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Top 10 UI Design Tools to Invest in 2022

Aug 8, 20227 min read

Adam Bałazy

Senior UX/UI Designer at Ideamotive. Minimalism worshipper.

Top 10 UI Design Tools to Invest

At every stage of the product development process, from generating an idea to handing off the project to a developer, designers use a variety of UI design tools. If you are new to this area, or just want to refresh your tool set then you should figure out which ones you will need and when to use them.


At every stage of the design process, you can improve your work by having a diverse set of UX/UI tools at your disposal.


Below, we will look at the basic programs that you need to master in order to create wireframes, prototypes, and more.

What are UX/UI tools? 

UX/UI tools are programs that help the designer combine visuals, navigation, and interactions, which in turn provide a visual representation of how the final design will look and feel to users. 


It's an essential tool in any UI/UX designer's arsenal.

What is an interface design tool (IDT)? 

An Interface Design Tool (IDT) is used to create the user interface of a software application. This type of tool provides features that help in prototyping a software application. The level of accuracy of the prototype depends on the features provided by the tool.

Why do you need them?

Such web design programs will save you a lot of time and effort. Whether you're building a basic wireframe or a fully functional prototype, these tools will help you get it done faster and more efficiently, eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel over and over again.

Top 10 UI Design Tools

1. Figma

Figma - top UI design tools

Figma is an all-in-one tool that simplifies collaboration and provides access for UX designers, developers, and all team members through a browser-based cloud platform. If you have worked in Sketch before, you will see that it is very similar to Figma, and therefore it will be easy for you to master it.


Consistency is a priority in web design. You can use Figma's flexible styles to control the appearance of text, grids, and other elements in your project. And various useful plugins, such as Autoflow for showing user paths, Figmotion for creating animations, and many others, extend its functionality.

Key features

  • Good for: Design
  • Works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • The application freezes during the execution of any medium or hard task.
  • Takes all your RAM


The program has a generous free plan, when connected, you can create and store 3 active files, one team project and enjoy unlimited cloud storage. If you want more features, join the Professional plan for $12/month with unlimited projects and shared libraries.

2. InVision Studio

InVision Studio - top UI design tools

The InVision program, released in 2011, has proven itself well. Its creators are constantly adding new features to the platform, making it a favorite of many UX/UI designers.


With many well-designed tools, InVision gives you the ability to quickly develop functional prototypes and share them with others. The program offers many useful features, including a convenient vector drawing tool, the ability to copy components and modify them later, as well as creating animations and other interactive visual effects.


Collaboration and communication are also InVision's strengths. Freehand allows team members to draw, add notes, and leave feedback. And with LiveShare, you can demonstrate a fully interactive prototype. InVision allows team members to stay connected and work together throughout the project.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, user interface design
  • Works on: macOS
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • Customer support service is poor
  • Works slowly from time to time
  • Hard to learn


It's free to use with up to three projects open at the same time. Paid plans start at $7.95 per user per month.

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD - top UI design tools

Adobe XD offers a vector prototyping system that includes tools for creating interactions, transitions, and other types of dynamic features. Since it is based on a vector, scaling and resizing elements is easy.


Adobe XD works well together with other Adobe applications such as Illustrator and Photoshop. Designers like it for the ability to edit Adobe images, for example in .psd format, right in the program.


When it comes to user interface and user experience design, Adobe XD covers all the tools you need for them, from concept creation to high-detail prototyping. 


What’s more, every month they add updates that expand its functionality.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, design
  • Works on: Windows and macOS
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • Isn’t as mature as Sketch and InVision
  • Very difficult to share with clients or colleagues


When using the Adobe XD application alone, the payment will be $9,99 per month. If you need a Creative Cloud package containing Photoshop, illustrator and After Effects, you will have to pay $54.99 per month.

4. Sketch

Sketch - top UI design tools

Many UX designers use Sketch in their workflows, and for good reason.


Uniformity and consistency are hallmarks of Sketch functionality. With a smart layout, you can create reusable elements, as well as resize them depending on what content is inside. Sketch is easy to use. Along with a well-designed user interface, the program offers many hotkeys to streamline the design process.


When it comes to wireframing and prototyping UI design tools, Sketch is considered the industry standard. Its rich and user-friendly interface are just some of the reasons many designers choose it.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, design
  • Works on: macOS
  • Free Trial Available: No

What designers hate about it

  • Slows down old machines
  • Does not allow you to create permanent color palettes
  • Not that user-friendly


The standard package costs $9 per month with a 30-day free trial.

5. Balsamiq

Balsamiq - top UI design tools

Balsamiq is a low-detail wireframing tool. It can be used for more than just websites. It is great for:

  • product design sketches,
  • web apps, 
  • PC software, 
  • mobile apps, 
  • user interface layouts.


Although it doesn't specialize in making ready-made prototypes like some of the aforementioned UI design tools, it's a great platform for designing website layouts anyway. 

Key features

  • Good for: Mockups, prototyping, wireframe design
  • Works on: Browser, macOS, and Windows
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • No ready-made prototypes
  • Less modern than other UI design tools


The cost of tariff plans for using this tool starts from $9 per month. Quite a good price in case you need to cut your mobile app UI design cost.

6. Marvel

Marvel - top UI design tools

Do you need a free prototyping tool that will allow you to quickly create apps and websites? Marvel provides you with a complete set of tools and features to achieve these goals.


With this program, you can go beyond static layouts and get the ability to create interactive prototypes with dynamic transitions and gestures. This will provide a real interaction experience for anyone who will test the product. Another nice addition is that the transfer tool automatically provides developers with all the code and resources in their most recent iteration, so they can easily put together a live website.


Marvel's collaboration capabilities allow anyone on the design team, no matter what stage a project is in, to add notes, make changes, and share ideas in real-time.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, design, wireframe, animation
  • Works on: Web, iOS, and Android
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • Trial allows only two projects
  • No ability to animate mockup screens


One user with one project can use the program for free. If you need more features, the Pro plan costs $12 per month.

7. Axure

Axure - top UI design tools

Axure combines wireframe and prototyping capabilities. It allows designers to develop interactive prototypes of websites and applications in both low and high detail without knowing the code.


In addition to everything you need for visual effects, interactivity, and architecture, Axure also offers a comprehensive documentation tool. It allows you to keep track of notes, tasks, and other important data that is available to those who need it. This tool is a great option in case you aim at following the 10 commandments of amazing UX design.


Axure also ensures that the layout is properly communicated to developers. It allows you to publish a prototype to their cloud with all the code, specifications, and other information they might need to build.


This tool is designed for professionals and takes into account all the intricacies of functional prototyping. It is intended for those designers who place high demands on UI design tools.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping
  • Works on: macOS and Windows
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • No outstanding features
  • No support for videos or animated gifs


The starting tariff plan will cost $25 per user per month.

8. Framer

Framer - top UI design tools

Framer (formerly known as Framer X) is a high-fidelity template and layout tool. The program requires the user to have basic knowledge of CSS and HTML to work with interactive elements and animations.


Using the service, you can develop a framework and visual design of a web page. The presence of basic tools for user testing makes Framer a useful universal tool - the prototype it created is as close as possible to the final product. 

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping
  • Works on: Browser, macOS
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • Relatively small community
  • May be slow/bloated


The free plan allows you to create no more than 3 projects. Advanced features open with the Pro tariff plan for $19 per month.

9. Origami Studio

Origami Studio - top UI design tools

Once Facebook decided to create a prototyping tool for its designers. This is how the Origami Studio program was born, which FB kindly shared with the rest of the world.


For designers looking for a more advanced system, Origami Studio offers powerful tools for prototyping websites and mobile apps. Central to Origami Studio is the patch editor, which allows you to create logical and behavioral chains, animations, and interactions. It contains a lot of ready-made templates for prototyping, and the site says that you will most likely use a maximum of 15-20 of them in your work.


This program does have a bit of a problem with learning how to work with it, which may seem intimidating at first. But knowing how to use its features to develop simple and complex prototypes is well worth the time to learn. In addition to being Sketch-compatible, the benefits of Origami Studio make it an essential tool for designers who want to go beyond standard prototyping.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, designing, animation
  • Works on: macOS, Android, and iOS devices
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • Slow adoption of standard features


This program belongs to the free-of-charge UI design tools.

10. Proto.io


ESPN, Amazon, and PayPal are just some of the well-known brands that have used Proto.io in their work. Thanks to a wide selection of components and tools, creating interactive prototypes becomes possible without code.


In its web editor, Proto.io provides you with many drag-and-drop web UI components, templates, icon libraries, and audio and video integration. Anything you created in Photoshop or Sketch, you can also add there.


Proto.io offers many templates, tools, and other prototyping components.

Key features

  • Good for: Prototyping, animation
  • Works on: Browsers
  • Free Trial Available: Yes

What designers hate about it

  • More expensive compared to average UI design tools
  • No desktop apps


There 4 plans to choose from: 

  • Freelancer - $24/month
  • Startup - $40/month
  • Agency - $80/month
  • Corporate - $160/month

Over to you

UI design tools for developing and prototyping interfaces are constantly improving both in terms of usability and user experience. 


Unsurprisingly, most influential UX design experts are trying to keep up with the times and learn new tools. The authors of hundreds of blogs and design websites regularly publish new articles, share their knowledge and give their recommendations on how to use new tools. 


For a designer, all this is a very useful source of information. Indeed, no matter how good your designer skillset is, continuous improvement of your toolset is also important.


Summing up our mini-review, we note that there is no one perfect solution that suits all UX/UI designers and front-end developers for any project. 


Master different UI design tools and choose the right ones, starting from the technical requirements for a particular project and the wishes of the customer.

Adam Bałazy

Adam is a digital design veteran with a detail oriented mind and around 13+ years of professional experience. He is into analyzing and understanding complicated problems to deliver straightforward solutions. His objective is to keep things as simple as possible. Remote work and To-Do list lover.

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