Mobile app design and app development are two complementary phases in building an application. While development is something that works from behind the curtains, the design is something that runs the show. No matter how functional an app is developed, if its design is not interactive and engaging enough, it would surely fail after the launch.
Let’s consider an example to understand the importance of an attractive mobile app design;
You go to buy a pair of shoes, you find a perfect-sized pair but it’s an old-fashioned one and does not look stylish at all – would you buy it?
Of course, you would not! After all, it’s the design that everyone sees. So, a perfect-sized and a comfortable pair of shoes is useless for you unless it looks stunning.
Similarly, an application without an amazing design would not survive in this intensely competitive digital environment.
The designers always look for the tools to make their mobile app design better and better for the end user. A designer cannot imprint his creativity on screens unless the designing tool has the capability to perform in a way that the designer wants.
The question here is, which tool is the best? You would witness countless designing tools on the internet but which one to go with?
So, here we have compiled a list of 6 best mobile app design tools that are loved and preferred by professional app designers.
Dedicated to be used only on MacOS, Sketch is a lightweight UI/UX design tool that has rapidly gained acceptance among modern developers. The features like smart guides, asset exports, symbols, and artboards revolutionized the UI designs.
The download size of Sketch is around 20Mb. It uses much fewer system resources than other designing tools which is one of the reasons why Sketch outsold Adobe Photoshop.
Sketch is the best mobile app design tool for Mac users. It is one of the smoothest, cleanest and most intuitive design tools which is mainly built for wireframe and prototyping. The only criticism Sketch faces is that it is not supported by other OS.
Considered as the rival of Sketch, Adobe XD is a good design tool for the designers who craved to work on Sketch but couldn’t do it because it only supported by MacOS. You can get all the features of Sketch in Adobe XD. In fact, Adobe XD provides with added features like repeat grids and design specs etc.
XD is extremely fast and is the best UI design tool for Windows users. It is relatively a new entrant in the market but being a product of Adobe, it has the potential to be a strong competitor. To make XD more versatile and stronger, it looks to invest funds in third-party integrations.
Marvel is one of the easiest-to-learn design tools available right now. This prototyping software comes with the most simplified interface that can be used by the non-designers as well as the designers who are expert in mobile app design.
Marvel also allows you to collaborate with your team enabling the feature of synchronization. Through this, you can share or import/export your designs from/to other design platforms as well.
In addition, while using Marvel, you would not need any expert animator as Marvel itself allows you put life in your static prototypes.
Axure is considered one of the most complicated mobile app design tools available out there. It is popular for its complex interactions and a steep learning curvature. But the benefits of the features and functionalities that Axure allows (like conditional prototyping) can compensate the time consumed in gaining command over it.
Axure is unlike the competitors in the market. While other mobile app design tools simplify their interfaces as much as possible, Axure does the opposite. Its interface is heavier than others and provides the designers with absolute control allowing maximum technicalities.
It allows the designers to design wireframes, prototypes, mockups, idea boards, flowcharts, personas, diagramming, and more. It even allows you to perform coding and enables you to make seamless designs through ready-to-use components.
Not as simple as the others, Framer requires you to have some training of it before you use it. It is a dedicated prototyping tool for Mac users which demands the understanding of the CoffeeScript. It gives you full control of the canvas to mold the design in whatever manner you like.
Being a flexible and interactive tool, Framer also allows to do coding and practice their visual editing. Their visual editing generates the corresponding code automatically at the backend.
Framer stands well in the competition with Adobe XD and InVision from the features and usability standpoint. In Framer, the designs can easily be imported from Sketch, Figma, and Photoshop, and it also allows easy collaboration with the team.
The core strength and benefit of using Flinto is that you get ultimate transition options. Its Transition Designer allows you to play with the transitions and manipulate them with minimum efforts and maximum speed. Flinto is unquestionably fast, however, the other areas of it need improvement.
An amazing fact related to Flinto is that is has a Mac version and a web version. Importing from Sketch and Photoshop is easy with Flinto, along with an easy collaboration with the team.