Web design

Fresh Resources for Web Developers – January 2015

It’s here! We’ve finally left the tumultous year of 2014 and as we usher in a new beginning with the new year, we have new hope, wishes, and certainly new tools to try out. In this post, we have put together a handful of perfect tools and plugins to get this rolling.

From a handy online test tool to something for easy access to mobile design patterns, there are quite a few choices to get your 2015 on the right track.

Seti UI

Seti UI is a Sublime Text theme, not to be confused with Sublime Text Color Scheme. The theme in Sublime Text affects the app interface such as the tab and the sidebar. Seti UI is a ported theme. Its flat look is really nice to look at. A perfect choice of theme if you are using Sublime Text in Windows 8 or OS X Yosemite.

Seti UI

IXD Check List

Having a checklist can help you keep track on what has been done and what is to come. If you are a UI designer, you should probably add IXD Check List in your bookmark.

IXD Check List contains a collection of common to-do lists to check. Each item is supported with link references, so you can also learn why it’s on the list. If you prefer, there is a little button on the left where you can print the page and check the list offline.

IXD Check List

Coolors

Well, we have a handful of tools for picking out a color scheme already. But none is as easy as this tool, called Coolors. Simply hit the Space key and it brings up a new color scheme. It will generate new color scheme infinitely, derived from its algorithm and outsourced from its users contributors, as you repeat hitting the Space key.

Coolors

Nibbler

Nibbler is an online test tool that evaluates and scores your website for various factors including Code Quality, Mobile Compatibility, and Accessibility. It’s handy if you want to run a final check for your website before launch.

Nibbler

Velositey

Velositey is a Photoshop plugin to make the process of creating a website prototype in Photoshop easyil and quickly. This plugin allows you to quickly create a new document with a preset grid, adding preset web components, and generating icons or favicons. An indispensable Photohop plugin for every web designer.

Velocitey

Vagrant Manager

If you are using Vagrant in OS X, install Vagrant Manager. This app lets you manage multiple environments in a more convenient way. Once it is installed, it adds a new icon in the OS X task bar where you can monitor and control your virtual machines with only a few clicks. No more messing with command lines.

Vagrant Manager

CSS Specificity

CSS Specifity is one notorious topic of CSS which is not easy to digest. This tool is created to illustrate how this specificity concept works in an interactive manner. Draw several selectors and it will tell you which selector to apply.

CSS Specificity

CSS Dig

CSS Dig is a Chrome extension. And as the name implies, it will dig into your website and parse its CSS. It will show you a report which you can evaluate to perform required optimizations.

CSS Dig

Material Up

For those of you who might not aware of it, Google has just introduced Material, a new philosophy of its product design. Material Up is a collection of apps and websites that has already adopted this new philosophy. A good source of inspiration for web designers.

Material Up

Tindddle

Tindddle helps you enjoy Dribbble in a more streamlined manner. It will feed you with a selection of the best “Shots” from Dribbble. If you don’t like the particular Shot, hit the left arrow key of your keyboard, and if you like it hit the right arrow key. All the Shots that you have liked will appear in your Dribbble account — here’s a sample.

Tindddle

Mobile Design Pattern

The Mobile Design Pattern book is a collection of selected common mobile design pattern applied in mobile in 2014. Not only does it provide inspiration, the book also covers the decision and reasoning behind such design. A good book that should be on the digital book shelf of any web and app designer.

Mobile Design Pattern

FontAwesome Photoshop

FontAwesome is… awesome. To make it even more… awesome, install this plugin in Photoshop so that you can quickly add it in your design.

FontAwesome Photoshop



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Web design

Fresh Resources For Web Developers – December 2014

Editor’s note: We’ve come to the end of another year. This final month of 2014, we’re looking at a round of resources by Daniel Pataki.

A developer’s toolbelt should always contain plenty of items but should never be considered final and unchangeable. Fellow developers are creating great tools every day. Some of these go on to be huge successes like the Foundation framework or Twitter Bootstrap but some remain diamonds in the rough.

To round up a great year, I’ll take a look at some great tools that have proven to come in very handy for my own use. From documentation creation to loader elements, here’s a useful collection of tools for all web developers.

Daux.io

Daux.io is an extremely capable documentation generator. It is completely free and the source code can be found on Github. You can run the documentation on a web server or with Grunt, if you prefer.

There is a lengthy feature list, with built-in support for Github flavoured markdown, a file editor, Google Analytics and many more features. Plenty to help you out with most projects. [Get it here]

Ladda

In the creator’s own words, Ladda is “A UI concept which merges loading indicators into the action that invoked them“. Ladda enables you to create awesome interaction indicators for buttons.

A number of sizes and animations are available. I particularly enjoy the progress bars which have been built right into the buttons. [Get it here]

Revaxarts Theme Documentor

This project is used by a number of Themeforest authors but can be used for any documentation purpose. Its online interface makes it easy for you to assemble your documentation and it has great HTML5 tech to store them on your local computer.

Plus you can enable auto-saving and come back any time to complete the docs. In addition, it has json import and export functionality and theme modification capabilities, allowing you to tailor it pretty well to your company colors. [Get it here]

Unicode Table

Unicode characters can be a great help when you want to add specific characters not usually found on keyboards. You should always be careful of adding arrows and other elements because screen readers may not handle them well but in some cases they still are the most effective solution. This Unicode Table is my favorite because it allows me to search with plain English like “circle” or “arrow” and get a pretty good list of results to work from. [Get it here]

WordPress Plugin Boilerplate

WordPress Plugin Boilerplate is now in it’s third iteration. It’s a boilerplate for creating modular WordPress plugins. It tries to impose a stricter architecture on you which should lead to better code. Thus, leading to equal intrepretation by all programmers. It takes an object oriented approach which is a breath of fresh air amidst all the procedurally coded plugins. [Get it here]

CSS Guidelines

CSS Guidelines is basically a set of rules and best practices for writing Javascript. It was written by Harry Roberts – a front end architect – who knows his stuff well. The goal is to make your CSS as clear as possible so everyone can understand it at a glance.

The rules cover everything from syntax and commenting to naming conventions, specificity and architectural principles. If some of it is over your head don’t worry, try to keep to things you can understand and your code will already be that much better! [Get it here]

Spinkit

Another entry into loading animations, Spinkit provides awesome CSS only transformations for simple elements. Whether you use them for loading or interaction purposes, they are easy to grab off the site and then make your own. [Get it here]

Random User Generator

Since Random User Generator is a fully functioning API, you can build it into your application development needs as a dynamic tool. No more having to go to the website to generate test data each and every time.

It spits back emails, addresses avatars, names, all that good stuff, using a fast and secure connection. Using it programmatically with AJAX is extremely simple and understandable, this is something you shouldn’t forget for your next project! [Get it here]

jQuery Plugin Boilerplate

The jQuery Plugin Boilerplate is a starting template for jQuery plugins which employs good practices throughout. Javascript is something a lot of developers learn as an afterthought, as a result lower quality code tends to be written.

By using the boilerplate, you are already writing better code by adhering to some simple rules it lays out. How the plugin is initialized, how functions are added and so on. There’s also a more recent version which you can get via the site. [Get it here]

Regex 101

Many people are scared of regex because of the perceived complexity and the difficulty of testing with it. Regex 101 helps us by allowing the testing of our regex right in the browser.

Tools like explanations, hints, match explanations and others are also offered. I find this an invaluable tool because I myself struggle a bit with regex but this tool helps me figure it all out much faster! [Get it here]

Font Awesome

Of all the icon fonts available on the web, Font Awesome is my favorite resource. It is completely free, regularly updated and has over 450 icons at the moment. I use it regularly in a wide range of projects, from designs to keynotes to websites.

Since it is a proper font, you can embed it in any capable application making it a very flexible and portable option. Be sure to check out the Cheat Sheet for a full list of copy-pastable icons, class names and hex codes. [Get it here]



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