I love playing with new ideas and always want to test things out quick. However, new projects always demand more time and energy. Creating the right graphics, finding the correct keywords, gauging user interest are all easier said than done. As I was working on creating resources for a new app , I realized that I use a small sets of tools/websites for pretty most of my projects. These are the resources I share the most when someone is looking to get started on a new project.
This has clearly been my favorite site/tool in last couple of years. This user friendly and versatile graphic design tool as been my go to place for almost any project. I have created anything from app icon to logo, Facebook ads, presentations, book covers, and flyers. I have an idea or image of something beautiful I want to create, but when I actually sit down to create , it is far from the image I have in my head. However, Canva simplifies this for me with their templates for almost any kind of graphics I need. Most of Canva’s features are free but I pay for the premium service for the ease of being able to resize a graphic to any size I want.
I came across Unsplash couple years ago when I was looking for some stock photos and for a long time I could not believe it was for real. Both Unsplash and Pixabay have amazing quality photos for almost every need that are 100% free to use. Pixabay also has vectors and illustrations that are free to use, with an option to buy some paid ones alongside. Unsplash is definitely my go to place when I am looking for an image. I have struggled at times to medical or scientific images, but other than that the section is phenomenal. In fact, if you look at medium, majority of the blog header images are from Unsplash. Attribution is not necessary but recommended, and I happily do it. I also contribute some of my relevant images to the site so we can continue to grow this amazing site.
This is a place I go to check for demand and competition anytime I have a new Idea I want to explore. I like being able to see number of searches for a certain term and competition to gauge market interest. This is also nice when I am working on something of a regional interest as Keyword tool has the option to narrow the search by geography.
Google adwords and Facebook ads
Finally I used both google adwords and Facebook ads to quickly get feedback on a project from an unbiased audience as well as gauge user interest. Additionally, for an app, I run both google and FB ads to quickly get some downloads and use firebase analytics to start collecting data on how users are using the app and optimize. I realize that paid advertising might not be for everyone, but is an amazing way to get quick feedback. For example, If I had an idea for a new subscription business, let’s say spice of the month club. Before I put in a lot of time and money into the business, I could spend $100 worth of ads to drive traffic to a landing page and see if users are willing to pay. This could be anything from taking people to a email list to a survey to an actual checkout cart that has all the steps except the final pay button. For apps, I have noticed that driving traffic early helps the app get listed on new and coming lists and drive further traffic as well as quickly testing what is working and not.