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Hot trend alert: interactive prototyping tools (here are the best 3)

WebAppers.com - 19 septembre, 2018 - 09:03

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Prototype tools play key roles in website and mobile app design and development. They do so by providing enhanced opportunities for project leaders, teams, and stakeholders. Specifically, the allow them to better communicate with one another.

A prototype can emulate a proposed software solution in significant detail. It can present it perfectly in terms of its intended look and feel. A wireframe provides a more basic version of a proposed solution. It allows interested parties to focus on its functionality.

How to maximize the potential benefits you can receive from prototyping and wireframing? You should invest in the best app and website prototyping tools you can get your hands on. We’ve researched three such tools. We present them to you here, having taken into account the following criteria:

  • The ability of the tool to accurately portray visual and interactive design.
  • Features that ensure accuracy and consistency in the design.
  • Collaboration support and development of handoff capability.

 

1. Justinmind

When you have UI prototyping tools for websites and applications as part of your design toolkit you’re in a better position to validate web or app designs early on and receive important feedback when it will do the most good.

Justinmind is such a tool. It is an all-in-one prototyping tool that provides all the functionality you need to show clients and stakeholders how your design is progressing, and what the look, feel, and functionality of the finished product will be prior to handing the design over to the developer.

Justinmind does not rely on coding. You simply work with and piece together its more than 4,000 pre-made UI elements, interactions, transitions, and gestures to build a prototype that’s for all practical purposes indistinguishable from the real thing.

Other top app and website prototyping tools don’t necessarily integrate with other web design tools. Justinmind does precisely that and works with real data as well to build prototypes that you can test on any device.

Finding out more about Justinmind is easy as it is free to download.

 

2. Supernova

Supernova is synonymous with speed. One of the best prototyping tools you’ll find anywhere speeds up both prototyping and design by automating many of the more mind-numbing tasks associated with mobile app development. These tasks include project creation, file naming, and exporting code and resources to name a few, allowing designers and developers to focus more on their core responsibilities.

Supernova is currently available on the Mac OS X platform. It will be available on other platforms in the near future. Supernova takes you from design to production-ready code in mere minutes by converting Sketch designs into high-quality code for iOS, Android, and Reactive systems.

You’ll be able to experience the look, feel, and functionality of the product you’re creating on any device using companion apps, or on your browser through the Supernova Cloud.

You’re invited and encouraged to try Supernova for free.

 

3. Savah App

Savah App is another all-in-one, go-to prototyping tool that not only has the necessary features to actively promote design collaboration and feedback but makes it possible for you to design and automate your workflow and manage your design projects and workflows from a single platform.

Savah App also integrates with Dropbox, Sketch App and many other tools designers refer to or use every day. This prototyping tool will also track design history, maintain version control, and display different versions side by side for reference or comparison purposes.

To get started you might try the Forever Free plan which allows you to complete up to 3 projects at no cost. The Solo paid plan is ideal for freelancers, and like the 5-person and 10-person paid plans, you can try it for 30 days for free.

“Free” is always a nice way to familiarize yourself with any new design tool.

 

The Benefits of Prototyping

Prototyping has its advantages and its disadvantages. Time was, that you’d have to weigh one against the other before making a decision. You considered using an app, website, UI, or interactive prototyping tools. There were expenses to consider including the cost involved in learning how to use new tools.

Today, the advantages vs. the disadvantages of prototyping is no longer an issue. The best prototyping tools on the market today and fast, efficient, and affordable. Sometimes, they are free. They also tend to be so easy to use that training is no longer a concern.

The question you need to ask yourself is how you intend to go about using these tools to the greatest advantage. To answer that question, you’ll want to look at these potential benefits:

  • Prototypes and prototyping tools serve to eliminate inaccuracies in system requirements.
  • App and website prototyping tools can tell you whether or not a design solution will do what it is supposed to do.
  • The best prototyping tools are used to create prototypes for developers. Specifically, interactive prototyping tools serve as walkthroughs for developers. They are giving the developer an insight into a design’s expected look and feel.
  • Prototyping helps firm up how the final solution should look and function. Thus, it leads to acceptance and a go-ahead for a developer to proceed.
  • UI and interactive prototyping tools are useful for top management involvement. They give clients and project stakeholders a sense of ownership and involvement.
  • Prototypes help developers estimate cost, schedule, and resource requirements.
  • Prototypes can be used as historical milestones. They provide reference points in the event of disputes during the development phase.

 

Conclusion

The prototyping tools presented here have a great deal going for them. They can benefit you, your design team, and the development team.

The focus in these presentations has not been so much on building prototypes, which all three do well. We focused on their project management and collaboration capabilities. We also concentrated on the ways in which they help to make a software design ready for handover to a developer.

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Catégories: News dév web

Best Productivity Tools Used by the JotForm Marketing Team

Noupe.com - 13 septembre, 2018 - 13:28

Productivity is in our DNA at JotForm. Our own product is a widely-used productivity tool for organizations to simplify their data collection and save time by reducing back-and-forth emails. I personally use JotForm for fielding case study requests, partnership inquiries, to survey colleagues internally as well as users, and to collect job applications.

So we’ve developed an eye for other helpful productivity tools to help us manage our workflow. And luckily, there are some terrific resources out there to boost your team’s productivity and focus that we use all the time.

Amazing  Tools We Use To Be More Productive

Here are just a few of the favorites of the JotForm Marketing team.

Zapier

Zapier has come to the rescue many times for Team JotForm. It’s a service that connects the internet’s most popular business apps, including JotForm. It’s effectively a way to automate the process of sending JotForm form submission data to over 1,000 other services, like your email marketing software, CRM, task management tools, calendar, and a lot more.

JotForm produces monthly webinars, and why we love Zapier is because it spares us from having to copy and paste the information we receive and enter it into an attendee list.

We create a webinar registration form using JotForm, then use Zapier to integrate with GoToWebinar so that attendee information is neatly saved in their system.

Calendly

I hate the hiring process. Not the part where we actually bring on new team members–I love that aspect–but the process of scheduling interviews is torture to me. I’m talking about the endless emails, the calls, the schedule changes, the no-shows, the rejections. It’s a huge time-suck, and it takes a very different headspace to do than my regular job responsibilities.

So I’m a fan of any tool that makes the nitty gritty of hiring easier. For me that’s Calendly.

Calendly is an app that syncs with your calendar and lets whomever you’re inviting to a meeting to select the time that works best for them based on your availability.

Instead of sending a million back-and-forth emails to job candidates to see what times work for them, I send them all the same Calendly link and let them fill my calendar up themselves.

Buffer

To really do social media right, you have to be strategic.

At JotForm, we share a lot of content, whether it’s tips and advice from our own blog or Medium channels, or outside publications that talk about JotForm. It’s not uncommon for us to have more than a dozen original pieces to share, which makes it important for us to schedule our posts ahead of time.

Using Buffer, we can spend an hour scheduling multiple posts to go out at later dates instead of having to remind ourselves to constantly log back into our JotForm social accounts and create a new post.

It’s also great because once posts are scheduled in the Buffer queue, it’s easy for team members to login and review social posts before they go live.

Asana

Our whole company uses Asana for different reasons. I personally love them because I can sit down with everyone on my team and schedule, assign, label, and describe new projects in a calendar view. For anyone who works better when their projects are laid out a little more visually, this is perfect.

And when you complete a project that’s on your Asana calendar, it puts a bright green check mark next to it–so satisfying!

You also get email notifications as deadlines approach, which we’ve found super handy as well.

Slack

The JotForm team is globally dispersed, with our main offices in San Francisco and Turkey. We also have a network of remote employees in nearly every time zone on Earth. Email is still our primary mode of communication, but sometimes you need to ping someone immediately or send a quick link–and that’s where Slack is so helpful.

Slack enables me to have back-and-forth conversations with developers, designers, and supporters a lot faster than I could using email, thus saving me valuable time.

Trello

When we’ve had major product announcements that require assigning projects to multiple people on the team, Trello has been an enormous help.

For instance, before JotForm announced JotForm Cards this past February, we needed a way to coordinate our advertising, PR, blog content, social media posts, design requests, launch event details, product video, marketing emails, collateral and swag, partnerships, and influencer outreach. Yikes.

But Trello gave us a way to centralize all of our projects. Tasks are added as cards that you can assign to members of your team, label accordingly, and indicate completion status along a kanban board. And what’s even better is that Trello has zero learning curve.

Sortd

If left to my own devices, my email inbox is cluttered, embarrassing, and even counterproductive. Sortd has helped with all of that.

It’s sort of like Trello in that it offers a digital kanban board for your tasks, only it’s all in your inbox. Now when I arrive to work in the morning, I sort through all of my emails to see if anyone has asked me to complete a task, then I simply mark the request in the “to-do” column in Sortd. When I start working on the task I move the card over to “in progress” and when it’s finished I slide it over to “completed.”

Most of what’s asked of me still comes via email, so it’s been incredibly helpful for me to manage my important projects.

Do you use any of the productivity tools listed above? Does JotForm boost your productivity? Let us know in the comments!

This post is originally posted on JotForm.com

Catégories: News dév web

Discover the best WordPress themes for business websites – which one is your favorite?

WebAppers.com - 12 septembre, 2018 - 09:03

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A website can be a powerful marketing tool for a startup or a small business.  But only if it is easy to work with and well designed. It should also incorporate functionality specific to the needs of the business. WordPress business themes make building a website for a business very easy. During the past years, the process was slow, tedious, and expensive, however.

WordPress offers themes that go well with startups too. Is your startup working on a new app or presenting a new service? Or is it involved in some other not-yet-commonplace venture? Either way, there are likely multiple themes that are a good match. Especially so in the following collection.

The following WP themes are the best at what they do. You can rely on them to help you create websites that will stand out from the crowd.

 

1. Be Theme

Be Theme is an excellent theme to start with. It is in all likelihood the largest of the WordPress themes for business websites with its collection of more than 370 expertly-designed pre-built websites and its 40 core website-building features.

What makes Be Theme such a suitable choice for small businesses and startups goes beyond the sheer number of pre-built websites and the variety of business types and niches they address. The fact that they are customizable and feature the functionality a business needs and expects in its online presence makes finding a perfect match a relatively easy proposition.

Since more pre-built websites are added to the collection every month, finding the best match is only going to get easier. Add the fact that Be Theme is easy to work with, its SEO-friendly and responsive, and features an extensive array of design elements, layout options, and special effects, it’s understandable why this WP theme has consistently placed among ThemeForest’s top 5 best sellers.

 

2. Astra

Astra is another of the best WordPress business themes on the market. It provides an ideal set of tools for creating websites for blogs, portfolios, startups and small businesses. Astra offers a variety of templates and a comprehensive collection of design features.

You can use this theme with any of the popular page builders, plus it’s WooCommerce ready and its capabilities are easily expandable with addons.

 

3. The100

One reason The100 finds a spot in our list of the best WordPress business themes is the tender loving care that obviously went into its development; TLC that’s  reflected in the small business websites it helps to create.

You can see it in The100’s elegant design, attractive demos that can be imported with a single click, and its flexibility and ease of use. 

 

4. Houzez – Highly Customizable Real Estate WordPress Theme

The best WordPress themes for small business or startups are often those that specialize in a particular business sector or niche. Houzez focus is on the real estate sector.

While Houzez is an easy to work, highly flexible theme, its real strength lies in the embedded functionality realtors and real estate agencies will be looking for, including property listings, property management, and advanced property search.

 

5. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

Creative individuals, teams, and agencies will be best served when small business WordPress themes are the tools of choice for providing them with an online presence. TheGem is one such theme. It was created with small businesses in mind, while still providing the web designer with a comprehensive toolkit to work with.

In addition to an array of trendy design concepts and useful plugins, TheGem’s package includes a ready-to-go fashion store.

 

6. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

While Uncode is advertised as a multipurpose theme, it’s ideal for using with WordPress for small business websites. The reason for this is its author’s attention to detail as they were creating it. This attention to detail, and the TLC that tends to go with it helps make Uncode well suited to address small businesses and startups website requirements.

Of particular note are this theme’s smartly designed homepage concepts and its Advanced Grid and Adaptive Images systems.

 

7. Cesis | Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Trying is believing. Cesis’ claims to be the “smartest” WordPress theme on the market. You’ll need to decide the truth of that statement for yourself. Since it allows all the website-building work to be done at the front end, importing templates and demos takes but a single click, and its building process is simple and straightforward – you’re likely to agree that Cesis is indeed a very sophisticated and a smart WordPress theme.

 

8. Pofo – Creative Portfolio and Blog WordPress Theme

Small businesses and startups often earn their bread and butter by relying on attention-getting and engaging portfolios to market their goods or services. Not all WordPress themes have the tools needed to create an impressive portfolio although many of the best WordPress business themes do.

What you really need is a theme that specializes in building outstanding portfolios, and Pofo is just such a theme with portfolio, blog and eCommerce features.

 

Conclusion

It should be easy to choose the best WordPress theme for small businesses. Here are only eight themes to choose from. The themes presented here are the best of the bunch. This can, however, make the decision process a little more difficult.

You really can’t make a bad decision. You should take extra time to find one or two the suits your needs to a T. Doing so will save you time and money in the long run.

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans le développement web (CMS, PHP, Laravel, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn