Five Game Changing Design Programs for any Design Freelancer

If you are a designer, you know how important it is to have the right tools. When you use great programs, you can improve your efficiency and overall design. Learn the 5 game changing design programs for any designer…

As a designer, you know how important the right tools are. In fact, you probably know what it’s like to work with the wrong tools… Think of someone using a hammer instead of an ax to chop down a tree. Imagine how much time would be wasted… and if the tree would even fall down. Using the right tools makes you more efficient and helps you develop a process to produce the best designs.

Here are five game changing design programs for any designer. While there are many the designers might use other programs other than this list for specific tasks (illustrators, you will hate this), we wanted to go beyond the normal, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop (Even Procreate or Affinity suite) – we will cover those in detail for illustrators and graphic designers.

InVision

When it comes to creating an excellent UI experience, InVision is one of the best design tools. Through the program, you can comment and interact with the rest of your team to make the best real-time decisions. It allows you to put your design to life, right in front of you.

The program comes with a lot of features that help your design process, like an inspiration board, app wireframe, element library, navigation flows, architecture doc, and more.  Their digital whiteboard lets you share ideas with your team. With its prototype features, you can envision what the final product will look like too.

Comments are the number one most useful feature for this tool. Getting client feedback, and archiving the old comments that have been resolved are useful not only in the collaboration process of the project but great for project documentation – in the likelihood that you need to reference these for new hires, claims or more.

Commenting within Invision can also be quite the burden. We have all been there when we see over 50 bubbles of changes in just the hero section. The trick for clients and designers to “get along” in Invision is to limit the stakeholders that has access to these files and give only one “big picture” comment and the rest leave to smaller, tweaks.

When it comes to design, prototypes and collaboration, InVision wins. It’s one of the most used programs— and it’s no wonder why.

Figma

As time goes on, Figma is starting to become the go-to design tool, competing with Sketch. Figma is a great option for UI design. Companies like Twitter, Uber and Zoom have used them. They have great features like team libraries, efficient prototyping and more. To sum it up, instead of trying to explain the vision of your design, Figma helps show it for you.

The ground breaking nature of Figma comes not only from the tool’s featured packed UI but the collaboration aspect. Not only can multiple designers join into a single project like playing a multi-player game, but they can add comments, create libraries and shared components. Understanding this monumental ability to increase the designers’ productivity and speed to his or her process is an understatement. The real value comes into play with training, hiring and scaling your design team. In this case, we can see juniors in real time make design changes to illustrations (if vector) or UI sites. A huge leap for the UI UX world.

When it comes to pricing, Figma offers great deals. Their lower price and amount of active projects beat InVision’s current plan. If you’re interested in using a professional a UI design program for the first time, this might be the choice for you.

Slack

This is probably one of my favorite programs. No other time in history has someone created such an effective communication tool. Slack is organized in channels by subject. Think of how we use #Hashtags on social media. Each channel has chatrooms about the specific subject. Your team can discuss everything about design, share files and collaborate from your phone or desktop.

Not only that, but Slack integrates with a bunch of other productivity apps and design tools. When it comes to communication, you can essentially do everything you need on there. There are also features to save and pin important messages and files. It brings the whole team together.

Slack is definitely a must-have. They have a great free version— don’t miss out.

Webflow

“Design, Build, and Launch.” Webflow is every designer’s dream when it comes to website development. Through the program, you don’t have to worry about code anymore. You can design everything visually, while Webflow seamlessly does the coding for you. When you’re done designing, you have a ready-to-go product.

Talk about a program that fully equips you to do your best… Webflow’s main benefit other than the tool itself, is about the client, CMS system that is a total beat to the outdated Wordpress admin. Clients have loved the ability to change content in real time hovering over h1’s and images in their “/edit” pages. Adding new posts is now a breeze. The best part about using Webflow for client sites is being able to make client changes yourself, rather than hiring a dev to modify the PHP. This is groundbreaking for any new design team looking to get started, however like many other tools, there is about a two month learning curve to really get the hang of it.

Webflow is a great tool to use, not only to visualize your design, but to also efficiently develop your website for launch. It’s essential for designers and will save you a lot of time and resources.

ArtBoard Studio

ArtBoard is a new one to the design toolbox, coming out in 2018 for beta. Its been a tool that has a slight learning curve but entirely changed the way many designers now represent their work. Seeking to replacing photoshop, its gotten close, where one can start a project using hundreds of preset mockups and imagery that can be changed out with the design, overlaying with perfection your PNG or SVG.

Getting used to their price structure ($45/month) would be the only concern for a lonesome freelancer. But the rewards of being able to use their database of templates make its worth it.

...
Latest Posts
about the author

newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.