According to the old adage, a poor carpenter blames his tools. But what can a skilled carpenter who has the right tools available at his disposal achieve? Like any job, user experience designers can benefit from using a great set of tools that improve their workflow and make their lives much easier.
While members of our team are certainly not destined to become the next craftsmen of bespoke luxury furniture, they do know a thing or two about the tools that a strong UX designer needs to have at his or her disposal. The imagination is not the only must-have. Check our Top-15 Tips for Creating Jaw-Dropping UX to improve your professionalism significantly.
In this post, I’ll share the details of some amazing design tools that can make all the difference to the end user experience and the design process.
The Sketch app is a fantastic tool that can help designers to fundamentally transform a user experience. It is popular among UI/UX professionals alike and can be of use in any type of digital design process. As it is completely vector based, the design never loses quality. However, it is important to bear in mind that it was built specifically for the Mac OS X.
What makes Sketch so effective is its simplicity. It is an exceptionally easy tool to use that incorporates a range of functionality including an endless canvas space and an exceptionally clean interface. Allowing you to experiment during the digital design process with minimal frustration.
Cost: $99 per year following a 30-day free trial period.
InVision is especially useful during the prototype stage of a design. It features a range of state-of-the-art prototyping tools that designers can employ to quickly and easily develop interactive prototypes that allow them to explore the proposed design in more depth.
Once a proposed design is ready, the designer can share the prototype with clients to elicit feedback and test out the end user experience. It presents a full mock-up of how the design will look and feel in the browser and provides clients with a chance to comment on each page and/or highlight specific elements that require improving.
Cost: $25/month for a single license or $100 for five users.
3) Craft by InVision
We’ve already established that Craft and InVision work exceptionally as user experience design tools; but what if we could combine the benefits of both so that they work together. Luckily, we can. InVision has developed a range of plugins called Craft that act as a bridge between the two platforms. In addition to seamlessly combining the powerful offerings of both software platforms, it provides graphic designers with a chance to create designs that are underpinned by real data.
Cost: Free with InVision
Once the user experience design process has been completed, and the design is handed over for the front-end developers to work their magic, there is a need for a tool through which the two functions can collaborate with one another to ensure a clear and transparent communication process. This is where Zeplin comes to the fore.
Using the Zeplin platform, users can translate their designs into specifications and guidelines that they can easily share with the designers. Designers can subsequently develop platform-related code snippets using this information. Essentially, Zeplin acts as a fluid flow of collaboration from design through to development.
Price: $6.75 per member per month on the organization plan
Principle is another great tool that user experience designers can use to bring their designs to life by providing them with a chance to animate the prototypes. This gives designers an opportunity to add an extra depth to their designs by allowing them to incorporate details relating to how the elements on a page behave.
Price: $129 one-time fee
Of course, there are many other great tools came out that can guide the user experience design process. However, these five must-haves are certainly worth checking out.
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