7 Best UI/UX Design Tools for the Modern Day Designer and No-Code Founder in 2023

UI and UX are two incredibly important aspects for web design and more importantly, great end-user experience for your no-code application. UI or User interfaces are focused on design such as coloring, spacing, fonts while UX or User Experience covers user interaction. By using UI design software, designers are able to rapidly build a complete set of prototypes, wireframes, mockups and prototypes - all that match the business or brand's vision, styling, and consistency. When coupled with a no-code application, UI/UX and related mobile web, and mobile UX design can be challenging. This is due to the fact of the no-code platform's UI designer lacking proper design tools. In this post, we'll talk through software UI UX design, mobile app design, mobile app user interface, and provide our best 7 UI/UX design tools you can use for your design and no-code app.

Why should you be thinking about mobile app UX (and prioritizing it)

Nearly three-quarters of the world's population will access the web by smartphone by 2050. Most web users, ourselves, and most likely you as well expect high-end experiences on mobiles for speeds and simplicity in usage. And not only just speed and simplicity, but design as well. You simply cannot have a great-performing app or website that has a 2005 look and feel to it. Users expect your mobile ux and ux design to be clean, modern, and looking fresh. This, combined with the fact that roughly 78% of people are ready to and able to more-so make their first purchase using mobile, is why mobile app UX should be very high, if not the highest priority when designing your application's UX design and user interface design.

Mobile usage will only keep increasing as the web, browser based apps, data, and more becomes increasingly easier to access and use on a mobile device.

UX Design tools focus for your no-code app

Now you may already have some ui designs in place or a UX designer ready to design your interactive prototypes, however make sure you have a plan in place for exactly what you are looking for or need.

First, you want to make sure that you have a style guide in place (or your UX designer is aware of the need for one). A style guide is extremely important to have at the start of any design process. Using a style guide early on in your design process allows you to apply a consistent user interface design across your whole application. Remember, mobile devices and mobile apps are a high priority for our UI and UX designers, so we want to make sure our style guide is consistent for both our web and mobile apps.

Use a consistent, clean style guide for your wireframing tools, mobile designs, and mobile UX
Use a consistent, clean style guide for your wireframing tools, mobile designs, and mobile UX

For your style guide, you can use popular tools such as Figma, Adobe xd, origami studio, and even simple tools such as google docs or powerpoint. As long as you are able to convey colors, fonts, weights, sizes, and common ui elements, any UX design tools and UI UX design softwares should do.

Mobile app design

The mobile app design process is typically more difficult than the traditional desktop design process. Why?

For one, you and your UX designers have less screen space to work with on mobile devices. Additionally, mobile app users scrutinize the mobile UX a lot more-so than desktop as they don't have the ease and precision of a mouse. On a mobile app, you want easy access to whatever it is a user needs to do, with the fewest clicks needed. The ultimate goal for individual users is to do as much as possible with the fewest steps needed.

When you're ready to begin designing your mobile app, you should approach mobile users and conduct user research. Discuss the app you are building, show real users functional prototypes, and watch from a data standpoint user behavior and how users interact with your application. Any sort of user feedback helps as it guides your design process and ultimately defines the mobile app user experience.

To make it easier for your real users, try to have functional prototypes, visual representation, interactive elements, or other tools to aide the user's attention. At the end of the day, you're looking for potential users to provide feedback and aide in your product strategy. User experiences are extremely important when designing and building apps.

Remember - you should prioritize a mobile device and your mobile app UX. Mobile users are key to your no-code apps success.

7 Top Tools for a UX & UI Designer

Now, let's get into our top list of tools for desktop & mobile apps and creating incredible mobile app UX and UI design.

1. Figma

Figma is at the top of our UX and UI design tools because well, the design process and collaboration capabilities of Figma are excellent, but of course, the real reason is because there is an easy Figma and Webflow import. This means that you and your UX designers can design your desktop and mobile app UX in Figma and very quickly import it into your no-code platform of choice (see our vs. Webflow breakdown here). Figma is also a great design tool in that it is browser based, meaning no need for installs or downloads. It's also free for individual users, meaning you can create an account and instantly start mocking up your UI design. The real time collaboration is great between you, your teammates, and your designers.

Prototyping a screen's mobile app UX and UI design with Figma.
Prototyping a screen's mobile app UX and UI design with Figma.

2. Sketch

At some point (the number 2 spot) you have to consider features the primary factor for listing out UI and UX design tools. To build good UX, heck great UX, you need a platform that has the features you need to build great UI design and mobile app UX. Sketch is great in that it also has plugins, meaning there are a lot of integrations into the tool. Sketch has made approaching the design process very easy for app builders.

Prototyping mobile app UX with Sketch.
Prototyping mobile app UX with Sketch.

3. Axure

Axure is one of our top prototyping tools. Here, you'll be able to design incredible mobile app UX and UI design. The prototypes are high fidelity and have a lot of customization around them. You can also add in logic and conditions (just like how an app would function) so proper user behavior is accounted for in the mobile app and UI design. We always highly suggest Axure to our members at Nocodify. The only downside we see in Axure is the lack of real-time collaboration for designers.

Create high-fidelity desktop and mobile app designs using Axure. Onboard yourself or more designers to the Axure suite.
Create high-fidelity desktop and mobile app designs using Axure. Onboard yourself or more designers to the Axure suite.

4. InVision

A widely popular UI design tool if you're not interested in the other platforms is InVision. With InVision, you are able to create beautiful UI and UX design both for desktop and a mobile app. This tool is very common among organizations, where common tasks are to create UI and then use a prototyping tool such as Zepelin. The collaboration and information architecture is great with InVision, where a whiteboard is provided for rapid ideation among team members. You can easily collaborate with one or more designers using InVision. Designers can create great mobile app design and prototypes as well, for simple user testing.

5. Adobe XD

We wouldn't be writing a serious post if we didn't include the king of design and illustration tool, Adobe. XD is great for desktop and mobile app design as it really packs in every feature you need for amazing information architecture and design. Adobe products always live up to their name, and XD is no different here. Adobe XD differentiates itself from the competition by really cranking up the prototyping abilities, making it a bit easier for designers to craft incredible prototypes for usability testing.

6. Origami Studio

When your designers need a little more punch in their tooling, Origami studio is here to help. Origami is for the designers who need quality content and the extra features provided by the platform to create incredible experiences that users interact with and enjoy. Take note that Origami is for seasoned designers and not beginners, which is why we have Origami lower on our list. A great benefit in designing with Origami is the desktop or mobile app will look exactly like the prototype you make. Origami Studio was created by industry experts from Facebook - so you know it's the real deal.

7. Balsamiq

Quite a difference from our other suggestions, Balsamiq is a great beginner design tool for designers to create low-fidelity wireframes. This is not a tool we recommend seasoned vets or designers to use. If you are brand new to wireframing, Balsamiq is a great entry-level platform where you can create and draw extremely fast low-fidelity wireframes. We would suggest to use Balsamiq if you are looking to create fast "pen and paper" wireframes for a mobile device or app.

Software UI UX Design

As long as you pick one of the above tools, we're highly confident you or your designers will create incredible desktop and mobile app UI and UX designs. As always, our opinions on no-code tools and UI/UX tools can change, however they have stayed fairly consistent for the last few years. and Webflow for no-code apps, and Figma Sketch and Axure for wireframes and prototypes.

Remember - the important aspects of good design is prioritizing mobile, most of your traffic will come from there. Understand that conducting proper usability testing and receive feedback from users is so incredibly important.

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January 4, 2023
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