Axure RP is a powerful design tool for creating highly interactive HTML prototypes for web, mobile, and desktop application projects. The RP in Axure RP stands for Rapid Prototyping which is the core focus of the tool.
Axure RP allows users to quickly create wireframes and prototypes from any rough ideas they may have.
I have been a UX designer for over 7 years for two agencies and a software company and have worked on a range of diverse projects in healthcare, entertainment, finance, sports, and education.
In this time, Axure RP has been my go-to design tool to produce and present your typical UX deliverables.
But if you are just starting out your design career or are just overwhelmed by the number of design tools out there, is Axure RP the right choice?
In this article, we cover what is Axure RP, what Axure is used for, who uses Axure, if it’s the right design tool for you and if it’s worth buying?
Here is the video for you.
What is Axure RP used for?
I use Axure RP at the start of a project during both the Research and Design phases of a project.
During the Research phase, here are some of the deliverables you can create in Axure RP.
Sitemaps — the overall architecture of a site
Personas — your target user needs and pain points
User Workflows — A specific set of steps a user goes through to complete a task
Customer journey maps — All the touch points, pain points and opportunities your customer go through when using your service.
During the Design phase, here are some of the deliverables you can create in Axure RP.
Wireframes — Structural layout of content and functionality of a website or mobile app
Prototypes — Interactive wireframes
Specification document — Handover document to developer detailing the scope of design work
Links to these downloadable free and premium Axure templates can be found at Humbleux.
As you can see you can achieve a very high level of detail/fidelity depending on what you are trying to convey and how much time you have on a project.
For me, it’s a great tool to tell and present the entire story of how you as a designer got to a solution for the client or to your team.
Is Axure RP easy to learn?
One of the main questions people ask is about how easy Axure is to learn.
I think it’s pretty easy to use the Axure RP interface.
The steeper learning curve comes in making the interactions do what you want, as is the case with most prototyping and animation programs.
Let’s take a closer look at the Axure RP interface.
The company has been around since 2003 and right now they are on version 9 which runs on both Mac and windows.
It has a rather straight forward interface similar to what you will find in most design tools on the market today.
A central canvas, specific device boards, formatting tools, a page hierarchy, layers but what makes it stand out may perhaps be these two sections.
A library of widgets that you can quite simply drag and drop onto the canvas.
This makes the process of designing very simple and straightforward.
Interactions section that houses a variety of application states that you use to bring your prototype to life.
Axure also provides a public link you can share with clients or the team for them to review and comment on your designs.
Who uses Axure RP?
Here are some of the types of users currently using Axure RP:
- UX designers
- Web designers
- UX researchers
- UX consultants/analysts
- Senior/Head designers managing teams
If you are a UI designer, this is probably not the right option to get.
In my honest opinion, Axure RP has always been a prototyping tool that supports UX Activities and not a pure design tool like Sketch, Adobe XD and Figma.
That’s why you won’t find masking, union operations, or an emphasis on Design Systems.
Furthermore, vector functionality was only recently added in Axure 8.
I have used Axure RP alongside UI design tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma in my career. Some tools are better suited for particular tasks.
If you are a UX designer this is the right tool to get into.
It’s a great investment as most UX roles list Axure RP as a requirement and it’s widely used in the field.
Axure RP has been a standard in the UX industry because of its focus on function over form. This allows the UX professionals to focus on strategy, layout, and functionality.
This is not to say you cannot design a beautiful interface with Axure but there are better tools that can do that job.
Otherwise, you might find yourself jumping from one design tool to another to get things just the way you want them.
Is Axure RP worth buying?
I would definitely recommend Axure RP for any individual trying to play out their ideas professionally for handover to the team or presenting to a client.
As a company, they are constantly improving the interface and that opens up new ways of using the tool.
How much is Axure RP?
Axure RP comes in at $29 per month for
- Unlimited reviewers
- Unlimited prototypes
- 1,000 projects on Cloud
- Advanced Prototyping
- Wireframes, Diagrams & Documentation
There are other pricing options for collaboration functionality and enterprise versions of Axure RP.
If you are starting out with a low budget, you can do what I did which is try out the 30-day trial version to get a feel of the program.
If you are a student you can get it for free.
Try to see if you can do a project with it.
And then create a proposal motivating for your company to purchase it.
If it’s too expensive, I would recommend a cheaper UX program to start off with like Balsamiq or UXPin.
Price-wise its a worthwhile investment in the long run and Axure has a massive community so you can get advice when you get stuck.
Axure has resources and tutorials listed on their website at
If you would like to speed up your learning, we have a big library of free widgets that you can download and customize for your own design projects at Humbleux.com
Axure vs Sketch