Best UX Tools: 11 Tools To Make Your Life Easy in 2020

The industry-standard tools for UX Designers.

best UX tools Design

According to Thomas Carlyle, “man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he’s nothing, with tools he is all” — and I agree.

UX Tools have a life-changing impact on your professional life. 

If you choose the wrong ones, your work — and fun at work — will suffer. Let’s take a deep dive.

How to choose the right UX Tool?

I found 4 key aspects that matter when choosing the right UX tool:

  1. Usefulness: How well does the tool solve your problem?
  2. Usability: Is the tool easy-to-use on a day-to-day basis?
  3. Collaboration: Is it easy to share your work with others?
  4. Integration: Are there integrations with other tools? Does it make the transition between design phases easy?

If you find a tool that exceeds your expectations in all of those 4 aspects – congratulations, never let it go!

My advice: You don’t live in a bubble — keep in mind that other colleagues will use your tool-kit. 

You have to show wireframes, prototypes, user flows, and testing results to stakeholders on a regular basis. 

Wireframing & Prototyping UX Design Tools

Amateurs often confuse Wireframes and Prototypes with each other.

Here’s a quick explanation: 

Wireframes are low-fidelity, roughly sketched out frameworks of a digital product. A good wireframe has as little details as possible. Its purpose is to define the structure of the product.

Prototypes are high-fidelity and detailed representations of the final product. They are not coded yet, but you can click through them and already test it out on users.

Balsamiq

Balsamiq UX Tool Wireframe

Balsamiq is an amazing wireframe tool that’s focused on low-fidelity.

Balsamiq has consciously chosen a hand-drawn and cartoonist style of displaying elements. This takes the complexity out of the design and forces you to focus on the placement of elements. You won’t get the chance to “accidentally” create a full-fleshed mock-up.

Available on: Web (Cloud), Windows, macOS

Pricing: Starting at $9/month. 

Adobe XD

Adobe XD Prototyping UX Tool

XD is the flagship UX tool of Adobe. 

The tool saw a great evolution in the last 3 years. Nowadays, it boasts a decent collaboration feature that allows you to share documents and work collaboratively.

XD is a solid prototyping tool that allows you to create elements and animate transitions (micro-interactions) between them. 

A big drawback as of today: You and your colleagues can’t simultaneously work on the same document.

Available on: Windows & macOS

Pricing: Paid plans start at 9.99$ per month, per user. XD has a generous free plan.

Figma

Figma Prototyping Tool

Figma is a collaborative prototyping tool.

The best thing about Figma is the ability to co-edit live with your colleagues. Besides that, the tool has a nice interface that allows the insertion of elements, animations, and code in order to create high-fidelity prototypes.

Available on: Windows & macOS. Figma also offers a mobile app to mirror prototypes.

Pricing: Starting at $12 per editor, per month

Sketch

Sketch UX Tool

Sketch is the OG of element-based digital design.

Its gain in market share was one of the reasons that Adobe released XD.

Sketch has a clean and easy-to-use interface that’ll make it easy for you to create nice looking mock-ups. Collaboration is an issue though — especially since Sketch is available on macOS only.

Available on: macOS only

Pricing: starting at $99/year

Usability Testing UX Tools

So you created an awesome prototype. Developers have started to work on it – and you’re ready to move on. 

But wait – before you spend too much time coming up with new designs, validate your first ones by doing usability testing.

UserTesting

UserTesting

UserTesting wasn’t particularly creative when they came up with their company name, but the platform is great for finding suited candidates to test new designs on. You can talk with users while they engage with your work.

Available on: Web, Windows & macOS

Pricing: Upon Request

Applause

Applause Usability testing

Applause is another platform to source usability testing participants.

As a premium player on the market, it takes a hands-on approach and provides you with a qualified UX expert to help you with your usability study.

Available on: Web

Pricing: Upon Request

UXCam App Analytics

UXCam App Analytics

UXCam is a qualitative analytics solution for mobile apps that allows you to get a deep understanding of user behavior. 

UXCam Session Recording capabilities allow you to easily see how real users navigate through your app. 

session video recording
Session video recording of user behavior

Sessions can be easily shared, even with people outside your UXCam organization. The advanced filter system lets you find useful sessions lightning fast.

UXCam’s integration requires 2 lines of code and less than 5 minutes.

Best UX Tools: 11 Tools To Make Your Life Easy in 2020 1
What customers say about UXCam

Available on: Windows, macOS & Web. Dedicated to mobile apps only.

Pricing: Upon Request

Flowchart UX Tools

Mapping out and keeping track of your product flowchart, also known as user flow, is one of your core responsibilities as a UX Designer.

Therefore, the tool you use for it is crucial. You can use one of the above-mentioned UX tools for this, but they are hard to keep track of. Consider the options below!

Overflow

Overflow UX Tools

Overflow is a user flow solution that integrates with Sketch, Figma and XD. It lets you impact designs from those apps, add device skins and rearrange them. Then you can connect and annotate them.

Available on: Web

Pricing: Starting at $15 per month, per person

FlowMapp

FlowMapp User Flow

FlowMapp offers a low-fidelity, wireframe-style approach to mapping user flows. It allows you to build simple diagrams through shapes, lines and icons.

Available on: Web

Pricing: Starting at $15 per month

UXCam Screen Flow

Screen Flow

It’s always good to get a reality check. You might imagine that a user flows through your app in a certain way, but what is he actually doing? With UXCam’s Screen Flow feature, you can easily find out. 

Available on: Windows, macOS & web. Dedicated to mobile apps only.

Pricing: Upon Request

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That concludes our list of UX tools!

FAQ:

What are UX tools?

UX Tools help you through the different stages of the design process: User Research – Wireframing – Prototyping – Optimization (There are more stages, but these are the “must-dos”).

Which software is best for UX Design?

The job of a UX Designer is complex, therefore the one best software doesn’t exist.

It depends on the stage of the design process and your individual needs.

However, here’s my personal preference:
1. Wireframing: Balsamiq
2. Prototyping: Figma
3. User Testing: UXCam
4. Flowcharts: Overflow

Why should I use UX tools?

UX Design is a practice that depends on the utilization of tools and frameworks – be it offline or online.

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Best UX Tools: 11 Tools To Make Your Life Easy in 2020