In this list, I have gathered the most efficient and easier to use tools that may come in handy for different stages in your design process from gathering user data to final hand off stage. These will help you stay organised at all times and create quality designs.
Research, surveys & Data Gathering
For organizing your user interviews, you can choose Zoom. This works well whether you have one participant of hundreds of them.
For conducting quantitative research through Surveys, you can use SurveryMonkey or Typeform
Userbit is an extremely helpful tool for gathering interview tool.
I have also had some experience with using Microsoft Excel for maintaining survey results. It just depends on how good you are with the tool.
From conducting design sprint workshops, retrospectives, workflows, Mural is my most recommended tool. It allows users to collaborate, draw, choose, and solve important problems.
Miro is a similar tool for digital and visual collaboration.
Wireframing & Low Fidelity Mockups
Not all designers choose to wireframe in a completely different software and then switch to another for high-fidelity designs. But tools that can help you visualize workflow, come up with low fidelity wireframes, you can use Balsamiq moqups or MockFlow SiteMap
High Fidelity Designs
This is probably the most controversial subject of all times. Android or iOS, Samsung or Apple, whether or not Beyonce was the greatest singer of all time? We may never have answers to these but dare I say, I am onboard the Figma train. Having used Adobe XD, Sketch, and Photoshop for High fidelity designs, I have always found Figma to be more robust for online collaboration, for having a variety of plugins available to automate tasks, and having the ability to prototype as well.
But all in all, Sketch and Adobe XD are equally great. It’s only a matter of what you’re more comfortable with!
I personally use Figma for Prototyping but another tool I highly recommend is InVision for its versatility. You can also use Marvel which is extremely human friendly and takes no time to learn.
Hand off for Developers
Zeplin For maintaining styleguides, markups, assets with accurate specs, Zeplin is the most popular choice for many designers I work with.
Abstract is a more sophisticated option for centralizing design decisions, app versions, build a shared asset library, versioning and handoffs.
I use a plugin called Lazy export which comes in really handy in Figma for managing and exporting assets.
This part is often overlooked as we often associate analytics to be a responsibility of the product manager. However, it is equally important for the designer to own their designs and see how well they do in real life.
Google Analytics is an all-powerful tool that can handle complex data that helps you understand how users are interacting with your product
Mixpanel is for capturing more accurate trends, data and your segments. You can also communicate very easily with your user base.
Other neat hacks
Figma Chat Plugin – to chat with designers, developers, business analysts and system analysts while collaborating on a project, you can also keep track of the feedback you receive.
Super Tidy Plugin for Figma – Super Tidy renames your frames and reorders them in the layers list, so everything stays organized.
Brandfetch for Figma – How many times have you googled a company logo? Brandfetch now eliminates that step. With this plugin, you can search and insert the logo you’re looking for all without leaving Figma.