Essential Tools According to Design AdaptationsBy
This week’s Essential Tools series features Charity Ondriezek of Design Adaptations. Charity is a freelance web designer who just released her first (and very beautiful) WordPress theme called Into the Ocean. A few of her posts that are not to be overlooked are:
- Tools for Protecting Your Creative Work and Yourself (this is a MUST read)
- On the Responsibilities of Blogging
- CSS Naming Strategies
Below is Charity’s list of essential tools – tools she uses on a daily basis – in her own words. And while most of these have been mentioned before, it is a yet another reason why you should check them out if you aren’t using them yet.
Web Developer Toolbar: I started using this about two years ago, and it was truly instrumental in helping me learn CSS, work more efficiently, and become a better designer overall. If I could only pick one single browser extension, this would be it.
Google Reader: What can I say, it’s part of my routine every day. I love the features for sorting, sharing, and starring. Depending on how creative you are, there seems to be no limit on the ways you can use it to disseminate information. Their reading trends is neat too, so you can see what you’ve been partial to. Now if they would just add a search feature…
pMetrics: I just wrote up an article about this actually! It has become my favorite stats program just because it’s sooo easy to glean the info you need. I like how unimposing the interface is as well… meaning they don’t hide your data within a bunch of ads, or bury the most important stats under groupings that regular people don’t understand. Everything is presented to you as if you were a 5yr old, which is really quite fine with me when it comes tostats!
WordPress: Without it, I probably never would have become a blogger. It has also given me an edge as a freelancer, because none of my (local) competitors are offering clients the ability to manage/update their own content without a ridiculous price tag attached. When I tell clients that WordPress is simple enough for anyone to handle (without knowing HTML, CSS or PHP), flexible enough that supergeeks could run with it, and powerful enough that an organization like the New York Times would choose it to manage their site.. well that’s a huge selling point.
Dreamweaver: I’m sure I don’t use it to its fullest potential, but it’s been my primary tool for designing/coding/ftp/file management for nearly seven years. It has some terrific features for CSS development, and allows you to customize the workspace according to individual style and need.
Do you use any of these tools? If so, I’d love to get your take on them. What else is in your toolbox for success?