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Some quirks, rants, and solid-gold design discoveries

Plugin Dump

If you’re a designer who’s ever worked in web and you’re not using Chrome, I honestly wonder how you do it. Or even why you do it because Chrome is such a useful and powerful browser. One aspect of the developer community that I’ve always really respected, is the selfless drive to improve things. This is what really sets Google apart from Apple, Google encourages people to disrupt the current structure to make it better. Apple controls it to ensure that nothing visually “bad” ever gets out there. Development isn’t supposed to be pretty, it’s supposed to work. 

Google encourages developers to dive into the world of extensions and even provides step-by-step tools on how to get started: Learn more

Through this extension platform, developers have been able to create some extremely useful plugins that have greatly improved my overall workflow. Often times in the web design world you find yourself hitting command+shift+4 to screenshot parts of the website. What if the client wants the entire website though and it’s seven scrolls deep. Just screenshot the size seven times, shellack it together in photoshop, and thirty minutes later, you have the screenshot your client requested. Well what if there was a plugin that could do that in five seconds? Guess what, there is! Ever wonder what typeface a website is using? There’s a plugin for that. Want that exact hex code instantly? Use the color picker. The list goes on, and only keeps growing. 

Below are links to my tried and true plugins that I love and use almost everyday:

Ad Blocker

This one is at the top of the list. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you need this plugin. No more ads, ever. Some annoying monetized websites will require you to have ads and it’s really simple to pause this plugin on any of those sites and continue to browse freely. 

Pocket

I will always recommend Pocket, this is by far my most-used plugin. As someone who loves to read, I can’t always keep track of all the articles, websites, and books that people recommend. Pocket is my key to saving that link for later. You literally “pocket” that article you want to save for later by clicking the pocket button. It saves that article to your account (I have the app on my phone.) Pocket then will download that link to my app and I can read the article on my phone offline. Stuck at the airport for hours, underground on BART without service, bored on a car ride, you name it! Pocket will save that article and download it for you. You can highlight, share, and stay up-to-date so easily with this tool. I really appreciate the simplicity and accessibility of it. 

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Full Page Screen Capture

As described above, it’s such a pain to screenshot every section of the webpage to piece it all together into one final image. Full page screen capture takes a picture of the view port, scrolls down to the next section, takes that image, until the entire webpage is captured. It’s brilliant. Once compiled, you can download it as a PDF or a hi-res PNG. This has been an amazing tool for our clients and sharing web pages internally. 

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Clean Master

Working in web, development updates often get backlogged in cache and frankly it’s annoying to have to right-click + inspect + applications and then clear cache every time. What if the change happened moments ago? I don’t need to clear all of my cache and then get logged out. Clean Master is key because it can clear you cache for just a short period of time and instantly. All you have to do is click the button and cache is cleared. I highly recommend sending this along to clients who are also checking on updates too. It makes their lives so much easier as well. 

Whatfont

Have you ever visited a website and wondered what typeface is being used? Perhaps you scoured WhatTheFont, Typewolf, or FontsInUse without any luck. Sure you can inspect, but it can be tedious. Whatfont you simply select and hover on the text and it will grab the CSS for you and tell you exactly what font it is. 

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ColorZilla

Like Whatfont, ColorZilla gives me that CSS I need. Like the familiar eyedropper tool, you can use ColorZilla to pick up the color on the site and gran the hex code. It will then automatically copy it for you for an easy paste-and-go format. So useful!

Todolist

If you’re someone like me, you love to make to-do lists. The issue I had was 1. It wastes a lot of paper. 2. It’s not very clean and organized. Todolist is my digital list and it’s completely replaced my old analog ways. I can add reminders, set due times, and feel accomplished when all is checked off at the end of the day. 

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Loom

I don’t use loom everyday, but I sure am grateful for how flawless it is. From time to time, on a website handoff, we’ll need to do back-end training with clients to ensure that they know exactly how to edit their website and feel comfortable with the platform. Often one video conference isn’t enough for every detail to stick, so I’ll use Loom to easily record my screen. The service stores all of your videos, allows you to share privately, and even edit the video if you accidentally added more than you needed. You can even include the front-facing camera to provide a small video of yourself if you so please. The design and the ease of Loom makes this a powerful plugin even if I don’t need it every day. 

I hope that you could find some of these to be useful, and if you ever want to search for more it’s easy to get lost in the Google Chrome extension world: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions?hl=en

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Heather DunmoyerComment