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The 2016 Web Designer’s Toolkit

January 6, 2016

7:00 pm

The period around New Year is usually the time when we are trying to find out what went wrong during the last 365 days and start making grand plans for the future. If you are a web designer, this process is that much easier, because if you are not progressing, you are either a bad web designer, or you are a good web designer working with bad tools. While first of these causes requires much patience in order to be dealt with, the latter case can be easily solved with a new toolkit. So, let us see what Santa prepared for 2016.

Photoshop CC

It is very hard to have any kind of serious conversation about visual design in general without mentioning the Adobe’s powerhouse software, so we are going to get it off the table first. Ever since its inception in 1988 Photoshop became the industry standard, and go-to software for raster graphics editing, and its latest iteration Photoshop CC 2015 is no different, so if you need to “Photoshop” some image, Photoshop is still the best way to do that.

Illustrator CC

Another entry coming from the same kitchen like Photoshop, Illustrator is often mentioned, and sometimes even confused with its cousin, but the difference between them is pretty significant. While Photoshop is best used for editing images, Illustrator is meant for drawing vector items, and without any surprise, it excels in this area, so you should not hesitate to get Adobe combo-pack.


This is one very interesting collaborative tool that covers almost the entire design process, ranging from animated prototypes, to static wireframes. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that you can import the Photoshop, and Sketch files without losing all the layers necessary for prototyping. This way you can easily switch between more graphic-oriented mockups and interactive designs without losing work.


Anyone who has ever worked on some design project knows how easily things may become stale when faced even with the smallest obstacle – Small as the choice of the right color scheme. Coolors takes into consideration everything that has been said and written about combining the right colors and helps you to fill in all the blanks your website may have.


Cloudswave is one of the most relevant and reputable places to find business software reviews and deals online. At times, you will get discounts in excess of 70%, which is definitely something every business owner will appreciate. In addition to this, you will also be able to find comprehensive and informative testimonials from other business users. Everything from software development tools, creative or HR solutions to collaboration or social media software can be found in one place, well organized and categorized for easy search and side-by-side comparisons.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a very sophisticated editor meant for all of those dealing with code, prose, and markup. You will quickly learn to love slick interface, very efficient performance, and tons of interesting features like the multiple selection which allows you to make several changes at once, instead of doing one change several times, very rich command palette, and powerful Python-based API.

As the name suggest, is a prototyping tool, and the reason we have not used the old “yet another” phrase is because this entry features a lot of small quirks that put it above its numerous competition. Namely, is very fast, and user-friendly; it allows great drag-and-drop functionality, it can be loaded from your browser, and to do prototyping you do not have to write a single line of code.


One of the easiest ways to build and run your apps, Heroku supports Java, Python, Node.js, and Ruby, so you can use languages you are already familiar with. Add the into the equation Add-ons Marketplace featuring more than 1,000 services, and complete collections of scripts for compiling the apps in any of the languages we mentioned above, and you will see the appeal.


Last but not the least, Hammer offers a great way to build your HTML website. Featuring Coffeescript parsing, Cleaver Paths (referencing assets by name), a bunch of helpful classes, auto reload functionality, which refreshes your website every time you are done with compiling, and tons of other useful features, it also makes one of the strongest entries on the market.

New Year is a great time to shake your world a bit and start introducing some positive changes in your life. If you decide to use some of the tools we mentioned above, we are sure your new beginning will be worthwhile.

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Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. His fields of expertise are company management and efficient work environment through latest technology trends, as well as internet marketing. He is also an editor in chief at