10 UX / UI Tools for Web Designers

When it comes to website design, there is always room to grow and learn. New tools are released rapidly, and as a designer, it’s important to be aware of them. Below are ten UX/UI tools that we believe will help any website designer maximize their capabilities, complete projects on time, and reach their business’s objectives! 

Layoutit Grid – Let’s face it; as a designer, you sometimes need to visualize the grid in your head. This tool does exactly that, allowing you to mock up your desired grid layout quickly. Layoutit Grid is an interactive grid generator that lets you draw your designs, with the perk of seeing the code as you go.

Neumorphism.io – This tool creates the characteristic soft shadows and edges that have made neumorphism so popular in the design industry. Use this code generator to help you with colors, gradients, and shadows to make your design stand out!

Compound Grid Generator – Nested or compound grids can be confusing. Help take the edge off with this handy compound grid generator. Just enter the number of columns for each of your grids, and it’ll automatically combine them into a compound grid, simple as that!

CSS Effects – Have you ever wanted to add or create image hover effects? With the help of this tool, you can make your project stand out! Here is a nice collection of subtle but supremely reusable animations for your next project or design.

zerodivs.com – Try this experimental UI editor for creating CSS-only illustrations. That’s right! No raster or vector graphics are actually created, only CSS! It may not be the best solution for scalable graphics, but this tool can be beneficial given the right project.

patternico – Patternico is an awesome web-based tool for creating seamless tiled patterns. It’s completely free and will elevate any project!

Gradihunt – Gradihunt is an automated gradient generator. Get inspired by user-created gradients, or create your own!

Motion – Want to add a creative icon to your next big project? With Motion, you can build animated SVG icons that are customizable to you, available for Mac OS and Windows.

Animockup – Want to show off your website or project on a device? Are you tired of the same old photoshop templates? Animockup enables you to create animated product mockups for free!

Multicolor CSS Gradients – Multicolor CSS Gradients is a creative tool that offers free, lightweight, colorful, and responsive backgrounds!

As you can see, there are multitudes of tools available online that will instantly take your projects to the next level. The UX/UI tools mentioned above are just a few on the market, but they’re a great starting place for all levels of expertise. Take time to dive deeper, and don’t be afraid to explore options until you discover which ones work best for you. In the end, it all comes down to your business’s needs and design style!

At Rock Paper Simple, the websites we build revolve around a strategy that reflects each client’s unique brand, offerings, and business goals. Our designers and web developers are experts in their fields and understand what it takes to generate results. If you need assistance building a marketing-focus website, contact us today!


Optimize Website Images to Improve Performance, Search Ranking

The Google Page Experience Algorithm [1] update launches this June, and with it, we will see the Core Web Vitals become part of the ranking signals that dictate how your site ranks on search results. Core Web Vitals measure how fast your website loads and affect other factors that impact the user’s experience on your website.  

How Do Images Impact Website Performance?

At Rock Paper Simple, our team comes across a variety of clients in need of quicker loading times on their website. We have discovered that one of the most impactful ways to increase performance score is to optimize your site images.

Often, the problems we encounter when reviewing a website include images that are too large, poorly compressed, or in the wrong format. Mobile phones are one culprit. Today, mobile phones are capable of producing large, high-quality images, making it easy to upload photos that are too large for the website unknowingly. 

A single photo from your mobile phone camera could measure five megabytes or more with a resolution in the thousands of pixels. The average size of a website today is between two to three megabytes, so having even just a few uncompressed images on your site could inflate your total website size to double, triple, or even higher. This is extra data that mobile users have to download on their mobile plans and can create a negative experience for mobile users with poor connections. 

Online Image Optimizers

If your website is small or only utilizes a small number of images, you can drop those photos into an online image optimizer and replace them on your site with the newly optimized ones. Here are a few online optimizers that do an excellent job of compressing your images using various algorithms.

WordPress Image Optimizers

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we build our websites on an awesome content publishing platform called WordPress. WordPress contains robust features that ensure users don’t upload unnecessarily large images. By default, every image uploaded to WordPress is compressed and served up in various thumbnail sizes running from small (150px) to large (1024px). While this is an excellent feature, our team takes optimization a step further.

This next step is where image optimization plugins and services come in handy. These plugins automatically compress the images you upload to the smallest possible file size when you upload them. Additionally, you can compress images that already exist in your WordPress media library, ensuring that older images also benefit.

Below are a few WordPress plugins with exceptional feature sets. Our developers particularly enjoy the ability to convert images to Webp format — the internet’s next-generation image format for greater performance gains. 

Image optimization is just one piece of the Core Web Vitals puzzle, with many other factors affecting the performance of your site and the resultant search placement. At Rock Paper Simple, our SEO optimization experts work hard to stay on top of the latest changes, trends, and technologies that help guide our clients to better-performing pages, higher-ranking websites, and happier customers. Contact us today or take a look at our web design services to see how we can help you realize your marketing goals, including your website performance and ranking. 



[1] https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience