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30 Unique Design Tools to Make Working Easier

I’m hoping that something on this list will catch your eye and enable you to work a little bit more swiftly and easily. I know we don’t all work the same or have the same processes, which is why I made sure to compile a diverse list of helpful tools.

Here you’ll find things like icon managers, such as IconJar, to tools which help you create user flows in Sketch, such as FlowKit. Let’s get started with Design Principles!

For those of you looking to improve your design game, I highly suggest looking into Design Principles. The purpose of this project is to help designers and even organizations understand, analyze and create better design principles. This tool wants designers and their teams to have a backing in principles that will help make better product decisions in the future.

Elements is a UI kit created by the people who brought to you Sketch. The designs are pretty standard but can be easily customizable. The great thing about Elements is the size of the kit; it comes with 35 screens, 45 icons, and 175 symbols to get you started on your next design project.

Feathers Icons makes up more than 250 free and open source icons. There are many interesting icons actually, such as icons for Pocket and or a tv icon. They do feature commonly used icons such as arrows and social media too.

UX Timeline is a screenshot based timeline of a few popular websites such as Dribbble, Netflix or Airbnb. It’s an interesting website because it lets you see the evolutions on their home pages. It definitely gives you insight into what worked more for the companies over the years.

Flowkit is a paid Sketch tool – $29 – which allows you to easily and swiftly create user flows and content maps in Sketch. The tool looks great and it also allows you to create screen annotations to your different flow.

This is an amazing set of image and Sketch files of all sorts of devices. Facebook create it in part to share with the design community, for free. But, they are also sending another message of just how diverse the devices are on which Facebook is used.

Here is another valuable resource for icon lovers out there. The Noun Project provides free and paid options to all of their icon sets as well as individual icons. Their repository is extremely vast; there are so many different styles for any number of icons.

Canva has quickly become an all-purpose graphics tools. It can be used for all sorts of high-quality graphics such as business card mockups to social media and blog post images.

If you’re always looking for inspiration or if you always want to feel inspired, I suggest getting the Muzli Chome plugin. The Chrome plugin brings you relevant, aka curated, stories and images in each new tab you open.

This is a great organization tool for those of us who have so many fonts. It only costs $10. The Typeface App lets you browse your fonts, preview texts, edit sizes and what not. The live customization features are pretty great.

Paste is a collaboration tool. It aims to help teams build decks and stories that can be collaborated upon and then shared. Its main feature is the storyboard view which you can rearrange to your liking. It even integrates with Slack for better team communication.

Coolors is a color scheme tool. It allows for easy and fast colour scheme creations. The tool lets you customize your color schemes, adjust and refine to your liking.

Contrast is a Mac app to help you design for better accessibility. The app double checks that our contrast is high enough based on the Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines. High contrast designs are more accessible for not only poor screens but also for the visually impaired users of your designs.

Little Big Details is an informative blog on the small details that make a big UX impact. Browse through their content and you’ll quickly learn about various apps and websites which paid a lot of attention to its details in order to delight their users with a better experience.

Ludus is an app for creating more interesting presentations by allowing you to embed 3D models, videos, VR experiments, Dropbox files, designs from Figma, prototypes from Framer, InVision or Marvel. Talk about a creative presentation tool!

Here we are talking about icons again. This time, I wanted to share IconJar. It’s a tool for keeping your icon sets organized in one place; it’s super simple to use and it integrated with just about all icon files too.

For those of you who just love Sketch, here is a website made just for you. Sketch for Designers has a large list of plugins, UI kits and all sorts of things Sketch related.

Wireflow is another flowchart tool. However, Wireflow is completely free. It’s actually a web app so it doesn’t matter what your preferred design software is.

Brought to you by Google, Resizer is an interactive viewer for Material Design breakpoints. It is very helpful when you’re designing for multiple screens or responsive websites.

Fortify has a lovely style guide product that’s worth taking a look at. This style guide keeps all of your branding guidelines and assets, such as logos, colour palettes and typography, in one place.

Pexels is a free stock photo websites. However, they also have a section for free videos as well. I felt that was a little bit more interesting as there are so many free stock photo websites and not so much of video.

Zeplin integrates with both, Photoshop and Sketch, to help make design handoff easier, smoother and better. It creates style guides and resources which are a lot easier to follow for developers than handing them a design file to figure out on their own.

Really Good UX is another educational piece. They provide examples of well-integrated interactions such as upsells from commonly used apps like Slack.

Aspect Ratio is a quick tool for getting the right specs for mobile devices. They include both, pixel sizes and aspect ratios which can be handy for designers and developers.

Crello is another tool that helps you easily create graphics for social media, blog posts, ads or even printables. Crello comes with over 65 million images to choose from, as well as 35 different formats, 10,000 templates, and 240 fonts. I’m sure you’ll be able to create an awesome graphic quickly with Crello.

Placeit is a directory of editable images where you can copy and paste images, such as website designs onto device mockups. Their directory is filled with almost 3000 devices including 1400 iPhones and 245 Macbooks. Placeit is a paid product but their prices are pretty low especially if you find an image that’s just perfect for your design.

If you ever need font suggestions or font combinations, check out the Font Generator by Brandmark. It’s a free tool which helps generate font suggestions based on your (or their random) pick. It also helps create font combinations from Google Fonts.

Shotty is a handy screenshot tool which lives in your Mac’s menu bar. It lets you see recent screenshot at a glance. You can drag and drop the screenshots into any app you want – it even lets you do so without switching windows which can be very handy sometimes.

Go Abstract is a fantastic tool for design collaboration. It keeps track of design evolutions though version control, kind of like Github does. It lets you see and keep track of who made what changes. And, it keeps track of the most final and up-to-date file. The downside is that Go Abstract only works with Sketch files, for now.

Lastly, we have FlowMapp which is a collaborative UX tool. It’s there to help you and your team to create simple sitemaps or user flow. The app has intuitive UI which makes it easy to make and easy to comprehend the sitemaps you make.

And there you have it! This list was created to help you improve your own working flow and to make your life as a designer just a little bit easier. Do you have a unique tool of your own that you use to share with is? If so, leave it in the comments!

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