2020's Best and Free Tools for Developers and Designers


Know the best tools that the best developers and designers are going to make use of this in the year 2020. Know the features of these tools, what new they offer and what all support they provide you in your product development lifecycle.

When it comes to designers and developers, they have a pool of tools to use for their software designing and development needs. Often, it can confuse them and it becomes hard to choose from when the options are varied. So, here in this post, we have made an attempt to come up with some of the best tools which the designers and developers can try out in their project and carry out their tasks efficiently and effectively.
2020 Best free Development tools

Top tools for designers


InVision Studio


InVision Studio is one of the UI tools that you could ask for covering everything. You can easily build interactive interfaces with InVision Studio by opting for its amazing features. It also comes with tools for creating a collaborative and responsive design, rapid prototyping and even to work with design systems.

You will be able to enjoy combined features when you use InVision Studio with tools like Sketch. Studio can be best in use especially in the case of prototyping and can be best if your prototyping involves animation. You get to create imaginative and complex transitions through rapid prototyping and this helps you to get the exact level of animation that you are looking for. So, start by deciding how you want the UI to be available during the beginning of the transition and then based on that come up with your design for the end result. The rest of the work will be handled by InVision.

Apart from that, you can also come up with custom transitions and animations from a number of interactions and gestures like clicking, hovering and swiping by using InVision Studio.

Once you have done your part, you can export the developed prototypes on InVision and then invite others to collaborate with you. This way, the project prototype will be visible on the InVision platform and you can test its validity too. Apart from that, your clients and other stakeholders can easily view it there and add in their comments too. This will save you a lot of time and effort!

Moreover, you are saved from coming up with different artboards for different devices. Based on the changing screen, InVision will automatically adjust the design. This saves you a lot of time which you can otherwise spend on improving the design.

Adobe XD


When you are taking up digital projects under the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Adobe XD lets you have the best environment. If you are new to XD and have used Adobe for a long time, you may still find the interface to be different. However, when compared with other tools out there, Adobe does have the mileage to stand up to them. If you have been using Photoshop, you may feel it to be a big change but, it is definitely good for a try.

This wireframe and vector design tool keeps on improving and it ensures to stay with the latest trends in the UX like voice prototyping. Adobe XD comes with mobile and desktop previews, drawing tools, sharing tools to give feedback on project design, and tools that define the non-static interactions. Using this tool, you can easily import a popular kit for UI and select the artboard size which is specific to the device in order to start the project.

You can here easily import the assets and work with them from Photoshop or Illustrator as Adobe XD can integrate with the remaining portion of Creative Cloud. In case you have already worked on other apps of Adobe, you will find the UI to be quite familiar and comfortable and will not take much time to learn.

Marvel


Another design tool that you can use to work on your ideas quickly is Marvel. You can use it to build prototypes and to refine the look of your interface. With Marvel, you can use a prototype to simulate the design and it also offers you the best way to develop pages. In order to add your design to the project workflow, it also offers some exciting integrations. Even Marvel comes with an integrated user testing feature, which is not something normally found in the area of web design tools. You can use them directly without having to go through the process of download as they are available online.

openElement


When it comes to building responsive websites, web design builder like openElement works well. This tool offers a number of functionalities like support for CSS3 and HTML5, element editing, image optimization, and others.

This tool is easy to use and lightweight. Designers can effectively design their projects using its intuitive interface. Moreover, it also offers a bunch of free templates that you can make use in your project.

Figma


Figma is one such tool that can be used by many designers to collaborate with each other in real-time. If your project has multiple stakeholders who have a key role to play in shaping up the project then this tool can prove to be very beneficial. You can find this tool on Mac or Linux, on Windows or browser. Figma is available both as free and paid versions and you can use it as per your project demand.

Proto.io


Proto.io is one of the best applications you can have to build lifelike prototypes for your project. You can use it to build full-fledged designs from just some rough ideas. Apart from that, the tool also helps to build custom and detailed vector animations. Proto.io is one of the best wireframe tools available in the market today and is also recommended by Silicon IT Hub.

You can start your work on the idea just by coming up with some hand-drawn style, turn them into wireframes and come up with a high-fidelity prototype. If you are using other tools, Photoshop and Sketch plugins can help you with the design task but, you can easily manage the end-to-end design process by using Proto.io. Proto.io is today considered as one of the popular solutions used across brands.

You can check out the different demos available out there to understand how this single solution can help you replace the different tools that you are using currently. Some new features have been included in Proto.io recently, which are developer guides, assets managers and the facility to record prototypes.

Top tools for developers


VSCode


VSCode is an open-source code editor that can be used by developers to easily edit their code. The developers who worked on this tool took up everything that was related to coding and then came up with more of a simpler solution.

Say, for example, the tool makes use of IntelliSense which helps in smart completion of the coding lines based on the function definitions, variable types, and modules that are imported.

Debugging is something like the side-effect of coding and you need to deal with it. Moreover, this process can be time-consuming too. Things are quite different in the case of VSCode, as you will not have to spend more time on debugging and then printing out the debugging statement. Here you can easily spot the bug within the editor and fix it right away. You can attach this tool to the apps you are running and debug it with call stacks, breakpoints, and an interactive console.

Lastly, VSCode is absolutely free, highly customizable and comes with built-in Git commands.

Postman


Postman is a collaboration platform that is used for API development. It can be called as a single-handed tool which you can use to develop APIs and comes with much to offer the developers. Some of the features which you can access through this tool are:
  • API client: To send SOAP, REST and GraphQL requests swiftly.
  • App mock: Predicting potential behaviors of the app by running simulated endpoints.
  • Automated testing: Automate the testing process carried out manually.
  • Monitor: Monitor the app performance and keeping an updated report.

There are a few excellent features that Postman offers and are worth trying out. As a developer, this tool will make your life better and easier. Again, compared to what you are paying it, you will definitely get back what is worth your money.

AWS Cloud9


In the beginning, Cloud 9 was introduced as an open-source cloud-based IDE. It was known for offering support for different programming languages like PHP, Perl, Python, JavaScript, C, etc. Then in 2016, Cloud 9 was acquired by AWS (Amazon Web Services) and they made notable improvements in the current IDE and turned it into a chargeable service. Here the user has to pay for what they use. AWS Cloud 9 is said to come with a number of salient features which definitely makes it a popular choice among developers.

Cloud 9 IDE is actually a web-based platform and it is basically used to write, run and debug the codes in a project over the cloud. Here it is easy for the users to switch between local and remote testing and debugging activities as they will be working on serverless applications.

You can replicate your complete development environment using Cloud 9 IDE. With this IDE it becomes easy for mobile and web developers to effectively collaborate with each other. Cloud 9 is quite a powerful tool that comes with features like file dragging, code completion suggestions, debugging, etc.

NetBeans


NetBeans is a free and open-source software development tool that has been written in Java. This tool is used to develop desktop, mobile and web applications. It makes use of languages like JavaScript, PHP, C/C++, Java, etc.

NetBeans offers support for cross-platform and it works well on different operating systems like Mac OS, Linux, Windows, Solaris, etc. NetBeans offers features like easy management process, Smart Code Editing, swift user interface development, and writing bug-free code.

NetBeans offers well-organized code which lets developers to properly understand the application structure. NetBeans 8 IDE offers editors, converters and code analyzers which can be used to quickly update the Java applications to the newer versions. Some of the features which have made NetBeans IDE one of the best tools for developers are powerful GUI builder profiling, debugging, support for Java platforms, support from the community, etc.

CodeLobster


CodeLobster is a PHP IDE that is free and convenient to use. This tool can be used to develop web applications with good features and it supports JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Smarty, and Twig.

CodeLobster PHP IDE makes the development process easier and it offers support for different CMS solutions like Magento, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. This IDE offers some advanced features like PHP Advanced autocomplete, PHP Debugger, DOM elements, CSS code inspector, auto-completing of keywords, etc.

Browser previews and file explorer facilities can also be enjoyed through CodeLobster. With PHP Debugger you can easily debug the codes before and after executing it. CodeLobster is available in a free version and comes in two different paid versions too based on the user needs.

AngularJS


AngularJS is an open-source JavaScript framework that is used to develop web applications. You can use AngularJS with other libraries and it is totally scalable in nature. Based on the development workflow, you can edit or replace the feature in your project. If the site needs to be updated based on the changes in the data, AngularJS can do well for such data-driven applications.

AngularJS works both on desktop and mobile browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. and is not any browser extension or plugin. Form validation, reusable components, localization directives, dependency injection, data binding, deep linking, etc. are some of the advanced features of AngularJS. In order to keep the application secure, AngularJS offers built-in protection against security issues like cross-site scripting and HTML injection attacks.

Final thoughts


Here we have tried to list down the top tools which the designers and developers can try out in their project. Again, every project is unique and so are its needs. So based on that, it is up to you to make the final call and choose the tool which can work well for you.

Author Bio:
Hardik Jani is an enthusiastic personality with a vast experience in the IT industry. For more than 20 years, he has been assisting in helping clients with genuine commitments and outcomes. An entrepreneurial personality collaboratively holding local and global experience in the IT industry. His perfect foresightedness has helped him to bring Silicon IT Hub as a renowned Web and Mobile app development company.


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