One of the greatest mistakes that a startup can make is to dismiss the importance of design. Your look defines who you are as a company, makes your interface intuitive and accessible, and is the core communicative medium between the company and the user. In the ‘visual web’ era, the way you present your product is increasingly as important as the product itself.
Fortunately, for those who fret about a lack of funds, skill, or time to execute their vision, there are a wealth of design apps that exist to make your life easier. These are eight of our favorites:
This web app allows users to collage together beautiful graphics for presentations, web design, social media, or personal use. The fundamental mechanic is a blend of layering drag and drop images and font choice. The heading photo for this article was made with this platform and, from experience, it’s a fun, intuitive, and efficient way to bring creative ideas to life.
You know the feeling: you’re engrossed in a presentation, the host clicks ‘next slide’ and a monstrosity of a 3d bar chart appears. Don’t be that guy…use Infogram. The infographics you can create on this web app are seriously beautiful, but more importantly they make sense. All of their designs have meaning in mind.
Logos are important, but logos are expensive (if you don’t have a designer on the team). Logoshi is a fun little app aimed at combatting this problem and providing the user with an interesting visual presence. The user sketches a design with a mix of the 20 color options available and Logoshi uses that sketch to create 5 modern logos and licenses you your choice for just $5–trial and error is encouraged.
Struggling for inspiration? Need photos to complement the content on your site? DeathToTheStockPhoto is the perfect solution. They send you a monthly pack of beautiful, free(!) stock photos, accompanied by nice stories.
If you’ve seen the documentary Helvetica you know that fonts underscore our every interaction with the printed word. It’s Fonstruct’s aim to make your brand’s font stand out–in a good way, by allowing you to build a beautiful, signature font for your company. The editor tool is simple, but deep enough that you can be extremely creative…some of the community fonts are absolutely beautiful.
Videos can take your UI over the top. They’re not always necessary, or even useful, but, when placed strategically on your site to help the customer, they can be a huge boost. Stupeflix is designed to allow you to make beautiful videos, in a web native environment, in minutes. It’s stupefying how efficient and intuitive their platform is; I’ve traditionally associated video tools with stress, clipping audio to the exact second, and the product generally not coinciding with my vision. With Stupeflix that wasn’t an issue.
Sumo Paint is an awesome web-based design and editing alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Sumo removes the shackles of a software license and allows you to edit whenever you have internet access. Images can be saved to a hard drive or to the cloud and, while it lacks some of the full functionality of Photoshop, it has a wide suite of features and can handle any of your basic-to-intermediate image editing needs. Hugely useful.
Last, but not least, Snapcloud solves the issue of image content separation. We all have photos on our hard drives, WordPress galleries, Dropboxes, and photo applications, but, as anyone in the industry knows, this disorganization becomes a major headache after awhile. Snapcloud gives you a place to store all your images, on the Cloud, so that everyone on your team can easily reference the same design materials. This is invaluable at all startups, but especially those whose teams are geographically distant–waiting all day for a colleague to email you an image or design template is a thing of the past.
Of course, there are many more great design apps out there than could make it into this short curated list. If you weren’t able to find what you were looking for, head over to the main Crozdesk site; we have 100s of web apps and likely have the design service that you’re looking for.