Top Design Tools to Learn in 2020

1. Sketch

Sketch is a vector-based tool used for desktop and mobile UI design, mockups and prototypes. Today, it’s considered an industry standard. It’s one of the best tools to design wireframes and website mockups. It can be used for simple tasks such as making low fidelity prototypes as well as an entire production project. 

USP: Best plugins available across all design tools

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Lots of tutorials available
  • Lots of plugins available
  • Easy to create wireframes and mockups

Cons:

  • No built-in collaboration tools
  • Less robust that its competitors
  • Available only for MacOS systems
2. Adobe XD

Adobe XD is one of the most popular products to come out of the Adobe ecosystem. That it can be used for UI/UX Design without the need for CSS is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity. One can rapidly prototype responsive websites with transition effects and animations. The built-in grid system and repeat grid tool can speed up your design process significantly.

USP: Part of the Adobe ecosystem. If you’re already familiar with it, your learning curve drastically flattens.

Pros:

  • Create mockups without code
  • Syncs well with other Adobe products
  • There is very little that you cannot create within the XD suite. Many use-cases and features
  • Can export websites in various formats

Cons:

  • UI isn’t the most attractive when compared to competitors
  • Tools and add-ons are still being developed
  • Animation capability can be improved
3. InVision

InVision helps one to present and explain the website design and behavior successfully and accurately to clients. One of the biggest advantages of using InVision is that design tools and educational resources are available for teams to navigate through each stage of the product design process, from ideation to development.

USP: Collaboration and Feedback System

Pros:

  • Integration with Sketch makes it easy to export designs
  • Access basic CSS code from graphic elements, making it easy to communicate to developers.
  • One of the best feedback systems that makes it easy to receive feedback
  • Easy to share options make it one of the best collaborative design tools 

Cons:

  • The web and mobile application is very heavy and that makes it very slow
  • Pricing is a bit on the upside
4. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most popular vector graphics creators out there. With easy integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud, this tool is a great start when learning graphic design but it can also be applied to animations, computer graphics and more. With endless applications, one can create logos, posters, illustrations and much more.

USP: One-stop shop for vector images

Pros:

  • Integrates easily with the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Very versatile and the possibilities to create vector graphics are endless
  • Great for creating animations or cartoons

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Not the most intuitive software out there
5. Figma

Figma is one of the most widely used design software across the world. Used for prototyping and wireframing mobile and web applications, Figma has built out the platform to expand access and usability for individual designers, small firms and giant enterprise companies alike.

USP: Cloud-based and ease of collaboration

Pros:

  • Simple UI that increases the ease to find what you want
  • Collaboration within the tool during design sprints reduces delays
  • Can host a lot of content without lags or delays
  • Amazing templates 

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced prototyping features
  • Can be quite expensive for SMBs

All of these tools are covered as part of the International Certification in User Experience Flex (ICUX Flex) program. Check out the program here.

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