Since our courses are focused on applying learning about design fundamentals in digital design projects, we recommend using Sketch or Figma. As well as being user-friendly and easy to learn, they are also cutting-edge, collaborative design tools used by professional UX and UI designers today.
Figma is browser-based, works on any computer, and is free for individual users. Sketch requires a Mac, and you need to buy a license—but you can get 50% off via our Perks page. (Note that you’ll only be able to access the perk once your course has started, so if you’re installing it ahead of time, get started with the trial version and upgrade later.)
Here’s some other software you might be interested in exploring during your course:
- Prototyping tools like InVision, Marvel, and UXPin
- Wireframing tools like Balsamiq
- Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes more advanced packages like Photoshop and Illustrator. (We also have a Photoshop 101 email course!)
As for computer hardware, you can use either Mac or PC. However, note that some packages like Sketch will only work on Mac—and Macs are still the de facto industry standard amongst designers.
Design tools and UX Academy
If you’re planning to take UX Academy, we expect you to have a basic understanding of the design tools listed above before starting the course. You must use an industry-standard design tool like Sketch or Figma, and it’s your responsibility to provide the software you need for the course.
One of our goals in UX Academy is to introduce you to a range of industry-standard tools that you'll be using throughout the UX process. We want you to be comfortable picking up new tools and understanding their workflow—this is part of life as a professional UX designer. By the end of the course, you will have a personal toolkit of software that will equip you to solve design problems in the wild.