Online Tools, References, and Guides

Online Tools, References, and Guides



Have you been a little overworked lately? From meeting tight deadlines to collaborating with colleagues, a designer’s workload can be a bit hectic. Keeping busy is a good thing, but from time to time, we could all use some helpful tips and hints to make our jobs a bit easier. The good news is that the web universe is loaded with useful design tools that do everything from picking passwords for you to organize all your numerous bookmarklets. Even better, web-based reference tools and guides can provide much needed support in times of chaos.

In this post, we’ve gathered several examples of excellent tools and guides, and we’re totally willing to share them with you – at your earliest convenience, of course.

Web-based Tools


Which loads faster?
 


 
A clever tool for the speedy load-time junky, this website allows designers to compare the load times of two sites side by side. The results of the race are delivered as a percentage. Very nice!

Quora – Web Design

Quite the informative type, Quora is a compilation of questions and answers edited and kept continual by a community of Quora users. The list grows daily and covers web design, usability and other pertinent topics. Use it both to learn and to ask your own questions.

Note and Point

Interested in presenting appealing and noteworthy slides at that next meeting? Try Note and Point. This is a gallery of attractive Keynote, PDF and PowerPoint slides. Take a look for a huge dose of visual inspiration.

ManyBooks

Once you peruse this site you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. It’s an entire ark of e-books already in the public domain, so download to your heart’s content. In addition, new informational materials here can also be downloaded for free due to the public domain status or under Creative, Commons licenses.

Useful References and Guides


Design Is History

In order to excel in the future, you must know your past. If you’re interested, this resource will explain the history of design. An excellent teaching tool for novice designers and students, it’s also great for expert designers as a reference tool.

Trademarkia

This is an absolute necessity for web designers. It’s a free search engine that allows updated information about the use of U.S. registered trademarks on the Internet. Use it to check whether a name you’ve chosen is being used on Flickr, Google, YouTube and Twitter. Records go back as far as 1870!

Icon Reference Chart

This is an extremely useful chart, created to allow a quick view of sizes, formats and related information about icons on the following devices: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 4, Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. A great template for iPhone and iPad icons is also available. Sweet!

OpenWith.org

Need free programs for opening those curious file types? This directory includes open source code, disc images, spreadsheets, data files and even video files, so you’re free to open up just about anything.

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