UX Tools To Improve the way you work

As a designer Im always looking for quicker ways to get my work done without sacrificing the quality of my work. There are so many tools and one thing I have learnt about tools is that they are always getting better. A great tool is only better when the person using it knows what they want to achieve.

Here is a great website UX Tools which allows you to compare the latest tools on the market. So what I have done is curate a list of the best tools that help me to boost my productivity. Some I use to collaborate better and the resources that help me to speed up my workflow.

Design (Sketching/High Fidelity/Wireframes)

Sketch

I love Sketch at the moment it’s fast and easy to use once you know the tools. It’s great for designing wireframes and for handing files over to designers for polish. It’s also great with its file size management without slowing your machine down. That’s why Sketch is so universally loved as it’s the best blend of vector based drawing with a pixel-precise grid.

Disadvantage: Be careful when you upgrade because I’ve found that when I upgrade the app sometimes my files don’t open.

Photoshop

Photoshop is not the best for wireframes as it was not built for this in mind but Photoshop is always the best for photo editing and polishing UX/UI design work. Photoshop is primarily for photo editing and should be used for that purpose. I personally never get why people compare Photoshop with Illustrator or Photoshop vs Sketch I think its unnecessary. This tool is great for image editing and should be used for that purpose.

Rhodia Dot Pad

I love this pad as it has 5mm dots that really help you when your drawing wireframes. I always sketch my work before I go into an app like Sketch or Illustrator. I’d advise everyone to sketch and use a dot pad for those who are designing websites and apps. Soon Ill launch a Medium post about my UX Design process.

Illustrator

Illustrator is a vector based platform that is great for illustrations, designing UI elements and wireframes. Ive used Illustrator for years and it will always be my go to app whenever Im doing branding and simple illustrations for clients also. Illustrator’s pen tool, pathfinder and masking alone is far superior and makes light work of tasks that can be a pain to achieve in Sketch. Sketch is definitely a promising tool and already better suited to UI design than Photoshop. Illustrator is not like sketch but there are some similarities so as a designer it may be a tussle for you to go between Sketch and Illustrator for designing wireframes but I go and use Sketch for that now and use Illustrator for Iconography and Branding. How do you use Illustrator?

Collaboration

Slack

Slack is great for collaboration, Its easy to use and you can send files quickly to people your working with. Also you can create groups with people your working on the same projects with. This allows you to keep track of the conversation and track changes with different team members along the way.

Figma

Now this looks promising. I haven’t used it yet but I enjoyed the promo video on their website. What stood out to me was the fact that you can collaborate on the same file in real time. This is great!

I don’t know what that would be like in person. I don’t see this replacing what Im currently using but I do see this tools becoming an addition to the tools I currently have. This looks especially helpful for meetings when you need to quickly make changes in real time.

InVision

InVision is a great tool for collaboration, prototyping and wireframes plus everything is online so thats great. Many big organisations like Shopify, Uber, Twitter use InVision for their project work. If you are looking to get into UX/UI Design you should learn this tool as it will be a great one to know.

Flinto

This tool is great for creating interactive prototypes for mobile and desktop. I really like using apps that are easy to use. This tool is great. I use to use Marvel but I like Flinto better.

References & Libraries

Pttrns

I found this tool recently but its a great library of app images from some of the most well used apps. For designers looking for inspiration you can find a lot here.

Behance

All designers should be on behance but if your not get on it now. Its like to go to place for people to know your work other than your personal website. Plus with behance you can create your own website. See mine here. https://laithwallace.myportfolio.com/

Dribbble

Designers love dribbble as its a great place to showcase your work. The quality of the projects here are a lot higher sometimes and the curation of content is better than behance on some project. The projects are not displayed in the same way on both platforms. On behance people display their work from beginnning to end where as on dribbble its more about showing snapshots of the best bits.

UI Interactions

Presentations

Keynote

I use Keynote for all my presentations as its a great tool to create any deck to show to clients and colleagues. I spend a lot of time in this app and its simple and easy to use.

Typography

Type Anything: create great font combinations

Google Fonts (redesigned)

I will be constantly updating this list as I find tools that are better but for now this is what Im using.

Here is a video I made on my channel some months ago about the tools that I use. You can subscribe here Youtube: Laith Wallace

What tools do you use?