what tools do designers use
October 14, 2015

Software Development

Tools designers use in their work. According to a poll of designers from 200 countries

By Alexander Sergeev

What tools designers use in order to think of ideas, create prototypes and manage projects? Subtraction.com has carried out a poll among 4 000 designers from 200 countries and found out what tools they like most of all.

Participants of the poll were asked to name their favorite tools they use for 6 main design-tasks. Here’s a translation of the article by Ekaterina Izmestieva.



Thinking of ideas and brainstorm

Most of the participants have voted for the simplest tools (a pen and a pencil) in this very important category.


  • 64% a pen and a pencil
  • 6% other
  • 1% nothing




In this category (where such tools for creating mock-ups as Balsamiq and Omnigraffle should lead) many people polled have chosen Sketch and Illustrator.


  • 27% Sketch (Bohemian Coding)
  • 14% HTML/CSS
  • 11% other
  • 8% nothing



Interface design

And again Sketch is the leader. It’s a favorite tool for interface design for ? of poll participants. Photoshop is the second.


  • 34% Sketch (Bohemian Coding)
  • 15% HTML/CSS
  • 4% other
  • 2% nothing




DIY (Do It Yourself) has become a widespread approach in this category.


  • 38% HTML/CSS
  • 11% other
  • 9% nothing



Project management

There were many various answers in this category. Slack has become one of the most popular tools (which is not surprising) but 67% of participants have named tools that weren’t present in the investigation (which tells about a great market fragmentation).


  • 67% other



The most popular tools the participants have named:




Version control and file management

Managing files designers have created is a Wild West and Dropbox is the winner here (though, GitHub is also a rather popular option).


  • 30% Google Drive
  • 28% other
  • 12% nothing


Investigation 2015 Subtraction.com Design Tools Survey.

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