By: Steven Cotroneo
December 31, 2015design
We all know Photoshop and Illustrator are programs that should be in every designer’s toolbox. Hopefully this list will introduce you to some web applications you haven’t came across or that you want to learn more about.
I am a web designer with more than 15 years of experience, and during that time I have worked with some pretty amazing web designers and web design agencies in and around the Boston area. I’ve learned many different approaches to web design from very senior designers, programmers and even junior designers, and I’ve developed a list of dozens and dozens of applications, resources and tutorials. Below is just a small sample of some of my favorites.
A few years ago, in order to show my clients the website design I’d created for them, I would have to mock up an html page. With Invision it literally takes just a few minutes to create a pretty amazing and interactive prototype, and then test and review your work with clients without any coding at all. Easily create lifelike interactions by adding customizable “hotspots” to your design files that link your screens together realistically. The InVision team is always updating the application and coming up with some really nice features to help present and share your work. Since I’ve started using this application I can’t imagine designing without it. Check out InVision.
Here is another application I consider essential to my working environment. I use Join.me on an almost daily basis to pitch ideas, give presentations or just meet with clients to go over concepts. It has many of the same features as some of the other popular conferencing applications–video conferencing, free audio conferencing, mobile apps, presenter swap, one-click scheduling and a personal link for screen sharing; the big difference is this one is free.
3. The noun project
This one was a hidden gem that was introduced to me by SAC’s own junior designer Tali Singer. The site catalogs symbols created and shared by designers around the globe and has over 150,000 vector icons for free download and use. The great thing about this site is that its growing every day. Normally, I would say to stay away from sites like this but I was pretty impressed with the quality of the icons. It’s definitely worth checking out these FREE icons.
This is my favorite! It has changed the way I design for mobile application. Develop pixel-perfect graphics for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad quickly and easily with a live view of your canvas/artboard while you work in any Mac application. Interact with software prototypes and demos running on your Mac to communicate and iterate your concepts quickly by controlling your Mac’s cursor via touch. This one is worth the $10 and will save you tons of time. Change the way you design for the web.
This is one for all you Flash developers and banner designers, but really it’s a great tool for websites in general. This site simply takes your compressed .jpg or.png file and uses their own compression algorithm to reduce the image size up to 70% without any visual difference. I can’t tell you how long I’ve spent in the past trying to get images small enough to meet some of the publication requirements out there. I recently used this application to reduce images on our own site and I was able to get a page to load in under 2 seconds. Take a look out our portfolio ( shameless self-promotion). This baby really has saved me many times over. The application is free, and there is a Photoshop Plugin you can get as well for $50. But you may want to try the FREE version firs. Get tiny
That’s it for now. I love everything design, including discovering and collecting resources, and I’ll be sharing more in future posts. If you want to hear more and you just can’t wait, or if you have a great resource to share, write to me.