Aside from the fact that UI and UX are two separate facets of web design, both of their functions work together as a whole. In contrast to UX, which focuses on how your product or service interacts with your users through the use of a design interface, UI emphasizes how your users interact with the design interface as a whole.
UI design software provides designers with what they need to design accurate hi-fi wireframes, mockups, and prototypes and render minimally viable products. They represent the nuts and bolts of a design, communicating its functionality. On the other hand, UX design tools focus on the user and how they will experience the content. These tools help structure the information architecture, as well as how someone will flow through the experience. Given that this is more conceptual, UX tools are more about helping a designer paint the broader picture of how content and organization will affect the experience.
In the past, software products were accompanied by big instruction manuals. Users had to spend hours going through the pages, figuring out how to use even the most basic features.
In today’s world, that approach simply would not survive. People demand software that is intuitive and easy to use, so they can use apps productively from the beginning. This has made user interface and user experience design a critical component in software development. In this blog, we will review the top UI/UX design tools to help developers create software that meets user expectations.
Basic Features All UX Design Tools Must Have
When evaluating UI/UX design tools, the core features expected to come with the platform are the following ones.
First of all, you need an easy developer handoff, a built-in process for passing the completed design over to developers for implementation. Also, you need an auto layout, which means automatically resizing elements as required to give an accurate design visualization.
Of course, you must count on real sample data. The option to include realistic data in prototypes, bringing them to life as they will work in the real world. Then, you want a design system, a communication tool that guides UI designers in using the right tools, adhering to brand guidelines, and deploying the correct assets.
Moreover, you require code-based prototyping, which is going beyond simple images to create a realistic representation of the software in action. Plus, you must have collaboration tools, and the ability for everyone in the design to contribute ideas, thoughts, and comments.
Lastly, you need two other things. One, is availability, meaning the ability to create prototypes for a range of different operating systems and software platforms, and the second is security, which translates into robust protection of IP rights and data privacy safeguards.
4 Top UI/UX Design Tools
In this section, we will cover some of the best UI/UX design tools that are in the market in 2022.
LucidChart is an intelligent diagramming tool. It is a UI/UX design solution focused on diagramming and data visualization. By using this tool, you can create simple visual diagrams of required flows and share process maps with colleagues to get feedback.
It includes features like feedback management, data import, and customizable templates. Lucidchart is well-suited to sketching and sharing professional flowchart diagrams. A common visual language is used across the platform to improve teamwork and enhance communication.
InVision is an advanced UI/UX design platform for creating software products. From a single dashboard, designers are able to create designs, experiment, test, and collaborate. It comes with elements like digital whiteboards, prototype creation, planning, wireframing, and feedback management.
If you implement this program, you can style layers, animate drawings, and edit vectors. You can also make use of features such as editing timelines, instant playback, and mobile device mirroring. InVision also includes shared design libraries, version rollback, and push/pull changes.
Craft, a plugin from InVision, works right alongside what you might be doing in Photoshop, with a sync function that updates what you are working on. Aside from this time-saving feature, Craft also provides all the tools needed for prototyping and collaboration. Every time there is an update in styling, an edit, or other tweaks, the updated version is updated across the board so that everyone is referring to and working from the same version.
Craft sets itself apart from other design tools due to its placeholder content. You get access to both Getty and iStock photos, letting you fill your layout with better visuals. And if there is data in your layout, you can use your own or bring it in from other sources. Not many design tools let you fill your mockups with more meaningful content.
Axure functions in prototyping and keeping track of the workflow. It features a smooth interface to document as you go. High fidelity drives this app, resulting in prototypes full of details. The platform offers many of the other features of popular prototyping and UI design tools. It enables you to perform testing of functionality and puts everything together for an easy developer handoff. This, combined with an emphasis on communication, ensures that everyone on a project is kept up-to-date with progress and changes as they happen in real-time, making Axure a solid choice.
Figma permits designers to build dynamic prototypes and mockups, test them for usability, and sync up all of the progress. The program allows for a collaborative environment where multiple people can work on a project at the same time, much like Google Docs, letting you see who has it open for real-time collaboration. You can see who is working and what they are doing. Plus, it is browser-based, which makes it accessible to everyone in an instant.
These UX design tools are all very efficient. Of course, some will adapt to your business more than others. It is only a matter now of you trying them and finding out which fits best with your work.