Education Which one do I use?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.