Screenshots Made Easy With ShrinkTheWeb (sponsored)
As a web designer, I’m always snapping screenshots of inspiring websites I come across, for personal documentation, or for client presentations. It’s a common practice for many designers, and if you’re grabbing more than a few quick screens, it can get rather time consuming. I’m always looking for ways to streamline my workflow, and ShrinkTheWeb has helped me do just that.
Shrink The Web gives you the ability to input multiple URL’s, and dynamically capture web screenshots, at custom sizes. No more navigating to multiple sites. No more manual screen capturing. And best of all, no need for manually resizing screenshots. Shrink The Web does it all for you.
But, it’s not only the ease of quickly capturing screenshots that Shrink The Web provides — it’s the number of added benefits that access to quality web screenshots can provide. As mentioned before, web screenshots can greatly streamline communication and enhance the design process, specifically in designer/client relationships. More often than not, I find myself in the situation where I’m needing to explain my design inspiration and concepts to a client, before actual comp work begins. In this situation, I usually turn to screenshots of existing websites, that represent the direction I’d like to take my client’s site. Creating mood boards, consisting of multiple web screenshots, is alway a great place to start, and usually gets conversation moving in the right direction. The use of strong visuals helps to strengthen concepts, and saves time on the designer’s end, allowing them to bypass preliminary mockups, simply meant for visual concept representation. In other words, why comp up an example site, when thousands of sites already exist that can be used as strong, conceptual examples, aiding you in your design process?
Moving forward, screenshots can provide a plethora of additional benefits. Another favorite of mine, is to use screenshots for comping purposes. I’m commonly asked to ‘redesign’ a client’s existing website (And by redesign, I mean mildly update the existing site.) In many instances, only a few elements on the page need redesigning, but still require a Photoshop comp, for development purposes. If you’re not the original designer of the, you may not have access to the original Photoshop files. And instead of recreating the entire site, in Photoshop, quality screenshots can easily be dropped in as templates, to fill the areas of the site that will remain unedited. Let me give you an example:
Say you’re updating multiple internal pages on a client’s existing website. And instead of recreating all of these pages, manually, in Photoshop, you’d like to take quality screenshots of each of these pages, sized to fit you’re Photoshop comp. Simply plug in the URL’s of the needed pages, and enter the pixel dimension of your comp. Shrink The Web will quickly produce your collection of perfectly sized screenshots, that can easily be dropped into your Photoshop comps.
These are only a few of the ways I use Shrink The Web — and I’m just one, lowly designer. There are literally, hundreds of uses for this tool. Another common use for Shrink The Web, is for generating web preview images. Quality website preview images can can be the difference between a new user, and someone bypassing your website. Shrink The Web even offers an automated service, that helps you maintain quality, up-to-date website preview images — completely removing the need for you to manual take screenshots, and update code.
Again, this is only one, additional use for this extremely handy web tool. Anyone from designers, to developers, to marketers and SEO experts can definitely find productive, time-saving uses and procedures, through enlisting the help of this awesome site. But don’t just take my word for it — check out Shrink The Web for yourself, and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of great uses, that can potentially save you time, money and your sanity.