What to work to wield a winning website.
TOOLS in THIS CATEGORY
AI-Powered ADA Compliance for Websites
You might be surprised at how many of your peers have disabilities if you’re not among them; persons with disabilities (PWDs) make up 20% of Americans, with half of those 20% managing more severe disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is the reason you can expect stuff like wheelchair ramps and handicap stalls in most public places; websites have become a natural extension of “public places” and now need similar accommodation but, in a cruel irony, making a website accessibility-friendly hasn’t been much simpler than doing it for an old building. Thus far, full accessibility for websites has been tedious and expensive to build… and never mind keeping it maintained.
This is where a tool called accessiBe enters play and changes the game. In a sentence: accessiBe has AI powering 98% of the tedious work needed to set up and maintain a fully-functional, fully-ADA-compliant website.
⏳ 7-day trial (no CC required)
💰 Paid plans start at $49/mo, save 20% by billing annually
📝 We learned about it in this article from Jeff Bullas—a fairly deep dive into what makes the tool work, why it’s useful, and how to deploy it.
Microexperiences for Branded Websites
It’s cliché, but it’s true: digital interactions (of all sizes) are an ongoing conversation between brands and customers. As long as that’s true, let’s play ball. Imagine the smoothest, most charming person you know. Their charm causes you to “engage” more, even if you like what they say (and how it makes you feel) way more than you remember the words.
Charisma is a huge asset for salespeople because it means they get more contextual information out of every little exchange in a longer conversation—and it’s absolutely the same principle for websites that sell things, even if websites have none of the same human immediacy. Wyng is your wingman for all of the little exchanges (the “microexperiences”) on your website. They include treaded ideas like email signup, but then quickly expand your conversational options to give you new ways of knowing your customers and their intentions (and collecting what they call “Trusted Data”).
Font Comparison and Selection
Historically, we’ve all tested fonts the same way: open a blank doc, type some text, copy the text a bunch of times, then scroll through your fonts and change each copy to a different “candidate.” Sound about right? You need Wordmark.it to speed and enhance this process. Just give it some sample text and it’ll immediately display that sample in all of your system fonts PLUS all of Google’s fonts. You can narrow things down as you go. Wordmark.it can help you pick fonts for nearly anything, but it’s perfect for conceiving text logos.
🆓 99% Free (i.e. 99% of people will get everything they need for free)
💰 $24/year for Wordmark.it Pro (minor helpful features)
📝 We used Wordmark.it to help design theCLIKK’s logo, which uses a cool font we found in Wordmark.it called Quicksand.
Web Font Testing
➕ Chrome Extension
As mentioned above, Wordmark.it is a great tool for previewing and selecting fonts. But font-testing on live websites is a different animal. Multiply the annoyance of adjusting site fonts manually by all the extra variables you have to test (because it’s a live website) and frustrations can escalate rapidly, unless you grab Snapfont. It’s a browser extension that allows you to preview live pages as they’d appear with different font options (which are pulled from local fonts and Google Fonts). It can really streamline the web-testing process, and you pay what you want (including $0).
🆓 Pay What You Want (including $0)
Promotional Campaign Manager
Promotional campaigns, like contests and giveaways, should be fun and engaging… but too often they’re lifeless, lacking in creativity, and constrained by narrow options for implementation. This is where Woobox can unpack some new possibilities. It’s a platform for designing interactive marketing campaigns—all fun options like quizzes, contests, and instant-win sweepstakes—which can be embedded on the web or social media. Everything you need to manage the details and follow-up is included in a single dashboard.
🆓 100 free participants per month, limited campaign options
💰 $37/month for Basic (bills monthly, 1000 participants/month) and $32 for Standard (bills annually, unlimited participants), Advanced and Agency options available
Testing for Responsive Web Design
➕ Chrome Extension
Emmet Re:View that provides two super-handy tools for responsive web design. The first one is called Breakpoints View and it shows you each group of page contents (between device breakpoints) as a separate resizeable block. The second tool is called Device Wall and it shows you how a given webpage looks on multiple different devices at once, as though you could have five different types of smartphone and tablet in front of you.
🌐 Chrome Store
🆓 100% Free
Color Palettes and Gradients
Here’s some help for the color-deaf—which is different from color blindness, an actual scientific and medical thing. Color deafness is the chromatic equivalent of tone deafness, so if you don’t know your taupes from your teals, here’s your sign (no shame attached). Fortunately, there’s a great tool for helping with color palettes, gradients, and even some photo-collage-type stuff: it’s called Coolors. Whether you want to build color palettes from a source photo or completely from scratch, the interface is super-clean and helpful—and with a free account, you can save favorites and finished work as you go. The website version is free, but there’s also an iOS version for $2.99.