What tools should a user experience designer learn beyond theoretical knowledge of cognitive psychology and a solid foundation in internet/mobile best practices?
This is a really difficult question because of the breadth of the field. Since UX can’t be pinned down to any one, singular entity the questions about what tools are best to know is not easy to answer. Additionally, since many companies require a UX designer to be a hybrid, the question becomes even more difficult.
There is one obvious tool that every web/mobile ux designer should know and that’s a mockup tool. Mockups or wireframes or whatever the new buzz word is for them is another way of saying blueprint. Websites, like buildings, begin with blueprints. Blueprinting tools are Axure (the best in my opinion), Visio, Just in Mind, Balsamiq, and a few others. Axure is the best in the industry, but since none of these tools are overly complex learning more than one is a good idea.
In general however, I’d love to hear what tools others who read this blog are using and whether they think graphic design and programming tools are important to them.