If your users are having trouble finding the content you want them to find or you are wondering how to make the right decisions on where to place certain elements so navigation is intuitive, UX design tools can help you.
The tools on this list have everything from interface drag-and-drop builders to heatmaps that help you analyze user behavior.
What Are UX Design Tools?
UX design tools are software applications that assist user experience (UX) designers in creating and testing interfaces for websites, mobile applications, and other digital products. These tools provide a variety of features such as prototyping, wireframing, visual design, user testing, and collaboration. They help designers create intuitive and efficient final products that meet the needs of their users.
Now part of the Adobe empire, Figma has a reputation for creating excellent design tools that empower rapid prototyping and development.
Why I picked Figma: Figma helps businesses create, test, and efficiently deliver new product designs. Using Figma’s pen tools, designers can draw in any direction with vector networks and generate arc designs. They can pin files for fast access, track contributors, add context notes, and perform collaboratively in real time. The application helps users build prototypes, create design transitions, and define interactions.
Collaboration tools such as diagrams, sticky notes, audio discussions, and online whiteboards also make brainstorming easy for teams.
Figma Standout Features and Integrations
Features include advanced collaboration tools, vector networks, components, prototyping, design system management, version control, version history, audio conversations, team libraries, content management, overlays, automated provisioning, on-canvas commenting, plugins, and cross-platform compatibility.
Integrations include Axure, Bubble, Confluence, Flinto, Maze, Microsoft Teams, Pendo, Principle, ProtoPie, Sprig, and Zeplin.
- Quality plugins
- Drag-and-drop prototyping
- Cross-platform support
- Steep learning curve
- Commenting can be confusing
A specialist in mobile app experience and analytics, UXCam empowers product teams with contextual insights into how their mobile apps perform.
Why I picked UXCam: UXCam allows you to record, analyze and share sessions and events with the aim of uncovering app usage patterns. The software captures every micro-interaction in your app in real time, then converts all data points into high-fidelity reports for further analysis.
UXCam helps product companies scale by leveraging contextual analytics, giving every stakeholder the right kind of UX metrics. Product teams get to understand the reasons behind user drop-offs and uninstalls, as well as discovering emerging user trends.
The growth team gains deep insights into customer in-app journeys and can analyze specific user segments. Members of the engineering team get real value, too. They get to the root cause of bugs and app crashes, ensuring high-quality development and release cycles.
UXCam Standout Features and Integrations
Features include session replay analysis, heatmaps, user analysis, screen analysis, user journey analysis, custom reports and dashboards, and crash analytics.
Integrations include Amplitude, Android, Firebase Crashlytics, Firebase Google Analytics, Intercom, iOS, MixPanel, React-native, Segment, and Xamarin.
- Helpful heatmaps
- Old-school design
- Instant insights
- Number of recordings limited
- Session recordings sometimes fail
Marvel is a UX design tool that facilitates rapid prototyping, usability testing, and handoff for design teams.
Why I picked Marvel: Using Marvel tools, you can wireframe, generate design specs, and connect integrations that enhance your workflow. The software makes it easy to create both low-fidelity and high-fidelity designs.
You can also draw app screens on paper, take photos, or add mockups from the cloud. Alternatively, you can draw directly on the screen. Just link each screen to form your app demo, then press play. Prototypes can be shared by email, SMS, or Twitter.
Features include design prototyping, a UI kit library, animations, responsive web design, version history, prototype sharing, commenting, and feedback.
Integrations include Ballpark, Confluence, Dropbox Paper, Jira, Microsoft, Niice, Sketch, Smartmockups, YouTube, and ZeroHeight.
- Excellent Sketch integrations
- Updated regularly
- Great for remote teams
- No offline option
- No animations
UXPin helps you create better user experiences and optimize user journeys, all in a single UX design tool.
Why I picked UXPin: The software enables you to gather user insights and feedback quickly. You can build interactive designs fast, then gather feedback by observing how end-users click through the designs.
You can invite team members and other stakeholders to collaborate, import files from other design tools, and make your work interactive. You can also take advantage of the pre-built libraries, and user flows (complete with elements, colors, text styles, and icons).
UXPin Standout Features and Integrations
Features include built-in design elements, easy mockups, comments, auto layouts, and online user testing.
Integrations include Desktop.com, Jira, Miro, Rambox, Shift, and Sketch.
- Great for sharing projects and mockups
- Easy to implement basic prototypes
- Option to upload custom fonts
- The platform can be slow
- Limited video integration
Justinmind is an app development platform that helps businesses build prototypes and wireframes compatible with various screen sizes and devices.
Why I picked Justinmind: The software makes it easy to improve user experience through visual designs, web interactions, and mobile gestures. Using the export and documentation tools, you can enable users to generate standard documents and export them into HTML. The platform also allows designers to publish UI designs with a single click, then invite colleagues to provide feedback.
The software allows you to create clickable prototypes, then work through to fully-functional simulations—all without typing a single line of code. You can design full interactions of your web and mobile products, including advanced interactions, animations, transitions, and interactive UI elements.
Justinmind Standout Features and Integrations
Features include pre-installed user interface kits, animations, transitions, effects, templates, forms, data lists, collaboration, app testing, and flow scenario management.
Integrations include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD, Figma, Jira, Microsoft TFS, and Sketch.
- Great for fast prototyping
- Ability to link/add Photoshop files
- Easy to share designs
- Limited integrations
- Needs more tutorials
Framer is a development platform that allows you to create realistic, interactive UI and UX designs for any app or website.
Why I picked Framer: Using this software platform, you can collaborate with copywriters, developers, and other designers on all your UI and UX designs in real-time. The multiplayer features allow collaboration with colleagues on everything from wireframing to handoff.
All designs made in Framer are realistic from the start, with interactivity built into everything you create. Thanks to the interactive designs, you can spend more time designing and get quicker results from user testing. Team members can leave comments and respond to all feedback directly from the canvas.
Framer Standout Features and Integrations
Features include interactive prototyping, code components, design collaboration, UI kit library, design previews, responsive design, and templates.
Integrations include Copy Clipboard, Eventbrite, Giphy, Gumroad, Instagram, OpenTable, Product Hunt, Spotify, TrustPilot, and Twitter.
- Excellent animation features
- Powerful interaction elements
- High-fidelity prototypes
- Steep learning curve
- Needs more sharing options
Freehand by InVision is a digital product design platform that helps development professionals create and manage prototypes. The software provides a digital dashboard, allowing users to collaborate, test, and experiment with design templates and ideas.
Why I picked InVision’s Freehand: The multiplayer whiteboard provides a collaborative workspace for teams to get work done, either in real-time or asynchronously. Using InVision Freehand, designers can streamline and automate workflows or develop prototypes.
The built-in shared design libraries help professionals work collaboratively, using tools such as instant playback, mirroring mobile devices, and editing timelines. Users also get library access with push/pull changes, UX components, and version rollback.
InVision Freehand Standout Features and Integrations
Features include visual collaboration tools, presentations, prototype creation, digital whiteboards, wireframing, planning, and feedback management.
Integrations include Asana, Basecamp, Confluence, DropBox, Jira, Sketch, Slack, Teamwork, Trello, and Microsoft Teams.
- Wide variety of templates
- Strong asset sharing capabilities
- Interactive prototyping
- More integrations needed
- Navigation can be confusing
Sketch is a cloud-based design tool that helps businesses create vector graphics and icons, collaborate with colleagues, and modify design topography or fonts—all through a single, unified platform.
Why I picked Sketch: It allows users to automate workflows, share prototype links, receive design feedback, and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders. Created for Mac users, Sketch also supports data export, project management, and reporting.
The software handles data synchronization activities and helps designers create and store symbols and layer styles in a centralized repository. It also offers rapid prototyping, powerful vector editing, shared libraries, and control over color profiles.
Sketch Standout Features and Integrations
Features include vector editing tools, UI prototyping, color variables, a symbol library, reusable elements, and overlays.
Integrations include Crystal, Drafta, Droplr, Flinto, Frontify, Lokalise, Marvel, Maze, Origami, Proto.io, and Zeplin.
- Excellent training resources
- Updated frequently
- Only supports Mac users
- Limited prototyping features
Visual Sitemaps automatically generates quality sitemaps and high-resolution screenshots of any public or private website.
Why I picked VisualSitemaps: The software makes it easy to perform in-depth site audits for UI, UX, SEO, or marketing research purposes. You just need to enter a URL to a thumbnail-based visual architecture of the site in question.
You can easily annotate any sitemap elements and get feedback from team members and other stakeholders. Screenshot statuses allow you to manage the feedback process effectively. Sitemap editing features help you create an optimized sitemap based on the original, with drag-and-drop functionality for easy resculpting and expansion.
VisualSitemaps Standout Features and Integrations
Features include unlimited active sitemaps, unlimited domain crawls, infinite crawl depth, crawl private sites, exports, screenshot annotations, sitemap editing, scheduled crawls, visual QA comparisons, and custom tags.
Integrations with other software tools are available through connectors such as Zapier.
- Ease of use
- Crawling websites is easy
- Useful options for limiting the crawl
- Occasional errors
- Limited functionality
Proto.io is a prototyping solution for UX designers, entrepreneurs, product managers, and marketers.
Why I picked Proto.io: The intuitive drag & drop interface gives you the building blocks you need to produce prototypes quickly. You can also leverage the pre-built user interface libraries, deploying UI components that mimic the look and behavior of their original native counterparts.
The platform also includes various customizable templates for web and mobile, with popular blocks and elements built-in. In addition, you will find a huge selection of static icons, animated icons, stock images, and sound effects.
Proto.io Standout Features and Integrations
Features include UI component libraries, templates, patterns, icons library, sound effects, audio tracks, and video clips.
Integrations include Adobe Fonts, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, Figma, Google Fonts, and Sketch.
- Beginner friendly
- Powerful visualizations
- Excellent simulations
- Unreliable import features
- Confusing interface
Best UX design tool for ease of collaboration
Free plan available
Best for mobile app experience analytics
14-day free trial + free plan available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best UX design tool for rapid design handoff
7-day free trial + free plan available
|From $16/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best UX design tool for gathering user insights
14-day free trial + free plan available
Best for clickable prototypes
Free plan available
Best UX design tool for interaction design
Free plan available
|From $10 /site/month||Website|
Freehand by Invision
Best UX design tool with a collaborative design whiteboard
Free plan available
Best UX design tool for Mac-based design team
30-day free trial
Best for auto-generating visual sitemaps
Free plan available
Best UX design tool for drag-and-drop prototyping
15-day free trial available
Best UX design tool for content design
- Wondershare Mockitt
Best UX design tool for creating animated prototypes
Best UX design tool for UX research
Best UX design tool for advanced wireframing
Best UX design tool for fast app wireframing
Best UX design tool for website design
- Origami Studio
Best UX design tool for tapping into native hardware APIs
- Adobe XD
Best UX design tool for the Adobe ecosystem
Best UX design tool for building functional prototypes
Best UX design tool for fully-interactive prototype
How I Picked the Best UX Design Tools
I conducted in-depth research to shortlist the top UX design tools and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. I checked out popular software in the market and also evaluated promising newcomers.
Even after filtering for tools with positive ratings, I still had a lengthy list. So then I applied my evaluation criteria to see how each platform stacked up. Plus, I drew on my years of experience to identify key features that added real value.
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best UX design tools for this article:
There are a range of types of UX design tools, so I took that into account. I looked for UX design tools that offer a full range of features to support users at all levels of sophistication. The best platforms are constantly evolving to stay up-to-date with trends in this fast-moving market.
Ease of Use
I expect software to be intuitive, so users can get up to speed with minimal training. Both experienced designers and novice users should be able to grasp the functions without frustration.
I’m keen to find platforms that are breaking the mold in this market. There’s always room for new ideas and new ways to use emerging technologies for your advantage.
The top UX design tools will offer native integrations with specialist design apps and general business applications. I selected tools offering a wide range of integrations to extend the power of the software.
I seek out software that’s affordable for organizations large and small on a per-user basis. There should be a clear return on investment that makes financial sense.
What is UX design?
What features are included in UX design tools?
When should I use a UX design tool?
What’s the difference between UX and UI tools?
What’s the difference between UX and CX?
How to Learn More
If you found this article helpful, you might also like to check out our articles on the best product design software for 3D/2D rendering and the best wireframing tools for designing apps and websites.
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