There are 100s of tools available for designing a digital product, so it cannot be evident for you to choose. Since I am writing this article, keeping the startups and founders in mind when I say best.
It means easy to learn: you can learn in a day or week
Dirt cheap or free
Reliable- The products shouldn't be such that they are discontinued shortly, and all your hard work and teaching investments are lost
Gives Industry-standard results- You can achieve wonders if you know the craft
Allows for a smooth migration. That means when you are out of your do it your self mode and decide to get a designer on board, your designer can easily import your work in his/ her choice of software.
The best UI design tool
Adobe XD: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It's a five-star product. Its free version can do almost all work for you. The best part is that it is available for both Mac/Windows, and files are compatible with Sketch and Figma. You can hack XD to do a lot more than just designing screens. well that's for another
Figma: well, Figma is a great design tool for designers and neck to neck competition with Adobe XD. Still, it loses out to xd when it comes to switching between other products of Adobe, for example, Adobe illustrator, aftereffect, and photoshop. Figma is a standalone product for UI design.
Sketch is an industry-standard for UI design and loved by designers across the world. But It has evolved quite a bit from its inception and no more easy to learn the software. So leave it for the professionals. One more drawback is a mac only software and paid tool.
There are other tools like Axure, Invison studios, but leave those for UX UI design professionals.
The best tool for UI design handoffs
Once you have a design ready, you need to give your design to the developer in your case to your partner.
Zeplin: Gives you free hosting for one project, that that project can have an unlimited number of screens.
Adobe Xd in the free version you can only publish one link to share the design with the developer
But if you combine XD and Zeplin, you can have an unlimited power for free. Use XD to design and then export those files to zeplin with one click.
The best UX Design tool for wireframing
If you want to create a wireframe to communicate your idea and leave the final look and feel for your designers, your pen and paper's best free UI Design tool is available. If you still want a tool freehand by InVision is the best option available, but pen and paper are still worthwhile if you are not a professional UX designer.
Freehand by InVision: Its a free tool and has a lot of templates for different use cases.
Best UX design tool for creating user flows and mind maps
Mind Node. It's free to use and very easy to learn. The only drawback is it's only available for the Mac ecosystem.
Creately: It is another great tool available on the web. You can use it for creating flowcharts, Infographic and much more,
Our final verdict
Pen-paper for wireframing you can use Freehand by InVision in case you own an Ipad.
For mind mapping: Mind Node if you use I pad or Mac and Creately if you are a
Adobe XD for Designing UI
Zeplin for exporting your design and handing it off to a developer