UI & UX design tips n tricks to help your small web dev firm cut development costs, keep on-scope, and make beautiful interfaces.
They say that an artist is not defined by their tools. And that is true. A great craftsperson/artist/engineer can create amazing work with whichever tools they have at their disposal.
But... there is definitely something to be said for quality, high-performing, well-designed, appropriate-for-the-job tools. They can make you more productive, more professional, more on-time, more good-looking (hmmm), even more profitable.
So here are three software tools for the web design and development process that I have found to not just meet minimum requirements and let me get the job done, but have measurably improved my work in many ways.
Project Management on crack
ClickUp is basically Asana + Notion + AirTable + Google Docs + Toggl + more... No wonder they describe themselves as "One app to replace them all."
There is so much you can do with ClickUp, but the best way to think about it is project and task management with some very very useful extras.
It has A LOT going on and can be a bit overwhelming at first, but they are constantly improving the interface and it has gotten much easier to use in recent months.
The built-in automation makes me feel like I have a PA running my projects behind the scenes and the contextual, collaborative documents make content work with clients a breeze.
Has a good free tier, but if you want to take things to the next level with unlimited custom fields, views, and automation, you will need to upgrade.
Collaborative workspace for thinking, planning, and wire-framing
Whimsical is very similar in offering to Miro, Mural, or even Figma + Figjam. It's got a no-frills approach and the interface feels very quick and responsive for a web app. It's also dead-simple to learn.
Because you can have docs, mind-maps, user-flows, sitemaps, and wire-frames all in the same project folder and accessible from each other, guiding a client through a UX design process can feel almost effortless.
Very generous free tier for individuals and small companies.
Local WordPress development made easy
If you do any semi-serious WordPress development, do yourself a favor and give Local a go.
Local is an attempt (a good one) at simplifying the process of setting up and running WordPress sites locally for development. Instead of messing around with MAMP, WAMP, XAMP etc. trying to get servers to run and making sure you have the correct PHP version installed, Local does all of that for you. Just tell it some basics like what kind of server you need, which PHP version
you want, where to put the files, and away you go.
It was originally a paid product (with a free tier) from Flywheel (the hosting company), but they have since made it open source and completely free!
I hope that you found a great, new tool to add to your belt. Give them a go if you haven't before and feel to reach out to me if you have any questions about how best to use them.
Now go forth and make better interfaces.
Thanks for reading! Any thoughts or questions? Hit reply and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Who the heck am I?
My name is Brent Halverson Nygaard, and I am a UI & UX design professional.
Want to learn more about me? Visit my informative internet website.
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