Free Online Resources For Designers
Free stuff is great! Here’s a curated list of some of the most useful design resources and tools for DFAers.
(If you want a massive list of free stuff that covers business, marketing, productivity and more, check out http://growth.supply/free)
User Research — Learn about people and what they do
- Free Survey Creator
Tired of SurveyMonkey and ready to punch a hole in Qualtrics? Here are some quick and simple tools to create beautiful forms and surveys. Typeform looks great and has a lot of different customization options, while Free Survey Creator gets up up and running quickly.
Lets you create interactive mockups out of static screens. You upload images of your website or app (can even be scans and sketches) and then map out where people click and what screen it takes you to. Gives a good way to demo an app concept or test how people interact with your design.
Graphic Design — Make things that look great
- Premium Pixels
- DB Freebies
- Graphic Burger
Free tools and resources for design. Includes stock photos, icon packs, PSD templates, and more. Great resources for creating beautiful mockups.
Here’s how it works:
a) Pick a word/short phrase.
b) Website scans the typefaces on your computer.
c) WordMarkIt displays the word or phrase in every font you have. If you ever have trouble picking a typeface for a logo or you want to see how a word will look in different typefaces, this is INCREDIBLY USEFUL.
- Type Genius
Suggests type combinations for you after you pick a starting font. For everyone who has trouble figuring out which fonts to pair.
Color palette generator! Can either randomly generate color palettes, or lets you enter or select your own colors and generate palettes from there.
- Find Stock Photos
Search lots of different free stock photo websites at once with keywords. For more free stock photo resources, check out the Free Stock Photography section of http://growth.supply/free/design-code/. There are a overwhelming number of links.
- Flat Icon
Free vector icons!
- Brands of the World
Free logo vectors!
Inspiration — Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration
A collection of design patterns and app screenshots, mostly focused on mobile. If you want to see what’s what in mobile design, this is a great resource. Bonus feature: You can browse by tags and look at all the ways different apps implement anything from log-in screens to calendars and navigation bars.
Learn stuff from people! Lots of great resources and short tutorial videos on a ton of different topics that you may be curious about.
Team management — Because coordinating college students is hard
If you need to schedule a meeting, When2Meet lets you quickly schedule a meeting and set up possible dates and times. You can use this to schedule either specific dates or days of the week. Anyone with the link can drag over all the times they are available, and everyone can see what the best times for everyone are. Better than Doodle polls for figuring out availability for a wide range of times.
Incredibly powerful tool for team communication. It’s basically a chatroom for your team. Can be a good resources for individual teams, or an entire studio. You can tag different conversations, have different ‘rooms’, upload files, and post links. It integrates with a lot of apps, and can be better for storing information and documents than email. Everything is indexed and searchable, which is incredibly convenient. We use this at DFA Collaborative too and it has helped us work efficiently virtually!
This and Asana are good project management tools if you use them effectively. If the whole team is signed on and actively engaging with it, it’s a good way to track progress for a lot of different tasks at once and make sure nothing gets forgotten. However, if people don’t engage with it, it can seem more like a pointless exercise than a useful management tool.