8 Essential Tools For Mobile App Designers
It is imperative to use the right tools if you want to successfully design a mobile application. But there are so many options available today, how to make sure which ones are the best? If you are designing a mobile application for the first time, you will need some help to get through the design phase. Good for you, because we have been there before and have managed to do a satisfactory job. We will fill you in the right kind of tools for both design and development phases.
In this article, we are going to discuss the best tools for app designers and the top 8 tools that you should be using today. We will provide a detailed study of each tool along with its application for a particular process. Let’s get started.
We love using the Marvel tool for prototyping needs. It is one of the most optimum tools to gather your design elements in a single place. You will not need to use costly, overwhelming and advanced tools to get this done. They have one of the best platforms if you are designing an app for Apple App Store. The final wireframes are supported by iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Macbook desktops and laptops. By using Marvel’s platform, you can also create wireframes for Android applications. Hence, it is an ideal platform if you are looking to design an app for both iOS and Android. If you are one of those designers who live to work on multiple screens, then it is the perfect platform for you as it provides seamless integration between screens.
Sketch is another vital tool in your armory of design tools. It has functions similar to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop but is built specifically for UX/UI designers. Sketch is an ideal tool to create buttons, symbols, headers etc and you can organise all the elements in one place once you create them. We have used this tool for creating user experience mockups. By using it, we realised that it has a significantly faster process to make prototypes. After finishing the design, it is quite easy to share your work with a visual designer who can work on it further.
UI Stencils is one of the best options to create early prototypes of your design. The kit is impeccable as it is made of steel so it gives you a better feel compared to the cheap plastic stencils you might have used before. Along with that, you will also receive sketch pads and a compact carrying case. There are various sizes available for different devices so you can easily sketch for iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets too. It includes some of the most commonly used icons for drafting which will provide a better idea of the size of your design and how it will look on the screen. You can use this tool for brainstorming in the initial stages of development when you are working with multiple people.
Photoshop is a vintage tool used by designers over the years. If you have not got a chance to look at it for some time, it has improved a lot in the last few years. Now, it is no longer a tool just to cut and paste some pictures. It is an ideal tool for a mobile app designer or even an artist. Photoshop has all the favorite features for layering, texture, blurring, lighting etc to bring out your artistic side. If you are a UX/UI designer then you must have Photoshop.
MindNode is the perfect tool to be used for relationship mapping. It is a design tool made to keep you organised when your ideas are going wild. The platform and interface is quite easy to use as there are no complicated features. The system enables you to make a prioritized list of tasks when you are working on a particular project. Additionally, you can also set reminders to stick to the timeline and make sure you don’t fall behind schedule. It is easy to fold and unfold nodes when you need to access them for any project. As it is stored on the cloud, it is quite convenient to share your project when you are collaborating within or outside the organization.
Do you ever desire to have a single place to store and organise all your icons? Say no more, Iconjar is the perfect place to store all your favorite icons. It is quite tiring for a designer to find something that you know is on your computer but you are just not able to locate it. Iconjar gets rid of that problem and it is built for organizations so you can share it with your colleagues. We recommend this design tool as it will help you save a lot of time to find icons.
Pen and Notepad
The simplicity of Pen and Notepad is highly underrated. When you get an idea, it is possible that you are not near your computer or phone or iPad. We have a habit of carrying a pen and notepad with us at all times so as to not miss an excellent idea. You can use this simple tool to note down your thoughts and start sketching when you get an idea. It also gives you a chance to gather your thoughts and you have a better idea of what your design should look like before you get started.
As you can notice, a lot of tools on this list are made for specific purposes. However, Axure RP is the best tool to design your app from scratch to finish. You can use it on features like mockups, wireframes, flowcharts, diagrams, personas and more. Once you use it, it might become one of your favorite design tools. It is quite easy to use and has a precise navigation system. When you are using Axure RP, you don’t need to worry about staying organised as it does the job for you with finesse. Even if you are new to app design, this tool will help you to understand the different aspects of designing.
All successful mobile app designers have a list of their favorite tools and they swear by these tools. It is true for new designers as well as seasoned professionals. You may be artistic and highly talented but if you don’t use the ideal tools, it will be overwhelming for you to create breakthrough designs. Let us know about your favorite design tools in the comments below.
Keval Padia is the founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.