There is a lot going on in the world of digital design. Suddenly, everyone is talking about the importance of good design and there are more tools than ever to get the job done. Any designer who wants to survive in this fast-paced landscape needs to shut down Photoshop and start updating their toolset. Here is our top list of useful design tools that everyone should be familiar with in the coming year.
A hackable text editor for the 21st Century.
At GitHub, we're building the text editor we've always wanted. A tool you can customize to do anything, but also use productively on the first day without ever touching a config file. Atom is modern, approachable, and hackable to the core. We can't wait to see what you build with it.
Sketch is seen by many as the app that reignited the digital design landscape. After years of being stuck with Photoshop and Illustrator, designers finally had a truly great design application for the Mac. Sketch is still one of the best applications for web and app designers. It's fast, beautiful and has many powerful tools.
Ready to make your designs interactive? Framer is the way to go. It's a powerful tool that allows you to create complex prototypes with ease. It requires a tiny bit of programming, but the application makes it easy to learn. Framer has a built-in design mode, but you can also import files from Sketch. If you have any questions about Framer, there is a friendly community on Facebook that is happy to answer questions.
Figma is a new, web based Sketch challenger. Since it's in the cloud, you don't have to worry about versioning documents or sharing specific versions of files. All your designs are always up to date. It also allows you to collaborate with other designers in real time.
InVision is a great app for quickly turning your Sketch or Figma designs into clickable prototypes that you can send to clients. It's not as advanced as Framer or Origami Studio, but it makes up for it in speed. In minutes, you can hook up your designs and connect different buttons and pages. Perfect for getting client sign-off quickly.
Origami is another prototyping tool from Facebook. It has a drag and drop interface in which you connect different nodes in order to build prototypes. It has a lower learning curve since it doesn't require any programming, but prototypes quickly become complex and when that happens, Framer may be a better choice.