As the digital world goes visual, designers & marketers are under mounting pressure to churn out mind blowing content and graphics on all platforms & channels – social media, presentations, websites, emails, landing pages…the list is long. Solution: many new design and content resources have blossomed online to keep up with this requirement.
Design is no longer what it was 5 years ago or 10 years ago. It has metamorphosed into something everyone needs a little bit of, like your daily tea or coffee. With the big boom in start-up culture, design tools are some of the most sought after tools on the internet. Search volume for the term “Design app” alone increased by 100% in the last 5 years. For the word “GIF”, it has increased 4 times.
Here is a roundup of 21 design tools, apps and websites, which will make the life of marketers and designers easier. Even though designers are equipped with sophisticated design apps (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign, Corel etc.) they too enjoy the simplicity and ease of online apps. These tools are simple to use, and you don’t need to be a design pro to use them. Just get started.
- Canva – The go to design website and app for marketers and designers alike. With its many pre-built templates and sizes, it is the simplest solution to crank out those social media posts to amp up your social media game. They have now added many more elements to it as well, including video elements and templates for print marketing materials as well, so it is just keeps getting better.
- Adobe Spark – The newest innovation from Adobe is modelled after Canva, but adds many more features to it, which are sure to delight a user. Equipped with pre-built templates and very easy design tweaking tools, it is much simpler to use than Canva. Also included are online video creator tool and online web story tool. Free for all, it adds a hashtag #AdobeSpeak if you don’t have a creative Cloud subscription. Existing Creative Cloud subscribers can rejoice because the entire set is free for them.
- Adobe Sketch – Another app from Adobe, this is where you take your creative juices on the go. Have a rough idea for a logo or design, but don’t know how to put it on paper? Sketch it on Adobe. Send it to your design team to execute it.
- Adobe Capture – While this tool is mostly for designers, marketers can find it fun too. See anything around you which you like? Capture it with this app, and convert it into a vector, a brush or a pattern you can use anywhere you like. Integrates with all Adobe software.
- Snapseed – The image editing app from Google. Want to use your phone pictures in your promos, but feel balked because they aren’t, um, perfect? Snapseed to the rescue. Use this app to make minor edits & tonal adjustments to your images. Add text on the go. Use your images for your promos right from your phone.
- Pixlr – This app is similar to Snapseed, but with more options for text styles and edits. A great tool to make creatives while on the go.
- Designapp – This is an online app which makes it easy for you to design your own logos online, picking some samples as a starting point.
- Info.gram – An app aimed at presenting beautiful infographics, which allow addition of captions, images and other media like videos. Definitely a marketer’s toy to present those statistics in the most non-boring way possible.
- Giphy – Make your own GIFs…for free. Pick any video, image or existing GIF and add captions or music to it. The website allows you to control the length of the GIF and the timestamps you pick from a video. It also makes it shareable right from the website, as well as save it to your computer. If interactive content is a part of your marketing strategy, this site will make one part of it really easy.
- Gomoodboard – A much needed online platform where you can compile all your ideas and thoughts for a project visually and share it out as you like. A moodboard for any purpose, with pre-built templates you can use.
- Balsamiq – Make sketchy looking wireframes. The app has several versions – cloud and desktop app. Free for a month to try and use with all features. The best way to avoid your wireframes looking ugly, this app is pre-packed with all types of elements you might want to add to your website or app, and everything can be added with just a click. Payment is one time so once you buy it, you enjoy it forever.
- Wireframe.cc– Another wireframing app, this one has fewer features but is just as simple to use, looks great, and has a forever free plan.
- Moqups – Another online app for creating wireframes, with many more features and options. While the free plan doesn’t have many features, the subscription plans allow a lot more functionality and team sharing features.
- Mockflow – A really sleek online tool which allows you to create mockups and more for your app or site, along with branding. This is a place to create prototypes, ads, websites, wireframes and style guides. While this finds bigger use for designers, it allows seamless communication between design and marketing teams. It includes features for team-sharing and annotating of designs.
- Ucraft – a Free landing page builder. Allows a single free landing page on any custom domain and comes fortified with many beautiful templates. Includes a drag and drop editor with all types of content blocks. Ideal for someone who needs only one landing page…for free. Subscription plans allow multiple pages.
- Mailerlite–It is everything you could ask of an email platform (yes, it has a freemium model). It is also doubles up as a landing page, and has drag and drop email editor to design beautiful emails. Templates help make the task of designing emails even better. It includes automation, pop-ups, surveys, and drip emails. So, it basically covers all aspects of email marketing. It also has a high deliverability, made possible by their rigorous tracking of your email list and how solid your subscriber database is.
- Landingi – Landingi is a cool drag and drop landing page tool, which gives a lot of features for its price. A great tool for beginners and experienced professionals alike, it is flexible enough for all types of landing pages and splash pages.
- Veed.io – A brilliant video editing and creation tool that does all the job for you. It can be used to trim, edit, take screen recordings and even add subtitles to your videos. It allows export of videos in different sizes and formats, based on your social media requirements for different platforms. It allows you to style your subtitles as well. It gives you an easy way to translate your subtitles, so you are saved time, effort and money. The best part is that it has a freemium model, so you can give it a go for unlimited short videos before deciding to upgrade.
- Animoto – This is another video creation tool, although slightly different. The emphasis here is on using pre-built templates, stock music and image library, and getting out quick promo or product launch videos, or just making videos for fun. It has a freemium model, so it is easy to get started.
- Notion – For long, content marketers and strategists have waited for a flexible yet structured platform for cranking out a workable content calendar and strategy. Someone at Notion heard them. Notion allows you to create an easy content calendar, with dates, names et al, and link other pages on Notion literally anywhere. Anything can be embedded or linked anywhere, and be detailed out anywhere. It has a freemium model, so you can learn how it works before moving up to the upgrade. It allows Google docs style sharing, so that is one problem less too. It also allows you to publish content, as a blog post, job post or any other informational page, with options for styling like cover image, video embeds etc. I am sure every content marketer will find it useful!
- Restream – Live videos and webinars have overtaken the Earth. But can marketers find something other than Zoom for doing their jobs well? I think they can. Restream is a convenient tool for livestreaming to multiple social media channels simultaneously, without any significant lag or loss of video quality. What’s more, it also has a neat video conference type feature, which can be live-streamed, along with some styling and branding of your choice. Some plans will also allow you to upload a pre-recorded video to be broadcast as a livestream. It’s good for those rainy days when someone is not able to make it to your webinar! And the the best part, as usual, is that it has a Freemium model.
Creating beautiful things should not be difficult. These resources make the process of creation simpler and delightful for all.
Article updated on 5 March, 2021