The 18 most innovative design and prototyping tools
The Benchmark Series
This post is part of the Benchmark Series, listing the most innovative challenger companies in different traditional markets. These benchmarks are part of the Tuesday in the Design Sprints we do for our enterprise clients.
There is a near infinite amount of tools and apps available to help you create stunning visual designs, user friendly interfaces, clickable demos and other prototypes. Some speed up the process, while others will enhance the quality of the output. These tools are lifesavers for our concept designers during our Design Sprints. They can’t work through a typical Thursday without them.
Our personal favorites (not sponsored).
Simple design, prototyping and collaboration. Create screens directly in Marvel or add your images from Sketch or Photoshop. The simple editor allows you to link all your designs together in a jiffy, then add gestures and transitions to make your prototype feel just like a real app or website. Create prototypes for iPhone, iPad, Desktop, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Android. It’s easy to share your projects and get real-time feedback on your designs. Clients and colleagues can comment directly on each screen or drop annotations.
Sketch, The Netherlands
Sketch is the go-to design toolkit built to help you create your best work — from your earliest ideas, through to final artwork. Sketch is built for designers. With useful features, an intuitive interface and powerful plugins built by a community of developers, it helps you focus on what you do best.
Tools we also like.
Atomic, New Zealand
Atomic has everything you need to create amazing advanced prototypes (that need things like logic, data, conditional flows, variables) and it comes with all the happiness of being 100% in the cloud. It has the perfect combination of prototyping and design tools that help you quickly explore everything from rough concepts to high-fidelity prototypes.
CanvasFlip is a cloud-based design collaboration and testing platform, enabling designers to create design prototype and capture analytics right on their designs to find and fix usability issues.
Figma turns ideas into products faster. Design, prototype, and gather feedback all in one place. Figma is the first professional-grade, online tool created specifically for interface design. Figma is built entirely in the browser, enabling the entire team’s design process to happen in one online tool.
Fluid UI, Ireland
Fluid UI is the smartest, fastest browser-based mobile app wireframing and prototyping tool available. Design & test your low & high fidelity mockups on mobile, desktop, wearables and smart TVs.
Form is an interaction design tool created by RelativeWave (acquired by Google in 2014). Form is a visual editor meant to help designers/developers make visually-functional native prototypes of apps directly on device without writing code.
Framer, The Netherlands
Get ahead of the pack. Draw, animate, and share high-fidelity work. Framer is a complete workflow for creating interactive designs. Start your designs from scratch with our drawing, styling, and layout tools. Bring your designs to life with pre-made interactions and animations. Share your designs with teammates and easily preview work on native devices.
The digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences. InVision includes powerful design prototyping tools, reimagined design ideation and presentation functionality, a magical new design to development workflow, design-driven project management and real-time design collaboration and tours.
Koncept is the one-stop solution for prototyping and usability testing. It enables you to prototype faster and make smarter, data-backed UX design decisions. With real UX insights from you target users, you’ll be able to improve, refine, and de-risk your every app project before writing a single line of code.
MockFlow provides a full stack UX solution for design teams that includes wireframing, sitemaps, UI spec systems, design workflow and more. Plan and create better user interfaces together within a single suite.
Shape your ideas and prove your concept with Moqups. A streamlined web app that’s smart, simple and fast. It helps you create and collaborate on wireframes, mockups, diagrams and prototypes.
Origami Studio, USA
Explore, iterate, and test your ideas with Origami Studio. A new tool for designing modern interfaces, built and used by designers at Facebook. It was created to help design and build many products like Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
Proto.io helps designers, entrepreneurs and product managers enhance their design process by creating realistic, interactive and sharable prototypes, without code, that can be viewed on the actual mobile device.
ProtoPie, South Korea
Create the most advanced prototypes as easy as Pie. Piece code-free hi-fi interactions together, build sensor-aided prototypes and share your amazing creations in a matter of minutes.
Agile UX in one place: design systems, prototyping, and documentation together. UXPin offers rapid collaborative design for small teams and end-to-end UX solutions for mid to large teams.
Webflow gives designers and developers the power to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually, while writing clean, semantic code for you. It is a truly visual content management system.
Zeplin enables you to build pixel perfect apps in peace. Design hand-off has never been easier. They know that preparing specs is very tedious. Upload designs with just one click and Zeplin will generate styleguides and resources for you, automatically.
Go Weekly brings ideas to life with Strategy and Design Sprints for Enterprises. Creating digital strategies, groundbreaking product concepts and visual prototypes. Working together with companies in Europe and North America to make a leap forward in their industry with new products that match or exceed the benchmarks in this series. Interested to think ahead with us? Get in touch.