Ed­u­ca­tion Which one do I use?

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There are a lot of de­sign tools out there, many more than there ever used to be. De­cid­ing what to use is made more chal­leng­ing by the fact there is a lot of cross­over in terms of fea­tures, so where do you start? Here are a few point­ers to help you de­cide:

Sup­port

Does this de­sign tool of­fer tu­to­ri­als or con­tin­ual sup­port? When learn­ing some­thing new, it’s great to quickly find an­swers to those ini­tial hur­dles. Check out what help there is and how ac­tive the sup­port is.

Project re­quire­ments

Per­haps the num­ber one rea­son for us­ing a de­sign tool is be­ing sure it will meet your project re­quire­ments. How big or com­plex is the project? What is the re­quired out­put? These an­swers will help you find the right tool for the job. It al­ways pays to try a few tools and swap be­tween them for dif­fer­ent projects. So don’t pin your hopes and dreams on one. Ex­per­i­ment and think about re­quire­ments.

Up­grades

Like all prod­ucts and tools, they’ll need to adapt, rein­vent and of­fer bet­ter ways of do­ing things. Does this tool look like it would up­grade or of­fer you more as time goes by? You don’t want to be left with a tool that doesn’t keep up with the in­dus­try stan­dard.

In­te­gra­tions

What­ever your work­flow is, does this tool help speed things up with com­pat­i­ble in­te­gra­tions? You will likely be us­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions to help you get through the day, so any form of in­te­gra­tion could be of in­ter­est.

Team

Who else do you need to con­sider when choos­ing your de­sign tool? It will make work harder if you’re all work­ing with dif­fer­ent tools. Col­lab­o­ra­tion might not al­ways be nec­es­sary but shar­ing files with oth­ers could be. Is this tool some­thing that re­quires a lot of learn­ing and is it a big step from what you were pre­vi­ously us­ing? Tri­alling a new tool is al­ways a good idea be­fore launch­ing it on a client’s project and only you will know if you find it easy to use. See what re­sources are avail­able to help you learn and what time you can ded­i­cate to it.

Price

Al­ways a pinch point in any sit­u­a­tion. Can you safely max­imise the po­ten­tial of us­ing a tool against its cost? Whether it’s sub­scrip­tion or a fixed li­cence fee, fac­tor in what value you would gain.

Com­mu­nity

Check out what other de­sign­ers are us­ing and how sup­port­ive they are of these tools. Does the tool of­fer its own com­mu­nity? Some tools do and it’s al­ways a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to share and gain in­spi­ra­tion from like­minded de­sign­ers.

Com­pany

Who’s be­hind the tool? Where else are the de­vel­op­ers fo­cus­ing and to what pur­pose? In­Vi­sion, for ex­am­ple, says: “We be­lieve the screen is the most im­por­tant place in the world. That’s why we are ded­i­cated to help­ing you de­liver the best pos­si­ble dig­i­tal prod­uct ex­pe­ri­ence, with our plat­form and best prac­tices from your peers.” This ded­i­ca­tion gives you con­fi­dence in the con­tin­ual de­vel­op­ment of the com­pany’s tools and that it un­der­stands your needs.

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