Exciting New Tools for Designers, December 2019
As you are shopping this month for others, why not find a few goodies for yourself? Our roundup of new tools and resources is packed with usable items. And most are free, so there’s no shame in trying out something for yourself. Here’s what’s new for designers this month.
CSS Background Generator
CSS Background Generator gives you the tools – and code – to create an interesting animated background for digital projects. Demo 1 uses a fun web design trend with circular blobs with adjustments for color, size, and speed. Once you get the background set up in a way that works for you, show the code and copy it to your projects. Thanks go to Vincent Will for making a tool that functional and easy to use.
CameraBag Pro just reinvented itself with a new release and features, making it a robust choice for photo editing. The Mac app is packed with editing tools and intuitive adjustments and custom presets (this might be one of the best features since you can instantly preview each before applying it). The tool works for photos and videos with styles that work for both types of images and batch processing tools (watermarks, resizing, and cropping). This is a robust image editing tool that makes quick work of adjusting images. This is a premium app, but one of the least expensive photo/video editing tools out there.
CodersRank creates a 360-degree coder profile based on the public and private data you hold on various coding sites. It creates visual charts that you can use to show off your credentials to potential clients or employers (or figure out what you know in relation to others in the industry). The site also includes learning tools and a job board.
Advent of Code 2019
Advent of Code is a seasonally-appropriate Advent calendar of programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language. Use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other. There’s even a leaderboard to help you keep up with others.
Pantone Color of the Year: Classic Blue
Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020 is 19-4052 Classic Blue. It’s a hue that’s probably a staple in many of your projects. Here’s how Pantone describes it: “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.” This is one of the times that the color of the year has featured a color that is such a common one. The just released color guide includes swatches and tools in this classic color for 2020.
Wooof is just for fun. Instead of spending time looking for cat videos in your downtime, you can spend it looking at the “internet’s biggest collection of open source dog pictures.” You can browse, save favorites and even look at the source code and API. Be prepared to get lost in this rabbit hole.
Realistic 3D Photo Cards
Realistic 3D Photo Cards is a pen by Jouan Marcel that uses hover effects and Vue.js to create cool cards that animate and move in a space with depth on hover. The motion is simple and realistic; you’ll want to fork it.
JetOctopus is a tool to help you navigate technical SEO. It’s a SaaS crawler and log analyzer that helps you find website problems and prioritize solutions to improve your online presence.
The Svelte Handbook
The Svelte Handbook is a starting point for anyone who wants to learn about this newer web framework for building apps. Author Flavio Copes says: “The ideal reader of the book has zero knowledge of Svelte, has maybe used Vue or React, but is looking for something more, or a new approach to things.” And the guide is 100 percent free. So, get reading.
Universal Color Convertor
Universal Color Convertor is a Mac app that converts colors from HEX/RGB/HSL to other formats and code snippets (CSS, Swift, Java, C#, and Dart).
Slack Cleaner can clean all the unused and space-eating files in your Slack account. It makes it easy to find and delete unwanted files with bulk delete functionality.
Terms and Conditions Generator
Terms and Conditions Generator helps create a professional and customized document that’s been designed by an international legal team. It works in eight languages and includes more than 100 clauses to work with.
CSS Scan is a browser extension that lets you copy the CSS of an element on any website. It’s taking website inspection to the next level and works on pretty much any website, regardless of what it’s built on. The best part is that it even works with animation code by visualizing keyframe CSS without having to search through source code.
Botfront is an open-source tool to build chatbots on top of the Rasa library. Design and implement conversations with a single step. You can run it on your laptop or servers. Plus, there’s plenty of documentation to guide you along.
StackShare API, a tool to get insight into the backend technologies a company uses, is still in beta and has a lot of potential application. (API scraping tools seem to be growing in popularity by the day.) Use it to build better custom profiles, generate leads, and learn about industry trends.
Webiny is a serverless app form builder that works for creating simple and complex forms. Use it to create custom forms and validators, track revisions to forms, use the integrated ReCAPTCHA, integrate other apps, and manage submissions. Plus, everything works in an easy drag and drop interface.
Kampsite helps you get feedback from customers and website owners so you can make adjustments that they want with your product or design. Once a log starts, it’s easy to share ideas, upvote popular requests, and engage with users. The tool installs with just a couple of clicks and can help you create beter web experiences.
GooFonts is a tool that tags Google fonts for easy search using keywords, variants, and subsets. What’s cool about this project is that it can take some of the hassle out of finding the right Google Fonts in a quick and easy way. It just takes a couple clicks to return results that have the look you want with examples.
Reborn Display is a vibrant handwriting style display typeface. The style is readable and just a little bit funky. It includes upper- and lowercase letters and ligatures.
Snowballs is perfect for a December roundup with a holiday theme. Each character includes snowflakes around the design and fun swashes and tails for end letters. It includes upper-and lowercase letters and numbers.
Snow Kei is another winter-themed typeface with snowflakes in the letter shapes. It is a fun option for holiday-themed projects. The display font includes 156 characters.