Atypical Tools That a Designer May Need

Atypical tools that a designer may need

In the dynamic field of design, efficiency and innovation are paramount. Traditional tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator are ubiquitous, but modern design challenges often require more atypical tools, particularly in the realms of project management, collaboration, and productivity. Here, we explore several unconventional internet services and software tools that can empower designers to work more effectively and creatively.


Project Management Tools: Microsoft Project

In the realm of design, effective project management is as crucial as creativity. Microsoft Project stands out as a pivotal tool in this category. Its comprehensive features offer designers a powerful platform to meticulously plan, monitor, and execute projects. Key attributes include customizable Gantt charts, facilitating a visual representation of project timelines and tasks. It allows easy tracking of deadlines, resource allocation, and budget management, ensuring projects remain on track. The tool’s integration capabilities with other Microsoft Office suite applications, like Excel and Outlook, enhance its utility. This seamless integration simplifies data import/export and communication flow, vital for collaborative design projects.


Microsoft Project’s adaptability to a wide range of project sizes and complexities makes it an indispensable tool for designers seeking to manage their creative endeavors efficiently and effectively, ensuring deliverables meet both quality standards and timelines. However, some teams may still prefer tools with some basic features that are not so difficult to learn and use. In this case, it is better to check a Microsoft Project alternative following this link. Any designer team will find a good alternative for sure.


Mind Mapping Software: XMind

XMind, a prominent mind mapping software, is an indispensable tool for designers seeking to enhance their creative process. It excels in transforming complex ideas into coherent, visual structures, which is essential for the initial phases of design projects. XMind’s intuitive interface allows designers to quickly brainstorm and organize thoughts, fostering creativity and innovation.


It offers various templates and structures, such as fishbone diagrams and matrix layouts, aiding in the exploration of different conceptual paths and relationships. The software’s ability to integrate images and links makes it more than just a brainstorming tool; it becomes a comprehensive platform for conceptualizing and planning intricate design projects. Designers can also share their mind maps with team members, enabling collaborative ideation and ensuring a cohesive understanding of the project’s vision. XMind’s versatility in capturing and organizing creative thoughts makes it a key tool in a designer’s digital arsenal, turning abstract ideas into actionable plans.

Color Scheme Generators: Coolors

Coolors is an innovative and user-friendly color scheme generator that has become essential for designers seeking the perfect palette. It stands out for its simplicity and efficiency, allowing designers to generate, customize, and refine color schemes within minutes. With a vast array of colors and combinations, Coolors assists in exploring and identifying colors that complement each other, ensuring visual harmony in design projects. The tool’s ability to generate color palettes from images is particularly useful for designers who draw inspiration from existing visuals.


Additionally, Coolors offers an extensive library of pre-made color schemes, enabling designers to find and tweak palettes that align with their project’s mood and theme. The platform also facilitates easy sharing and exporting of color schemes, making collaboration seamless. This tool not only saves time but also empowers designers to experiment boldly with color, ensuring their work is both aesthetically pleasing and aligned with their creative vision.

Typography Tools: TypeWolf

TypeWolf stands out in the design world as an essential typography tool, offering designers a unique blend of utility and inspiration for font selection and pairing. This tool is not just a repository of fonts but a comprehensive guide to current typographic trends and recommendations. It helps designers navigate the vast landscape of typefaces, enabling them to choose fonts that resonate with their project’s aesthetic and functional needs.


TypeWolf’s distinctive feature is its curated lists of fonts, including those that work well together, which is invaluable for creating harmonious and visually appealing designs. The site also provides real-world examples of font usage, giving designers a practical perspective on how fonts perform in different contexts. Furthermore, TypeWolf’s focus on typography in web design makes it particularly relevant for digital designers. By offering insights into web-friendly fonts and readability considerations, TypeWolf equips designers with the knowledge to make typography decisions that enhance user experience and engagement.


User Interface Design Tools: Sketch

Sketch has revolutionized the field of user interface design, offering an array of features tailored to meet the specific needs of digital designers. It stands out for its vector-based system, which enables designers to create crisp, scalable graphics crucial for various screen sizes and resolutions. Sketch’s streamlined interface promotes an efficient workflow, allowing designers to focus more on creativity and less on navigating the tool. One of its most powerful features is the symbol system, which lets designers reuse elements across different screens, ensuring consistency while saving time.


The tool also excels in prototyping; designers can quickly turn their UI concepts into interactive prototypes to test and iterate design ideas. Another significant advantage is its vast plugin ecosystem, extending its functionality to cater to specific design needs and workflows. Sketch’s commitment to the UI design community is evident in its continuous updates, constantly evolving to incorporate the latest design trends and technologies, making it an indispensable tool for contemporary UI designers.

Collaboration Platforms: Slack

Slack has redefined collaboration in the modern workplace, particularly for designers seeking seamless communication and workflow integration. Its primary strength lies in its real-time messaging capability, allowing team members to exchange ideas, feedback, and updates instantly. Slack’s organized channel system enables teams to categorize conversations by topics, projects, or departments, making information retrieval efficient and reducing clutter.


Beyond messaging, Slack integrates with numerous tools and services used by designers, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketch, and project management tools like Trello and Asana. This integration means that designers can access and share files, receive notifications, and manage tasks directly within Slack, streamlining their workflow. The platform also supports video calls and screen sharing, essential for remote or distributed teams. By centralizing communication and collaboration tools in one place, Slack significantly reduces the need to switch between applications, enhancing productivity and focus for designers.

Data Visualization Software: Tableau

Tableau stands as a powerhouse in data visualization software, offering designers a robust platform to turn complex data sets into compelling, easy-to-understand visual representations. Its strength lies in its ability to handle large volumes of data and its user-friendly interface, allowing even those with limited technical expertise to create detailed, interactive visualizations. Tableau’s drag-and-drop functionality makes it simple to experiment with different types of charts and graphs, enabling designers to find the most effective ways to communicate data stories.


The software’s flexibility in integrating with a variety of data sources is a significant advantage, ensuring that designers have access to real-time data for up-to-date visualizations. Tableau also allows for the creation of dashboards that can combine multiple visualizations, providing a comprehensive view of the data at hand. Its interactivity feature, where viewers can filter and drill down into the data, offers a more engaging and informative experience. For designers working to present data in a visually appealing and informative way, Tableau is an invaluable tool, bridging the gap between complex data analysis and effective communication.



In conclusion, the realm of design continually evolves, and so must the tools that designers employ. By integrating these atypical but highly effective internet services and software into their workflows, designers can not only enhance their productivity and creativity but also keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of design challenges and opportunities.


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Atypical tools that a graphic designer may need

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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