Design, UI, UX

The 10 Handiest Web Design Tools for Designers in 2022

10 flexible web design tools that do the heavy lifting and optimize your workflow, so you can focus on unleashing your creativity.

Design trends and design software tools come and go, but web design and web development aren’t going anywhere. On the contrary, web design is still one of the fastest-growing digital sectors in the world, as every business with an online presence needs its website to be attractive, responsive, engaging, and user-friendly. While UI/UX plays a significant role in engaging users and establishing credibility, the need for web designers to be more technical and know how to code has opened the gate for new software tools that help facilitate every step of the web design process:

  • Creating the visual design
  • Prototyping the design
  • Implementing the design

This is why today, we’re going to look at some of the handiest web design tools that make life easier.

 

1. Figma

Cloud-Based Tool for High-Fidelity Designs and Prototypes

  • Purpose: AIO solution for design, wireframe, prototype, share, and export
  • Best for: Building dynamic intuitive prototypes; building complex interactions
  • Pricing: Free Plan ($0), Professional Plan ($12 per editor/per month), and Organization ($45 per editor/per month)

Figma is an extremely fast intuitive cloud-based tool that can handle wireframing, prototyping, mockups, developing, and ultimately creating complete high-fidelity designs.

The platform offers a powerful set of tools for web designers and developers to create responsive web design elements, reusable components, and a library of design assets. Amongst the most convenient features are Autolayout which allows you to add new layers or maintain alignment as your designs evolve; and the Smart Animate feature for complex animations.

In addition, Figma offers live collaboration which makes it easy for you to synch with other users and see what they’re doing in real-time. Figma’s advantage in this category is FIGJAM: a collaborative whiteboard for brainstorming, team collab, user flows, and mapping that basically solves the need to use other tools for brainstorming.

Highlights:
  • Platforms: Browser-based
  • Features: FIGJAM whiteboard, Component states variants, Auto layout, Smart Animate, Real-time collab, Sharable prototype links
  • Generates code for each design element.
  • Imports: Sketch
  • Device Preview: iOS, Android
  • Plugins: Yes
  • App Integrations: Yes
Visit Figma

 

2. InVision Studio

Cloud-Based Collaborative Prototyping Tool

  • Purpose: AIO solution for design, wireframe, prototype, share, and export
  • Best for: Prototyping and collaboration
  • Pricing: Free Plan ($0), Pro Plan ($7.95 per user/per month), and Enterprise

InVision is another powerful UI/UX design tool for designers to prepare mockups, wireframes, prototypes, interfaces, animations, and, of course, designs. It has all the features you need to build UI navigation patterns. prototype interactions, prepare handoffs for the developers, and collaborate with your team.

In terms of integrations, the tool supports quite a lot of your existing design suites, for example, Sketch and Photoshop, as well as productivity tools like Slack and Trello.

Same as Figma, InVision offers nested components support, visual structuring of layers and pages, responsive layouts, and third-party integrations. The biggest difference is that InVision prefers a more isolated design workflow, with changes introduced upon feedback, rather than the multiplayer style of Figma. It has tools for collecting inspiration, digital whiteboards, real-time commenting, and collaborative editing tools.

Highlights:
  • Platforms: macOS and Windows (no browser-based access)
  • Features: Optimized onboarding flow; multi-use interactive prototypes; version history; user testing and research; design feedback and commenting on specific content
  • Imports: Sketch, Photoshop
  • App Integrations: Yes
Visit InVision Studio

 

3. Sketch

UI Design Tool Alternative to Photoshop for Mac Users

  • Purpose: AIO designer toolkit
  • Best for: Prototyping and collaboration
  • Pricing: Standard ($9 per editor/ per month), Business (requires 25 editors)

Sketch is considered the number one UI design software alternative to Photoshop for Mac users. Also, it is resolved by a third party and handoff tools. The vector-based graphic editor is the leading tool for designing UI/ UX of mobile and web apps. The tool supports PNG, JPG, TIFF, WebP, and other formats and the created designs are utilized for web developers to convert into beautiful websites.

Additionally, it allows using a lot of screens that it constructs pretty well in order to open easily. Sketch also gives users the ability to add plug-ins in order to simplify the workflow. The cons, however, include the lack of flexibility in terms of importing documents. For example, you can’t work on PSD or AI files in Sketch.

Highlights:
  • Platforms: macOS
  • Features:  drag-and-drop; the ability to zoom in on any component or element down to the pixel level; P3 color profiles support; native font rendering; design systems; collaborative component library; app library.
  • Imports: Sketch
  • App Integrations: Yes
Visit Sketch

 

4. Adobe XD

Vector-Based Prototyping Tool from the Adobe Cloud Family

  • Purpose: AIO solution for design, wireframe, prototype, share, and export
  • Best for: Building dynamic intuitive prototypes; building complex interactions
  • Pricing: As part of Creative Cloud ($52.99 per month) or stand-alone Adobe XD $9.99 per month with 7 days Free Trial)

As a part of the Cloud, Adobe XD works with files from Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, while the subscription gives you additional perks such as access to Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock from the same account. The tool works both offline and online for further flexibility and easily integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Amongst the features that make Adobe XD a great tool for UX designers is the Auto-Animate tool for front-end design. It’s very easy to use for adding motion effects and interaction without coding or using multiple tools.

Highlights:
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows (offline work available)
  • Features: Component states, Repeat grid, 3D transforms, Content-aware layout, Responsive resize, Auto-animate, Video and Lottie playback, Voice prototyping, Real-time collab, Sharable prototype links
  • Imports: Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Adobe Fonts, Sketch
  • Device Preview: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Plugins: Yes
  • App Integrations: Yes
Visit Adobe XD

 

5. Adobe Illustrator

Powerful Vector-Based Graphics Software

Image Source: File Info

  • Purpose: Professional graphic design
  • Best for: Designing vector graphics and creating vector illustrations
  • Pricing: As part of Creative Cloud ($52.99 per month) or stand-alone Adobe XD $20.99 per month with 7 days Free Trial)

Continuing with the Creative Cloud suite, Adobe Illustrator is one of the most popular vector graphic design tools amongst professionals. It’s ideal for designing logos, icons, typography, and any kind of vector illustration for web and video.

Although the tool has a significant learning curve to master entirely, its interface is sleek and user-friendly, which makes your workflow seamless. You also have the freedom to choose what feature you like to be displayed on canvas or not and you can literally customize it.

Highlights:
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows
  • Features: Vector drawing and scaling; Ability to import and export in various formats, as well as an import into other Adobe programs; Detailed Graph creation; Adobe Typekit integration.
  • Imports: Ai, PDF, DWG, DXF, BMP, CDR, EPS, EMP, GIF, JPG, PIC, SVG, and a lot more.
Visit Adobe Illustrator

 

6. Sublime Text

The Sophisticated Text Editor for Code and Markup

  • Purpose: Code editor
  • Best for: Text editing for web designers
  • Pricing: Personal ($99 USD); Business ($65/seat/year for the first 10 seats, $60/seat/year for seats 11-25, $55/seat/year for seats 26-50, and $50/seat/year for any further seats)

The process of learning front-end design and coding begins with finding the right code editor for you. There are a lot of great code editors out there, however not all are suitable for front-end designers. We recommend Sublime Text.

As the name suggests, Sublime Text is a text editor for web designers that allows you to view your code in a color-coded visual interface. One of its greatest perks is split editing which allows you to edit code side by side on widescreen monitors. It also has auto-complete suggestions and the ability to add plugins and extensions to make your coding experience as easy and as convenient as possible. Great for beginners.

Highlights:
  • Platforms:  Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Features:  Auto-complete suggestions; split-screen to view two pages of code side-by-side; multiple selections for renaming variables; GPU rendering; tab multi-select; typescript, JSX, and TXS support; color-coded visual interface
Visit Sublime Text

 

7. Framer

AIO Prototyping Tool with a Huge Library of Customizable Assets

  • Purpose: Collaborative prototyping and web design
  • Best for: Creating no-code prototypes
  • Pricing: Free Site ($0 per month); Basic Site ($15 per month); Pro Site ($25 per month)

Framer is another powerful AIO tool for prototyping that makes it easier for web designers to craft design elements with no code and it generates code-based prototypes, that behave just like the real apps . It resembles Sketch quite a bit in terms of interface, however, it offers more advanced tools for complex animations, fully responsive design, and transitions on screen. The tool also has a huge library of visual assets that you can customize to fit your project as you like.

You can create a lot of complex animated effects with zero coding knowledge, however, if you want to take full advantage of the platform and get your creativity unleashed, you’ll be required to write some code.

Highlights:
  • Platforms:  Windows and Mac
  • Features:  Huge library of customizable visual elements; supports adding custom code; Export in React and JavaScript code; integration with Sketch, Figma, and Photoshop; code editor that functions as a complete design tool;
Visit Framer

 

8. Bootstrap

Free and Open-Source Web Development Framework

  • Purpose: Framework for building websites
  • Best for: Creating mobile-first websites
  • Pricing: Free Site ($0 per month); Basic Site ($15 per month); Pro Site ($25 per month)

Writing code has never been easier for web designers with so many automated tools and frameworks available to make the process easier. Bootstrap, for example, is a CSS framework for creating websites directed at responsive, mobile-first front-end web development. It’s free and open-source for everyone to use and includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation, and other interface components.

Bootstrap comes with predetermined terms and does all the work from the base so your designs will look the same in all browsers.

Highlights:
  • Mobile-first front-end web development
  • Ability to utilize prebuilt grid components
  • Includes JavaScript plugins
  • HTML and CSS templates for web-based content
  • Excellent documentation
  • Predetermined terms
  • Supports all major browsers
Visit Bootstrap

 

9. FlowMapp

Collaborative Tool for Building Journey Maps and Flowcharts

  • Purpose: Building flowcharts and collaboration
  • Best for: Creating eye-catching flowcharts
  • Pricing: Free ($0, 1 project); Pro  ($10 per month); Team ($34 per month); Agency ($119 per month)

Although not a fully-fledged web design tool, this is a very valuable tool for every UX designer as it was designed for building custom user maps based on what the target users need. It’s designed with teamwork in mind, so the tool offers real-time collaboration and integration with Slack.

FlowMapp comes with a library of tools for creating custom flowcharts that your team will be proud to present at the next meeting, as well as a persona planning tool to input user research.

Highlights:
  • Tools for creating intuitive sitemaps.
  • Creating journeys for users to follow when using your website or app.
  • Visualizing the hierarchy and structure of a future product.
  • Persona planning tool.
  • Mapping complex projects.
  • Content management.
  • Sharing projects with unique URL
Visit FlowMapp

 

10. Google Web Designer

Tool for Creating HTML5-based Designs

  • Purpose: Creating motion graphic elements
  • Best for: HTML5 banners
  • Pricing: Free

Google Web Designer is a very neat tool that works with Google Ads and Google Display & Videos 360. It’s absolutely free and runs on HTML5. You can easily open the editor to access the pre-generated HTML5 and add your own custom HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Although the tool is pretty basic compared to the other AIO software powerhouses in the list, you can still make great animated graphic design elements, and prototype some interactions.

The software ensures that your motion graphic elements will run smoothly on any device.

Visit Google Web Designer

 

Web Development and Design aren’t Going Anywhere

Users would rather read content on a beautifully designed site than on a plain platform, so there’s never been a better time to learn web design or upgrade your skills. Fortunately, you no longer need to use the old technologies like Photoshop and do everything from scratch, as today’s web design scene is all about providing powerful and flexible tools that optimize your workflow and do most of the heavy lifting, leaving you at peace to focus on unleashing your creativity.

You can’t go wrong with these 10 web design tools, as there’s an option to meet every budget, project, and skill level.

In the meantime, you can visit some of the related articles for some more insights, and inspiration, or grab a freebie:

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