Before you start browsing through the web apps list, check the productivity tips outlined here to see if there are any you might be neglecting. You should find these productivity tips and project management principles to be of significant value in managing your day-to-day workflow processes. Or if that all feels too serious you might want to take a quick look at this fun Photoshop article on how to create a text affect.
– Clarify Expectations – poorly stated expectations can lead to unintended outcomes. For individuals, following poorly stated or ambiguous client requirements usually leads to trouble. This includes task prioritization as well.
– Keep Communications Open. Insufficient communication, whether between a team leader and team members, or individual designers and their clients, can be a productivity killer. This should be a constant process, since requirements, priorities, and needs can change.
– Give Team Members Autonomy. By doing so, team members feel empowered, and are more likely to grow in their work.
– Rethink Meetings. Structure a meeting to support project objectives. Whether the meeting consists of a roomful of people, or a one-on-one between a designer and the client.
– Reserve Downtime. This is important for team morale, but it’s a guideline that the individual designer should heed as well.
Management Principles Project and Team Leaders Should Follow
- Block off times for work and for downtime.
- Keep reports advised of project status. It keeps them accountable.
- Communicate when extra hours will be required and when they won’t. Unpredictable work schedules can hurt productivity and team morale.
- Don’t micromanage. The designers are the experts at what they do.
- Don’t overcommit your team; or worse yet, make a habit of doing so.
If you heed the above tips and principles, you should find it easier to get the greatest benefit from any of these web apps.
With InVision, web designers can upload their design files, add animations, gestures, and transitions, and create a high-fidelity prototype within 5 minutes.
This web app is a productivity enhancer. But, it is much more than that. InVision offers concrete solutions to many of the issues web designers must deal with during their day-to-day prototyping, collaboration, and task management activities.
InVison’s user base, consisting of startups, corporations, design agencies, and individual designers, is large indeed. Startups like MailChimp and Evernote like it because it’s great for usability testing, and it helps design teams, particularly distributed design teams, stay in sync.
Global companies like Adobe, Dell, PayPal, and Cisco like InVision because the prototypes are online, making the review and collaboration processes just that much easier. Ease of use is another reason large companies favor InVision.
If you want to discover you own reasons for liking this powerful, efficient web app, all you need to do is sign up. It won’t cost you anything, and you can work with one active prototype while you check out the available pricing plans.
Individual designers, design teams, and project managers alike, use Proto.io to enhance their design processes through its ability to allow them to quickly create interactive prototypes without the necessity of code.
These prototypes are not only realistic, but since Proto.io is a web app, they are easily shareable as well. You’ll have at your disposal beautifully crafted UI components for Android, iOS, Windows, and watchOS to design your apps or you can directly import your Sketch or Photoshop designs.
Just add the animations, interactions, and transitions you want in your prototype and you’re ready for sharing or usability testing. Sharing a prototype with clients, team members, or key stakeholders takes but a single click.
Proto.io has found favor with Fortune 500 companies and smoking-hot startups as well, not to mention countless small and medium size businesses, agencies, and individuals. Sign up for a 15-day free trial to find out what this popular web app can do for you.
When web designers assemble their toolkits, one item that is often neglected is a marketing tool; one example being Sendloop. In today’s e-commerce environment, having a tool like this, is almost guaranteed to help your client’s conversion rates soar is essential.
Sendloop has some pretty hefty marketing capabilities, and you don’t require any special coding or technical capabilities to use it.
Whether you, or your client, relies on email marketing totally or in conjunction with website or social media marketing, this web app belongs in your toolkit. All that is required on your part is a list of subscribers, and your ability to brand and customize any of the more than 100 email templates Sendloop makes available.
These professionally-designed templates will put your email marketing efforts on a par with the best that major corporations offer. For $10 a month, you can send an unlimited number of emails to up to 2,000 subscribers.
Releasing a web app that is expected to provide individual web designers and design teams alike with the most intuitive task management tool on the web, is quite a challenge. The creators of MeisterTask appear to have been more than up to that challenge.
MeisterTask’s flexible project boards, which are based on the popular Kanban system, enable you to set up customized workflows that reflect the way your team works. It not only helps you manage tasks efficiently, it encourages team members to work together and lets them keep track of what everybody else is up to. MeisterTask is yours to try for free.
Paymo is another proponent of providing solutions with Kanban techniques. This web app is a nice fit for a small to medium size business team. It’s a modern project management tool that provides, offline, online, and automatic time management and time tracking functions.
Kanban board technology enables you to highlight progress toward project goals and objectives, and summarize past and current workflow activities. Project information can be stored and shared, and you can create templates of your projects for potential future use.
Try Paymo for 15 days for free.
Form Analytics by Use It Better is a super-convenient web app to have available if you are experienced lower than hoped for user conversion rates, or, if you want to verify that your forms are fulfilling their intended purposes.
This web app is free for small-scale users. It collects and analyzes form field data, and indicates user interactions with your online forms. You can tell which field were completed, and when forms are abandoned, you can often tell why. With this information, you can take remedial action so your forms can contribute to, rather than depress, your conversion rates.
These web apps created for use by design teams and team managers, can also fill a void that individual designers overlook.
The prototyping, sharing and testing features several of them offer apply to teams and individual designers alike.
Some are unaware of the tremendous productivity improvements that can be achieved by using a task or project management web app. Others neglect to take advantage of the marketing tools that are available.
By heeding the productivity tips offered here, and investing in one or more of these top web apps, you should see your productivity soar. The apps can’t do all the heavy lifting, but they can free up your time to do what you do best – web design.