According to the Adobe Financial Analyst Meeting, there will be 900M Communicators and 68M Creative Pros by 2024. The democratization of design and the arrival of free design tools makes it possible for just about anyone to create content with ease and flexibility.As a result, designers and marketers are coming together to create beautiful, engaging, and effective marketing material such as responsive emails and landing pages.Over the years, we have seen a growth in new and free design tools that allow anyone to produce content like a designer. Here are some of our recommendations:
Four Free Design Tools You Need
When choosing which design tool is right for you it is important to choose one that is easy to learn and whose capabilities grow with your skillset.
- BEE Pro Free: BEE Pro Free is a drag-and-drop email and landing page editor that makes it easy to create responsive emails. With over 1100+ free templates, it’s perfect for non-designers to create quick and beautiful emails and landing pages. For those with design experience, it is detailed and customizable enough for you to design from scratch.
- Figma: Figma is an “all in one design platform” mostly used for web design and prototypes. This platform offers a variety of easy-to-follow tutorials for new users to explore their creativity. Designs created in Figma can be exported into responsive design tools for sleek and polished graphic design.
- Pitch: Pitch is a presentation platform where your team can design presentation decks for any occasion. It turns what used to be a boring task into a creative process. A great way to start incorporating Pitch is by promoting its use in internal meetings and presentations. This allows your team to experience the power of design for themselves.
- Canva: Canva is an online tool that allows you to create social media graphics, flyers, videos, and more for free. The resulting content does not have HTML attached so be careful when using it for web and email.
While many of these tools are intuitive, learning a new design tool is a process. It’s important to give your team the opportunity to explore each platform and see how they can use it to make their job more efficient.
How to support your team when using free tools
While design tools matter, it’s not a silver bullet for producing content like a designer. Integrating the right systems and workflows to support your team is essential.
Have Strong Brand Guidelines
In our latest blog on Design Systems, we spoke to Crystal Ledesma, Engineering Manager for the design systems team at Zillow. She shared with us that before Zillow began implementing design systems, the emails they sent their audience looked so different from each other that customers began marking them as spam.Luckily, there’s a way to avoid this.Brand guidelines are great examples of design systems at work. They ensure that your brand’s messaging and style remain consistent and easily recognizable through every touchpoint.These guidelines should include:
- Information on logo usage including size and spacing
- Guidelines on how to use color palette along with HEX and RGB codes
- Different font usages and sizing
- Design elements such as patterns, icons, and photography
Brand guidelines should be easy to share and understood by everyone in your organization. That way, every email and message that goes out looks like it’s from your organization (thank Crystal for this tip!).
According to Lucidchart, a workflow can be described as a guide that “defines the steps involved in the process of getting work done.”Workflows are especially helpful in collaborative environments to ensure that everyone is working in an efficient and timely manner to achieve a common goal. Workflows promote transparency by allowing team members to share their progress openly.When creating one, make sure to lay out every step of the process from an idea to a final product. A simple example of a workflow for writing an email can look like:
- Determine the goal for the email.
- Plan your outline.
- Write the content based on the goal and audience.
- Provide feedback.
- Incorporate feedback and make final tweaks.
- Publish to the public.
Workflows are effective because of their simplicity and repeatability. They can be used each time you are working on a similar project. Make sure your workflow includes who is responsible for each task and/or phase, due dates for each phase, and when to give feedback.
BEE Pro, free for everyone.
If you’re ready to start embracing the democratization of design within your own organization, we have something for you.On March 30th, BEE Pro is launching a new plan available to everyone for free! BEE Pro Free is our easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor that allows anyone to create beautiful emails and landing pages from scratch or using our template catalog.We know the importance of design when it comes to emails and wanted to create a product that is accessible to all. Learn all about the BEE Pro Free here.