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Design Tools for Everything (github.com)
377 points by yvonnick 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments

These lists are a nice idea, but i do not like the execution - they are little more than a dump of someone's bookmarks. Personally i'd like to see a bit more information about each entry, including screenshots and a short explanation about the program.

Something like Softpedia would be great (although simpler), although preferably without garbage reviews like this: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/Coding-languages-C... (for a bonus WTF check the screenshot).

Alternatively (and probably easier to do) something like tinyapps.org but with a bit more information per entry.

These kinds of link dumps usually do more harm than good. Tell me why I need something like "information architecture" or "experience monitoring", then just offer me your favorite and tell me why it's your favorite. Don't just put stuff on the list because it came up on Google and you feel like you need more stuff.

The only category I'm qualified to judge in that list is 3D modeling, and their list isn't very good in my opinion. They don't distinguish between parametric CAD and direct modeling, and they don't go into the intended use of each, like how Fusion 360 can do CAM for CNCing, or how Rhino is meant more for product design instead of physical prototyping. It really seems like the author of this list didn't use any of these.

I don’t see the harm. If I don’t know what a category name means, I just ignore it if pressed for time, or read up about it from other sources.

I don’t believe anyone is going to blindly buy or invest deeply in using some product in a field they know nothing about.

Then why have such a list in the first place?

> Something like Softpedia would be great (although simpler), although preferably without garbage reviews like this: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/Coding-languages-C... (for a bonus WTF check the screenshot).

Oh lord. That was nothing short of embarrassing to read. As in I feel embarrassed on the part of whoever wrote that "review". And you were right about the screenshot lol.

Sadly most of their reviews are of similar quality to the point where i wonder why they bother. It is nice that they host a lot of the software they list (there are several programs that their original developers have long disappeared but they are still available by Softpedia) and the screenshots are often useful (...well, except in this case), but i've never seen any software review of theirs to be good (they do have some serviceable game reviews though).

Though I don't know that they're useful, I'm impressed that Softpedia gets actual humans to launch all these apps and churn out some text. Even my obscure tool to join and chapterize tracks from iTunes got a review! https://mac.softpedia.com/get/Audio/Track-Concatenator.shtml

Yes that would be Producthunt with categorized filters.

Edit: Well, discovered that this list is actually flawlessapp.io

In Producthunt it was no.5 product of the day.. https://www.producthunt.com/posts/awesome-design-tools-3059e...

And lists and a desktop UI :-P

These lists are essentially like tinyapps.com.

I don't think adding more details is a good idea - that would essentially be a duplication of content from each link on the list. The biggest value the of form of these lists (and tinyapps.com) is that I can skim them quickly. If you built an encyclopedia, somebody soon would want to have a simple list of all entries.

To add to that: if these lists were to be more detailed, they probably wouldn't exist at all, as expanding and maintaining them would be too much work.

What is your skimming based on? All you can tell about the linked software is their name, is their name enough to tell you what it really is about? Most of them have "cute" names and the description is as generic as it gets, personally i'd like at least a screenshot or two.

I don't want to click on each link on the list, i want the list to have enough information so i can tell if i want to click on a link to learn more.

I disagree, it's trivial these days to get a list of anything (books, movies, software etc.) simply from google, so if you are going to manually compose a list it better be A) really strictly selected based on true personal experience B) contain any kind of explanation why the item made the list. It's not supposed to turn into an encylopedia, but e.g. I find annotated bibliographies with 2-3 sentences of comments by someone knowledgeable in the field much more valuable than just a list of books.

The lists are curated. Maybe superficially, but that gets 80% of the job done and is extremely good at filtering out crap. I'd say the level of effort is just right for making the lists broadly useful, as a tool to get the general lay of the space. If they were more strict, they'd lose tools that may be useful for visitors with slightly different preferences than the curators.

Thank you. This was exactly my thought as I read the earlier critiques.

I read the title as an imperative statement and was disappointed that it’s just yet another GitHub “Awesome list of...”.

Was really hoping for an article about building custom tooling as I feel like a lot of my day is spent doing exactly that (ie mini tools to automate recurring semi manual tasks).

I read it a second way, also wrong: tools to help me design things.

Do all web designers think they're the center of everything? :-) ... I KID!

These curations get overwhelming pretty fast and lack social proof. Anyone can pull request anything.

For example, the first screenshot tool I clicked didn't even have a screenshot or copy on the landing page. Just a download button + email collection form. https://getkap.co/ -- Not something I would blindly run on my machine, but I'd consider it if it was HN's favorite tool.

Another take on these "Awesome *" lists would be to link to real world forum topics (Reddit, HN, etc) where people are discussing, say, their favorite screen-recording tool. That way you at least get a priority queue of software to consider. And you can differentiate between a tool with 100 upvotes vs. one that's only ever shilled by its shady creator.

The saddest thing about Kap, is that they had a very nice landing page, so much so I had put it in my "inspiration" list. And then they changed it to this...

Changing soon

All these "awesome list of ..." maybe means that there is a need for a site like Yahoo in the 90's which tried to catalogize internet in a hierarchical list-of-lists manner.

And then you quite quickly get to a point when you need to curate an "awesome list of awesome lists" like https://github.com/sindresorhus/awesome or "awesome list of awesome lists of awesome lists" like https://github.com/t3chnoboy/awesome-awesome-awesome ...

> This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

In theory once you get a "awesome list of awesome lists" you can just add subsections to it.

Just so long as there is never a requirement for a subsection of "awesome lists that do not contain themselves".

I agree that it's needed.

The problem with those kind of sites is that the site owners try to game the ranking system.

These lists get far more Github stars than actual software...same problem here.

You keep the curators to 5-6 experts in each field, with a reputation for being straight.

If they do any tempering, expel them.

This requires a rich person to pay them, or a community to motivate them, which gives the super-power to an agreeable, but fair BDFL.

This already exists. The problem is how to find it, since on the surface it looks the same as all the junk lists

Well, people trying it, getting good results, and thus creating word of mouth for it, should be enough.

Well, the list of tools is at least as useful as the most useful tool on the list, and probably reflects the overall usefulness of its category. Which means that if we go enough levels farther, the master list of lists [of lists...] would reflect the overall usefulness of all software on GitHub.

Also maybe GitHub needs a "list of stuff" category, so these lists of things don't muddle search results and conversely can be searched for easily. Curated lists of links are generally quite useful and putting it all in a public vcs with a pull request infrastructure makes it easy to contribute.

I definitely see a usefullness in these lists, I just feel sad that they get a lot more attention than actual code repositiories.

Indeed, Github should find a solution for this. I didn't care much about Github stars but recently I noticed they're being required in various scenarios, for example some CDN require a certain number of Github stars to include a library [1]

[1] https://github.com/cdnjs/cdnjs/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md#b...

I don't think Github stars should be considered as anything more than built-in bookmarking. Personally, I only use them that way. With this view, it's obvious why lists get more stars than the projects listed.

> the list of tools is at least as useful as the most useful tool on the list.

Simple disproof: a list of everything is not more useful than the most useful thing, because navigating the list has a cost.

Also, an analogy: would you eat a bowl of candy that had the best piece of candy in the world and also the most poisonous substance (malware)?

I agree. It seems no algorithm could kill "curators" yet.

Well, Github could select an official list per technology, move it to eg. the github.com/explore part and reward the curator with money or software licenses/subscriptions.

What if I'd like something that the arbitrary community manager of GitHub doesn't? Why would a software project management site be the arbiter of good software?

dmoz was that site for a long time after yahoo became it's 2000s incarnation, but then dmoz went away, there are a couple of live archives of it, but still...

It appears that dmoz was resurrected as https://www.curlie.org/

But these lists also already fulfill the need. When there's a category of something people are interested in someone will eventually make an "awesome list of ...". The good lists become popular and become included in various "awesome list of lists" improving their discoverability, while the bad lists fade into obscurity. And since there is no central authority and plenty of alternatives each list can be opinionated instead of including everything under the sun.

These lists follow the same "survival of the fittest" that underlies capitalism and evolution, and while coordinated efforts have many advantages they also have all the disadvantages of monoliths. I think a Yahoo-like site would have a hard time producing a better result.

Free markets mostly work because people vote with their dollars. Democracies mostly work because people vote with their votes. Web democracies fail because votes are trivial to manipulate and gamed by SEO.

But web dictatorships work great because switching costs are low, so if a dictator doesn't deliver people just go somewhere else. While centralized link lists are often democratic, awesome lists form a network of dictatorships.

I made a site that attempts to be a quick, hierarchical overview of the software tool landscape and the bevy of alternatives: https://www.tooltldr.com

Im fascinated by the popularity of curated lists. There are so many and most of them get a ton of likes/upvotes/etc. any research on why this is the case?

I am not sure about research (though of course research-based evidence is always good), but I think this stems from people's innate desire for simplicity/order. Listicles hack our primitive brain.

True, but the amount of available (and often identical) lists is incredible. Are people really using these lists long-term or are they enthusiastically bookmarked and then forgotten for ever? Genuinely interested

Design Tools for "Everything", yet is missing all the most common design tools for device design. Where are SolidWorks, Creo, Altium, etc.?

This is literally a gold mine. Despite being a founder of a Design company, coming across such collection of compiled resources has always been a painful task.

I have tried using https://startupstash.com and https://startupresources.io earlier which had good resources too.

What's the best way to add more products to the list? Any idea if I could add the following products: Product 1: http://draftss.com Product 2: http://draftss.com/getfeedback

> What's the best way to add more products to the list?

You just need to send Pull Request to the GitHub repo.

Here you will find the guide: https://github.com/LisaDziuba/Awesome-Design-Tools/blob/mast...

> Despite being a founder of a Design company, coming across such collection of compiled resources has always been a painful task.

Really? You probably haven't looked that hard, because there are probably hundreds of these type of lists. There seems to be one every month in Product Hunt.

BTW, it's probably not your intention, but your last line with links to your product looks like a super spammy hijacking attempt.

Missing our tool for high-fidelity prototypes in Sketch: https://www.animaapp.com

You can submit a pull request from the GitHub website directly. Just click edit.

This is a great resource to have. I'm a little disappointed that it's more a tools for Designers resource. Mostly graphics and UI and such.

I was hoping to find some design tools for HFSMs that aren't just flow chart drawing tools.

Seen this everywhere the last couple of days, a "spam" campaign going on?

The people behind "Flawless App" tend to do a loooooot of content, linking back to their app. On one hand, some content is actually pretty nice. On the other, it can come across spammy.

Thanks for this list. I found Keyshape for authoring web animations.

It's quite similar to http://evernote.design/

Good resource, but it's not that similar. The Evernote site is more about design content than tools. For example: version control, typeface, and 3D are all thrown together as "Design Tools"


The Evernote site is good as well!

No FontForge under Font Tools? For shame... ;-)

feel free to send a Pull Request ;-)

Does not feature electronics at all.

or mechanical construction tools

Where is Zulip? :)

you can add it :)

[Wrong thread]

I'm pretty sure you posted this on the wrong thread, but I'm enjoying imagining you didn't.

(And it's a great point! Go repost it in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19581571)

Yup, thanks. HN confused me somewhat because the thread about Ulrich was shown when I wasn't logged in, but wasn't shown when I was logged in.

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