Vitaly Friedman January 18th, 2010

40 Valuable Tools and Resources For Web Designers

Web development can be tricky and time-consuming. To be more effective and productive, we, designers and developers, can integrate useful tools in our daily routine. Also, handy resources can be very valuable as they can help us enhance communication with clients and other developers as well as improve the quality of our work. We are permanently looking for new tools, techniques, resources and services that can improve your workflow and increase your productivity. In this post we present a couple of extremely useful and valuable tools and resources that we found over the last months. Please make sure to follow us on Twitter for a stream of useful resources, tools and design-related articles.

Getting Inspired: Interesting Redesign Projects

Boarding Pass / Fail A boarding pass redesign project by Tyler Thompson, the Creative Director at Squarespace. How would you design a boarding pass? The result is very impressive.

Boarding Pass / Fail

You're killing me, Zappos Andrew Wilkinson's attempt to redesign Zappos.

You're killing me, Zappos

Dollar ReDe$ign Project An attempt to rebrand the US Dollar, rebuild financial confidence and revive our failing economy. Created by Richard Smith.

Dollar ReDe$ign Project

Useful Front-End and Back-End Tools

ie-css3.js CSS3 pseudo selector emulation for Internet Explorer 5-8. ie-css3.js allows Internet Explorer to identify CSS3 pseudo selectors and render any style rules defined with them. Simply include the script in your pages and start using these selectors in your style sheets — they'll work in IE. An alternative is Offspring.js.


CorMVC CorMVC is a jQuery-powered Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework that can aide in the development of single-page, web-based applications. CorMVC stands for client-only-required model-view-controller and is designed to be lowest possible entry point to learning about single-page application architecture. It does not presuppose any server-side technologies, or a web server of any kind, and requires no more than a web browser to get up and running.


Typograph A typographic tool that generates CSS for beautiful web typography, according to traditional scale and vertical rhythm.


Venkman JavaScript Debugger project page Venkman is the code name for Mozilla's JavaScript Debugger. Venkman aims to provide a powerful JavaScript debugging environment for Gecko-based browsers namely Firefox 3.x, the Netscape 7.x series of browsers, Netscape 9.x series, Mozilla Seamonkey 1.x and Mozilla Seamonkey 2.x. It does not include Gecko-based browsers such as K-Meleon 1.x, Galeon 2.x and Netscape 8.x. The debugger is available as an add-on package in XPI format. Venkman JavaScript Debugger has been provided as part of the Mozilla install distribution since October 3rd 2001.

Venkman JavaScript Debugger project page

JavaScript Frameworks Playground: jsFiddle jsFiddle is a shell editor that eases writing JavaScript code by creating a custom environment based on popular JS frameworks.

  JavaScript Frameworks Playground: jsFiddle

jslib Mozilla gives a great flexibility and power to Javascript. This popular client side scripting language can be used to create application level logic and services for cross platform application development. Goal: jslib has a simple goal, "Make life easier for Mozilla Application Development by creating logical, easy to use API's for general purpose routines that lend themselves to living in library code."


PHP debug tools A set of useful PHP debugging tools for debugging script trace, errors and database queries.

Venkman JavaScript Debugger project page

HTML Purifier - Filter your HTML the standards-compliant way! HTML Purifier is a standards-compliant HTML filter library written in PHP. HTML Purifier will not only remove all malicious code (better known as XSS) with a thoroughly audited, secure yet permissive whitelist, it will also make sure your documents are standards compliant, something only achievable with a comprehensive knowledge of W3C's specifications. Tired of using BBCode due to the current landscape of deficient or insecure HTML filters? Have a WYSIWYG editor but never been able to use it? Looking for high-quality, standards-compliant, open-source components for that application you're building? HTML Purifier is for you! HTML Purifier - Filter your HTML the standards-compliant way! *

Up-to-date: HTML viewer

* InAppSettingsKit InAppSettingsKit is an open source solution to to easily add in-app settings to your iPhone apps. It uses a hybrid approach by maintaining the pane. So the user has the choice where to change the settings.


Dabr Dabr is a PHP web interface to the Twitter API for mobile devices.


SproutCore SproutCore: JavaScript HTML5 Application Framework


Your Bookmarklets, On Steroids Quix is an extensible bookmarklet, that allows you to easily access all your bookmarks and bookmarklets, across all your browsers, while maintaining them in only one spot. All you have to do is remember the shortcut for the bookmarklet, so, basically, it’s like a command line for your browser.

Your Bookmarklets, On Steroids

IxEdit IxEdit is a JavaScript-based interaction design tool for the web. With IxEdit, designers can practice DOM-scripting without coding to change, add, move, or transform elements dynamically on your web pages. Especially, IxEdit must be useful to try various interactions rapidly in the prototyping phase of your web application.


minibuilder Flash MiniBuilder is a lightweight IDE created for developing programs written in ActionScript 3.


Real-time HTML Editor Type HTML in the textarea above, and it will magically appear in the frame below.

Real-time HTML Editor

Unicode code converter v7.0.1 Type or paste text in any of the green or grey shaded boxes and click on the button Convert button above it. Alternative representations will appear in all the other boxes. You can then cut & paste the results into your document.

Unicode code converter v7.0.1

Detect Mobile Browser Open source mobile phone detection script.

Detect Mobile Browser

Show {if} A script for a better targeting of site visitors.

Show {if}

typeQuery typeQuery, change website typography with jQuery.


Gipetto's wordpress.tmbundle A WordPress focused TextMate bundle to rule all WordPress Textmate bundles.

Gipetto's wordpress.tmbundle

Graudit Graudit is a simple script and signature sets that allows you to find potential security flaws in source code using the GNU utility grep. It's comparable to other static analysis applications like RATS, SWAAT and flaw-finder while keeping the technical requirements to a minimum and being very flexible.


Wordpress Plugin Maker This plugin is made for developers or Wordpress users who love Cut and Paste and hate FTP . If you have ever been in a pinch where you wanted to create a quick Wordpress plugin to do something but didn’t have FTP info or weren’t at your terminal you can use this plugin to be a life saver.

Wordpress Plugin Maker

Web development and deployment tools Free online-based IDE for professional web-development.

Web development and deployment tools

Create diagrams online Real time collaboration Cacoo is a user friendly online drawing tool that allows you to create a variety of diagrams such as site maps, wire frames, UML and network charts. Cacoo can be used free of charge.

 Create diagrams online Real time collaboration

UKI - Simple UI Kit for complex web apps Uki is a fast and simple JavaScript user interface toolkit for desktop-like web applications. It comes with a rich view-component library ranging from Slider to List and SplitPane.

UKI - Simple UI Kit for complex web apps

snap{css}: an open-source CSS editor for Windows snap{css} is an extremely light-weight, notepad-like application that allows css designers to easily edit their code in a familiar environment while having quick acccess to helpful features such as our beautify and collapse functions.

snap{css}: an open-source CSS editor for Windows

jQuery Browser Plugin A jQuery plugin extending browser detection capabilities.

jQuery Browser Plugin

jsPDF jsPDF generates PDF documents using pure JavaScript


Grid System Generator Grid System Generator includes generated grids, tutorials and resources.

Grid System Generator

User Agent Switcher Firefox Extension The User Agent Switcher extension adds a menu and a toolbar button to switch the user agent of the browser. It is designed for Firefox, Flock, Seamonkey and Songbird, and will run on any platform that these browsers support including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

User Agent Switcher

Useful Resources For Web Developers

ASCII Table - The Pronunciation Guide The ASCII Symbols Pronunciation Guide

ASCII Table - The Pronunciation Guide

Five Awesome On-Screen Rulers They’re not the sexiest programs in the world, but for many designers, on-screen rulers are must-haves. Here are five of the best- including the one I can’t live without. All free.

  Five Awesome On-Screen Rulers

Using HTML Symbol Entities

  Using HTML Symbol Entities

Editorial Style Guides This page provides a list of resources available for the web designer or developer who needs to create an editorial style guide for writing web site copy.

Editorial Style Guides

Open standards Web design with CSS, XHTML, Java servlets and Javascript Code Style answers key questions for Web developers. Which Web fonts are most common? How to use media dependent style sheets? Make more robust, accessible Websites with open standards technology.

Open standards Web design with CSS, XHTML, Java servlets and Javascript

20+ Must have documents for Designers and Developers In this post, you would find a list of over 20 free PDF files covering aspects of Web Development as well as Graphic design. These include cheat sheet for web developers, client questionnaires for Graphic and Web design, helpful checklists as well as some useful resources for designers and developers. All of these are available in PDF format as they are easy to print. I have a number of them hanging around in my work area and find them quite useful. It would be great if you have any helpful documents to share.

20+ Must have documents for Designers and Developers

45 Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklists and Questionnaires 45 checklists to make your design process easier and more organized. Consider using these checklists as a jumping off point for creating your own customized list, based on your own needs.

45 Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklists and Questionnaires

PowerPoint Search Engine with detailed thumbnail results SlideFinder: a search engine for slides and presentations.

PowerPoint Search Engine with detailed thumbnail results

Web Development for the iPhone: HTML & CSS Support Safari and Safari for the iPhone support all HTML elements, including deprecated elements and even some proprietary elements that were never part of any W3C specifications. In addtion, Safari supports some HTML5 elements, even though the HTML5 specifications have not been finalized.

 Web Development for the iPhone: HTML & CSS Support - all your docs are belong to us - PHP, Perl, CSS, HTML, Java, JavaScript, MySQL, Ruby, Python, and more GrepDocs: a search engine for programming documentation - all your docs are belong to us - PHP, Perl, CSS, HTML, Java, JavaScript, MySQL, Ruby, Python, and more

Last Click (= a bit of fun)

ASCII Fire Animation with JavaScript This is when JavaScript is abused: ASCII Fire with JavaScript.

ASCII Fire Animation with JavaScript

256b.htm (D)HTML Competition 256b.htm Competition: create a website in just 256 bytes

256b.htm (D)HTML Competition

Browser Pong This is definitely the best use of pop-ups for a long time. If you haven't seen this, you must see it. It will make your day. Press "P' for start.

Browser Pong


  1. Nice list. Thanks for providing somewhat unusual things like the on-screen ruler and documents, which other authors may have left off.

    Matthew Moore

  2. Thanks for sharing, the Grid System Generator is great for quick frameworks and the Must have documents for Designers and Developers is awesome but my favorite has to be Quix

  3. Running a Project Management website myself, I was under the impression that quite a few designers regularly use Project Management tools to manage their projects.

  4. This is very interesting it reminds me of a good blog about web designing, blogging and other stuff and it is very useful, you guys should check it out it has great advice.

  5. Wow, you cannot forget as a wonderful asset for graphic design. By far the greatest underground graphic design forum, especially for typography needs.

    Thanks for the link, these are great tools, I just thought pilo should have been considered. Thanks.

    P.S is invite only, so good luck.

  6. I believe a logo design to be successful if it has the ability to stir feelings and emotions of a customer. Nowadays, a product is not considered merely as a commodity but a thing of pride and possession. The best of corporate brands are ones that generate feelings among their customers.

  7. This is very nice of you. You all have the best designs that I have seen and you really seem to know your stuff.

  8. Please correct me if I wrong, I am playing dragon of atlantis right now. And I have no idea about Idle population in Dragons of Atlantis. I read in yahoo answer about this “Idle population are the people who don’thave anything to do. to use them either train them into troops or build another resource like lumbermill or farm and they will work there. The higher level the farm the more people it employs.” Is that true? …

  9. Nice post. Being as an designer, I understand how useful these tools are and how helpful stuff these resources provide.

    I would also recommend you to include an invoicing app in this post as an invoicing app is mandatory app to run a business and a designer is required to use one to manage his invoices and payments. I personally use to invoice my clients and to keep track of my projects and expenses. This really made my work so easy.

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