Have you decided that 2017 will be the year that you push yourself to keep on top of the emerging technologies and tools in web design? have you wondered how you will sift through these to find the ones that will actually help you solve common problems and not just be fashionable to use?
If so, I have compiled a list of tools that are defiantly worth checking out to help front-end web developers stay on top of this challenging task. Tools that will help you out with solid tasks in developments.
This is a type tool addressing common needs when dealing with CSS Typography that crops up on just about every project. With Type Nugget beta you will gain fine control over your type styles and will have a diverse range of settings to choose from as you make your selections.
The development team of this preprocessor tool have recently relaunched this project following a period of stagnant developments. It’s worth a look because it makes lighter work for developers who need a Sass processor but are not too comfortable with command line. It is similar to the simplicity of writing Sass in Code Pen and doesn’t even require anything installed on your OS.
Accessibility is often the afterthought of the web development world, add a little excitement to this neglected area with Ally.js by delving into powerful features that can help you determine which elements are tabbable and focusable in your projects. Did you know, for example, that you can prevent elements outside a modal window from receiving focus until the modal is closed? Accessibility can really be quite interesting when working with the right tools.
The Bootstrap bonus
As a bonus, I am including Bootstrap in this list. It’s not exactly new but it has undergone a major rewrite for its 4th version.
A few changes include:
• Added support for Flexbox
• A new default font size of 16px from 14px
• Primary CSS Units have switched from px to rem
• Is no longer supporting IE8 and iOS6
In addition to this I also recommend finding out more about Adobe XD, this Creative Cloud app it’s still fairly new, it’s still in preview for Mac users and about to be available to Windows users too. Like Bootstrap, It’s a little more Mainstream that the tools I was wanting to share on this list but if you are looking for a powerful prototyping tool then it’s worth a look.
Staying up to date in the world of web development
These tools are not going to stay current forever, I expect the list would look very different in a year from now.
The precious spare time of a web developer can easily be taken up with learning to get a good grasp of learning the new tools and techniques that are out there to try. The tough part can be figuring out what to give your time too and not be dedicating too much time to technologies that just die out quickly.
You can sit back and watch other developers chat amongst themselves on social media and see which development tools rise to the top saving yourself the risk of learning technology that has little use to you.
You can even get involved and try new technologies from their earliest inception for the satisfaction of knowing your finger was on the pulse of the community even if it didn’t work out.
Whatever you do you will need to know where to look to find the relevant information as sometimes you will need to dig deep around the web to follow the right conversations to get you there.
I have these resources to share with you that I follow that will help you stay up to date
This podcast has been a long time favourite podcast of mine for solving web design problems. This is hosted by the industry-respected Dave Rupert and Chris Coyier. I often play these as I work.
The Smashing email newsletter
This twice-monthly email is one email I always look forward to reading, it’s always brimming with useful stuff that I feel was a good use of my time reading, earlier I found myself caught up reading an article about CSS properties, a visual guide.
All day my twitter feed is bringing me an array of useful news. Unfortunately, there is no single list of who to follow that satisfies all interests. So I follow those who produce interesting work on Twitter will and it gives me an insight into their world. Follow enough people and you will start to see patterns from the greatest minds in web and this can often lead you to learning about many useful and amazing new things in web.
Good look finding staying up to date in 2017 and Happy New Year!