15 UX and UI Tools and Resources for Web Designers

What has been working for you in the past may not be entirely appropriate for your next web or app design project. If this is the case, there are a number of new tools regularly appearing on the market that are capable of making your design efforts faster, easier and better.

A number of the top-rated UX and UI tools are listed below, as are several online resources that can prove useful in testing your UI design‘s performance and usability. This list also includes some UI resources that you will find handy. Keep on reading and find out which are some of the most effective tools and resources available.

Proto.io

If you’ve ever wanted to see how your final product will look like, long before your project is ready to wrap up, Proto.io might be just the tool for you. This versatile tool takes rapid prototyping to the next level. Its UI library, which is one of the most realistic and comprehensive libraries of its type on the market today, makes static mockups and hotspot prototypes look primitive.

Proto.io versatile tool prototyping app web design

With this tool at your disposal, you will seldom if ever need to write a single line of code. You create your prototype by applying multiple touch and mouse events, in combination with Proto.io’s drag and drop functionality, to any UI element you are working with. Since Proto.io works on your web browser there is no need for constant downloading, and when a prototype is ready to be tested, you can do so on a real device to assess its look, feel and usability, while sharing your design with other project members. It doesn’t get much easier.

Pidoco

Pidoco’s drag and drop functionality makes creating clickable wireframes quick and easy. You can test your interactive prototypes on real devices, and simulate the look and feel of a real app. You can trigger simulated reactions by clicking, touch gestures, keyboard entries, or device motion. These features alone may be reason enough to add Pidoco to your toolkit.

Pidoco wireframe clickable touch app

Pidoco also enables you to display your designs in the form of customized design templates that can be positioned on global layers. When you make a change to any layer, your change automatically displays on all pages containing that layer, thereby avoiding potential version control headaches. Pidoco’s UX features are also extremely easy to use. They enable you to share your prototypes and attendant information with others, collect feedback, edit in real time, and track issues, while simultaneously gathering feedback history and maintaining version control.

Vonn Mobile Material Design UI Kit

Building a mobile material design app need not be a painstakingly slow and difficult process. Stunning Android apps can be created quickly and easily using the Vonn Mobile Material Design UI Kit by Visual Hierarchy. Material Design, Google’s design vision for the future, features bold colors, informative animations, and flat elements to create new and fresh interfaces. Vonn has made it a point to make their UI kit fully compatible with Google’s guidelines, and as a result it is proving to be a real time saver for the app designer.

Vonn Mobile Material Design UI Kit

Included with this kit are 100 1920 x 1080 pixel, drag and drop UI templates. The templates can be opened with Adobe Photoshop CS5+, and since they have been logically placed in 9 categories, it is easy to select just the right one to create a stunning app your clients or customers are certain to appreciate.

Firefly

Inadequate project management can definitely hurt a developer’s ability to deliver a quality product on time and within budget. Firefly can be exactly the UX and project management tool you need to keep your project on track, especially when you are engaged in rapid prototyping.

Firefly ux project management tool

You can upload everything from app designs and UI ideas to entire webpages for review and annotation, and you can fully depend on this tool’s version control capability to effectively manage multiple design versions. Information captured on Firefly is accessible through any browser, making it a useful and valuable tool for a widely disbursed project team.

InVision

InVision brings to the table the ability to rapidly and easily convert static screens into clickable, interactive prototypes, complete with transitions and animations, making it a highly useful tool in a design-driven environment. This is one of the easiest-to-use rapid prototyping platforms on the market today.

InVision convert static screens clickable interactive prototypes transitions animations

Using a drag and drop process to create a prototype is nothing new, but InVision has somehow managed to make building prototypes as easy and straightforward as it gets. The tool’s UX capabilities, including presentations, feedback, and task management in real time, are also impressive.

AppCooker

Now you can build and share beautiful iPhone and iPad wireframes that will impress your clients, while saving time and money in the process. AppCooker makes it possible.

AppCooker beautiful iPhone iPad wireframes

There are 5 key tools in AppCooker that enables it to make the UI design process so quick and easy; a map idea tool, a mockup tool, icon design and pricing tools, and an app store helper tool. AppCooker may well be the ultimate tool for iOS, especially when time is tight and expectations are high.

Form by RelativeWave

Form, by RelativeWave and Google, skips a step. Instead of building your prototype on a separate tool, and uploading it to a device for user testing, Form lets you build a custom native prototype directly on the device, where it has access to the device’s cameras and other sensors.

Form by RelativeWave custom native prototype directly device

Coding is not required, Form prototypes can be run in real time on multiple devices, and you can update your prototype on the fly without restarting.

Composite

If you have been searching for the ultimate iPhone app prototyping tool for Photoshop, Composite could be precisely what you have been looking for. With this handy tool at your disposal, you can create interactive prototypes featuring picture perfect rendering, native animations, elements that stay fixed while scrolling, and virtually any other feature you would expect from a real iPhone app.

Composite ultimate iPhone app prototyping tool Photoshop

Ace iOS 8 Mobile UI Kit

The Ace iOS 8 Mobile UI Kit makes prototyping smooth and easy. The secret lies in the way it has been organized, and it is ready to use right out of the box. Features include the Google family of fonts and the ability to produce screens in all Retina HD 4.7 sizes.

Ace iOS 8 Mobile UI Kit

You have access to more than 100 different icons, more than 300 UI elements, and a total of 75 .PSD templates, conveniently arranged in 8 categories. This Ace kit has more than enough features to enable you to create stunning apps that will perform flawlessly on iPhone 6.

Marvelapp

Marvel is free, fast, and easy. All you have to do is connect to your Dropbox account, create an interactive prototype in minutes with Marvel, and use Dropbox syncing to iterate and update your design without having to lift a finger.

Marvelapp interactive prototype dropbox

You can quickly and easily share your ideas and test your designs with others through your Dropbox account. Creating and sharing interactive prototypes doesn’t get much easier than this.

ClickTale

If you are curious as to how users or customers are responding to your app or website, ClickTale will tell you what is working and what is not. This toolkit, which is available in both desktop and mobile versions, tests the efficiency and performance of your design.

ClickTale toolkit desktop mobile design performance

Its findings are presented in a combination of heat maps, link analytics, and reports. If you wish, you can drill down to individual customer responses.

HeatData

HeatData lets you see how customers are interacting with your overall app or mobile website design. You can even drill down to review activities on individual pages. HeatData is also is a time machine.

HeatData customers interacting overall app mobile website design

Its Date Picker feature enables you to travel back in time to track the impact of changes you made to your app or mobile website. Platform-specific views enable you to compare and contrast activities on customers’ iPhones, iPads, and Android Smartphones.

Notism

Notism is a prototyping and collaboration tool whose true strength lies in its unique collaboration capabilities. Notism makes sharing your design efforts with team members remarkably easy, and it allows you to streamline the design process from start to finish.

Notism collaboration prototyping tool

You can share notes, sketches, and images, annotate them on the fly, and do it all on video, a powerful feature that sets Notism apart as a useful and valuable UI and UX tool.

PowerMockup

PowerMockup is a wireframing and storyboarding tool. One of its more convenient features is it allows you to create prototypes right in PowerPoint. Creating a prototype is not much more difficult than creating a presentation, but the real value of PowerMockup lies in the fact that its use allows users and non-technical stakeholders to keep fully abreast of the design process, and gives them the ability to visualize the design’s outcome early on.

PowerMockup wireframing storyboarding tool

PickFu

PickFu is a digital polling and feedback resource. When you submit a question you would like users of your app or mobile website to respond to, PickFu will conduct an unbiased user-poll and gather the answers.

PickFu digital polling feedback resource

You can let PickFu select the appropriate demographics, or you can do so yourself. This is a handy resource to have available when you are iterating your design and looking for user feedback.

Conclusion

The tools featured here are among the more highly-rated UI and UX tools you will find on the market today. Several online tools for assessing UI performance and usability are also included. If you do not see something you believe should be included, or if you would like to share your thoughts on this list, please leave your comments below.

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Paul Andrew

Paul is the founder and editor of Speckyboy Design Magazine. He has many years experience within the web design industry and a passion for the latest web technologies and design trends. He lives in the small town of Inverness in the north of Scotland. Follow him on Twitter.

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