Every web designer has a favorite set of tools that they use while working on their projects. However, if you are a beginner in the branch, then you might have a difficult time finding out which tools are worth paying for, and which aren’t as useful as you think they might be. This post is aimed to both beginners and professionals who are looking forward to expanding their collection of handy tools for web designers. We’ve collected 12 great applications that will make your work easier, more enjoyable, and will also significantly improve the quality of your projects. Keep a close eye on the list below and see which of these apps you may find useful.
GitHub is one of the most popular websites among web designers and developers, because it gives them free access to a great collaboration tool where they can work on projects alongside other people, or receive independent feedback about their new ideas. The GitHub community is growing constantly, and currently there are more than 4,000,000 users, so you’ll easily find people that share your ideas and vision.
ImageOptim serves a very simple purpose, but we can’t deny that websites like this one are very important to web designers. As you can tell by the name, ImageOptim optimizes images by compressing them with minimal quality loss. This way the JPEG, GIF and PNG files will be lighter, smaller & will improve the performance of the website or application you are planning to use them in.
Hype 2 is a great and fun to use tool that will make your job a lot easier! With its help, you can quickly create interactive & animated web content that will work in just about every modern browser, be it mobile or desktop. It is one of the best tools to create animated Gifs or other web content. The application is very light compared to its competitors, so you can rest assured that your workflow won’t be disturbed by crashes or lag. Overall, this is a tool that you should definitely try out.
Froont is a useful application that is easy-to-use thanks to its drag & drop interface. Thanks to this tool you can quickly prototype & design your next project for a responsive website. Unfortunately, Froont only works with Google Chrome at the moment, but the application’s developers have assured us that Froont’s compatibility will be improved in the near future.
The latest version is OmniGraffle 6 and it features a completely revamped design, as well as hundreds of extra new features that should lead to a better & more enjoyable user experience. This is one of the most popular sketching & wireframing tool among web designers, because of its user-friendly interface, affordable price, and the fact that it is frequently updated to include the latest innovations in the world of web designing.
IM Creator is one of the most popular website builders at the moment. This website features a great website building platform that can be used to create a fully personalized web page that will match your requirements. Thanks to this neat tool, you can quickly put the foundations of an eCommerce, personal, business & portfolio website. Tons of customization options, pre-made templates and other extras await every future user of IM Creator.
If you often work with HTML code, then you might want to take a look at this next tool called Hammer. Hammer is a simple & easy-to-use application that will significantly improve the speed at which you code HTML websites. It offers many handy features such as HTML Includes, Clever Paths, Coffeescript and SASS parsing, etc.
Userium is a pretty simple tool that gives you access to a rich checklist of features that will help you improve the usability of your next application or website. Basically, thanks to this checklist you can see whether your website is optimized for user experience, and get advice on what you should change in order to provide your users with a more enjoyable experience.
Using just one image resizing tool isn’t enough, because some applications turn out to be more efficient with specific file formats. If you prefer to use 24-bit PNG images, then we strongly advise you to take a closer look at ImageAlpha. This is one of the best tools when it comes to compressing PNG files, because it has a minimal effect on picture quality, but you’ll be absolutely astonished by the file size’s reduction.
If you work with other people on your projects, then you may want to consider using a project management application such as BugHerd. These platforms are very helpful, because they offer hundreds of helpful features that will improve communication in your team. In the case of BugHerd, the coolest feature is the visual bug tracker & project management app. Thanks to them you can quickly report, analyze & resolve bugs with your colleagues.
Axure is one of the best wireframing tools that are quite popular among web designers. It is used by hundreds of thousands of people across the entire world, so its community is rather large. The interface is simplified as much as possible, so you will be able to enjoy a distraction-free workspace that will help you focus on your projects and get more work done in a shorter period of time.
Progress Button Styles
Loading bars are fairly easy to create, but if you don’t want to use sophisticated software for this purpose, then the Progress Button Styles website will serve you well. This simple application gives you the ability to choose from pre-made loading boards that can later be customized to match your website’s style, as well as your other requirements.
Cover image credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg
About the author: Shah is a web professional interested in web design, development, design tools, creativity and inspiration. For more design tips and tools by Shah, please visit the designermag.org site.