We were excited to see the release of an Axure Figma plugin which claims to better connect Figma and Axure. The Adage Strategy & Design team is always looking for and learning new methods, tools, and practices to keep pushing our design practice. Our current toolset includes Axure RP 9 for clickable prototypes and Figma for high fidelity user interface designs. We love Figma for UI design as it provides tools that support a component-driven approach (also called an Atomic Approach) to designing user interface systems. We love Axure RP 9 for its best-in-class prototyping tools. Axure is still among the most powerful prototyping tools for complex, and conditional workflows required for e-commerce.

The Axure Figma Plugin

Figma and the Figma community are regularly releasing new plugins. There are many amazing plugins that save time and improve workflows. The Axure Figma plugin requires Axure RP 9 version 9.0.0.3694 or newer and Axure Cloud Desktop App.

5 Benefits of the Axure Figma Plugin

  1. Allows direct publication of Figma frames to Axure
  2. Speeding up Figma to Axure workflows
  3. Select Figma frames and the plugin copies the frame to Axure
  4. Seamlessly handoff visual assets 
  5. Keep your RP prototypes and Figma designs in one place
Will Lead User Experience Designer

Adage Tech’s Will, Lead User Experience Designer, evaluated the Axure Figma plugin and here is what he found.

Initial Assessment of the Axure Figma Plugin

  • The UI inspector is quite good
  • No auto-sync between frames, have to manually push individual frames to the cloud each time there’s a change
  • Have to divide the project up by breakpoint, so you’d have to show 3 different projects
  • Limited hotspot/interactivity options
Axure Figma Plugin Menus – Export to Axure

Unfortunately, in our evaluation, we found that the plugin’s current limitations will limit its viability within our design workflow. In addition, the limitations noted above the plugin does not currently support Figma masters, auto-layout, and some library items with a frame. While the Axure Figma plugin does allow pulling in individual components it also requires break-aways from the Figma masters. In other words, the benefit of the plugin is negated by having to break apart masters.

Figma – Axure Dialog Connecting Projects

Components are UI elements that you can reuse across your designs.

The Master Component defines the properties of the Component. The Instance is a copy of the Component you reuse in your designs.

From Figma: “Create an Instance of a Master Component”.
Axure Cloud – Desktop App

Major Limitations of the Axure Plugin

  • Does not render or recognize masters, auto-layout, or some library items within a frame
  • You can bring in individual components but this would require break-aways from Masters in Figma

Conclusion

  • Not worth using YET
  • The Axure Cloud desktop app is great for organizing projects

The Axure Figma plugin is currently at version 4 as of May 21, 2020. We are looking forward to future iterations of the plugin. We see a lot of potential in this addition to our Axure & Figma workflow.