UX/UI Design tools contribute to creating outstanding user experiences. This field has become essential nowadays as it is how users interact with products and services. While UI focuses on the products' interface, UX takes care of its users' interactions. Which tools are your allies to achieve a superb combination of both edges? Let's review what UX/UI tools to use to achieve the best Product Design results in 2023!
What are User Experience (UX) Tools?
UX tools focus on the user and the type of experience they will have when interacting with a product. These tools are ideal for structuring and prioritizing information, allowing designers to create a better information flow. In short, they help enhance the user experience. As a result, UX tools enable you to design responsive designs for a myriad of digital products.
What Features to Look for in UX Tools?
There are specific characteristics that a UX tool must have.
1. Real-Time Collaboration. Productivity can be much better with software that allows real-time collaboration. The core idea of this feature is to enable multiple users to work together on the same project. Yet, beyond real-time interaction, these tools need to be able to review previous versions.
2. Design Transfer. After finishing the design, you must deliver it to the development team. Although it looks simple, the designs include vectors needed in the coding process. Hence, this transfer gives developers a better understanding of each project element.
3. Interactive Prototypes. It's a must that UX tools provide interactive prototypes. In other words, professionals must be able to navigate between the product's pages and screens. The idea is to have an interactive space for teams to test their hypotheses while presenting their ideas and values. For instance, if you're running a Design Sprint, there's no use if you can't test the prototype.
4. Cross-System and Cloud-Based. Software should house all the essential features in one place. This item encloses supporting a suitable data transfer system and good final visualization of all elements.
Popular User Experience (UX) Tools
1. Balsamiq. Balsamiq has a simple interface that emphasizes the creation of low-fidelity wireframes. It's perfect for designers with little wireframing experience!
2. FlowMapp. This tool allows the creation of user flow and the development of visual sitemaps. FlowMapp encloses some essentials in UX design, like structure, maps, and flows.
3. Treejack. This software specializes in information architecture. Treejack allows testing the structure through real users and making data-based content and organization changes.
4. Wireframe.cc. Wireframe.cc offers minimalist wireframing through simple interfaces.
5. Optimal Workshop. With Optimal Workshop, teams can run usability testing of the design architecture. This tool provides designers with essential data about user interaction, and it's easily combinable with other tools, like Treejack, Chalk Mark, and Reframer.
What are User Interface (UI) Tools?
As for UI tools, these allow designers to develop wireframes, prototypes, and specific models. Their design focuses on creating results with a high fidelity and viability index. Further, the focus here is on contributing to the essential elements of any visual design. These elements include typography, colors, images, hover actions, buttons, etc.
What Features to Look for in UX Tools?
Like UX tools, there are some features to look for when searching UI tools.
1. Image-Based Tools. As you might know, Adobe Photoshop has been around for a long time. Yet, in most cases, its limits relate to imagining functional prototypes. Hence, the best option is to bet on a code-based design tool. The image-based ones are sufficient. There are a lot of platforms for creating complex designs and systems!
2. Functional Fidelity. A good UI tool should offer code-ready components. Moreover, developers should use these components to bring their ideas to life. When the prototype works well, devs can work on it immediately. Bet on a tool that allows data transfer and design for the whole team to be on the same page! This approach provides for maintaining design consistency from start to finish.
3. Accurate Data Usage. UI design must integrate actual data usability. The idea is to make the interactions resemble basic behaviors.
4. Dynamic Design System. A design system helps designers to stay on the same page. It provides a concise collection of tools, patterns, and values. Because this collection is reusable, it makes the design workflow very easy. The system must be dynamic and updatable, and accessible on Windows or MacOS. It must also be compatible with accessing it from the web.
Popular User Interface (UI) Tools
1. Figma. Now acquired by Adobe, Figma creates dynamic prototypes allowing functionality and usability tests. Further, it hosts a collaborative and real-time environment that allows synchronizing every progress. Of course, while mentioning Figma, it's also essential to note FigJam. This whiteboard tool is perfect for project planning and organizing team ideas.
2. Sketch. This platform has a library of symbols, text styles, resizing functionality, and subtle alignment. Sketch is an ideal tool for executing changes and optimizing prototype delivery.
3. InVision. InVision Studio is perfect for creating functional, dynamic, and animated prototypes. It facilitates communication, file transfer, and collaboration. InVision also has a digital whiteboard where the team can integrate and brainstorm ideas.
4. AdobeXD. It's impossible to get Adobe's design products off the list! AdobeXD is a perfect vector-based tool for prototyping in real time.
Choosing the right UX/UI design tools this 2023 is quite challenging, but it is possible. Yet, there are specific questions to ask yourself before starting. How are the tools helping the communication between your team? Do these platforms cover your basic needs? Are they helping to achieve your goals and concepts coherently? Once you answer these questions, you can narrow down which tools can make your UX/UI game reach GOAT status!