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5 Tools no web designer should be without

02 February 2016

5 tools to help you create the perfect website

5. Slickplan

 slickplan web tool

A great web based application which lets you design a visual interpretation of your sitemap. It lets you create a family tree of how all your pages should interact, how they are related and how the user journey will work throughout your new website. This is a great first base for UX (User Experience) and ironing out over-elaborate routes through your site to the products, services and soft conversion areas like lead magnets and CtAs (Calls to Action). You can add multiple users for collaboration, crawl your existing site for inspiration and already integrates with popular CMS platforms like Wordpress & Joomla. Free trial offered, but prices start at $8.99 a month.

4. Layout It!


If you're the kind of person who likes a proof-of-concept or a prototype to work with, this is a great first base for a quick mockup. The web-based app allows you to create block elements using the Bootstrap 3 framework, a fully mobile responsive design kit that any developer worth their salt should be familiar with. Bootstrap is not the be-all and end-all solution for complex designs, but it's popularity and simplicity make it easy to work with and when you've used it once, you remember the classes and construct with ease. Use this tool for quick and easy layout building. £Free

3. Asana


A product we use daily and love. It's a web-based project management tool, and it allows you to add all your colleages, create tasks and subtasks with completion dates, attachments, comment areas and the ability to tag each other in important edits or changes. This is how we manage our developers, designers, content writers and marketing geeks all in one place. It lets you see the whole picture when you need to, but focus on just one area or project at a time. Integrates with dropbox for shared files and features a slick and simple layout. From here, you can jot down all the milestones of design, development and testing with charts and graphs to show visually how fast the project is coming along. Basic plan is free.

2. iStock Photo


Our go-to marketplace for great imagery. While these types of resources are largely overlooked, the photography on a website can define a brand in an instant. There are some great lifestyle and really specific shots on here worth investing in if your design needs to stand out from the rest. While some credit plans are expensive, there are some in their 'essentials' collection that will work well for placeholders until you receive client content or for use in creating banners and background textures. This is also a fantastic royalty-free image resource when creating content. Prices start from £7 for 1 credit, so consider a monthly plan as a more cost-efficient use.

1. GitHub


If you need to share code with co-workers and outsourced specialists for integration of their API or to collaborate on a specific function, GitHub provides the perfect solution. It's a cloud-based solution that allows you to version your software, roll back any erroneous updates, track changes and totally manage the development of each module or function of your site. Branch management lets you work on the same problem at the same time, allowing you to choose a more coherent and logical solution. This can often be the scenario when developing code, is the blinkered environment of many coders forces them down a particular path of development without fully exploring other options. So, not only does it improve workflow, it allows developers to learn from one another at the same time. Prices start from $7/m


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