Posts Tagged ‘web app’

Hottest Web Applications of the Month – June

Following on from last month’s roundup, we’ve got a whole bunch of hot web apps to share with you that we think will be really useful. It includes web analytics which allows you to see what your site users are doing in real time, a business plan writing app which you can create and collaborating your smart business plan, or even the password management app that keeps your passwords organized and rocks on every device!

hottest app june 2011 Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Without further ado, here is it – our pick of the hottest web application for the month of June. Do check out the last section of the article to find out how you can suggest us your favorite app.

Hottest Web App of the Month

Clicky

Clicky is a fantastic tool for all those who obsess about analytics (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) and get valuable data in real time.

With Clicky you can ‘spy’ on your site, and see which users are on which page, where they came from, how long they have been reading for, which goals they have met, and more. It’s similar to Google Analytics, but a lot more user friendly, live, just a better experience. It has both free and paid plans available.

clicky Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Test Flight

Test Flight is a fantastically simple app for iOS developers that share your app from the cloud. Anyone who has developed for iOS has probably had some struggles with provisioning and distributing pre-app store builds of their apps.

Test flight takes care of all these issues – just email a link to anyone you’d like to test your app, they click a link and you are good to go. You can observe in real time when they open your email and install the app, and see any problem that arises. It’s really incredibly simple, and if you are an iOS dev, you should check it out – especially as it’s a free tool for all developers.

testflight Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Aviary

Aviary is a free online photo editing tool that takes care of all simple tasks you can think of when it comes to photo editing. It has a range of different effects that many people have come to expect from iPhone apps, but the beauty is that you can do them all online (or without having an iPhone).

It also has an advanced suite with a number of different tools, ranging from screen capture to music creation and everything in-between.

aviary Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Plan2Biz

Plan2Biz isn’t the prettiest app in this list, but anyone who has attempted to write a business plan will know it is really simple and easy to use.

You can choose from a variety of plan types depending on how detailed you want it to be, and it creates a simple index for you with all points that should be filled out for that plan. If you want to make changes, add or remove points, just make a couple of clicks and you are done. Oh, and it’s free.

plan2biz Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Lastpass

Lastpass is a fantastic tool for managing your passwords, and that helps to keep you secure across a range of different devices.

You can get plugins that integrate with any browser, they have their own browser on a range of mobile devices, and a great web version to boot. It can generate new passwords for you (great for security), automatically fill out forms, and more! It comes in both free and paid versions, although I’ve found the free account does pretty much everything I could ever need.

lastpass Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Scadaplan

Scadaplan is a great project management and collaboration app, with a fantastic design to boot.

With Scadaplan, you can create and assign tasks and projects, set deadlines, view tasks on a calendar (my personal favorite) and more. There are some things that could be done in a more simple fashion, or haven’t yet been implemented, but as far as beta version go it’s really very solid and very useful. Free for the time being at least.

scadaplan Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Minutes.io

Do you go to a lot of meetings? Do you take a lot of minutes (or notes of any kind, really) while you are there? Minutes.io is the tool for you.

With free web app Minutes.io, you can fill out your minutes quickly, add attendees, set task types and due dates, and the pertinent information in no time. We use it for recording notes from Skype meetings, and have found it to be a great tool for sorting all kinds of information.

minutes Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Cloudflare

Cloudflare isn’t a web app per se, but it’s a fantastic site for anyone who runs a website.

Cloudflare is something along the lines of a CDN, and once you set up your DNS to go through it, it can speed up your site (it reduced our website’s average page load time from 0.42 seconds to 0.15 seconds). It also protects you from a range of threats, caches assorted common requests, saves you bandwidth, and does a bunch of other natty things. It has both free and paid plans available.

cloudflare Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Sugarsync

Sugarsync is a great Dropbox alternative (especially after the recent announcement that the dropbox staff can read your files) that lets you store your files in the cloud, and access them from almost any device or system.

The free account comes with 5 gigabytes of storage, and you can upgrade to premium plans for more storage. With Sugarsync you can easily back up any file on your computer (rather than just your Dropbox), upload and sync via email, stream music to your device and more. It’s definitely worth a look.

sugarsync Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Formsly

Formsly is a simple app for creating and integrating great contact pages into your website.

With Formsly you can set multiple office locations, generate directions, give out directions to any of your offices, create vCards or QR codes of your location, details and more. It’s pretty handy if you want to set up a powerful contact page in a hurry, and it costs only $0.99 a month.

formsly Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Doolphy

Doolphy is another project management tool with a lot of powerful features packed in. You can collaborate, share files, bill clients, get detailed financial graphics and more, all from one central location.

They have a free plan with unlimited users, so you can get in there and give it a go without losing anything. They also have a Spanish version for the Spanish speakers among you. Worth a look!

doolphy Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

SocialMention

SocialMention is like Google for social media search. It’s a hugely helpful tool for monitoring topics you are interested in, working on, writing about, or otherwise partake in, all from the comfort of your browser.

It also shows you the relative popularity of a particular search term so that you can find the most popular terms to connect with your audience. It’s a great way to sort through the junk to get to the most relevant content.

socialmention Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

Castle.so

Castle.so is a simple file sharing tool whenever you’ve got a small file to share. The free account lets you upload files of up to 15 megabytes, and you can upgrade the account to get larger file size.

They claim the site is different from other file sharing sites because of its great support and reliability (and no ads!) – check it out yourself and see what you think. (Suggested by: JamesPeterson)

castle Hottest Web Applications of the Month   June

That’s all for The Month

That’s all for this month, same time next month :-)

Be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter or RSS feed to keep up with all the latest and greatest web apps, and all the other great content we offer.

Suggest An App!

This is going to be a monthly feature from now on, so if you have any great app you’d like to suggest for our next month’s round-up, here’s what you can do:

  • Leave a comment below,
  • Submit us via our tip submission form,
  • Send a tweet to @hongkiat with hashtag #hkwebapp, or

20 Useful Free iPhone and iPad Apps for Designers and Developers

Big shocking news of the day: iPhones and iPads are increasingly popular and widespread and are being used by more and more people. But what’s interesting is this also includes web developers ie. you. And the following list will feature 20 free iPhone and iPad apps for web developers.

While iPhones and iPads appear to be more consumer-driven devices, there are apps on there that can assist in your web development and make your development and design life much easier. Think of it as having sketchbooks, notepads, calculators, communications devices, and more – all in one device. Of course, there are paid apps that provide much more robust development tools, but these free apps will be more than enough to get you started using your iPhone and/or iPad as a web development aid.

Without further ado, here are 20 free iPhone and iPad apps for web developers:

Dropbox


DropBox lets you sync and share files across computers and your iPhone and iPad.

SugarSync


SugarSync is in case you want an alternative to Dropbox. Sync and access files from your other devices and computers.

2X Client


2X Client lets you remotely connect to and work on your Windows computer.

LiveView


LiveView is a remote screen viewing app that can help you design quick simulations and demos and try out prototypes of your designs. Also useful for designing for mobile apps or web apps for use on mobile devices.

Adobe Ideas


Adobe Ideas is a digital vector-based sketchbook for drawing and capturing design ideas – which you can then send for further working on to Photoshop and Illustrator.

Doodle Buddy


Doodle Buddy is a doodling app which can let you quickly sketch out design ideas and anything else with your fingers. Colors included.

Evernote


Evernote lets you capture and store design and development notes, ideas, snapshots, recordings, and anything else for easy finding later on. Paid in-app upgrades if you need more features.

Note Hub


Note Hub is a note-taking app that lets you create projects and add notes, to do lists, drawings, and whatever else.

TaskPad HD


TaskPad HD is a task manager that lets you sync tasks across all of your devices as well as manage your tasks via a web browser.

Twitter


The official Twitter app for when you need to talk to clients and collaborators via Twitter.

Twitterrific


Twitterrific is for those who prefer a different interface for using Twitter to stay connected with clients and collaborators – choice is good.

Skype


Skype on your iPhone or iPad – need more be said? Really useful for talking to clients and collaborators, especially when they’re in different parts of the world. It’s free to call if you’re both using Skype, otherwise affordable rates let you call landlines and cell phones.

Fring


Fringe is an alternative to Skype. Text chat with people via Skype and other instant messenger accounts and get free calls if you’re both using Fring.

WordPress


WordPress has an iPhone and iPad app that lets you create and edit posts and pages, moderate comments, and other tasks for your WordPress.com blog or WordPress-powered website.

Adobe Photoshop Express


Adobe Photoshop Express is a super-slimmed down version of Photoshop for when you need to quickly edit and upload photos and images on your iPhone or iPad.

PCalc Lite Calculator


PCalc Lite Calculator is a scientific calculator for when you need exact measurements and calculations for your web development projects and designs. This is the free fully-functional lite version of the paid full calculator app.

MedCommons Prototyper


MedCommons Prototyper helps build SplitView layouts for easy presenting of web content on an iPad by letting you test your HTML5 and Ajax designs for things like rotation and resizing.

Craigsphone


Craigsphone is Craigslist for iPad – ’nuff said. For when you need to find clients or work, people to outsource to, and anything else related to your web development and design work.

FontShuffle


FontShuffle is useful for finding the right font for your project or just browsing for typography inspiration – hundreds of font families are sorted by similarity.

SkyGrid


SkyGrid is a better RSS feed reader – an easy way to browse relevant design and development information and articles.

Over to you: what are your favorite free iPhone and iPad apps for web developers? What other apps should be on this list? Feel free to share your useful additions in the comments section below.

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Examination of Japanese Website Design Trends

Japan plays host to some very impressive website designers. Their skills in the arts cannot be compared and demonstrate a powerful digital force among Internet readers. Luckily understanding how to read Japanese isn’t required to admire their website graphics and animation effects.

We’ll be looking into a few Japanese website designs which have pushed the limits on conventional development. As a designer it’s a refreshing feeling to work with alternate design concepts and build your own unique ideas off these.

Many of the most popular Japanese websites have been built in Flash, and this is no surprise. Although Flash-based websites do not rank very well in Google (at all) they offer a unique user experience which can’t be found anywhere else.

In fact, Flash offers so much extensible content you may be surprised at just what is possible. Motion backgrounds and animated menu effects are just the tipping point on many Adobe Flash powered websites. Intricate portfolio layouts and detailed characters almost spring to life off the webpage.

Flash Design Trends

One overlooked misconception is the loading speed of each page. Because the entire website is Flash-based it will require a large amount of bandwidth to transfer and download all of the page content. This frequently leads to very long loading/splash pages which are a huge loss for potential user experience.

Although in the end it’s difficult to provide any judgement on the Flash-based approach. There are also many Japanese websites which are built off HTML5/CSS3 so I’m not categorizing all layouts as Flash-based. However with such a wide range of out-of-box thinking Japan has shown us a new outlook on envisioning the modern day website design.

It seems the Japanese community is well renowned for their work in the digital animation arts. Ranging from television to video games it seems the artistic works meld into the islands’ society and culture.

Frog illustrations

In many new-age web designs we are seeing much more illustrated artwork and digital graphics. Icon designers have also integrated an enormous amount of hand-drawn effects into their works. Japanese website designs have become much more branded by the likes of mascots, illustrated vectors, and small page icons.

Similarly artists who offer these graphics showcase their work on many places throughout the web. Twitter backgrounds and Deviant Art accounts are full of some amazing illustrations from past designs.

This is a common trend amongst web designers and has been growing rapidly. Many Japanese companies which involve their products in the entertainment sector have gone above and beyond to create a dynamic user interface to match their website.

Katamari Damacy official

Many of the websites coming to mind include innovative virtual worlds from video games. Katamari Damacy and Kingdom Hearts II specifically stand out as offering a very powerful user interface presence. The striking similarity between menu links in-game and on the webpages are resounding.

This can be seen not only for these games, but countless other series. The most common approach of course is an entire Flash-based website constructed through ActionScript events. Even so, other Japanese graphics artists are creating unique UI effects outside of just the video game industry.

It’s not too often we’ll see images of physical reality built into the most popular websites of today. This is quite the contrary of many popular Japanese artists which in fact specialize in building outstanding modern-day layouts.

These include shots of arial birds-eye-view photos from cities and taller buildings. Many times the background or Flash animation on a page will include common everyday natural elements such as cats, trees, cars, and entire human cities. There are neat user effects applied to create a natural mood (e.g. website colors changing from day to night).

Shanghai Financial

These graphics of buildings and people can sometimes even be built into the website itself. The varied degree of creativity from Japan shows even entire websites using a small land mass as navigation for the entire website. Pages can be accessed via buildings, lawn signs, even blimps flying atop the page heading!

Below is a small collection of Japanese website designs. These include mostly Flash pages with animation effects and custom UI elements. If you’re looking for design inspiration this may be one of the most creative and “out-there” galleries.

The designs are from a selection of varied topics and niches from a handful of time periods. If you have other suggestions for similar websites feel free to share them in the comments below.

Nestle

Eye Talk Town

Egao Saku

Hiroto Rakusho

Love Happy

kids wonder project

Naruhodo Agent

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Tips for Compromising between Designers and Developers

In the real world designers and developers are constantly battling it out over projects. Between two lighthearted developers are the crew who simply make website work while designers add flair and vibrant edges. The two perform very specific yet important jobs which harmoniously combine to create amazing web pages.

Often times, however, bickering can ensue leading to arguing and lost time. All client work from small-scale operations to large design firms is very important and must be treated as such. Below we’ll go over a few tips to help designers and developers reach a middle-ground.

Portrayal of Ideas

One of the biggest problems arises between a misunderstanding of goals and ideas. While designers are interested in sketching and displaying their interests visually, developers are often not so lucky.

It takes time to knock out bits of code and creating a program isn’t an easy task. Communication between the two teams will likely clear up many of these issues. Before even starting on a mockup comp have everybody sit down and go over their objectives for the project. In this way everything is put on the table so everybody is moving forward at the same pace.

Developers may also consider practicing some type of visual communication for programs. Flow charts and graphical diagrams are often the best way to represent what’s going on. It may be worthwhile to practice building programs out of conversation, too.

This isn’t exactly common practice but it does help to strengthen your knowledge as a programmer. Begin by talking out all of the steps needed to build the website you’re looking at, piece by piece. Even write these things down in a list if it helps. These individual pieces will come together in the end to create 1 final web application which can then be passed off to launch.

Carefully Plan Deadlines

Nobody enjoys deadlines but they are a must in business. Especially when working with high-class firms and clientele from all around the world design work must be placed on a schedule.

This is unfortunate for designers since rushed work is almost never good. Time management is a crucial skill to have mastered and apply into every day life. Once you know how much time is available it’s much easier to start right away and plan an easygoing work routine.

The alternative is crunching numbers and pushing your limits the last few nights of a project. This technique can work with developers, although not encouraged, because writing code is mostly logical and doesn’t require high reigns of creativity. Design work can only go for so long before quality begins to seriously degrade.

Group Morale!

Provide enthusiasm and cheer to all of your co-workers. Even though designers and developers may not see eye-to-eye all the time we can all come together and acknowledge the work we do is important.

If everybody is working together to keep others motivated there is no falling behind in the group. All tasks can be finished on time and well before due-date. In this way there’s extra room in the schedule for possible changes, updates, revisions, or anything else.

If it’s possible try building a work plan with your fellow group. Everybody is in on the work together so why not grind out the process together, too? Generally the designer(s) will create a mockup and pass this onto the developers.

From here the coding process begins and each web page is carefully crafted. If there’s any backend work or CMS implementation this would also be addressed post-template design. After the initial layout the designers’ work load shifts to smaller details. These can include page icons or banner graphics.

Ask Questions

Confusion is common amongst a large group, so there’s bound to be questions from some people. Don’t hold back anything you’re unsure of as it’ll ultimately slow down the process.

It’s important to feel comfortable in the working environment and speak openly when you feel the need. Clarifying a small detail up front will get you a direct answer and keep the project train moving. This is much more the case between developers who are working on similar features (frontend/backend Ajax effects).

Not only should fellow team mates be asking questions, but project leaders are imposed to run questions by the clients. If the team is indecisive about certain aspects to the project it would be simpler to contact the consumers directly to figure out what they want. If there is ever a lack of information don’t hold anything back – ask questions when necessary and keep your head moving forward!

Be Respectful of Workspace Time

This is often a no-brainer but doesn’t hurt to be repeated. Each designer and web developer is important to a project and needs to be given time to work. If everybody is hounding on each other and driving the team mad then nobody is productive.

Respect is the name of the game and will get design firms much further in business. Even on a small scale level it’s enormously important to have respect for your partners. Designers and developers each perform a completely separate yet key role in website development.

Make sure all teammates are communicating their ideas openly and honestly. At all times a project work floor should feel fast-paced but relaxed and open. All digital creators can get stressed at times, it’s important to recognize this and release it. Whether a designer or developer just stick to your path and remember everybody is working as a team to reach the same end goal.

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