Visuals are more effective than words alone. As we shift from written to visual communication styles, it’s more important than ever to produce visually appealing and interesting content.
We at Noble Studios are a tech savvy bunch, with an extreme attention to detail. Every PowerPoint presentation, strategic plan, analytics report and blog we develop must have a branded design and include infographics to keep our audiences better informed and engaged along the way.
Let’s face it. Our creative team is busy designing websites, mobile sites, apps, prototypes and other digital solutions for our clients. So I scoped out some relatively easy-to-use tools to help me create supporting imagery for my presentation materials.
Five programs in my non-designer’s toolkit:
- Awesome Screenshot is currently at the top of my toolkit. With Awesome Screenshot I am able to capture a clean shot of the entire page, selected area or visible part of the page. It allows me to erase sensitive information and annotate the shot with shapes, arrows, lines, and text. It even allows me to save various file formats, copy to clipboard, print or share via social media.
- I’m sure the creative services team would frown upon this, but I LOVE PicMonkey. It is user friendly, and I know a lot of bloggers who use it. It’s my personal favorite when it comes to making basic photo edits like resize, rotate, sharpen, and crop.
- Balsamiq Mockups is an easy-to-use, rapid wireframing tool. Mockups look like stretches and allow me to generate ideas quickly. Before Mockups we used pen and paper, whiteboards, or specialized wireframing tools. Account managers, developers and even designers use Mockups to present workflow visually and demonstrate how they want a user to experience a product.
- Chrome Extensions save my life daily. I use Page Ruler to get pixel dimensions and positioning. I simply draw out a ruler on any webpage and it displays the width, height and top, bottom, left and right position. I also use it to resize images and make precision changes.
- Pixlr is a free and powerful online photo editor. I use it when I need to be more creative. I can open any image file in Pixlr and add a vintage retro look, build a collage and more. An added bonus is Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express work with Google Drive so I can easily store my image files in the cloud, share them with other users and access them from multiple devices.
What tool would you add to this list?