Designing creative websites requires smart work. As designers, most of us are on a constant lookout for new tools, technologies, and resources that can help us save time and energy. Over the last few years, hundreds of websites, blogs and tools created by web designers have made life easier for other web designers.
But, with so much material available on the Internet, it is difficult to separate wheat from the chaff. So, here is a list of ten amazing tools, websites, and other resources that will help designers accomplish more in less time. I’ve deliberately picked the entries from different categories to ensure that the list offers true value to the designers.
Tools for Web Designers
Smart tools and resources can help you save a lot of time while designing websites. You can use many of them for free, and they are easily available. Here, we explore ten fantastic tools for web designers that help save a lot of time and energy.
At some point of time or other, someone will want you to create a cool or professional design for an email template. Creating such an email template can consume unnecessary time and you would like to get done with it fast. At such a time, this resource will make your life easy. Here, you can download high-quality email templates in HTML – all the designs are fully-tested and mobile ready. What more can you ask for?
Collaboration will become easier and a little more fun with this tool. It is a simple tool that allows you and your colleagues to work simultaneously on one document. You can all have separate colors and the changes are visible instantaneously. The best part is that you do not waste time signing up to use this tool!
Some of us spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect font for the web page. This site lets you browse through all kinds of typography, compare different types with each other and preview them. The best part is that it also lets you annotate prototypes and then retrieve the CSS when you are coding.
This is a bookmarking site with a pleasant twist. It is more of a bookmarklet that lets you collect (and share) images, videos, and links while you are browsing. Once you have collected items, you can also organize them and share them on Twitter, Delicious and FriendFeed.
Work from home may not be a prevalent trend is many organizations, but most designers end up working from some place outside their office even if they are not freelancers. If you are not not at home, nor in office, and are looking for a place where you could plonk down your laptop, this website will point out a nearby location where you can find free space to work.
Wireframing can end up taking too much of one’s time. This is a simple and lightweight tool that lets you create diagrams and GUI prototypes from your Firefox browser window. Nothing more, nothing less – a basic, free and reliable wireframing tool.
This is the perfect wireframing tool when you want to show others how a responsive website would actually look. It is a collection of responsive HTML snippets and it enables designers to build responsive wireframes quickly. This is an invaluable tool than can save you many hours.
Don’t you sometimes wish that there were some way of checking your code just as word processors check language? Well, there is. CSS Lint checks your code and highlights any errors that it finds. It may not be foolproof – it just does a simple syntax check on the basis of a set of rules – but it can weed out quite a few of your errors. You can also write your own rules into it or remove the ones it offers, if you are so minded.
Most of us are developing responsive websites, and this website provides the simplest way of testing just how responsive a website really is and how it looks in different browsers. It can be used while you are developing the website to test the effectiveness of your pages.
Installed right into your Firefox or Chrome browser, this is one of the coolest free tools for analyzing the loading speed and other performance aspects of your website. As it integrates with Firebug, you need it installed too. But both are free and absolutely worth installing.
To Wrap it Up
This is a list of popular and free tools that have helped thousands of web designers around the world. Of course, there are hundreds more, but I feel that these ten are enough to help you shave off many hours off your work. What tools and resources do you often use to speed up your design process? Please let me know in the comments section!