Today’s Obsession: Tools Roundup

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Bunch of handy-dandy tools for building sites today which I’ve been sent over the past week. First is GridCalc, which is great for the dyscalculaics in the audience: give it a total width, column minimum and maximum width, and gutter minimum and maximum width and it will spit out the out the possible combinations you can use—not to mention the CSS to make those columns.

If you need to host a portfolio with WordPress, you’ll need a simple, unintrusive grid system to highlight your work. Here’s a nicely compiled list of ten favorite themes, from robotoranges.

If you’re creating a web application, you’ll need to be able to test various layouts and designs to optimize clickin’ or lookin’, neither of which can be done reliably by simply putting together an aesthetically pleasing design and thinking good thoughts (which is actually a widely-used technique). You’ll need to test one against another, in a technique called A/B testing. It’s pretty simple, really—one group of viewers sees one version of the design, another group sees another, and you compare results.

Optimizely (horrible name) makes this simple to do. It gives you a drag & drop way to re-design your initial design through their service, then apply the changes and let the site split up traffic groups and measure results—in real time.