UI and UX are two different terms when talking about digital design. They are much more relevant when used in collaboration. UI is all about the design interface of an app and how a particular user interacts with it, whereas UX emphasizes on the overall users’ experience resulting from the product/service use.
Multiple tools help UI/UX designers be better at what they do. UI tools help them in terms of designing accurate high-fidelity wireframes, mockups, and prototypes and even rendering minimally viable products. UX tools, on the other hand, focus particularly on the user and how they’ll experience the app content. Markets are flooded with tools that can help UI and UX designers produce unique digital products.
Here we discuss some useful tools that can help both UI and UX designers during app design and development:
- Adobe XD
Adobe XD is pluggable that offers integration with multiple services such as Google Sheets, Airtable, Trello and others. Adobe XD is a comprehensive solution that caters to designing, prototyping, and sharing. It is a vector-based tool for creating prototypes and mockups. The tool allows real-time collaboration for UI designers.
A useful tool for helping UI/UX designers understand their customers better, Dovetail is intuitive as well as cloud-based. It can be used to make sense of unstructured user research data, by capturing it and summarizing their findings, and sharing the results with relevant people inside the organization. Dovetail allows UX researchers ease of use, feature set, and data analysis capabilities.
The collaborative UX platform for passionate designers, FlowMap tool helps in creating visual maps of websites. It is a unique tool that is focused on the discipline of UX design. App designers can build user flows and construct visual sitemaps which are indispensable inclusions in the app UX. All the participants in the process can collaborate using FlowMapp which makes the workflow tad bit more convenient.
Sketch is a revolutionary UI design tool that helps designers create intuitive UI for apps. It is a highly professional design tool for iOS developers that uses a fully vector-based workflow. Sketch offers a clean and sleek workspace, making it easier for new designers to adapt to the tool. The use of CSS logic makes transitioning into development easier. App designers can also create assets through automatic slicing feature and one-click exports. Sketch affixes new objects to a new layer, opening up creative combinations, easy navigation, and easier accessibility for developers.
- InVision/InVision Studio
InVision Studio is a useful suite of application building tools for prototyping and animation. It allows app designers to create interactive prototypes for communicating their designs to the clients. Using InVision, they can also test the models before the development stage. It was an easy-to-use UI design tool, allowing collaboration features to developers who can share their work as they design it. The tool serves as the digital whiteboard that allows designers to present their ideas, interact, and get that all-important sign-off before they proceed.
Balsamiq is a useful mockup and wireframing tool that enables designers to create, sketch, and share the user interface mockups for apps. It features drag-and-drop elements that streamline the interface’s planning and design. The tool offers a user-friendly interface for creating low fidelity wireframes. It intelligently encompasses both UI and UX components and stands out with its low fidelity wireframes.
Proto.io is a tool that helps designers to prototype different app templates. It allows users to record users’ tests, offers sharable prototypes, provides support for VR prototyping, and offers add-ons.
- Axure RP 9
A boon for UX designers Axure RP 9 helps them create specifications for designs and animations in magnificent detail. It ensures support for conditional flow interactions, responsive design and dynamic content, as well as high and low-fidelity prototyping.
Miro is a popular tool for visual collaboration and digital whiteboarding. It is a boon for remote teams that look for ways to collaborate visually. Miro brings along a bunch of customizable templates to help UX/UI designers build out a solution in the way they want to. It makes it easy to integrate a range of different media types, making it a single collaboration hub.
UXPin helps app businesses design a site or app from start to finish. The tool uses the same documents right from lo-fi wireframe to hi-fi prototype. It focuses exclusively on UX elements like codeless animations, interactivity, UI patterns, etc. These elements can be added by dragging and dropping. Integrating UXPin with Photoshop and Sketch, allows UX designers to convert static files into interactive prototypes keeping the layers intact.
Working on a new project means that a designer has to take multiple factors into consideration. They are required to follow the technical guidelines from the client and even the platform guidelines issued to them. There is also a need to align the project design with the latest global digital trends for ease of adoption by the end-user. It is also a designer’s job to ensure that the final product stands out in terms of the design. UI and UX designers must thus focus on the pain points that need to be addressed when it comes to picking a UX/UI design tool from the lot.