Last year was my first Design Tools survey ever, and this year was even better! Almost 2,800 designers shared their best tools and workflows. All the anonymized data is available for download here. If you'd like to help, you can share this page on Twitter, Facebook, or your media of choice.



2,775 total responses













Main Insights

  • The job titles "UX Designer" and "Product Designer" are equally common among respondents.
  • 83% of respondents work on a design team of 10 people or less.
  • Regardless of company size, most design teams have 10 designers or less.
  • 80% of respondents only use Mac for design purposes.


"Which best describes your role?"

Work Experience

"How many years of experience do you have?"

Company Size

"How many employees work at your company?"

Design Team Size

"How many designers are on your design team?"

Design Team Size Based on Company Size


"Which platform(s) do you primarily use for design?"

Experience Design

"What types of experiences are you designing?"

Brainstorming & Ideation Tools

Brainstorming can mean something different to everyone, but I still like to see what designers are doing before they start creating interfaces. Brainstorming could mean anything from exploratory mocks to requirements gathering. While most respondents are still using their notebooks or whiteboards, many still stay in Sketch.

Main Insights

  • Traditional media are still best for brainstorming.
  • Compared to 2017, Figma passed all three Adobe tools.

Most Popular Brainstorming Tools

"Which tools do you use for brainstorming and ideation?"

User Flow & Site Mapping Tools

I didn't ask any questions about user flows in 2017, so we can't observe any trends this year. I'm surprised we didn't see a stronger showing from Adobe XD or Figma, where designers frequently use their prototyping capabilities to communicates flows and paths. Sketch is not ideal for creating user flows, so I expect we'll see an increase in usage from dedicated flow tools like and Lucidchart in the coming years.

Main Insights

  • 15% of respondents don't use any special tools for creating user flows.
  • Sketch is the most used tool for creating user flows.
  • Respondents seem to use their primary tools for as many solutions as possible.

Most Popular User Flow Tools

"Which tools do you use for user flows, site maps, and flow charts?"

Wireframing Tools

Are wireframing tools still a thing in 2018? The numbers indicate that most designers are wireframing in their primary UI design tools. The only true wireframing tool that cracks the top ten is Balsamiq. Next year, I'd like to be more thorough in asking designers if they actually create traditional wireframes.

Main Insights

  • Only 3% of designers reported that they don't create wireframes, despite higher trends of using high-fidelity Design Systems.
  • While HTML/CSS was high on the list in 2017, it barely appeared in this year's responses (likely to due a change in options).

Most Popular Wireframing Tools

"Which tools do you use for wireframing?"

UI Design Tools

The most important category of them all! Can anyone take down Sketch? Short answer: not yet. No surprises here, but it's great to see Figma moving up in the world. (If you're wondering how Windows users are accessing Sketch, I'm guessing it's through a virtual machine).

Main Insights

  • According to this sample, Sketch is still on top.
  • In 2017, designers reported InVision Studio as being the most exciting tool of this year but aren't showing strong adoption yet.
  • All three Adobe tools continue continue to have almost equal usage.

Most Popular UI Design Tools

"Which tools do you use for interface design?"

Top Tools for Mac and Windows

Prototyping Tools

Each year, this is the most volatile category of tools. It's constantly changing and evolving, and this year was no exception. Sketch introduced its own prototyping tools which have proven quite successful.

Main Insights

  • Respondents use an average of 3.5 tools to accomplish their prototyping solutions.
  • Sketch prototyping has a surprising amount of usage, almost rivaling InVision Classic.
  • Framer's new tool, FramerX, is used only slightly more than its predecessor, Framer Classic.

Most Popular Prototyping Tools

"Which tools do you use for prototyping?"

Handoff Tools

Handing off designs as code is a relatively recent development in the typical UX tool kit. I expect that as these features get stronger within individual tools like Sketch or Adobe XD, we'll start to see stronger leaders in this race.

Main Insights

  • 12% of respondents don't use handoff tools for delivering designs.
  • Compared to 2017, Zeplin passed InVision to take first place.

Most Popular Handoff Tools

"Which tools (if any) do you use for handoff?"

Design System Tools

Design Systems, Component Libraries, Pattern Libraries, Style Guides. Whatever you choose to call them, most respondents are making them in Sketch (or not using them at all).

Main Insights

  • Sketch is the most highly used Design System tool among respondents.
  • 15% of respondents don't have a Design System (down from 28% last year).
  • Despite the introduction of InVision Design System Manager (DSM), InVision's Craft still holds much of the market.

Most Popular Design System Tools

"Which tools (if any) do you use to manage your design system?"

Experience Monitoring Tools

This is always an interesting, untapped market for design tools. I think the lack of usage comes from implementation difficulties: designers aren't usually able to set up these tools on their own. If you're not using them, you should.

Main Insights

  • 2 out of 3 respondents aren't using experience monitoring tools.
  • 56% of respondents who use experience monitoring tools use Hotjar.
  • Responses almost exactly mirror the responses from 2017, indicating that this market hasn't changed much in the last year.

Most Popular Monitoring Tools

"What tools (if any) do you use for experience monitoring?"

File Management Tools

The data here can be a bit scattered because some file management services (like Google Drive and Dropbox) offer version control tools, while some respondents are using both Drive and Abstract at the same time. Nevertheless, it is suprising how many respondents aren't managing their files using any system at all.

Main Insights

  • Google Drive and Dropbox continue to be highly used file management solutions. Almost all tools remained in their same positions from 2017.
  • 12% of respondents aren't using file management software.
  • Usage of Abstract among respondents lept from 7% to 11% since 2017.

Most Popular File Management Tools

"Which tools (if any) do you use for version control and file management?"

The 2018 Designer's Toolkit

Based on this year's responses, these represent the most commonly used tools in each category. Sketch is still on top, but digging deeper into the data you'll find some movement in several of these categories—like Figma climbing within the top 5 in almost every single category.


Pencil, Paper, Whiteboard

User Flows




UI Design



InVision (Classic)



Design System




File Management

Google Drive

Most Exciting Tools in 2019

While some designers are burned out on new design tools, these respondents aren't! See what tools are likely to take the market by storm in 2019.

Main Insights

  • Figma, which was low on the list in 2017, emerges as the most exciting tool of 2019.
  • InVision Studio remains near the top, indicating that many respondents have yet to try it—or are still waiting for future development.
  • Respondents always seem to keep Framer on their bucket list of design tools.

Most Exciting Tools in 2019

"What tools are you most excited to try in 2019?"

Thanks for reading 👋

People like you make this survey great! Thanks for participating in the second annual Design Tools Survey. Hopefully you learned something interesting, or maybe found a new tool to try! If you have any questions, reach out to