The folks at Silicon Valley design firm ZURB just launched a free Web app for tablets called Axe. Axe lets anyone with a tablet provide design feedback to websites by blacking out or highlighting page elements and entering text notes. Marked-up pages can be sent along to friends or site admins with an email address.
After going to Axe on a tablet browser, you can input any URL, and the page will be captured and loaded into the app while it shows you the simple controls. The page can then be manipulated and marked up using touch gestures and shared via email.
There’s no way to undo – you just have to shake or press ‘clear’ and start over – but since this is just for making quick design notes, that’s not a huge deal. Currently, the brush tools are only in black, so dark websites are kinda out of luck. It’s “like a Sharpie,” ZURB marketing lead Dmitry Dragilev says. “It’s easy to cross things out with a Sharpie.” But he adds that more colors are a future feature.
Here’s a demo video of Axe in action:
Spreading The Good Word of Design
ZURB has released a handful of free Web design apps, including Spur, which illustrates some basic subconscious principles of Web design; and Verify – a side-by-side testing suite to compare potential design elements. ZURB’s passion for spreading good Web design extends beyond free Web apps; it hosts an annual event called ZURBwired at which one lucky nonprofit gets a free 24-hour design party with the ZURB team.
Check out the video from this year’s ZURBwired event with winner Rebekah Children’s Services: