Between meetings, managing feedback, communicating with clients, finding inspiration for their next project, and delivering projects on time, designers have a lot on their plate.
It can be challenging to find the time to actually sit down and do the work.
In addition, many marketers need to be able to mockup an idea, create a visual for sharing, or gain a better understanding of modern design trends. Communicating using visuals is no longer just the domain of the art department.
We've pulled together some of the best sites, apps, tools, and resources to streamline your work, make collaborating easier, get inspired, and even show of your skills. Check it out, and let us know what your go-to design tools are.
Dribbble is the online "show and tell" for designers. Users can upload "shots" -- images or GIFs -- to either a personal profile or a team profile. Other members of the community then provide feedback, ask questions, and debate the person's visual choices.
Users can sign up for an account, add a résumé and links to references and awards, and upload their latest creative work. Other members of the community can comment, "like" the project, and begin to follow specific accounts for future updates.
Web designers submit their site to Awwwards, which vets website designs. If the design meets the team's standards, it will be included on a nominees page. Designs go through a voting process, and based on the results of the community and the hand-selected jury, a user wins a Site of the Day award. They also have a Developer Award every Wednesday, a Site of the Month award, and a Site of the Year award.
ProofHQ is feature-rich program for collaborating on designs and gathering feedback. It has workflow management for keeping projects on track, and it integrates with various file sharing and project management platforms.
This Photoshop plug-in gives you the ability to broadcast your designs to as many people as you want to. You can also use the tool to enable mobile mirroring so you can see how changes in Photoshop affect the mobile interface.
InVision is a design prototyping tool with a ton of features. Users can upload interactive designs, and share a link with reviewers who can add comments and feedback. It also serves as a project management tool and keeps track of different versions.
Thousands of contributors have created icons for this site, which you can download for free in exchange for crediting the creator. They also have a monthly membership plan where you can download as many images as you want and use without attribution.
This Photoshop plug-in gives you the tools to design a website in no time. It has pre-defined modules and design templates you can insert quickly, so you can spend more time fine-tuning the details of your mockup.