The 10 best new web design tools in April

Design interfaces and create moodboards on your phone, clean up your code and take control of your type.

Sketch 3.3 was unleashed on Tuesday, bringing with it a host of handy new functionalities as detailed here. If you plan to work on Apple Watch interfaces there are a couple of great UI asset sets for Sketch: try here and here.

This month's special shout out for a useful thing that isn't exactly a tool goes to Really Good Emails. Click on a category of email, such as 'Abandoned cart' or 'Thank you' and you're presented with an example of an email that did a really good job of dealing with that thing. It's a great place to get some inspiration for your own newsletters and other communications.

Read on for the 10 best tools we found in April.

01. Colorable

Get your contrast right so that text is easy to read

Etsy product designer Brent Jackson has created this tool for testing the contrast values for colour combinations. You can use it on your palette and get values for each combination, and it lets you know if your text complies with WCAG accessibility guidelines. Usage instructions are here and there's a demo here.

02. Type.js

Take control of your web type and round up errant letters

Type.js provides satisfaction for those who want a high level of manual control over their web type. It enables you to write new CSS properties that give you fine control over type styles, allowing you to adjust kerning between pairs of letters, set rag rules, determine how widows are dealt with and more. Type.js was created by Monotype product manager Nathan Ford.

03. Yosemite UI Kit

Vector Yosemite UI kit for Sketch 3

This comprehensive UI kit for Sketch 3 is available on a pay-what-you-want model and provides all the UI elements drawn to a high standard of accuracy. They're drawn as vectors and are therefore suitable for retina. The designer, Keir Ansell, promises to keep the set up to date as things develop.

04. Accessibility Wins

Celebrating instances of great accessibility

Rather than focus on instances where sites have failed on the accessibility front, Marcy Sutton has created this fantastic resource that showcases examples of great, accessible interfaces.

If you're looking for inspiration and clever tricks this is a good place to go, as each accessibility win is explored in detail and Sutton points you towards useful tools for implementing the techniques. If you've seen any great accessibility work you're invited to submit it to the site so that others may learn from it.

05. Napkin

Design interfaces on the go with Napkin

Do you want to design app interfaces on your phone? It's not for everyone, but Napkin is useful in that it provides a way to capture and test those ideas that come to you at inconvenient times and locations.

You can insert pictures from your camera roll, and creating a mockup is as simple as dragging, arranging and resizing layers. It's well designed and easy-to-use; we've even got a tutorial from the creator to get you started.

Next page: five more of April's top web design tools

Topics