UX (user experience) designers use many tools to create beautiful, engaging websites for companies. These design tools help shape the layout, graphics, and feel of a website.
UX designers are the first part of the web design process before a website is passed on to the UI (user interface) designer to finish the project by making sure that all features are usable.
In this guide, we will go over what UX tools designers use to create websites and how they bring their ideas to life.
UX Design Tools
There are many UX design tools out there that help designers make their ideas a reality. Below is a list of the best UX design tools, some of which are free and others that require a monthly payment.
Cost: Free for beginners | $9.99 for professionals and businesses
Adobe XD is a software made for UI/UX designers that allows them to create prototypes for websites and mobile apps. Adobe XD is a thorough platform that allows designers to dive deep into creating interactive prototypes.
This program also allows real-time collaboration so that designers can work simultaneously to complete a project. You can use Adobe XD for wireframes, animation, prototypes, and high-fidelity designs.
Key Adobe XD features:
- Voice prototyping
- Anchor links
- Content aware layout
- Sync with Sketch, Illustrator, and Photoshop
- Plugin APIs
- Shared cloud
- Creature reusable buttons and cards
Cost: $99 one-time payment for individuals | $99/yr for teams
Sketch is a UX design program for Macs that allows individuals to create prototypes and design projects as a team. Its collaborative features include a cloud workspace and prototype links that allow teammates to give feedback. Developers can also inspect your work with browser-based tools.
Sketch allows designers to make changes that are universal and saves designers time by maintaining consistency across projects. This tool has hundreds of plugins that can be downloaded and added to improve workflow.
Key Sketch features:
- Vector editing
- Easy exports
- Grids and layouts
- Resizing constraints
- Reusable components
- Shared libraries
- Developer handoff
Cost: Free for beginners | $20/mo for teams
Framer is a great prototyping tool for beginners. It includes team collaboration opportunities, mobile previews, reusable components, and easy sharing. This system is great for both UX and UI designers.
Key Framer features:
- Magic Motion
- Prototype with code
Cost: Free 30 day trial | Professional: $15/mo | Organization: $45/mo
Figma is a design tool that helps teams work together to create high-fidelity wireframes, and design, customize, and create prototypes. Figma is automatically connected to a cloud network so no extra installation is required when saving or exporting work.
Key Figma features:
- Easy design usage
- Modern pen tool
- Arc Designs
- Advanced font features
- Auto layout
- Buttons resize themselves
- Layout translates into code
- Stretch to fill for more responsive design
- Automate and augment work
- Easy to use, downloadable plugins
- Develop new plugins
- Create private plugins
- Flexible styles
- Accessible libraries
- Design systematically
- Developer handoff
- Share your work with other developers
- Export work any way you want
Cost: Free for 15 days | Freelancer – $24/mo | Start-up – $40/mo | Agency – $80/mo | Corporate – $160 /mo
Proto.io is the ultimate prototype builder, allowing users to create interactive and high-fidelity web designs. There is no coding necessary to create these prototypes.
Proto.io users can build their app or website and make it accessible on an Apple Watch, Mac, or Windows. You can also design by importing other layouts from Sketch, Adobe XD, and other UX tools.
Key Proto.io features:
- Drag and drop building blocks
- account management
- support and documentation
Cost: Free for individuals and small teams | $7.95 per user/mo for large teams
InVision is a UI and UX design website that allows for efficient design and streamlined handoff to developers. The system operates through a shared cloud, and also enables communication via apps such as Slack and Dropbox.
InVision’s tools are meant to help inspire designs and ensure smooth management. They offer different products for designers based on a team’s needs.
Key InVision features:
- Digital whiteboard for presenting and brainstorming
- Easy developer handoff
- Connect to Photoshop and Sketch
- Generate code and snippets
- Customize variables
- Flexible layer styling
- Mobile device mirroring
Conclusion: Are You Ready to Try These UX Design Tools?
The UX design tools above are some of the best in the business for creating interactive websites and apps. Learning UX design can pay off, as according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a web developer makes an average of $73,760 per year in the US.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, these programs will help you bring your ideas to life and showcase your creativity. Find the tool that is best for you and start designing today! If you are interested in further exploring UX, there are also many bootcamps that you can sign up for to learn more.
UX Design Tools FAQ
Do these design tools require coding skills?
It depends on the tool you use. Some tools require some knowledge, but most are code-free.
What’s the difference between a UI Designer and a UX Designer
A UI designer takes the prototype that the UX designer makes and implements the back-end work to make sure that buttons click as intended and that it is usable. A UX designer creates the front-end designs to make sure the website looks good before handing it off to the UI designer.
How much does a UX Designer make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a UX designer makes an average of $73,760 per year in the US.
How do I know which tool to use?
Of the tools listed, find one that works best for what type of design you are trying to generate.