As usual, there are plenty of hot new web design tools this month. April 2019 has seen the release of tools that help you find the best learning resources on the web and show you how to build ethical products that put your users first, manage user feedback, and more.
For more tools to help you work smarter, see our main list of web design tools (opens in new tab) that will improve your workflow.
As the text on this site explains, choosing a good colour palette for data visualisations (opens in new tab) is important because it makes maps and charts much easier to interpret. This palette generator selects a series of colours that are visually equidistant so that they stand out from each other well and you can compare them easily to the key.
You can choose the end points and number of colours for the palette and the picker will fill in the blanks for you, and you can select one or more brand colours if that’s what you need. There are also tools here for making single-hue scales and divergent scales, and there’s good advice and links to resources on colour.
Coda lets you make documents that work like apps, so you can build tools specific to your exact requirements with a familiar document-style interface. You can start typing the way you would in a word processor, then add tables that pull in data from different sources and options that let different people view the information however they want.
There’s a powerful formula system that is similar to spreadsheet formulas but you’re able to reference any piece of data in your document, and also pull in outside data such as weather information. There are calendar tools and app-like building blocks that enable you to add common functions such as sending out calendar invitations and reminders. Coda also arranges everything in your document in a mobile-friendly way so that you can use it as an app on your phone.
If you don’t want people signing up to your product using fake or disposable email addresses, Verifier can help. It works during the sign-up phase, quickly checking through a list of over 18,000 disposable domains and letting the user know they need to provide a real address to sign up. It also checks that the domain of the address is valid and exists, and that the syntax is correct. The creator made Verifier in part because spammers often use disposable addresses, and email verification has been found to be an effective means of reducing spam in online communities.
Humane by Design bills itself as “a resource that provides guidance for designing ethically humane digital products through patterns focused on user wellbeing” and is the work of product designer Jon Yablonski. The idea behind it is that mobile apps have been designed to be addictive and to manipulate people into using them in ways that benefits the app company at their own expense. This site is part of a growing movement to design apps that put people first and encourage healthy user behaviours.
Catch up on talks from conferences you didn’t attend - or get a recap on ones you did - at CodeTalks, a compilation of developer talks from recent events. Talks are arranged by event and by topic; you can access popular tags from the sidebar, and find the full list of categories on the Tags screen. There are talks from a range of speakers, including some well-known and respected names. Most are on technical topics, but there’s also a #DevStories that covers human factors associated with being a developer.
Keeping up with new technologies and trends in web design is tough, so if you have a daily commute, especially if you’re driving, it can be a good chance to catch up on the latest developments. There are lots of web design podcasts that are fun as well as informative, and Podcasts Repo is a good jumping off point to explore them. Most of the ones on this list are great, but we particularly recommend Design Matters if you’re looking for inspiration, and Shop Talk Show if you want something funny and techie. If you want more recommendations, see our post of 15 great web design podcasts (opens in new tab).
Nolt is a system for collecting and managing user feedback that enables people to make anonymous suggestions that others can then vote for and comment upon. You can keep your users updated on the status of feature requests; publish a roadmap to communicate your intentions and use custom branding. Your feedback board can be public or restricted to specific users and Nolt integrates with tools such as Slack, Jira and Trello.
Just like the design of physical space, thoughtful information architecture will transform people’s experience of the digital environments you create. In this book Lisa Maria Martin lays out the principles of good information architecture and demonstrates how you can use them to organise information in a more effective way that helps people get the most out of your website.
This is a really great resource: it lists ethical alternatives to software and internet services such as email, hosting, browsers, search engines and lots more. The recommended companies and products don’t exploit their users and seek to minimise any harmful impact on people and the environment. There are secure, ad-free email services, search engines and browsers that respect your privacy, web hosting services that run on green energy and many more useful products that treat you like a person as opposed to a commodity.
Accessibility Insights is a Chrome extension and Windows application that audits websites and desktop software and reports on any shortcomings that make them inaccessible to users of assistive technologies. The Chrome extension has two parts - FastPass quickly helps you find common, high-impact problems; and Assessment provides a full audit that will enable to you ensure your site is fully WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant.(opens in new tab)