5 UI Design Tools You Must Consider

Web designers need to have an arsenal that contains current and effective UI design tools; and the following will review the best that is currently available. Whether your internet connection is optimized or lags a bit, the following tools are able to bring your creative designs to life.

Many are designed for immediate use, alleviating the need to learn cumbersome and confusion codes and more. They tend to focus more on the creative aspects of web design as opposed to the engineer friendly technical aspects of the process. Let’s face it, as a web designer, your area or expertise is providing user-friending and eye catching designs for your client base.

5 UI Design Tools You Must Have

Invision

This software permits real-time design presentation and collaboration in conjunction with seamless design communication and easy project management. Allow your designs to come to life with its interactive prototypes.

Invision is the world’s most powerful design prototyping tool; and it is able to quickly transform your designs into beautiful, fully interactive prototypes complete with gestures, transmissions and animations for web, Android and iOS.

You are able to send a link to open designs in a browser or on a mobile device, or present them in real-time using the software’s LiveShare presentation tool. Feedback is automatically transformed into actionable to-do lists that you can check off as you progress. Mark screens as completed when finished and keep everyone up to date on the progress of the project in a single place.

Invision allows stakeholders to see previous versions of your screens as well as the comments that have been left on them. This allows for stakeholders to be shown precisely how the design has evolved or revert to previous versions without having to save multiple copies of the source file.

Lucidchart

This software contains shape libraries for iOS mockups (iPhone and iPad), website and android. Lucidchart allows for real-time collaboration where feedback can be sent immediately and designers can partner on projects. Experience chats that are void of lag time along with an unobtrusive commenting system and edits that sync instantly.

It includes powerful Visio support that allows you to export, import and edit for native formats. There is also a vast library of vendor icons along with generic shapes for network diagram mapping. Lucidchart comes equipped with a fully customizable editor that allows you to select grid settings, hex codes, fonts and or page layouts and size.

The software has a sophisticated graphics palette and a multitude of styling options. You are able to set personalized themes, upload custom fonts and edit images with ease.

This tool is prime for web design teams as well as those that have clients that need or desire regular, real-time updates on the progress of their project that has been entrusted unto you. Design teams are able to work jointly on singularly on a project in real-time increasing their productivity and efficiency in ways previously unattainable.

Fireworks

Fireworks from Adobe (previously Fireworks by Macromedia) is faster than Photoshop or Illustrator. This tool is great for everything from rough wireframe sketches through polished, high-fidelity mockups. The most common of UI widgets can be accessed through this tool. It provides web designers with a lightweight, effective means of creating graphics for web pages without getting deep into code or lost amid multiple color palettes, and smoothly integrates with Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

The tools attached to this software make it much easier and faster to utilize than the tools that it is able to be integrated with.

Napkee

With Napkee, you are able to export mockups from Balsamiq Mockups onto Twitter Bootstrap with a single click of a button. This software is 100% free. There are no hidden costs, licenses, or upgrade fees. This software relies on donations made via PayPal, and there is no obligation or pressure to contribute.

This is an option that is ideal for web designers just getting their start within the industry. Since your budget may be minimal or non-existent, the fact that this tool comes with zero attached cost, it should not be bypassed.

Napkee is able to generate a set of HTML, CSS and Javascript files based on Twitter Bootstrap ready to be deployed in your testing environment.

This software supports all the controls that can be found in Balsamiq Mockups.

Balasamiq Mockups – It is a rapid wire framing tool that helps you work faster and smarter. It is able to reproduce the experience of sketching on a whiteboard, but by using a computer. You will be able to generate more ideas. Designs will be able to be improved upon due to the ability to receive immediate and useful feedback. The sketch-style wireframes will help you focus the conversation on content and interaction.

Mockingbird

This software makes prototyping virtually effortless. Mockups can be completely within a day and with Mockingbird, there is zero need to learn something new. This online tools makes it easy for web designers to create, link together, preview and share mockups of an application or website.

Mockingbird allows you to drag and drop UI elements to the webpage, then resize and rearrange. It also allows for multiple mockups to be linked together and you are able to preview them interactively in order to get a feel for the flow of your application. You are able to collaborate with clients and partners in real time for editing and more.

The fully web based software is made for website and webapp wireframing, therefore it has the elements that you use the most.

Conclusion

Success, as it pertains to web applications and websites depends upon how well designed the User Interface is. The concepts and deign decisions of a designer always affect the end users of the web site, application or generally any user interface or service they have designed.

There are a variety of User Interface resources that allows you as a designer to access, redefine, and create a well-crafted User Interface. These UI design tools are quite useful for designers whether they are going to design a client’s website or resell-able website template.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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