Interactive Web Design Tools

Interactive Web Design Tools

The web is a vast and exciting place. It’s also a difficult and ever-changing place. We start from scratch every time we make a website, but that doesn’t mean we have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many components of web design that we can use again and again, and that’s where interactive web design tools come in.

In this blog series, we’ll look at some of the tools you can use to make your web projects more interesting. We’ll talk about how they work and share tips for using them effectively to create engaging user experiences.

Interactive Web Design Tools

01. InVision Studio

InVision aims to be the only UI tool you'll ever need
InVision aims to be the only UI tool you’ll ever need (Image credit: InVision)

InVision Studio aims to cover all bases and be the only UI tool you’ll need. It comes with a bucketload of features to help you create beautiful interactive interfaces, including tools for rapid prototyping, responsive and collaborative design, and working with design systems.

If you’re already using InVision with tools like Sketch, there’s quite a bit of crossover in features. However, Studio’s power lies in the prototyping department, especially if your design involves animation. Rapid prototyping will allow you to create complex and imaginative transitions, enabling you to really achieve the level of animation you desire. Simply figure out how you want to your UI to look at the start of its transition, and then design the end result. InVision Studio works the rest out for you.

On top of that, you can create these custom animations and transitions from a number of gestures and interactions like swiping, clicking, and hovering.

When you’re all done, export your prototypes through InVision and invite people to collaborate. You can view your project on its intended platform – a great way to explore and test your design. Clients will then be able to comment right onto the design.

To top that, you can stop thinking about creating numerous artboards for multiple devices – Studio’s layout engine will adjust your design to any screen automatically. This timesaver gives you space to think so much more about your design.

02. Sketch

Sketch has replaced Photoshop as the UI design tool of choice for many web designers [Image: Bohemian Coding]
Sketch has replaced Photoshop as the UI design tool of choice for many web designers [Image: Bohemian Coding] (Image credit: Bohemian Coding)

Bohemian Coding’s Sketch is one of the most widely-used web design platforms; it’s a highly powerful vector-based tool for building interfaces and prototypes in a collaborative way. Sketch was built especially for making websites and apps so there are no unnecessary features cluttering your interface and it’s faster and more efficient than software that has a broader scope. 

Rory Berry, creative director at Superrb, made the switch to Sketch a few years ago, and highly recommends it. “Compared to Photoshop, sorting all your documents and making revisions on Sketch is much easier,” he begins. “Sketch has small documents whereas Photoshop has large ones. Due to it being a vector-based app, the file sizes are dramatically smaller compared to Photoshop.”

And that’s not all. “The built-in grid system in Sketch is great and makes interface design much easier. I think the overall UI and minimal feel makes it much cleaner to design in and user friendly. Photoshop seems very complicated in comparison.”

The community offers hundreds of Sketch plugins to make your design workflow easier and smoother. Advertisement

The downside of Sketch is that it’s only available on Mac, and there are no plans to support other operating systems. This has been a problem, as designers will often want to share .sketch files with developers using Windows. Fortunately there is now a “Sketch for Windows” application called Lunacy that will open and edit .sketch files and eliminate most of this pain – read about it in the Exporting and Converting section of this article. 

Don’t miss our top tips for using Sketch.

03. Adobe XD

Adobe XD has a light interface that allows you to prototype with ease 
Adobe XD has a light interface that allows you to prototype with ease  (Image credit: Adobe)

Adobe XD offers the best environment for digital projects under the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. If you’re a keen Adobe user and new to XD, you may not find the interface very ‘Adobe’-like to begin with. However, it does stack up to the other leading tools out there. It is a jump if you’ve been designing in Photoshop for a while, too, but very worth it for UI design.

This vector design and wireframing tool keeps getting better, with additions such as support for auto-animation ensuring the tool can keep up with the latest trends in UX. XD includes drawing tools, tools that enable you to define non-static interactions, mobile and desktop previews, and sharing tools for giving feedback on designs. It allows you to select a device-specific artboard size for starting a project, and you can even import popular UI kits, for example Google’s Material Design. 

Crucially, Adobe XD integrates with the rest of Creative Cloud, which means you’ll be able to import and work with assets from Photoshop or Illustrator easily. If you already use other Adobe apps, the UI will feel nice and familiar and shouldn’t present too much of a learning curve.

Andrei Robu, design director at Robu Studio in Barcelona, is among its fans. “For quick mockups it’s great,” he says. “It’s a very light interface, with lots of photos loaded in, and great for moodboards. The prototyping is very useful to show clients how stuff works, especially because you can push the content online right away.”Advertisement

Ellis Rogers, graphic designer at Receptional Ltd also recommends it. “When the design/prototype or wireframe is complete, Adobe XD allows you to very quickly select elements and create page transitions for a working prototype, which can be shared via a link,” he explains. “The link also allows you to gather feedback per page, keeping it all organised. The link can be updated within Adobe XD so the client can always see the latest version without having to worry about incorrect versions. It’s an absolute joy to work with.”

04. Marvel

Marvel comes with an integrated user testing tool (Image credit: Marvel)

Marvel is another web design tool that’s great for producing quick ideas, refining an interface to how you want it to look, and building prototypes. Marvel offers a really neat way of building pages, allowing you to simulate your design through a prototype. There are some wonderful integrations for inserting your designs into your project workflow. Interestingly, there’s an integrated user testing feature, which is still fairly unusual in the web design toolscape. It’s all online too, so no need to download anything.

05. Figma

web design tools: Figma screengrab
Figma allows you to design, prototype and gather feedback with other designers in real time [Image: Figma]


Figma is an interface design tool that enables multiple designers to collaborate in real-time. This is very effective when you have multiple stakeholders in the project that are involved in shaping the outcome. It’s available in the browser, or on Windows, Mac or Linux, and there are both free and paid versions depending on what you use it for.

Here are some of its outstanding features:

“Figma has a similar USP as Sketch, with the exception of being cross-platform,” explains front-end designer Benjamin Read. “When I used it to create a couple of icons I found the workflow incredibly smooth. It took me no time to learn and had the added benefit of being collaborative: you can share graphics with others within the app.”

“I’ve been trying to switch to Linux for my work and sometimes we use Windows, so Figma makes sense to me from a practical standpoint,” he adds.

Freelance content writer and artworker David Eastwood also has good things to say about Figma. “It’s also been a really useful tool when we’ve needed to quickly mock MVTs; sometimes small additions to an existing layout. We love that you can quickly create designs for desktop, tablet and mobile.”

06. Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is as powerful on iPad as it in on desktop [Affinity Designer]
Affinity Designer is as powerful on iPad as it in on desktop [Affinity Designer] (Image credit: Serif)

“Serif’s Affinity Designer has been dubbed the ‘Photoshop killer’ by some, and it’s easy to see why,” says product designer Dan Edwards. “There were a few features I really enjoyed, including adjustable, non-destructive layers. This essentially means you can adjust images or vectors without damaging them.

“The 1,000,000 per cent zoom was just bliss; it’s especially useful when working with vector art, as you can really get in close. The undo and history features are also really handy: Affinity allows you to go back over 8,000 steps!”Advertisement

“When it comes to designing, the UI feels familiar. When moving from Photoshop, everyone seems to want to start over, which can pose a real challenge. What Affinity has done is to keep the layout familiar, while tightening everything up and hiding distractions. I was easily able to jump straight in and get designing.”

Affinity Designer is also available for the iPad. And note that this is not the scaled-down mobile app version you might expect: it’s the same full version you get on the desktop.

Don’t miss our guides to using the Pixel persona, the Export persona and the Pen tool in Affinity Designer. Also note that Serif also makes a Photoshop alternative, Affinity Photo and an InDesign alternative, Affinity Publisher; all of which play together nicely.


07. UXPin

UXPin: web design tools
UXPin lets you prototype with interactive states and logic  (Image credit: UXPin)

The next web design tool in our list is UXPin. This dedicated prototyping app is available for Mac, Windows, or in the browser. With most other design tools you can only mimic interactions by linking different elements on your artboard, UXPin gets closer to the code and enables you to work with interactive states, logic, and code components. 

There are integrated element libraries for iOS, Material Design and Bootstrap, plus hundreds of free icon sets, to help you on your way. UXPin also has accessibility features to ensure your designs stay in line with WCAG standards, which we applaud. Advertisement

You can create your first prototype in UXPin for free, and if it suits you switch to a paid monthly subscription (team memberships are available). UXPin also has great integration with Sketch, so it could be one to introduce into your workflow if you’re a Sketch fan that finds its prototyping capabilities limiting. 


This tool helps you create lifelike prototypes
This tool helps you create lifelike prototypes (Image credit: is a top application that allows for the inception of lifelike prototypes that begin with rough ideas and end with fully fledged designs. The tool also provides you with a range of possibilities for your projects, including detailed and custom vector animations.

You can start by developing initial ideas with a hand-drawn style, work them into wireframes, and finish them off with a high-fidelity prototype. The Sketch and Photoshop plugins help if you want to design using other tools, but handles the end-to-end design process well. Other features – user-testing, for example – will help validate your designs. This is an all-in-one solution with a great number of trusted brands already using it.

There are a bunch of great demos to start playing with, and you can really see just how easily this end-to-end solution could replace a number of tools currently in place. also offers assets managers, developer guides, and the ability to record your prototype, making it one of the better prototyping tools out there.

09. Balsamiq

Balsamiq interface
Balsamiq is great for rapid wireframing (Image credit: Balsamiq)


If rapid, efficient wireframing is what you’re looking for then Balsamiq is a strong suggestion. You can quickly develop a structure and layouts for your projects with ease. Drag-and-drop elements make life easier, and you can link buttons to other pages. By wireframing, you can quickly start to plan your interfaces and share them with your team or clients. Balsamiq has been going since 2008 and prides itself on its low-fidelity, fast, focused no-nonsense approach. 

10. ProtoPie

Start playing around with native sensors using this tool
Start playing around with native sensors using this tool (Image credit: ProtoPie)

Web design tool ProtoPie allows you to create complex interactions and get close to your design’s ideal end function. Perhaps the standout feature is the ability to control the sensors of smart devices in your prototype, such as tilt, sound, compass and 3D Touch sensors. 

Depending on your project, this is a great tool for those that want to encompass native app features. It’s easy as pie and no code is required.

web designing tools for beginners

COLOR WIZARD :: Web Design Tools #01

Web Design Tools 01Life is not black and white and as a web designer you know it pretty damn well. It is essential for a website to be well-balanced color-wise. Color Wizard is a software that helps you match colors just the way you want. You pick a color you need and this tool provides the whole set of variations on your choice as well as some color schema and suggestions. It is that simple.

WEBFLOW :: Web Design Tools #02

Web Design Tools 02If you are more of an artist than a programmer, you don’t want to waste your time on writing a code. Webflow is a perfect tool for you. It is a drag-and-drop website builder that writes down the code of your website while you’re working on design. Don’t bother with code, Webflow will take care of it.

STYLETILES :: Web Design Tools #03

It’s not easy to communicate ideas. Styletiles generates a space where you can meet with your client. As a tool it allows you to make a “beta version” of the website you’re working at. You don’t have to prepare the final project to show it to other people. This means less work for you and more understanding on what you’re aiming at.

SNAGIT :: Web Design Tools #04

Web Design Tools 04People say that one picture is worth a thousand words, but actually one word is worth a thousand pictures. This word is Snagit. With Snagit you can instantly capture an image you want or record a video of your screen. It is also an editor, so you can work on these materials with no need to use any other tool. Click, save, edit, send – that’s how Snagit works.

FITTEXT :: Web Design Tools #05

Web Design Tools 05In olden days personal computer was the only device that allowed people to search the Internet. Now there are smartphones, laptops, tablets… Web is everywhere and so should be a website you designed. This tool helps you fit your headlines to virtually every screen there is. FitText modifies font-size to make sure that the size of device does not matter.

EDGE INSPECT :: Web Design Tools #06

Web Design Tools 06FitText is a great tool to customize headlines, but if you want to check how your website looks on different screens, Edge Inspect is something you need. Integrate your devices into one web, so when you modify your project on one of them it will instantly change on all others. With Edge Inspect you can keep working and be sure that your tablet and smartphone will catch up.

STRIPEMANIA :: Web Design Tools #07

Web Design Tools 07As a web designer you know that there are stripes and stripes. Simple elements, but inevitable on a website. That’s why Stripemania answers every designer’s most primal need for stripes. It allows you to generate them, change their size and color, place them wherever you want them to be… etc. etc. Stripemania is the tool that you always wanted to have, but where afraid to ask for.

GIMP :: Web Design Tools #08

Web Design Tools 08It is better known as ”the free Photoshop”. Although it is not entirely true that those two programmers are clones, it has to be acknowledged that freeware status is one of the most important advantages of GIMP. It can be used for image editing as well as for designing any other graphic elements, for example logos. Advanced, yet free – perfect for beginners.

FONTSTRUCT :: Web Design Tools #09

Web Design Tools 09Unique design, unique graphics… why not unique fonts? Build your original fonts with Fontstruct. It is functional and simple and allows you to share your personal fonts as soon as they are ready. Moreover you can download other users fonts or even make your own variations of them. Don’t search for fonts, make your own ones.

DREAMWEAVER :: Web Design Tools #10

Web Design Tools 10Every website, no matter how beautiful and complex, is always a code. That’s why it is important to have a web development tool that is also suitable for web designers. Dreamweaver has many qualities and one of them is so-called Design view which allows you to construct and modify the layout of HTML elements. It provides previews of the developed websites and also helps you handle the code as smoothly as possible. Dreamweaver makes difficult tasks easier and that’s why it is great for beginners.


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