Web design is a fun, interactive and creative profession, but growing client demands and new trends in the field that can be tough for even the most seasoned designer to stay up-to-date. There have been a number of technological advancements, new applications, and fresh programs developed to help ease the pains of a web designer’s job. Here are 8 of the coolest tools that all web designers should have in their toolbox.
Best Laptops for Designers
Of course, one of the most important tools in a designer's box is the best laptop for the job. For high end graphic work, you need a laptop that's portable, powerful and within budget.
It's a competitive field, so check out our pick of the Best Laptops for Designers to see which models we recommend.
Wondering what your design concept would actually look like but don’t have the time or resources to throw together a mockup? Enter Invisionapp, the web design tool that gives you interactive, high-def mockups within minutes. Show others your vision, see how specific elements will play out in real terms, or edit and manipulate design elements thanks to the flexible, fast and, would you believe, free Invisionapp software.
Invisionapp also has a slew of features that make it better than hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night. Share your mockups with others, making design presentations and collaboration easier and more professional than ever before. Chart progress, leave comments, or create to-do lists within the app as well.
Foundation (formerly known as Ink)
Got mail? If you’ve designed emails before, you know how challenging it can be to get it to look just right (or even remotely right!) for every situation. Well, with a little help from Ink, you can have the most flexible, responsive emails in the history of electronic messaging. Ink is a responsive email framework built with HTML that allows you to create email templates that work with all types of clients and devices. Built with responsive grids, Ink lets you plug your flair into a basic template code framework for instantly beautiful and responsive HTML emails that work everywhere.
Picture the most beautiful images you’ve ever seen. Now imagine trying to recreate those colors, those curvatures, those breathtaking moments within your web design. Think it’s impossible? Think again! With a suite of tools that put the impossible within your reach, Pixlr is showing web designers that their limitations are much farther off than they could have ever imagined. From photo editing to overlays and extensive image creation, Pixlr challenges you to push the borders of web design beyond anything you’ve ever dreamed before.
Axure is another great tool for sketching designs and watching them take life. An interactive wireframing tool, Axure makes mockups a cinch with plenty of elements used to customize your design, templates that you can save and use over again, annotations for easy note taking and referencing, and more. Place holders are also used within the software to allow smooth and effortless interactivity among team members.
Macaw gives non-coders hope. Draw a design feature onto the page, and the software will convert that detail into HTML and CSS. Incorporate elements such as dynamic type fonts, apply global styles for multiple designs, showcase your designs for others to see, comment, and collaborate on, and create dynamic layouts with static, fixed, and absolute positioning.
FontStruct makes it easy to create the exact font you’re looking for using geometric shapes, get inspiration from other designers, and share your creations and have fun crafting your very own True Type fonts, fitting every situation and any design occasion.
Reading another boring website with drolling content, thinking about how heavy your eyelids are and how warm your chair cushion is and how nice it would be to just…zzzzz. Too often, this is what even the best content does to viewers. Why? Blasé fonts, boring designs, in short, a dull and meaningless impression from the get-go. Typecast imbues your website design with the right personality and tone, using beautiful, dramatic, and most of all, legible typefaces that will make your site stand out from the crowd. Also, you can utilize this tool to see how fonts will appear across various devices, edit fonts with easy controls, test page load speed, and play with other vital factors to create an optimal website design.
If your dreams of creating masterpiece website designs were ever cut short by a lack of coding prowess, then Webydo is your knight in shining armor. This innovative platform puts the ability to design and create complex, HTML5-driven sites without writing a single line of code straight into your hands. Piece together your design with the WYSIWYG editor, then Webydo automatically transforms your musings into true-blue HTML code. What’s more, Webydo allows you to optimize your design for any device.
You have the tools laid out before you, now, so now the only limitations to your design genius is your own imagination. Adding these 8 must-have’s to your web design toolbox is a surefire way to take your abilities to the next level and create even more amazing designs than you already do!
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