Though some don’t think of it as a highly technical role, Web Designers in fact must use an array of tools to handle things like website creation, design and prototyping, web development, and graphic design.
Best Web Design Tools
A Web Designer will use a variety of paid and free web design software tools and resources to build or design websites or to create compelling imagery, animations, or video for those websites. Here are a few of the best web design tools that any Web Designer will be familiar with:
A top web design tool of choice for much of the design industry for a long time now, WordPress is a powerful tool for building websites — it’s been estimated that anywhere from 25 to 35 percent of the Internet worldwide is powered by WordPress. It has around a 75 percent market share among CMS.
Boasting more than 1,000 built-in themes and plugins, WordPress gives users a buffet of options to install, edit, customize, enhance, and build out their websites.
Another website builder that is an alternative to WordPress is Squarespace, which users like because it offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for website creation. Squarespace also boasts a diverse array of different themes and color customization options, plus standard things like SSL encryption and the ability to build an online store.
It is a paid service, ranging from $12 to $40 per month for a subscription, so you would need to look elsewhere if you want a free website builder.
Originally, InVision offered a cloud-based prototype service that integrated with other tools on this list like Sketch and Photoshop. Now, however, InVision Studio is a full-featured user interface design and prototyping tool.
To put it simply, InVision Studio is like an advanced version of Sketch, complete with collaboration tools, motion animations, and options to create and share prototypes during the design process. To share prototypes using InVision Studio’s cloud service, you can select a free plan or, if you want more collaborators and projects, one of its paid offerings.
A relatively new tool compared to some on this list, Figma has nevertheless already built a large fanbase among Web Designers as a feature-loaded tool that many love to use for interface design and prototyping.
Figma features an easy-to-use, vector-based interface that makes designing websites a breeze. The same things that can be accomplished with Sketch or Adobe XD, can also be done with Figma.
Figma really stands out for its collaborative, cloud-based approach. With Figma, multiple team members can edit a design file simultaneously while stakeholders can leave comments.
There’s a reason Photoshop has been an industry leader for as long as most of us can remember: it’s a powerhouse, all-in-one graphic design tool.
Since starting out as a platform only for photo editing, Photoshop now can be used for interface design, video editing, graphic design, and more (and it’s still, of course, a great photo editor).
While many Web Designers and Graphic Designers tend to favor Photoshop due to its flexibility, others prefer more specialized tools on this list.
When Web Designers have to get down to the business of proofing – in other words, checking their design work before finalizing it – many turn to ProofHub.
It isn’t a tool for creating websites, though it can help the Designer a lot with hassle-free communication and editing, but it instead helps to speed up the completion of your web design project by eliminating the need for extra meetings or emails throughout the project.
Also, it is easier to communicate about necessary changes to things like layout, text positioning, or color.
An extremely popular interface design tool, Sketch allows Web Designers to smoothly and intuitively create gorgeous, high-fidelity mockkups.
Web Designers find Sketch significantly easier to use than other design tools, allowing them to begin creating dazzling designs quickly. It also has its own world of plugins and integrations add power and make it easy to slip Sketch into your workflow.
However, Sketch’s prototyping and collaboration features are not as advanced as other tools out there.
Another industry standard tool from Adobe is Dreamweaver, which makes coding, editing, and maintaining websites easy with its intuitive visual interface.
Dreamweaver includes many of the features of a traditional, text-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like syntax-highlighting, automatic code-completion, and the ability to collapse and expand sections of code, but unlike those traditional IDEs, any changes you make in your code will be automatically displayed in real-time in Dreamweaver’s interface.
Dreamweaver is a great compromise between something as simplistic as a drag-and-drop editor and a code-only IDE.
For UI design, Adobe XD is another very popular choice. It boasts an excellent vector design and wireframing tool, with additions such as support for voice prototyping. XD includes drawing tools, tools that allow you to define non-static interactions, desktop and mobile previews, and sharing tools for swapping feedback.
It’s important to note Adobe XD integrates with the rest of Creative Cloud, which means you’ll be able to import and work with assets from Photoshop or Illustrator easily. If your team is already committed to the Adobe suite, the UI will feel familiar and comfortable.
It’s also worth noting that some of its features – including syntax highlighting, a toolbar, and a menu – are customizable.
Google Web Designer
This tool also has a library housing extra components – including videos and images – and other things that can be used for advertising.
An old favorite among free web design tools, Bootstrap revolutionized web development and is now the world’s most popular framework for building responsive, mobile-first sites.
The component library includes headers, navigation, buttons, forms, alerts, and more. The Bootstrap team has comprehensively documented each feature, complete with examples and suggestions for customization.
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User Interface (UI) Design is the practice of transforming user goals and requirements into compelling designs.
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