The Complete Graphic and Web Design Stack

Wireframe - Michael Lutjen


The complete graphic and web design stack is your complete list of essential tools, products, and inspiration for everything design.

A/B Testing & Multivariate Testing

Adobe Target – AI is critical to modern optimization. Test and personalize to every visitor, applying artificial intelligence with a single click.

Convertize – A/B Testing and personalization tools for marketing and product teams. Increase engagement with nudges. AB test any content.

Google Analytics – Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.

Optimizely – Optimizely is the world’s leading progressive delivery and experimentation platform. Empowering engineering, product, and marketing teams to ship high-quality code.

Unbounce – Unbounce is a drag-and-drop builder that lets you create and publish your own landing pages, without needing a developer to code them.

User Testing – Usability testing and research tools to improve your online customer experience from UserTesting, the Human Insight Platform.

VWO – Companies run their marketing and product experiments on VWO because we bring together their entire org to conduct successful A/B tests across the customer lifecycle.

Analytics

Google Analytics – Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.

Heap – Heap builds infrastructure to automatically capture customer interactions, make sense of them, and make them actionable for anyone.

Kissmetrics – Customer engagement automation by Kissmetrics. Analyze, segment, and engage all in one place with easy to read reports and friendly user interface.

Mixpanel – With Mixpanel, businesses innovate faster by analyzing, measuring, and improving their customer experience — over and over again.

Blogs

A List Apart – A List Apart explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best practices. 

Paul Irish – Paul Irish is an American front-end engineer and a developer advocate for the Google Chrome web browser. He is widely recognized as a thought leader and a leading evangelist in web technologies, including JavaScript and CSS.

Smashing Magazine – Smashing Magazine is a website and eBook publisher that offers editorial content and professional resources for web developers and web designers.

Code Reference Sites

Codepen – Codepen is an online code editor, learning environment, and community for front-end web development using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code snippets, projects, and more.

CSS-Tricks – Daily articles about CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and all things related to web design and development.

JSFiddle – An online playground for JavaScript, HTML, CSS. Useful for sharing code snippets and demos.

CMS

Squarespace – Squarespace provides software as a service for website building and hosting. Its customers use pre-built website templates and drag and drop elements to create webpages.

Weebly – Weebly’s free website builder makes it easy to create a website, blog, or online store.

Wix – Wix.com Ltd. is an Israeli software company, providing cloud-based web development services.

WordPress – WordPress is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database.

Design Inspiration (Aggregator)

Dribbble – Dribbble is the leading destination to find and showcase creative work and home to the world’s best design professionals.

SiteInspire – A CSS gallery and showcase of the best web design inspiration, featuring over 2500 websites searchable by type, subject, and style.

Awwwards – Web design awards and trends.

Design Inspiration (Companies)

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv – Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv is the brand design firm behind many of the world’s most recognizable trademarks. Since 1957, the firm has pioneered the modern movement of idea-driven graphic design across every discipline, specializing in brand identities, exhibitions, print and motion graphics, and art in architecture.

Landor – A global leader in brand consulting and design, Landor helps clients create brand-led growth.

Pentagram – Pentagram is the world’s largest independent design consultancy. The firm is owned and run by 25 partners, each of whom are leaders in their individual fields.

Email Marketing

Constant Contact – Easy email marketing that helps your business do more business. Find new customers and keep them coming back for more with segmented and automated emails.

Emma – Design and optimize targeted email marketing campaigns. Emma’s digital marketing platform drives results with personalization, segmentation, and automation.

Hubspot – HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software — plus the methodology, resources, and support — to help businesses.

Litmus – Email marketing solution that scales with you.

Mailchimp – Mailchimp is the all-in-one integrated marketing platform for small businesses, to grow your business on your terms.

Free Stock Photos

Pexels – Free stock photos you can use everywhere. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

Pixabay – Find your perfect free image or video to download and use for anything. Free for commercial use. No attribution required. High quality images.

Startup Stock Photos – Free photos for startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, and everyone else.

Unsplash – Beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use for any project. Better than any royalty free or stock photos.

FTP Clients

Cyberduck – Cyberduck is an open-source client for FTP and SFTP, WebDAV, and cloud storage, available for macOS and Windows licensed under the GPL.

Filezilla – The free FTP solution for both client and server. Filezilla is open source software distributed free of charge.

Heatmap and Page Recordings

Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg is an online analytics application that provides you eye-tracking tools. It generates heatmaps based on where people clicked on your website.

Hotjar – Hotjar is a behavior analytics company that analyses website use, providing feedback through tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys.

HTML and CSS Frameworks

Bootstrap – The most popular HTML, CSS, and JS library in the world.

Semantic UI – Semantic is a development framework that helps create beautiful, responsive layouts using human-friendly HTML.

Icon Fonts

Flaticon – The largest database of free customizable icons in the world.

Font Awesome – Font Awesome is a font and icon toolkit based on CSS and Less.

Illustration/Vector

CorelDraw – CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation.

Illustrator – Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Inc.

Sketch – Sketch is a design toolkit built to help you create your best work — from your earliest ideas, through to final artwork.

Image and Graphic Editors

Adobe Photoshop – Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS.

Canva – Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, and other visual content.

GIMP – GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image manipulation and image editing, free-form drawing, transcoding between different image file formats, and more specialized tasks.

Image Compressors

Compressor.io Optimize and compress your images online. Compressor is a lossy and lossless photo compression tool.

Image Compressor – Optimizilla is the ultimate image optimizer to compress your images in JPEG and PNG formats to the minimum possible size.

Tinyjpg.com – Make your website faster and save bandwidth. TinyJPG is the best automatic JPEG optimizer and compresses your JPEG images by 40-60%!

Tinypng.com – Make your website faster and save bandwidth. TinyPNG optimizes your PNG images by 50-80% while preserving full transparency!

Page Layout

InDesign – Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media.

Microsoft Publisher – Microsoft Publisher is a desktop publishing application from Microsoft, differing from Microsoft Word in that the emphasis is placed on page layout and design rather than text composition and proofing.

Quark Xpress – QuarkXPress is the leading desktop publishing software for creative professionals.

Project Management

Asana – Teamwork without email. Keep teams organized, connected, and focused on results.

Basecamp – The leading project management app that helps teams collaborate from anywhere.

JIRA – Issue and project tracking software that helps teams assign work and follow activity.

Trello – A free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.

SEO

Alexa – Alexa rank is a measure of website popularity. It ranks millions of websites in order of popularity, with an Alexa Rank of 1 being the most popular.

Moz – Moz is a software as a service company based in Seattle that sells inbound marketing and marketing analytics software subscriptions.

Semrush – SEMrush offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media, and competitive research. Trusted by over 6,000,000 marketers worldwide.

Serpstat – Smart and powerful tool for backlinks analysis, rank tracking, keyword research, competitor analysis, and site audit.

Team Communication

HipChat – Group and private chat, file sharing, and integrations.

Skype – Call, message, and share whatever you want for free.

Slack – A platform for team communication where everything in one place and is instantly searchable.

Text Editors

Komodo Edit – Komodo Edit is a free and open source text editor for dynamic programming languages.

Notepad ++ – Notepad++ is a text and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It supports tabbed editing, which allows working with multiple open files in a single window.

Sublime Text – Sublime Text is a shareware cross-platform source code editor with a Python application programming interface. 

Tutorials

Codrops – Extensive collection of tutorials and web news.

SitePoint – Tutorials and other lessons on web design and development.

Tuts+ – Code tutorials and general web design and development news.

Version Control and Collaboration

Bitbucket – Git and Mercurial code management for teams.

Git – A free and open source distributed version control system.

GitHub – Powerful collaboration, code review, and code management. Also offers free Mac or Windows clients.

Web Crawler Tools

Screaming Frog – The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a small desktop program (PC or Mac) which crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script, and apps from an SEO perspective.

Web Fonts

Font Squirrel – Handpicked free fonts with commercial-use licenses

Google Fonts – Google Fonts is a library of 999 free licensed font families, an interactive web directory for browsing the library, and APIs for conveniently using the fonts via CSS and Android.

Hoefler & Co – Expensive, but high quality fonts.

Typekit -Adobe Fonts partners with the world’s leading type foundries to bring thousands of beautiful fonts to designers every day.

Web Hosting

Amazon AWS – A variety of cloud computing services at affordable rates.

GitHub Pages – Host websites directly from your GitHub repository. Just edit, push, and your changes are live.

Rackspace – Reliable, high-end hosting aimed at professional developers.

Wireframing

Adobe xD – Adobe XD is a vector-based user experience design tool for web apps and mobile apps, developed and published by Adobe Inc.

Balsamiq – Balsamiq Wireframes is a graphical user interface website wireframe builder application. It allows the designer to arrange pre-built widgets using a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor.

Figma – Figma is a vector graphics editor and prototyping tool. It is primarily web-based, with additional offline features enabled by desktop applications for macOS and Windows.

InVision – InVision is the digital product design platform used to make the world’s best customer experiences.

Zeplin – Connected space for product teams. Handoff designs and style guides with accurate specs, assets, code snippets—automatically

Conclusion:

A good foundation for any designer is crucial to progressing in any career path. Combining the tools in this post with a solid understanding of Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles for Good Design will provide you with indispensable knowledge that will stay with you for years to come.

The Complete Graphic and Web Design Stack