7 Free Resources for the digital designer

7 Free Resources for the digital designerfeatured

Are you a digital designer who loves to squirrel away resources for the winter? Or maybe a print designer looking to make the jump to digital? Bite that bullet and start off on the right foot with these great resources below! These are just a few of the tools in my kit…

01. Wireframes & basic prototyping

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I really can’t be bothered explaining what wireframes are and why you should use them (but you should) – you can read that here. There are a million different programs to create wireframes and prototypes in, not to mention the old fashioned paper and pen. This is just my personal go-to tool. It is fairly intuitive in terms of use and has nice clean elements premade that you can drop straight in – no comic sans here! You can pretty much mimic most functionality of a fully developed site (within reason) and it generates an interactive prototype at the click of button that you can share with clients and team members. You can also make notes on the prototype which is great for feedback! What’s not to love?!

>> Axure

02. PPP – Digital Design Handbook

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A great resource for digital designers or someone who wants try their hand at designing their own website. This is basically everything any digital designer worth their salt should already know but is a great refresher tool. I’ve had worked with a few juniors/midweights before and explained a lot of this to them but often you don’t have time to cover everything if you half way through an important project and have found a useful teaching tool. Definitely one to keep on hand!

>> Pixel Perfection Precision 

03. Those Are Some Tight PSDs

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Another favourite of mine when working with juniors or print designers who aren’t used to working in Photoshop. Photoshop Etiquette is great because it instructs you on how to properly layer your designs so that if you need to pass it on to another designer or developer (at some point this will happen if you work in an agency!) so that they can jump straight into the file and make necessary changes. Its teaches designers great habits to get into and basically standardises PSD files! Happy days!

>> Photoshop Etiquette

04. Webfonts. Freaking use them!

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The fonts you use online is really important and the range available online is constantly growing. Yes, there are ways to convert desktop fonts to work online, but best practice is to use web fonts. If you’re a digital designer still using desktop fonts, you’re a jerk. Bit harsh? Tough love. Check out this showcase of web fonts below or the full directory of Google webfonts here.

>> Beautiful Webtype

05. Another day, another screensize…

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There are so many different screen sizes these days, its hard to keep track of them all. This handy dandy tool allows you to select you device type (mobile, tablet, laptop etc) and then find the specific screen size. It also include actual size of the device, pixel density and overall popularity of that device.

>> Screen Sizes

07. Dat Placeholder Text…

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An awesome little app called Little Ipsum is pretty much the best thing ever. As a digital designer, you often work without the final content and need to use placeholder text for body copy all over the place. With one click you copy your selected amount of Lorem Ipsum text – be it one word or 3 paragraphs. Its a great time saver and is elegant in its simplicity.

> Little Ipsum

Bonus Resource: I need inspiration!

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There is a huge amount of web design showcase sites (I’ll put together my personal favourites soon!) and they’re pretty easy to find but this is the best one if you are stuck on particular element within your design, like say a tab functionality or a form. You can search for particular elements in the design and filter my device type. Super useful when those last two pieces of the puzzle aren’t quite fitting.

> Patterntap

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