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5 Productivity tools you need as a UX designer

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As user experience (UX) practitioners, we are often focused on designing the best product so that our users can have a smooth, seamless, and better user experience, but have you ever considered how you can make your own workflow experience better? How you can best optimise your workflow for productivity?

From note-taking apps to prototyping software, there are just so many products on the market that are focused on helping people work better. It can be cumbersome and time-consuming to find the product that works best for you. Hence, today we will be looking at 5 key tools that UX practitioners commonly use to better organise their workflow, increase productivity and improve the quality of their work.

1. Collect

Before embarking on a new idea, most of us would look around for inspiration through pictures or works that have been done before. It can be a hassle having to screenshot websites for references and mixing hyperlinks with images in a document is usually a messy affair that often doesn’t spark inspiration.

This is where Collect comes into play. Collect is a simple and fuss-free app that allows you to place all your inspiration and references on different mood boards. From images to videos and articles, the platform helps users keep track of their inspiration in an organised and visual manner. Users can conveniently drop in whatever links or pictures they find along the way.

The platform even allows for collaborative boards with other members to add items and features a Google chrome extension for convenience.


Perhaps one of the most commonly used tools for UX practitioners, MIRO is a highly versatile and useful tool for mockups, ideation and collaboration. MIRO is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that allows team members to work with one another in real time.

Sticky notes on MIRO

The basic idea of how MIRO works is that users can write on sticky notes and drag them around the whiteboard for others to see. The idea may be simple, but its use extends much more than that. MIRO also provides a wide range of templates for different activities across varying purposes. Here are some examples:

1) User/Customer Touchpoint Map

Journey mapping is an essential part of user design strategy and having an accessible and convenient way to collaborate with others on it makes for more efficient discussions.

Photo by on Unsplash


The SCAMPER framework is a popular creativity tool for ideation and improvements.

3) Prioritisation Model

Allows for teams to better prioritse which features they should focus on first.

These examples only scratched the surface of all the different templates that the platform offers, from brainstorming to notetaking and strategy planning. It also offers collaboration tools like timers, votes and note taking. It is no wonder MIRO is so widely used in the industry, and is definitely a tool that every UX practitioner should have at their disposal.

Different template featured on Miro

3. Iconify/Material Design

As a UX practitioner, you may often find yourself looking for all sorts of icons when designing a product. Considering how many icons a page usually has, having to find icons one by one is tedious and time-consuming. Icon libraries such as Iconify or Material Design (by Google) allows you access to a wide range of icons conveniently.

Range of icons available on Iconify

Iconify, in particular, compiles all open source icon sets available online.

Aside from just downloading the icons, these platforms also allow users to customise them (e.g. fill, weight, color) to better fit their designs.

4. Maze

Maze is an online usability testing platform that makes use of high-fidelity prototypes to create an advanced user testing setup for customer data. Maze is perfect for UX practitioners to easily test and analyse their design as users can link and test their prototypes from platforms such as Figma, Adobe XD and Sketch etc.

Users can add and keep track of different tasks that their testers are supposed to perform, and then ask questions or collect information at each of these tasks/touchpoints. Aside from custom tasks, Maze also provides a wide array of templates for all sorts of testing tasks, from closed card sorting to specific usability tests.

A wide range of templates for different tests.

For each template, Maze provides users with a set of question options that users can ask their testers.

Question set for product onboarding feedback.

And of course, once testing is completed, Maze also provides a detailed overview of the results, displaying user behaviour metrics such as misclick or time spent, as well as a browsing heatmap.

Heatmap Analysis – Getting Started with Maze

So, gone are the days of constant check-ins with your testers at every step of the user testing process. Increasing efficiency and improving the user testing process experience for both parties, Maze is an application that every UX practitioner should look out for.

5. Notion

From meetings to user testing to redesigning features, UX practitioners often have to juggle many different tasks of varying importance and scope. It can be extremely daunting and tedious to keep track of everything without a proper structure or to-do list. Thus, the next app we’re introducing is a simple yet versatile app that allows you to think, write and plan better.

Notion allows users to easily keep track of their tasks, sorting them by their status on a simplistic board.

Basic task list by Notion

More than just that, Notion also allows users to do things such as:

  1. Create a Kanban board for prioritisation
  2. Daily journaling
  3. Write quick meeting notes or detailed documents
  4. Keep track of upcoming meetings or talks
  5. Calendar integration

From personal life to different areas of work, Notion’s range of templates for every situation allows users to keep on track no matter their tasks.

Notion’s range of templates for different use cases

The app also allows for collaboration between team members where notes and documents can be easily shared and edited. Need an easy way to keep track of timelines, meeting minutes, and detailed reports for a project? Simply add your team members to your workspace and work together.

Final Notes

The key selling point for many of these apps is how easy it is for someone to pick them up and integrate them into their current workflow. Simple interfaces and helpful guides ensure that anyone can learn how to use them. Aside from having great UX, Most of these applications also work alongside common apps used in the UX field such as Figma or Sketch.

Learning how to stay organised and productive is an important skill not frequently taught in UX design curriculum. Having an experienced UX design mentor and learning how they go about tackling their daily work is another useful way to improve in this aspect.

We hope that this article provides a good introduction to some options that can help improve your daily workflow. If you want to know more about user experience and its industry, do check out our other resources available on our website, such as our articles, weekly webinars, and podcasts. CuriousCore offers both a 2-day UX Design Course and a 4-month UX Career Accelerator for those keen on transitioning into the industry. Click the buttons below to find out more.