I miss being able to do that with Sketch way back when.

In short - configuring components and styles so that you can modify the look of your primary buttons across all projects/many files from ONE place is available in those other applications. Axure cannot do that. Additionally, these other apps have way more flexibility in components and variants of components so there’s a lot less repetitive work to do.

What they don’t have… good interaction logic. Figma has glaring issues and bugs all over the place when just trying to make a few checkboxes trigger a button nearby to be enabled or not. Considering all the specs for interactions and whatnot are usually built into systems like Angular-Material components… I’d rather have all my styles and component libraries be easily configurable from one place instead of worrying about the speed at which a flyout enters or exists the screen.

So I’d guess those are the main reasons why people don’t want to use a VERY expensive piece of software that is really only good at one specific thing… realistic interactions in prototypes. It basically sucks at everything else design related (color, typography, layout, styling, consistent components)


Unfortunately - all the promises of variables are lost on the fact that variables can only be used by the top level layer/component. So if you have a list item, with a checkbox within it… that checkbox can’t tell any other object on the page if it’s checked or not, nor can it even directly hide or show another object (if you wanted to do a workaround).

IMHO - Figma should put all of it’s coins in the interactions dept right now. It’s GREAT at variables/tokens regarding atomic design / design systems (i.e. look and feel) but TERRIBLE at interaction logic. Specifically because it literally let’s you setup complex logic, but just doesn’t tell you when and where it just will not work. I spent the last two days trying to understand why my logic wasn’t processing and then I read a support article/thread that was like … yeah you just can’t pass variables like that… ok… so why does the UI let me setup the functions for those components to do so?

It’s sad that all the UX programs have some of the worst UX I’ve ever seen. Ironic really.


My dream app is something that speaks the language of the web as well as Figma does but with the ease of use and power in interaction design found in Axure.