Top 10 User Experience Tools of 2012

If you’re looking for the top 10 best user experience tools of 2012, then you’re in the right place. It’s not that easy to compile a specific list, due to the fact that so many great ux tools hit the market in 2012, but here are the most proficient of them that surely deserve your attention:

1. Pencil 

Pencil is a free little Open Source tool which allows you to easily produce prototypes, UX diagrams (e.g. user journeys) and UI mockups. It comes preloaded with a wide range of useful widgets that cover anything from sketchy UI components, windows and web, and it also enables you to export pages as HTML, Open Office doc, Word doc, PDF or images. It’s one of the most useful tools when it comes to prototyping.

2. LucidChart 

LucidChart is an online app for creating UI mockups, prototypes and diagrams. It allows more persons to collaborate on a file, and it also comes with a useful set of preloaded widgets, including icons, diagramming shapes and UI components. And although it’s not clearly stated on the front page, it does allow you to insert up to 60 elements in one document and to collaborate with someone else for free. Documents can be saved or downloaded as a PDF document, image, and webpage.

3. WebNotes 

If you need a great annotation tool, then you just found it. WebNotes is actually a browser plugin which allows you to attach comments and notes to almost any webpage, and then share them with other people. It’s also very useful for capturing feedback on a certain design or capturing comments on different topics, such as competitor benchmarks and usability reviews.

4. Diigo 

Diigo also allows you to snap and share different annotations for webpages, such as comments, screenshots and highlighted text. You are also free to set-up a sharing group and capture comments on various things, such as design patterns.

5. Lorem Ipsum Generator 

The Lorem Ipsum Generator will prove very useful for all the designers and webmasters who require Lorem Ipsum. What’s more, you can set-up a specific number words, sentences or paragraphs.

6. ColorPic 

ColorPic is great for those times when you need to grab an onscreen color with ease. A magnifier tool is there to ensure that you grab the right pixels, and after you do that, the app will automatically display the RGB and Hex values. ColorPic will even allow you to build-up your own palette of colors, so that you don’t have to grab the same colors again and again.

7. Jing 

Jing allows you to capture and share various onscreen images and videos with ease. It’s also great for snapping dynamic behaviors and interactions, and it even allows you to export the videos as SWFs, so that anyone can open them in a normal browser.

8. XMind 

XMind is a nice site mapping tool that can be used for capturing various thoughts and feedback, plus collating information. Mind maps can be received from other applications, such as Freemind and Mind Manager, and then exported or shared through an easy uploading process.

9. CamStudio 

CamStudio is a nice and innovative Open Source app which allows you to capture everything that’s broadcasting, including the audio from your computer speakers or microphone. It can even capture the video feed from your webcam, so it’s also great for usability testing sessions. The videos are saved in AVI format, and can be converted into SWFs shortly after.

10. Concept Feedback 

This tool is great if you want to get second opinions on your design. You can easily post it on the site, and a community of experience designers will provide you valuable feedback very soon, and all for absolutely no cost.

Whichever of these 10 best user experience tools of 2012 you might choose, you are guaranteed a pleasant long-term experience. Make sure you have the most useful tools to treat user pain even before it starts.