Putting your plans on the page
We can't all be Leonardo DaVinci, but with today's assortment of design software, we don't have to be.
Design software encompasses a variety of applications – fashion design software, interior design software, graphic design software and Web page design software, just to name a few. In a broad sense, design software is any program used to plan the creation of an object, whether it's a Web page, a poster, a wedding gown or a house.
In the case of Web design software, functionalities generally include an HTML editor and photo or image editing capabilities. Some slightly more advanced applications also include a Flash developer for creating dynamic, interactive media features, and support other features such as email and basic ecommerce tools (e.g., PayPal). These packages tend to be ideal for small or home-based businesses.
Larger businesses in need of greater ecommerce capabilities (such as shopping cart software) will probably need high-end, professional-grade Web design software. Though expensive, this software recognizes several programming languages and can support advanced interactivity on a Web page or website. However, the sophistication of the software generally requires extensive programming expertise to use it.
For the average user, the most common "design" project is photo editing, so good photo editor software is probably all that's needed. Photo software lets you import, edit, organize and share photos. Generally, photos are uploaded directly from a digital camera or a camera's memory card; however, some photo software also works with a scanner so that you can convert prints into digital files for editing.
Homeowners looking to renovate or those hoping to build their dream home may wish to invest in home design software. Depending on the complexity of the program, this software allows you to design and walk through a 3D version of your home. Even at its most basic, home design software converts measurements and estimates costs, keeping you on plan and on budget.
The key to choosing design software of any kind is to ensure that it performs the tasks you need it to, is compatible with any required hardware and is easy for you to install and use. As with many other types of software, you can try downloading software demos or take advantage of free trial periods and money-back guarantees to test a particular software package before you buy. Once you've chosen a program, spend some time getting acquainted with it, and then let your imagination run free.