Remember us? In part one, we brought you 14 chrome extensions to make your work day less frustrating, more pleasant, and all around more productive. In part two, Pumika Blog brings you a second round of extensions to improve and streamline your UX and design work. This time we present tools to help with QA for development work, responsiveness, work mail hacks, clients, and work day management.
Talk to Us: Emails, Clients, And English
Outside of the realm of UX specific extensions, there is an array of addons that help the process of work with clients, emails, planning, and productivity that we find super useful. Starting with the basics, when working with google apps, we love the Google Calendar Extension, which gives you easy access to upcoming events as well as useful notifications. Boomerang is another great extension that allows you to schedule emails to be sent at specific times while also notifying you when your emails have been opened by the recipient. After all, we might not necessarily want our clients to see that we’re working on projects at 11:30pm, or on the flip-side maybe we want them to think we were burning the midnight oil… We also recommend Rapportive to up your professional email game. Rapportive automatically downloads a professional background for your email contacts, complete with profile pictures, based on their LinkedIn accounts.
In order to maintain fluency and prowess when writing professionally, we use a number of add-ons that help to identify and correct errors in grammar and spelling. Our top three are Spell Checker and Grammar by Ginger, Grammarly, and Typosaurus. All three extensions are excellent, and serve the same general functions; they indicate errors, inaccuracies, or words that are used in the wrong context. Our final add-on in this section fills a basic but important role. Convert Case Menu helps you control and convert the capitalization from upper to lower case and vice-versa. This is perfect for making all-caps texts legible and bearable. Forget that caps lock was on? Never fear, no more having to go back and correct texts or emails letter by letter.
Who moved my pixel?
When designing for development and programming, it is very difficult to quickly locate the place where the current product differentiates from the intended design.
When working with developers, there are quite a few points where we need to stop and compare our design with the product being produced, in order to reconcile problems and inaccuracies. This step can be fast and efficient, or long, tedious and frustrating. By using the right extension we can quickly test and sort out these discrepancies. While on one hand it is important to sharpen your eye and hone your patience for minutiae, to literally check every grid. There are some add-ons that can help streamline and expedite this process. To find what’s moving and where, Pixel Perfect, lets us lay down our design on a live site, and to locate and mark repairs need to close the perfect site. Page Ruler places a bar at the top of the site that allows you to measure pixels easily so that the design and notes can be conveyed, down to specific pixel-adjustments. Meanwhile, Page Editor, allows us to change the titles and texts on a page that is being programmed, in order to check out cases or simply to change sites that have already been published.
Perfect Pixel shows us where, and by how many pixels, the developers diverged from the intended design
Responsiveness: All the Screens in the World
Not to start with a cliche, but let’s face it, when it comes to mobile web ui design, everything has to run smoothly. Let’s talk about how we used to test each page by opening it on another device to make sure the alignment did not break. There are many extensions we can use now, including Chrome’s own development tools, but one of our favorites is the Mobile/RWD Tester simulates the view on a wide range of phones, tablets, and devices, including simulating the interface’s response to “swipe.” It’s quick, easy, and really works.
Forget the Explanation, I’ll Send a Screenshot
For those stressful situations, that unfortunately happen far too often, when something moves, breaks, or twitches, we have a toolbox of extensions that help us to capture screens, document traffic, and download images. There are many free apps, plugins, and software to help you out, but beware! They are not all created equal. We recommend a few: Nimbus Screenshot and Screen Recorder is a great extension for browser-related screenshots. Why do we love it over the rest? It’s flexibility of use, from the ability to use scrolling inside the screen pad while taking a screenshot, the visualization of an android screen, and last the ability to capture motion picture (video). Of course, Nimbus isn’t the only one, and for anyone who doesn’t want the distraction of all the other features can download Full Page Screen Capture or Openvid, both of which easily captures video of the screen directly uploads it to the cloud for easy sharing.
Outside of the realm of Chrome extensions, we all love to use Lightshot, which allows you to quickly and easily create accurate screenshots that you can simultaneously comment on, draw on, frame, or add text to, all while uploading everything to the cloud for easy use and shareability.
With Lightshot you can take screenshots, make notes (and arrows), and easily upload to the cloud
Order and Cleanliness. You’re Halfway There.
Our work process varies from project-to-project, but in the end, most of us spend a good deal of time collecting references and inspiration, and analyzing and reading relevant sources across the internet. In Part A of this post we brought you quite a few addons that helped to bring some order to this aspect of your work day. In this section, we bring you some essential plugins that help us stay focused and organized during the process of information gathering and analysis.
When doing research for a project, we find it convenient to use TabText, which takes your chrome tab and turns it into a scratchpad, so that notes and thoughts can be collected organically as part of your work process, and can be opened and closed without losing the information. Added bonus: TabText easily exports the lists to PDF, and includes a variety of configurations to control the visual format.
The extension Open Multiple URLs fills a very simple role; it takes a list of links in text format, and opens them in a separate chrome window, as separate Chrome tabs. Next time you have a list of links in an excel spreadsheet you can use this extension, and instantly open the perfect web-browser with each link as a tab.
One of perhaps our favorite add-ons is Toby. As someone who suffers from 1000-tab-syndrome, I love to push the limits of how many tabs I can cram into one browser, but when I reach my limit I call in this extension. Toby concentrates your open tabs under a folder partition in one tab. Note: this is not a link archive, but a real preservation of your active session so that you don’t get lost in between the tabs.
Toby lets you save an entire session of tabs in a folder or as file links by project
So, you’re still here? The extensions are waiting for you. Install, use, and let us know how it goes!
Want more plugins? Click here for part one of the article here.
Sad we forgot your favorite extension? Let us know in the comments, and who knows, maybe you’ll see it in our next update….