Core tools of a Startup UI & UX Designers

Patryk Zabielski
Dec 12, 2016 · 7 min read

A fast paced environment is at the core of hyper growth in any successful startups. As a UI or UX designer, you need to come up with innovative ideas, quickly refine and modify changes, analyze the results — lather, rinse, repeat.

To cut down on the learning curve for those of you who are still working on honing your own process, I have compiled a list of tools that I — and designers I work with — spend the most time with on a daily basis.

Important note: this list is not necessarily the best tools for every designer and every project; they’re the tools that I’ve found myself returning to on a consistent basis due mostly to their ease of use and straightforwardness. — If you have any suggestions or use tools that you think are better than what I’ve listed, please add a comment under the article. I’m always interested in new tools.

Basic tools:

Paper & Pen

Main uses:
Quick sketches that let you visualize the idea in 10 seconds instead of describing it for 2 minutes.

IA Writer

Research & Testing:

Hot jar

Here’s an example recording of a user booking services on YourMechanic

Google Analytics

UserTesting.com

Side note: Let me know on twitter @patrykzabielski if you’d like me to write an article on creating a proper testing scenarios/tasks for remote user testing, I’m not including it here as it’s a pretty wide topic with many variables.

Here’s an example of a UserTesting session done on the YourMechanic booking funnel

UsabilityHub

Tableau

Optimizely

Wireframing:

Omnigraffle

Here’s an example of a user flow created in Omnigraffle

UXPin

Alternatives:
Axure

Design tools:

Sketch

Main uses:
Designing the UI, creating wireframes.

Here’s the YourMechanic dashboard that I designed fully in Sketch

Photoshop

Main uses:
Photo editing

Illustrator

Main uses:
Print design.

Zeplin

Here’s a view of Zeplin for one of the new iOS screens of the YourMechanic App

Prototyping

InVision

Alternatives:
Flinto, Symu, Marvel App, proto.io

Mainly for:
Creating usable prototypes of an app.

Principle

I chose this app because it’s extremely easy to use and it creates awesome results in a very short time (since time is something we’re always lacking this is a real plus!).

Here are some early booking funnel prototype animations made in Principle

Alternatives:
Framer, Facebook Origami, Flinto

Framer

Side note:
A tool I haven’t listed above but I am looking forward to is Facebook’s Origami that has just come out. Their option to export animations as code sounds great, but so far I have yet to see an application that comes with WYSIWYG and generates a great, scalable, production ready code.


Know of some exciting tools that you think should be in this article? Feel free to reach out to me on twitter @patrykzabielski.

Thank you for hitting the if you liked the article.


If you would like to see more of my work, check it out at:
www.dribbble.com/Zabielski, www.patrykzabielski.com

Patryk Zabielski

Written by

Senior Product Designer & Front-end Developer · Head of Design, UX @ Jerry Inc. · www.patkzbk.com · www.dribbble.com/Zabielski