Web Design Essentials: Simple Tools To Boost Your Productivity

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What is the proper way to organize a team of web designers? How can you make their job easier and them more productive? What is the ideal approach – the perfect solution?

Some claim that the ideal way to organize web design process is by using Kanban methodology. However, to start using this method of agile project management. Effectively, you will have first to master Kanban basics. Others, on the other hand, rely on different methods such as Scrum… It all depends on preference.

What is common for all, however, is that we are all using adequate software solutions (tools, if you may) to keep track of ours as well as team’s productivity. Whether we are trying to plan the process better by using the project management tool or trying to cut down on client reports, there is an app for everything.

Below are tools that will help you and your team of web designers achieve higher productivity and produce better results throughout the process overall.

  1. GoVisually

Let us start with something lite: GoVisually is a free tool that allows you to share projects with your fellow peers and make notes and place comments on any part of your design project – without use of the email. Just like Photoshop, this tool will apply a layer for each user on the same page, and it is very simple to switch between different versions of the same project or document. This app will provide you with the feedback and guidelines on further development of your work. With GoVisually, all revisions are uploaded quickly, so there is no time wasting when it comes to feedback gathering as well.

  1. InVision

If you use GoVisually to get quick opinions from your fellow web designers, you can use InVision to get instant feedback from your clients. You can present them with active prototypes that imply animations, gestures and transitions for an additional impact. This tool also lets you include your clients into the project progress, thus saving you time on writing constant progress reports. With InVision, you can import design files from Sketch or Photoshop, animate design assets, and preview prototypes on mobile devices as well. Finally we must address its diversity: it can be used as a presentation tool, a project asset manager, and a gallery maker as well.

  1. Macaw

Recently purchased by above-mentioned InVision, Macaw is a tool that lets you draw a desired website design, while it provides code in the background. That basically means that you no longer have to write the code – all you have to do is draw it! Website you create will be responsive and available across multiple devices connected to the same network. The secret behind Macaw is a real-time layout engine called Stream, which allows elements to be manipulated in like they are in Photoshop. In the back Stream calculates floats, clears, margins and other elements, so it can place then into a static document flow.  According to some users, the code the app produces is well constructed and semantic. Guess we found a recipe for magic.

  1. Active Collab

ActiveCollab is a powerful yet simple web design project management software. Keep your projects on track, tasks in check and you clients included in the process. It comes with a load of different features like time tracking, flexible task-manager, as well as invoicing and it has only one goal: to make you more productive and your life a whole lot simpler. Keep your web design projects within time and budget by having an insight into everyone’s duties. Also, by having a constant reminder of your tasks, what is due, and how close deadlines are, you can keep yourself more productive and better prepared for challenges that await you. ActiveCollab has your back: never miss a deadline or go over budget again.

  1. Skeleton

What is Notepad for a writer, that is Skeleton for web designers! Striped down to the bones, this tool was made with mobile in mind, and should be used if you don’t really need the utility of larger frameworks. Even though Skeleton incorporates only a grid, and a handful of standard HTML elements, it should provide you with enough to get you started. It’s light  (has ~400 lines) and quick to start with zero compiling or installing necessary.

  1. Toggl

Finally, there is no productivity if you are not investing your time wisely. With Toggl, similarly like with ActiveCollab, users can track time during which they are focused on real work. This timer tracks billable hours, and every record can be assigned with a tag for later filtering. It comes with a reporting feature as well, so it is always clear how much time each designer spent on the project: you can export timesheets or you can email reports to your bosses or clients. Anyway, Toggle is an excellent solution if you are looking for lightweight and simple time tracking app.

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