Tools that I use regularly to improve my workflow
UX Design is one of the most important fields of Web Design nowadays in our society. It has evolved very fast, and the changes have not been small. If you are a designer or plan to become a designer, you will need a set of tools to compete. With these tools, you will be able to prototype, make wireframes, and test.
I will present you with the seven best web design tools that you can use. The tools I will mention in this post are both paid and free. Nevertheless, I will start with a brief description of UX Design if you do not know what it is.
A short definition of UX Design
User Experience Design is a Web Design branch that focuses on creating a fulfilling user experience with a technological product or service. For the experience to be fulfilling, it must be appropriate and meaningful for each user. You can visit my blog if you want to know more about this field.
Best apps according to their usage:
Balsamiq (paid with free trial) [Low fidelity prototyping]
It is a low-fidelity prototype app that you can use in the first steps of prototyping. Also, it is a desktop program, and you can use it without the internet. You can find it available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Balsamiq is one of the oldest programs for low-fidelity prototypes. You can choose between 3 options of payment:
- 2 projects for $9 a month or $90 a year
- 20 projects for $49 a month or $490 a year
- 200 projects for $199 a month or $1,990 a year
Sketch (paid with a free trial – only for Mac OS) [High fidelity prototyping]
Sketch is one of the most-used apps for UX and UI Design (along with the two following tools that I will present: Adobe XD and Figma). It was one of the firsts apps for this field. The “problem” is that it is only for Mac OS. That means that if you use Windows, you will not be able to use it.
It’s a paid app, but you can have a free trial of 30 days. It costs 9 dollars per month for each editor, though you can also pay it yearly for 99 dollars (saving a month’s worth of cost).
Adobe XD (paid and free) [High fidelity prototyping]
It is a graphic editing tool used to create web and apps interfaces (UX and UI Design). You can create high-fidelity prototypes that simulate the real experience. For people who are not very familiar with Adobe products, they are usually scary, as they provide tons of functionality and sometimes can be overwhelming for users. Adobe XD however, this is not the case. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface that anyone can learn very quickly to start producing incredible prototypes.
Adobe XD an app that you must download and install; you can find it for Windows and Mac OS. However, it offers the option for cloud storage for a monthly fee. In the free version, there is no project limit.
There are two paid options which are individual and business:
- The individual one costs 9.99 dollars/mo.
- The business one costs 22.99/mo.
- You can also get all the Adobe apps for 52.99 dollars per month.
Figma (paid and free) [High fidelity prototyping]
It is a collaborative Interface Design (ID); thus, it works excellent for UX and UI design. That means you can do your designs, sketches, prototypes, etc., with the help of other designers at the same time. It is suitable for clients since they can see how designers are working on their project live. It is a Web app that works directly from your browser; however, you can download an app for Windows and Mac OS. It is normally compared to Adobe XD since their function is similar. If you lose your connection, you can keep working on the open project you may have.
As I mentioned in the title, it is free to use, but you can only have two editors and three projects.
There are two paid options called:
- Professional which costs 12 dollars per month
- Organization which costs 45 dollars per month
InVision Studio (free) [High fidelity prototyping]
It is another app used in the field of UX Design. A cloud-based prototype service that allows designers to create a high-fidelity prototype. A counterpart is that you will need to use external tools like Sketch for it to work. That means that it is more a plus.
If you use Adobe XD or Figma, you won’t need In Vision. However, if you use Sketch, InVision may come in handy. At the moment, it is a free app.
Crazy Egg (Paid) [Usability testing]
Crazy Egg is a web optimization and usability tool that will allow you to monitor your users interacting with a webpage. It can provide you with handy information to improve your websites.
- Understand user journeys with heatmaps, snapshots, and recordings
- Create A/B Testing
- Modify content without the need of a developer There are 5 pricing options which are
- Basic $24/mo.
- Standard: $49
- Plus: $99
- Pro: $249
- Enterprise: on request The more you pay, the more support, track page views, snapshots, and recordings you will get.
UserTesting (Paid) [User testing]
UserTesting is a site that allows you to gather user feedback and testing from real users. They provide a user base (1.5 million users) which you can target by setting your requirements, after which the users will use your app and provide you real and valuable feedback.
Prices are not available on their site but can be requested on demand.
Userbrain (Paid) [User testing]
UserBrain works similar to UserTesting, being a more affordable option. Their pricing is very transparent and it’s shown on their website in its two tiers.
- Pay as you go: 29eur per test
- Subscription: 19eur per test It is the second app for user testing. It is cheaper than the previous one and does not force you to make a contract if you want to test more than 15 users (tests with them are unlimited).