If you're interested in becoming a UI/UX designer, the first step is to determine what type of design experience you want to pursue. There are two main branches of UI/UX design: visual design and interaction design. Visual designers focus on creating visually appealing interfaces that showcase product features and functions. Interaction designers concentrate on designing user interactions that are intuitive and easy to use.
UI design tools supply designers with everything they need to craft precise hi-fidelity wireframes, mockups and prototypes, while also helping them fabricate minimally viable products. These tools are the nuts and bolts of any design scheme as they clearly express its purposeful function.
Once you have an idea of what type of design you want to specialize in, the next step is to gain experience in that field. You can do this by attending a university or college program dedicated to UI/UX design, taking online courses covering the necessary topics, or simply gaining hands-on experience with design projects.
No matter what route you decide to take, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies in UI/UX design by learning these tools.
Best UI/UX design tools for the modern day designer
UX design tools zero in on the user's perspective and how they will interact with content. These resources can assist you in organizing the information architecture and guiding users through their experience. Since UX is more conceptual, these tools are essential for helping designers create a comprehensive view of how organization and content shape the overall user experience.
Let's explore some of the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) tools that could be helpful for your design journey. Although a few of these tools can be utilized interchangeably, we've separated them into two unique categories to make discovering the right tool simpler and quicker.
InVision is a powerful all-in-one design tool that enables designers to collaborate on projects, share feedback, and turn ideas into reality. It's one of the most popular tools in the UI/UX space due to its comprehensive suite of features including prototyping, user testing, and mobile app development.
Adobe XD is a UI/UX design tool from Adobe that allows designers to craft wireframes, mockups, and prototypes for web and mobile apps quickly. It offers robust user experience tools such as animation, data-driven content, asset libraries, built-in collaboration features, etc., making this one of the best options available on the market.
Sketch is a vector-based design tool for Mac and Windows that enables designers to create everything from user interfaces to illustrations, icons and more. It offers powerful features such as dynamic symbols, shared styles, libraries, resource management, etc., which makes it the perfect choice for creating complex UI/UX projects.
Axure RP is a rapid prototyping tool that helps designers create wireframes, mockups, and high-fidelity interactive prototypes for web and mobile applications. It's an ideal choice if you're looking for a powerful visual design tool with features such as annotations, collaboration tools, master pages, conditional logic and more.
Proto.io is a prototyping tool that allows designers to build high-fidelity web and mobile prototypes without writing a line of code. It enables designers to quickly create realistic interactions, animations, gestures, transitions and more — perfect for turning ideas into working prototypes in no time.
Marvel is a cloud-based UI/UX design tool that allows designers to rapidly create wireframes, prototypes, and userflows. It's an easy-to-use platform with features such as collaboration tools, animation capabilities, asset libraries, real-time previewing, etc., which makes it ideal for projects of any size.
Figma is a powerful UI/UX design platform that enables designers to create wireframes, prototypes, and userflows from the same place. It features an intuitive, collaborative interface with features such as vector editing tools, collaboration capabilities, asset libraries and more — all of which make it a great choice for any project. Figma was acquired by Adobe in $20 Billion deal in September 2022
Origami Studio is a prototyping tool from Facebook that helps designers quickly create high-fidelity interactive prototypes with simple gestures. It enables designers to animate transitions, preview designs on different devices, collaborate and more — perfect for creating complex prototypes in no time.
Webflow is a powerful all-in-one UI/UX design platform that enables designers to build, host and manage websites without coding. It offers robust features such as web design tools, animations, interactivity options, asset libraries and more — making it the ideal choice for creating stunning web experiences.
FlowMapp is an intuitive user experience design tool that allows designers to create customer journey maps and user flow diagrams quickly. It offers powerful features such as collaboration tools, real-time feedback options, visual analytics and more — making it perfect for understanding customer behavior and creating actionable insights.
UsabilityHub is a user experience testing platform that helps designers test and validate website or mobile app designs quickly. It offers features such as A/B testing, click tests, task-based surveys, usability studies and more — perfect for making sure your design meets the needs of users.
Balsamiq is a wireframing tool that enables designers to quickly create low-fidelity mockups of websites and mobile applications. It features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface with powerful collaboration tools, asset libraries, version control and more — making it the perfect choice for creating beautiful UIs in no time.
There are many other tools available to help you with UI/UX design, but these three have proved most popular among design professionals. With the right combination of education, practice and experience, coupled with knowledge of current tools, you can become an effective UI/UX designer in no time. Good luck!