- A powerful, web-based vector graphics editor and prototyping application. Figma is also available for the desktop with Windows/macOS applications, alongside mobile versions for iOS and Android.
- Figma is designed to support the full development cycle of your product with storyboards, UI and UX design, UI prototyping, graphic design, and UX wireframing tools.
- With a strong web-based application, Figama is ideal for sharing UI mockups, app mockups, and collaborating across a wide number of projects. It’s meant to be collaborative and to serve as the main hub for designing, prototyping, and then handing off the project to software developers.
- The collaborative nature of Figma can make the version control aspect a bit of a challenge, especially if multiple team members are involved.
- When sharing assets with other viewers who are not familiar with Figma, there could be a bit of a learning curve.
- Sketch is a well-regarded graphics editor for macOS. The vector editing tool is used to design both the UI and UX for mobile and web applications. Designers use it to create icons, application designs, app prototypes, and a wide variety of other products.
- New features include tools for UX sketching, prototyping, and collaborating on such projects with teams.
- Sketch Cloud is available for sharing Sketch documents and libraries with other collaborators.
- There are a large number of extensions that integrate with Sketch to extend the feature set.
- Sketch only works on macOS, so this could limit the appeal for those who want to work and share across platforms.
- Among web prototyping tools, Framer is popular for its simplicity and collaboration features.
- Framer has many resources and tutorials for UX prototyping, including on iOS.
- There can be a bit of a learning curve for those not familiar with the app’s design system.
- Powerful CMS, web UX design tools, and no-code resources to create a wide variety of website types.
- No-code development that opens the door to designers who are just getting started or do not have a strong coding background.
- Strong UI/UX mockup tools and tutorials that will appeal to varying skill levels.
- Some reviews have indicated the Webflow interactions process could be more intuitive.
- Mac-based software for designing interactive and animated user interfaces.
- Built for multi-screen app layout design.
- With iOS and Android UX design tools, the software is used by many top companies for animation and user interfaces.
- Currently only available for macOS.
- It lets you not only add interactions, but also enrich them with animations in a very quick and simple way so you can easily awe your client.
- It is very easy to learn, especially because of the way the learning materials are organized — you are encouraged to complete tutorial tasks in practice.
- Your interactions can be based on variables you can add yourself or even script if you’re into it — so you can set some things up even without coding skills, for example an input field with validation for a real password.
- The stencils library is not very intuitive to use (it is not very visual and thus time-consuming — you need to search through a text list of elements to find the desired one). However, once you create a “component” (an equivalent of a Sketch symbol), it goes to the elements library and is available throughout all your projects.
- It has an extended library of elements, including a ready-made VR pattern.
- Adding interactions is taken to the next level - there are a few ready-made interaction patterns with built-in animations for the most common behavior types, so you don’t need to build them from scratch.
- You can also build interactions the traditional way - they are organized in an intuitive way, with many different types of triggers (variables too) and possible actions (sound effects included) that you can add to different screen states and then add and edit animations using a timeline.
- The styling of library elements is not always perfect and you might want to spend a little time tweaking them if you want to make a stunning visual impression.
- UXPin is a powerful tool offering a wide range of ready-made libraries of elements.
- You can build complex state-dependent interactions of elements or groups of elements.
- The collaboration feature is strong, so it is easy to work on a prototype with other team-mates if that is what you need.
- It offers the option to build upon an existing design to create a responsive version of the prototype for other platforms.
- Not all libraries are up-to-date and therefore don’t make the best visual impression.
- Adding interactions is definitely time-consuming and sometimes buggy.
- The app is subjectively less intuitive than others and may require some persistence in overcoming the high entry threshold.
All of the above tools
You can also have a look here to explore further tools if you still haven’t found what you were looking for. There are a number of options available for designers familiar with coding, those who don’t code, as well as for more experienced professionals who are looking to branch out.
User testing tools
As a bonus, here are several amazing tools you may find helpful if you need to test your prototype with users and have a moderated remote testing session to find out about the “whys” behind the clicks.
FullStory is a platform for analyzing and understanding the efficacy of the digital products you create. With FullStory, your team can uncover friction in the experience and the impact on any conversion funnels. FullStory also provides diagnostic tools for mobile interface performance and helpful UX research tools.
Marvel is another popular UX analysis tool that examines prototypes, designs, and other key elements to ensure they’re user-friendly. Ensure your GUI design is making an impact with a particular emphasis on how the experience will impact customer loyalty.
UserTesting describes itself as a “human insight platform,” with several UX testing tools that can provide analysis about how your product is engaging users through marketing and product insights. Specific mobile testing is available for analyzing what drives app engagement and why users may be abandoning apps you’ve built.
Maze is a platform where you can easily create usability testing tasks with prototypes you have prepared in InVision, Marvel or Sketch. The tasks are called missions and they are presented to the user in a friendly way by sharing a link with them.
You can set up the expected click-through path for each of the tasks and the platform will provide you with statistics of success rates, time on task, etc. for single sessions as well as aggregated results. It will also present testers’ behavior patterns with the use of heatmaps. Moreover, testers can leave comments about your designs.
Maze is very simple in its structure and feature offering, but at the same time it is a great way to organize your testing sessions and gather all data in one place with hardly any hassle.
At the moment, the platform doesn’t offer hiring testers, but it is a prospective feature.
With Lookback you can also organize user testing. It is mostly focused on recording testing sessions. Thanks to recording user sessions, you can make sure nothing escapes your attention, which means that you can focus on talking to the user instead of taking notes.
There are 3 types of recording modes which Lookback helps you facilitate:
- Live moderated testing - where the user performs tasks and comments on the prototype in real time under your guidance.
- User self-testing sessions - unmoderated tests, where the users perform the task themselves at a convenient time.
- In-person mode - which you can use if you happen to perform a testing session with the user in person.
All 3 modes have a dedicated onboarding for the user with clear step-by-step instructions on how to install the necessary apps on their phone or computer, so it shouldn’t be problematic to connect with you as a researcher.
This is probably the kind of tool you would like to use for a bigger research project, where there is a large number of users or they are not available to meet in person for the session. It’s also a good choice if you wish for other team members to be a part of the research - they can view the session recordings live or after you’re finished.
All the recordings you make (or get from your testers) are organized in a dashboard, where you get a clear overview of what’s going on - how many users have participated, if there are any comments from other teammates, or if there are any live sessions going on at the moment.
So, if you’re looking for aid in drafting up quick designs to picture early-stage ideas, impress the client with the visual quality of your prototype and, at the same time, have an easy way to test complex interactions and have your user testing sessions organized, our list of the best UX design tools may be helpful.
Just remember to adjust the tool selection to the outcome you are looking for. If you are into design, you can also glance at our ebooks for designers. Good luck with your design adventure!