Header image

Top 10 Design Tools For UX And UI (2023 GUIDE)

13/12/2022

446

Selecting software for UX and UI design is never easy. You want to get something that enables you to flex the full extent of your creative muscle, but you also need a tool that will open your mind to new ideas and approaches you’d have missed.

And then there’s the issue of how well the tool coalesces with a team’s administrative procedures, its integration capabilities, and the returns on investment for each pricing plan, among other factors. But don’t worry, we are going to list the top ten UX and UI design tools to consider using in 2023 and highlight their standout attributes:

Sketch

Sketch is impressive because it allows you to easily adapt your UI designs to different target device screens and their respective dimensions, thanks to custom grids. It will also let you easily reuse various components to maintain consistency in your designs, which is very important for branding.

Besides the presets and artboards, Sketch offers pixel-level accuracy with a snapping mode and smart guides so there are no blemishes in your work. You’ll also benefit from its Boolean editable operations when introducing changes at different stages. Unfortunately, Sketch is only available on macOS, which complicates collaboration.

Sketch

Source: Sketch

Adobe XD

One standout feature of Adobe XD is the 3D Transforms, which allows you to represent different elements from specific perspectives (angles) and varying depths. This makes it ideal for designs intended for augmented and virtual reality systems.

Additionally, Adobe XD offers expansive prototyping capabilities, enabling designers to publish and share interactive designs. And with multiple animation options for the smallest components and voice prototyping, you can quickly realize a lively design.

You’ll have a prototype you can speak to, one that speaks back and makes every action feel like an event of its own but still in a family. This applies to Google Material Design, Apple Design, Amazon Alexa, and many others, thanks to Adobe XD’s assortment of UI kits.

Adobe XD

Source: Toptal

Figma

Figma’s browser-based wireframing capabilities make it a go-to tool for designers who want to quickly put down the skeleton for their designs and share them with colleagues. It also enhances collaboration by allowing you to place comments in your wireframes and get real-time feedback.

And while Figma may come off as a tool best suited for presentations and brainstorming thanks to extensions like FigJam and its drag-and-drop approach, it allows you to convert wireframes into clickable prototypes to get a taste of the intended experience.

Figma

Source: Digidop

Balsamiq

This tool offers a much leaner take on wireframing, going easy on the add-ons and keeping users focused on channeling their whiteboard or notepad workflow. However, it has numerous built-in components that you can drag and drop into your project’s workspace with minimal learning time. Lastly, Balsamiq works on both PC and Mac.

Balsamiq

Source: Balsamiq

Overflow

Overflow helps you combine designs made in various tools like Adobe XD, Sketch, and Figma to create coherent user flows when envisioning the journey through your app. You’ll also be able to add device skins.

And as you draw your user flow diagrams, you can use different shapes and colors to lay out a process’s logic. Those viewing the diagram can easily follow it and see what happens when a particular condition is met or not, and what the screen looks like. Overflow can also convert your prototype links into connectors in the diagram, so you don’t have to redo that work.

Overflow

Source: Overflow

FlowMapp

FlowMapp offers a more stripped-down approach to creating user flow diagrams. This makes it perfect for designers still in the strategizing phase and don’t have that many complete screens to put in the diagram.

While it may seem like a rudimental tool, FlowMapp can help you make important discoveries. For instance, some screens may need to be split, with one accessed using a button on another, while others need to be condensed into one because the functionality is highly-related.

FlowMapp gives a more comprehensive view, such that other stakeholders like copywriters and sales executives can also contribute to the UX plan with a greater understanding of the opportunities and boundaries present in the journey. It’s great for choosing where to insert CTAs and additional messages like warnings at checkout for combating fraud or user feedback collection.

FlowMapp

Source: FlowMapp

Framer

Framer’s code-approach origins and compatibility with React make it suitable for designers focused on the latest web design technologies. Nonetheless, it offers more user-friendly UI design tools and usability testing features.

More importantly, Framer has several plugins that designers can use to embed media players, grids, and other elements into designs to capture content from services like Twitter, Snapchat, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Vimeo, among others. It also has a variety of template categories, ranging from landing pages to startups, splash pages, photography and agency pages, etc.

Framer

Source: Goodgrad

Proto.io

Thousands of templates and digital assets, and hundreds of UI components. That is one of the starting points Proto gives you to make your designs come alive within your web browser. Secondly, you can start your prototyping journey by importing files from Adobe XD, Figma, Photoshop, and Sketch.

You’ll also be able to explore different results for touch events, play with many screen transitions, and utilize gestures, sound, video, and dynamic icons. Proto.io comes with mobile, web, and offline modes.

Proto.io

Source: Proto.io

Axure

Axure helps you make prototypes easier to follow by inserting conditional logic. This tool also encourages documenting as you work on high-fidelity prototypes rich in detail. Coupled with the ability to test functions and generate code for handoff to developers, Axure enables team members to comb through work swiftly with minimal oversight, having ready releases much faster.

Axure

Source: Axure

InVision

InVision incorporates digital whiteboarding into the journey to a working prototype, which makes it great for projects where a team wants to keep ideation running concurrently with actual design work for as long as possible.

It comes with a decent list of integration capabilities, ranging from project management tools like Jira and Trello to communication tools like Zoom and Slack. You can even hook up Spotify to provide a soundtrack for members doing freehand brainstorming.

InVision

Source: Invisionapp

Wrapping Up

Every tool has its pros and cons, so always consider what phase of the project a specific tool fits into, how well it brings everyone together and how much creativity it supports. And while we’ve focused on these top ten picks, many other tools could dominate UI trends in 2023, such as Marvel, Origami Studio, Webflow, and more. For professional help in selecting the right UX and UI design tools, contact us for a free consultation.

Related Blog

Differences in UX demands of a desktop and mobile app for a SaaS product (1)

Software Development

+0

    Differences In UX Demands Of A Desktop And Mobile App For A SaaS Product

    While it was more common for individuals and institutions to buy software in the earlier days, the concept of software as a service isn’t that new either. And as smartphones get smarter and more accessible, many product companies are shifting their focus to this ballooning market to sustain and increase profit. But even though many have increased revenue by enhancing their mobile apps, some companies are excelling thanks to a good desktop app UX. Mobile apps often shine when it comes to daily life products for the individual end user while desktop apps encapsulate stunning collaboration and productivity solutions. In fact, a recent StatCounter study put desktop traffic at 56.51%, with mobile traffic at 50.48%. Many other reports show that there’s still a roughly 60-40 split in mobile and desktop traffic. Clearly, both market segments are here to stay, so let’s examine the differences between UX design for desktop and UX design for mobile: UI Details One of the major differences is that desktop users are more comfortable with having plenty of items fixed on a single UI screen/window. In contrast, mobile users have limited screen space, and many use their thumbs more than any other finger, so you can hardly get away with a cluttered UI. Not only does it look overwhelming, but it also increases the chances of a user tapping the wrong button/option. Unfortunately, there are no straightforward solutions to this challenge. You're likely to tuck a feature/function two or more screens away, which users won't be so happy about. Luckily, some designs enable you to have retractable menus that slide into place and then slide away. You also have the option to create circular icon menus that appear when you hold down a button for a while. Ultimately, you should have a navigation option that makes it easy to go to the previous page or return to the general menu. Source: Freepik Source: Freepik You’ll also need to include a button for the most important action a user can take at that stage in their journey. If it's the opening page, this could be a signup button; if it's a category page, it could be an "add to cart" button or a "buy" button if it's the checkout page. Whatever the CTA is, it should be visible. The user shouldn't have to first scroll down the page. It should also be within the thumb zone, so ensure it's wide enough. Source: Freepik UX design for mobile should also consider the unique gestures like swiping, tilting and shaking that can make a mobile app more fun to use, not forgetting the use of haptic feedback to respond to a user’s command. Performance Ideally, both desktop and mobile app versions should be as smooth and fast as possible. However, when you consider the context in which they operate and the behind-the-scenes work involved in making apps faster, you realize that you might need to put more emphasis on one of them. Mobile apps are more likely to be run on devices with limited RAM, storage space and processing power. Additionally, users are more likely to travel with mobile devices to remote areas where internet connectivity may be poorer. Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash This is why it is essential to optimize mobile apps so they can still work fine when low on resources. From memory allocation to caching, reliance on CDNs and compression for lighter media file versions, offline modes, variable streaming bitrates and data template reuse, there are various techniques you can use to achieve higher mobile app performance. Additionally, don’t forget to test on as many devices and OS versions as possible. Personalization Many software users want to feel like the product was made just for them, and it deeply understands them. In the past, personalization came in the form of changeable skins, fonts and colors. Later, it advanced to more important features like changing languages, currencies and measurement systems. However, personalization has to evolve even further. For instance, if the user has enabled your mobile app to access their location, can it suggest the perfect playlist when it detects that they are by the beach or at a riverside campsite or safari lodge. Source: Unsplash Can your shopping app switch to suggestions for sweaters and cold-weather clothes when the user is in a cold region? Will your food app point them to the places with the best hot beverages and confectioneries? Personalization covers several areas, including the way a person types and uses emojis, the order in which they browse pages, how they use search bars and more. Unlike desktop apps which run on devices like work computers that stay in the same place and are shared, or laptops that usually move between work and home, a mobile app often runs on a device that spends most of its time with one person, going everywhere with them. This is why making mobile app versions as adaptable to the user as possible is crucial. Security and Customer Support On the security front, mobility creates more headaches since it increases the chances of a user losing a device or connecting to an unsecured public network, among other scenarios. This means you should augment mobile apps with more security options, such as fingerprint locks, face ID and other approaches that a mobile device's native hardware can allow. On a deeper level, developers can look into code obfuscation, "root," and "jailbreak detection " to further protect against attack techniques that take advantage of the mobile app-specific architectural and operational characteristics. When it comes to customer support, mobile app UX designers can look into things like the ability to screenshot an error message page and quickly submit it via live chat or tap a call button to speak to an agent. Image by Freepik Another vital customer support area is self-help. Remember, desktop app versions have the advantage since there's more space to display a help article column alongside the actual screen/dashboard where the user is working. They can also properly display video demos and offer an Info view where you see what a button or other element does by hovering the cursor over it. That said, mobile app UX designers need to find ways to condense knowledge bases and other self-help materials within the app to simplify the journey from learning to applying. They can also use GIFs to strike a middle-ground between heavy videos and static images when delivering demos. Wrapping Up All-in-all, it's prudent not to look at the desktop as outdated. Instead, focus more on what they easily accommodate, then figure out how to emulate that on mobile devices. As always, it helps to work with a team of professionals conversant with the nuances of developing and delivering desktop and mobile SaaS apps. You can start this journey by contacting the SupremeTech team for a free consultation on how we bring software ideas to life for our clients.

    25/11/2022

    504

    Software Development

    +0

      25/11/2022

      504

      Differences In UX Demands Of A Desktop And Mobile App For A SaaS Product

      Feature (Web) - Top emerging trends in app UI design (2023 OUTLOOK)

      Software Development

      +0

        Top Emerging Trends In App UI Design (2023 OUTLOOK)

        While an app is made with a specific group of people in mind, that is, people who have a problem that the app solves, its user interface has to consider the existence of several sub-groups within that group. UI designers have to ask themselves a wide range of questions, such as; “Does everyone understand what a certain symbol means?” “Could there be an end-user who is blind?” “Will everyone be able to see this button or read this language?” And on top of that, they also have to consider business interests like branding and cost efficiency. So how are they getting better at harmonizing all this? To answer that, let’s discuss the emerging trends in app UI design: Augmented Reality (AR) AR is gradually becoming a more common aspect of various app UIs, particularly because of its wide range of possibilities when using real graphics to communicate. This technology shows that you can communicate quickly and induce different responses by superimposing extra graphics onto an image or video of an actual entity captured. For example, you can create something that’s funny because it's not real, like showing yourself with dog ears or a flower crown. And on the contrary, you can also create something that's captivating because it's almost real, like a view of your living room with a couch or your face with makeup. Screen-Shot-2022-11-28-at-10.10.09-949x1024 Source: Unsplash AR gives you a chance to visualize elements you'd otherwise have to physically put together and does so with unprecedented accuracy such that the imaginary representation is as close to the real thing as possible. Some examples of excellent AR usage include Modiface, See My Fit/Virtual Catwalk, IKEA Studio, Amazon Salon, Snapchat, Gucci Sneaker Garage, View in Room and Asian Paints. Voice UI Technically, Voice UI isn't entirely new. For a while, many software tools could respond to commands with something like an error message or instruction in audio form. However, what's changed recently is that thanks to artificial intelligence, users can converse with the software on a device. This is already in use with Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa, but there’s still room to expand. For example, designers can create interfaces that automatically pick up ambient noise in a room and use it as a guideline for adjusting music volume or as a trigger for something else, like a display of birthday party graphics and lighting when a crowd yells “Surprise.” Virtual Reality (VR) VR takes the concept of visualization one step further by immersing you into the space you’re viewing rather than simply pasting it onto a screen. It enables you to perceive dimensional changes when you move within a space, like an object getting closer or farther away. Screen-Shot-2022-11-28-at-10.10.30-1024x684 Source: Unsplash It's one thing seeing an object at the end of a room on a screen while being told the length and width of the room. However, it’s totally different when you’re actually in the room. You’re no longer trying to extrapolate from a smaller image on a screen that is also a certain distance away from your eyes. VR's capabilities come in handy when trying to do something like touring a house remotely. Moreover, it is about more than just viewing objects. VR can be used to relay commands that involve body movements, which makes it ideal for use cases like rehearsing a surgical procedure or assembling and repairing an intricate machine. Some good VR apps include Provata VR, Space Explorers, Tilt Brush and Gravity Sketch. VR is also common in the gaming world. Haptic Feedback Haptic Feedback is designed to address a user through their sense of touch. In that sense, haptic feedback messages are usually conveyed as vibrations within the device a user handles. Initially, this technology was used in a basic manner, like notifying someone that they are being called if their phone is in silent mode or that they've chosen the right or wrong option on a screen. Later, it advanced into an exciting way to keep a user engaged by trying to simulate what it’s like to be in a particular situation, like the rattle in a car when it leaves a smooth tarmac track and goes off-road onto a rough and bumpy Murram strip. This use case has been prevalent in gaming controllers. Nevertheless, haptic feedback continues to evolve, with companies like NewHaptic using this technology to create fluid Braille touch screens that use tactile pixels (also known as taxels). Clearly, haptic feedback could be a great tool for making apps more accessible to people with disabilities. Additional trends Many other UI trends are impressive, even though they may not have the most significant impact on user behavior. These include dark mode, flat UI, glassmorphism, neumorphism, animated illustrations, buttonless design and minimalism, asymmetrical layouts and more. Ultimately, UI is an intersection of expression and technology, which means many designers will come across the same concepts, but the difference will be in execution. On that note, here are a few questions to answer before you jump onto a UI trend: Does it make life any easier for the user, or is it merely a fancy nice-to-have?What does it say about your brand? (futuristic, sleek, nostalgic, sexy, young and vibrant, sophisticated etc.)How much computing resources does it require? (Will it end up slowing down the app and making it heavier, or will everything still run smoothly)Is it inclusive, or does it speak to the strengths of a few while sidelining many who have a specific weakness?How much money will it cost to install and maintain? Lastly, remember that UI design goes hand-in-hand with many other elements of a software product. For instance, an ecommerce app's item display may require a slider to see different angles of a product, while a fitness app may only need a thumbnail for each workout. There are other considerations, like whether the subtle tones of neumorphism buttons would work well for a CTA, which usually needs to stand out. Wrapping Up UI design is a far-reaching aspect of app development that often requires various team members’ input. This can be tricky to execute while responding to changes in user demands and other project challenges during the development lifecycle. If you need professional guidance on addressing every facet of app UI design, contact us for a free consultation.

        08/11/2022

        342

        Software Development

        +0

          08/11/2022

          342

          Top Emerging Trends In App UI Design (2023 OUTLOOK)

          integrate-iap-in-react-native

          How-to

          Software Development

          +0

            Integrating IAP with Other Features in React Native

            Following the series about React Native IAP (In-App Purchases), in this article we will discover how to integrate IAP with other features. Integrating In-App Purchases (IAP) with other features in a React Native application can enhance user engagement and maximize revenue. This article will explore how to combine IAP with other monetization methods, sync IAP data with backend services, and use IAP data to personalize user experiences. We'll provide examples and code snippets to illustrate these integrations. Let's explore other articles in this series. Implementing IAP (In-App Purchases) in a React Native App Best Practices for React Native IAP (In-App Purchases) Combining IAP with Other Monetization Methods To diversify revenue streams, you can combine IAP with other monetization methods like ads and affiliate marketing. Example: Combining IAP with Ads You can offer an ad-free experience through IAP while still generating revenue from users who prefer the free version with ads. Integrate Ad SDK: Use a library like react-native-google-mobile-ads to display ads. import { BannerAd, BannerAdSize, TestIds } from '@react-native-google-mobile-ads'; const AdComponent = () => ( <BannerAd unitId={TestIds.BANNER} size={BannerAdSize.FULL_BANNER} requestOptions={{ requestNonPersonalizedAdsOnly: true, }} /> ); 2. Offer Ad-Free Purchase: Create an in-app purchase for removing ads. const productIds = ['com.example.remove_ads']; const buyRemoveAds = async () => { try { await RNIap.requestPurchase(productIds[0]); } catch (err) { console.warn(err.code, err.message); } }; // Example button to trigger purchase <Button title="Remove Ads" onPress={buyRemoveAds} />; 3. Conditional Rendering: Check if the user has purchased the ad-free version and conditionally render ads. const [adsRemoved, setAdsRemoved] = useState(false); useEffect(() => { const checkPurchase = async () => { const purchases = await RNIap.getAvailablePurchases(); setAdsRemoved(purchases.some(purchase => purchase.productId === productIds[0])); }; checkPurchase(); }, []); return ( <View> {!adsRemoved && <AdComponent />} {/* Other app components */} </View> ); Syncing IAP Data with Backend Services Syncing IAP data with a backend service helps maintain user purchase records, validate transactions, and provide a seamless experience across devices. Backend Setup: Create a simple backend to handle receipt validation and store purchase data. Here’s an example using Node.js and Express: const express = require('express'); const bodyParser = require('body-parser'); const app = express(); app.use(bodyParser.json()); app.post('/validate-receipt', async (req, res) => { const { receipt } = req.body; // Validate receipt with Apple/Google servers const isValid = await validateReceiptWithStore(receipt); if (isValid) { // Store purchase data in database await storePurchaseData(receipt); res.json({ success: true }); } else { res.json({ success: false }); } }); const validateReceiptWithStore = async (receipt) => { // Placeholder for actual validation logic return true; }; const storePurchaseData = async (receipt) => { // Placeholder for storing data logic }; app.listen(3000, () => console.log('Server running on port 3000')); 2. Client-Side Validation: Send the receipt to your backend for validation after a purchase. const validateReceipt = async (receipt) => { try { const response = await fetch('https://your-server.com/validate-receipt', { method: 'POST', headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/json', }, body: JSON.stringify({ receipt }), }); const result = await response.json(); return result.success; } catch (error) { console.warn('Validation error', error); return false; } }; useEffect(() => { const purchaseUpdateSubscription = RNIap.purchaseUpdatedListener(async (purchase) => { const receipt = purchase.transactionReceipt; if (receipt) { const isValid = await validateReceipt(receipt); if (isValid) { // Complete the purchase await RNIap.finishTransaction(purchase, false); } } }); return () => { purchaseUpdateSubscription.remove(); }; }, []); Using IAP Data for Personalized User Experiences IAP data can be leveraged to personalize the user experience, making the app more engaging and tailored to individual preferences. Unlocking Features: Use IAP to unlock premium features. const [premiumUser, setPremiumUser] = useState(false); useEffect(() => { const checkPurchase = async () => { const purchases = await RNIap.getAvailablePurchases(); setPremiumUser(purchases.some(purchase => purchase.productId === 'com.example.premium')); }; checkPurchase(); }, []); return ( <View> {premiumUser ? ( <PremiumContent /> ) : ( <RegularContent /> )} </View> ); 2. Personalized Offers: Provide special offers based on past purchase behavior. const [specialOffer, setSpecialOffer] = useState(null); useEffect(() => { const fetchSpecialOffer = async () => { const purchases = await RNIap.getAvailablePurchases(); if (purchases.length > 0) { // Fetch special offer from backend based on purchase history const response = await fetch('https://your-server.com/special-offer', { method: 'POST', headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/json', }, body: JSON.stringify({ userId: user.id }), }); const offer = await response.json(); setSpecialOffer(offer); } }; fetchSpecialOffer(); }, []); return ( <View> {specialOffer && <Text>{specialOffer.description}</Text>} </View> ); Conclusion Integrating IAP with other features in a React Native app can greatly enhance user engagement and revenue. By combining IAP with ads, syncing purchase data with backend services, and using IAP data for personalization, you create a more dynamic and user-friendly experience. Following these practices ensures that your app not only generates revenue but also provides value to your users, leading to higher satisfaction and retention.

            04/06/2024

            43

            How-to

            +1

            • Software Development

            04/06/2024

            43

            Integrating IAP with Other Features in React Native

            troubleshoot issues in react native iap

            How-to

            Software Development

            +0

              Troubleshooting Common Issues in React Native IAP

              Hi tech fellows, this is the third article in the React Native IAP series. Using in-app purchases (IAP) in a React Native app can be complex. Despite careful planning, various issues can arise during development and after deployment. This guide will help you troubleshoot issues in React Native IAP, ensuring a smoother experience for your users and fewer headaches for you. Implementing IAP (In-App Purchases) in a React Native App Best Practices for React Native IAP (In-App Purchases) 1. Network Issue Network issues are common, especially in mobile environments. These problems can interrupt purchase flows and frustrate users. Solution: Implement Retry Mechanisms Ensure your app can handle network disruptions gracefully by implementing retry mechanisms. For instance, if a purchase fails due to network issues, inform the user and provide an option to retry. 2. Interrupted Purchases Purchases can be interrupted for various reasons, such as app crashes or users closing the app mid-transaction. Solution: Handle Pending Transactions Check for and handle pending transactions when the app restarts. This ensures that any interrupted purchases are completed or properly reverted. 3. Receipt Validation Receipt validation is crucial to ensure that purchases are legitimate. However, developers often face issues with validation, leading to rejected transactions or fraud. Solution: Implement Server-Side Validation While client-side validation can be a quick check, server-side validation provides an additional layer of security. Here's a basic example of how you might handle this: Client-Side: Server-Side: 4. Product Configuration Issues Sometimes, products do not appear in your app because of misconfigurations in the app stores. Solution: Double-Check Configurations Ensure that your product IDs match exactly between your app and the store. Also, confirm that the products are approved and available for purchase. 5. Platform-Specific Bugs Bugs can be platform-specific, affecting either iOS or Android but not both. Solution: Test on Both Platforms Always test your IAP functionality on both iOS and Android. Utilize device simulators and real devices to cover a range of scenarios. Keep an eye on the library's GitHub issues page, as many common bugs are reported and discussed there. 6. User Cancellations Users might cancel purchases midway, leading to incomplete transactions. Solution: Handle Cancellations Gracefully Detect and manage canceled transactions by informing users and reverting any app state changes made in anticipation of the purchase. 7. Debugging Tools Debugging IAP issues can be challenging without the right tools. Solution: Use Debugging Tools Utilize debugging tools like Reactotron or Flipper for React Native. These tools help you log and inspect API calls, including those made by the react-native-iap library. 8. Updates and Deprecations Libraries and APIs are frequently updated, which can lead to deprecated methods and breaking changes. Solution: Keep Your Library Updated Regularly update the react-native-iap library and other dependencies. Check the library's documentation and changelog for updates and breaking changes. This ensures that your implementation remains compatible with the latest versions of React Native and the app stores' requirements. Conclusion Troubleshooting issues in React Native IAP involves addressing network issues, handling interrupted purchases, ensuring proper receipt validation, and managing platform-specific bugs. By implementing robust solutions and using appropriate tools, you can resolve common issues effectively, ensuring a smoother and more reliable purchase experience for your users. Regular updates and thorough testing across both iOS and Android platforms are key to maintaining a successful IAP system in your app.

              28/05/2024

              84

              How-to

              +1

              • Software Development

              28/05/2024

              84

              Troubleshooting Common Issues in React Native IAP

              Customize software background

              Want to customize a software for your business?

              Meet with us! Schedule a meeting with us!