Top UX Design Tools to Try in 2023
User Experience (UX) design is all about ensuring that the relationship between the user and the digital product is positive. Thankfully, with the many modern tools out there, teams of designers can easily collaborate on a design in real-time as well as test its usability and make iterations to designs.
However, not all UX design tools are equal and there are some that just focus on one part of the design process (like wireframing tools) whereas others are more comprehensive and can take the design from idea to reality, plus help you keep consistency by using design systems’ elements in your projects.
So, depending on your needs, you may find yourself needing an advanced tool that allows for personal coding inputs, or you may just need a tool that provides you with a library of features that you can simply drag and drop into your design.
Research is one thing, but you will be able to pick the best UX design tool only after you try it. Design prototypes that feel real in UXPin. Try UXPin for free.
Best UX Design Tools to Streamline the Design Process
There are many types of UX design tools packed with many collaboration features for designing information architecture, wireframes, and prototypes and create a user-friendly experience.
For those of you working with a team of fellow UX designers, you’re in luck! Some UX design tools have a collaborative element to them which allows a team of designers to all work on the same project seamlessly.
It is no surprise that most UX design tools focus on the user’s experience. Because of that, they help designers get a clear idea of what a user will see when interacting with the product and how the user will go about using it. They also keep designs organized, create prototypes, and help you determine how the user will interact with the product.
There is plenty of UX design software that will cater to your specific needs. Some of them are designed for both beginners and experts. Some even allow you to build and easily share a prototype with the tech team.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few of the best options on the market.
Adobe XD is one of the more well-known design platforms. It was designed for UI/UX teams who are all working on the same project, and it is available on both Mac and Windows computers.
One of the most convenient features of this tool is how it allows you to easily re-use or re-purpose UI components such as buttons and navigation bars. On top of that, Adobe XD prototypes can be shared and synced with your network of designers via Adobe Creative Cloud. You’ll also receive any updates that a team member makes to the design which helps keep your whole team as well as stakeholders on the same “page.”
Unlike other prototyping tool that focuses on one aspect of the design process, UXPin gives you all the features you need to design high-fidelity prototypes that actually feel like you’re using the finished digital product. UXPin comes with hundreds of user interface elements that make it easy to design fast and stay consistent across the team. Some of the most popular interactive prototyping features include:
- Variables – Variables are a feature that allows you to create and store user inputs throughout the design process. You can customize them to your specifications and build off of them throughout your prototype. You can collect data to be used elsewhere in your design, use dynamic text, and even create design content that specifically matches your users. One of the most useful aspects of this feature is that the variables that you set are not just relegated to one screen that you design. Instead, it flows throughout the entire project, which allows you to build off of it or add additional variables to it later on.
- States – Every designer will reuse a function in different ways throughout the design. That’s where states come in. If you have a button, for example, that you plan to use in different ways throughout the design, then you can create different “states” for that button, which you can easily flip through depending on which state you want.
- Conditional Logic – This feature is not usually seen in UX design tools. It allows the designer to set up certain conditions for an interaction. If those conditions are met, then a predefined action will occur.
The benefits of these design options are that they make your prototype come alive, which can greatly assist designers in usability testing. Plus, stakeholders and developers understand your design intention clearly, which makes an entire product development workflow way easier—including design handoffs.
One of the greatest benefits of UXPin is its one-of-a-kind Merge technology which allows for a high level of team collaboration on a project. It allows you and your team to work on the same code components as the actual developers. In simple terms, you can import a piece of the coded app into UXPin and use it to further improve your designs.
On top of that, instead of having to manually create standard design elements, UXPin provides a library of thousands of components that you can use, customize, and simply drag and drop into your design. This includes animations and icons as well as components that are specifically designed for other systems like iOS and Bootstrap.
If you want to create your own animations, you can, or you can simply use Photoshop or some other program and download the file to UXPin. There is no need to worry about the layers of the animation being erased as UXPin will preserve the layers for easy integration.
Figma focuses on interface design and brainstorming. Similar to Google Docs, you can see who is presently working on the project and what they are inputting, which allows for a convenient real-time collaboration on a project. You can build mockups and high-fidelity prototypes.
While Figma lacks many interactive prototyping, you are able to integrate your Figma projects into the UXPin editor to get the best of both worlds: UI design tool that makes interactive, high-fidelity prototype easy. Even better, all it takes is a simple copy-and-paste action and you can start working on your Figma project within the UXPin editor.
Sketch is another collaborative product design platform that supports shared libraries and layouts and allows you to share and export designs with others. It also has many editing tools such as vector and plugin tools. If you are working on a detailed design, then you can zoom in and edit at a more precise level. Another convenient feature is the ability to resize parts of your design on command.
Sketch is good for creating unique icons and designs that you can then save in your library. This allows for an easy share feature across projects where, for example, an icon can be used on multiple separate designs with relative ease. On top of that, you can store your designs on the cloud which allows your team or organization to have easy access to designs and a more fluid design process. Another important feature allows contributors to comment, edit, and make changes to a project that are then automatically synced to the cloud.
InVision Studio simplifies the product design process, allowing designers to use InVision’s vector-based edition platform to draw out designs without the need for any coding. Designers can also manage their prototypes as well as test them in a real-time collaborative environment.
There is also a built-in “whiteboard” where you flesh out designs, create sketches, wireframes, and even receive feedback from other designers. This tool comes with animations to make your design come to life as well as a notification system that notifies all team members of any changes made to the design.
Marvel is another cloud-based platform that will automatically sync web designs to the cloud. Plus, it offers mobile support for quick changes on the go. There is also a library of templates, images, and screen components like buttons that can easily be accessed and implemented into your project.
Marvel is built more for beginner use and has a drag-and-drop system that allows users to develop a design without the need for self-imputed coding. It is also a collaborative design platform that allows other team members to provide feedback and input their own designs.
There are templates specifically designed for various devices such as tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers. Mockups can be tested as if they were the real thing which allows for the designer to quickly find any faults and update the design as needed.
You can also download the Marvel app onto your iOS or Android device. This allows for ideas to be tested on smartphone devices and easy sharing options.
Pick the best UX design tool
As you’ve seen from the examples above, some of the most popular design platforms allow you to focus on one element of the design process. While some, like Marvel, are great for casual designs, others are catered to working on more complex digital products and mobile apps.
Unfortunately, using several solutions means a larger design toolkit that can slow you down. Your designers will need to integrate or jump between a number of apps in their daily work.
Luckily, you can also turn to advanced tools that allow you to work on a design from idea to completion. Or, like UXPin, they’ll even allow developers to copy HTML and CSS code from design to their workflow.
When compared to other solutions, UXPin is one of the most comprehensive UX design tools in the industry. This makes it a particularly attractive alternative to software like Axure, Proto.io or Figma which were traditionally used for specific phases of the design process.
With UXPin you can design fully interactive prototypes that make it clear what the final user experience should be like. See how UXPin helps you design more realistic prototypes. Sign up for UXPin trial.