Wrong tools always translate to poor results. It’s common knowledge but is commonly ignored. A good UI or UX designer should never make that error.
Selecting the right design tools and services enables better visualization, organization, and communication. The best UI/UX design tools can help you reduce the time and energy spent designing an application. They also decisively impact the quality of your output.
Top 10 UX/UI design tools and services
Sketch has been the go-to design tool for website building for over a decade. The reasons – a simple interface, comprehensive toolkit functionality, and a long list of useful plugins. Sketch has kept up with the times with regular upgrades. These include a first-rate prototyping tool and support for real-time collaboration.
The monthly cost of using Sketch is $9 for a single user. You can alternately opt for an annual fee of $99 per user.
Advantages of using Sketch
- Sketch’s highly intuitive interface enables even inexperienced designers to create stunning, detailed interface designs.
- With Sketch, you can convert mockup designs into prototypes, test, and share them – all in quick time.
- You can instantly share designs/documents, invite team members and guests to collaborate on projects in real-time.
InVision Studio is a UX design tool that allows the creation of advanced, layered vector-based designs. Designing, animating, and creating prototypes with this software is both fast and easy.
InVision Studio has excellent learning resources which virtually eliminate the need for additional technical assistance. You get to choose from 50 plus different design apps and a vast library of icons, plugins, and UI kits.
InVision Studio offers a free plan for individual users. The cross-collaborative plan for teams costs $4.95 per month per user. If you pay annually, you’ll be spending $4 per month per user.
Advantages of using InVision Studio
- You can link multiple canvases or artboards together into a single, complex animation. Such animations are perfect for video introductions and end screens.
- InVision Studio allows you to instantly switch themes from dark to light. If you’re designing an interface featuring a dark color scheme, the light theme can be an effective visual aid. And vice versa.
- You can create highly responsive prototypes without having to write any code. You can also test a prototype or animation on your mobile device. To share it to your device, select “Mirror”, open the mobile app and scan the QR code.
Axure is one of the most versatile web development tools of the day. Its most popular applications are wireframing and creating highly realistic functional prototypes. It’s also great for conducting UX documentation, creating interactive diagrams and customer journey maps.
With Axure, UX/UI designers can execute everything from application development, implementation, and testing to gathering feedback without writing a single code.
Individual users can get Axure at $29 per month or pay $25 per month as an annual fee. Axure’s team plan is priced at $49 per month, $42 per month if you choose to pay annually.
Advantages of using Axure
- Axure’s mobile app Azure Share allows you to share your diagrams and prototypes with others through any device. The app is compatible with Android as well as IOS devices.
- Axure’s Share module is an efficient, time-saving asset-sharing solution. It allows you to invite others to collaborate on a particular file or project. You can create project-specific teams, share data and collect feedback through the team directory.
- Axure lets you integrate elements from other web development software such as Sketch’s artboards, Figma’s frames, and Adobe XD’s layers.
Craft is a free-to-use plugin suite for Sketch and Photoshop. Craft includes the following tools:
It enables you to sync your designs from Photoshop and Sketch with InVision.
It helps you create interactive prototypes inside your design environment using real design files.
Design System Manager (DSM)
For designing at scale and helping the team build, manage and evolve an efficient design system.
This tool enables you to pull relevant data from your personal files, public APIs, or the web. You can customize this data and include it in your design with a single click.
Stock lets you access millions of high-resolution images from iStock and Getty and utilize them in your designs.
This tool allows you to share images and artboards with others and collaborate with them in real-time.
Advantages of using Craft
- Craft allows you to manage all your plugins from your desktop using Craft Manager. Tasks like updating, activating, and deactivating different plugins are a breeze.
- Converting a design into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is quick and easy.
- It’s free!
Proto.io is a UX design tool that allows you to create interactive prototypes in the shortest possible time. The drag-and-drop design function makes this tool suitable for virtually everyone – from designers and product managers to entrepreneurs.
The entry-level plan is called the Freelancer plan. It’s priced at $29 per month, $24 per month if you choose to make an annual one-time payment.
Advantages of using Proto.io
- You can trigger a wide array of actions such as control audio, email, open URL, animate, and make a call.
- You can share a prototype several times, using a different link for each share. You can control the Security and Sharing settings of individual links; even add password protection for advanced security.
- io has a vast, rich library of UI components such as templates, icons, patterns, sound effects, and animations. All of these are easy to customize.
Adobe XD is a vector-based design tool for building websites, mobile apps, and product prototypes. It offers custom UI design kits with a wide range of colors, icons, fonts, and components. You can import the components you like and customize them to suit your design needs.
You can buy a monthly subscription at $9.99.
Advantages of using Adobe XD
- Adobe XD allows you to import designs and tools from apps such as Illustrator and Photoshop. You can edit a design in Photoshop and instantly update it to Adobe XD.
- Adobe XD supports voice commands. You can set up your own list of voice commands to execute different tasks.
- Adobe XD allows codeless prototyping and animation. You also get access to over 200 useful plugins. These facilitate automating common tasks such as creating grid layouts and editing layer names.
Marvel lets you create high-fidelity prototypes, mockups, wireframes, and interfaces in a quick, easy manner. Marvel has a rich library of icons, stock images, and other design components. You can also integrate your own images and import designs from other platforms such as Sketch.
The basic paid plan for individuals is priced at $8 per month (billed per year).
Advantages of using Marvel
- The interface is simple yet highly intuitive and you don’t need any additional software. The learning curve is virtually non-existent and onboarding doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
- User testing is easy and highly efficient. Marvel’s testing tool lets you capture and see every click, follow every movement a user makes when testing the prototype. This helps you see through the user’s eyes, identify missteps and rectify them.
- Marvel has custom tools ideally suited to the needs of an individual UX/UI designer, small and large teams. Individuals can work on a single project without paying any fee.
Figma is a web-based UX/UI design and graphics editing tool with a strong focus on real-time collaboration. It enables you to create graphics for wireframing, mobile apps, social media posts, and prototyping.
Features such as real-time editing, one-click access to version history, and embedded commenting make it one of the best UX/UI design tools for both small and large-sized teams.
Figma offers a free starter plan that allows you to design up to 3 Figma files. The professional plan has no restriction on the number of files you can work on. It’s priced at $15 per month and is billed $12 per month if you pay a one-time annual fee.
Advantages of using Figma
- Figma allows you to instantly switch between live prototypes and design files. Any edits you make to your design are instantly reflected in the prototype.
- Figma has a dedicated plugin for virtually everything, from icons and stock images to flow diagrams. You can also create private plugins and share them with the members of your team.
- Figma runs entirely inside your web browser, so there’s no need for installation.
Framer (formerly Framer X) has a simple, user-friendly interface, and some pretty powerful design features. These include multi-player design editing, mobile previews, reusable assets, and in-line commenting.
Framer is priced at €19 per month per user (approximately $21.37).
Advantages of using Framer
- Framer’s Webcam feature lets you add webcam feed to a design without coding. This is particularly useful when prototyping apps or devices that support video calling.
- The Spotify component allows you to embed music, podcasts, and playlists from your Spotify account into your project.
Origami Studio 3
Origami Studio 3 is a prototyping and animation software that makes the process of UX/UI design easier, more intuitive, and quicker than ever. It allows you to integrate designs from popular UX/UI design platforms such as Sketch and Figma.
Advantages of using Origami Studio 3
- Origami’s Photo Library allows you to create image-based layouts using photos and videos from your camera roll.
- The Audio Metering feature allows you to measure an audio clip’s frequency as well as volume. This data is invaluable for creating visualizations from songs, recorded audio files, even live audio.
- It’s free to use.
How to select the ideal UI/UX design tool?
Make sure you weigh each of these tools based on their suitability for your project, the size of your team, your coding knowledge, favorite features, and budget. That will help you identify the perfect design solution for your needs, make work and life easier and more fun.
You’re now familiar with the top 10 UI UX design tools and services of the day. Time you got to work.