Excerpts from October 2013 Medium.com post titled My Web Design Workflow on Chrome OS - How to Build the Internet from the Internet
I’ve been meaning to get this off my chest for a while: my main computer is a Chromebook.
As a web designer, I spend most of my time in a browser anyway, so getting used to Chrome OS wasn’t too much of a stretch for me. Just about everything I do requires an internet connection anyway, why not live entirely in the cloud? There’s tons of great tools out there on the Chrome Web App store and on the open web. Nearly every desktop app has a perfectly capable web-based alternative, with more emerging every day.
Here’s a quick rundown of what tools I use on Chrome OS:
I use ShiftEdit. It’s awesome and I don’t use it anywhere near its full potential. It’s a full-fledged, browser-based IDE. You can access files from FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3 and edit them directly on the server. It even has it’s own revision history (if you pay a little).
This is the general theme of Chrome OS. Everything is accessible everywhere at all times. Being free of local storage and settings is liberating.
For a simple, browser-based wireframing tool, I venture outside the Chrome Web App store for Wireframe.cc. It’s damn good. It’s not going to deliver the level of precision and detail you’d get using Axure, but it’s great for roughing out a quick sketch of a page. It’s very extremely minimal, but intuitive and straightforward.
I’ll admit, this is one place where Chrome is currently seriously lacking. Fortunately, my workflow rarely necessitates firing up a photo editor. In a pinch, I’ll use Pixlr Editor. For simple image editing, it gets most jobs done.
Though this is one situation where I’d go back to my desktop and fire up Fireworks or Photoshop.
I can’t work without music. Luckily Spotify’s web player is pretty damn great. It’s got all the functionality of the native app, but with a browser-based UI. The custom UI is actually pretty interesting, huge departure from the app. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
This thing came with 100gb of Google Drive free (which covers the cost of half the Chromebook), which is so well integrated into the OS that you don’t even realize it isn’t local storage. This is a huge perk as I’m currently storing literally all of my working files in there and have access to everything from everywhere.
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