Posts Tagged ‘startups’

How to discover new great web apps for your work

discover web apps

There are many ways to get your work done on time, in an efficient manner, and without much risk. Opting for specialized web apps is one of them. As a web designer or web developer, you’re already aware of the benefits web apps bring to the table, like their presence on all devices, web-browser based execution, elimination of the need to be downloaded or installed, the opportunity to capture a much larger audience, and so on. But if you had to pick one key benefit they give you, what would it be? In our opinion, it would be the way they automate your work so you get to save a lot of your precious time.

Working with web apps automates your work

Web developers and designers have a lot of loose ends to take care of in their regular work. Brainstorming to find the perfect idea, giving it a shape in the form of drawings / sketches / blue-prints, conducting discussions to finalize their designs, giving them a material shape through diagram creation tools, coding to bring the material designs into action, testing whether they work as envisioned, and probably a lot many other activities. If looked at closely, a lot of those activities can be automated so that time and effort can be saved. For example, once the initial idea has been put down on paper and has been sufficiently brainstormed on, some web apps and web based tools can be used to draw it using flow diagram (or similar) constructs, the subsequent coding can be (and mostly is) achieved through IDEs, and even testing can be taken care of through specialized web apps for the purpose.

So in effect, the whole mechanism of automating your work through web apps helps you save a ton of your daily work time. And when you have more time, you have the opportunity to be more productive. You can use the time you save to come up with new ideas for even better projects, conduct research on making your existing projects better, or if you like, use it to relax and give that ever working mind of yours a much needed break.

Are there any web apps you use regularly?

Regardless of the field you’re in, there are a ton of web apps that you can use on a daily basis. And if you like to stay up-to-date with what’s relevant, you likely already use lots of web apps. Slack, Pocket, Hootsuite, Trello, MailChimp, etc. are some of the most popular web apps people use for varied business purposes. Do you use any of them in your day-to-day work? If so, how do you find out about them; Internet research, word of mouth? Did you know that at any point there are thousands of great web apps being used out there, some you’ve probably never even heard of?

With mobile application development becoming the IT trend of the decade and the consumer base for web apps increasing every day, more and more specialized web apps are constantly introduced for developers and designers. But the harsh reality is that while some of such web apps skyrocket and get all the hype, others having equal potential and a more affordable nature don’t make it to the mainstream because they don’t get the proper attention, the proper funding.

But that doesn’t mean no one notices them.

Over the years, several online developer communities have come up for various technologies that give small useful applications their due by getting them the right king of recognition – from other more established developers, tech-startups, potential customers, small scaled businesses, and even investors. Such communities make for great platforms where developers can showcase their work to the world, and maybe even strike the right cords to make it big.

But why are we telling you this?

Because until small web apps become the “next big thing”, they are just that – extremely useful web apps dedicated to solve specific purposes and very nominally priced. Imagine the kind of win-win deal you could strike if you got to know about some such great web apps that can aid you in your work and not seem heavy on your pocket too. You’d obviously want to try out such web apps. But here comes the obvious question – how would you find such apps?

How you can discover new web apps

We’ve compiled a list of avenues you should check out if you’re on the lookout for new web apps. Try them out in any order you’d like, and we’re sure you’ll be able to find something interesting:

Google

When it comes to searching for something on the Internet, the obvious answer is Google. In this case however, the search may or may not pan out. Not unless you specifically search for the phrases “top web apps”, “new web apps” or “top tools”. And while you’re at it, you may want to optionally add a launch year to narrow down the search results.

Product Hunt

Remember we mentioned communities where new tools, products, and apps can be showcased to catch the right attention? Well, Product Hunt is currently the mother of all such communities! Founded in 2013, Product Hunt is a platform dedicated to the sole purpose of letting people share-and-discover new products. It’s a global platform which surfaces the best new products every day for enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations. And it works on a simple user voting principle. So a product that actually sits well with the users of Product Hunt gets up-voted to the top of its lists. Anyone, designer / developer / coder, can submit a product on the platform and it will be listed in a linear format among all products submitted for the day. There’s a comments section for each product which allows users to post their direct feedback (invaluable for the developers behind it) and a voting system that enables users to rate it. If there’s a place where you can find awesome new web apps, this is it!

Betalist

Another gold mine for new apps, products, and ideas, Betalist is a community of makers and early adopters showcasing their startups and exchanging feedback. A quick look through its website and you know you’re in the right place. Technology, Marketing, Finance, Business, Socializing, and startups from every other field you can envision head over to Betalist to gather pre-launch responses from end users. Browse through their homepage to sift through all new apps for the current week and click on the ones you like to view their brief introduction, get their website link, share about them on social media, and/or up-vote them. Simple and effective. If you’re a real early adopter, eager to check very fresh web apps, you definitely want to check out Betalist. Alternative: BetaPage.

Social News Shows

Over the past decade, a number of social news websites and shows have come up which are backed by people who are passionate about bringing innovation in the way things are done. They invest in upcoming startups, product vendors, and web app makers, so that talented people can continue doing what they do best. One of the prominent players in this field is the team behind Y Combinator. Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator founded in 2005 by investors from different walks of life. The company created a new model for funding early stage startups and invests in a large number of startups twice a year. Two years later, they started Hacker News, a social news website focusing on computer science and entrepreneurship which highlights notable work by programmers and developers and also provides them much needed funding. When looking for new web apps, Hacker News is also a place you’d want to check out.

Specialized platforms for software search and ratings

And when you’ve been through the top players in the arena, here’s a list of other players; websites where not just developers, but the general public comprising of every day users can post their experiences with a particular web app or product so that you can benefit from their findings:

  • GetApp – Portal that puts up tool and app reviews and introduces you to new upcoming apps that can help you grow your business. Here, you can search for web apps from different business verticals like sales, marketing, finance, collaboration, human resources, communication, BI, etc. so you can search for exactly the kind of app you’re looking for, sorted by a category filter.
  • Capterra – Giving away its nature through the tagline “Find Software”, Capterra enables you to compare products, read reviews, and get access to the latest software research to find the right solution for your business. The software and apps listed on this portal are divided across 500+ categories, backed by 325,000 reviews, and used by some of the biggest organizations worldwide.
  • G2Crowd – Powered by real user reviews, G2Crowd is probably the fastest growing software and services search platform. With categories spanning across e-commerce, hosting, CRM, analytics, security, IT management, content management, and more, this platform allows people who have used an app or software to give their detailed feedback of the product in the form of a review so as to enable other potential users make informed decisions.
  • Other notable names in this list are CrozDesk and TrustRadius which again offer the same functionality, in a different packaging.

Websites informing about startups launching

As you’re probably already aware, there are many websites out there that keep posting updates about new startups. From these websites you can get the names of new upcoming startups and then find out about them on Google. This would help you narrow down the ones which develop the kind of web apps you’re looking for and you can proceed from there on. Some key websites that offer this nature of service include:

Zapier integrations

Zapier and IFTTT

Another smart idea for finding web apps that have already been verified by the market and became popular is looking at available integrations lists of Zapier and IFTTT. But it is quite probable that on website as widespread as these two, you won’t find what you’re looking in the first time around (it’s probable, not certain). If that happens, you can return to these web pages to check if something of your interest has been posted a little later.
Pro Tip: You can monitor the changes to these lists with change monitoring services like VisualPing so that as soon as something of interest comes up, you’re informed.

Subscribe to Super Monitoring Blog notifications

Probably the best way to discover new apps and quickly learn something about them is to subscribe to our blog notifications. We keep posting reviews of great web apps and tools here every now and then so you can stay updated with what’s buzzing.

Found an interesting app, but considering if it will really benefit you?

Often, even after finding a web app a user thought would be great for their work they don’t seem to have benefitted from any significant value addition. This can happen when they start searching for an app without really penning down their goals, the list of requirements they’d need to fulfill to reach those goals, and an estimate of the kind of time they’re willing to invest in accomplishing those goals. As such, they can end up with a web app that has potential, but doesn’t really suit their current purpose.

Thus, stay clear on your goals before starting to research for the perfect web app. Thereafter, keep the following points in mind to ensure that you’ll derive some benefit from the web app you put so much of your time searching for:

  • Read descriptions and comments about the web app on the discovery site you’re searching
  • Google for articles on the web app
  • Search YouTube for video reviews from actual end users
  • Sign up for free trials (if available) or schedule a demo

Wrapping it up

It is worth it to regularly check the online market space and find new web apps as some of them can really make your work (and life) easier. Of course, it takes some time, but with a little effort you can automate (or outsource) a substantial part of it and derive some real value.

Give Review, Get Review on Criticue.com

It can be difficult to get a review about website and apps for a budding web designer, bootstrapped companies or start-ups and paid reviews won’t appear affordable when you have a shoestring budget. But you shouldn’t drop the idea to have your website reviewed as it would always be helpful to get a review about your design as they always help you improve on your design.

Unfortunatelly, the application described here – Criticue – has been shut down and is no longer available. 🙁

criticue

Critcue.com, launched in June 2013 and based in Poland is a platform for web designers, web administrators to exchange reviews and critiques about each other’s website. To get a review all you have to do is submit your website for a review and other people would tell you what they think about the website. The average review is short, crisp, exactly to the point and has 53 words.

Submitting Your Website for a Review

For submitting your website all you have to do is type the URL of the webpage you want the review for and click on Take Screenshot or Upload Screenshot on Criticue.com homepage. The website would take a screenshot of your website automatically and submit it for a feedback. Before you receive a review about your website you would have to write a review for another user’s website this forms the second step as you would be able to access your review only when you give others a review. It’s like helping others to help yourself. The reviews that you submit are moderated by the team to make sure that your review is spam free, focused and is sensible. After moderation you’ll receive the credit for your review and would be able to access the review for your own website. The Criticue team would take some minutes to review your feedback and you may have to wait for some time before you get the credits.

criticue1

If you wish to get a feedback about a specific element on your website adding a personal message along with the screenshot. Adding a personal message would help the reviewers know that you want a feedback about a certain feature on your website. Criticue.com also provides the reviewers with a link to visit your website and experience it as any other regular visitor would .The reviewer is also allowed to rate your website on a scale of five.
Criticue also keeps a track of the time the reviewer spent on your website though it may not be that accurate but you can at least have an approximate value for the same. If you do not have time to visit other’s website and post a review to earn credits you can surely buy it too and you’ll have reviews pouring in within minutes.

Reviewing a Website

As you know that you’ll have to post a review to get your website reviewed and these reviews are moderated so that the person who’ll be receiving the review would get something out of it which means the review you post are supposed to be more than a sentence, should not contain foul words and should be easily understandable. There are many applications offering similar services but the way it is implemented on Criticue is unique and you would love the way you get your website reviewed on Criticue. They enforce the option of reviewing websites for others and this is what makes you have valuable comments about your design and you too would like to leave valuable comments for the other person to help him with the design. You can also post reviews about websites and help someone if you are bored or would like to have some time off your work.

criticue2

Receiving a Review

When you receive a review for your website you’ll be allowed to rate the review you have just received. The site is based on peer reviews so you can never be sure of receiving a quality review as you cannot be sure that the other person has left you an honest and intelligent review. One should also be prepared to get a negative feedback while you post your website on Criticue. On the other hand there are some users on Criticue who would leave you a feedback that is not only limited to the design but also on the copy of your website, some wonderful ideas to implement and would let you know about some coding errors and typos too. There are people who would go beyond expectations to leave you an efficient review.
You can also respond to a review and get into conversation with the person who just sent you a review to clarify and follow up after a review, you can also see what the reputation of a reviewer is while the identity of the reviewer is kept anonymous and reviews confidential.

criticue3

Plans and Pricing

Criticue.com is free to use if you review websites for others and if you don’t have time to review websites to get reviews for your own website you can buy credits and that would cost 9$ for 5, 19$ for 15, 39$ for 30 reviews. They also run a referral program which enables you to earn credits by referring Criticue to people through your referral link.

The users at criticue come from different countries and backgrounds and everyone finds it helpful to get his or her website reviewed as it is an incredibly useful resource and it is almost invaluable to have a feedback about your website and design from others. With criticue you can keep on experimenting with new features and designs on your website and get first impressions from your peers at criticue as there is nothing as important as a first impression about a service. The reviews help you to get more perfect and clear to your customers. And you can have as many reviews about your websites as you want keep on making changes and submit your website for a review again and you would surely succeed one day as it is rightly said try, and try until you succeed.

  • The free critique community for startups and Web Designers – Criticue.com/ via @supermonitoring

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This website is the simplest and one of the most promising startups of the year 2013. I would love to use this service and hope you would too! Do let us know your views about Criticue in the comments too.

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