20 Tools to become a better designer

Today we spend more than 9 hours staring at a screen. We jump from laptop to tablet to smartphone, we always have a screen in our immediate vicinity. Good design makes, the interaction between your and the content seem seamless. Good design impacts not only the interaction with users but also different aspects of a business. Interesting enough, the most affected are the credibility and trust of a business instead of just the content t. “Trust and mistrust of online health sites” highlights the issue at hand .

We take good design for granted but the process that goes behind it is complex and arduous. So here are 20 design tool that could make you a better designer.

Sketch

 

I don’t think there needs to be an introduction for one of the most famous design apps that revolutionized the workflow of countless designers. Since it won the Apple Design Award in 2012, the growth and popularity of Sketch has been off the scale. The sole purpose of the app has been to provide an easy alternative to Photoshop, which is more designer oriented. From the fact that it’s a vector base tool to the way how the effects can be easily translated into CSS, every feature was created with the designer workflow in mind.

InVision

Having a similar revolutionary status as Sketch, InVision is an app built by designers for designers. It’s a prototyping tool which allows you to create interactive designs and simplifies the collaboration process because you can give feedback directly on the design elements themselves. It enables you to create easier mobile designs by supporting gestures. The feature list does not here; you can integrate the whole project management flow into the tool itself.

FramerJS

In the same category as prototyping tools such as InVision, but it has a different approach to design. While other tools have interfaces to bridge the gap between design and code, in FramerJS you will directly start to input your code and instantly live preview of it. It enables you to fast-test your concepts due the fact that it supports animations, touch, direct inputs and even data. You can instantly showcase the interactions in your designs instead of just talking about them. However, to take full advantage of the tool you need to know how to code.

Balsamiq

If simplicity is what you are looking for, it never gets better than this. Balsamiq is a tool which allows for quick wire-framing, replacing the handmade sketches with more complex designs. It makes it very easy to share your designs with your colleagues.

Flinto

Flinto is a different type of prototyping tool, it focuses on mobile devices. You can go one step beyond showcasing the proof of concept; you can see your design in action. The range of transitions, animations and gestures enables you to create a full experience. One benefit of Flinto is that you can preview your design directly on your mobile device granted that the device is connected to the same Wi-fi network.

Atomic.io

Our countdown Atomic is one of the contender in the full creative suite for prototyping; it prides itself on being the fastest way to go from an interaction idea to sharing it with others. You do not need to have any coding skills since the app has a similar interface to Sketch, even transiting from Sketch is quite easy. Another plus is the advanced motion editor which provides enhanced control over your animations and transition.

Adobe XD

Formally known as Project Comet and recently out of beta the newest tool from Adobe, the “Experience Design” aims to make the workflow of UI/UX/XD designers easier. Although the app does not have a high number of features, hence the version is dubbed 0.5, the learning curve is incredibly steep. The app has two distinct work modes Design and Prototype, each of them catering for the particular stage of the design process. Some new tools such as click and drag for rounding corners and “repeat grid” to easily copy wireframes across the several screens. Our CPO recently tried it out and concluded that the app is still a bit barren, and it still needs development if they want to catch up with the likes of Sketch and InVision.

UXPin

 

Is one of the most popular wireframing and prototyping tools used by designers. The app allows you to create static wireframes, interactive, responsive prototypes and present them to your design team. The collaborative flow enable you to interact with your colleagues in real-time on design element. Plus you have a pretty comprehensive library of UI elements, and you can import files from Photoshop and Sketch.

Fontastic

Is a little app that makes a huge impact on the time you will spend iterating your designs. The concept is fairly simple instead of doing an iteration to your icons in Photoshop and then re-uploading them, Fontastic enables you to make that modification through the CSS itself. It transforms your icons into font like entities. Neat, right?

Avocode

Designers and coders might work in different operating systems and have different workflows, hindering the collaboration between them. This is where Avocode comes in, enabling you to start coding without even opening Photoshop or Sketch, it does not matter the format or the platform. You will love the way it integrates in your workflow and not to mention that our office is much more civilized because there are no more arguments between the  designer and the coders. 

Skitch

Is one of the best screen capture apps that we have used. The app is created by Evernote. It is not extremely feature packed, but it does a good job at letting you highlight a particular element and communicate them quickly with others. Recently Evernote has stopped support for Windows, iOS and Android but the app is still available on OS X.

Coolors.co

It is a small handy tool that helps you create the perfect color scheme for your designs. We cannot say how many countless times it saved us from losing time when testing different designs just because you can input one of the colors and they do all the magic.

Designmodo

Not only a great source of information for designers but the team behind the project created a very useful marketplace for design elements, packs of static website frameworks and generators. There is even a Startup Framework, which contains a series of components that help startups create their beautiful websites.

Codrops

Codrops is a web design and development blog that publishes articles and tutorials about the latest web trends, techniques, and new possibilities. The team of Codrops dedicates itself to provide useful, inspiring and innovative content free of charge.

Bootstrap

Is a front-end framework which enables for faster web development. It includes several HTML and CSS frameworks from typography to image carousels and even JavaScript plugins.

GoodUI

Are you curious which choice to make when it comes to UI elements, GoodUI can help you. It is one of the most extensive libraries of optimization stories, inspiration and advice. The idea list is constantly growing and each of the them comes from the experience of the contributors themselves.

The Best Designs

Looking for inspiration? Dribble, Behance, and Pinterest are some really good sources to get your creative flow running but unfortunately you spend too much time filtering the good from the bad. The best designs might be you next place to look for inspiration; each item is individually curated to ensure that you will only find high-quality examples.

 

 

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