User experience design is an emergent field, and that means there’s new technology coming out every day to help professionals in this field do the best job possible. This constant development helps people continue to break barriers in user interfaces, driving software tech in general. Because aptitude with design tools is a core job skill for this type of career, reading this list of tools could help you get an edge when applying for a UX position.
Getting Ahead in the Industry
Most UX design jobs will require curiosity about new design technology. They will also require the capacity to understand how to use emerging tools to improve a company’s products and services. Still, as you’ll see in our list, sometimes the best way to accomplish UX magic is to rely on tried-and-true methods.
Again, knowing these tools — their properties and best uses — is a must. If you’re entering a production role in a design team, you’ll probably be expected to pump out results using these platforms. If you’re looking at a management position, your team’s success will depend on your ability to confidently direct each individual’s efforts using your organization’s software, and suggesting new options when the current alternatives fall short of the task.
One of the best prototyping and ideation tools out there is InVision. This platform is used by some of the biggest internet properties in the world, including Airbnb, Netflix, and Twitter. Apart from the design tools, you also gain access to a variety of workflow and communication functionalities. InVision even allows for client feedback.
Sketch is another important tool, used for many different types of design applications. However, it’s only for Mac users. You might wonder why you need another drawing app, especially when Adobe basically dominates the graphic editing, organization, and design markets. The benefit of Sketch is its focus on digital design. You don’t need to learn to step around print media functions in order to get to the cyber-design tools you use on a daily basis: Simply buy the software and start working your digital project.
If you can manage to get all of the members of your team together in one place — a feat that isn’t always possible with the globally distributed workforces popular in the tech industry — brainstorming with physical sketches might be the best way to kick off a project. Of course, you don’t need to use a pen and paper. You could use a whiteboard, or else head back to kindergarten with a roll of butcher-block paper and some finger paint.
Just like with software, it’s important to make sure everyone feels comfortable with your physical tools before you proceed. Otherwise you might be stifling the very creativity you’re trying to encourage. Even if you’re using conventional materials, The energy and enthusiasm that goes along with physically moving around a room and sketching out ideas on a board or on the table top can’t really be imitated by any existing software. When you’re beginning a new project, using creative or unconventional tools to map out your team’s ideas can lead to some unexpected and groundbreaking results.