Creative Design Tools for Non-Designers

Face it; you're not a Web designer. You may try your digital best, but hey, you've never been trained in the art of virtual aesthetics. But that's okay, because we can't all be Web Van Gogh's.

However, for those of us that run websites and don't have a dedicated design team to allocate work to, it's still necessary to participate in the design process, from wireframing to reviewing, and all those little tweaks along the way.

Luckily, there are plenty of great creative design tools available on the Web that are easy enough that any non-designer can use them. Check out the list below to see if there's something that can help you look like you play a designer on the Web.


deviantART muro

muro, by deviantART, is a browser-based HTML5 drawing application for the site's members that allows them to create images from scratch, featuring over 20 brushes, multiple filters and the ability to add layers to an image.


Fluid UI

This is a mobile app prototyping tool that lets users quickly and easily create interactive mockups and wireframes of mobile applications for Android, iOS and Windows 8.



Ever had a great image to share that just needs a little explanation to make sense? Have you been looking for a better way to engage your audience with photos? Well, Label59 is for you, as this Web app provides an intuitive toolset that lets users label photos and even create an interactive presentation in minutes.



Sumopaint offers a fast and simple graphics editor application for Web browsers, PCs or iPads that works in 22 different languages, and includes a basic version that is always free for everyone.


Actual Reports Designer

While Actual Reports Designer is really a multi-faceted tool for creating simple designs, it is particularly useful for non-designers that want to generate QR codes to market their services, products or content. The tool includes a library of over 500 industry standard signs and symbols to choose from, as well as a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface.



One of the more popular online video editors available, WeVideo includes three distinct editing modes (Storyboard, Timeline and Advanced) to allow users to edit videos however they'd like. In addition, it integrates with YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Box and many other websites.


Balsamiq Mockups

This is another wireframing tool that basically lets users feel like they're "drawing" an early version of their websites, while allowing for various tweaks and rearrangements at any time. Plus, it is collaboration friendly, so teams can create a design and modify it in real time during a meeting.



MindMeister is a mind mapping software with a particular focus on collaboration that has been used by everyone from EA to CNN to Oracle to help users visualize their thinking.



In the wake of Picnik, a number of free image editing services emerged, but none of them are as efficient and user-friendly as Pixlr, which is why it is now the Web's most popular online photo editor.



Turn everyday videos into memorable movies with Magisto, the automated online video editor the selects the best parts of a user's video, adds the music, themes and effects they select, and the puts it all together to create 'beautiful" films that can be easily shared with others.



This simple online application makes it easy (and kind of fun) to test what people remember on a website. Simply enter the URL into the empty bar to create a test, and then see what users report to be the most impactful elements of the page.



Like Clue, this app was created by the folks at ZURB and makes it easy to share ideas on a website. Again, just enter a URL, and then users can highlight specific areas on a page and leave feedback for the website owner.



It always helps to have a roadmap, so that's why services like Moqups are so nice. This Web-based HTML5 application lets users create wireframes, mockups and prototypes of their websites with an incredibly intuitive interface.



IcoMoon was the Web's first custom icon font builder, meaning it allows users to choose specific icons that they need and turn them into a unique font to improve compatibility we various screen readers.



Users can publish, embed and share interactive 3D models with Sketchfab. The tool supports 27 different native 3D formats with no plugin required and unlimited uploads.


HTML Banner Maker

Create banners that work across all devices using HTML5 with this Web app that requires no prior coding knowledge.




NodeFire is an HTML5-based interactive animation create that lets users quickly and easily design banners, advertisements, text effects, drop-down menus, scrolling items, marquees, buttons, mini games and much more.




With TweenUI, it takes no time at all to create sleek looking HTML5 banner ads that look great across mobile devices and tablets.



And if you're looking to create rich media HTML5 ads just for mobile devices, you can turn to Mugeda, the cloud-based solution that can be easily integrated into a publisher's existing ad platform.