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10 Tools that Differentiate Expert Designers from Rookies

Himanshu Pal

How will you spot a design pro from a group of designers?

On the basis of Skills?





All the above criteria are effective. Although, they’ve their own setbacks. An experience doesn’t necessarily make a person good - be it a designer, developer, or any other professional. Knowledge and skills are of no use if they can’t be implemented. Also, you can’t really decide whether a person is creative just within an hour.

So, how to decide?

If you ask me, I will suggest you pay attention to the tools he/she uses.


Because a designer’s tools show how much aware he/she is with the latest technology.

An average designer will still be using the same old tech that most people are using since years.

A successful designer, on the other hand, will figure out something new that’s more efficient, faster, and offers him/her a cutting edge over others.

Apart from this!

There’s a significant difference between the designs created by good designers and exceptionally good designers, i.e. a certain degree of smartness.

The designs of good designers show efforts. Although the designs of pros show the efforts of accurate scale. They don’t overdo or underdo things. Instead, they do them just the way they’re needed.

Tools bring that certain degree of smartness. Hence, they are the important part of any designer’s arsenal, which he/she can never choose to ignore.

Now, the question is:

What are the tools that design ninjas use while the rookies don’t?

Well, the list is very long. In this post, I am going to mention a few best ones which are being used by the designing experts of various app development companies based in Singapore and other app development markets. Have a look:

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is not just a photo editing tool. It’s an entire world where you can do just about everything - be it user-interface design, user experience design, interaction design, or anything else.

The sky is the limit to your creativity if you’ve mastered Adobe Photoshop. Perhaps, that’s why the utility is no. 1 on the bucket list of every successful designer.

2. Adobe Illustrator

Even if you can use Adobe Photoshop for a variety of design purposes, there are instances when you need a more efficient and specific tool.

For example: Using Adobe Photoshop for creating logos, banner images, and illustrations is not advised because it takes too much time. Moreover, there are higher chances that the quality of your images may degrade.

That’s why successful designers keep the tool as an alternative to vector-related works.

3. Adobe XD

Adobe XD is used to create wireframes and interactive click-through prototypes. One thing that makes the utility a better alternative to Photoshop is that it supports vector designing, which means it’s quality will not diminish no matter how much you scale it.

4. Adobe After Effects

Interactions play a crucial role in deciding if the user experience of an app is good or bad. A brilliant designer never forgets this.

Hence, Adobe After Effects is one of the most frequent tools he/she uses in his/her designs.

5. Iconfinder

Icons are an important part of any design. While good icons can improve its quality, bad icons will only degrade it.

Iconfinder lets you find the icon that best matches your designs so that it’s of top-notch quality.

6. Iconjar

Having a tool that lets you explore millions of new icons is cool. Although, it’s of no use if you have to search for the same icons again and again. You’ll only waste your time and resources.

Successful designers know this very well. That’s why they keep some handy apps in their collection. Iconjar is one such app, which lets you store and manage all downloaded icons at one place.

7. Sketch

Great designers know the value of time. Hence, they always look for tools that can help them work faster.

Sketch was invented for this purpose only. It’s an easy alternative for Adobe Photoshop that helps you create UI/UX designs, interactions, and wireframes quicker. It’s cool to have it in your pocket.

8. MarvelApp

MarvelApp is every design-pro’s choice for creating interactive prototypes, the reason being its ease of use, ability to import designs from tools like Adobe Photoshop and Sketch, along with support for multiple types of designs like interactions, animations, and transitions.

Also, these prototypes can be easily shared with everyone, which makes it an easier alternative to other prototype apps.

9. Principle

Principle is used for advanced prototyping, where advanced complex animations and transitions are used.

The reason most designers prefer it over Adobe After Effects is that it’s easy to operate and doesn’t require any specialisation. This will result in fast work and increased productivity as well. Perhaps, that’s the reason you can see it on the list of every good designer.

10. Pencil and Paper

Successful designers still use pen and paper for conceptualizing their ideas.

Do you know why?

There’s no boundation when one jots down his/her thoughts on paper. There’s a creative freedom. Ideas just flow. Moreover, minimal time and resources are used.

Hence, a skilled designer always prefers to scribble his/her ideas on paper before carrying them forward and this is what makes them successful.

In a brief!

As mentioned in the blog I wrote a while back, app designing is not a science but an art. It takes years for mastering. Several crucial choices are needed to be made. Choosing a great collection of tools is one of them. Hopefully, this list fulfils the purpose.

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