Invision is one of the design tools we use the most here at ThreeTwelve. It allows a designer to upload comps for desktop, tablet, and mobile all on one user-friendly app. Using this application, the designer can receive creative direction internally and from the client and the designer and developer can communicate directly on a comp about usability and interactivity. On top of all of this, they have added some features that allow freehand notes, sharing comps live for a meeting, and creating comprehensive style guides.
This is one of those apps you just can't live without once you start using it. I haven't found any problems with the usability and it has helped us immensely through the entire website and platform design process. It does a lot of heavy lifting for you and makes managing your project much easier.
Envato Elements has been a great surprise for our team here. For the small price of $29 a month, your team can download unlimited graphic templates, icons, photos, fonts, mockups, and much more. It is just magical! We have been using this for a while now and are starting to move away from having to purchase any additional photos from stock companies. This saves your team a ton of money and time because everything is all in one spot.
I can't recommend this product enough for it's ease of use and plethora of resources.
Unsplash is a super hip and FREE stock photography website. You can download really high quality, professional images without paying anything at all. It's your choice whether or not you credit the artist. This one can be a bit limiting because it doesn't have a lot of variety but it's free so it's hard to complain. We always check this one before we go to Envato just in case there is something a little bit more high end out there.
99% Invisible Podcast
99% Invisible is definitely a ThreeTwelve favorite. Roman Mars, in his magical voice, informs people about design in an unconventional way. He uses a lot of real-life examples to explain how design effects our day to day. It's perfect for both the desgin nerd and the novice.
To use their words, "99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world." I think it's important for all people to listen to this to understand the impact design makes on all of us so that we can respect the process even more.
Growth Driven Design Tools
There are some other tools that we find really helpful for evolving websites once they've been launched. We wrote a post about it here.
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