A designer from a particular field, such as print media, would be creating magnificent interfaces that would be aesthetically pleasing. The designs would be, at least, magazine-worthy quality (not to be misunderstood that magazines are of low quality. No. I’m just stating that magazine-like quality is a benchmark of quality). But these designs, when applied to the web, would download slowly, which would also make these designs difficult to update, modify, or automate. As a competent Web Designer, one must have a keen understanding of how web pages are built and their behavior. One must also understand maximum usability and web age efficiency as part of your design process.
Designing for websites is not just about aesthetics. Having beautiful pages is part of your design, but that should not be the whole picture. You are a Web Designer, and you should have an understanding also of your audience. From here, you would be crafting a structure of design and information that meets the business goals and consumer needs. Being a Web Designer would also require from you an intricate understanding of working with a team of people, along with the interworking web of the production process. The process may include content development to visual design. It would consist of composition design and the integration of the technical aspect if needed.
12 Best Tools Used for Web Designing
Below are the top tools/software used by web designers.
Adobe Photoshop is a popular graphics editor that is available on multiple platforms, including Windows and Mac Operating Systems. It is a tool that is used by professionals for image manipulation. It is a great tool also for creating web graphics. As a powerful tool of design, it has a steep learning curve at the beginning, but it has the necessary tools that you’ll need. Photoshop provides you with a wide array of options that includes filters, brushes, and scripting tools. It also has workflow enhancement features such as Layer composition and Revert option.
Photoshop is one of the best tools you can use as a Web Designer. Adobe has a lot of tools that you can use for your designs (which also means we have other Adobe products on our list). The importance and benefits that Photoshop brings as part of your repertoire become apparent with its color and gradient options that allow you to create amazing prints and patterns for your projects. The best part of this software is it will enable you to create original designs. The designs you make will be based upon the artworks that you have personally drawn or have worked on collaboratively.
Illustrator is another popular commercial product and design tool from Adobe. It is a powerful tool for vector-based graphics manipulation. Designers love to use this software because of its flexibility to cater to creative briefs and design demands. Illustrator’s pen tool and the mastery of using it would give you the edge in designing original works that you have hand-drawn or may be derived inspiration from a piece of image in the net. Illustrator may have been once considered a glorified word-processor because of its typographic design features, but it gives you an effective way to create illustrations and graphics for all types of media, including web design.
If you have experience in using the above-mentioned Adobe Photoshop, you would be familiar with the user interface of Adobe Illustrator. As most of the tools in the Creative Suite share almost the same user interface, you would have a shorter learning curve with this design tool. It may seem challenging to learn at first, but once you get used to it, you would realize why you haven’t used this software for designing websites. Give your designs that boost and flare by using Illustrator.
Adobe Dreamweaver is another of a long line of Adobe products used for web development available for Windows and Mac Operating System. It works well with Adobe Photoshop, allowing you to share graphic elements and components, in case that you would need to update and edit your design. It is filled with tools such as a built-in FTP client, syntax highlighting, smart Code Hinting, workflow options, and project management to aid your team. It also has a Live View that allows you to preview your source code.
Dreamweaver allows you to directly code the design that you envision for the website, even if you do not have in-depth or extensive knowledge in programming. It is an excellent tool for users to learn because it mainly functions using and editing HTML. Regarding the use of this software, views differ whether it is an easy or difficult tool to use, but it depends mainly on how you perceive it. Obviously, you would be putting more effort as you, most likely, will be encoding your design from scratch. But Dreamweaver allows you to create the design you want, as you want it to look. Another great feature is you would be able to create a responsive design. What this means is you can design the experience to be optimized for the website and mobile version.
Adobe XD is a new addition to the family of products of Adobe. It focuses mainly on providing a solution to end-to-end User Interface (UI) / User Experience (UX), which is critical in designing modern websites, as well as mobile applications. This tool is included in the Creative Cloud and provides powerful performance to achieve your desired design across multiple platforms. Another great thing about Adobe XD is the updates. You get new features as the regular updates are released. Each update is anticipated by designers as these features help and inspiration in providing relevant designs for the website you are designing, updating, or maintaining at the moment.
It is a tool specifically created and designed for web developers and designers. With this tool, you have access to Firefox’s DevTools. These include features such as building and designing with CSS Grid, analysing and debugging, a style editor, and an HTML inspector. They are more features available with this edition to assist you with your web development needs.
It is a User Interface (UI) tool that has a complete package for designing a website. InVision Studio will help you design user-friendly websites that are both responsive and collaborative. It also has Rapid Prototyping as a feature that gives you, the designer, the ability to create complex and creative transitions. This feature gives you the level of animation that you desire. The custom animations and transitions available at your disposal include carrying out interactions and gestures such as swiping, hovering, and clicking. InVision Studio helps you work out the different parts needed in the design project from start to end.
Sometimes web designers and developers forget proofing, which is an essential part of the design process. With so many levels to check, Web Designers need to take note of each distinct level in their work before finalizing their work. But they sometimes skip this part as it involves so many methods.
Proofhub is an ideal web design tool for such a task. It helps you manage all the tasks related to your project design. It may not be a tool directly used to design the website. Still, it helps in creating a smooth environment of communication for editing and collaboration, especially with working with a team. Proofhub also helps speed up the completion of a project by providing a feature of sending regular emails concerned with the entirety of the project. It is a great way to pass messages with the team and communicating any need for changes or editing needed.
WordPress is the most recognized Web Design tool. You may be wondering, “Why isn’t it number one in the list?” Not sure. But it is at the top of the web design industry. With WordPress, you have at your disposal a thousand built-in plug-ins and themes. It gives you a variety of choices to install and optimize the website you are designing. From those choices, there are available design elements that would meet the need and suit your design preferences. WordPress is a tool that is essential for a web designer to install, customize, and optimize the pages being built.
Notepad++ is a freeware web design tool application used as a source code editor that supports 27 programming languages. It supports syntax highlighting and synchronizes edits and views. It runs in the Microsoft Windows environment, and it is governed by General Public License. Notepad++ is written in C++ language. It uses Win32 API and STL, which means it provides faster execution speeds and smaller program size. When you are using less CPU power, due to the optimization of routines, your PC can reduce power consumption.
Pen and Paper
It may be overlooked, as it is not a software, but hand-made designs are basis for original work. Pen and paper is used for initial preparatory designs where future well-built and effective websites are based upon. Let us not relegate these two tool as just office supplies as they are important in the initial design process.
As a Web Designer, you continue to learn and grow. Your skill will be updated as you learn new things. Books, whether digital or actual print media, will help you grow as a designer. You will continue to grow, and you should expect to change with the industry that you have chosen as a profession. Being relevant and having relevant design skills and ideas will help you in communicating with the end-users of your work.
SEE ALSO: DesignCap Graphic Design Tool
With the design tools mentioned above, you have what you need to put the vision into reality. In the early days of web designing, businesses only required to have a presence online, and that would be enough. But those days have long passed, and we now need to set up and create the website correctly. As a Web designer, you may or may not have excellent programming skills, but you do have to be familiar with the needed capabilities and technology. This is how you can become a freelance Web Designer even without much experience.
A Web Designer should also be familiar with the business strategy and marketing plan before executing any design. Knowing your end goal helps in designing the proper environment that your consumers would enter into. With this in mind, your design will have the purpose of meeting consumers’ needs and meeting the goals of the business.
MayleenMeñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.