In this article I compile for you the tools I have worked with over the last few years to develop the UX design part of my job and with which I have helped startups and companies to create amazing digital products.
And I’m not just saying that to make myself look good, I’ve really tried them (along with many others, however, these 10 tools are the ones that have really improved my workflow).
I also tell you that if you want to read more in depth about my user experience design method, take a look at this article where I explain it in detail.
Conceptualization and project management tools
Before starting with the “practical” tools, I think it is important to list those that allow to conceptualize the project well and start with a good management.
Without them it is easy to lose focus and end up with everything disconnected from each other.
Notion It is one of the most versatile tools I know, and although I initially encountered a significant learning curve, once I saw the possibilities to better manage my work I was in love.
In fact, I love the tool so much that right now I use it to organize absolutely everything in my life (my daily routines, my work organization, a personal diary and even everything related to my son such as his activities, medical history, most important memories, etc).
Notion has a free and a paid version. In my case, the free version is enough for me. I have only made an integration with super.so to design my web in notion and then have it online with pure CSS magic. A marvel.
Google Calendar is a classic, I know. However, it is still in my life to organize in blocks the most important or fixed tasks of the week. Being able to visualize them quickly, integrate them into my different devices and quickly schedule my team or clients is something that really streamlines processes for me.
Lean UX (Canvas & Book)
It is not a tool as such, but rather a framework created by Jeff Gothelf that will allow you to lay the foundations of the project from a business point of view.
This allows you to focus on finding the right solution for the business, and not to look for solutions “just because” or for problems that really are not (or are not relevant). In short, it avoids the “solutions in search of problems” mentality.
UX testing and research tools
Research is the trick. And beyond this, it is also important to have good tools at hand that allow you to collect all this information efficiently, without having it all scattered and without being able to draw conclusions. Also, if you are someone like me, who works 100% remotely, you need to be able to share it easily with your team and clients.
With all this in mind, I recommend the following tools.
Typeform & Google forms
Both allow you to create surveys to send to your current users to know their opinion about a certain functionality, get to know them a little better, etc.
It is as easy as creating the survey, copying the address to share and send it by mail, add it in a prominent area of the web or share it on social networks.
With Miro you will be able to conduct brainstorming sessions, user or customer journey, wireframes, carry out Design Sprints, research, etc.
It is one of my favorite tools to apply different Design Thinking techniques and streamline processes with startups.
Another tool that I have used a lot for UX Research (especially when I need to make Wireframes, workflows or flowcharts with detail in scalable projects). Whimsical is a good alternative for Miro.
It is the best tool I know of for collaborative design. You can work from wireframes to high fidelity designs or prototypes (animating and sharing them is also completely possible).
Not to fall in love with Figma if you are a designer is quite difficult.
It has a huge community that shares many resources, tutorials and documentation. The collaboration features are great and they recently launched FigJam to compete with platforms like Miro in terms of Design Thinking.
BTW It has a web application and a desktop version, so it doesn’t matter if you have Mac, Windows, Linux… you can access and work from the browser.
They are really creating an ideal environment for interactive design professionals.
It’s an amazing tool. If you integrate Hotjar into your website (it’s just a matter of adding a piece of code in the header or via Google Tag Manager) you will be able to see where users click, a heat map of where they move the most, whether they scroll or not, etc.
It anonymously saves the sessions in videos that you can watch to draw your own conclusions. And it also generates reports separated by device: desktop, tablet and mobile.
Another classic… I know, but you’d be surprised how many professionals don’t realize that a good analysis of the data collected by Analytics allows them to understand the user.
Google Analytics is one of the best, free tools you can have for research. It is primarily for marketing research and has several different paid suites, but a free account is more than enough for UX research.
Some of the things you could review with it are the following:
01. Traffic analysis
02. Behaviour analysis
03. Goal creation and analysis
04. Timing and conversion
Maze is a leading rapid testing platform that enables agile teams to test, learn and act quickly.
Product and marketing teams can test user-facing experiences remotely and collaboratively and see their results transformed into actionable, quantifiable data in a matter of hours, not days. With Maze, teams can test everything from prototypes to concepts to text, democratizing testing across the enterprise.
My testers love it, they think it is fun to use. it makes product management so streamlined and has a wealth of data in it.
It is very easy to use and to create and manage the tests, it has a short learning curve. Integration with figma is great, it simulates devices correctly (Web, iOS, Android). Any change in figma can be updated in just a few moments. Deploying a test and sending it to multiple users is a quick task with Maze.
The tool does not make the master, however, a professional with a good tool and the right practice can easily become a magician. And that’s what this article is about, to give you possibilities to exploit your talent to the fullest with tools that make your processes easier.
Only good things come out of testing. A good research and test will help you take better decisions and close those infinite feedback loops where we all argue for hours about which solution is the best.
As always, the tools you choose will depend on the budget of the project (although most of them are 100% free or have an option that is) and the type of project.
If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to 👏.
All the points that I’ve mentioned are as per my understanding and experience, so feel free to drop in your comments. Positive criticism is always appreciated. 🤘🏻💎.