There are a plethora of design tools out there. The process of choosing one can be a game of trial and error. No single product is “the right” one and using multiple tools may be the best route in achieving your design goals. Today, I’d like to share the tools we use for our design process.
Gliffy is our go to tool for developing our client’s wireframes. This web-based application allows me to rapidly prototype a client’s homepage layout. This tool also has collaboration features that don’t require your team to have multiple, expensive licenses. All they need is Internet access. Gliffy also uses version control to ensure your changes to a document are never lost. If I client requests a more custom layout to their site, I use Photoshop to develop a detailed mockup. For typography design, I use Typekit, a subscription based font service that allows you to browse and access thousands of curated fonts in a single library.
File management comes in handy as the creation of these wireframes, mockups and other design elements start to pile up. That’s where Dropbox comes into play. Dropbox also allows collaboration, as I am able to share these files with anyone in or outside my team. When it specifically comes to version control, our team uses GIT to manage our code base. When I want to make design related changes to LESS and CSS files on the platform, I create branches specific to that design change as to not interfere with other framework related code changes that are constantly implanted by our developer and platform managers. Version control keeps everything nice and tidy!
I hope that by sharing what our team uses, you are empowered on your journey to finding the best design tools for you. Remember to keep in mind the goals specific to your team. You may not need something as robust (or expensive) as Photoshop, or it could be an all in one solution for wireframes and mockups. Whatever the case, make sure it’s the right fit for your success!