What’s new for designers, October 2013

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October 15, 2013
What's new for designers, October 2013.

what's new for designers october 2013The October edition of what’s new for web designers and developers includes new web apps, app creators, coding resources, productivity tools, testing tools, 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.


Appmaker, from Mozilla, is a drag-and-drop mobile app creator that works right in your browser. It’s in pre-alpha release, so expect some bugs, but it looks promising.



InstallRails is a step-by-step guide for installing Ruby on Rails. It uses standard tools, but explains them in a way that makes them easy to understand.



BitBalloon is a static hosting service that’s perfect for simple sites like landing pages, surveys, and the like. Just zip your website files (or use one of their templates), drag and drop the zip file onto their website, and they’ll optimize and deploy it, complete with functioning HTML forms.



Hiro is an online notepad where you can safely store your ideas and notes throughout the day. It always opens where you left off, securely syncs across your devices, and it’s free.


Sagan Ipsum

Sagan Ipsum is a lorem ipsum generator that gives you Carl Sagan quotes about the universe.

sagan ipsum

WP Test

WP Test is a set of data for testing the integrity of your WordPress plugins and themes. It’s based on the WordPress Theme Unit Test Codex data, to give you a mix of quirky, simulated user content.

wp test

Business Card Maker

Business Card Maker is a web app for quickly creating simple business cards that you can then download to print.

business card maker

Mobile Web Best Practices

Mobile Web Best Practices will help you ask the right questions and solve problems you may encounter when designing for the mobile web. It’s broken down to cover strategy, user experience, visual design, and development, and has additional resources and a FAQ section.

mobile web best practices


UICloud is a huge database of user interface elements. You can search through over 38,000 elements, and over 1200 UI sets.


Google Web Designer

Google Web Designer is a new responsive HTML5 website creator from Google that lets you design in a WYSIWYG environment or dive right into the code.

google web designer


DiagnostiCSS makes it simple to visually detect inaccessible or invalid HTML markup, highlighting inline styles and event attributes, invalid links, empty and deprecated elements, and more.



Listify is a simple little app that makes it easy to turn a group of lines into an HTML list, saving you time and effort.


Flexing Pagination Arrows

Want to add a neat little effect to your pagination? These Flexing Pagination Arrows are a simple way to add a bit of extra flare to an otherwise incredibly basic and simple UI element.

flexing pagination arrows


Trying to figure out how much money you need to make? Harpoon simplifies that, giving you financial planning advice and metrics for managing your income. It’s not ready yet, but you can sign up for updates.



Formstone is a collection of jQuery plugins focused on interface structure and customization. It includes plugins for pickers, scrolling, zooming, and more.



Need an online Markdown editor? StackEdit lets you write and edit Markdown files, as well as save them to Google Drive or Dropbox to have your documents available in the cloud any time.



Breeezy adds multilayer export functionality to Photoshop, so you can export multiple layers from your PSD files in a single click. It saves layer transparency, passes layer names to files, and more.



Raw is an open source web app that lets you create vector-based visualizations in vector and raster formats to embed on your website. It’s built on D3.js, and has a simple user interface.


Font Combiner

Font Combiner is a web app for creating your own custom font that can be used online alongside your other media content.

font combiner

Semantic UI

Semantic UI empowers front-end developers to create conversational code that makes sense to humans, not just machines. It’s based on natural language patterns for describing elements, rather than short-hand or codified naming conventions.

semantic ui


Have clients who insist on using JPEG files for their logos, etc.? NoJPEG will explain to them why a JPEG isn’t the right file format for logos, and introduce them to EPS and PNG file formats.


Start Bootstrap

Start Bootstrap is a collection of free, open source HTML starter templates for Bootstrap. They’re ready to use, even with Bootstrap 3.

start bootstrap


Bento is a collection of programming lessons from around the web, organized by language.



Annyang! is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to add voice recognition and control to your website or app.


Custom Elements

Custom Elements is a gallery of web components you can use for modern web apps. They have a boilerplate to get you started creating your own components to share, too.

custom elements


Flexbox is a framework for creating hack-free CSS layouts, including better grids, sticky footers, vertical centering, and more.



HTTPFlies is a gallery that beautifully showcases different HTTP status codes, everything from the common codes like 404 to more obscure ones like 402 or 431.


Battersea (£30)

Battersea is a distressed typeface perfect for signage or other display uses. It comes as an .otf file, as well as two .ai files for scalable detail.


Revanche ($29)

Revanche is a distressed font, based on old wall stencils, with a subversive military feel to it.


Polina ($46)

Polina is a family of ten fonts, including textures and shadows, that can be layered.


PR HallowDoodles 01 ($10)

Need some Halloween-themed drawings and ornaments? PR HallowDoodles 01 is just what you need, including things like bats, owls, dead trees, spiders, and more abstract creepy ornaments.


Big Lodge ($15)

Big Lodge is a distressed, vintage style typeface that’s perfect for things like apparel logos.

big lodge

Lousiane (free)

Lousiane is a decorative display typeface that’s both elegant and beautiful.


Inked Lights ($20)

Inked Lights is a handdrawn, retro-styled typeface with a sophisticated but playful feel.

inked lights

Rose (free)

Rose is a free font with a feminine, friendly feeling.


Studio ($10)

Studio is a typewriter-inspired slab serif that combines soft curves with linear elements.


Superspitze Grotesk ($10)

Superspitze Grotesk is inspired by bold geometric typefaces, but with a more humanist and detailed style.

superspitze grotesk

Know of a new app or resource that should have been included but wasn’t? Let us know in the comments.

Cameron Chapman

Cameron Chapman is a freelance writer and designer from New England. You can visit her site or follow her on Twitter.

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