Tools and softwares to master in Website Design

From a better point and fact, using the right web design tools can streamline your workflow which will help you work smarter rather than harder and more efficiently. After all, you want to invest your energy in solving problems, delighting users and creating beautiful designs. You don’t want to waste it on dull, repetitive and soul-sapping tasks.

I know many will be expecting this will be more about the popular WordPress and other typical website design platforms we all know, well, I have a good news for you, a lot of new web design tools are being released all the time to help you simplify processes, and reduce time and effort most notably in UI design.

Below are my TOP 5 brilliant web design tools that will help you become more productive in the coming year. Some are brand spanking new; others have been around for a while. But all have the potential to save you time, energy and budget in your web design projects.

01 Adobe XD

Adobe XD - Tools and software(s) to master in Website DesignAdobe XD which currently stands as a rival to Sketch has a light interface that allows you to concept and prototype with ease

World’s popular Adobe now has its own vector design and wireframing tool, Adobe XD. Which we reviewed the Beta version this, and it was formally released October 2017.

Adobe XD has drawing tools, tools that enable you to define non-static interactions, mobile and desktop previews, and sharing tools for giving feedback on designs. It allows you to select a device-specific artboard size for starting a project, and you can even import a popular UI kit, for example, Google’s Material Design.

Crucially, Adobe XD integrates with the rest of Creative Cloud, Being a user of Photoshop and Illustrator, the UI for Adobe XD felt familiar, there is no real learning curve for using it.

Rogers also praises the ability XD offers to use Adobe libraries to quickly import any asset from Photoshop or Illustrator, as this makes collaboration projects run more quickly.

 

02. Sketch

The sketch is no doubt rapidly replacing Photoshop as the UI design tool of choice which is the most obvious. Yes, we know everyone’s heard of Sketch, Bohemian Coding’s vector UI design tool but anecdotally it seems there are still a lot of web designers relying on Photoshop for UI design (and that’s despite the release of Adobe XD, Adobe’s shiny new prototyping and wireframing tool which is one of the newest additions to Creative Cloud which comes in second on this list).

Superrb’s creative director Rory Berry, rightly feels that using Photoshop for web design is a mistake. He made the switch to Sketch in 2017 and highly recommends it. “Having been a user of Photoshop for over 10 years, it was hard to change and learn something new,” he says. “But literally after the first day of using Sketch, there was no looking back. I’m a total convert.”

From his perspective, he offers a number of reasons why. “Compared to Photoshop, sorting all your documents that you have and making revisions on Sketch is much easier,” he begins. “Sketch has small documents whereas Photoshop has large ones. Due to it being a vector-based app, the file sizes are dramatically smaller compared to Photoshop.”

The built-in grid system in Sketch is great and makes interface design much easier. I think the overall UI and minimal feel makes it much cleaner to design in and user-friendly. Photoshop seems very complicated in comparison.

The Sketch community offers hundreds of plugins to make designers workflow easier and smoother, he adds. “There’s basically a plugin for everything if you can find it. Photoshop/ Lightroom is still our go-to for photo editing, but Sketch is an all-around winner for web design.”

03. Figma

Figma is one tool which allows you to design, prototype and gathers feedback from other designers in real time as it has an interface design tool that enables multiple designers to collaborate in real-time. It’s available in the browser, or on Windows, Mac or Linux, and there are both free and paid versions depending on what you use it for.

Some of its outstanding features of Figma:

Figma has a similar USP as Sketch with the exception of being cross-platform,” explains frontend designer Benjamin Read. “I recently used it to create a couple of icons for an article we’re publishing on our website and found the workflow incredibly smooth. It took me no time to learn and had the added benefit of being collaborative: you can share graphics with others within the app.“

“I’ve been trying to switch to Linux for my work and sometimes we use Windows, so Figma makes sense to me from a practical standpoint,” he adds. “In comparison, I’ve found many tools for other platforms fall short.”

David Eastwood who works for Co-op Electrical as content writer and artwork also has good things to say about Figma. “We were recommended Figma by our web development agency and use it for landing page wireframes,” he explains. “This has included proposed changes to the homepage and specific sales landing page, especially around Black Friday. It’s also been a really useful tool when we’ve needed to quickly mock MVTs; sometimes small additions to an existing layout. We love that you can quickly create designs for desktop, tablet and mobile.”

04. Affinity Designer

Serif’s Affinity software is rapidly becoming the alternative to Creative Suite

“Serif’s Affinity Designer has been dubbed the ‘Photoshop killer’ by some, and it’s easy to see why,” says Dan Edwards, creative director at No Divide. “My first impressions are that the app is incredibly well designed and feels like it’s been made to be a dedicated web and graphic design tool.”

“There were a few features I really enjoyed, including adjustable, nondestructive layers. This essentially means you can adjust images or vectors without damaging them.”

“The 1,000,000 percent zoom was just bliss (very often Photoshop’s 32,000 feels like it’s just not enough). This is especially useful when working with vector art, as you can really get in close. The undo and history features are also really handy – Affinity allows you to go back over 8,000 steps!”

“When it comes to designing, the UI feels familiar. When moving from Photoshop, everyone seems to want to start over, which can pose a real challenge. What Affinity has done is to keep the layout familiar, while tightening everything up and hiding distractions. I was easily able to jump straight in and get designing.”

“Overall, Affinity feels like it could be a real competitor to Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. And at just £48.99 it’s a real bargain!”

05. Anime

Anime - Tools and software(s) to master in Website DesignWhy not Spice up your apps with this animation engine?

Although web page animations have at times got a bad rap, developers are always looking for ways to make things easier. CSS animations and transitions have been a huge step forward, but more complex interactions often require a library. Anime is a new animation engine you’ll want to take a look at if you need to add complex animated components to your apps.

 

Here’s an example to demonstrate the super-simple API:

var myAnimation = anime({
targets: [‘.box1’, ‘.box2’],
translateX: ‘5rem’,
rotate: 180,
duration: 3000,
loop: true
});

This code defines the objects you want to animate, along with specifics of the animations. The API allows you to target elements using CSS selectors, DOM elements or even JavaScript objects.

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Sandra Udenze
Author: Sandra Udenze
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