New Year, New Web Design Tools

The new year always seems to motivate us to get a fresh start in both our personal and professional lives. You might notice your coworkers cleaning up their workspace and discussing their New Year’s resolutions. Your boss might come around and encourage you to organize your digital files, as well.

But what about getting a fresh start with your web tools? Technology is advancing quickly, and there is probably a new web design tool available that can help you save time, work smarter, and achieve more in the new year. Web design tools should inspire creativity and innovation; not bog down workers with complications or bore them with out-of-date features.

If you resolve to step up your UI design in the new year, check out these new (and newish) web design tools that can help you redefine productivity. Sure these tools don’t actually make designers better, but they certainly help a designer display their talent and inner brilliance.

Adobe XD 

Adobe XD is a tool for vector designs and wireframing. Adobe is a well-known name in the design community, for good reason since Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are key tools for many in the trade. Since it is an Adobe product, designers will immediately find that Adobe XD has little to no learning curve, as the UI will already feel like an old friend. Working within the Adobe product catalog also allows for integration with the Adobe Cloud products for quick and easy collaboration of library assets. The light interface allows for quick concepting and prototyping of mock ups using drawing tools, interactions and previews. There is also the option to share designs for collaborative feedback. Designers also like to use this tool when they have to present functionality to clients, because it is easy to instantly push content live. Adobe XD is accessible to most designers since it is available on both Macs and PCs.

One of the most innovative features that gives Adobe XD an edge is its introduction of voice capabilities. As more and more households convert to using smart speakers and screens as a part of their daily lives, designers need to be able to develop experiences for this immersive technology. This update allows users to, in Adobe’s own words, “design, prototype, and share digital experiences that extend beyond the screen.”

InVision Studio

This collaborative product design platform is a great tool for teams of all sizes, and helps everyone manage the process of prototyping, reviewing, managing and testing web and mobile apps. They have made it easy to transition from other web design tools, like Sketch, and the interface is intuitive enough that anyone with experience can jump in without lengthy tutorials. InVision allows for quick use of animation and saves time during the revision process as well, by offering the animation interface in a single window.

Sketch 

Sketch is giving Adobe a run for its money, with many designers preferring it for their UI design. Sketch was built with an intuitive interface, specifically for the design of websites and apps. Sketch uses small documents which are easy to sort and revise, and offers a minimal, grid-based interface that is easy to use for both novice and experienced designers. Sketch also offers a huge library of plug-ins for designers to use, as well as a preview feature that encompasses any mobile device. The one big limitation for Sketch, however, is that it is only available to use on Macs.