The Best AI Tools for Product Designers

Part 1: Advanced Multi-Functional Tools

Free Association
9 min readMar 21, 2023


At Free Association, we’re exploring how AI tooling can help us with our most challenging design problems. We’re eager to leverage this emerging technology to maximize time and push our creative thinking. In an effort to expand our toolkit, we recently experimented with a number of new AI driven products on the market.

We started this investigation by creating a framework to evaluate tools. We started by outlining some basic steps within the design process and their associated activities. This enabled us to catalog the number of activities each tool could perform and determine whether it was designed to serve a single purpose or had multiple functions. Once categorized we could then analyze the tool’s strengths and weaknesses.

Product design stages

We found such a wide variety of tools that we decided to share the results in two parts. In this first installment we’ll focus on multi-function tools that can help with our most complex design tasks. The second article will detail single-function tools that can drive significant efficiencies within our workflow.

To kick things off we’ll first share a select handful of tools that we believe teams can pick up and use immediately. We’re calling these tools our top picks. We’ve also included a list of emerging tools we think demonstrate interesting concepts that could be developed further. This category has the unique potential to assist with parts of our design process that many other tools on the market do not seem to cover. We’ve called these out as tools and concepts we’re excited for.

Our Top Picks

These tools stand out from the crowd. Each one has been built with multiple uses in mind and can assist with a variety of complex design activities. The technology used to build them also goes beyond basic machine learning.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Source: kraftful

1. Kraftful

Why we like it:
Kraftful uses AI to provide summaries from user feedback, sentiment tracking of how a user perceives a product, and helps with competitive analysis. While looking through a vast array of AI powered design tools, we didn’t find a lot that could help with the type of research analysis a product designer is likely to conduct. Kraftful was a rare find and we’re excited about the potential of a tool like this. Wouldn’t it be great to one day, set a list of parameters, push a button and then generate a comprehensive competitive analysis? We’re not there yet, but this tool could be a step in that direction.

Use it for:
Gathering research insights
Competitive audits
User interviews
User testing
Attention insights

2. ChatGPT-4

Why we like it:
We had to include ChatGPT in our list, even though it may exist as a technological backbone to many other tools. Along with everyone else, we’re discovering new uses for ChatGPT every day. We’re excited to utilize the LLM for a number of activities including idea generation, content creation, user analytics, auditing, learning about our client’s industry and much more. We’re also very excited to see how the design community utilizes the technology.

Some ideas for how to use it:
Preparing for stakeholder interviews
Feed it information to generate new ideas
Use it for research and text generation
Generate a useful list of close competition to analyze
Prepare discussion guides for user interviews
Prepare for user testing
Attention insights
Get help creating user flows
Writing design system documentation for UI elements
Develop user personas
Generate color palettes with primary, secondary and tertiary
Write code based on a provided file structure



Why we like it:
Meetings can take up a lot of time. Ok, maybe that is an understatement. Unfortunately, the truth is that meetings are also where the most important information is disseminated. Have you ever missed a meeting only to find out later your project has exploded? Or maybe you’re diving back into a project after briefly stepping away and need to quickly reference notes and get back up-to-speed? Otter helps save time and build team alignment by recording meeting audio, writing notes, capturing slides and generating summaries. From the summaries you can even add comments, highlight key points and assign action items. All of this leads to fewer meetings and happier designers. Perhaps there’s a future where an overbooked schedule does not result in a lack of team alignment.

Use it for:
Stakeholder interviews
Assign action items
Meeting summaries
Leadership and team alignment
Gathering and implementing feedback


4. Tome

Why we like it:
Every presentation is about storytelling. For product designers, this is a key skill, often learned pain-stakingly over time, presentation by presentation. It’s easy to get carried away, spending hours crafting a presentation, only to realize you’ve somehow lost sight of the key points or overarching story to tell. A product like Tome has the potential to help.

Type in a prompt and Tome will help you generate a narrative for your entire presentation and help you structure it. It allows for all types of content and even integrates with Figma to showcase prototypes. Oh and did we mention it’s all responsive?

Use it for:

Source: Adobe Sensei

5. Adobe Sensei

Why we like it:
Sometimes it’s not about going out and finding new tools. Sometimes it’s about discovering new AI features within the tools you’re already using. Adobe provides a suite of tools built right into their applications. You can use it to enhance your analytics, edit images and video in all new ways, font match, smart crop and more. We love the idea of seamlessly integrating AI features into the tools we’re already using. We can also imagine a future where applications can understand what we’re trying to build and predictively provide help and suggestions.

Use it for:
Visual design exploration
Image creation
Asset creation

Source: uizard

6. Uizard

Why we like it:
We see a lot of potential with this tool when it comes to faster iteration and concept testing. When you scan and upload your sketches, Uizard will turn them into editable Figma mockups you can quickly begin to prototype with. The product itself seems to suggest that you could take screenshots and convert them into UI elements. We see potential here as a starting point for exploration or as a possible way to quickly generate divergent thinking when it comes to developing a design system, rather than as an endpoint for designs.

Use it for:
Concept testing
User testing

Tools and Concepts We’re Excited For

Our next category consists of tools that either have not been made available yet, or are in the early stages of their development. In some cases we’re just plain excited for where these concepts could go, even if the execution is still not quite there.

1. Galileo

Why we’re excited about this:
The creators of Galileo have described a tool that generates entire screens based on a simple text prompt. We’re interested in both how this idea functions within the concepting phase of our work and whether we might be able to use this tool as a collaboration method within co-creation workshops. Another possibility is that a tool like this could align with an existing design system to generate entire screens based on a use case.

2. Genius

Why we’re excited about this:
Ok here we go! This tool offers auto-completion suggestions based on the design system you’re using. As design system builders and thinkers this sounds like a great opportunity for AI to help bridge some major gaps. We’re picturing a tool that suggests the best component to use from a design system, based on the context of what you are actually building. This could be an extremely helpful tool for building efficiencies in design system use and consistency across the team.

3. Ui-Ai & DesignKit

Why we like it:
We wanted to note the work the folks at Diagram are doing with a series of interesting tools that utilize AI in new ways for designers. Ui-Ai Glyphs is a design tool that uses simple shapes to generate black and white glyphs from text inputs. We see potential here for being able to generate a large number of icons in a similar style, as an alternative to designing each icon from scratch. This could also be really useful as a concepting tool when trying to generate an icon or logo to represent a complex idea. Their DesignKit tool attempts to generate an entire UI kit. This could save time and increase productivity by providing a basis for designs that can be customized to fit specific needs. This is definitely one to watch.

4. Seenapse

Why we like it:
The idea here is that by providing the tool with some basic information from your design brief, it can help you generate concepts for your project. This product seems to be targeted to creatives working in advertising, and honestly, ChatGPT probably works better than this product. What’s interesting here, however, is the idea of a highly focused use for LLMs. Perhaps that focus could be on generating new ideas based on an established set of complex parameters. We don’t actually recommend using this one, but it’s an idea worth exploring.

5. Magic Brush

Why we like it:
This Figma plug-in generates images from scratch or enhances existing ones using a text input. This plugin attempts to combine sketching on the image with image generation. Meaning you can fine tune an image, not just through experimenting with text prompts, but also by drawing on the image and isolating sections of it. While the execution here is extremely limited, we think this idea is really fascinating.

6. Fronty

Why we like it:
The concept of an image to HTML converter that delivers responsive, optimized, SEO-friendly, and accessible websites with a custom Bootstrap theme is intriguing. Fronty’s ability to deliver on these promises falls a bit short for us, but we are definitely paying attention and curious to see where this goes. Rumor has it that ChatGPT-4 might be capable of this as well. We can imagine a future where designers are able to build simple websites directly from mock-ups.

What’s Next

We’re excited to see new tools emerging that we believe demonstrate a trend toward greater problem-solving and help us with some of our toughest challenges as product designers. We plan on following up soon with part two in this series which will outline our favorite workflow integrations and single-function tools. Our goal is to continuously update and grow our list of tools to increase our efficiency and tackle some of our clients’ most complex challenges. We’d also love to hear more from you about how you’ve been using AI tooling in new and creative ways.

Let us know what you think about the future of AI tooling for product design.