Note: The Axure RP 9 beta is now available! See what’s new and download the beta.
Each of the last several releases of Axure RP has taken a step forward in facilitating the creation and presentation of mobile designs. Axure RP 7 added the adaptive views feature, which was further refined in version 8. The version 8 cycle also saw a major update to the Axure Share mobile app, which allows for easy presentation and storage of prototypes on a mobile device.
During the development of Axure RP 9, we reexamined the tool’s workflows for mobile design and presentation and found a number of opportunities for improvement. We think the new mobile prototyping experience is a big step forward.
- The new page dimensions settings size down the traditional large canvas to a more focused view of your design based on your target device’s viewport size. You can choose from a few popular presets (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel), or you can choose your own width-height dimension values when needed. Page dimensions are set per-page, so you can include several different sizes in a single project.
- Making the page mobile-size was a step in the right direction, but the experience of building the design in the upper left corner of the canvas still felt less than ideal. To fix this, we implemented the ability to scroll to negative space on the canvas. You can now keep your mobile design centered on your screen, no matter how zoomed out (or in) you are.
- We also saw an opportunity to more suitably showcase mobile designs via a desktop browser. (Previous versions of Axure RP have certainly been capable of this, but the steps required were a barrier to quickly sharing mobile concepts.) With Axure RP 9 we’re debuting a new prototype player that shows your mobile designs in a distraction-free environment that emulates the mobile experience right in your web browser. The design is presented within the specified page dimensions and imitates mobile scrolling.
- Since I brought up adaptive views at the top of this post, I’ll mention that the feature has once again been improved in the new version. View sets are now assigned per-page, meaning you can have different sets of adaptive views for different pages in the same project. You could, for example, have a page with adaptive views for iOS devices and another page with adaptive views for Android.
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Overall, we think these tweaks and adjustments to the mobile workflow in Axure RP 9 add up to a seriously improved experience. And if you see anything else that could make mobile prototyping even better—beta release coming soon!—please let us know about it.