As a web designer, marketer, or entrepreneur, you’re often tasked with projects that involve graphic design and coding. It is vital for you to know which tools to refer to at any given moment to improve your final product. People, after all, will be viewing and interacting with this website/app you design.
The wide variety of platforms, SaaS, and stock repositories can make it difficult to pinpoint the best ones. It can be hard to find ones that matter. I'll show you some great tools that are great no matter what.
So without further ado, let’s jump right in and talk about some of the top web design applications available today.
CodePen is a website for developers. Founded by Alex Vazquez, Tim Sabat, and Chris Coyier in 2012, as an open-source learning environment for developers. The website lets you write HTML5 code that can be used to build your website or app. There are lots of tools to help you learn how to create everything from the basics to advanced code. A group of experts will always help you out whenever you need help.
Foundation for Emails 2 is a program that allows you to create advanced, beautiful emails. It's easy to use and compatible with most email providers. Foundation for Emails 2 uses the Sass programming language. It lets you modify CSS defaults by switching between Sass library files.
Want to create HTML emails? No problem! You can also use copy & paste functionality. Also, make sure you have your website ready for cross-platform compatibility. This includes Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail clients, etc.
Advertisers shouldn't be given free rein to place their ads on any website. Even if that website happens to be the one you're reading this very sentence on. Some ads are designed without any respect for the overall aesthetics of a site. They may not be as eye-catching as others.
Baked into Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD, Stark makes it easier than ever for designers to keep their designs accessible! With Stark's color contrast analyzer, you can easily determine the ratio of colors in your designs is passable or if it needs adjusting.
Stark also simulates what your design would look like when someone uses magnifying glasses or has different types of color blindness. This can help make sure that design elements are still visible and understandable for everyone who might want to use them.
One great example of this is the handy color contrast analyzer which can be used to measure color contrast ratio and to find the minimum advised by the WCAG guidelines for accessible design.
Have you ever wanted to match your website colors to a specific image? Aquarelo is a free Mac app that uses clustering algorithms to help you pick out which main colors are dominant in any picture. This way, you can use this knowledge in your designs!
Gridlover is a helpful website that you can use to play around with typography and test out different types of alignments. The more you change the sizing, line height, and scale factor, the more exciting things will look!
CSS Scan is a browser extension that works on any website you visit in Chrome, Firefox, or Safari and it’s a great way to find out how your favorite sites are styled. Instead of opening Dev Tools to inspect an element, you can use it to view the CSS of any element you hover over – it appears in a pop-up view so you can easily copy all its rules with one click. You can use it as a resource by copying particular elements from themes or templates and adapting them for your use, and it’s useful for debugging your code.
Experiments with augmented reality (AR) are generating quite a bit of buzz in the realm of web and app development software. Both Google and Microsoft have recently developed some AR-related frameworks, but Apple kicked things off with their ARKit framework earlier this year, which has had some pretty impressive results.
For one thing, people are excited about places like a site that provides a virtual way for you to preview a building or furnish it before going forward with construction projects. It's also bringing undiscovered gifted architectural minds to light, as people can now see what their designs look like almost instantly based on the specs they've provided online.
And think about how much time this is saving everyone involved - developers can now easily share their models with others who will be installing the actual software, without having to worry about whether they're up-to-date at all!
Sketch users may be able to replace their tool with Lunacy, the software for Windows machines that solves the problem of .sketch files being stuck on Macs. Lunacy is lightning quick and flexible: it will open large files without grinding to a halt and has a decent number of editing features so you can modify your designs, save them and send them out. An interesting feature is the ability to automatically download missing Google fonts when exporting to PNG or SVG files.
To catch the Joker, you have gotta be well prepared - and to protect your site or application from signing up for services with fake email addresses, you need Verifier! This cool tool checks through thousands of domains in an instant, letting users know if they need to provide valid info.
It also checks that the domain exists and has correct syntax. To fight against crime- well, to make sure people are signing up for your service with valid email addresses only - thus decreasing the amount of time your community team has to spend on answering these problems - install Verifier today!
The best way to get a boost on your website’s traffic is through A/B testing which stands for alternative versions. With this approach, there are two or more versions of a page on your website and you analyze which one performs better from a user point of view.
And it’s important to try to amass a large number of visitors because Linksplit makes that process easy by becoming an advertising partner. Go ahead for the first 10,000 clicks...because it’s free 😉
Principle is a good tool for any interaction designer - especially when it comes to mobile applications. Tweaking and polishing animated interactions can be a breeze with Principle. You can look at individual assets and how they independently animate, right down to timings and easing. This usability testing app is Mac only.
Squoosh is a free app specially made for web designers and photographers alike. It allows you to compress your images and optimize them, without losing any sort of quality. You can simply drag and drop it into the app or sync it from Google Drive to pull up an image from there.
Then, use the slider to adjust the compression rate from 100% down to 10%, which will preserve as much texture as possible regardless of whether you’re searching for a quick 500KB image or something with a little more pizazz that weighs in at 2MB. Give it a try and use it for your next web development using Yotako.
This web design tool is a godsend to the community. Many of us know how difficult it can sometimes be to find or design a great icon for a website or a project you're working on. The best stock libraries do not always have everything we need for this sort of thing, and it can be a long search before finding something that works properly. If you require some icons, check out Orion Icon Maker right away! It's very useful in finding an appropriate icon and altering its style properly - without any hassles at all!
Material Design is Google's new approach to web interface design. It aims to combine the classic principles of good website design (such as intuitive interfaces and simple navigation) with innovations in technology and science to create a cohesive, flexible foundation for your website that allows you to be more efficient!
Fluid is a fast, powerful prototyping tool that offers you a wide array of tools that enable both high and low-fidelity prototypes to be built for apps or websites. Not fully satisfied with the options available? Upgrade and assemble your symbols with components from your library! This tool is perfect for those on a budget and enables you to turn out first-class results for web and mobile applications.
Justinmind lets you easily create re-usable, responsive website UI widgets or web screen designs with ready-to-use interactions. Justinmind works completely within the browser and you can connect it to other tools like Sketch and Photoshop so you can incorporate these two together. Using Justinmind's many UI kits, you can build prototypes quickly.
Flinto gives you the power to create unique user experiences within your design that would be otherwise impossible. You can use gestures, smooth transitions, and even animations that come to life right before your eyes. There’s no need to worry about all of the extra work after because Flinto automates the process for you, having fun while it gets to work!
MockFlow is a tool for wireframing websites based on the original Google Docs interface, so it's easy to get started with but has all of the features you need to help create and iterate on gorgeous web interfaces. WireframePro helps you set out your initial idea and then refine it until it's just right - there's a UI revision checker included which makes this easy and painless.
You also get thousands of customizable elements and responsive layouts that you can edit and adjust to match your needs, and a preview mode that lets you play around with your different designs without even leaving MockFlow!
The ProtoPie app has some pretty cool functionality to help get your interactive prototype just right. With the help of the tool, you'll be able to create virtually any kind of interaction imaginable, with an ideal end goal in mind.
Perhaps one of its best features is that it lets game designers control the sensors on smart devices so they can truly view how these high-technology pieces will work within their prototype experience.
Now, how cool is this! Give it a try.
Serif's Affinity Designer, originally released decades ago for Windows and OSX, was always a popular alternative to photoshop. With the latest update, however, it has been deemed by many as a viable substitute for their beloved Adobe Photoshop.
I have personally been using this program to create web designs and have enjoyed being able to take advantage of different features such as simplifying or altering bits of a design without harming the original file. This essentially means creating a pure vector-based layout that is both quick and safe!
The team behind Affinity Designer has accented this program with self-editing tools that will help anyone with basic graphic skills to create attractive adverts or stunning graphics quickly and easily from an easy-to-use interface. There are even guides available via video tutorials anywhere from 'How to use freehand tool' right up to more detailed lessons such as 'How to make a mosaic pattern.'
Let us know in the comment if you ever tried Affinity & what did you create? 😎
As you can see, there are plenty of places to turn to if you’re looking to get your content designed and constructed. If you’re looking to get started with your own web design project, we encourage you to make use of some of the platforms we talked about today. With these resources, you’ll be able to get your website up and running in no time at all.