“A good workman never blames his tools”…is a very famous phrase dating back to 13th century and I’m a big believer that great workmen and women know what is the right tool for the job and they know exactly how to get the best out of it.
There are hundreds of tools, apps, pieces of software that can help us operate faster and more efficiently as a UX Design Company. At Tobias & Tobias, we are constantly keeping our finger on the pulse. It’s vital we are at the forefront of what’s going on in the digital world, what resources are available to us and what can help us be better designers and general operators. So what are some of the coolest tools that we have been using recently?
We use Slack for instant communication throughout the business (a great tool for you to check out if you haven’t heard of it or used it). Slack has us constantly discussing what’s out there. It has created a company-wide channel of communication. Everyone is now involved in discussing what’s hot and what can make us better at what we do.
The most recent tool that hit our UX design radar at the company is Casette Design, which is described as “the best way for designers to record, transcribe, and bookmark key moments in user interviews – and share it all with your team.” Numerous projects that we embark on involve deep research and extensive interviewing. Being able to focus on asking the right questions and getting the detail we need whilst having confidence that we are capturing the audio and overall content so we can revisit it and analyse helps us immensely.
When in the detailed design phase we utilise a multitude of tools including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. But these are not always the best tools for the job. Sketch is one particular tool of interest right now! It is a very powerful application and can be used by UX, UI, and product designers to design for any form factor. Another gem is Measure. It is one of the many plugins within Sketch that got us really excited. In fact, John Woods – one of the Lead Visual Designers at our company – has been raving about Measure for weeks. And he is not the only one, Measure was voted one of the best productivity plugins for the Sketch app. It does what it says on the tin. Measure allows you to easily measure and get the sizes, margins or paddings, and coordinates of any given layer alone, and two or more layers at a time. Also providing detailed information on colours and typography. When working closely with developers, tools like ‘measure’ are the stuff of champions!
It’s not just software that can help with our work and day-to-day communication, but hardware too. A recent purchase at the T&T office was a brand new state of the art video conferencing system which is now nicely poised in our main boardroom! We love travelling to see our clients although it’s not always possible especially with our international clients – it’s now even easier than before to speak and most importantly see them. Face time with clients is invaluable and this new setup helps us to deliver on our core values and ethos including (but not limited to) collaborating, sharing, caring and being meticulous.
And lastly, a final shout out goes to a simple yet really effective tool – LastPass, which basically remembers your passwords so that you can focus on the more important things in life.
Amen to that!