What are the tools of your trade?

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Author Image - Dan Step

By Dan Step

Dan is a Business Development Representative working with and alongside SME'S, schools and multi national corporations. Dan also works as a public speaker to help schools and charities find funding that is available at corporate and conference events.

In October, we asked one of our Lead Developers, Vicki Whiffing to take us through which tools she uses to get her job done and make life a little easier...


Technically leading a project means you not only have to be organised with your own tasks but ensure developers stay organised too, with precious time to fit it all in. Because of this, I started to use Todoist and I now couldn't live without it! It has the ability to prioritise tasks, set dates and reminders and it forces me to take that needed step back and plan each day to ensure everyone gets the answers they need for when they need them.

There are many tools like it on the market, but with this one I have never had any issues with syncing across its large range of supported devices. I'm never left without a way of being able to quickly add a reminder of a request to sort another day.


As a developer, I know that the right image can truly make or break a website. So, sometimes that decision can take some time to make and then needs a bit more to find the right balance of cropping or resizing to suit the space.

This tools allows developers to keep progressing with the coding of a layout whilst those decisions are being made. Even if a designer decides a image needs to be bigger or smaller it is a simple job to update the placeholder to match, as you do not need to download the images with this tool, just simply update the href of the image. Easy!


AxShare is a cloud hosting solution that provides an easy way to share Axure RP prototypes with others, including your team and/or the client. Axure Share can also be used to turn your prototype into a live website with custom Page Titles, SEO attributes etc. The AxShare mobile app can be used to view and store prototypes on iOS and Android mobile devices. We have recently been introduced to this great tool when working with the British Airways UX team. It allows us to not just see redline on designs but by changing the browser viewport size you see how the design should responsively respond.


VirtualBox is the world's most popular cross-platform virtualisation software which enables you to run multiple operating systems on your device. Modern browser emulations are just getting better day by day and you can even mimic different network speeds, but typically Internet Explorer is in its own universe and compatibility mode on its modern browsers is a lot more forgiving than the browser actually is. We have some important clients who still need to support IE8 and this tool allows us to ensure the code we produce will meet their needs when they actually use it in an something like an IE8 browser.


One of the Tester Analysts here at Leighton actually introduced me to this; its a simple, no fuss tool. WhatFont enables you to identify any font on any webpage by just hovering over them. It  allows me to shred time off debugging every day issues, so I'm not left wondering "is that dark dark dark blue, or black?!"