6 best GUI designer software for PC

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • This article will help you choose the right GUI software and also understand the features of alternatives as you might need different solutions depending on the project you will be working on
  • You might also find the article on best UI mockup software to be a nice read
  • Also check our design software topic for more useful guides and top lists made by expert editors
best gui design software

In an increasingly visual world, user interfaces have become all the more important. New users won’t even try your program unless they are met with a beautiful design that will pull them in. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best GUI designers. They will make prototyping and building a beautiful UI just a matter of a few clicks.

GUI designer software to create interfaces that will amaze users

1. Adobe After Effects

Adobe After EffectsTechnology is moving forward faster and fast as days get by, and if you want your product or services to stand out in any way, you have to make it look good.

For example, in the case of software, sometimes having a great-looking interface can bring you more clients than a program that does a better job. That is why creating a program and giving it special effects can be crucial.

For those kinds of situations, a graphics designing program such as Adobe After Effects can make the difference between a program that looks plain and a program that will catch the eye of any would-be customers.

Adobe After Effects is specialized in creating video content, which in the case of programs can be used for the professional design of GUI animations and special effects.

If you are talking about a game or a multimedia-related product, this may be just what you need in order to make it look more sleek, modern, and powerful.

The interface may not be all that easy to understand at first, but the program comes with extensive documentation. In fact, once you’ve mastered Adobe After Effects, you can pretty much use any other similar product with ease.

All things considered, if professional eye-catching designs are what you are looking to create, that you need to look no further than this product.

Download Adobe After Effects

2. Editor’s choice: Webflow

webflow gui software image

Webflow is a great graphic user interface (GUI) design tool that will help you build amazing user experiences without coding. You can use it to create sketches and mockups and you can continue after by realizing a full website GUI project. A simple drag-and-drop experience will only help you customize your interface smooth and easy.

If you are or plan to become a more advanced user in the GUI domain and make a business out of it, Webflow helps you building different database types with dynamic content for online stores. You can continue customizing the interaction on your interface by continuously experimenting with the visual elements.

Go to Webflow’s website


3. Balsamiq

balsamiq GUI designer software

Balsamiq is a rapid wireframing tool. It will help you visualize your ideas with its unique style and a rich set of tools that cover most if not all of the typical software usages. With its help, you’ll be to weed out the ideas that won’t work and quickly double-down on the ideas that show promise. It’s used by more than 500,000 companies that include names such as Apple, Adobe, and Sony.

Balsamiq is available on the Cloud, Windows, Mac, and even Google Drive. That means you can use it almost everywhere. Not only that, but it begins with a reasonable price of 5$/month, and if you are a teacher or working for a non-profit, you can get it for free.


4. Axure RP

Axure RP guide design software

Axure RP is an industrial-grade wireframing, rapid prototyping, documentation and specification tool. That’s right with Axure RP you don’t only create your design, but you can also describe and specify the usage of every element.  With its support of animations, conditional flow,  math functions, and dynamic content you not only can create an interface but you can also see it function and perform live. 

Axure RP while being fully capable of designing because it is not an exclusive tool for only that, its toolkit is not on a par with software targeted specifically to designers (such as Sketch). With 29$/month being the minimum you can pay for the software, it certainly is one of most expensive programs on the market. Is it worth it? If you use all of its features (and many software developing companies do) then it certainly is not a bad investment.

Download Axure RP


5. Altia Design

altia gui design software

Most design programs are targeted toward mobile developers, but Altia Design is a different beast. If you are building a UI for an embedded device then this is your program. Not only will it integrate with Photoshop and provide you with toolkits to build a GUI directly in it, it will also help you export your GUI to C code and run it directly on the embedded device. That’s right, Altia Design will even generate the code for you, so you don’t need to pay extra for the developers to bring your UI to life. With its support for animation, its optimized code generation, and extensive toolkit, it is the choice of many embedded software engineers.

Sadly, Altia Design is only for embedded devices. But one thing is for sure, it’s one of the best in what it does. While the program has no set price, you can contact them here, and they’ll provide the price after they get some information about your project.


6. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer

Of course, no list would be complete without a free software. Gravit Designer is one of those rare free programs that actually works and works so well you’d not believe you have it for free. With a set of features that not only lets you design GUIs but also create illustrations and edit them, featurewise, it doesn’t bow down to its competitors.

With Android and IOS versions of the program coming out soon, you can practically use it on every device. It already supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and even ChromeOS. Not to mention you can also use the online version that isn’t lacking any features of the offline version.


Conclusion

We gave you a run-down of the best GUI designers out there. We tried to make a varied list that includes programs utilized for different kinds of situations so there is a suitable program whether you are creating complex Windows programs, mobile apps, or embedded software. Hope you enjoyed the article.

You can tell us in the comments section about your experience using these programs. Did we neglect to mention an amazing program? We are more than happy to read your opinions.

FAQ: Learn more about GUI design software

  • Which software is best for UI design?

Although the competition is tight in the GUI software market and there are many good options available, we recommend Adobe After Effects as it can make a difference between an average looking interface and a stunning one.

  • What programs do UI designers use?

Programs used by UI designers come to a matter of personal preference and features needed for certain projects. You can check our review on best UI mockup software for additional information.

  • How do you create a GUI?

To create a GUI you will need a software which you should be already familiar from our article and couple of design principles you should follow such as keeping the interface simple, being purposeful, using complementary colors, hierarchical typography and a splash of your own creativity.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been since updated in April 2020 for freshness, and accuracy.