The 11 Best Chrome Extensions for Designers

By BrainStation February 3, 2020
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No one knows better than UX Designers how seemingly small tweaks to usability and efficiency can, in fact, make a massive difference to a user’s experience.

And yet, while few spend more time browsing the web than Designers, even the savviest among us might not be maximizing the quality of that experience.

With that in mind, we rounded up 11 of the best Chrome extensions for Designers.

Loom

Chances are, you spend a fairly significant amount of time trying to communicate with other teammates about issues relating to user-flows, design issues or other bugs. Loom can make your life much easier.

The extension allows you to record and narrate a video of what you see on your screen – as well as your front-facing camera – before sharing it with a simple link.

If you’re sold on Loom, consider the premium paid service, which allows 4K video, unlimited video storage, drawing tools, mouse click emphasis, and a suite of editing options including call-to-action buttons and custom thumbnails.

Window Resizer

Designers need to know how everyone will experience their web offerings, and a layout that looks beautiful on your screen – which, let’s face it, is likely top-of-the-line – might flop on an aging iPhone.

Window Resizer will help solve that blind spot, resizing the browser window to reproduce an array of screen resolutions. You can customize your list of resolutions, you can fiddle with the window’s size and position, and for extra efficiency, the extension also allows you to create global key shortcuts.

Muzli

If you could use a little extra design inspiration in your day – and who couldn’t? – Muzli is for you, curating engaging visual designs from all over the web to scroll through while you sip your morning coffee.

With more than 150 sources from around the Internet including Dribbble, Mashable, and Product Hunt, Muzli will bring you the freshest design ideas, projects, and news each time you open a new tab.

See something that interests you? Click through and learn more in a new browser window. 

Page Ruler

UX Designers tend to have an appreciation for a simple but effective idea, and that sums up Page Ruler.

Instead of wasting time carefully measuring the size of objects on a web page using the screenshot tool, get Page Ruler to quickly draw out a ruler and size up pixel dimensions and positionings as well as any elements on a page.

ColorZilla

It’s likely that you often have occasion to quickly find out which color is being used on a webpage – and ColorZilla can help you get there that much faster.

Long one of the most popular Firefox extensions before finally coming to Chrome, ColorZilla features an advanced eyedropper to determine the color of any pixel on any page, a CSS gradient generator, and a color picker.

If you see a color you like, ColorZilla makes it a breeze to take the hex and RGB values and paste them into your clipboard.

Fontface Ninja

Are you the type to scour the Internet for fresh font ideas? Designers – and font fanatics in general – will want to install this elegant extension, which lets you identify fonts used on any website and quickly slip them into your design software.

Fontface Ninja’s “Fonts DNA engine” doesn’t just display the CSS name, but the real name of any displayed font, then lets you try it out legally. If you like it, Fontface Ninja also provides a link to buy the appropriate license.

Spectrum

It’s estimated that color vision deficiency – also known as color blindness – affects millions around the world. To ensure those people have a positive experience with your web pages, try Spectrum, which quickly tests websites to see how they appear to people with different types of color blindness.

The extension is said to be especially helpful for websites with data visualizations since some colors in the charts could be indistinguishable from one another.

Checkbot

Ensuring that all of your links actually work, that your forms are secure and that your site is fast and easy to navigate are all major usability concerns for a UX Designer; Checkbot will have your back and unearth any problems you haven’t noticed.

Testing hundreds of pages at once, Checkbot can discover broken links, HTML/JavaScript/CSS errors, duplicate titles, security issues, redirect chains and mixed content errors. 

In fact, Checkbot tests your site for 50-plus best practices for SEO, speed, and security.

SVG Grabber

Are you frequently finding yourself needing to nab logos, icons, illustrations or other artwork from other websites? If so, SVG Grabber could save you a lot of time and tedium.

It’s a tool to help you quickly preview and get all the SVG assets from a website. With just a single click, the extension will automatically reel in all the SVGs on a page before letting you sift through and quickly download the ones you need.

UX Check

Simply put, UX Check turns heuristic evaluations into a breeze.

The extension lets you scan your website for usability issues so you can test without having real users. UX Check flags any areas of your site that need to be improved based on Nielsen Norman Group’s 10 general principles for interaction design – which include visibility of system status, error prevention, and consistency and standards – and saves a screenshot of the issue.

When you’re done, you can export everything to a document file to share easily with teammates.

Corporate Ipsum

If you’re testing a new design – particularly one that’s especially text-heavy – you might be sick of the usual first paragraph of Lorem Ipsum. For those Latin-weary among us, Corporate Ipsum is a fun extension that randomly conjures corporate double-speak for use as filler text.

Instead of that long chain of dummy text you’re used to seeing, you might be greeted instead by – for example – corporate jargon like this: “efficiently seize integrated vortals with installed base methodologies.”

Merely having English words instead of Latin will make the design look far more natural, and the fact that the randomly assembled text often doesn’t make any sense at all is simply part of the extension’s charm.

 

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