Living in what Forrester calls "the age of the customer”, it’s difficult and almost suicidal for brands to ignore user experience (UX). Be it apps, browsers, or operating systems, today’s users expect nothing less than outstanding UX from every interface they encounter—and their expectations are growing. The good news is, as a UX designer, you have an increasing arsenal of tools to help you keep pace with users’ demands.
Here’s the lowdown on 10 UX tools you can try in order to improve your design workflow and deliver top-notch user experience:
One of the best tools created solely with digital design in mind, Sketch is an image editor for digital design and a terrific alternative to Photoshop. While it shares many of Photoshop’s own features, it’s specifically built for web designers.
Sketch integrates CSS logic right from the start—a feature that makes transitioning into development a whole lot easier. It also allows you to create assets in different formats of your choice with the Automatic Slicing feature and one-click exports. A new layer is automatically created for every new object, allowing more innovative combinations, easy navigation, and increased convenience for developers.
As one of the most popular UX tools, Pidoco takes the most essential features—like prototyping, collaboration, wireframes, templates and testing—and rolls them into one. With this tool, you can easily create clickable wireframes, test your prototypes on real devices, and simulate the look and feel of a real app. Another attractive feature of this tool is its ability to generate simulated reactions by clicking, keyboard entries, touch gestures, or device motion.
The most striking feature of UXPin is that it allows you to design a website or an app from start to finish, using the same documents from wireframe to prototype. Its drag-and-drop functionality makes adding the essential UX elements like codeless animations, interactivity, UI patterns, quick and easy— even on the barebones wireframe.
The fact that UXPin easily integrates with Photoshop and Sketch makes it that much easier for designers to convert static files into interactive prototypes while keeping the layers intact.
This is one of the best tools when it comes to prototyping and collaboration. While it comprises of all the essential features of a UX tool, what makes Proto.io a ‘must’ inclusion in your toolkit is that it helps to create fully-interactive prototypes that look and work exactly like your product - in a matter of minutes. Plus, it comes with impressive collaboration features.
If you create apps for iPhones, iPads and iWatches, this tool will make programming a breeze for you. Packed with plenty of amazing prototyping, collaboration, and testing features that are broken down into six key areas—Idea, Mockup, Icon, Info, Pricing, and Sharing—this is an app building software you should definitely give a try.
An advanced testing tool for your projects, be it website design or mobile apps, UserTesting takes the headache out of user research and prototype testing. The tool also includes videos, which allows you to get better insights and finer metrics from facial expressions and emotional responses of the users engaging with the products you have created. You can test both prototypes and finished products and share the results with your team.
Optimizely is another testing tool, but an A/B testing tool, to be specific. It removes the guesswork from the design workflow, allowing designers to test different versions of their product, compare the performances, and see how tweaking an interface will affect conversions so only the best performing product goes out the door.
If you love PowerPoint, chances are you will love PowerMockup, too. This is a prototyping and collaborating tool that comes with Office integration and allows you to create prototypes as easily as you would create a presentation on PowerPoint.
This tool has practically everything a designer will need while building rich, hi-fidelity prototypes for responsive websites, mobile apps, and even software. Add to it the fact that it offers 400 ready-to-use widgets for all major platforms, and it easily becomes a must-have in your arsenal of UX tools.
This tool is known for its prototyping and collaborative capabilities. But, what makes us include Notism in our list is its real-time video collaboration feature, which allows you to share your ideas, information, and interactive prototypes with your team, and most importantly, provides a platform to receive their inputs and even suggestions from clients and stakeholders, all in real-time.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other UX tools that are—and will be—making an appearance. The key is to find one that matches the requirement and purpose of your project.
What are your favorite UX tools? Share them with us in the comments below and why you like to use them!
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