Have you ever tried fixing something in the house and you faced a roadblock where ONE simple task is holding you back from finishing the job? Chances are, there’s a tool that gets that job done. You’re not a plumber, are you? You’re a web designer and so you’re not expected to have the best plumbing tools, but you’re definitely expected to have the best tools to get your job done as a web designer. We’ll go over 4 that you must have in your arsenal to be the best web designer anyone has ever hired. We’ll cover something for wireframing, designing, building, and getting feedback.
InVision is a platform for designers to create and share interactive prototypes, animations, and designs. Basically, they make it easy for designers to turn their ideas into interactive, clickable mock-ups that clients can easily understand and provide feedback on.
What you’ll use specifically is the wireframing tool. It’ll allow you to quickly draw with lines, colors, boxes, etc. to show how the layout of your app or website will be. This is always an important step because it allows you to create the “Frame” of the website. It could be the landing page or the product page. After you create the wireframe, shoot it over to your client to get some feedback going.
The key reason you’re doing this is so you don’t waste time doing the actual design. Creating a wireframe takes 1/10th the time it takes to do a design. And the last thing you want to do is spend 20 hours on a design and have the client say it’s completely backwards.
We recommend Figma for one simple reason, most people are familiar with it by now. So i pretty much expect you to already know figma if you’re a web designer (if you don’t, shame on you). The other great part of Figma is the commenting feature. You’ll be able to share a prototype or the design file and allow other to leave feedback. The only downside of Figma is it can be a little complicated getting your users to sign up and leave comments. It’s not THAT intuitive, so we recommend integrating Figma with Queue so your clients are leaving comments in an easier fashion.
Coding: VSCode or Webflow
Some of you may not be coders and that’s okay, you have webflow for that and many other nocode tools to release your design (like Framer). VScode is the goto if you’re an engineer, but if you’re not we highly recommend webflow. The reason why is because Webflow creates code at the end of the day and is highly customizable compared to other standards. It even lets you publish to a specific domain, so if your client doesn’t have one. You can help them set one up very easily. I will say one warning about Webflow, it does have a small learning curve on how margins, positions, and paddings work. But once you grasp this, it’s very easy. They also have a lot of content on almost anything you want to learn.
Okay so you built the site and now you’re ready to show it to your client. So you email them the link and they send you PARAGRAPHS of what needs to be done. Well, that sucks. You thought it would be amazing and there’s no way they’d ask for feedback. Right?
Yeah, that never happens unless your client gave up on you making a better second version.
We recommend you use Queue to gather the feedback. If you built a website and have a public url, just paste in the URL and send the review link to them. They’ll be able to click anywhere on the website to give feedback. This helps you keep track of all feedback that you received, as well as a track record of everything you’ve done in case there’s disagreements with your client.
You should also be sending routine updates to your client. Just say “Hey, here’s a quick update on how it’s going. Not looking for feedback right now, just updating you on the progress.” It’s great if you include some sort of image proof of what you’re doing, like a screenshot. Which Queue also has with their desktop app. Just press a keybind, and you can take a screenshot, market it up with arrows/text, and then share the link to view it.
Deadlines are something you or your client will miss. Sometimes your clients will take too long to give you feedback or procrastinate on it. And then cause you to make too many changes later on. So whenever you send a review request on Queue, set a deadline so that your client gets automatically reminded to give feedback. I recommend setting it to remind them every 2 days.
That’s it! Hopefully you won’t need more tools than that, but if you see some, try it out and let me know (email@example.com).