50 Top Design & Development Tools
In the early days of my career as an Internet professional, rarely did my discussions about online success venture into the virtual waters of Web design.
But as the industry has placed increasingly
higher values on user
experience and the relationships
between design and conversion,
the visual development of webpages
has taken its rightful place
on center stage in the digital business
At least it has for me.
Once the dominion of but a handful of the most artistic and technical among all Web workers, design has evolved significantly over the past few years. And so have the tools, platforms and frameworks that are used to produce aesthetically pleasing websites with which our users interact. Few designers code their websites in something as barren as a text editor anymore. Instead, highly customized tools, very robust platforms and powerful frameworks are filling the necessary roles of solutions used to develop not just Web properties, but applications; the entire digital presence, so to speak.
When you have an audience as diverse as that of Website Magazine, assembling a list of just 50 tools to aid in the design process can often seem to be a Sisyphean task. There are those just getting started that opt for ease of use from tools provided by their hosting provider; a good example being the 1and1 product MyWebsite, which is No. 17 on our list.
Many others will use one of myriad available platforms that require little in the way of design experience but yield stunning finished products, including Wix (No. 6), Yola (No. 12) or Webnode (No. 13). More experienced designers, however, wouldn’t dream of using anything but Adobe’s market-leading products – including Dreamweaver, Photoshop and InDesign (not to mention the video tools that Adobe provides).
And, wouldn’t you know, it gets even more complex. The roles played by content management systems such as Word- Press (No. 2) and Joomla (No. 14) have dramatically changed our perceptions of the overall impact that design has on one’s success on the Web.
Of course, it does not stop there. Entirely new definitions of design and development are emerging. The role that applications (Web and mobile) now play in the digital realm is vital, and frameworks have emerged that enable designers to take their existing coding language familiarity to entirely new heights.
There are many of the same requirements, and you will still need those wireframing tools and should not cast aside any video-editing tools or visual design products that have been staples in the design world for many years.
The definition of design and the role that it plays for you personally is greatly dependent on the type of enterprise you have and want to have in the future. Design is one element of success over which you have a great deal of control, so let these tools, platforms and frameworks support your objectives for ’Net success.