Front End Web Design Tools

If you’re a web designer and you’ve been looking for the best front end web design tools, then look no further!

This article will cover everything you need to know about what makes up a good front end web design tool, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

We’ll also be going over some of the best options out there now so that you can make an informed decision on what kind of software will work best for your business.

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Top 15 Front End Development Tools to Keep an Eye on - eTatvaSoft

Front End Web Design Tools

Web development tools have come a long way in just a few short years. Thanks to this progress, we can harness the power of highly tested libraries to improve our workflow and benefit from greater possibilities when it comes to responsive design. Not only that, we can build things together thanks to ever-improving version control systems. From browser add-ons and plugins, to processors that streamline your code, there have never been more possibilities for creating awesome web applications.

But with the number of web dev tools increasing almost daily, finding the best software to get the job done can sometimes feel daunting. To help you out, we’ve created a list of essential tools for frontend development to get you started. If you’re interested in finding out about one in particular, simply select it from the list below.

Sublime Text
Chrome Developer Tools
Not keen on reading? Then watch the video below in which Will, one of our course specialists, talks you through the tools.

  1. Sublime Text
    Let’s start with the basics: a first-rate code editor—one that features a well-designed, super efficient, and ultra speedy user interface. There are several that do this well, but arguably the best (and most popular) is Sublime Text.

Artfully run by a one-man development team, the secret to Sublime’s success lies in the program’s vast array of keyboard shortcuts—such as the ability to perform simultaneous editing (making the same interactive changes to multiple selected areas) as well as quick navigation to files, symbols, and lines. And when you’re spending 8+ hours with your editor each day, those precious few seconds saved for each process really do add up…

You can start coding with Sublime in this free web development tutorial (no sign-up necessary).

  1. Chrome Developer Tools
    Wouldn’t it be great if you could edit your HTML and CSS in real-time, or debug your JavaScript, all while viewing a thorough performance analysis of your website?

Google’s built-in Chrome Developer Tools let you do just that. Bundled and available in both Chrome and Safari, they allow developers access into the internals of their web application. On top of this, a palette of network tools can help optimize your loading flows, while a timeline gives you a deeper understanding of what the browser is doing at any given moment.

Google release an update every six weeks–so check out their website as well as the Google Developers YouTube channel to keep your skills up-to-date.

A web developer using Sublime Text

  1. jQuery
    JavaScript has long been considered an essential frontend language by developers, although it’s not without its problems: riddled with browser inconsistencies, its somewhat complicated and unapproachable syntax meant that functionality often suffered.

That was until 2006, when jQuery—a fast, small, cross-platform JavaScript library aimed at simplifying the frontend process—appeared on the scene. By abstracting a lot of the functionality usually left for developers to solve on their own, jQuery allowed greater scope for creating animations, adding plug-ins, or even just navigating documents.

And it’s clearly successful—jQuery was by far the most popular JavaScript library in existence in 2015, with installation on 65% of the top 10 million highest-traffic sites on the web at the time. If this sounds like something you’d like to look into some more, we have a full guide to jQuery vs JavaScript.

  1. GitHub
    It’s every developer’s worst nightmare—you’re working on a new project feature and you screw up. Enter version control systems (VCS)–and more specifically, GitHub.

By rolling out your project with the service, you can view any changes you’ve made or even go back to your previous state (making pesky mistakes a thing of the past). There are so many reasons why GitHub is vital to developers. The repository hosting service also boasts a rich open-source development community (making collaboration between teams as easy as pie), as well as providing several other components such as bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project.

Many employers will look for finely-honed Git skills, so now’s the perfect time to sign up–plus it’s a great way to get involved and learn from the best with a wide array of open-source projects to work on. If you’re not 100% sure of the differences between Git and GitHub already, make sure you know that first.

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  1. CodePen
    Despite being around since 2012, the ever-increasing of people learning programming means that 2022 is going to be another bumper year for this tool beloved by the frontend community. There is almost no better way of showcasing your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript snippets, and as a result their embeds are an increasingly common sight across coding resources online.

If you need some proof for just how user-friendly CodePen is, take a look at this very cool airplane-themed feature:

As well as showing off your GitHub profile, CodePen is an incredibly useful tool for those building or overhauling their web developer portfolio. It’s an elegant way of showing off not just the code behind features you’ve built, but also how they are displayed to users as well.

  1. AngularJS
    HTML is usually the cornerstone of any frontend developer’s toolbox, but it has what many perceive to be a serious flaw: it wasn’t designed to manage dynamic views.

This is where AngularJS, an open-source web framework, comes in. Developed by Google, AngularJS lets you extend your application’s HTML syntax, resulting in a more expressive, readable, and quick to develop environment that could otherwise not have been built with HTML alone.

The project is not without its critics: some feel that this sort of data binding makes for a messy, non-separated code, but we still think it’s an invaluable skill to have in your frontend kit.

  1. Sass
    Web dev tools that save time are your best friend, and one of the first things you’ll learn about code is that it needs to be DRY (“Don’t Repeat Yourself”). The second thing you’ll probably learn is that CSS is usually not very DRY.

Enter the world of the CSS preprocessor, a tool that will help you write maintainable, future-proof code, all while reducing the amount of CSS you have to write (keeping it DRY).

Perhaps most popular among them is Sass, an eight-year-old open-source project which pretty much defined the genre of modern CSS preprocessors. Although a little tricky to get to grips with initially, Sass’s combination of variables, nesting, and mixins will render simple CSS when compiled, meaning your stylesheets will be more readable and (most importantly) DRY.

A developer learning a new web development tool

Final thoughts
If the idea of learning these frontend tools and setting out on a seven-month journey to become a web developer appeals to you, I really recommend you look at our Full-Stack Web Development Program. It’s designed to teach you the core frontend technologies from scratch, before proceeding to endow you with much sought-after skills in JavaScript development.

ui development tools

Generally, the best UI design tools will save you the most time and effort when creating realistic, functional prototypes. However, a UI design tool that’s perfect for you will help you to do so even more efficiently, whereas the wrong tool may work against you even if it’s considered to be one of the best UI design tools overall.

A decade ago, Sketch ruled the roost. Since then, a flurry of incredible contenders have made it difficult to know where to turn. We’ve narrowed it down to the 7 best UI design tools, but most importantly we’ve weighed up their pros and cons to give you a better idea of which tools might be most suited to you or your team’s needs.

Meanwhile if you’re looking for more general tools, see our guide to web design tools. Or you’re a non-coder and just want to get a site up and running in the easiest way possible, check out our roundups of the best website builders and top web hosting services.

The best UI design tools available now
Figma interface

(Image credit: Figma)

  1. Figma
    The best all-round UI design tool
    Platform: Windows, macOS, webFree plan: YesFree trial for paid version: No
    +Works in the browser
    +Excellent collaboration
    -Relatively expensive
    According to the 2021 Design Tools Survey, Figma is currently the most popular UI design tool having set new standards for many of the features you’ll see in UI design tools today. The most notable of these is co-editing (or what Figma calls ‘multiplayer design’), which essentially enables designers, developers, and other stakeholders to collaborate in realtime on the same Figma file.

Although Figma is slightly more expensive than its main competitors, it’s actually more cost-effective as its impressive amount of features eliminates the need for many secondary tools. Figma makes it easy to hand off designs and create design systems. It’s also one of the few tools that allows designers to create design system documentation, and the only tool that allows teams to explore ideas on a digital whiteboard (using FigJam, which is included in the subscription).

Figma isn’t end-to-end (it doesn’t translate UIs into real code components) and doesn’t have any user testing or research features, but most UI design tools don’t.

Sketch interface

(Image credit: Sketch)

  1. Sketch
    The best UI design tool for macOS
    System: macOSFree plan: NoFree trial for paid version: 30 days
    Visit Site
    +Friendly interface
    -macOS only
    -Slow to implement industry-standard features
    Although no longer dominating the market share after pioneering UI design tools over 10 years ago, Sketch remains a solid contender and is the 2nd most popular UI design tool today. This is despite the fact that it’s only available for macOS. In fact, its friendly macOS semblance is what makes Sketch’s user experience feel so pleasant. The downside is that all other designers on the team must be using macOS too.

Sketch facilitates high-fidelity prototyping, variables and symbols (components), realtime collaboration, and handoff – everything you’d expect a standard UI design tool to do – but it can be slow to keep up with other tools in terms of new features.

For more details, read our full Sketch review.

Adobe XD interface

(Image credit: Adobe)

  1. Adobe XD
    The best UI design tool for Adobe veterans
    System: Windows, macOSFree plan: YesFree trial for paid version: 7 days (credit card required)
    Adobe XD – Single App Monthly
    at Adobe
    +Seamless integration with other Adobe products
    Adobe XD works more reliably than Figma and supports Windows where Sketch doesn’t, ensuring that it still has a place in the market. Adobe XD is a breeze to use, especially if you’re familiar with other Adobe products. In fact, if you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription then you might have access to Adobe XD already.

With a surprisingly clean user experience and seamless integration with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Stock, Adobe Fonts and more, designing and handing off user interfaces with Adobe XD is both enjoyable and productive.

While it doesn’t offer any standout features (at the moment), Adobe XD does everything you’d expect it to and you won’t find much to complain about.

Also check our recommendations for Adobe XD plugins.

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Axure interface

(Image credit: Axure)

  1. Axure RP
    The best UI design tool for technical UI designs
    System: Windows, macOSFree plan: NoFree trial for paid version: 30 days
    +Wireframe components
    +Build complex prototypes
    Axure RP has long been one of the best UI design tools on the market, and is great for technical projects that require powerful functionality, complex interactions, and dynamic data. Axure also ships with wireframe components to help designers plan complex information architecture more carefully, plus the standard features that other UI design tools offer.

Framer interface

(Image credit: Framer)

  1. Framer
    The highest rated UI design tool
    System: Windows, macOS, webFree plan: YesFree trial for paid version: No
    +Exceptional UI
    +Granular interactivity
    -Small community
    The 2021 Design Tools Survey rates Framer as the best UI design tool (even higher than Figma). It’s ready-made but customisable react-based components and incredible user interface is what truly sets it apart, however, the Framer community is relatively small and so it can be difficult to find designers that are familiar with it. But should you give it a chance? Absolutely.

UXPin interface

(Image credit: UXPin)

  1. UXPin
    The best UI design tool for end-to-end product development
    System: Windows, macOS, webFree plan: NoFree trial for paid version: Yes
    +Developer friendly
    -Can be slow/bloated
    UXPin also facilitates creating incredibly interactive interfaces. Like Framer, UXPin is react-based (however, with the opportunity to work more closely with production-ready code, allowing designers to achieve full consistency with the final product).

With wireframing, accessibility, and design system documentation tools to compliment, UXPin is the only true end-to-end UI design tool. The only downside is that UXPin is known to be slow and bloated due to its many features.

Marvel interface

(Image credit: Marvel Prototyping)

  1. Marvel
    The best UI design tool for rapid prototyping
    System: WebFree plan: YesFree trial for paid version: 7 days
    +Friendly tools
    +User testing features
    +Interesting integrations
    -No desktop apps
    What sets Marvel apart in this maturing UI design tool landscape is its focus on democratising design. Its dead-simple UI design tools make wireframing and rapid prototyping lightning fast. The sheer simplicity of these tools won’t stop developers, marketers, and other stakeholders being able to make their ideas heard either, and that’s the beauty of Marvel.

Throw in user testing tools (which no other UI design tool offers) and Marvel becomes the perfect tool for validating prototypes, even though you can totally continue to develop said prototypes and hand them off to developers when ready.

Parsons UX Course

Stay ahead of the curve with our carefully curated UX course (Image credit: Future)
Want to learn more about UX and UI? Don’t miss our UX design foundations course.

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