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12 Free Web Tools You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without (Part 2 of 3)

by The SMPS Seattle Education Committee

Welcome to Part 2 of our 3 part series on tools you can use! The SMPS Seattle Education Committee brings you thirteen sites with free downloads and tools. Please be sure to comment below of what you try...and let us know of any great tools, tips, or tricks everyone should know!

Set Two: Presentations and Chart Art - Every so often there is a need to shake things up and do what hasn't been done before. To make your team stand out. To design an infographic smooth as butter. From presentations to infographics, these tools will help you take a step back from your work, examine the information and approach with a new angle.


Tool: Prezi

Cost: Free (public presentations) or $4.92/month

Why it rocks: This tool is great to use if your presentations are feeling a little flat lately. Swap PowerPoint for Prezi and allow your project teams to present their ideas in a free, more creative platform rather than a linear fashion. Additionally, this platform is visual based so it can help to reduce the words and increase photos that evoke viewer emotions to support your message.



Tool: Lucidchart

Cost: Free basic account or $3.33/month for added features

Why it rocks: Maybe you're outlining a public comments process for a proposal, or maybe you're redesigning how an internal review process for how your company approves project descriptions. Either way, this simple-to-learn tool allows you to build your diagram as your team generates the content. Non-designers will like the intuitive interface; designers will appreciate the export options.




Cost: Free (premium accounts are now available)

Why it rocks: Have you ever thought, "how do I represent 'the' graphically"? Well, can get you there. This site is a great place to search and download the perfect icon to express your thoughts in a clear and concise manner. Search for your noun in mind and use that vector download as part of your next presentation.


BONUS: How to multitask while running a presentation from your computer. It's interview prep and you're running the presentation from your computer for your team? When connecting to the projector, select the "Extend" option and run the presentation from the projector which is now your second screen. This frees you up to make edits on the fly from your full resolution desktop. 


Tool: Fivesecondtest

Cost: Free (If you earn credits by doing testing for others) or paid plans for additional features

Why it rocks: This handy site allows you to test the UI/UX of a website or app for a phone or tablet device by crowdsourcing. Earn points by doing tests for other designers, and use the points to set up tests of your own. For those who don't have the benefit of working within a design group, it's a great way to get a gut-check reaction to something you've been staring at for waaaay too long.




Tool: Web Resources Depot

Cost: Free 

Why it rocks: If you've ever tried to explain the point of Iorem ipsum text to an engineer, this site won't help but you'll have more fun doing it... and it's an unusually effective way to make sure people are actually reviewing your documents. While this might not exactly be a tool in any traditional sense, a good laugh never hurt anyone. Bacon ipsum, anyone?



Part 3 of this series will be posted on Monday, March 31st.


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  1. Jessica

    Mar. 26, 2014

    Love the bonus tip!


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