In the 1955 classic We’re No Angels, Humphrey Bogart sells a bald man a hair comb. When asked how he achieved this, he answers simply – I don’t sell a product; I sell an idea.
The same thing goes with UX design. People will forget what you talked about and looked like before they forget how you made them feel. This makes UX design so important. It’s about making the design feel natural, practical, and inviting to your audience.
Still, how does one achieve this? Well, you need the right skill set, but you also need appropriate tools. So, here are some tools you should consider when planning a career in this field.
UX design is a serious field, which is why no designer can survive long enough in the field without suitable self-improvement. When looking for a place where to learn about UX design, you just can’t afford to skip Uxcel.
The best thing about this platform is that its curriculum is structured around 5-minute lessons, which you can take daily. This way, you take the right approach to learning UX software development- one step at a time.
Even if it were possible for you to learn an entire UX design in a day, it wouldn’t be long until your knowledge became outdated (or just until more efficient practices appeared). This is why developing a habit that there’s always something new to learn.
Here, you can learn everything from UX writing and design foundations to mobile design. In other words, you have all the materials you need to grow as a UX designer. One more course that a lot of learning platforms skip is UX research. Great UX design doesn’t just happen on its own.
You can take something as basic as design terminology or common design patterns as a starting course. This will already enable you to make some of your first creations.
In modern UX design, focusing on functionality across multiple devices and device types is most important. This is why a tool like Sketch (with a feature like Artboard and Pages) makes so much difference. Simply put, it allows you to organize different variations of the same page (read different screens/screen sizes).
For beginner users, there are a lot of great templates to choose from, which means you can manifest much better sales.
Another thing you can do in Sketch is to create libraries and symbols. These are particularly useful as elements that you plan to reuse. They’re also great for collaborating with others on these UX design projects because they can be shared. Then again, you could make logos and symbols on other platforms and import them instead.
Sketch also excels when it comes to integration with third-party software. This is important because creating great UX design is much easier when relying on the right plugins. This also makes Sketch an excellent tool for collaboration on larger projects.
One of the hidden gems of Sketch is its amazing prototyping option. This way, you can let a few select users sample the site and give you their honest take.
While talking about the previous platform, we mentioned the importance of prototyping. Now, while having a prototyping option on a generalist platform is appealing, if you want to get specialist software, you should probably go with Axure.
The first thing you want UX design prototypes to do is to be interactive. With Axure, you’ll have an incredibly easy way of defining what swipes, scrolls, and clicks do on interactive elements. With tools that provide marketing data visualization, you can better understand the average user behavior and create a layout/design that your users are more likely to interact with.
Even in the UI, everything is pre-made to ensure the quickest path from the conception of an idea to the realization. With many pre-built UI components, you can select forms, menus, and buttons and get an early design outline. From here, provided you’ve already defined interactions, you can implement your site as soon as possible.
This platform is optimized for record-keeping, making it great for collaboration. Changes are always introduced on a prototype, and it’s incredibly important to keep track of the history of edits. For accountability and transparency, you need to learn how to analyze it.
Another great prototyping tool is Proto.io. This platform’s main selling point is primarily focused on mobile applications (although its web application prototypes aren’t lagging either).
Previously, we’ve discussed the importance of designing your UX for different devices. If users focus primarily on tablets and aren’t well-optimized for this screen size, their overall experience will be negative. Proto.io has a Device Preview feature, allowing you to see the UX before you launch the design. This can save you so much time and trouble.
In terms of integration, Proto.io works incredibly well with platforms like Sketch and AdobeX. Previously, we’ve talked about how Sketch gives you a platform for making prototypes; however, you can also get a specialized tool like Proto.io and then import assets into Sketch to continue development there.
Users love micro-interactions. Regardless of your tool, you’ll have to learn how to make it. We’re merely suggesting that Proto.io might be one of the best tools for you to learn how to make them.
Same as with some other platforms, you can make component libraries, which means that if others work on these platforms, you can easily collaborate with them.
The most significant advantage of Adobe XD (over any other platform on this list) is that it’s part of Adobe Creative Cloud. This means that you already start on the same platform with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which means you can transfer assets you’ve made on these platforms.
While some may argue that, on its own, the features of Adobe XD aren’t all that impressive, the truth is that this automatic integration already makes a huge difference in its favor. Long-term Photoshop and Illustrator users (representing a fair chunk of the UX designer community) may feel naturally inclined to transition into using this software. It feels familiar, and nostalgia is a powerful psychological phenomenon.
Every platform we’ve mentioned has an easily accessible feature of reusable components. The same is true for Adobe XD. You also have the option to Repeat Grids, making it much easier to produce consistent designs.
With Figma, there’s no need to download any app. It’s fully browser-based and cloud-integrated.
While the rest of the items from this list provide some collaboration-friendly features, this tool is designed virtually with collaboration in mind. It supports multiple users working on the platform at the same time, which drastically facilitates the process.
Drawing tools (vector-based), grids, flexible layout options, etc., are natural and intuitive features. In other words, if you have any previous experience with design, this platform should come to you quite naturally.
Regarding integration, it doesn’t lag behind any other software from this list. It also gives a decent synergy with Sketch.
It’s not just about the UX design tools
UX is a complex concept, consisting of anything from visuals and responsiveness to incorporating CTA and interactive elements. In other words, you’ll have to use more than just UX tools to improve your UX.
For instance, so many UX designers fail to incorporate an e-commerce conversion rate optimization tool in their arsenal because they fail to understand the depth of this connection. A good CRO will enhance user engagement, directly affecting their on-site behavior.
Content strategy also affects UX design, so you also want to incorporate content management systems (CMS) wherever possible.
We’ve already mentioned how you may want to integrate images made in Illustrator or Photoshop, but you definitely shouldn’t stop there. In other words, while good UX software development tools are the backbone of your activity, they’re not enough on their own.
Regardless of which platform you choose to use, you should know what each has to offer
You cannot know which tool is objectively the best without having at least some point of reference. So, do your research before picking the tool of your choice. Most importantly, some of these tools work well together and excel at different things. For instance, you can learn the basics through Uxel, make your prototype in Proto.io, and later import it tall in Sketch. While this shouldn’t be a blueprint of your activity, it’s just one of your options.