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December 17, 2013

The Wish List: What do Designers and Developers Want for Christmas?

Have you ever wondered what a developer or designer will want this holiday season? These professionals live, breathe and eat platforms, software and technologies. In fact, for many of them, their life revolves around frameworks, tools, editors and everything else that allows them to do their job better. We’ve put ourselves in the shoes of developers and designers to get into their minds and find out what they want this Christmas.

So without wasting time, let’s take a look:

HTML5 Tools

Every developer/designer wants to leverage the optimal potential of HTML5. To ensure this happens, they want to work with the best tools. Here are a few tools that should be on the wish list of most developers.

Initializr

Initializr

Got a new project? Want to use HTML5? Initializr generates various templates based on HTML5 Boilerplate, for you to choose from. Don’t worry, if you think you don’t like a particular part of the template, you can get rid of it, and keep the part your like.

Google Web Designer

google web designer

Fresh out of Google’s stables is the Google Web Designer beta with a sparkling Chrome-based design surface. Code testing is a breeze and it also allows you to flip between code and design views to check whether they work or not. It’s a great pick for developers who want to keep checking their code and HTML layout as they write it down.

Responsive CSS Frameworks

All designers worth their salt need to use CSS frameworks to manage their workflow and improve productivity; they improve the turnaround time of your Web design project and ensure you pay more attention to factors that matter. Here are a few responsive CSS frameworks that help you design responsive websites that render effectively on devices with diverse screen sizes.

Foundation

Foundation Image

This framework packs a solid punch and is a great pick because it’s lightweight and brings an array of progressive features to the table. It offers designers a 12-column grid that allows them to create complex layouts, without the need for creating custom elements. It’s one of the better front-end frameworks in the business.

Gumby Framework

gumby framework

Founded on a hybrid grid, it allows you to define a particular grid that you want to use and where you want it on the page. Powered by Compass and SASS, it allows you to create websites that meet the latest design trends and which create the impact you need. It’s a well-rounded framework that is easy to use and immensely functional.

jQuery Plugins

You can’t think of development without jQuery plugins, and it is for good reason that they are called the foundation of all web development. With the right plugin, you can handle development activities like animation, Ajax interaction, HTML document traversing and event handling. Developers wish for the right plugin because it can help design and development websites quickly. So, let’s take a look at some plugins that are a must use:

Bigfoot

Bigfoot Image

This plugin automates the painful process of detecting a footnote link and content. After detecting the link, it turns it into an easy-to-click button. It’s one of those plugins that simplifies what otherwise is a time consuming process.

jQuery Text Resizer

jQuery Text Resizer

Another lightweight jQuery plugin, this one simplifies the business of resizing number inputs that involve long numbers. It supports HTML5 and is great for max/min inputs.

Free PHP Scripts

There are plenty of free PHP Scripts available, but it’s the good ones that are at the top of every PHP developer’s wish list. Take a look at some that are known for their quick installation and configurations and score high on the functionality scale.

ChiliStats by ChiliScripts

ChiliStats

This is a database friendly PHP Script that is very easy to install, and offers an optimized and customizable counter display. Other features like OneView display, History index, Design Adaptability via CSS and others make it great pick.

PHP and MySQL Login Script

PHP and MySQL Login Script

This free, secure and object oriented high performance PHP Script is a great pick if you want the best password encryption. Its four versions cover every need of the developer and you could either go for the one file version, the minimal version with basic features, the advanced Script with multiple features or even a full MVC framework version.

Free Designing Tools

The Web design community is packed with ‘Santa Clauses’ who keep bringing forth one great design tool after another and what’s more, most of them are free to use. So, which ones do designers wish for? It’s a difficult pick.

jQuery.arbitrary.anchor.js

This tool helps you design crisp and clean dynamic anchor scrolling by extending the functionality of the normal anchor.

Absolute Centering in CSS

Absolute Centering in CSS Image

What does this tool do? It helps you vertically and horizontally center at any width or height.

Free Web Designer Tools that make tasks simpler

Every designer needs tools that make tasks a whole lot simpler. A designer doesn’t want to code every feature that he/she wants on a site. This is where some tools come in to help save the day. Take a look:

TypeWonder 

TypeWonder Image

Want to test Web fonts? Just enter the URL of your site and preview your fonts. It’s simple, quick and a free tool that performs a very necessary and important function.

Concept inbox 

Concept inbox Image

Want to get feedback for your web design easily? Of course you do! All you need to do is send an email to Concept inbox with the name of your project, attach project images and get the feedback you want. You can choose from 4 pricing options.

Free Web Development Tools that Make Tasks Simpler

Even developers want to use tools that make tasks simpler. Coding/programming is a difficult and time consuming job and all developers wish for tools that will help simplify this task without compromising on the quality. Their wish list can include:

DiagnostiCSS

DiagnostiCSS Image

If you want to find out whether your markup suffers from invalid links, elements without the required attributes, empty or deprecated elements, DiagnostiCSS does the job for you.

Flatdoc

Flatdoc Image

If you want to make open source documentation from Readme files, Flatdoc is the tool that will help you do it. It essentially is a JavaScript file that renders Markdown files as full pages.

Code Syntax Highlighter jQuery Plugins

Posting syntax-highlighted code to your website is not essential but it helps you manage your code better. So, if you want your code to be highlighted in different styles rather than just normal text, the following options will be a good pick:

Google-code-prettify

Google-code-prettify Image

This one is a Google product and, therefore, is a good pick. It can be used on HTML pages; it is lightweight, and can work even if the existing code has embedded links and line numbers.

beautyOfCode

beautyOfCode Image

This one helps you decorate your HTML effortlessly.

Free Chat Applications

If developers are tasked with integrating a chat application into a website, and most websites today have a chat application, they wish it can be done quickly and easily. These options can satisfy their wish:

Firechat

Firechat Image

This is a chat application with no server side code and can be seamlessly integrated into a website. It offers multiple rooms for chat and different types of user authentication.

KandanApp

KandanApp Image

This open source chat application doesn’t need to be installed client side, and you can be up and running with the chat application in a matter of minutes.

Responsive Design Testing Tools

Every client wants a responsive design today, but just creating responsive designs isn’t the end of story. These designs need to deliver results and for that to happen, they need to be tested. So, most designers wish for really convenient testing tools that ensure their sites have no problems whatsoever.

The Responsinator

The Responsinator Image

Do you want to know how your responsive website looks on the popular devices on the market? Use the Responsinator, although not replicating the exact look, it will still give you an idea of whether you have faltered with your design somewhere.

Deviceponsive

Deviceponsive Image

This online tool gives you a preview of how your website renders on different device resolutions like iPhone, iPad and MacBook.

So, that’s it. If you are developer/designer and you have a wish list that includes the tools and frameworks mentioned here, look up the options given or you could even search for some other options. Look hard enough and you will see your Christmas wishes come true.


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Aanya Dsouza is working as a blogger and digital marketer at Rightway Solution a Web development company. She is interested in writing articles on CMS, eCommerce and mobile technology. She loves to share new and exciting content with readers.  Follow Aanya on Twitter @AanyaDsouza or connect on Google+.

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