Web Browsers for Responsive Front-End Development & Testing

Web Browsers for Responsive Front-End Development & Testing

Several Web Browser apps want to make it easier for people & teams to test and develop Responsive Websites and Web applications iteratively.

These apps are different from services that offer static screen captures of web pages across various popular browser versions and operating systems. Such browser snapshot services have been around for a while and are certainly a helpful tool – especially when trying to do QA for legacy browsers that you plan to support.

In contrast, these specialized Web Browser DevTools focus on allowing Front-end devs to see a realtime synchronized view of responsive web content scrolling within multiple viewport ‘panes’ simultaneously.

This approach enables a website builder to review and compare the same design across various screen dimensions. Scanning multiple renderings all at once can help a developer iteratively fine-tune their layout to perform well on different device sizes.

While this multi-view in a single app approach may never truly replicate testing on the native target devices, such a browser can help you improve your coded results much quicker than a device lab alone.

Here’s a roundup of these unique web content viewing solutions.

Blisk

Blisk is the first developer-oriented browser. It provides businesses with a development workspace for the teams and freelancers to develop and test modern web applications twice faster.”

Emmet Re:view

Emmet Re:view “A browser extension for displaying responsive web-pages in a side-by-side views to quickly test how it looks at different resolutions and devices.”

Polypane

Polypane “Improve your web dev workflow. All the tools you need to build responsive, accessible and performant sites five times faster.”

Responsively App

Responsively App “A dev-tool that helps with faster responsive web apps development. A must-have tool for all web developers. Free and Open Source!”

Sizzy

Sizzy “The browser for developers. Stop wasting time and speed up your development workflow.”

Here’s a copy of this list in an Airtable database that you can bookmark, follow or copy. If I missed any, please let me know or reply to this Twitter thread.

Video, Conference, Chat & Collaboration Tools Roundup

Video, Conference, Chat & Collaboration Tools Roundup

Updated October 16, 2020. See this twitter thread for details.

Yes, there are alternatives to Zoom

I often joke that people spend the first few minutes of any online meeting discussing usability oddities of the collaboration tool itself. There are many solutions out there for online meetings, video conferencing, chat, and other modes of collaboration.

The myriad of challenges presented by COVID-19 has spotlighted technologies that enable remote, distributed, synchronous, and asynchronous communications for groups of people in both personal and business contexts.

Some features found across these various solutions include:

  • Video conferencing for personal groups or work teams
  • Webinars and Events
  • Education and classes
  • Chat messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • File sharing
  • Enhanced security options
  • Custom hardware plus software solutions

The Airtable list below compiles solutions ranging from simple consumer software products, to open source initiatives, to enterprise-grade and hardware integrated solutions.

If I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

Curious About The Broader Community Ecosystem?

If you are thinking beyond video and chat services for your team or work, here’s a list covering the larger spectrum of Community management and events tools.

Illustration: Video Conference by supalerk laipawat from the Noun Project

Survey & Form Builder Tools Roundup

Survey & Form Builder Tools Roundup

Updated September 24, 2020. See this twitter thread for details.

Sometimes people will ask me about survey tools, or I’ll see a solution that I want to keep an eye on. Therefore, I’ve created this list of survey and form building tools that I will keep updated.

Most of these tools share similar basic features. Others add more sophisticated options that start to blur the lines between survey and analysis tools to full-featured customer research and satisfaction platforms. Here are some of the attributes they share or offer exclusively:

  • Quickly and easily create a form-based survey
  • Control the visual formatting of the form layouts (from basic color and text styling to custom branding)
  • Ability to distribute the survey via email, web or messaging
  • Options to be kept informed of responses via email or other integrations
  • Data aggregation of the survey response results
  • A range of analysis features for survey results ranging from basic to in-depth analytics

The Airtable list below compiles software ranging from simple and free online survey builders to comprehensive paid feedback management systems that track the “Voice of Customer” and NPS.

If I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

Inspired in part by

Illustration: Survey by Arafat Uddin from the Noun Project

A Roundup of Product Management & Development Project Tools

A Roundup of Product Management & Development Project Tools

Updated October 13, 2020. See this twitter thread for details.

There are a variety of tools available to help product teams manage the process of conceiving, defining, planning, executing, and delivering products in an and agile manner.

What works for your team will have a lot to do with factors such as:

  • Team sizes and configuration
  • Scale, scope, and number of initiatives within your group
  • Development methodology preferences, and desire for variations among your teams
  • Existing tech stacks and integration considerations
  • Geographic distribution of your team
  • Budget, and many other things not mentioned here

The Airtable list below is just a simple roundup of tools. If I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

Best wishes to all you product makers out there!

Illustration: Agile Methodology by Florent B from the Noun Project

Code-centric Design Tools on the Rise?

Code-centric Design Tools on the Rise?

Coded components will finally become the source of truth in UI design

In 2018, I wrote about an emerging trend of tools that mingle visual design and code in ways that are notably different from typical “screen design” tools for drawing pictures of screens and creating no-code prototypes.

While this trend still seems early in the curve of adoption, I’m hopeful that this is the direction that things are eventually going. There are market signals to back this up. For example, Modulz raised $4.2M in seed funding in March of 2020.

Some common themes among these tools include attributes such as:

  • Designing with live data in an application environment vs. static mockups
  • Themes and reusable design tokens
  • Components that are production-ready, reusable, and iteratively designed or enhanced over time
  • Real-time team collaboration features that allow multiple people to work on a design simultaneously
  • Styleguides and Component Libraries as a means of communicating design specifications and fueling consistency
  • Integrations that allow for bi-directional import/export to screen design tools
  • Connections to any popular back end that supports a product team’s code-base

The Airtable list below is just a simple roundup of tools. If I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

I’m personally looking forward to a tool with these characteristics, becoming the dominant design solution for UX and UI Visual Designers. Let me know if I missed any other examples.

Illustration credit: Feather icons “pen-tool”

An Unopinionated Roundup of Current UX Research & UI Testing Tools

An Unopinionated Roundup of Current UX Research & UI Testing Tools

Updated: July 10, 2020. See this twitter thread for details.

Whether you call it user experience, customer experience, human experience, or simply ‘trying to understand if anyone wants-or-can-use the thing we’re making’ – if you’re reading this, you probably appreciate the importance of iterative user research and usability testing.

This work has historically been the domain of User Experience (UX) professionals, but it is also becoming the standard practice for any cross-functional team developing products and services for buyers and end-users.

I’ve created a running list of all the UX Research and UI Testing platforms I’m aware of in an Airtable database. The live-updating list is embedded below for your reference. I have only used some of these solutions. If you are interested in my opinion or think I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

The Airtable list is simple in format and has a direct link to the product’s website. I do not expect that this is enough information to help you decide which tool(s) to choose.

There are lots of great product reviews already out there. If you find a tool of interest, I’m sure you are a quick Google search away from a detailed article or comparison.

Enjoy improving your ideas for – and implementations of – products and services by getting to know your prospects and customers!

Other UX Reading on the Web

Illustrations: co creation workshop, cross-platform, and feedback by Yu luck from the Noun Project