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Why a website in the first place?
I am sure most of you would ask as we can start a business using any of the most popular social media platforms which millions of people use regularly. With a website, you may not be sure if your website will be seen by your target audience. So why make a sincere effort in this regard in the first place? There are good reasons to do this.
Just think of sending your Facebook page to a prospective employer. Most of us won’t do this. Same goes for your business. Surely, you can run successful campaigns on social media platforms, but businesses need a comprehensive and customized portal to start with to make sure they are on the right track. And the design of websites plays an important role in the success of a website.
We all look forward to an engaging website which has something unique to offer from the rest. Apt use of web design tools can make a world of difference. There are dozens of great tools in the market, and some of them are free too.
Following is a list of 25 such software and tools which are top of the line and offer excellent support to designers for creating pages which are mesmerizing and spellbinding.
(Image credit: Adobe)
Adobe can be termed the big daddy of companies offering a host of web designing software and tools. Ever since its launch nearly 37 years ago in December 1982, it has strived to provide software which are used by developers and designers worldwide.
Adobe Creative Cloud suite is what you need, and as an Adobe devotee and new to XD, you will not find a drastic change in the layout. For perfect UI design and prototyping, Adobe XD fits the bill perfectly as you can import and work with assets from Photoshop or Illustrator easily. Furthermore, you will not feel alienated by design.
(Image credit: Adobe)
We all know how tricky it is to choose a color that looks perfect and complement a product. If you need to put just the right hue for color and don’t know how to proceed or having a dilemma in color combination, Adobe Color is what you need. These features are now part of Adobe Capture Creative Cloud.
(Image credit: InVision)
InVision Studio aims to be the way to be the only UI tool you’ll need. It comes with features to help you create beautiful interactive interfaces, including tools for rapid prototyping. When you’re done, export your prototypes through InVision and invite people to collaborate. You can view your project on its intended platform – a great way to explore and test your design.
Creating numerous artboards for multiple devices and responsive design can be achieved with a single artboard as it can save so much time for a designer.
[Image: Bohemian Coding]
Bohemian Coding’s Sketch is a web design tool based on vector UI design. Designers can create hi-fidelity interfaces and prototypes. Through Symbols, a distinct feature, you can design UI assets and elements for reuse, to keep interfaces consistent. Exporting design into a clickable prototype and working with vector drawings and graphics is very easy with Sketch.
If you’re looking for a way to create graphics for website use without spending hundreds on professional graphic design software, Canva is the perfect solution. You can create beautiful graphics using the drag-and-drop format with access to millions of photographs, vectors, and fonts.
(Image credit: Marvel)
Through Marvel, building pages is easy as you are allowed to simulate your design through a prototype. There are some wonderful integrations for inserting your designs into your project workflow. Every feature on Marvel can be worked online so there’s no need to download a tool or feature every time it is released, or when a new version is available.
Figma is an interface design tool that offers designers to collaborate in real-time. For multiple stakeholders in a project who are involved in a project, the shaping of the outcome of it becomes so much hassle-free. It’s available in the browser, or on Windows, Mac or Linux. Both free and paid versions are available according to the requirement of a user or project.
Image: [Affinity Designer]
Affinity keeps the layout familiar, just like Photoshop, while making everything up clear without getting into much details that can distract a first-time user. Affinity Designer is also available for the iPad. And users get the full version they get on the desktop.
Pixel persona, the Export persona, and the Pen tool are some of the best features in Affinity Designer, but you need to be expert enough to use them effectively. Al Adobe users will like the features once they are used to it.
(Image credit: Orion Icon)
Even the best stock libraries can feel old if you want to find something you really in terms of Icons. Orion Icon is helpful to find the just-right icons. The best part, you can manipulate the style of your icon, color, and flat icons perfectly.
Both SVG and vector format are available with a bunch of controls to build your perfect set. A nice feature is that you can build collections for different projects, ensuring you never forget which icons you used and how they were styled.
(Image credit: Affinity)
The company is proud to offer it as an alternative to Photoshop and Illustrator, and they are right. For professionals, Affinity Photo covers virtually everything they look for. Think of it as Photoshop and Illustrator combined with the added advantage of new features and power to enable you to create superb designs. For more complete image manipulation tools, explore our list of the best image editing software.
SVGito is a free web app that cleans up your SVG files, to save you the bother of manually editing them. This app lets you optimize your SVGs at the touch of a button, and will typically reduce their size and complexity without changing how they look on screen.
Squoosh is Google’s free app that assists web designers compress their images keeping the quality of the images and designs intact. Quickly finding a good balance between picture quality and file size is what Squoosh is so good at. The app works both online and offline, with web designers being the ultimate winner as Google gets everything right here.
If you want to start using Sketch, for prototyping, for example, Anima is the plugin to go. This is rightly termed as the missing piece in the puzzle to solve complex interface animations and other problems related to it.
Parallax SVG Animation Tools
[Image: SVG Animation Tools]
Gareth Battensby is the man behind Parallax SVG. This is an animation tool having a range of features that can make things work for you as a designer. Companies can get good animation tools by using this in the form of a Python script.
Flare is a browser-based tool that helps you design and animate vector art. Designers can work directly, in real-time, with assets that run in your final product, eliminating the need to redo that work in code. So, it should simplify your process enormously and save you a bucketload of time.
It’s free to download as part of the Open Design movement, and that’s why designers can easily check this according to their requirements.
As a developer, if you are looking for making things work for you, Anime will work just fine. CSS animations and more complex interactions often require a library, but with Anime.js you can easily add complex animated components to your apps.
(Image credit: Hype)
Hype Professional is an application that you can use to export stunning interactive and animated HTML5 layouts. This editor provides you with the tools to use new designs and leave static interfaces behind.
Sizzy is a tool that allows you to preview multiple screens at once while you’re testing out your responsive web apps.
You don’t need to go back and forth between so many devices as Sizzy allows you to see all the changes simultaneously, making it much quicker and easier to spot and fix layout bugs.
Zeplin is used for post-design and pre-development stages. Designers can take their design and prototypes and forward to developers with all the specs, codes snippets, and exportable assets. You can upload your Sketch, Photoshop, XD and Figma files to Zeplin without having to create guidelines.
Launchpad is a plugin from Anima that lets you publish responsive websites directly from Sketch, with no coding required. The entire interface is integrated into Sketch. If you’re currently designing responsive pages in Sketch and then handing them over to a developer, then giving this cool tool a try is a complete no-brainer.
Now, this is where things get interesting as AR can make a website looks alluring and catch the visitors by surprise.
With ARKit 3 on iOS 12, your AR apps can now be experienced by multiple users simultaneously and resumed at a later time in the same state. It allows AR content to pass behind realistically and in front of people in the real world, making AR experiences more immersive while also enabling green screen-style effects in almost any environment.
[Image: Firefox Reality]
Firefox Reality is a browser for virtual reality devices such as Oculus and Google Daydream.
It is designed to move seamlessly between the 2D web and the immersive web. It can search the web using voice and via a device headset. The browser is being built in the open, and you can follow along via its Github page. Please check out the VR app Hologram related to it
For WebVR creation, Hologram is the best in the business. This is for the novice for no prior coding experience, and its native Google Blocks integration enables you to play with lots of free 3D objects. Designers can take full advantage of the power and simplicity of A-Frame, Mozilla’s WebVR framework. So, developers can download projects created with Hologram and use them in their A-Frame workflows.
Vaunt comes handy when you want to match a website’s color scheme to an image you want to add on a page. It offers you to analyze your images and lets you know which colors are dominant. You can easily use this information in your design. It is easy to drag and drop your image into the app, the dominant colors appear in a panel, and anyone can click on any of the colors to add them to the clipboard.
Vivaldi offers impressive features such as command-line control, a panel for taking notes, tab stacking and tiling as these all make designers life easier.
Over to you
Did I miss something here? If you think any other tool should be on this list, please don’t be shy to speak out. Please offer your valuable feedback for this blog or ask any question by using the comments section below.