In this guide

The ultimate guide to user-centric product design
Chapter 3

6 tools product designers can't live without

From conceptualization to prototyping and user testing to implementation, a product designer’s job description includes a lot of responsibilities. The right tools will help a digital product designer handle visual design, prototyping, product management, testing, and even collaboration with design team members, executives, and stakeholders involved in the product design process. 

In this chapter, we share 6 top product design tools that help teams create better experiences faster and easier.

Common product design tools

Let’s look at some of the tools product designers can use for different purposes. We’ll start with some of the most common visual design tools available. You’ll notice that several tools in our list certainly belong under more than one category, but we’ll only list each of them once.

 

1. Figma

Figma

Figma is a collaborative interface design tool that users can access through a web browser, enabling collaboration on design files among multiple users who can easily share their work with other team members. It has features for interface design, prototyping, and code generation.

Figma’s browser-based nature and real-time collaboration features make it essential for modern design workflows. Designers use Figma to create UI wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, collaborate with team members, share designs with stakeholders, and gather real-time feedback.

2. Canva

canva

Canva is an online platform great for graphic design tasks. It offers its users an array of templates, images, fonts, and design elements. With it, users can create professional-quality visual content, such as presentations, social media graphics, posters, and documents, with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. 

 

3. Adobe Creative Cloud

adobe

There's no bigger name in design tools than Adobe Creative Cloud. This subscription-based suite of software applications and services is packed with programs for graphic design, video editing, and photography. It gives users access to industry-standard tools (like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and XD) to create and edit various forms of digital content. Product designers often leverage Photoshop, a raster graphics editor known (and well-loved) for its robust features in photo editing, digital artwork creation, and graphic design. Its comprehensive toolkit includes layers, masks, filters, and drawing tools, giving users the ability to manipulate images and create designs with precision.

 

4. Balsamiq

balsamiq

Specializing in low-fidelity mockups, Balsamiq is a wireframing and prototyping tool for sketching out UI concepts and workflows quickly and intuitively. Designers can rapidly generate and iterate on ideas to visualize product concepts early in the design process, allowing for early, actionable feedback on product designs.

5. Principle

Principle

Principle is a Mac-based prototyping tool designed for creating interactive user interface animations and transitions. It enables designers to prototype and demonstrate user interactions and animations within their designs. Thanks to its ability to simulate realistic user experiences, designers use Principle to refine and test designs before actually building them. 

6. UserTesting

UserTesting

In order to build repeatable success with your product design team, you need an end-to-end solution for gathering customer feedback. UserTesting is an all-in-one platform that gives design teams the tools they need to conduct remote usability testing with real users. You're able to gather comprehensive feedback and insights from test users through tasks, surveys, and video recordings. 

Adding a new design tool to your toolbox?

Learn what to expect from the process of comparing and purchasing a user research platform.