Top 10 Best UX/UI Designs Tools

UX designers are in charge of establishing the path a user travels when utilizing a...

Top 10 Best UX/UI Designs Tools

UX designers are in charge of establishing the path a user travels when utilizing a product or service in order to create excellent user experiences. UX designers use a number of design methods, such as wireframing and prototyping, on a regular basis. Because many UX designers work as part of a larger UX/UI or product design team, the most commonly used tools usually offer some type of collaboration capability.

Many UX design tools focus on the user: What will a user see when interacting with an application or service? How will a user flow through a service? UX design tools keep these considerations in mind. These tools can help designers create layouts and prototypes, structure information, and determine how a user will flow through the product.

In the UX/UI designer field, there are numerous tools available to cater to a wide variety of consumers, from beginners to experts. From wireframing to polished interactive prototypes, certain technologies can manage the whole UX design process. Others are narrower in scope, allowing designers to concentrate on wireframes, prototypes, or icon designs. Having the appropriate equipment for your job can make a huge impact.

Why Are UX/UI Design Tools Essential for Designers?

UI deals with designing the interface with elements to make it digestible, and UX focuses on mapping out the user journey to create a perfect digital product. 

Many software available in the market under UI/UX design tools are multi-purpose nowadays. Meaning they perform certain functions of both processes.

If you’re a designer reading this, bear in mind that, while UI/UX tools are multipurpose, each of these processes requires its own set of abilities, and mastering multiple of them can take a long time. However, after you’ve mastered more than one talent, your comfort and competence with these instruments, as well as your compensation, skyrocket. Rest assured that this will be included in your invoice for services delivered. Then it’s just a matter of selecting the appropriate software tools.

How to Pick the Right UX/UI Design Tool for You? 

To help you choose the right UX tool, here are some factors you should consider while shortlisting. 

For Prototyping

Look for features such as a no-code interface, easy export and sharing functionality, animations, and responsive design support. 

For Wireframing

Pick tools that offer free components such as icons, shortcuts for processes, and simple controls.

For Mockups

To create mockups, make sure the tool you choose offers many built-in tools to design recreations.

For Collaboration

Designing is teamwork, so the tool you choose must support collaboration on projects that allows for commenting, tagging, and marking. 

Plugins

Plugins allow designers to get more out of a tool when it lacks particular features they require. Check that your tool supports plugins so that you can use it with plugins to do functions that your chosen tool doesn’t support.

UI Kits and Resources

Resources and kits save a lot of time as designers don’t have to design things from scratch. A tool with UI Kits and resources such as templates, themes, etc., will speed up the design process.

Integrations

Integrations ensure that you can streamline your process and share data between platforms with ease. A UX tool should offer integrations with different platforms like CRM, Cloud, etc., to make the process efficient.

Best Designing Tools

Designing tools are general-purpose programs that allow UX designers to create and edit assets for use in designs. Many of these tools are used both in UX design and web design as a whole.

1. Maze

Maze is a powerful rapid testing platform that allows designers to run in-depth tests with or without prototypes, and to test and validate ideas, concepts, or copy.

Designers working at any point of the process will benefit greatly from the variety of tests available. Usability tests with open-ended follow-up questions can provide deep user insights, bringing designers and real users closer together than ever before. Meanwhile, quantitative data from A/B tests, success rates, misclick rates, and page heatmaps help lead designers in the right path.

Maze offers broad integration options, tying in third-party prototyping and wireframing tools like Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, Marvel, and Sketch. Pairing Maze’s testing features with these UI design tools means that good design decisions are constantly being justified, while poor ideas are scrapped early on.

The software continues to be useful even before or after designers move from the prototype stage to creating the actual product. Running research surveys and gathering user feedback ensures that the product never strays too far from what users want or expect. Running on assumptions is never a good idea—as Gabriel Kirmaier of UX Bites says, “When we learn from the user, we make better products.”

Features:

  • Supports usability testing to gather rich user insights using open-ended follow-up questions. 
  • A/B testing, misclick rates, success rates, and page heatmaps may all be calculated with this tool.Offers a variety of integrations with third-party tools like InVision, Marvel, Sketch, Adobe XD, and Figma.

Good for: Rapid prototype testing, Usability testing, A/B testing, Remote testing

Works on: Browsers

Free trial/version available: Yes

Pricing: Maze is free for individual projects, while paid plans are available at $25 per user/month

2. Sketch

Sketch is an established standard UX tool to design hi-fi prototypes and interfaces with an instant preview on mobile devices. It comes with a Symbols feature that helps create UI elements for reuse purposes.

Since its beginnings, it has gradually expanded its capabilities to include real-time collaboration tools and a prototype tool, as well as seamless integration with third-party plug-ins.

While it dominates the design world on macOS, it’s only available on that one operating system—so Linux and Windows users will have to look elsewhere.

Good for: Prototyping, Design

Works on: MAC

Free trial/version available: No

Features:

  • With this design and prototyping tool, users can create mockups and share them with a team for feedback. 
  • Add images and customize the text to get an accurate picture of the finished product. 
  • This tool can help UX designers at all levels, especially those who need to obtain feedback from numerous team members.
  • Sketch has a large user community and tons of integrations, so it’s pretty easy to get up and running.

Price: $9/editor, month (charged yearly)

3. InVision 

InVision is a versatile design tool that has a strong focus on enabling a top user experience. Using Invision, a UX/UI designer can go from outlining the user journey to collaborating on early design, to wireframes and prototypes, and finally to its design handoff features. Having a single platform that takes users from early brainstorms to development is exceptionally useful.

InVision’s prototype tool is the best of all the features listed above. Users and their colleagues can collaborate on interactive prototypes that adjust automatically to the device and orientation. InVision Studio, a new standalone digital design and UX tool, is also available. InVision Studio has a vector drawing tool, interactive designs, and built-in animations, among other capabilities.

Good for: Prototyping, UI Designing

Works on: MAC OS

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • The Studio platform offers the ability to rapidly prototype a user experience with vector-based drawing capabilities and an elegant solution for quickly creating responsive designs for any screen.
  • Animates screen transitions that mimic user navigations. 
  • Has multiple API integrations, allowing you to connect with tools and media libraries you already use. 
  • InVision Design System Manager (DSM) acts as a content management library, providing a single source of truth for a company’s most up-to-date brand assets.
  • Helpful for organizing approved assets for the content marketing team. 
  • In the DesignBetter.Co portal InVision provides valuable books, podcasts, and workshops for designers to level up.

Price: $7.95/user, month

4. Proto.io

Proto.io is another quality service that enables UX/UI designers to create high-functioning prototypes while remaining fairly friendly to beginners. This combination is not easy to pull off, but Proto.io does it brilliantly, creating final products that work and feel like a finished product.

It’s especially popular among students because of its easy learning curve and extensive range of tools for putting together interactions within the prototype. Designers can plan, build, and even test hi-fi prototypes with Proto.io, which also allows for team communication throughout the process.

Good for: Prototyping, Animation 

Works on: Browsers

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Comes with a drag and drop interface to create prototypes, so no code is needed to design high-fidelity prototypes.
  • Offers a built-in UI library to create prototypes in real-time and efficiently.
  • Supports full-interactivity like touch events (i.e., double-tap), pinch events ( i.e., pinch out), mouse events (i.e., single tap), and swipe events.
  • Has an impressive full animation feature that offers 60 frames per second.
  • You can download the free app to test your prototype for Android and iOS.
  • Makes it easy to share prototypes with others for collaboration and collect feedback.
  • Offers excellent flexibility as it’s easy to design for any device from smartphones, watches, TVs to custom screen sizes for any device.
  • Export your screenshots as PDF, HTML, or publish them on your website.
  • Comes with a sound effects library to add sounds to your interactions and animations. 
  • Offers Webview component in which you can embed HTML page to your prototype.

Price: Starts from $24/month

5. Adobe XD

XD is Adobe’s UI design software, focused on creating product prototypes, mobile apps, and websites. It provides designers with the tools they need to create fully-fledged prototypes, including workflows, element creation, animated transitions, other dynamic elements, and more.

A benefit of using a tool from a suite as impressive as Adobe’s is that they, unsurprisingly, integrate perfectly with each other. And while tools like Photoshop, in particular, do reach the high end of pricing, larger companies will find the Creative Cloud package enticing, since many products are made available together, such as Illustrator and InDesign.

Good for: Prototyping, Designing

Works on: Windows and macOS

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Modify the master component and push it out across the organization. 
  • Features optimized vector tools, responsive resizing of assets across platforms, and layout grids for precise design.
  • It shines for designers at large organizations and enterprises with the need for consistency among assets. 
  • Has an asset library that allows for rapid modifications to graphics and styles, not to mention the Repeat Grid feature that enables designers to set a style. For example, a contact list or photo gallery that can be replicated as many times as needed.
  • Integrations with Photoshop and Illustrator make Adobe XD best suited for UX designers already using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools. 

Price: $9.99/month 

6. Figma

Figma is one of the most popular design tools around. Featuring a cloud-based design tool, it’s used for designing and building prototypes with gorgeous design features. The software is also applicable for creating wireframes and other deliverables like mood boards. The layout is huge, making it possible to have multiple iterations placed on the same project and easily compare between designs.

One of Figma’s big pluses is its collaborative features, which allows multiple users to make changes to a design simultaneously, without the need to download files locally. Its browser functionality means anyone can use Figma on different operating systems. Finally, Figma integrates smoothly with tools like Maze, Zeplin, and Confluence, making Figma a great option for everything design-related.

Good for: Design

Works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Prides itself for being a single source of truth for an organization—you can upload approved reusable elements/icons, fonts, and styles. 
  • Developer workflow allows team members to inspect code and export visual assets and CSS from the design file.
  • Has the ability to integrate with the company’s identity provider with SAML-based SSO integrations. 
  • Figma features case studies with companies like GitHubSquare, and Uber.

Price: Starts from $12/editor, month

7. Marvel

Marvel is an all-in-one design tool that offers tools for design and wireframing, through the prototyping to user testing stages. The software is incredibly easy to use, making it perfect for quickly generating prototypes and designing simple and effective user interfaces.

This app design software has a very slight learning curve. It renders the tool effective in creating prototypes and designing interfaces efficiently.

Good for: Prototyping, Designing, Wireframing, Animation

Works on: Web, iOS, and Android

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Offers rapid prototyping, handoff, and testing.
  • Provides a simple way to create pages and even simulate your design via a prototype.
  • Comes with valuable integrations like Sketch, Jira, Maze, Smartmockups, and more. It enables you to add your designs to the project workflow.
  • Offers multiple tools for each design stage in the process.
  • Helps create prototypes using gestures like swipe, pinch, and tap.
  • Allows you to add screen elements, import designs, and a lot more features to your prototypes. 
  • The Handoff feature supports the HTML code and CSS styles developers might need to start developing prototypes.
  • Supports interactivity and animations.

Price: Starts from €9/month

8. Axure

Axure provides a platform for creating wireframes and lo-fi prototypes which is easy to use but also doesn’t compromise on function. The software allows users to quickly create prototypes with data-driven interactions without having to use any code at all.

Axure makes it particularly easy to add features that can otherwise take some time to set up, such as dynamic panels, animations, and graphic interactions. And, as with others in this list, Axure allows multiple designers to work concurrently on a single project file. The end result is the rapid production of well-functioning prototypes, though its high-end pricing makes it more appealing to enterprises.

The tool is recommended for project managers who neither design nor code. They can easily document issues within the platform to get everyone marching toward the same goal.

Good for: Prototyping

Works on: Windows and macOS

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • With the included Axure Cloud feature, you can quickly share prototypes across the organization for immediate feedback.
  • Integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams so that your organization stays up to date with the latest changes. 
  • Smooths the designer-to-developer handoff by including documentation and prototypes when you publish the Axure RP files to Axure Cloud. 
  • An upgrade gives you co-authoring capabilities, revision history, and team hosting on Axure Share.
  • Comes with the ability to hand off a project to the developer team with complete documentation for UX designers who don’t typically like to mess with code. 

Price: Starts from $25/user, month

9. Webflow

Webflow is an all-encompassing website designer, builder and content management system. With no need for prior coding knowledge, Webflow allows UI/UX designers to design to their heart’s content, then generate the code to hand straight to developers.

The UX/UI elements of Webflow are similar to other tools on this list, such as Sketch or Figma. The outstanding feature is the accuracy of the design-to-code function, enabling designers to take complete control and build prototypes, then generate matching HTML and CSS code which can be published to production across different browsers and devices.

Good for: Prototyping

Works on: iOS, Android 

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Offers drag and drop editor to create intuitive and effective interfaces. 
  • Comes up with CSS and HTML code or Javascript during the implementation of micro-interactions, saving a lot of time in the process.
  • Offers different UI templates to get you started in real-time.
  • Supports CMS software solutions so that you can enable SEO (Search Engine Optimization), integration with social media platforms, and content marketing software. 

Price: Starts from $12/month

13. Balsamiq

A wireframing tool loved by designers, product managers, and innovators, Balsamiqis one of the best UI designing software. Balsamiq was purposefully designed to produce low-fidelity wireframes so that users and testers can focus on the usability and flow of the interface.

This design tool is known as one of the easiest to start using, even for a UI designer who doesn’t have much technical knowledge. It’s simple enough to allow users to create mockups quickly while providing enough icons and tools for designers to put their ideas onto the page without compromising. Its affordable price point also makes Balsamiq a favorite for small teams and companies just getting off the ground.

Good for: Mockups, Prototyping, Wireframing

Works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows

Free trial/version available: Yes

Features:

  • Helps design low-fi wireframes to give focus to functionality and user flow.
  • Offers drag and drop editor to make designing easy and simple.  
  • Comes with a library of tools and re-usable icons for designers to choose from and create compelling mockups in real-time.
  • Allows you to add linking into your interactive prototypes for demos or usability testing.
  • Helps you present wireframes on the web through images and interactive PDFs.
  • Offers a 30-day free trial.

Price: Starts at $9/month

Why do you need a UX/UI design tool?

Now we’ve covered some of the options out there, let’s talk about why it’s so crucial to have a good UX design tool.

As we’ve seen from the list above, there are a number of types of products that fall under the categories of “user interface design tools (UI)” and “user experience design tools (UX)”, and very often products will fit in both. Though, all of them work towards the same goal: helping designers to make incredible digital apps. The tools in this list all fit under this description, though they excel at different aspects of the product design process:

  • User testing
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Visual design
  • Optimization
  • Handoff

It’s important to bear in mind the difference between UI and UX when assessing what tools you’ll need. Jonathan Widawski, CEO at Maze defines UX design as “understanding the overall journey of your users and turning it into a product,” while UI design is *“about using typography, images, and other visual design elements to turn a basic interface into something digestible and usable.” *

To put the UI/UX distinction in very simple words, UX design is about creating digital products that are intuitive and function well, while the aim of UI design is about making the product aesthetically pleasing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are UX research tools?

User experience research tools allow businesses to gather insights from the target audience, such as their online behavior, pain points, needs, and how they can create a seamless user experience for their product. 

  • What tools do UX designers use?

UX designers use tools with different functionalities in the development process. They require tools for tasks like prototyping, wireframing, UX research, design, and more.

  • How does a UX designer gather data?

UX designers gather data using different methods such as conducting online surveys, interviews, card sorting, usability tests, tree tests, and observation.

  • Want insights that improve experience & conversions?

Capture customer feedback to improve customer experience & grow conversions.

  • What are the most important skills for UX designers?

UX designers have a wide range of job responsibilities. Design skills and the basics of visual communication are invaluable for any designer. What’s more, understanding the basics of information architecture, wireframing, and prototyping can help UX designers build and test designs effectively.