Sometimes completing a task in a new way spurs innovation. Whether you’ve got a laundry list of hacks you routinely use or you typically work by the book, try something fresh this month! When you work in any creative industry, being creative is your job. However, the need to be creative all day every day can take a heavy toll on your inspiration. If your designs have started to look like a signature template or you’re overwhelmed with orders, these shortcuts, tips, and tricks can help.
As a designer, you probably start with a sketch mock-up of the website first, right? Staring at that blank page while you wait for ideas to start popping up can seem intimidating. Sometimes you might even encounter the dreaded "designers’ block." In situations like this, working backwards can be helpful. Start with the endgame first. Build the design based on where the customer will end his or her journey. For example, is the goal the customer viewing the gallery or adding a product to his or her shopping cart? This will shape the navigability of the website and what elements of design should take priority.
The Post-it Trick
It's not uncommon to become overwhelmed with ideas. You're a designer; it's your job to be creative! Narrowing down those ideas is how you end up with a comprehensive and workable design, but that's easier said than done. Imagine fitting your design ideas onto a single Post-it note. This exercise will help you determine the most important aspects of your work. This is because the size of the Post-it note accurately represents the attention span of today's average web users. Remember, less is more.
Make Global Changes Easy
Using the asterisk as your CSS selector lets you quickly apply changes to everything on the website. This can be extremely helpful in the beginning stages of design when you're trying out different looks, fonts, or other elements. It's also a fantastic way to make site-wide changes if you've found a recent problem while doing a website health check. Just make sure to remove it before the code goes live.
See Changes Without Reloading
Isn't it a pain to make website changes only to reload the browser to see how they look? Well, now you don't have to. CodeKit is a remarkable new tool that lets you see browser changes right away without having to reload the page. It's especially helpful for Mac users, since reloading a browser can really cut into design time. CodeKit is a fine way to make sure you've complied with web design best practices without having to wait around for the page to load.
Resize Videos With One Click
HTML5 is a simple way to edit and embed videos, but you can still encounter issues with responsive sizing and areas where HTML5 isn't supported. FitVids is a jQuery plugin that allows videos to resize themselves seamlessly without losing quality or fluidity.
Create Palettes Like a Master Colorist
Just because you're a web designer doesn't mean you're a master of color schemes. Color is important to a website, but color theory is so nuanced that designing a color palette can sometimes eat up a lot of time. Luckily, there are plenty of apps available that take the guesswork out of combining colors. Apps like Adobe Kuler and Paletton let you choose a color from the color wheel. They will then display secondary and tertiary choices. You can see palettes for monochromatic or multicolor schemes.
Export Images Without Losing Quality
Web design and Photoshop go hand in hand, but occasionally, exporting an image from Photoshop to PNG can be a real pain. One classic trick is to export as an 8-bit PNG image. This reduces file size without compromising image quality.
However, this doesn't allow you to export transparent images. If you need the image to be transparent, use the plugin tool PNGQuant. It converts 24-bit and 32-bit images into a tiny 8-bit file but still lets you keep the transparency.
Design Beautiful Fonts Easily
Typography-based sites are still on-trend and are undeniably beautiful. However, no matter how simple they look, they can sometimes be a challenge to design. From building fonts to comparing font palettes and adjusting line lengths, font design can become pretty time-consuming.
Typecast, a relatively new design tool, allows you to design typography-based websites easily. What's more, it integrates with Google fonts. You select a font from Google fonts and click the link to visit the Typecast site. There you can make adjustments to the font, like weight, size, spacing, and line length.
Overdesign is the bane of the web design community, and it happens more often than you’d expect. It's easy to get carried away, adding too many elements, colors, or features to a website. In a time when minimalism is cherished, overdesign is an instant turn-off for viewers. How do you ensure you never cross the overdesign line?
Start with shades of gray. While using Photoshop, you can display your wireframe in grayscale. Once you've added photography and other elements, slowly add color, bit by bit. Start with the most important elements on the page. That way, you accent the important aspects without the risk of going overboard.
Make Rapid Prototyping a Breeze
Rapid prototyping is essential for getting your client on board and excited about your project. Did you know you don't need to use Photoshop to create rapid prototypes? Keynote is a rapid prototyping tool that works across an array of devices. It also has an active community of users who regularly contribute templates for all aspects of prototyping, from wire framing to testing apps.
Use Pinterest to Remember Your Favorite Elements
Pinterest isn't just for recipes and DIY inspiration. A lot of designers actually use Pinterest to create mood boards for future or current projects. It's like making a collage of your favorite designs and saving them for later, except they're much easier to retrieve.
The Pinterest mood board lets you save images, colors, patterns, samples, templates, layouts, fonts, and anything else that catches your eye. Next time you're stuck in a design rut, check your mood board for some fresh ideas.
Find Out What Pops on Your Site
You're nearing the end of your mockup process and you want to make sure the important parts really stand out. Here's a quick way to figure out the most prominent features of your design: take a few steps back from your computer and squint. This will make almost everything on the page blurry, and only the boldest, most attention-grabbing features will be noticeable. The average internet user has a very short attention span. When a visitor first lands on your website, he or she will quickly scan the page. This trick helps you see the website through your visitors' eyes and what elements are most likely to capture their attention.
Shortcuts and tricks like these take the mundane aspects out of design and let you focus on the fun parts. Design shouldn't be about tedious tasks and boring chores—it should be about creativity and fun. As you gain more experience, you're likely to find even more shortcuts that work for you and make your professional life a lot easier. Now get out there and start building some beautiful sites.
Getting ideas before setting about the task of writing a blog can be tough, especially when the topics are dull due to a boring business or industry that a blog writer is called upon to write for. Then the creative juices dry up and the writer is left fumbling for ideas to start writing the content. But the job has to be done and the means to get out of this ‘writers’ block’ has to be found. In this article I’ll examine some ways by which you can discover ideas for writing good content consistently even when the topics are uninteresting.
Flat design is the ‘in’ thing today. Discussions about its soundness are raging in the web design world and everyone in this vast field has something to say about it. Even design that’s not entirely flat is falling into this category. Therefore, as so much hype is surrounding flat design style, it’s imperative that we take a look at both its advantages and disadvantages.
Design style: Mobile applications that are simple stand to gain most from flat design. They can have the most striking flat interfaces/designs. There is no need to zoom to discover links as you have to just tap huge buttons. However, the flip side is that flat design may not be the best thing for complex web designs. Unfamiliarity with the interface style means users may not always know where to tap/click.
Trendiness: It’s trendy. It’s fun and it gets a lot of admiration. So what are designers waiting for? The outpouring of admiration from blogs and all-round recognition are motivation enough for the majority of them to get trendy with their designs. But wait a minute! Trends are, after all, fashions, and fashions come and go – they don’t last forever. Already flat designs was evolving from fully flat to ‘almost flat.’ The disadvantage of this style is that, like all trends, it may suddenly disappear.
Bright is beautiful: Sunlight, bright colors, almost everything bright signifies a feeling of happiness, and it’s the same with flat design. Lots of warm colors are used in a flat design website and they radiate a positive feeling. But many colors mean designers have to cope with the dilemma of matching them properly. And when the number of colors used goes up, the matter gets problematic. Color choice being a subjective issue, there is no real hard and fast rule for matching colors which may lead to difference of opinions among stakeholders.
Well-defined, clean: The beauty of flat design is that it’s clear-cut and clean. The sharpness and varied features result in a design that’s simple and clean. But many experts feel that its very simplicity may be a disadvantage. If it’s too simple it may be unable to put across a complex visual communication. Then, visual hierarchy becomes a matter of concern.
Terrific typography: Without the hassle of embellishments, proponents of flat design have great space to lay out great typography. They can use great type to make the text stand out and even become a decoration in itself. On the other hand, when it comes to typography you just cannot be content with half measures. Only the best will work and so you have to know exactly what the best font to select and what pairing will give you the finest result.
Uninspiring: Was the designer uninspired when he undertook that flat design work? Sometimes it may appear that this was so, that the designer was bored with the job. Flat design means ‘simplicity’ as well as ‘honesty’ so designers may sometimes have to hold themselves back to ensure that their creativity doesn’t go out of the boundaries of flat design. In flat design you have to restrain yourself. You have to suppress new ideas and fresh concepts to keep it really flat.
In summing up I can say that good design is all about usability and functionality. No one design can fit all web sites. Each one must be distinct in itself – like a good suit that’s cut and tailored for the man who’ll wear it. Flat design is in fashion. So right now it’s best to keep up with the trend.
Customers probably seek out for well-known companies like Apple. But, for companies depending on search to create traffic in addition to leads/sales, new, rich, relevant content is significantly crucial in the algorithms of search engines. Without content, a social media advertising technique is difficult to keep alive till the end, simply because only deals & contests can support social systems before the appeal gets jaded. Therefore, I'd say that the change to content advertising is certain for many companies and online branding has little to do with that transition. The actual truth is content advertising determines branding equally offline as well as online. Let's see what's the worth of personalization of social media today. Here we can go through the significance of blogging in the social media marketing advertising strategy.
Blogging is surely a major option! But, we also see some issues with just how consumers are blogging specifically applying microblogs in the form of social media sites or major blog sites as their stage for content advertising efforts. And that is clearly an issue since blogging websites allow it to be tougher to position effectively in natural search. More so microblogging does not give you richer content essential to operate traffic to your site and in turn sell to them. It shouldn't be your central advertising strategy.
Blogging may be the corner stone of one's social media marketing strategy. Companies generate more prospective leads once they integrate a blog. Blogging raises your client trust. Blogging is the most effective reason customers follow your company and promote your messages. Significantly more than half of visitors see your organization more positively while examining your content. 70% of customers get the consciousness of your company during this content advertising strategy.
While some people make use of a blog to generate income or counteract different charges, a lot of the bloggers I am aware of make use of a blog within their content advertising strategy to guide their business. Huge websites, like Mashable and TechCrunch, will make an income offering advertising room or performing affiliate advertising, but the majority of us make use of a blog to entice guests to the websites, construct relying associations with clients and prospects, and advise customers about different products. It is a primary component of our inbound advertising strategy. A blog may be the simple greatest component of any business. You'll need perhaps not need to go for cold calling or delivering arbitrary e-mails to prospects in the hopes of developing your business. Be a specialist in social media advertising to have a solid grip in analytics & marketing concepts for creating customers. And guess what? It certainly works.
Blogging enables you to get discovered
Without new, important, accessible content on your own site, it's significantly tougher to gain a position in a normal search. The Google algorithm contains parameters almost impossible to deal with without any content advertising strategy.
What exactly is your blog all about? It is important that your blog points to your audience the important things that covers issues for them. Which means keeping along with traits of Twitter and Facebook and submitting content that is fascinating, well-written, non-promotional, and covers client problems. You cannot put up any rubbish, unless it immediately pertains to your brand.
Do you think that your website development venture is not fulfilling your business goals? Do you think that your website is not providing enough sales leads from the past few months? Have you noticed any great downfall in web traffic to your website? Well, most of you might be knowing what I am going to suggest you, right? Of course, if your website suffers from all such issues, then website redesign is the only option that can help you overcome from all the issues and enhance your website performance ins search engines as well as help you get enough sales leads for your business.
But, what if you don’t have enough budget or fund to redesign your entire website? In the economic crisis, many small businesses or organizations can’t afford to redesign their entire website as it is quite an expensive task. So, how to enhance the look and feel of your website? Well, you or your website designer can easily give a new look to your website by following some simple tricks mentioned below.
We all know that the business case for doing user experience work in web & mobile designing & programming projects really pays off investing up front in making products easy to use. It improves, efficiency, effectiveness, and end user satisfaction while reducing project risk, cost, and time.
Behind an under-performing user experience effort into a web & mobile designing & programming there are many hidden factors like a lack of tools to the zombie apocalypse anything can inflict mayhem on your teams, also when UX folks aren’t able to communicate well, they can’t understand business, they aren’t team players, they have such a terrible body odor people stay away as much as possible.
Below are some of the very common organizational behavior patterns that make the best UX efforts ineffective.
Hiring wrong people
As lately the user experience is getting a lot of attention, UX has become the buzzword many want to add to their resumes. Although UX exists under different names the field has been around for several years and is fairly mature. People are generally cannot be considered to be at a professional level if they have done full-time UX work as their job for only two to three years. For finding a UX pro you should look for someone who displays excellent communication skills, a high level of empathy, and lots of curiosity.
A true UX pro won’t push her personal preference or opinion in web & mobile designing & programming & will try to prevent you to do that, instead she would like to go based on the user research, test data, heuristics and UI design patterns. Moreover, she doesn’t prefer to attach to her designs but will start from the scratch creating sketches, wireframes and multiple prototypes before going to a detailed level of the design.
If she is not UX pro she will start with interaction and visual design, but if she is indeed a UX pro she will begin with concepts, structure and information design then go further to interaction and visual designing. She should be interested in measurable success metrics not only verbal and use them to take design direction and test protocol. She also speaks for making something easy and also depicts how she will measure that how it is easy. These are some signs of true UX pro in web & mobile designing & programming.
You are preventing the right people from doing their work
It’s really great if you have just found out the best solid UX pro team and an existing project kicked off. But in many cases the same organization that values UX and hires us to do UX work is also is also knowable or unknowingly preventing the UX team’s success. There are plenty of reasons to do this and mainly the lack of management abilities to deal with technocrats successfully or sometime the rules of engagement which are deteriorating the efforts of the UX team to give its best work. Most of the time the organizations which are hiring a UX designer or a team definitely have financial and other resources to extend helping hand to the UX team but lack of knowledge or bureaucracy don’t let them to do for web & mobile designing & programming.
Initially to have stunning technologies and functional web or mobile software website or web application were enough to capture the market but with advances in technologies had nullified the feeling of something new to technology's effect and now users are becoming more and more smart and concentrated the good user experiences to choose the products. Thus this is the era of usability and user experiences. Among the all factors for good use experiences the performance of web and mobile software gaining momentum so the web and mobile software building is now performance oriented.
When you belong to the performance field and want your company to performance oriented for your website or mobile applications you need to create awareness among the members of your company who are concerned with this. If you are lucky and your CEO had recruited you to manage the performance issues your way is clean, but your company is not much interested then making the performance a priority in your organization is pretty challenging.
In order to make your company performance focused you need to start with the top level where these persons are the leaders of various groups or departments of the organization. This is important because you need to involve different sections in your performance campaign like engineers know that how to optimize the product so you can speak in terms of reducing the regressions and fewer outages with that folks and convince them. The UX team would like to hear about longer sessions, more sessions per month like user metrics and same the way finance team would be agreed to reduce operating costs in words of hardware, power consumption, data center bandwidth, etc.
Thus, involving various departments in your performance culture for effective web and mobile software building process would be beneficial so spread your words across the product management department. Marketing as well as sales department should not be spared here. This is easy if you can identify the key persons in these departments and can use right vocabularies for them.
If you speak in the language that how performance can improve the numbers of unique users from search engine marketing as a result of a faster website makes happy the marketing and sales persons. Therefore, using the terms that resonate with the department you are addressing is important.
To make more and more persons interested in your performance campaign you should carry out some detailed search on your web and mobile software building project and find out the useful stats and present them smartly drawing charts. Now your next step should be to pick a right product to focus on like the product that is in the list of top ten, but doesn’t catch the number one product since that is a cash cow for your organization and nobody would like to experiment with it.
Picking the right product alone is not important to assure success but the persons who work on the web performance optimization for a web and mobile software building project are more important so try to choose the team which can devote you more time and willing to help you so you need to revisit this team each time in the future.
After the months of efforts and dedicated work finally your website is ready and doing well over the search engines. You may feel proud of your web development venture, but certainly you have realized that your visitors are not taking any action even though your website ranks well and have every element of a successful website.
What could be the possible reasons for that? You may start reviewing your website to find out the main problem and what you have found is the poorly designed call to action by the website designer. No need to afraid of it, this happens many times in many web development ventures. There are many ways you can improve the effectiveness of the call to actions within your website design.
So, let’s check out some of the most useful ways through which you can enhance the call to actions within your website and make the users take action whenever they visit your website.
Following the above discussed guidelines or tips will definitely help you make the visitors to take action and enhance the conversion rate for your website.
In website and mobile app designing UX is at its heart. When you create a product with robust graphic designing and offering awesome usability you assure that the product will perform the tasks to help users to achieve their goals to reach at the desired products or services on the website or in the mobile app and you conduct a series of tests and based on finding you iterate the product on the best solution. But when you think of UX design you want to see that the users should be encouraged using product again and again with same enthusiastically as were before. At this point you will again run the user tests as you did in case of usability but this time your approach would be broader and metrics would be focused on the behaviors of the users not the comfort only.
The optimization is the center of the UX design, the optimization of the iteratively improved solution to a general problem. You have to think about the problems of the future users along with the present and learning through the past. Your duty is to spot the problems, define in your metrics, feel the pain it gives and create solutions to eliminate them-this is the highway to great UX designing in any website and mobile app designing project. If you want to stay on the right track of UX designing you’ll need a lot of empathy and analytical skills, because the tricky thing with problems is that the difficulty in defining them even if they trouble us.
Alex Osterwalder has explained an amazing method of describing any business idea: the Business Model Canvas (BMC), in his great book Business Model Generation. This method revolves around the Unique Value Proposition where a single, clear sentence describing the way you’re different from your competitors and why you’re worth buying and the canvas depicts your idea, key partners and resources, and your model of revenue.
But you may think that how it all is connected to user experience design into a website and the mobile app designing project. Let’s go in depth of the UX where we are taking care of the whole product and its end-to-end experience is what we’re aiming at. A BMC template at other hand enables you to grasp the whole product in one place and understand at a glance both the business and users’ side and this is the thing we are doing in the formation of UX strategy therefore it is absolutely crucial for a UX designer.
As a website and mobile app designing person we can’t separate us from the business model of the product as we are designing for a business itself not for us or for our satisfaction to show our technical or designing capabilities. Therefore, at the end of the day we have everything needed to see our design or product at the business side of the product where we need a success to get some bucks not only verbal awards otherwise it will prove a big waste of time for you and for your client's money. Therefore, a Business Model Canvas template in your website and mobile app designing model is crucial and inevitable as we have to make it part of our process and our users often use a BMC as a basic description of just about any project.
When BMC is more focused on a product and its users it is a Lean Canvas, created by Ash Maurya to describe Product and Market. Both a Business Model Canvas (BMC) and a Lean Canvas should be used as a collaborative tool to encourage your team to discuss canvases and question all your assumptions every repeated effort in every project of website and mobile app designing. The great UX design stands upon efficient collaboration.
In first part we defined that what is situational performance optimization and taking that further we will evaluate the traits of the situational performance optimization.
Sometimes web developers can’t be enumerating by every possible variable but we can try to identify the primary ones. To get us started down this path below is a list of common traits that can truly affect performance. I tried to give an example for each of those of what Situational Performance Optimization could mean for it.
The most important thing to remember is that no all the sites are same. Some of the sites are visually light, while some are extremely complicate. Some websites regularly keeps on updating and changing while some are just static. Some of the sites out there have independent pages, while the rest of the other just use self-modifying page.
Every 6 weeks Firefox & Chrome ship new versions while some old browsers retain for somewhat long. Let’s take a very common example; most still support IE 7 while some sites deprecated IE 6 support and the 6-years-old IE 8 still accounts for over 15% of web traffic. Mainly the older versions of the browsers lame web developers’ ability to use data URIs, CSS media queries and the like, resulting in less optimized pages for all clients. It has been seen that some browsers introduce new capabilities and that we want to tap into. With recent examples in case of Chrome such as pre-render and WebP image format, what it is good if all rest of the browsers follow these trends!
It’s an undeniable fact that is never going away is that some networks are awesome, and others make web developers want to pull your hairs out. Treating a new Google Fiber link same as a poor reception cellular connection or a congested Starbucks Wi-Fi network makes no sense. Reduce image quality when the latency of the connection is bad. High quality images improve the user experience. Sometimes under certain conditions even your designers would agree they hurt more that it can be bearable.
Today most of the web developers are optimizing for a clean cache scenario. For the vast majority of measurement tools today cache is the default option – and sometime you have only one as simulating a “correct” cache state is really very tough. There’s little advice around how to optimize your cache, particularly when cache is not scriptable and this is become awkward when you are using your cached performance. I believe there’s a lot that can be done if we put our minds to it while browser cache is not scriptable. At the least move all uncacheable at the bottom of the page or make them sync.
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