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InVision ambassador ambassador
Shaina Torgerson
Shaina Torgerson Updated

What are your favorite "underground" design tools?

While we love the fact that you are all loyal and awesome InVision users, we know that you must have some other design tools under your belt. What are some of the lesser known design tools that you use in your day to day work?

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Caitlin Cambron
InVision ambassador Caitlin Cambron , ambassador

Balsamiq is a great prototyping tool for quick & dirty wireframes. It doesn't hold water next to InVision's powerful tools (especially with Studio now!). However, sometimes designers need restriction with design options and prototyping tools - that's where Balsamiq shines. My team typically uses it in discovery before development begins, simply to validate the overall project idea with the client. All other designs for final mockups are made with Sketch.

Has anyone use Notion? It's a notetaking/management/organization tool. My company is beginning to use it as our wiki. Not a design tool, but wonderfully designed :)

- Caitlin

Rob Whiting
InVision ambassador Rob Whiting , ambassador Edited

With the amount of work these days that requires demonstration of animations and transitions I've found it invaluable to have a design tool that allows me to quickly and easily;

  1. Capture the required animation/transition
  2. Export to an easy to share format

In this regard I've used various tools but the one I currently find to be best is the free Capture tool from Giphy -



Makes it really easy to capture, edit and share interface animations ツ

Lala Galindo
InVision ambassador Lala Galindo , ambassador

Hi Shaina! When I want to do high-fidelity micro animations, I like to use Principle. It's a mix of Studio and After Effects, which makes it very easy to use. The only downfall about it is that it only works in Apple products..

@Caitlin, I have not heard of it before! I'll give it a try :)

Preston McCauley
InVision ambassador Preston McCauley , ambassador

My work has changed quite a bit as I lean more towards working on the PC. So the design tools I use are mostly outside of the UX typical realm now.

One of the tools that I teach and use for when I'm creating my High-level overview workflows for applications and projects is is a great tool to create complex flow diagrams quickly.

I also have used affinity designer a lot when I'm working with complex SVG's the layer management is the best I've ever seen. A little pro tip as well if you need to convert a PSD to a sketch file, or vice versa, you can do this with Affinity designer, and the results have been pretty great.

I also tend to use powerpoint/keynote for a lot of work demonstrations.
If I am doing VR based presentations in a Virtual environment, I use google slides.

I've also used a lot of napkins to illustrate complex 3D experiences, in the tradition of old-school paper prototyping.

Kayden Knauss
InVision ambassador Kayden Knauss , ambassador

I haven't explored too much outside of the "mainstream" design tools so much but like Preston, have dabbled as well with (would recommend it).

In addition, I have also been trying out Flowmapp, it's another visual sitemap and user flow planning tool. Unfortunately, they try and get you to upgrade fairly quickly and you can only have one board until then, but I enjoy it's simplicity.

I need to allocate more of my time in learning more animation even for exploration purposes so I'll definitely be keeping a list of all those good tools up there! ^


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