Without the right tools, it can be extremely difficult to create visually appealing and high converting websites for your clients. Lucky for us, technological advancements and the creation of high-end, accessible software has made the design process easier for HubSpot Partners.
With so many services and software options to dig through, it can be an overwhelming task for designers to choose the right tools that fit each client’s needs.
Straight from our Head of Design, here are our Top 5 recommendations, along with pros and cons for each software to help you make an informed decision...
The Top 5 Best Website Design Tools
Depending on your desired level of intimacy and professional expertise, finding the right website design tool can be overwhelming. With some offering free trials and others charging heavily, you'll have to make a suitable financial investment while also considering:
- How complex is this website?
- What’s your professional expertise?
- How soon is the website needed?
- How much storage space is needed?
Let's dive into the list of the five best web design tools and look at their pros and cons.
Launched towards the end of 2016, Figma is famous for its powerful software features. Loaded with interface design and prototyping features, Figma gives Sketch and Adobe XD a run for their money.
The software offers an intuitive, vector-based interface and a collaborative cloud-based approach, which means that a team of designers can edit design files on Figma simultaneously and collaborate on projects.
- Web-based; it runs on any operating system with a modern browser.
- Stable built-in version control that allows editing
- A current ecosystem of plugins capable of completing almost any command
- Flexible styles, components, and overrides
- No offline support mode
- A mediocre PDF import feature
Sketch is a visual web page design tool based on teamwork and simplicity. The software is famous for many reasons, a favorite being its cloud feature, which allows you to save all your designs and prototypes on the Sketch cloud.
- Instant preview
- Supports over 1000 plugins
- Great UI/UX design
- Design libraries from Apple for iOS, MacOS, and watchOS
- Only available for MacOS
- Basic, lackluster prototyping
- Teams must constantly upload files to make updates
3. Adobe XD
In response to the rising popularity of Sketch, Adobe released Adobe XD in 2016. It allows designers to create web, mobile, and voice app designs and supports prototyping animations.
Popular with Windows and macOS users, XD allows opening and editing Sketch files however, it is not typically favored by novice designers due to its complexity in usage.
- Compared to Figma and Sketch, XD has the best prototyping features.
- Simple to use once mastered
- Supports website framing
- Voice audio and video recording applications
- Can be used offline
- No real-time collaborations
- Uninspiring layout feature
- Extremely complex to export certain assets
- The ‘free’ version has limited capabilities
4. Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is perfect for designing anything from logos to illustrations. The industry-standard tool is quite handy when it comes to branding. Illustrator works fine for the novice and the pro designer as it features simple basic drawing functionalities and advanced abilities.
- Great for vectors and illustrations
- Efficient file recovery
- Multiple exporting vector graphics
- Insufficient storage space
- Lacks advanced graphic design tutorials
- Not built for website design
- No free version is available
5. Adobe Photoshop
For decades, Adobe Photoshop has been the go-to software tool for photo editing and retouching. It is available on Windows and MacOS. Photoshop is also helpful in designing web page layouts however, it comes with lots of barriers for website designers.
- Versatile as a software tool
- Practical and flexible
- Unmatched editing features
- Wide integrated stock library
- Files can be bulky and hard to export
- Not built for website design
- No styles are available, meaning adjustments need to be made one by one
- Its complexity can be overwhelming for new users
Taking into account the pros and cons of each software, and having designed 100’s of websites for HubSpot Partners, we’d highly recommend Figma for the spot of ‘Best Web Design Tool’.
Following closely behind, our team would suggest using either XD or Sketch for the power and flexibility they give design teams. However, due to their incompatibility for web design, we would not recommend Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for these projects.
Every client has different needs and every tool discussed in this article has different use cases, so ensure your team carefully evaluates which software would perfectly suit your needs!
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