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Aug 19, 2021

15 useful UI/UX tools for designers in 2022

Learn what UX design tools are and discover 15 essential UX/UI design tools to build better digital experiences.

UX and UI design tools are evolving fast.

From doing early whiteboard exercises to working on the finished product, each stage of the design and product development process is now helped by a whole range of tools. The usability and accessibility of these tools have never been higher, and it’s making product development easier and more powerful for everyone.

From day-one start-ups to huge enterprises, product development is a process that’s essential to get right. That means it’s also essential to be using the right tools for the job.

To help you find the tool that will work best for your designs, we created a list of the best UX/UI design tools in 2022.

Our top fifteen UX/UI design tools are:

  1. Maze: Remote testing for agile teams
  2. Sketch: The digital design platform
  3. Adobe XD: The UI/UX design solution for websites, apps, and more
  4. Balsamiq: The rapid, effective, and fun wireframing software
  5. Figma: The collaborative interface design tool
  6. InVision: Digital product design, workflow, and collaboration
  7. Marvel: The design platform for digital products
  8. Axure: Ux prototypes, specifications, and diagrams in one tool
  9. Framer: The prototyping tool for teams
  10. UXPin: UI design and prototyping tool
  11. FlowMapp: The UX tool for web design
  12. Origami Studio: Design, animate, and protoype
  13. Proto.io: Prototyping for all
  14. Wireframe.cc: An app fine-tuned for wireframing
  15. Webflow: A visual way to build the web

If you want to take a look at these tools at-a-glance, check out the table below. 👇

Name Features Price Available on
Maze • Run in-depth tests with or without prototypes
• Test and validate ideas, concepts, copy
• Remote, rapid user testing and research
Free for individual projects, with paid plans from $25 per user/month Browsers
Sketch • Create prototypes
• Visual design for web-based products
• Collaboration tools
Starting plan of $9 per user/month macOS
Adobe XD • Create product prototypes, mobile apps and websites
• Create workflows, element creation, animated transitions, dynamic elements
Free for single documents, then starting plan of $9.99/month Windows, macOS
Balsamiq • Wireframing tool
• Create mockups which focus on functionality and user flow
Starting plan of $9/month Browsers, Windows, macOS
Figma • Cloud-based design
• Design and build prototypes
• Create wireframes, mind maps, mood boards
• Collaboration tools
Free for three projects, then starting plan $12 per user/month Browsers, Windows, macOS
InVision • Outline user journeys
• Create wireframes and prototypes
• Create design handoff features
• Collaboration tools
• Standalone design and UX tool
Free for three documents, then $7.95 per user/month Windows, macOS
Marvel • Create wireframes and prototypes
• User testing for prototypes
Free for single user and project, then €9/month Browsers, iOS, Android
Axure • Create wireframes and lo-fi prototypes
• Add dynamic panels, animations and graphic interactions
Starting plan of $25 per user/month Windows, macOS
Framer • Create high-fidelity prototypes and work on screen design
• Requires basic level of CSS and HTML coding
• Create wireframes
• Visual design
• Basic user testing
Free for three projects, then $19 per user/month Browsers, macOS (paid only)
UXPin • Create high-fidelity prototypes
• Import designs from other tools
• Simple, drag-and-drop functionality
Starting plan of $19 per user/month Browsers, Windows, macOS
FlowMapp • Plan UI and UX of apps, digital products and websites
• User research functionality
• Content planning tool
• Sitemapping tool
• Collaboration tools
• User persona feature
Free plan available, then $15 per month Browsers
Origami Studio • High-fidelity prototyping tool
• Patch editor and library of existing patches
Free macOS, iOS, Android
Proto.io • Create high-fidelity prototypes
• Collaboration tools
Starting plan of $24/month Browsers
Wireframe.cc • Low-fidelity tool focused on minimalism
• Create wireframes easily
• Ideal for beginners
Free for unlimited public wireframes, then $16 per/user month Browsers
Webflow • Website designer, builder and content management system
• Design-to-code generator
Free for one website, then $12 per month or $19 for multiple users Browsers

Now, let's delve into each tool in more detail.

1. Maze

Maze

Maze is a powerful rapid testing platform that allows designers to run in-depth tests with or without prototypes, and to test and validate ideas, concepts, or copy.

The range of testing available is hugely valuable to designers working in every stage of the process. Deep user insights can be garnered from usability tests with open-ended follow-up questions, which brings designers and real users more closely aligned than ever. Meanwhile, actionable quantitative metrics from A/B tests, success rates, misclick rates, and page heatmaps can directly inform designers on a direction to take.

Maze offers broad integration options, tying in third-party prototyping and wireframing tools like Figma, Adobe XD, InVision, Marvel, and Sketch. Pairing Maze’s testing features with these UI design tools means that good design decisions are constantly being justified, while poor ideas are scrapped early on.

The software continues to be useful even before or after designers move from the prototype stage to creating the actual product. Running research surveys and gathering user feedback ensures that the product never strays too far from what users want or expect. Running on assumptions is never a good idea—as Gabriel Kirmaier of UX Bites says, "When we learn from the user, we make better products."

Maze works on: Browsers
Pricing: Maze is free for individual projects, while paid plans are available at $25 per user/month

Validate your designs before coding

Spot friction at prototype stage, fix it before development, and create designs your users truly love.

2. Sketch

Sketch

Sketch started out as purely a visual design tool for web-based products and is now one of the most popular design tools around. The software is another favorite with UI designers getting started with UX design, and it’s easy to see why—considering its intuitive interface. Its ability to create beautiful interfaces makes it a solid competitor to Figma for product design.

Since its beginnings, it has now started to add more functionality, including real-time collaboration features and a prototyping tool, and also integrates smoothly with third-party plug-ins.

While it dominates the design world on macOS, it’s only available on that one operating system—so Linux and Windows users will have to look elsewhere.

Sketch works on: macOS
Pricing: $9 per user/month

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD

XD is Adobe's UI design software, focused on creating product prototypes, mobile apps, and websites. It provides designers with the tools they need to create fully-fledged prototypes, including workflows, element creation, animated transitions, other dynamic elements, and more.

A benefit of using a tool from a suite as impressive as Adobe's is that they, unsurprisingly, integrate perfectly with each other. And while tools like Photoshop, in particular, do reach the high end of pricing, larger companies will find the Creative Cloud package enticing, since many products are made available together, such as Illustrator and InDesign.

Adobe XD works on: Windows and macOS
Pricing: A free plan is available for single documents, with $9.99/month as starting plan price.

4. Balsamiq

Balsamiq

Balsamiq has been an industry-leading wireframing tool for some time now, and it’s easy to see why. The hand-drawn design forces UX/UI designers to keep their wireframes super low-fidelity. This allows them to focus entirely on functionality and user flow while keeping visual aspects to a minimum.

This design tool is known as one of the easiest to start using, even for a UI designer who doesn’t have much technical knowledge. It’s simple enough to allow users to create mockups quickly while providing enough icons and tools for designers to put their ideas onto the page without compromising. Its affordable price point also makes Balsamiq a favorite for small teams and companies just getting off the ground.

Balsamiq works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows
Pricing: Plans start at $9/month

5. Figma

Figma

Figma is one of the most popular design tools around. Featuring a cloud-based design tool, it’s used for designing and building prototypes with gorgeous design features. The software is also applicable for creating wireframes and other deliverables like mood boards. The layout is huge, making it possible to have multiple iterations placed on the same project and easily compare between designs.

One of Figma’s big pluses is its collaborative features, which allows multiple users to make changes to a design simultaneously, without the need to download files locally. Its browser functionality means anyone can use Figma on different operating systems. Finally, Figma integrates smoothly with tools like Maze, Zeplin, and Confluence, making Figma a great option for everything design-related.

Figma works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows
Pricing: Free plan available for up to 3 projects, paid plan starts from $12 per editor/month

6. InVision

InVision

InVision is a versatile design tool that has a strong focus on enabling a top user experience. Using Invision, a UX/UI designer can go from outlining the user journey to collaborating on early design, to wireframes and prototypes, and finally to its design handoff features. Having a single platform that takes users from early brainstorms to development is exceptionally useful.

Of all the above features, InVision’s prototyping tool leads the way. Users can create interactive prototypes, which automatically adjust according to the device and orientation, along with their colleagues. Alongside this is InVision Studio—the new standalone digital design and UX tool. InVision Studio offers an impressive suite of features, such as a vector-drawing tool, interactive designs, and built-in animations.

InVision works on: macOS, and Windows
Pricing: Free for up to 3 documents, paid plans start at $7.95 per user/month

7. Marvel

Marvel

Marvel is an all-in-one design tool that offers tools for design and wireframing, through the prototyping to user testing stages. The software is incredibly easy to use, making it perfect for quickly generating prototypes and designing simple and effective user interfaces.

While Marvel has tools for each stage of the design process, its main focus is on prototyping. Users can implement gestures, import designs, add screen elements, and do everything else they need to create functioning prototypes at speed. While not as sophisticated as other tools on this list, it’s a top choice for new designers and developers looking for a tool that can get them up and running quickly.

Marvel works on: Browser, iOS, and Android apps
Pricing: Free plan available for a single user and project, Pro plan comes in at €9/month

8. Axure

Axure

Axure provides a platform for creating wireframes and lo-fi prototypes which is easy to use but also doesn’t compromise on function. The software allows users to quickly create prototypes with data-driven interactions without having to use any code at all.

Axure makes it particularly easy to add features that can otherwise take some time to set up, such as dynamic panels, animations, and graphic interactions. And, as with others in this list, Axure allows multiple designers to work concurrently on a single project file. The end result is the rapid production of well-functioning prototypes, though its high-end pricing makes it more appealing to enterprises.

Axure works on: Windows and macOS
Pricing: Starting plan is $25 per user/month

9. Framer

Framer

Framer, formerly known as Framer X, is a fantastic tool for working on screen design and creating high-fidelity prototypes. Framer is known for having somewhat of a learning curve by requiring a basic level of CSS and HTML code knowledge for aspects like interactions and animations. However, final prototypes made with Framer are about as close to a final product that a prototype can get.
While the prototyping tool is Framer’s core feature, it has also been developing a range of other tools, including wireframing, and visual design. It’s even developed some basic tools for user testing, which makes Framer a useful all-in-one tool at a mid-range price.

Framer works on: Browser (free) and macOS (Pro)
Pricing: Free for up to 3 projects, then $19 per editor/month for Pro plan

10. UXPin

UXPin

UXPin offers tools for product designers to take their creations from start to finish—with a big focus on the finish. Its prototypes are the most complex and “final” on this list, resulting in products that are within a whisker of a final functioning product.

What’s more is that this end result can be achieved without designers needing to know how to code, even when interactions, animations, and more are implemented. The drag-and-drop functionality makes the tool super easy to use, even when making high-fidelity prototypes.

Users can import their designs from other tools and integrate them smoothly. So, layers aren’t lost when adding user functionalities to static images.

UXPin works on: macOS, Windows, and browsers
Pricing: Basic plan starts at $19 per editor/month

11. FlowMapp

FlowMapp

FlowMapp offers a range of tools built to help with UX/UI design, as well as tools for communication, collaboration, and content planning. Focusing on the UX tools, FlowMapp helps to plan the UI and UX of apps, digital products, and websites with their flowchart tool and even offers user research functionalities.

The sitemap tool is super easy to use, letting users collaborate and create individual pages and plan the content and unique page goal for each of them.

Finally, FlowMapp’s service branches out into other useful services, such as their Personas feature which allows users to build buyer personas. This makes FlowMapp a solid option for small teams and does help to keep the teams on the same page, potentially improving user experience.

Flowmapp works on: Browsers
Pricing: Pro accounts $15/month, with a basic free plan available

12. Origami Studio

Origami Studio

Origami Studio is a tool originally built to be used by Facebook’s designers, now made available for free for everyone. It offers a more complex prototyping tool than others on this list, giving designers the tools needed to create more hi-fi prototypes.

The tool’s patch editor is used to build the logic behind prototypes, with a well-stocked library of existing patches to be used. This leads to a focus on individual pages, allowing users to depict exactly how the page is intended to work. There’s a bit of a learning curve, especially for new designers, since Origami is intended to help designers create hi-fi prototypes.

Origami Studio works on: macOS, Android, and iOS devices
Pricing: Origami Studio is entirely free

13. Proto.io

Proto.io

Proto.io is another quality service that enables UX/UI designers to create high-functioning prototypes while remaining fairly friendly to beginners. This combination is not easy to pull off, but Proto.io does it brilliantly, creating final products that work and feel like a finished product.

It’s particularly popular with students due to its smooth learning curve, while also providing a wide array of tools to start putting together interactions within the prototype. With Proto.io, designers can plan, create, and even test hi-fi prototypes, while also allowing team collaboration throughout the process.

Proto.io works on: Browsers
Pricing: Freelancer account starts at $24/month

14. Wireframe.cc

wireframe.cc

Wireframe.cc is a tool with simplicity at its core. Using Wireframe.cc, UX/UI designers can construct low-fidelity wireframes quickly, with no need for prior experience. With basic functionality focused on minimalism, designers can remain focused on functionality and iterate without risk of being tied down by unnecessary details or styles too early.

Offering an in-browser demo and instructional library, Wireframe.cc is the ideal tool for beginners. Simple shapes and an intentionally-limited color palette forces designers to communicate in a straightforward way with the user at the center. Users can get started right away, streamlining the design process and highlighting the importance of clarity and functionality.

Wireframe.cc works on: Browsers
Pricing: Free for unlimited wireframes (shared publicly), paid plans start from $16 per user/month

15. Webflow

Webflow

Webflow is an all-encompassing website designer, builder and content management system. With no need for prior coding knowledge, Webflow allows UI/UX designers to design to their heart’s content, then generate the code to hand straight to developers.

The UX/UI elements of Webflow are similar to other tools on this list, such as Sketch or Figma. The outstanding feature is the accuracy of the design-to-code function, enabling designers to take complete control and build prototypes, then generate matching HTML and CSS code which can be published to production across different browsers and devices.

Webflow works on: Browsers
Pricing: Free for one website, paid plans start from $12 per month or $19 for multiple users

Why do you need a UX/UI design tool?

Now we've covered some of the options out there, let's talk about why it's so crucial to have a good UX design tool.

As we've seen from the list above, there are a number of types of products that fall under the categories of “user interface design tools (UI)” and “user experience design tools (UX)”, and very often products will fit in both. Though, all of them work towards the same goal: helping designers to make incredible digital apps. The tools in this list all fit under this description, though they excel at different aspects of the product design process:

  • User testing
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Visual design
  • Optimization
  • Handoff

It’s important to bear in mind the difference between UI and UX when assessing what tools you’ll need. Jonathan Widawski, CEO at Maze defines UX design as “understanding the overall journey of your users and turning it into a product,” while UI design is *“about using typography, images, and other visual design elements to turn a basic interface into something digestible and usable.” *

To put the UI/UX distinction in very simple words, UX design is about creating digital products that are intuitive and function well, while the aim of UI design is about making the product aesthetically pleasing.

Validate your designs before coding

Spot friction at prototype stage, fix it before development, and create designs your users truly love.

How do I choose the right UX/UI design tool?

There’s no single UX/UI design tool that perfectly fulfills the needs of all designers. That’s why it’s important for designers to reflect on what they need, and also to do their own research on existing options.

While narrowing down the options, bear the following questions in mind:

  • How useful is this tool?
  • How usable is it, and how quickly can I start using it well?
  • Is this an affordable option for our company?
  • How does this tool enable collaboration with other team members?
  • How well does it integrate with other UX/UI design tools?
  • What operating systems can the tool run on?

While choosing your user interface design tool, it’s important to keep essential UX design principles in mind, which are about making products that are informed by research and user feedback, are designed with empathy, and are accessible for everyone.

Frequently asked questions about UX/UI design tools

What is a UX tool?

UX tools are the products and software UX designers use during product development to plan, research, design and test their work.

What tools does a UX designer use?

UX designers may use a variety of tools for different stages of product development, or one all-encompassing tool. Tools often include software to help research, design, and test their work. This may range from a whiteboard during a planning session, to an in-depth visual design program used to build prototypes.

Which is the best tool for UI/UX design?

Every UI/UX design tool is different. Our top 13 design tools are:

  1. Maze: Remote testing for agile teams
  2. Sketch: The digital design platform
  3. Adobe XD: The UI/UX design solution for websites, apps, and more
  4. Balsamiq: The rapid, effective, and fun wireframing software
  5. Figma: The collaborative interface design tool
  6. InVision: Digital product design, workflow, and collaboration
  7. Marvel: The design platform for digital products
  8. Axure: Ux prototypes, specifications, and diagrams in one tool
  9. Framer: The prototyping tool for teams
  10. UXPin: UI design and prototyping tool
  11. FlowMapp: The UX tool for web design
  12. Origami Studio: Design, animate, and protoype
  13. Proto.io: Prototyping for all

Is coding required for UX design?

Coding is not required for all UX design, however many UX design tools require a basic understanding and knowledge of coding, such as CSS and HTML.