We web folks are using web-based design and development tools within our workflow more and more each day. Working in this often challenging and dynamic environment is frequently made easier by the kindness of strangers in the form of freely-available tools and resources. Well, as a small way of saying “thanks for making today easier,” I’d personally like to tout some extremely helpful web-based tools I use on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Below are my current top 5—in no particular order (since they’re all #1).
Note: I’ve decided to let these apps speak for themselves by including descriptions that I pulled directly from their respective websites.
“Web fonts are here, sparking an exciting new era in web design. FFFFALLBACK makes it easy to find the perfect fallback fonts, so that your designs degrade gracefully.” — www.ffffallback.com
“See exactly which lines of code are not supported in over 24 email clients. Email designers that are tired of trawling through check lists, this is for you.” — www.getfractal.com
“MIN is a bookmarklet that will strip any decoration from a site. All color, borders and backgrounds are removed instantly, helping you identify the successful and unsuccessful uses of typography and layout.” — min.artequalswork.com
“Smush.it uses optimization techniques specific to image format to remove unnecessary bytes from image files. It is a “lossless” tool, which means it optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality.” — www.smushit.com/ysmush.it
Of course there are other superb (and also free) web-based design and development tools out there with many more being created every day. Lucky us. I will certainly share more of my favorites with you in future posts. But, if you use web-based tools to help solve your development and design mysteries, please let others know by Tweeting or blogging about them and thanking their authors publicly. After all, no one’s getting monetarily rich by making all that ingenuity and hard work available for free. But a little gratitude can be worth ten times its weight in gold.