Everyone has their favorite tools and services, and there is no shortage of lists telling you what you could or should be using, but this is my list. Some of these I have been using for a long time others are new additions, but provide value to my online development process.
Basecamp is one of the best project management applications available, it’s easy to figure out and even easier to use. Basecamp excels at being pm for everyone, and I’m quite certian you’ve heard of it or maybe even use it – so I’m keeping it brief. Just use it – mmmmkkaaayyy?
Concept Feedback is a great site for getting feedback (obviously) on a new design without having to jump through a bunch of hoops to do it. With a simple registration and profile setup process, you could be off and running in 5 minutes flat. There’s a lot of content out there on their site, with a pretty strong community. Just remember it’s a two-way street, you gotta give a little to get a little.
Bounce provides an online platform for users to grab a screenshot of any URL, and then start a discussion about the site in question. You can share (here’s the one I started for this post) the feedback with the entire interwebs or sign up and create a private discussion, which can be helpful for those super-secretive corporate types. And they even give you a bouncing ball to watch while you wait for your screenshot to appear. The only down-side I have run into is if it’s a Flash site your trying to grab, it doesn’t wait very long for all of the content to load, so you might just get a loading screen or half rendered, but i guess that’s just another reason to hate Flash. You hear that haters? I just gave you another one……
Silverback is usability testing software for your Mac, (sorry Windows guys, okay not really) which allows for quick turn-around testing and a solid feature set. It’s easy to use, simple to set up, and very affordable. You basically just download the app and you’re ready to go.
Launchlist is one of those apps that you wish you had thought off first. We all have our own pre-launch checklists, or in some cases two or three of them. Launchlist is the best site checklist I have seen, and the fact that it’s on the web and makes for easy sharing makes it a no-brainer. In fact, it’s everything that a checklist should be; simple to use, quick to edit, easy to share. It shouldn’t take you hours to monkey with your checklists, there’s more important things at hand – and Launchlist helps you get back to the important stuff.
MailChimp is one of those tools that you should be using already, and their Inbox Inspector is darn near indispensable when it comes to making sure your well crafted SPAM, errr…. I mean email campaign is getting delivered and not ending up in the trash bin. If you only want the inspection, for $14 you get 3 inspections, and they look at all the major email and webmail clients, plus tell you if you’re going to caught in the SPAM filters, and then they tell you why. It truly is; easy for n00bs, strong for Ninjas.