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Graphic Design

Wireframing and mockups have become the de rigeur in today’s world of web and app development — it’s a process that keeps communication clear and helps everyone (clients, designers, developers, and even UX folks) get on the same page on a project. One of the best tools for the job is Balsamiq, a suite of apps and plugins that encourage rapid yet detailed wireframe creation, sharing and collaboration.

Today we’ll take a look at the suite’s newest app, a web app named myBalsamiq. It’s packed with features that not only make prototyping easy for designers, but also allow coworkers and clients to share feedback and discuss ideas effortlessly. And hey, it looks like it might even be fun to use. Let’s sign up for an account and see how it works.


You can’t sit down and design a new app or site every time inspiration strikes. Even if you were going to actually make a new app, you need to plan it out before. You could just pull out a napkin and pen and start drawing, or you might want to use a prototyping app to get a more polished design a bit quicker. Prototyping and wireframing web apps are not exactly few and far between, but a fairly new release has enough notability to let us take a look.

Codiqa is a prototyping tool for mobile interfaces that, in a similar fashion to actual development environments like Xcode, lets you visually build up an interface for a mobile resolution and then export an interactive, useable, jQuery-powered prototype that you can load up on a device. Rather than just throwing together a mockup of your idea, you’re actually taking the first steps towards making your app a reality. Let’s take a look. (more…)

Back in June last year, we took a look at Cage, a design collaboration tool that we awarded a full 10/10. Since then, big changes have been happening resulting in the all new Cage, a beta product and the subject of today’s review.

Cage is a collaboration tool that allows you share images of designs with others and then have them feedback on them. Or, that was the premise of the original Cage. Now, you can manage tasks, use Cage for video projects, have designs approved and more. (more…)

If you’re a graphic designer who works with other team members on projects, you probably know the pain of keeping them up to date with revisions and updated files. Whether it be in Photoshop, Fireworks or other creative applications, there aren’t any easy ways to share realtime updates and files with your teammates, until now.

In this article, we will be showing you a cool new web app which goes by the name ‘LayerVault’. LayerVault allows you to easily share your progress and other information with your teammates and clients. Your team members can enjoy realtime viewing of revisions via the web app and can keep their own files updated seamlessly with whatever creative application they may be using.


Timelines are useful in many different ways, whether for a student project, as a teaching aide or simply as a way to visualize events that have happened in our lives. Unfortunately, many timeline tools are cumbersome and inflexible, making timelines a not easily viable option. Preceden, however, turns that totally around.

Preceden allows users to create timelines in a matter of minutes, with as much or as little content as desired. Timelines are easily organized and shareable, but can easily be kept private if needed. The timelines can be shared online or in physical form thanks to the features of Preceden. Read on to learn more about how the application works and what I think about it.


The ability to edit images and photographs directly from your web browser is a wonderful thing, whether the ability serves as a simple alternative to more costly desktop software or a solution for when you’re away from your computer. There are a number of different apps available with a variety of specialties. This review will focus on Sumo Paint, a browser based image and photo editing tool.

Sumo Paint provides a great feature set with tools ranging from basic shapes to advanced painting tools. Unlike most other other online graphics editing apps, Sumo Paint also has a burgeoning online community. It’s far from a new app, but it’s one of the internet standbys that come up in every list of great web apps. Whether you’ve never used it before or have tried it out in the past but haven’t used all of its features, it’s a great web app to learn more about. Keep reading to see why Sumo Paint is a web app you should try out.


No matter what you’re designing, you won’t get it right the first time. Odds are, you won’t get it right the 20th time either. Design is an iterative process. You’ll have to come up with your basic idea, then you’ll have to pick the best way to approach it. Then, you may have several different design ideas for each approach to the app, site, newsletter, or whatever else you’re designing. And then you’ll have different ideas from each of those ideas once you start integrating feedback.

Starting to feel like you need something to pull it all together? That’s where Zurb’s newest app, Influence, comes in.


When building a website, it’s important to have a different set of eyes take a look and let you know if you’re on the right track, particularly because there are so many moving parts and so many doubts that can arise. Are the buttons on my site easy to find? Is the banner large enough? How about legibility? Is there a logical flow in my registration process? Which of these two header graphics should I use?

While there are some questions you can answer yourself, sometimes you might need an outside opinion. There are a ton of tools available including OpenHallway, Usabilia, and Silverback that do the job and then some, but what if your needs are simpler?

BagelHint is a little app with which you can create easy usability surveys quickly. Developed by a compact UK-based team called EpicBagel, this service is great for designers and developers looking to get started with UX feedback and testing, with projects that need just pointers and not deep analytics. There’s nothing to install and your results are displayed in real-time. All you need to use it are some screenshots and a few minutes of your time. Let’s set up a trial account and see how we go, shall we?


There’s a never-ending debate over whether tablets can be productive devices, perhaps even substitutes for full computers, or if they’re simply to be relegated to the status of a nice tech toy. Despite the many brilliant productive tools that have been designed for the iPad, one of the best examples of areas that tablets break productivity is web apps. While some web apps work great on the iPad, many are much more difficult to use.

Gmail Mobile presents a nice change to this trend, with a beautiful iPad-style web app. LucidChart is another example of an app that includes extra features designed just for the iPad. Today, we’re featuring another great app that’s been designed just for tablet browsers: Axe. This new free app from ZURB joins the ranks of their other great apps as an easy way to quickly markup a website with your feedback. It’s easier than ever on a touchscreen, so let’s take a look at how this app might make your iPad a bit more productive.


Most people who spend any time at all reading blogs on the Internet are familiar with the concept of the tag cloud. It’s an often amorphous pile of post tags where words that occur more often are displayed with more prominence. Wordle is a web-based Java applet that generates similar clouds based on text that you input.

It’d take forever to get your text looking perfect for a Word Cloud in Photoshop or another graphics tool. Wordle does the heavy lifting for you, so you can get the word cloud you want quickly. So how do you create your own Wordle?


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