6 amazing & FREE tools to get your digital career startedBy Aly Sebastien
Getting started in digital definitely comes with challenges. Not only do you have to start learning and applying your craft, but forming your process is also vital. Therefore, finding the right tools to help establish then facilitate your workflow is one of the most important decisions in your professional career. Let's take a look at some FREE solutions.
1.Typeform - For user surveys
Once a client agrees to work with you, one of the first steps in any project is to carry out research. Understanding your audience's needs is key to delivering a product they want. The simple way to aquire user requirements is to ask lots of questions. Prescribing solutions before truly diagnosing the problem can lead to the project derailing later down the track. Here's where Typeform can help.
Typeform is a great tool that helps you collect the data you need to understand what is important to the end-user. Simply put together an online survey with the right questions and get the feedback you need to help you prioritise what is important to include in your project.
2. HotJar - For mapping your audience
HotJar has been developed in order to identify and capture a user's behaviour via heatmapping and screen recordings. This is indeed powerful information when designing a solution, as it helps you to make more informed choices over what elements to include and where they may be best situated. Each design decision can be justified with real data, something your client will love.
3. Dropmark - Create a moodboard
Once you have collected your data and are ready to prescribe a solution, it's time to get creative. For designers and stakeholders alike putting together a moodboard is a great way to work out the look and feel of your project. It doesn't matter if what you pin to your moodboard doesn't get used in your project either. At this stage it's more about sourcing elements that inspire you and your client. With Dropmark you collate and organise all your images into a folder. With the browser pluggin & and native app you can add an image from a website to your Dropmark folder in just a few clicks. Awesome. This means you never lose track of an image, should you need to purchase it for your project later on.
4. Figma - Prototype, share, work collaboratively
If you need to start designing and require an intuitive and stable platform then Figma can deliver. Figma has a very shallow learning curve indeed. Not because it is basic but because it is a well thought out product that allows you to prototype your designs with real ease. Figma's strength also comes from its ability to let you work anywhere and collaboratively. For example, you can work at home on your laptop whilst your colleague, who is in the office, can also work on the same design file, all at the same time. It's great fun to have multiple designers behaving like productive worker-bees seamlessly on one design. Plus, you can even share your work with the client via a share link. Then, if that isn't enough, with the Figma Mirror app you can cast your design straight to your device in real-time as you are working on it.
5. BAND - Build a community
If you are Independent/Freelance, or part of a growing start-up, it helps to build your network. Many companies use Slack for their communications. However, a light weight alternative is BAND. This is a fantastic app & desktop site that gives you the power to create a group and keep everyone on your team informed. It's ideal if you are working in different locations, as you can create a feed, leave comments, add files, log meetings on a calender and manage your group.
6. Wave- for invoicing
Keeping track of your finances can be very challenging. As it's important that you are rewarded for all your hard work, Wave is the perfect platform to help you keep track of every invoice. You can set up all your invoices in advance and push them out to your customers when required. Super easy.
Whilst all of these tools are free to get you started, most have some premium upgrade options. These upgrades offer additional benefits for when your growing enterprise needs more resources.