Skip to main content

Prototyping Tools Review: Is Axure RP the Best Tool for Prototyping?

As the leader of the prototype tool market, Axure RP (Axure rapid prototyping) is the oldest and most powerful brand with a history of 15 years. But are you agree is Axure RP the best for prototyping? Is Axure the only choice? I selected three popular prototyping tools for UI/UX designers and UX design team on the market (Mockplus, Justinmind, to compare in different dimensions to see if Axure is the best and the only choice for designers.

Axure rp

Price Cost

Price is often a decisive factor in choosing the prototyping tools. In general, there are multiple choices on the subscription patterns for each tool, such as the monthly subscriptions, annual subscriptions, personal editions, team versions, and the perpetual license. Here we simply make a comparison basing on the single average monthly price of the annual subscription.

Axure: 29 $ per month

Mockplus: 10.75 $ per month

Justinmind: 19 $ per month 24 $ per month

From the point of price cost, Axure is the most expensive among the 4 tools, Justinmind and are in the middle, and Mockplus is the cheapest that is almost the one-third of Axure. Comparatively speaking, Axure RP's price is not very friendly.

Widgets and Design

In order to create a prototype, predefined widgets are used in all tools, which work like a modular system.

Axure: Standard libraries are not exactly comprehensive, only some simple geometric shapes, form elements, headings, and texts. You have to find free or paid libraries on the Internet.

Mockplus: It has 200 commonly used components and 3000 icons. That means you can find the components and icons, as well as some typical project samples easily and directly use in design, for example, the data grid, page control, Android/Apple status bar, various commonly used icons (column chart, bar chart, line chart) just pick it up and save lots of time on your prototyping design.

Components in mockplus

Justinmind & They also have their own standard component library, and Justinmind also allows you to customize component libraries.

To sum up, Axure RP is relatively lagging behind in the development of components. Therefore, it may be time cost on the collection of component libraries.


The current mainstream prototyping tools all support interactions and animation.

Axure & Justinmind: They both support on gesture interaction, complex interaction by variable functions, and the condition interaction implementing different operations. Axure RP in the interaction and animation can achieve very outstanding and delicate effect, it’s neck and neck with Justinmind. But you will put a lot of time on it.

Mockplus: The feature of Mockplus is to quickly achieve simple interaction through dragging and dropping, what you see is what you get, greatly simplifies the interaction design. It is one of the more distinctive on the support of dragging objects, the status, the animation timeline, and also supports a variety of conditions to determine the dynamic effect.

In addition, if you need to add some interaction on the completed mockup. and the upcoming new version of Mockplus support to import Sketch directly.It’s easy to transform mockup into a prototype.

Presentation and Usability Testing

Presentation and usability testing

At the usability test phase, the efficiency of the presentation is extremely important.

Axure: With Axure Share, users can test prototypes on their phones. But it has a poor support for the compatibility for different models and systems of the mobile phone. So it can not restore the exact animations and interactive effects.Generally speaking, Axure has a poor support on the mobile device.

Mockplus: It provides variable ways of project sharing and presentation, you can quickly test the prototype on mobile smoothly.

Justinmind: It provides Usernote function, the user can apply for 10M prototype publish space for free. After publishing, you can share the published URL on the mobile device and test your prototype. But the user experience is bad due to the slow loading speed. As an online prototyping tool, is a little weak in the presentation, but you can use the plug-in lookback to record the using process, gestures, and facial expressions of users.
Axure should optimize its presentation, otherwise it is not conducive to the rapid testing and iteration of the product.

Learning Cost

Axure & Justinmind: They are powerful on interaction, but on the other hand, Axure's its conditional judgment, variables, and repeaters require a very steep learning curve,which is less friendly and difficult to manage for newbie PM.

Mockplus & Comparatively, they are relatively simple to start without learning costs and deep technical background, and they are suitable for all sizes of software team, personal use in the software development and design stage, especially for software rapid development and iteration.

Axure is relatively time-consuming in learning, although it can achieve rich interaction. However, it is easy to make yourself be slaved by tool, and limit the design thinking.


From this comparison we can see, Axure is powerful, but it can not do everything. With the concept of “fast and simple”, Mockplus is also a kind of "powerful" prototyping tool. I think presenting prototype efficiently and rapidly is the most fundamental purpose.

In addition, every subject has its own experts, there is no best tool but only the most suitable one. Axure and Justinmind have rich features to achieve complex interaction, so they are suitable for professional designers to achieve high-fidelity prototype. is suitable for mobile prototypes that require rich animations and for UX designers who are looking for visual effects. Mockplus is suitable for mobile and web page prototyping, which is low-fidelity visually, high-fidelity on component interactions.

So, is Axure RP the best for prototyping? I believe everyone has their own judgments and views, as long as the tool is conducive to the prototype design, it will be the best "Hamlet".


Popular posts from this blog

Top 15 UX/UI Designers You Should Follow to Flow Out Inspiration in 2018

As is known, design is a rather broad and hard-to-define term. There are a wealth of different responsibilities encompassed by the term designer and design-related roles which have been existing in a wide range of areas, varying from print (publications and magazine) to industrial design (furniture and cars). With new design roles emerging in the industry, job titles like UX/UI designers seem to be confusing for both experienced and uninitiated designers. Before diving deeper, let’s have a quick look on the difference between UX and UI terms. User Experience (UX) designis a concept that has many dimensions and primarily concerned with how the product will feel. To solve a specific user problem, a UX designer will explore many different approaches, as any given design problem doesn’t have one single right answer. By identifying verbal/non-verbal stumbling blocks, UX designers refine and iterate to make the “best” user experience. Here is how Laura Klein (the author of UX for Lean Start…

13 Must-Have UX Tools for Designers

What are the UX design tools you use to create flowcharts? What are the best tools for wireframingprototypinguser testinginteraction design or team collaboration? There are an overwhelming number of UX tools out there, and finding the best can be mind-boggling. If you’re looking for UX design tools and UX wireframe tools to make your life easier, this post is written specifically for you. To help you create apps/websites with high productivity, we explore 13 amazing UX tools and best prototyping tools you should have for 2017. UX tools for mind mapping: MindManager
A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. It is a great way to brainstorm, make a plan, or turn ideas into the steps needed to make it real. MindManager is one of the best mind mapping software application developed by Mindjet. The digital mind maps can be used a “virtual whiteboard” for brainstorming, managing and planning projects, compiling research, organizing large amounts of information, an…

Professional UX Design Approaches for Building The Best Website

Building a website through UX design approaches is very much like painting or sculptural art, they all take patience, foresight, aesthetics ability, creativity and perception of details. Generally, the website you design represents your company, it needs to be stunning and breathtaking. If you look deeper into the aspects of website building, you can find some core UX features that outstanding websites share. By analyzing the top design trends, we may accurately trace out four major professional UX design methods for website building. 1. Streamlined Navigation By saying “Streamlined Navigation”, I do not only refer to the navigation bar but all others navigations on a larger scale. Not to mention the great ones, a standard website also needs to be of high usability. Besides that, the speed and accuracy of loading are of decisive significance as well. In professional UX principles, the typography should be carefully organized to ensure the best user experience. Links should be highly …