The best design tools for mobile app designers

Are you an app designer, a fan of mobile application design, or perhaps a curious mind exploring the world of mobile app UI/UX design? Well, here are the best mobile app design tools we recommend.

Lakshmi Devan

Senior Manager Content at Builder.ai
· 4 minute read
mobile app designing tools

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Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.

The apps you use most often are designed by some of the biggest geniuses in the world (think: Instagram, Amazon, Uber). Mobile application design is no easy job. This is because an app that doesn’t offer an attractive interface, striking simplicity and ease of navigation is most likely to be uninstalled by users. A poor user experience will lead to a low rating on the app/play store, reduced downloads, and diminished revenue in the long run.

Not to discourage you, but mobile application design can make or break an online business. Mobile users expect excellent UI and UX and exceeding user expectations is the key to success. This is why Builder.ai uses the expertise of some of the top designers across the globe when it comes to mobile application design and experience development. And we are in a mood to share secrets today.

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You may be wondering, what design tools should I use? Just as Thor is nothing without Mjölnir, our design team wouldn't be able to win their battles either without certain exceptional mobile app design tools. They've been generous to give away their weapons and we are pleased to bring them to you.

Here are the highest rated, most recommended mobile app design tools, straight from real users - our design experts.

1. Figma

Figma design board will creatives

Figma is a cloud design tool that helps teams create, test, and ship better designs from start to finish. It allows you to create a scalable design system that’s accessible for your organization and easy for you to manage. When all designers are speaking the same language, everyone’s more empowered to do their best work. Simply connect UI elements and choose your interactions and animations. Define subtle interactions, like on click, while hovering, while pressing a button, and more. Details like device frames and momentum scrolling make your prototypes feel like the real experience. Then share the prototype link with your clan and they can leave comments straight on the design file, so nothing is lost. This way, you don’t have to jump tools to design, prototype, share and collect feedback. We use Figma and love it!

Founded: 2012
Platform:
Web
Integrations:
Jira, Trello, Slack, Zeplin, and more
Pricing:
Free. Paid plans start at $12 per editor per month.

2. Sketch

Sketch design board with illustration

Sketch is primarily used for designing mobile apps and web UI and UX. This creative tool allows designers to make universal changes, thanks to their library of symbols, layer styles, or text styles, and quick resizing and alignment features — saving time and energy. It removes all complexity and lets designers be boundlessly creative. Sketch also allows innumerable 3rd party integrations leaving no shortage of tools that can be used with Sketch to enhance productivity.

Developer: Bohemian Coding
Founded:
2010
Platforms:
macOS
Integrations:
Jira Cloud, Zeplin, Avocode, WeTransfer, and more
Pricing:
Plans start at $99 per yea

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD design board with illustration

Adobe is considered royalty when it comes to mobile app design software, so it was impossible to exclude them from this list. Adobe XD offers vector-based tools for creating interactive elements and dynamic elements that bring prototypes and mockups to life- along with an interface that’s familiar to anyone who has used other Adobe products. This, along with real-time collaboration, makes it a go-to for many mobile app UI designers.

Developer: Adobe Systems
Founded:
2016
Platform:
Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android
Integrations:
Jira, Slack, Zeplin, Avocode, and more
Pricing:
Free. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month.

4. InVision

inVision design board with designs

With a full suite of applications, InVision gives designers all of the user interface UI design tools they need to collaboratively create quick fully-functional prototypes with dynamic elements and animations. Imagine it to be a digital whiteboard that allows team members to get their ideas out there, interact, and get that sign-offs before moving forward. If you have InVision, then you probably won’t need any other tools for mobile design, since this one handles everything through and through.

Founded: 2011
Platform:
macOS
Integrations:
Jira, Trello, Slack, and more
Pricing:
Free

5. Marvel

Marvel design board with mobile app wireframe

We like Marvel because it’s for everyone! It lets you build both low-fidelity and hi-fidelity wireframes and interactive prototypes. Product teams can carry out user testing and gives developers all the HTML code and CSS styles they need to start building. Oh, and lets not forget- they have an incredibly intuitive interface which makes every mobile app designer, even beginners, feel like superstars.

Founded: 2013
Platform:
Web
Integrations:
Jira, Dropbox, Slack, Sketch, and more
Pricing:
Free. Paid plans start at $12 per month.

While tools in the mobile app design world are constantly evolving, we certainly find these ones to be our staple best. They’ve stood the test of time and helped us create more powerful apps for our customers. Rest assured, when you start with one of these tools, you are less likely to go wrong with your idea...and if you choose Builder.ai to build it, then you’ll just be boosting your chances of success by a hundred times. We’re not boasting; it’s what our clients have to say! Check out our case studies here.

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Lakshmi Devan

Senior Manager Content at Builder.ai

Lakshmi is a communications professional with over 6 years of experience across industries- from digital media and fashion to health and technology. She specialised in Integrated Marketing and Communications cum laude, and naturally, can work her magic best when handling public relations, marketing and editorial content and communication. Most people find her moderately introverted, conspicuously sassy, significantly energetic, and massively dog-loving.

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