Time to call off the search! We’ve compiled the ultimate list of UI/UX tools that every UX designer needs to create exceptional user experiences in 2024.
UX designers today are spoilt for choice with the plethora of UI/UX tools and cutting-edge solutions out there. We get it— it’s not easy to go through the pile and pick the tools that specifically fit your team’s requirements.
So we’ve meticulously researched and put together a list of 12 tools that have been game-changers in the industry, for each step of the UX design process. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, here’s everything about the tools you need, including key features, pros and cons, pricing, and user reviews.
In this article, we shall explore the most popular and user-friendly tools for each of these use cases in the UI/UX design process— user testing, user research, wireframing, prototyping, visual design, and handoff to developers.
Step 1 of any UX design journey: find out what your users actually care about! User research tools help you gather user feedback, perform usability tests, and conduct user research.
Here are the top UX research tool essentials, for everything from surveys to usability testing and qualitative data analysis.
Best for: Research repository and qualitative data analysis
Looppanel is a research analysis & repository product that records your user interviews and generates transcripts and AI-powered notes in minutes.
It automates all the tedious, manual parts of the research process, and organizes all your data in one place— a definite must-have for any UX team!
A UX research repository is a place to store research data, notes, and insights. It helps immensely in also making research accessible to the right people at the right time. There are many research repository tools available based on your budget and requirements— Condens, EnjoyHQ, and Dovetail are a few examples.
If you have no prior experience with repositories, check out our definitive guide.
Unlike other repository tools, Looppanel doesn’t rely on tagging taxonomies. It has been built based on how researchers actually do research—using a discussion guide, notes, and categorical tags.
Looppanel has pricing plans to meet all budgets. If you're starting out with a small team, you can get going for as little as $30 / month. The Pro plan (for teams of 2-5 researchers) will cost $350 per month ($3500 yearly) for 25 transcription hours monthly.For larger teams, the Looppanel Business plan offers 120 transcription hours/month, SSO, and priority support for $1000 per month. Looppanel also offers custom Enterprise solutions with custom pricing, on request.
Best for: Surveys and collecting data online
SurveyMonkey is a UX research tool for researchers to conduct surveys through emails, web links, and embedded forms on their websites or via social media. You can conduct your surveys in multiple languages and easily collect the data in one view.
SurveyMonkey is easy to get started with, and comes ready with templates you can use to set up your study.
SurveyMonkey offers a free plan with extremely limited features and responses, including only 10 questions per survey. Under Individual plans, the Standard monthly plan is priced at $99/month, and offers unlimited surveys and questions with a limit of 1,000 responses per month. It includes paid features like skip logic, custom reports, and exports. The Advantage Annual Plan costs $39/month with unlimited surveys and questions and a limit of 15,000 responses per year. The Premier plan costs $119/month (billed annually), with 40,000 responses per year and more brand customization options.Similarly, under Team plans, the Team Advantage and Team Premier plans cost $25 and $75 a month per user respectively, and allows your team to share and run a survey across multiple user accounts.SurveyMonkey also offers custom Enterprise plans for teams on request.
Best for: Unmoderated research
Useberry is an unmoderated research platform that allows you to run tests across a variety of methods.
In unmoderated testing, you don’t have to actually intervene during the research sessions. The platforms provide instructions to users, record their actions, and should ideally be able to ask them predetermined follow-up questions.
The Free Plan includes 10 responses per month, 1 seat, and 1 project. The Basic Plan costs $33 per user per month and includes 100 responses per month, 3 projects, and 3 versions per project. The Pro Plan costs $67 per user per month and offers unlimited responses, projects, and versions. The Team Plan costs $84 per month and includes 3 seats with additional seats available for $20 each.
Best for: Recruiting participants
User Interviews is a UX research tool that connects user researchers and participants.
You can filter out potential participants based on different parameters like age, location, industry, etc., to find the right participants for your studies. In exchange, participants are compensated fairly, incentivizing them to contribute to the research.
User interviews also serve those who want to manage a panel of their own participants for research studies. Let’s say you run a lot of research with existing customers of your product—you can use User Interviews’ Research Hub to store the data of these people and simplify the painful scheduling activities (emailing users, reminders, etc.)
The Free plan for individual researchers allows a maximum of 100 contacts, automated emails and scheduling, research tool integrations, and the use of 1:1 and bulk messaging tools.For small teams, you get custom branding, customer success support, custom page templates, and many more at $ 250/month for up to 1,000 contacts, or $ 500/month for up to 5,000 contacts.For large research teams, you additionally get unlimited custom email themes at $1,250/month for up to 5,000 contacts, and $1,417/month for up to 10,000 contacts.The custom Enterprise plan also offers security review, large-scale custom onboarding sessions and other features like API for custom data integrations, etc.
Check out the complete pricing plan here.
Best for: unmoderated research and testing
Maze allows you to run unmoderated research on your new product or prototype. It supports tests like unmoderated usability tests, website testing, prototype testing, tree testing, surveys, and card sorting.
Under the Free plan for Maze, you get 300 responses per year for studies, with 1 active project at a time and up to 10 blocks (blocks kind of like questions or segments in a survey).
The Professional plan costs $75 per month, and allows for 1,800 responses per year, 10 active projects and unlimited blocks, and access to pro templates.
You can also get the custom Organization plan, which additionally offers unlimited responses, unlimited active projects and blocks, and custom templates.
By building wireframes, designers define the information hierarchy of their design, making it easier to plan the layout according to how users are expected to process the information. Once wireframes are finalized, designers create prototypes— a working model of a website or app that can be tested and iterated upon.
Here are the best wireframing, prototyping, and visual design tools for UX designers, with key features, pricing, and limitations.
Best for: Wireframes, prototyping, collaborative design
Are you even a real UX designer if you don’t know of Figma?
Figma is a cloud-based design platform great for sharing and collaborating among team members. It has become an indispensable part of UX design for creating everything from wireframes to prototypes, roadmaps and product mockups.
Figma’s brainstorming and whiteboard tool Figjam is also a great asset for designers to collaborate, collectively plan, and think through processes.
The Figma Starter Plan is free and includes 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files, unlimited personal files, unlimited collaborators, plugins, templates, and a mobile app.
The Figma Professional Plan costs $12 per editor/month (billed annually) or $15 month-to-month and includes unlimited Figma files, version history, shared and private projects, team libraries, and advanced prototyping.
The Figma Organization Plan costs $45 per editor/month (billed annually) and includes everything in the Professional Plan, plus org-wide libraries, design system analytics, branching and merging, centralized file management, unified admin and billing, and private plugins.
The Enterprise Plan costs $75 per editor/month (billed annually) and includes everything in the Organization Plan, plus dedicated workspaces, advanced design systems, and more features.
Best for: prototyping and mockups
Uizard is a powerful AI-powered prototyping tool that makes UI design accessible to everyone, from non-designers to experienced professionals. With Uizard, you can quickly transform your ideas into functional prototypes, saving you time and effort in the early stages of the design process.
Uizard's Free plan is ideal for students and hobbyists, offering up to 2 projects and 10 free templates. The Pro plan starts from $12 per month, and includes unlimited screens and access to all templates. For large organizations, the Business plan starts at $49 per month, offering unlimited projects and priority support. Uizard also offers an Enterprise plan with unlimited users on request.
Best for: wireframing and mockups
One of the speediest wireframing tools out there, Balsamiq is becoming an increasingly popular choice for UX designers. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface, which helps you visualize ideas quickly. Balsamiq wireframes also have a unique hand-drawn style, which keeps the focus on the structure and content of the product rather than visual details.
Balsamiq’s pricing starts with the 2 Projects plan, priced at $9 per month or $90 annually. For larger teams and organizations, the 20 Projects plan is available at $49 per month or $490 per year. For extensive project needs, the 200 Projects plan, accommodating teams with more than 20 projects, is offered at $199 per month or $1,990 annually. Users get unlimited wireframes and unrestricted user access with all plans.
UX whiteboard tools are exactly what it sounds like— digital whiteboards for teams to visually organize their thoughts, brainstorm and collaborate in real time. They’re most useful in the early stages of the project for sketching out ideas, building wireframes and user journey mapping.
These whiteboard tools offer a lot of additional features like an infinite canvas, stickers, templates and media embedding, which make using them a lot more fun than using markers on an actual whiteboard!
Best for: wireframes, brainstorming
Miro is a whiteboarding tool that can be used to visually organize and analyze your user interview data, once it has been extracted. You can use Miro to create affinity maps, user stories, and other diagrams to help you identify patterns and trends.
Public boards are free to build and use on Miro. For the rest, billing begins at $8 per month per user for teams.
Best for: wireframes, brainstorming
FigJam is a whiteboard tool by Figma, and lets you create and organise ideas on a canvas in sticky notes. In addition, you get to leverage a range of templates, widgets and plugins as well as their integrations with Jira, Github, and Asana to streamline your research analysis workflow.
Refer to Figma’s pricing plan above.
Website-building tools like Framer and Webflow are primarily used to help designers create user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing websites, often without using coding. They can also be used for creating wireframes, mockups, or interactive prototypes, in addition to fully functional websites.
Best for: prototypes, mock-ups, no-code websites
Webflow offers a free plan for hobby and staging websites, which will include the webflow domain name. Plans offering custom domain names start at $14 per month and offer easy 1-click publishing and hosting.
If you’re interested in building an online store, Webflow’s e-commerce plans start at $23 per month. They also offer Workspace plans, which start at $16 monthly, with additional features for teams to collaboratively build.
For businesses with advanced security and support requirements, Webflow provides an Enterprise solution. Check out all of Webflow’s pricing plans here.
Best for: prototypes, no-code websites
Framer has been a recent game-changer in website development, with its designer-centric, no-code approach. The interface is similar to that of a design tool, and it lets you create SEO-optimized, visually appealing websites with complex animation and layouts.
Framer’s site plans for individual sites and teams both come in four tiers: Free, Mini, Basic, and Pro. For individuals, the Free plan includes the Framer domain and Framer banner.
The paid plans for individual users range from $5 to $30 per month, based on available features like number of visitors, password protection, CMS collections, cookies, and analytics.
Framer also offers Workspace plans for teams. The Free plan supports tiny teams and allows collaboration on free sites. The Basic plan supports up to 5 editors and includes features like cursor chat. The Pro plan costs supports up to 10 editors and includes advanced permissions and comments.
For larger organizations, Framer offers custom Enterprise plans for both site and workspace categories with custom pricing.
Check out Framer’s pricing plans here.
For a UX designer, the right tools can significantly enhance the design process, making it more efficient and effective. Don’t forget, the best tool is the one that fits your workflow and meets your specific needs!
Looppanel automatically records your calls, transcribes them, and centralizes all your research data in one place