What’s new for designers, April 2014
The April edition of what’s new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, Photoshop extensions, game frameworks, educational resources, mobile frameworks, jQuery plugins, and some really great new fonts.
Many of the resources below are free or very low cost, and are sure to be useful to a lot of designers and developers out there.
As always, if we’ve missed something you think should have been included, please let us know in the comments. And if you have an app or other resource you’d like to see included next month, tweet it to @cameron_chapman for consideration.
Typeform is an easy way to set up forms that ask questions one at a time, much like a human conversation. It has a beautiful interface and is easy to set up.
Dropr is an easy to set up portfolio for creatives. It’s responsive, looks the same (awesome) on every device, and it’s free.
GetTemplate offers up responsive HTML5 and CSS3 templates for rapid web development. There are single-page templates, business templates, and more, with new ones added all the time.
Framework7 is a full-featured HTML framework for building hybrid and web-based iOS7 apps with native features. It’s also great for prototyping functioning apps.
Nasty Icons is a set of edgy icons that can add some real interest to your designs. There are icons for plane crashes, vehicle fires, a head being stabbed in the eye, a stripper, a hangman, and much more.
Bootflat is an open source flat UI kit based on Bootstrap 3.1.1. It uses HTML5 and CSS3, is lightweight, and mobile first.
Fluidity takes the little bit of HTML that isn’t responsive right out of the box and fixes it. It’s only 115 bytes, and does things like make images and tables responsive.
UberVU Grid is a drag and drop library for 2D, resizable, responsive lists. It currently works as a horizontal grid, so you can configure the number of rows, while the columns will extend dynamically based on the items in the grid.
IxD Checklist is a handy checklist for making sure that your interaction designs are working as they should. It includes sections on affordance, feedback, simplicity, structure, and more.
Velositey is a Photoshop extension for prototyping your designs in seconds. It makes it easy to set up the basics of your design, including layout and styles, based on an 1170px grid.
Really Good Emails
Need some HTML email design inspiration? Really Good Emails is a gallery of the best email designs out there, which you can browse based on type (alert, product sale, product update, etc.).
Badass Lady Creatives
Badass Lady Creatives is a site dedicated to featuring creative women from a variety of disciplines. It includes work from each to further inspire you.
Pixelcasts is a monthly video showing how real designers create things. It includes source downloads along with the videos, and every lesson you purchase is saved in your account for future reference.
Brick provides webfonts that actually look good. It’s completely open source, and fonts are served through Fastly’s industry-leading CDN.
Iconion is an icon generator that lets you convert any icon font into PNG icons. You can add color, shadows, backgrounds, gradients, and more.
Mockuuups is a set of four free hi-res iPhone 5S mockups. They have a fully adjustable background and display images.
MixItUp 2 is a jQuery plugin for animated filtering and sorting. It’s great for things like portfolios, galleries, and blogs.
Metalsmith is a pluggable static site generator. All of the logic is handled by plugins that you simply chain together.
jQuery lightGallery is a lightweight lightbox gallery that works with both still images and video. It works with modern browsers, offers support for fade and slide effects, and you can put multiple sliders on a single page.
Triangly lets you build a portfolio for your work just by adding your files to Dropbox, with no limits on how many projects you can include, and with the ability to present your images separately or in sets, among other features. It’s currently invitation only, but you can request an invite.
Jolly UI is a set of over 200 hand-drawn vector UI elements to add personality to your projects. There’s a premium version for $29, and a free version that includes dozens of elements for web pages and apps.
Want to evaluate a 3rd party script before you use it on your website? JS Manners is a tool for scoring those scripts, including questions about performance, stability, footprint, flexibility, security, and compliance.
Slick is a fully responsive carousel that scales with its container. It uses CSS3 when available but works fine without it, among other features.
Comic Neue (free)
Comic Neue is a greatly improved typeface inspired by Comic Sans. It comes in a variety of weights and faces that even typophiles will appreciate.
Zona Pro ($10)
Zona Pro is a geometric sans-serif type family that includes eight styles plus matching italics. It’s inspired by geometric typefaces from the 1920s, with clean, highly readable shapes.
Marigny is a casual typeface consisting of five weights, from thin to black. It also includes a full set of small caps, fancy swash caps, and more.
Maritime Champion ($48)
Maritime Champion is a seaworthy all-caps font thatcomes in six weights, along with a Shoreline style with an additional four weights.
Laski Slab ($42+)
Laski Slab is a suite of twenty fonts designed for editorial purposes, originally developed for an online children’s magazine.
Science White ($10+)
Science White is a companion font to Science Noire, without the spider web. It comes in 3 weights, plus italics.
Lame Font (free)
Lame Font is a display typeface with a decidedly art deco slant.
Strato is a layered, slightly humanist sans serif typeface inspired by the city of Rome. It’s proportionally based on classical Roman inscriptions, but with a modern twist.
Wonderhand is an extensive family of scripts, in seven widths and three weights. It has a total of 63 fonts, with two sets of alternate characters and automatic features to better imitate handwriting.
Ciao Bella ($10.50)
Ciao Bella is a sophisticated, hand-drawn copperplate script that includes four ornament fonts. It uses OpenType features to create a more genuine hand-lettered look.