Developers: 10 UX/UI Tools to Have in Your Toolbox
There are many different tools that can be used to build prototypes. Some are naturally better than others for a given situation, and others are among the best because they can be used in a wide variety of situations. If finding a top-of-the-line prototyping tool for your design work is your objective, you will find what you’ve been looking for among the tools presented here.
Also included, are several prototyping tools that feature usability testing capabilities, plus tools that are dedicated to this type of testing. Having usability testing capabilities at your fingertips gives you the ability to redesign or further refine UI elements. The importance of usability testing is all too often ignored or misunderstood. Overall, you should:
Make sure your search includes looking for a usability testing capability.
Be certain that the tool you select is compatible with the end product – website, or mobile or web app.
Make certain to get the interactive capabilities you need.
Make certain the tool you select is compatible with the size of your project or team.
Whether you are an individual designer or member of a small design team, InVision is the ideal prototyping platform to have at your disposal. Not only is it the leading UX/UI design and collaboration tool on the market, its usability testing capabilities are hard to match.
For very large teams, interdepartmental teams, or large and complex projects, look to InVision Enterprise Edition. For complicated projects involving many stakeholders, you naturally need near-perfect prototyping and collaboration solutions, and your choice of a usability testing tool can be a critical one.
The Enterprise Edition is the perfect solution. You can test your prototypes directly on user’s mobile devices, with no limit on the number of tests or users involved. Since you can capture their voices, and see their faces, you get a qualitative usability measure in addition to any quantitative information you may be looking for.
With InVision, no coding skills are needed, and you can build the first high-fidelity, clickable prototype for free.
Proto.io will make a great addition to your web design kit if you are in need of a prototyping and collaborating tool with which you can turn out high-fidelity prototypes in a very short amount of time. With Proto.io you can produce interactive, animated, feature-rich prototypes without coding.
There are times however, when even the best design efforts hit a few bumps in the road due to communication breakdowns. The collaboration features that come with this package simply don’t allow that to happen. You can count on delivering prototypes on time, and so realistic, that project managers and clients will not be able to distinguish them from the real thing.
Native iOS and Android mobile design elements are yours for the using, or you can import your own designs. You will like what Proto.io can do for you, and for your mobile app prototyping projects.
With its powerful usability testing capabilities that are ready for you to put to use, Appsee Mobile App Analytics will help you deliver the ultimate App user experience, time after time. "Ultimate" can be difficult if not impossible to achieve, if usability testing is poorly conducted or not conducted at all.
The Appsee creators recognize the power of qualitative user feedback. Since humans rely so heavily on visual information, user session recordings, when combined with touch heatmap data, provides designers with invaluable feedback for changing or refining UI elements or UX features or functions.
Think of Appsee Mobile App Analytics as a tour guide that take you on visual user journey and points out those things that are of greatest importance. That’s really what Appsee is all about, and why you should strongly consider having your own copy.
Lucidchart is an online, drag and drop cloud-based sketching, diagramming, and wireframing application for designing websites, tablets or phones. Its large, comprehensive library of modern design elements and shapes enables you to build anything from a wireframe or mockup, to share information or build a mind map that will guide you through a complex project.
Lucidchart provides an excellent solution for your flowcharting exercises as well. Among the many useful features are the master page and keyboard shortcut capabilities which, when put to use, save you the trouble of having to repeat past work.
It should not come as a surprise to find Pidoco on this list of top UX/UI tools since it is the prototyping tool of choice for web designers in 50 different countries. Pidoco is an extremely easy to use web app with which you can create beautiful wireframes or fully interactive UX prototypes.
You have a selection of over 400 icons and UI elements to work with, and design features that include click and touch interactions, drag and drop image upload, screen transitions and page linking, and live browser and mobile review capabilities. Prototyping doesn’t get much easier.
If you are a dedicated, or even a casual, PowerPoint user, PowerMockup is just the right solution for your prototyping needs. To create a wireframe for example, all you need to do is select the appropriate icons and shapes that reside in the PowerMockup library, and drag and drop them onto PowerPoint slides.
You then have a PowerPoint slideshow you can use to present your animated, interactive prototype. You can even add your own shapes and icons to PowerMockup’s ever-growing library, and share them with others.
Project collaboration is what Notism Collaboration does best, and it does this better than all the other tools of the same type. If you regularly work on projects where communication between interested parties is vital, this is a tool you should not be without. It can be invaluable to have at your disposal when you are working large, complex projects or with large teams.
Notism Collaboration also fills a vital need for smaller projects in which solid communications and feedback is critical to success. Everything is shared via real-time video presentations.
Loop11 belongs in your toolbox if you’ve been looking to complement your design tools with a fully dedicated usability testing tool. There are few if any tools of this type that can give you usable design feedback quicker, when you are performing UX usability testing on your app or website designs.
Loop11 can work with up to 999 test subjects at a time while collecting clickstreams, heatmaps, and path analysis data. This tools findings are presented to you in a continuous feedback loop. You no longer have to avoid important usability testing out of fear it may be too complicated, or involve too much work.
Forms Analytics by UseItBetter focuses on a small feature of your web product, yet a feature, that if faulty, can create problems for your users, and even turn more than a few of them off.
What this tool does is allows you to investigate problems associated with forms and form fields. If you have ever tried to fill out an online form, and encountered problems while doing so, eventually giving up the task and leaving the site, the problem you had is what Forms Analytics addresses. If forms are important UX elements to your website or business, you should keep this tool handy.
Patternry is the ultimate tool for storing your design information, including everything from patterns and style guides to design elements and building blocks you anticipate to have a future need for.
Needless to say, the ability to save and reuse valuable design information can save you a huge amount of time, plus it makes it easier to share your design efforts and ideas with others. Patternry is a productivity tool with a difference. It will help you to avoid a ton of repetitious work.
Whether your need is for a solid prototyping tool, one with superior collaboration features, or one that has the usability testing capability you are looking for, you’ll find it here.
In this list we already have several specialty tools, usability testing tools, an online library for saving and reusing design work, and a diagramming tool that can do much more than create flowcharts. Whichever tool or tools you choose, you are in good hands.