Seven of the best and most popular web apps currently on the market are presented for your consideration. All are designed to streamline team collaboration and communication between team members. Several focus on project management tasks, and several feature web design or prototyping capabilities.
We also offer three tips you can use to improve individual and team productivity. As you read on, you’ll notice that these tips dovetail nicely with the capabilities the various web-based apps bring to the table. Since they are web-based, you don’t have to contend with installations, downloads, or updates.
Three Tips to Help You Keep on Track, Work Smarter, and Improve Productivity
- Break a Project into Small Tasks – This approach will keep your work organized, and keep you from getting bogged down or losing track of where you are on a project. Small tasks are naturally easier to work. Understanding the interdependencies between smaller tasks will tend to streamline your workflow.
- Automate what You Can – Repetitive tasks, when done manually, can waste valuable time. The same is true for tasks involving multiple manual operations, and are therefore prone to causing errors. While web design tools automate most of the repetitive design tasks, be on the lookout for the time-saving features project management and collaboration tools offer.
- Observe and Improve – It’s hard to improve on your performance, or on your productivity, if you spend all of your time in the proverbial closet. Observe what others are doing; especially when they are doing things well. Learn from your own experiences. Make it an objective to do something a little better the next time around.
A fourth tip to consider is to choose the best tools for the job at hand, but that is why you are here isn’t it? If you are in need of a design aid, a project management tool, a better way to collaborate, or all of the above, you will find a “best” solution among these seven premier web apps.
This popular web app is the online prototyping tool of choice for web designers and design team in over 50 countries. Pidoco does more than offer a variety of design aids. It supports team collaboration activities, and it does so effectively.
Multiple designers can work and share information and feedback on a given prototype in real time. Pidoco tracks design changes, supporting documentation, comments, and feedback and maintains a version history. An additional program management feature is issue tracking, a useful function that keeps team members in sync. Read the rest of this entry »
Every successful retailer knows that modern-day commerce can’t make progress without a web presence. An e-store can overcome any geographic or time-zone limitations, thus providing a global scope of product reach. Compared to a physical shop, an online alternative is a more cost-effective and easier-to-manage solution. All the operations are carried out in an admin panel, and there is no need to pay rent, so running a web store is definitely a priority today.
To create an e-store from scratch, most non-tech savvies use eCommerce platforms. These engines allow them to bypass the coding stage and come packed with multiple functionalities for easy website maintenance, customization and updating. When choosing an eCommerce platform, you are advised to use the one with open-source accessibility. The most popular platforms meeting this criterion include WooCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and Magento. Try one of these solutions, and it’ll be a breeze for you to build the framework for your store.
Once the back end of your store is completed, you should focus on its front end. Many people prefer using eCommerce themes, as they offer ready-made designs pre-packed with multiple features. In this post, we present a selection of 20+ eCommerce themes powered by the above mentioned engines, namely WooCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and Magento. Whether you are a well off merchant or have to stick to a tight budget, we have the right option for you. Below, you can find both premium and free designs of decent quality for your online store. Just scroll down and choose the ones you like the most!
Premium WooCommerce Themes
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Monstroid is a multipurpose WooCommerce theme that offers a lot to users. It has many innovative back end and front end features, 145 pre-designed pages, 500+ Google fonts, 150 shortcode variations, 50+ licensed images, and 20 premium plugins, e.g. White Label, MotoPress Editor, Moto Slider, etc. There are also multiple child themes whose number is constantly growing. What’s cool about Monstroid is the fact that you get a lot of things for a single price. Free 24/7 support is available for a lifetime.
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Here is a premium responsive WooCommerce theme with a visually rich design. It boasts a video background, large banners and product images, parallax and hover effects, etc. To improve the interaction between the store owner and customers, the theme features an online chat, newsletter signup form, and social media options. Custom-made for motorsports, it can also be adapted to a variety of other niches. Read the rest of this entry »
Select a fully-customizable pre-made layout that best matches your project’s objective, and then let Be Theme, the Biggest WordPress Theme Ever, do the hard work. This layout and website-building tool combination is all you need to create a beautiful website that can be counted on to offer an amazing user experience.
With Be’s 130+ pre-made layouts to choose from, it’s not difficult to find a good match. Just check out the sampling below. Coding knowledge is not necessary, and detailed design and repetitive activities are taken care of by Be’s page builder and its other powerful features. 8 new layouts are appearing on a monthly basis. The latest, together with upcoming layouts are yours to use if you buy it.
This premier theme is easy to learn and use, but should you have questions you’ll find the answers in Be’s User Guide and video tutorials, or let the support staff quickly solve your problem.
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Prototyping encourages peer reviews, feedback, and validation activities, all of which contribute to the quality in a final product. There are a number of excellent prototyping tools on the market. Five of the best ones are described here.
Using any one of these tools will yield superior results, but users are also encouraged to follow the best prototyping practices.
Doing so should result in even higher quality in the end products, while enabling them to be designed and developed in less time and at less cost than is normally the case when only the more traditional design practices are employed.
Best Practices that are Important to Observe
The tools discussed here will handle the bulk of your prototyping activities, but to gain all of prototyping’s benefits, it is important to adhere to best practices, including these three:
- Use and Test Animations – Animations, when used judiciously, can greatly enrich an application’s user experience. It only makes sense to introduce and test animations during prototyping, even if they need to be presented in greatly simplified formats. The tools discussed below support animation.
- Collaborate – One of the primary reasons for prototyping – another being testing – is the ease in which this design approach allows collaboration, whether it is among team members, or between designer and client. Collaboration is especially powerful during the early stages of designing a mockup since a lo-fidelity mockup encourages honest feedback, whereas the focus tends to be more on specific details with hi-fidelity prototypes. Collaboration, accompanied by strong version control, is a valuable design asset.
- Test Early and Often – As a rule of thumb, the earlier you test your mockup the less likely you are to carry faulty design all the way into the final product. Early testing makes design errors, omissions, or imperfections much easier to remedy. While there is often a tendency to save user testing until last, usability testing should be undertaken as early as possible, whether the subjects involved are real users, clients, or team members. Make “test early and often” your mantra.
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Every web designer wants to create only standing apart websites that are appreciated by all Internet users. Of course, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Still, as a web designer you must merely try to give your best to create the most liked online presences.
Fortunately, we have the most powerful tools and resources to create awesome websites since the beginning of the world! Practically, we have so many website templates, frameworks, content management systems, adjacent tools and other stuff, that is impossible to use all of them…In fact, a web designer uses an infinitesimal part of all the available tools.
Under these circumstances, the best designer isn’t necessarily the most talented one; the best designer is the one who has at disposal the best tools. Definitely, we want the best for all our readers and consequently, we collected for you some useful CSS snippets that might make the difference in your projects! It’s about 15 great CSS3 text effects – all are handpicked and we think that these may add a sparkle of originality to your next projects. Some of them are useful for particular uses, while others are suitable for multiple uses.
Everything man-made is perfectible and this post isn’t an exception! In the event that we missed your favorite CSS3 text effect, please add it in the comment form and we will add it into a future post! Also, it will be great toshare with us your opinion about these text effects.
If you love colors and you want a wonderful and full of color text effect, then this one is the perfect solution for you! It is very suitable to display the name of a creative agency or for portfolio projects. Of course, it may be used for any other type of projects – if you want to stand apart, this text effect is a good choice!
See the Pen Magnetype by Bennett Feely (@bennettfeely) on CodePen.
The loading wave effect is really awesome! It may be used to add a little bit of mystery to a project or to highlight the fact that time is passing. It would be interesting to use it in order to stress a discount or a special offer which is running only for a very short period of time.What do you think?
See the Pen CSS Text filling with water by xiaodong (@hxd) on CodePen.
This is a very interesting text effect; I think that due to the color scheme used it might be applied to emphasize a vintage design. It’s a smart use of text shadows and it has the potential to attract the users’ attention. Don’t forget, vintage will never die!
See the Pen CodePen Text Effect by Jack Rugile (@jackrugile) on CodePen.
The next text effect works as a magnet for the viewers. You may use it to improve the sign-up form, to emphasize a new product offered for sale or simply to attract the eyes of the viewers. It’s enticing and a wise web designer would use it into his/her advantage!
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Humans are attracted to beautiful places; and once there, they are often reluctant to leave. If youreCommerce store is a thing of beauty, the customers will come, and they will stay a while. You can make that happen by usingthe right tools to create your store, by taking note of a few useful tips, and by avoiding a few common but costly mistakes.
A Good Shopping Experience is Essential
Following these valuable tips can lead to creating a beautiful eCommerce experience:
Related Products – People visit websites for information, and shoppers are no different. A shopper may be looking for a very specific product, but that same shopper is apt to be interested in related products, such as other makes or model, accessories, or useful companion items. Your customers will usually appreciate being given an extra option, or a suggestion or two. It shows you are thinking about them.
Photos – It’s true that not all products are particularly photogenic, but you still want to portray them in their best light. Insist on high-quality images, show a product from different angles or perspectives, or use hover or zoom features. An image of a bicycle is one thing: an image showing a person having fun riding a bike is something else entirely.
Search – Make sure your store has a site search capability. A search canserve as a tremendous asset for your customers. The presence of a search box also adds a professional touch to your online store. It offers an excellent example of genuine customer support. The more products you feature, the greater the need for a search capability.
Navigation – Whenever a customer of yours gets lost, and there is no one nearby to help, he or she will usually leave. To avoid disgruntled customers and lost sales, make an extra effort to ensure that a clear and logical navigation function is one of the characteristics of your site. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can’t be called a designer if you haven’t used stock photos. Even though some designers hate stock photos, the hugemajority uses stock photos and is satisfied with this situation. The main problem with using stock photos is that these have a negativeimpacton the originality of a website. A stock photo is likely to be used by multiple designers and the consequences may be extremely negative. Imagine how a client would react after seeing a photo on your website that can be seen on ten other websites…?
Having your own collections of images is a solution but it’s difficult to save and manage thousands of images on your hard drive. Also, that would be a very time consuming activity! Luckily, there is another solution: many designers aren’t aware about it, therefore you may profit!
A huge mistake many designers make when searching for stock photos is thatthey search on the most famous websites. Yes, you do have a certain amount of certitude that you will find the proper images, but there’s a very high chance that the respective images have been already downloaded by others as well. This situation could be avoided by using stock photos showcased by websites that lack notoriety. There are websites that are new and less visibleto designers that offer top-quality stock photos. The next 15 new websites that I’m going to present fall into this category. I made some extensive research and I found amazing websites that offer stock photos for free! Everything manmade is perfectible (including my post), therefore just incase I missed your favorite source of downloadingfree stock images please add alinkto the website in the comment form! Also, please don’t be selfish and share the post with your friends!
I totally agree that it may be difficult understanding the concept of creative common licenses and this is one of the reasons why I fell in love with “Pexels”. The images from here may be copied, modified or used without asking for permissions. Pexels’ database consists of more than 3000 photos and at least 70 new ones are addedweekly.
I believe that the name of this website pretty much suggestsits aim. Free Use is another free stock images website that must be added in the bookmark list of any respectable designer. The images are top-quality and surely will enhance your projects.
Unsplash.com is a minimalist website where impressive images are uploaded so may be used in personal and commercial projects. If you used an image from Unsplash.comfor a beautiful design piece then you may submit itso it may be added in the “Made with Unsplash” gallery. Read the rest of this entry »
With so many WordPress themes, page builders, and other design aids and services on the market, it can be difficult for a web designer to know where to turn when in need of a new tool, an additional resource, or a different design approach. Some of the products and services listed here are ideal for general use. Others are excellent choices for designing websites or apps intended to serve a unique or dedicated purpose.
If you find a product or service here that suits your design needs, you can be assured it is top quality, or it would not be on this list. Browse through this list and find out what are the most essential tools, resources and services to have in your toolbox.
X Theme is exciting. It always has been, but with the release of Version 4 a new level of excitement has been attained. Users of this recently released version are raving about it, with the centre of attention being a new, unique, and innovative page builder – Cornerstone. Cornerstone is highlighted again in this listing, but what it will do for X, the fastest selling of the Themeforest themes, is make it more popular than ever. Cornerstone may have temporarily placed a number of the other X features in the shadows, but they remain as impressive as ever, and everything about using this premier WordPress theme’s features is backed up by a rock-solid, 24/7 user support team, a dynamic community site, and forums offering information, advice, and details of other user’s experiences. With a purchase of X, you are given free access to all Themeco plugins, and you will also receive free updates as they are released.
Visit Enfold’s website, and the first thing you are asked to do is to Choose a Demo. If you do so, your search for a premium website theme will quite possibly come to a halt. This top-rated, multipurpose Themeforest theme’s primary characteristic may well be its extremely user-friendly operation. It may in fact be the easiest to work with website building theme on the market. Start with a blank page and an idea, and you can build any layout you want at warp speed. Enfold is always kept up to date, and you will always receive updates as they are released. You can also expect to receive nothing less than the very finest user support. Read the rest of this entry »
This is our popular weekly design news post where we share our favorite design related articles, resources and freebies from the past week. If you have spotted or want to share something that you’d like to be listed in the next issue, please feel free to let us know. You can also check out Webdesigner News for more great content from around the web that can be interest to web designers.
Dropbox’s New Android App Invisible Design
Rethink The New York Times
Prototype Sound Pack
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For many years, I worked in sales and marketing. I was employed by major corporations and part of my work included helping clients create websites, presentations, and advertising. I was able to retire early, but my love for this type of work has opened many doors for me to work on a volunteer basis for businesses like our local Chamber of Commerce, Animal Shelter and as a volunteer with programs through the library. I also help small business owners with their websites and advertising.
My experience has taught me, it matters not how well written something is, if no one reads it. Graphics, pictures and art work are what grab the eye. It is the beauty of the page, website, brochure or church bulletin that causes one to read on. This was a major stumbling block for me. My talent was words – not graphics. Then I found GraphicStock.com and it has changed my life! I wish I had known about this incredible resource when I was in corporate America.
The selections are endless. I have never had a problem finding exactly what I need to make my page jump out and grab a reader. This is saying a lot. You see, I do not just write about the local bake sale. I actually provide a volunteer service to small businesses and community services that are in need of professional, higher quality material but do not have the budget for a marketing team to design it. Read the rest of this entry »