Being a web designer used to involve a text editor and a very in depth knowledge of HTML. However, times have changed, websites have become more complex, and tools have been developed to make it much easier to create different, interesting, and highly functional web pages that could have never been considered in the early days. There are plenty of tools to choose from, but which ones are going to make a web designer’s life easiest?
Here are some of the best tech tools that should be in every web designer’s toolbox:
1. Bluefish – Sure, we’ve largely moved past the idea of creating a website entirely in a text editor, but being able to manipulate code quickly and efficiently is still pretty important if you’re designing a website. That’s why Bluefish should be in your task bar if you create websites. It’s especially useful when it comes to the coding necessary for dynamic websites, since it can accommodate a number of different programming languages and make them easy to keep organized on the screen. It’s also great for creating mobile based websites.
2. jQuery Mobile – Speaking of mobile sites, it’s sometimes necessary to be able to design websites on the go, which is why jQuery mobile is such a great tool. Anyone can download it to a mobile device and use its unique interface to create websites while employing your touch screen, which it is optimized to use. Once you’ve created the website, you can use anything from the slowest upload to the highest speeds of fiber optic Verizon Internet in order to help the website go live. You can also use it to create interfaces to use in iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Phone, webOS, bada and MeeGo quickly and easily.
3. Adobe Dreamweaver – This is an expensive program, but it really is worth the price for the sheer amount of power that it gives you. A WYSIWYG editor that also gives you access to the HTML code, this Adobe product, like all of them, is powerful, easy to use, and gives you access to so many aspects of your website. The CSS editing potential alone is worth the investment since you can so quickly change style sheet options.
4. Niice – Less a direct web design tool and more like a web design search engine, Niice is great if you’re looking for inspiration, ideas, or just a working piece of code that you can base your own work on. It pulls results from Behance, Dribbble and Designspiration and presents them in an easy to view fashion so that you can get a good idea of what you should be doing in order to make the best web pages.
5. Designer News – This is actually a takeoff on the popular Hacker News program. Basically, it’s a clearing house for all sorts of articles and discussions online that focus on web page design. It’s a great way to see what other people are doing, discover new techniques, and stay ahead of the curve by learning about emerging technologies as they first get announced or even rumored.
6. Keynote – If you have clients that want to see how your work is going or want to approve designs before you get into the heavy work of coding, Keynote is going to be a major time saver. It creates simple, functional mockups of the websites that you’re working on and does it in a snap. It’s actually the program Google Ventures uses.
About the Author:
Beth Phillips is a freelance writer with a focus on web design and development. She can be found typing away on her laptop in Philadelphia, PA. Beth welcomes your feedback via email.