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Best UX Tools: Top 10 Software UX Designers Use in 2023

Best UX Tools: Top 10 Software UX Designers Use in 2023

Find out the industry-standard tools and software the best UX designers use to design better User Experiences

January 2, 2023 by Jonas Kurzweg

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Thomas Carlyle said it best: “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools, he’s nothing; with tools he is all.

UX tools have a life-changing impact on your professional life as a mobile or web product designer. Choose the wrong ones, and your work — and the fun that comes with it — will suffer. After talking to some of the top UX designers, we've compiled this UXCam guide which lists the best tools for UX designers.

The most popular UX Design tools are Balsamiq, Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch, UXCam, UserTesting, Applause, Overflow and FlowMapp.

How To Choose the Right UX Tool

We found four key aspects that matter when choosing the right User Experience (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 any 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 four aspects — congratulations; never let it go!

Our advice: You aren’t on your own. Keep in mind that other colleagues will also use your toolkit… and you’ll need to share your work with them. After all, don’t you show wireframes, prototypes, user flows, and testing results to stakeholders on a regular basis?

Best Wireframing & Prototyping UX Design Tools

Amateurs often confuse wireframes and prototypes. 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 even test them out on users.

Balsamiq

Balsamiq UX Tool Wireframe

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

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-fledged mock-up.

Availability: Web (cloud) / Windows / macOS

Pricing: Starts at $9/month

User Ratings G2: 4.2/5 (474+ reviews) Capterra: 4.4/5 (338+ reviews)

Adobe XD

Adobe XD Prototyping UX Tool

XD is Adobe’s flagship UX tool. We’ve seen its great evolution in the last few years. Nowadays, it boasts a decent collaboration feature that lets you share documents and work collaboratively.

XD is a solid prototyping tool that allows you to create elements and then generate animated transitions with said elements. A big drawback as of today: Your colleagues and you can’t simultaneously work on the same document.

Availability: Windows / macOS

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

User Ratings G2: 4.3/5 (352+ reviews) Capterra: 4.6/5 (783+ reviews)

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. It supports vector networks, prototyping, and design systems management. Besides that, the tool has a nice interface that allows for the insertion of elements, animations and code in order to create high-fidelity prototypes.

Availability: Windows / macOS. Figma also offers a mobile app to mirror prototypes

Pricing: Starts at $12 per editor, per month

User Ratings G2: 4.6/5 (534+ reviews) Capterra: 4.7/5 (396+ reviews)

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 works on macOS only.

Availability: macOS only

Pricing: Starts at $99/year

User Ratings G2: 4.5/5 (1149+ reviews) Capterra: 4.7/5 (680+ reviews)

Best 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.

UXCam

UXCam is an analytics solution for mobile apps that lets you get a deep understanding of user behavior. Some of the ways that UXCam can help UX designers include:

  1. Behavior analytics: UXCam allows UX designers to track and analyze user behavior on their mobile app, providing valuable insights into how users are interacting with the interface. This can help designers identify areas of confusion or difficulty, and make improvements to the design and functionality of the website or app.

  2. Session replays: UXCam allows UX designers to record and analyze user screen flows, also known as "session replays." These replays provide a clear and detailed understanding of how users are navigating through the app or website, and where they might be experiencing confusion or difficulty.

  3. Heatmaps: UXCam provides heatmaps, which are visual representations of how users interact with the interface. Heatmaps can help UX designers understand which elements of the interface are getting the most attention, and which are being ignored.

  4. Collaboration: UXCam allows multiple users to collaborate on the same sessions in real-time, making it easy for UX designers to work together and get feedback from their team members.

session video recording

Sessions can be easily shared even with people that don’t have access to UXCam. The advanced filter system lets you find useful sessions lightning-fast. UXCam’s integration requires two lines of code and takes less than five minutes.

Something to keep in mind is that you will not be able to conduct interviews on UXCam due to its nature of gathering and observing real-usage data. Instead of testing the usability, you get to see how good it actually is.

Availability: Web / Windows / macOS. Dedicated to mobile apps only.

Pricing: Upon request

User Ratings G2: 4.8/5 (96+ reviews) Capterra: 4.6/5 (22+ reviews)

Try UXCam for free — with 100,000 free monthly sessions and unlimited features.

UXCam Review

UserTesting

UserTesting

UserTesting didn’t get the creative juices flowing when coming up with the 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.

Availability: Web / Windows / macOS

Pricing: Upon request

User Ratings G2: 4.5/5 (565+ reviews) Capterra: 4.5/5 (99+ reviews)

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.

Availability: Web

Pricing: Upon request

User Ratings G2: 4.4/5 (44+ reviews) Capterra: N/A

Best Flowchart User Experience 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 this purpose is crucial. You can use one of the above-mentioned UX tools for this, but it’ll be hard to keep track of them. 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 tools, add device skins and rearrange them. Then you can connect and annotate them.

Availability: Web

Pricing: Starts at $15 per month, per person

User Ratings G2: 4.2/5 (9+ reviews) Capterra: N/A

FlowMapp

FlowMapp User Flow

FlowMapp offers a low-fidelity, wireframe-style approach to mapping user flows. With it, you can build simple diagrams through shapes, lines, and icons. It allows teams to visually plan and map out the user journey, from initial entry points to final conversion goals, and helps to identify any potential pain points or areas for improvement in the user experience.

One of the key features of Flowmapp is its ability to create and organize user flows, which are visual representations of the steps a user takes to complete a specific task or reach a certain goal within the website or app. These flows can be easily shared and reviewed with the team, allowing for better collaboration and understanding of the user journey.

Availability: Web

Pricing: Starts at $15 per month

User Ratings G2: 4.7/5 (73+ reviews) Capterra: 4.7/5 (37+ reviews)

UXCam Screen Flow

Screen Flow UX Tool

One of the features of UXCam is its ability to record and analyze user screen flows. You may think that users flow through your app in a certain way, but what are they actually doing? You can easily find out with UXCam’s Screen Flow feature.

Availability: Web / Windows / macOS. Dedicated to mobile apps only.

Pricing: Upon request

User Ratings G2: 4.8/5 (96+ reviews) Capterra: 4.6/5 (22+ reviews)

Try UXCam for free — with 100,000 free monthly sessions and unlimited features.

_______________________

That concludes our list of the best UX design software!

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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Jonas Kurzweg
AUTHOR

Jonas Kurzweg

UX, marketing & product nerd. Coffee enthusiast. Working at UXCam.

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