Over the years I’ve seen a lot of different site and tools that want to help you be able to critique your web site designs and for none of them have been anything but a passing interest that I eventually delete. There is a new site I have found myself using quite a lot lately called SpurApp.com. It is a collection of 7 different different tools that help you look at and dissect your design in different and unique ways.
When you first come to the site you could easily mistake the lone text field for a search engine and I think this is one area where the site could really improve because you have to hunt for the button to tell you more about the site. You can either upload the URL of a live site or upload an image you would live to critique. The site takes a minute to load the image and then displays it with seven different tools you can apply to the design.
This does just what it says by taking the color out of the design which will help see if the areas of focus and hierarchy of the page will still hold up.
You can pull our guides like in Photoshop to help you see the grid your design is using, ensure consistent interaction points and see areas where you could tighten up those space to create a more compact design.
Bumping up the contrast of a design can help show what areas are really jumping off the page when someone first sees it.
We all know that people don’t read – they scan. By blurring the design it gives you a good sense of what stands out and what people will key in on when they just take a few seconds to scan down through your design.
By flipping the design over you get a sense of how your page feels without readable copy. Areas you might not expect can jump out at you, and misalignments become more obvious.
The traditional concept of the fold on a computer monitor is dying because of mobile and tablet devices so it’s valuable to see how your page holds up on its side, or upside down.
Here again your site may not always be viewed at the full size you designed it for how will it look when it shows up on the screen of an iPhone? It also helps you see if elements look balanced and if people are still be able to get the gist of what they’re seeing.