Whether you’re making software for a client or just designed your first service on your own, you’re going to need a little help from a few programs in order to get things off of the ground.
Even though the power of coding is in your hands, not every single aspect of the software is going to be easy or even feasible to do from a home computer. Modern software often requires powerful creative tools to ensure that every aspect runs smoothly and most importantly, bug-free.
That’s why many software developers outsource portions of their work to tools or other developers to get the job done.
And there’s no harm in a little bit of outsourced work; in fact, using the right tools to take a lot of the grunt work off of you is one of the easiest ways you can ensure that your software is as strong and as formidable as it can be.
That’s why we’ve put together our favorite five tools for software development that we think can greatly catalyze your speed and process and help you launch as soon as possible.
1. Wireframe Tools
Getting your wireframe right is one of, if not the most important things you need to do with your software. Whether you’re working with a web-based software or something like an application, the wireframe of your creation is the skeleton from which the rest of the project hands on.
If you don’t have the right wireframe tool for software development, you’re going to be left placing your software’s core features on a wireframe that’s going to be able to hold everything together.
We recommend looking into the wireframe tools available on the market today and picking an option that best aligns with your workflow.
The decision you make here is going to take a little bit of extra time when it comes to research and understanding which is best, but something is better than nothing. And building your software without wireframe tools is going to be a major struggle.
2. Graphic Design Tools
You may be tempted to code in your graphic design choices using a plugin or one of the many programming languages that offer basic design functionality. However, much like with wireframing, your programming language of choice is only going to get you so far.
You need a graphic and web design tool that’s designed to make vectors, shapes, colors, and other objects as simple to work with as possible.
We’re partial to software that allows you to adjust vectors without damaging them, but the options here are limitless.
A good graphic design tool such as Adobe Photoshop, will make it easy to implement your design on top of the wireframe you’ve built. It will also allow you to keep moving without spending days in the weeds, working out coding issues.
3. Image Compressors
Your software or website is going to be made up of hundreds, if not thousands of images. These images range from tiny vectors and shapes to massive photos that take up the bulk of the display at any given time.
You may be interested in the best overall image possible, but that image could take up the valuable server or computer space that you need for other aspects of the build?
The solution? Look into image compressors that are designed to give you the smallest available file size for your image without sacrificing on quality and clarity. These compressors are lossless, which means they won’t drop information in favor of a tinier space.
Doing so to every image possible will allow you to dramatically increase the space available for animations, back-end space needs, and so much more.
4. Animation Software
More and more websites and software packages are utilizing animation techniques to make more sheen to their projects and make customers and visitors more interested in utilizing the product. However, all of those animations, much like with graphic design and images, need to be hosted on a wireframe through a separate tool.
Animation software can streamline the animation process, hold onto the animation files, and keep them from clogging up the rest of the front-end design. At the same time, these tools are able to quickly design some of the best-looking animations in far less time than if you have done the work yourself.
Learning the ins and outs of a new animation software can be difficult, and as a software developer, you may be more familiar with back-end programming and code than you are with graphic design.
Still, taking the time to make sure your software looks the best it can and has the level of interesting animation needed to separate it from any sort of competition, can be time well spent.
5. E-Commerce Software
Finally, the most important tools for any types of software and websites are the tools that regulate the sales on the software itself. Whether you sell intangible items, such as microtransactions in games or a premium version of the software within it, or you sell products and goods, you need to make sure that your E-Commerce is working smoothly.
Take some time to delve into the various E-Commerce options available to you, and work to ensure that all transactions can be handled smoothly and without human interaction. Then, ensure that all information on shipping and invoicing is sent to the right person, email address, or on the client-end of the software itself.
E-Commerce is quickly becoming one of the most crucial elements of doing business, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more time here than you may have initially considered.
And regardless, we hope that you take some time to develop out your software or site using all five of these tips. The efforts you put into delegating out tasks and simplifying work on the back end now is going to make your life significantly easier when it comes to updating the software, refreshing the code, and generally developing out content in the years to come.