April 19, 2024
UI/UX Guide
6 MIN

8 Best UI Design Tools In 2024

Here are the best UI design tools, including Figma and Sketch, that every UI designer should use to optimize their UI UX design process.
By
Cristi Fonea
April 19, 2024
8 Best UI Design Tools In 2024

UI design is the art of choosing the right color palette and fonts that will define our brand, the perfect placement of elements and creating the graphic user interface (GUI) that will make us stand out. No wonder the UI designer is believed to be the visual artist and the visual storyteller. 

Although to the human eye the website or app design looks like it was effortlessly done, the reality is that the design process is difficult. And every UI UX designer can agree with this. After all, UI UX design doesn’t just mean designing. It stands at a crossroads between design, psychology, and technology, all combined. 

From the first version of Adobe Photoshop to Sketch to when the Adobe Creative Cloud was introduced with all the other Adobe design tools, and now Figma – technology has been booming. So, thanks to the advancements in technology, we have UI design tools that can simplify our design process and make it as effortlessly as it might seem. 

What is UI Design?

UI design is the process of building user interfaces for different devices, focusing on the visual aspect. UI designers are responsible for creating user interfaces that are intuitive and accessible for visitors. This role plays a key function both in the design process and in shaping the future of technology. It is important to take notice of the fact that there are multiple types of user interfaces:

  • Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)
  • Touchscreen Graphical User Interfaces 
  • Command Line Interfaces
  • Menu-Driven Interfaces
  • Voice User Interfaces
  • Conversational User Interfaces

To help both designers who are at the beginning of their journey, as well as people who just want to find new platforms to use, we have compiled a list of the current best UI tools. A UI software should simplify the design process, from the initial sketches, all the way to wireframing. Fortunately for us, there is currently a wide array of design tools available on the market that we can integrate into our creative and technical process.

8 Best UI Design Tools in 2024

1. Figma

Figma is the most well-known UI design tool

Figma is one of the most well-known UI design tools available on the market. If we were to ask people who are not part of the industry to name a UI tool, their answer would probably be Figma. Besides being a notably popular user interface design tool, it has set several standards in the industry that are now followed by many companies. Designers are generally familiar with Figma because it revolutionized the collaborative process. How did they manage that? Figma introduced users to the concept of  Figjam. This is a whiteboard that allows teams to communicate and share different ideas. One of the main advantages of Figma is that it has an intuitive interface and it allows users to develop designs from start to finish. Other useful features offered by this platform include:

  • Styles that you can apply to your projects
  • Pen tool 
  • Dynamical functional prototypes that are easy to use
  • Instant arc design

The primary downside of Figma is that its free version is not the most complex and imposes some limits on the user. Figma is a web-based application that can only be utilized with access to an internet connection. That would not make it the best fit for a designer who enjoys working while traveling or lives in a remote location. There is also a language barrier about Figma because it exclusively supports English systems.  

2. Sketch

Sketch is great for design on Mac

Sketch is another critically acclaimed UI design tool in the industry. This vector-based editor can be used for multiple design processes, from wireframing to prototyping. There are many reasons why Sketch is still considered to be one of the leading design tools:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Easily integrates with Illustrator assets 
  • High-fidelity prototyping
  • Collaboration and sharing options

One of its main disadvantages is that unless you own a Mac, you will not be able to benefit from Sketch. It has also been observed to introduce new updates and features than other competitors. If you are heavily interested in being up-to-date with the latest advances in UI, perhaps Sketch is not the best choice. Besides this, Sketch does not offer a free version.

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD Platform

Adobe XD is a cloud-based design software that is accessible both for Windows and Mac. This makes the UI design tool extremely convenient. Another aspect that supports its accessibility is that it can be used both online and offline. 

Its friendly user interface allows us to effortlessly create prototypes and mockups. Its cloud features come in handy quite a lot because they help us organize our folders for various design projects. Adobe XD has features similar to those of Figma, Sketch, and other design tools. But when it comes to its cons, there is no free version offered by Adobe XD, and it only displays a limited number of plugins compared to other design software.

4. Balsamiq

Balsamiq is a UI design tool

Balsamiq is one of the most suitable design tools for designers who are just starting in the UI field. This is because one of its features displays the information in the form of paper sketches, which allows users to focus on the main points instead of getting lost in details. Its main focus is on low-fidelity wireframing and usability testing. If you have not yet gotten accustomed to the technicalities of UI design, Balsamiq is suitable for you.

There are some cons to this UI tool. First, it has a pretty limited library to choose from. The other disadvantage that might make us stray away from using it is the lack of a collaboration feature, which is instrumental for many designers who work in teams.

5. Axure RP

Axure RP's website

Axure RP positions itself in the premium market of UI design tools. This is why it is fairly suitable for companies that deal with more complex workflows. If you have a larger project in the workings, Axure RP offers dynamic components and collaboration tools that are very convenient. Another advantage of using Axure RP is that it can help us market our products to clients through simulation. 

What about the disadvantages? Compared to other UI design tools we have already discussed, this one's learning curve is on the more complex side. The price range is also high - after all, this is a premium product.

6. Marvel App

Marvel App's website

This all-in-one freemium platform acts like a superhero from the same universe for beginner designers who want to learn the inner workings of UI. In Marvel, we can create both simple and more complex wireframes. Not only does it come with a comprehensive batch of features, but this UI design tool it also has a very user-friendly interface. What sets Marvel apart from other design tools is the unique handoff feature that provides us with all the HTML and CSS code that we need. 

The disadvantage Marvel has is that their free version is quite limited and that the lack of organization for repetitive screens with the application can become easily frustrating. 

7. InVision

InVision is an amazing UI tool

This UI design software has a deep focus on making the design process as efficient and quick as possible. From creating prototypes to the development of animations and dynamic elements, InVision offers a great working ground for UI designers. Flexible and intuitive, this software allows an effective collaboration between designers from different teams. The main downside of InVision is that it can be a bit slow and the learning curve might be complicated for designers who are just starting.

8. Proto.io

Proto.io is a web-based premium UI design tool

The most notable feature of this web-based premium UI design tool is its extensive library of templates. We would mostly use Proto.io for prototyping projects. It is fairly easy to navigate which makes it great for UI designers who are not very experienced. Another interesting feature of this UI tool is its audio library which we can use to integrate audio files into our designs to enhance them.

If you are wondering what could make you decide not to choose Proto.io, it might be an inconvenience for you that it does not offer a free version. Besides this, it also proves to have a somehow limited set of export options.

uinkits – Our Figma Design System and UI Kits

We at uinkits understand the importance of inputs in great user experiences and creating amazing UI designs. That’s why we’ve developed a Figma UI Kit with design components that include these essential UI elements that enable you to design intuitive and user-friendly interfaces effortlessly.  

“You press the button, we do the rest,” – Kodak.

Inspired by this iconic tagline from Kodak, we believe in simplifying the design process for you. Our Figma UI Kit, uinkits, is a complete design system with UI components that allows you, as a UI UX designer, to create your products as quickly as pressing a button.

Our design system includes components, icons, variables, cards, buttons, and everything you need for your design process. All you have to do is take your UI design component needed, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

By
Cristi Fonea
April 19, 2024

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