UI Mobile App design is always on the lookout for awesome tools which assists them to design the next big thing in the world of mobile technology. UI designer when equipped with right skills and talent, if not possessed with optimal design software eventually wreak the actual vision for your mobile app and would in return become a failure. Hence it’s important to understand the urgency to get the best tool for your UI/UX designer since they are the real heroes in making your idea presentable to the world and add colors to it.
Does it happen to be a mystery for few enthusiasts that sometimes ask themselves, why developing an app cost a lot? well, one part of this is to invest in the right design tool for your designer, in the provision for it, you will get a state-of-the-art design showcase for your idea and also have the power to properly draw what you imagine on paper.
So, next question many of us may ask, why do companies happen to invest a huge amount in these design tools? Well, it’s all proven and tested out by the industry, which has now become a common practice. According to the DMI, a design investment watchdog predicts that in 10 years of duration, $10,000 spent on well-equipped design industry will provide over 225% of profit than investing the same amount into buying shares from S&P.
Although, it’s important to note that, choosing a design tool doesn’t mean neglecting your primary wire-frame and prototyping software to understand the text details into a piece of paper; looking at you Balsamiq. So by choosing the right tool only means for your designer job to create that intriguing screens and concepts for your mobile app. For many designers, choosing the right tool may be a hard pill to swallow as to what factors should be considered in distinguishing one from another? As most of the people will think that every design tool does almost similar job right? Well, not entirely.
There are a lot of causes that evaluates any software, like time to learn new technology; easy to create a design, huge online community, stable releases etc., so for proving all those designer and mobile app businesses a helping hand. In this blog, we will show you some top UI/UX designing software which is trending at of 2018 and how would it suited to be invested upon when an ocean of good tools is easily accessible. So without wasting any more time, here is the list of top online software for UI/UX designers.
Fine and sheer looking designing software specially developed for MacBook users which will handle all your UI/UX needs. It is widely renowned as prototyping and wire-framing software which works similarly like Photoshop, but the main difference between the two is Sketch has greater acceptance rate to develop wire-frames and prototyping screen in the market.
When you first download this gem of the software, you’ll notice it’s so lightweight. The total space this software occupies is just 20 MB and the processing speed is astonishing. The assets imports are seamless and take no time at all to insert, acquired and use. The main catch is that it’s not free. You need to buy the software with yearly license extension. As mentioned before, Sketch is mostly used for prototyping and wireframing needs hence animation and large quality media is unable to upload to the file.
The biggest drawback from sketch and their developers is that there is no support for PCs. They are exclusively providing sketch service for MacBook so it’s something that people at Bohemian Coding have to support it sometime in the future. For the same reason, in their FAQs, they have informed about the hardware limitation, which Sketch operates only in OS X based firmware, so producing for other systems would be challenging due to overwhelming response and support requirement where existing MacBook users are concerned.
Adobe Experience Design (XD)
For all those PC users how are pretty disappointed for Sketch not being supported anywhere other than a Mac, there is a ray of good news for you. XD is what you can call, a direct competitor of Sketch. Its highly fast and easy to use has all the features that sketch has to offer (excluding some advanced features which mostly depends on finishing) and also available for Windows users. So, where does XD fits in for the best UI/UX online software is a concern, you can say, it’s in the right track as one of the most promising designing software around, which has a really bright future ahead for many app developers and designer to reap benefits from?
This is one of the most advanced software tools from the list. So what makes Axure RP special? Well, let’s just understand that it provides all the functionality as the above tools have to offers such as wire-framing, prototyping, and sketches. The main difference comes when it provides additional goodies to the designers along with the developers. The highlighting features from Axure RP besides wireframes and prototype are mockups, personas, flowcharts, user journey, idea board, graphical documentation and diagramming.
The developer can come on-board taking full benefit from this partial design, partial developing software. Through coding practices, a developer can add life to all the prototype screens and how an app will work adjacent to the devised idea. But with all the endowments, there’s always a catch. For Axure RP, the learning curve is steep which require another set of eyes to properly understand this gigantic software. But all the hard work pays off in full swing.
The real online software tool for skyrocket your design department is non-other than Marvel. Prototyping, designing, and Collaboration is covered, so you don’t need to look for another tool further. Marvel does all the heavy lifting for your designer if any external designs need to be used. It can easily integrate the designs received from other designing tools such as Sketch or Photoshop, by simply export or import and rearranging to the designed order. Other cloud services are also supported by Marvel to upload your design seamlessly, such as DropBox and Google Drive.
Furthermore, you design can now come with fancy looking animation out of the batch. All these animations will make your app more like the actual thing with just a few clicks away, so you don’t have to hire a separate after effect specialist to do this gig for you.
In short, Marvel is a perfect all-rounder for Collaboration, design and prototyping online software tool which features all the details of your app, from start to finish with no intermediary tools required.
With a large library of ready-made templates, Porto.io is a big house for prototype and UI/UX needs for your app development. With no coding required, you can use existing templates into your project and start with re-designing your app based on the ideas sketched. Like Marvel, Porto.io also provides simple features such as exporting designs from Photoshop and Sketch. Also if you have designs staged on Google cloud or DropBox, easily fetched and ready to use is offered by Porto.io.
With a seamless timeline design, you can insert animation into your designs to display a professionally tuned flow of your app. Synchronization with cloud along with collaboration with other team members can be achieved through connectivity characteristics through Google Drive and DropBox. As Porto.io is a browser-based software, all the heavy designs and elements stay out of your PC so that you can easily focus on design your next big project by applying for 15 free trials.
Developed by the Facebook team, Origami is cool UI software which helps to design prototypes, mockups, and elements for your app design. You can imagine the true strength of Origami through the notion that Facebook has been using it for them in designing Facebook related software such as Instagram and Facebook messenger, and now it is free for everyone to use.
There are various unique features provided by Origami Studio app, such as you can add designs from Photoshop or Sketch to Origami easily and start working from this software. Another amazing feature about this software is that it comes forward as iOS and Android app, through which you can connect your desktop app with a mobile app and see the live changes into your mobile app. This makes it more robust and quick to adapt to the mobile-based screen design and app flow.
OmniGraffle is easy to use and equipped with a rapid learning curve UX design tool known as diagram based design software. Among its provided features, OmniGraffle primary focus on screen flow design, prototyping, strategy devising, and other design variations. Through this software, a designer can easily understand just by overviewing the app flow and how UX is formulated. All your app planning aspects are covered through OmniGraffle.
If you are only looking out for software which handles wireframe needs to its fullest, then Balsamiq is the answer. It’s an extremely handy tool through which a designer can easily create wireframe designs and designs that help to understand the idea into the paper. With a variety of elements at your disposal, there’s no wireframe dedicated software better than Balsamiq out there by a long shot.
JustInMind has been into the surface for quite some time due to the immense popularity it managed to receive. Considered as a prototype and wireframe software, JustInMind offer a more powerful visualization to the designer and business alike. It is supported by a number of plugins and features from 3rd party software such as JIRA integration, Microsoft TFS fixation, Doors, HTML snippet incorporation, plus other benefits such as support of videos, widgets, docs, Google maps, offline activity and library providence with many more online features that keeps on pouring down to the designer’s disposal.
Through JustInMind, a designer can create a prototype flow of the app with programmable feasibility and flow charts on the background. All of these amazing UI/UX features add up to make JustInMind outstanding software among the rest.
An online based UI designing tool, HotGloo is an advanced, powerful and well-formulated piece of software through which a designer can create amazing wireframes and prototypes with unusual interfaces. This software comes with collaboration advantage so that more than one person can work on the design simultaneously. Being a browser-based application; HotGloo can be operated with a boundary with no download requirements from the designer.
UI Stencil Kit
Designing in teams has one thing in common, writing ideas on the paper. But there is not a robust feature to tackle this issue technologically, well not anymore. UI Stencil Kit is best for office confined places where team’s works as a close knitted group to produce app designs. This designing software though has the ability to create wireframes and prototypes like any other software tool, but the uniqueness this tool has to offer is the use of sticky notes. Typing down your idea and collaboration among your teammates reduce the time for manual meet and talk. If you have something to discuss, through simple sticky notes features along with the UI component, anyone can understand the change of plans or idea additions during the designing phase. This software works best during the brainstorming phase, so make sure you keep writing your input in those notes.
Sometimes people without Mac thinks they are like an outcast, and if you are collaborating with a team whom everyone owns a Mac, there is no choice for you to join the club, well, if Flinto doesn’t show up in action. Flinto has a web and Mac interfaces, so you can easily import designs from either Photoshop or Sketch through your PCs.
Flinto is easy to use and provide functionality to create wireframes and prototyping the design. It also comes with various Android an iOS screen transition animations to add that app feel into the mix. Flinto also supports design preview feature with app induction just by sharing of a link.
Unlike other easy to use design software, FramerJS need some training in advance through visiting free online videos available on their official website. Trough Framer, the designer has the freedom to create a powerful prototype with much flexibility as it can contain within its reach. Beside the level of design freedom, Framer also provides other advantages, such as importing a design from other software tools such as Figma, Sketch, and Photoshop, Plus through this tool, you can collaborate with your teammates digitally.
How to select right UI/UX software for prototyping
There is an enormous amount of prototyping tool available in the market, choosing the right software is a daunting task which many designers may have faced or are facing in their lives. There are more or less many features which are common and many features which one tool have and another one hasn’t. The main standout point to look out for deciding with a tool to go for should always be the one, is to easily propagate your idea and concept into the design which can easily be understood by your client.
To give you some insight to which factors need to be an underestimation and weighted properly to reach your attainable goal which you are targeted to achieve. Below are some of these factors which are important to cater during choosing UI/UX software:
Time require to learn
Time is always the biggest factor to examine during your project life cycle. Evaluating the best practices which save time should be considered your prime focus. For selecting a prototyping software, it’s important to understand the time required to understand the tool as each tool is different and has a certain amount of learning curve requirement for first-timer. Adopting the most suitable in terms of expert level and learning time should be keenly taken into account.
The design is a team effort which is built upon inputs, concepts, and ideas generated around the table. Tools with sharing capabilities always stand out as it provides collaboration to show, take input, change, publish and repeat the cycle until an outstanding design has been produced. The collaboration part is usually the same for most of the tools, which is to connect the software through the internet, but how easy it is to understand the tool’s UI is an important comparing component when a designer is choosing among the rest.
This factor is only directed towards accessibility from 3rd party software and easiness from the designer end to minimize unnecessary load from his work. Such as providing prototyping design tools manages import feature from other widely known design software such as Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator etc. Also, UI tools should provide 3rd party integration which clouds connection and retrieves a field from it such as Google Drive and DropBox.
Cost should also hold you back from choosing a niche designing software with a simplistic tool. Businesses must remain within their budget in order to select the software for their need. They should also take full advantage from the limited free trial to test out the software and learn about it before actually investing in it.
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