8 Essential Design Tools for Front-end Web Developers

Whether you’re building a new project, or updating one that you had built a long time ago, there is always that one time where you need a particular tool, and once again – you have to look for it.

I recently wrapped up a post that discussed the most essential web apps for web designers, and turns out that a lot of the community members were able to agree with me, and even encouraged me to do a follow-up, of some of the essential design tools that, specifically, front-end developers might find useful.

Just like I said in the previous post, this is a list of essentials tools, but they’re not necessarily tools that you’ll be using every day. They’re merely a way of reducing the time that you spend, looking something up, and then doing it once again. You can either bookmark this page, or the tools themselves; whichever you prefer.

By the way, look into my post about workflow tools for front-end developers, there is also a great deal of tools that will reduce the amount of time you spend looking for something, or even setting up something like a library or a framework.

1. Flat UI Colors

Flat UI Colors
Quit looking up the same colors all of the time, or worse: write them down from an image. You can grab all of the Flat UI type of colors from this webpage, and I have a feeling that it will save you a lot of time along the way. (considering you’re working with Flat design)

Just click on any of the colors to grab the code, you can also choose the output format for each color. HEX, RGB, etc,.

2. Subtle Patterns

Subtle Patterns
I got my own background pattern from this site, so it’s definitely highly recommended. At the moment, there are nearly 400 patterns available, all of which can be downloaded for free, and also previewed on the page itself. Wonderful resource to have, and it still blows my mind as to how easy a single pattern can change the whole feel of a webpage.

3. Meet the Ipsums

Meet the Ipsums
It’s a website that lists “all” (plenty) of Lorem Ipsum styles that you may find online. It’s more of an novelty thing than anything else, but we should all respect our own personal needs and characters, why not a Meow Ipsum instead of the standard one, right?

4. Color Template

Color Template
This is a great little website that will remind you of good user interface principles, in case you might have forgotten them, or perhaps you want to try out a new color scheme and not sure how to make it all look alright.

But, if you only need colors to play with, see my post for CSS background pattern generators, plenty of colors to experiment with. (well, more than just “plenty”)

5. Photoshop Etiquette

Photoshop Etiquette
I’m a passive Photoshop user, in fact, I’m now a Linux user and use photo editing tools meant only for Linux systems, but whenever I’m on Windows: Photoshop is my choice for editing and managing design related stuff.

In this website, you’ll find all the little tips and tricks that can help to make your life easier whenever you’re doing something related with Photoshop.

You will save yourself a lot of time by skipping mile long tutorials, and instead just visiting this site to find an answer to what you need. Click on each solution, and get a detail explanation, including snapshots.

6. Fontello

You go to Fontello whenever you need an icon font generated, it’s all there, and it’s highly customization to your own needs. WordPress users will probably find it easier to work with a pre-installed plugins, but for front-end developers; this is a perfect resource to have.

7. TypeKit

Your first 25,000 page views for a font of your choice are going to be free, after that you’re asked to signup for a premium plan. You could rely on a free font service like Google Fonts, but Typekit has got you covered well in the thousands range of fonts available.

Which one do you prefer?

8. Gratisography

You need some free, ultra high quality, pictures to use on your picture, but not quite sure where to go and what to do? This is an amaazing resource to wrap this post up with, Gratisography has got plenty of images to browse from, and you can do whatever you like with them.

The unfortunate thing, there is no category order, but then again; don’t think you’ll be using these images for that important projects. Also, some of them make good desktop wallpapers!

Design Tools for Front-end Developers

I think there is definitely something that we all can begin using right away, to make our daily development life, just a little bit more easy and pleasant. I’m open to suggestions, and I’d also like to hear what you use on daily basis; to help you overcome the need for repetition and ‘looking up’ over and over again.