Mac OS X has held it’s place as the preferred choice for the majority of web designers in recent times for valid reasons – the platform offers a wide range of software for developing, designing, and creating websites thanks to so many different tools available to its users.
An infographic published on FlowingData mentions that Mac people prefer modern art and are design enthusiasts. 18% and 14% of them are going to describe their style as designer/upscale and unique/retro, respectively.
A question published on the Interaction Design Association web page further highlights reasons why Mac has gained popularity over PCs. The answers include better performance, the helpful nuances and an overall better fluid experience.
Though there are web design apps available for every conceivable need, the following options are multi-purpose and suited for enhancing productivity:
1. Inspiration library apps
Web designers need a constant stream of ideas to get their creative juices flowing, but there can be instances where they get stuck for inspiration. This is where apps like LittleSnapper come in handy by allowing designers to capture and organize screenshots and any idea that appeals. It then creates an asset library which ensures that the user is never caught for finding inspiration.
Likewise, Ember is another tool that makes it pretty easy for web designers to collect images for inspiration. The collected stream can also be curated, organized and synced across all other iDevices in use. So whether a web designer works on a new website theme or a patio exterior, the app has been created to act as a visual, inspirational memory.
2. Remote access apps
Web designers can often find themselves away from their Macs, when searching for inspiration and ideas in public places for example. Mac apps that allow remote access offer an ideal way for users to stay connected to the machine. An example comes in the form of LogMeIn; it’s an app web designers can use to transfer files between computers and share the Mac desktop with remote users.
However, LogMeIn discontinued their free plan in January so there are several users searching for a LogMeIn alternative. Thankfully, there are software tools, like this one, compatible with Mac that are serving as LogMeIn alternatives. Web designers may also be able to take advantage of no monthly subscription when using these Mac compatible tools.
3. CSS/HTML apps
Web designers can’t live without CSS/HTML editors as they allow for live previews of a design outcome and enable multiple users to share and publish ideas on the same document simultaneously. CSSEdit is the recommended app as it is packed with features applicable to web design such as a selector builder and a visual editing tool. It also comes with ‘web preview with X-ray’ which shows how CSS edits affect layouts, padding, margins and other webpage elements. Such applications also include multiple language support.
BBEdit is another popular OS X CSS text editor that comes with a simple interface and a pretty handy auto-complete feature. An intelligent interface welcomes users to the best features of the app, including searching and replacement of different files, syntax colors for source code CSS languages, text and code completion and robust markup tools for HTML. Web designers can enroll in a free trial to get a preview of the features before buying the complete versions.
What Mac apps do you use to enhance web design productivity? Feel free to share in comments.