Our top recommendations for everyday tools for designers

David Cruz

Here at Thin Martian, one of the things we love in digital design is that everyday there are new tools to explore, because digital design is constantly changing and evolving. We love experimenting and refining our working processes with new tools so that our work is always, fresh and up to date with the latest technologies. Here are some of the tools that we have been playing around with recently.

Use Panda

https://usepanda.com/

Panda is a newsfeed dashboard for designers, developers and entrepreneurs. We love using it to keep up with the latest tech news and design inspiration from a variety of sources in one interface.

Jpeg.io

https://www.jpeg.io/

We always try to optimise our digital interfaces as much as we can, and this tool is a big help for us for converting images into highly optimised JPEGs. It has been engineered with simplicity in mind — simply drop your image into the drop space and a short time later you’ll get a progressive JPEG compressed to the smallest possible size without perceptible quality loss.

Origami

http://origami.design/

We have recently been exploring this new prototyping tool. It is very powerful with a large library of customisable, built-in animations and interactions. It’s the perfect Sketch companion. Made by Facebook and used by the great teams behind some popular products and interactive apps — Facebook Paper, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger just to name a few.

F.lux

https://justgetflux.com/

F.lux is a program that adjusts a display's colour temperature according to location and time of day. The program was designed to reduce eye strain during night-time use and reduce disruption of sleep patterns. This is especially good for the designers here at Thin Martian who spend long hours looking at a computer screen getting pixel perfect design.

Whatfont (Chrome extension)

We use this tool a lot and we think it’s the easiest way to identify fonts on web pages.With this extension, you can inspect web fonts by just hovering on them. It is that simple and elegant.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/whatfont/jabopobgcpjmedljpbcaablpmlmfcogm?hl=en

Shift Click Image Extractor (Chrome extension)

Very handy Chrome extension for images. Shift Click is everything you need:

- an image extractor

- an image sharing tool

- an image downloader

- an Instagram image downloader

- a gif downloader

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/shift-click-image-extract/aonflkdebcjkiimklgpgkclmjohclbbf?hl=en

iOS apps

VSCO

https://vsco.co/

The perfect companion to use with instagram. The free VSCO app is a powerful all-in one camera, editing and photo sharing app. We love using for quickly editing the pictures we post on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Fused

http://easytigerapps.com/#fused

One of our designers is a big fan of double exposure photos, and he says that this is the best double exposure app you can get. FUSED is the very first app that allows you to blend videos, photos, or a combination of both.

Inbbbox

https://www.netguru.co/inbbbox

It’s dribbble in your pocket made easy. Browse Dribbble shots on your phone and never miss an outstanding design. Don’t forget to follow us on our dribbble account. 

Noizio

Noizio is an app that will drown out the noise of the street and allow you to concentrate on the work at hand, increasing your productivity.

Link: http://noiz.io/

Adobe Capture

http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/capture.html

We use adobe products all the time and this one is probably the best mobile product they have. Very good to capture inspiration on everyday things. Turn any image into a colour theme, pattern, unique brush, look, or vector graphic that you can use in your creative projects on desktop and mobile devices.

These are just some of the many new tools that we are currently using and exploring. Please do get in touch to let us know which are your favourites.