With the exciting new release of Axure RP 8, we look at the new features that we have been waiting for and will definitely be using on a frequent basis.

  1. New widget library for icons
    The inclusion of a new library of built-in customisable icons from Fontawesome for Axure RP 8. If you did not know, Fontawesome is an ever expanding icon font that allows for customising size, color without losing quality. The inclusion of icons can transform a low fidelity wireframe to a more understandable and great looking design. For Axure RP7, a tedious workaround was developed by the users to include Fontawesome icons in Axure prototypes, so its great to see this inclusion for a frequently used activity across mobile and desktop designs.
  2. Pen tool
    We have definitely been waiting for this one. Axure 8 has a Pen tool which gives Axure, the vector drawing capabilities similar to Adobe Illustrator and Sketch App. Everyone who has used Axure for wire framing and prototyping, will have inevitably longed to produce complex shapes but these were not available in the default native libraries. Line Graphs, pie charts, silhouettes, custom icons etc were not possible in Axure RP 7 so we definitely welcome this feature with open arms.
  3. Global styling
    Axure 8 offers an exciting feature that fundamentally changes the workflow process when it comes to styling your wireframes and prototypes. The default widget styles can be changed at any point creating a editable base style set for the whole project. This feature is a more evolve aspect of the default and custom styles that Axure 7 had and will frequently come in handy on larger projects.
  4. Group properties
    Similar to a lot of you, in Axure 7 we used a hotspot that covered several widgets to apply the same action to everything below the hotspot. Now, Axure users will be able to apply an interaction or action to a group of objects by simply grouping them. Now that is very cool.
  5. Printing options
    Though Axure was ideally developed to generate HTML prototypes which would be viewed on any browser, in the wild it never quite works out that way. There are occasions were printing your project makes sense for team reviews and client meetings (clients loving killing trees). This becomes a painstaking exercise as an Axure project may contain sitemaps, long webpage wireframes which do not fit on a A4 page. Axure 8 makes that printing workflow easier with a significantly improved set of printing options including paper size, print guides and scaling parameters.

Bonus gem
Individual Page Adaptive views
Axure 8 now allows for adaptive views that can be enabled per page rather than the whole project. This is obviously important when your project does not only contain wireframes but personas, sitemaps, analytics, user journeys and so forth. Two thumbs up.

Overall verdict
Axure 8 looks to be a good improvement on some of the key areas users struggled with in Axure RP7 so definitely looking forward on giving it a full spin on some bigger client projects. So far so good. Not entirely sure about the subscription model though. Keeping the one-off payment option may be more profitable.

To get a full list of new features you can go the Axure blog

Published by Calvin Pedzai

Lead UX designer for digital agency

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