It is the bane of any UX designer to plow hours at a time through articles, references, competitors, to create clarity on any project . While there is no replacement for good legwork and research, there are some helpful tools that could make the process a bit more efficient or faster.
Here are a few simple practical Google Chrome plugins that I have found to help a lot.
Often while we shuffle through web pages, we try to figure out the font used in the page to make more sense of the design. A good font pairing is always a good note to make even if we don't use it right away. Sure, we can go to inspect the element and check the font. But, what font makes it a breeze. Hover over any element after turning it on, and the font , colour, size, spacing, even the service that's used to serve the font if any, will pop up on your screen. It is pretty neat.
This plugin is going to be your best bud if you are one of those people who get to a thousand chrome tabs from a few by opening new links, looking up new topics. After 84 chrome tabs and a few hours browsing, it is a terrifying thought to lose all those tabs, but sometimes it is hard to continue after you feel saturated as well. Cue music, here comes Session buddy. Session buddy will let you save your chrome tabs grouped according to your preference, in a few simple clicks. It will show all your open tabs, and then you could name it as a particular session and save it so that you can open it the next day with a fresh mind
When you are creating moodboards and stacking references for a project, it is imperative that you take a lot of screenshots of particular web pages. It is not always the most glamorous thing to do but it is indeed necessary. And none of us wants to go back to taking multiple screenshots and assembling them manually to form a full page. ‘GofullPage’, like the name suggests, is one plugin that helps you with this.
While creating high fidelity wireframes or , mockups or even a prototype to demo an interaction, you might need a few image assets to convincingly sell the whole design. And it is always a pain to open an image in a new tab or download or copy to your workspace. Especially when you have to do it one by one. This image downloader, is a rudimentary looking chrome plugin but that does its job very well. You can open this plugin from any webpage, and it will show you all the image assets loaded in that particular webpage.You can select all the ones you want and download all together in a single click.
This is one of those mind bendingly useful plugin that I have rarely seen people use in their browsers. Doubleclick any word from any article and the definition pops up on a tooltip with its pronunciation audio. You can always manually search as well. While you are in one of your late night binge reading of articles, this plugin will help you a lot. Here is one tweet from Sasi Tharoor, perfect to test the plugin
Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist
Bonus : Requestly
This is borderline unethical if you have the means to pay. But if you are a freshly hatched designer hungry for knowledge and information, Medium is a good source for a lot of good articles on improving your craft. But the problem is, many of such articles are behind a paywall. You can use this plugin to make it look like your traffic to medium is from twitter. And guess what, twitter traffic doesn’t have paywall. Set it up once and forget it. It works for now, till they remove it. So, go crazy till then. Here is how to set it up . Full article
Try these plugins out and see if they go with your style of research. They have helped me save a lot of time over the years.