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16 Design Ideas for Student's Dorm


dorm decor

Nothing entirely comes close to the excitement of packing off to campus for the first time, and it gets even better once you realize that you now have your private space-with no parents around!

Unfortunately, though, university bedrooms are not a sight to behold. Not only are most of them dull, but also unfavorably drab. Nonetheless, don’t let it dim the light of your spark! With a few easy tips, you can transform your otherwise dull dorm into a stylish and dashing new abode in no time!

Below are some easy hacks to decorate your student dorm room and make it picture worthy.

  1. Light it up!

What is perhaps among the easiest ways of making your room extra cozy is the use of fairy lights in brightening up your space. For more adventure, you can go with neon lights. With the fairy lights, you can drape them around your room or use them to hold up photographs with pegs.

  1. Create your own deadline board

It is no brainer that as a student, you have a lot of things to remember including exam dates, essay deadlines, and even class hours. Even so, while you could have your room stacked with post-it notes, you can go the relatively neater option of creating a deadline board.

  1. Customize your bookshelf

If you only get a little more creative, you can transform virtually anything to hold your possessions. For instance, you can modify a small stepladder to a delightful storage feature with some attention and love. If you have a bookshelf with a plain panel, you can customize it by adding some of your photos into the empty spaces behind your books.

  1. Don’t forget your drawer space

Simple, innovative measures can transform your drawer space to make it look both attractive and organized. You can take dividers for instance and quickly spice up a sock or underwear drawer instantly.

  1. Make your own removable wallpaper.

dorm design

While this one sounds quite ridiculous, take a moment and understand what it means for you. Word is that you can create temporary wallpaper by using just plain fabric sheets and liquid starch. Imagine that! Surprisingly, all you need to do is pick your favorite material (choose a wacky color) and get a sponge roller to stick it up using the liquid starch! Luckily for you, in case you need to move out, all you need to do is peel it off!

  1. Poke holes in lamp shades

dorm design

You can personalize virtually anything-including plain lampshades. Once you poke holes in the lampshades, you can project any pattern you wish across your room.

  1. Make your own headboard

While it is exciting to get a room on campus, the disappointing thing is that you can have an awfully dull bed staring at you once you arrive there. However, if this is the case, you can create your own headboard to give it a light touch of personality. Luckily, all that is required of you is to make a trip to the closest hardware outlet and pick up a plank of wood. You can decorate this plank with fabric, light, or anything else you fancy.

  1. Use a Washi Tape on Everything…

If you don’t know what a Washi Tape is, it is a remarkable Japanese masking tape which is not only reusable but also removable!  These characteristics render it suitable for numerous diverse roles including creating removable wallpaper, design photo frames, not to mention what is perhaps the most captivating functions, creating pineapple-themed wall art!

  1. Spice things up with cozy cushions

Spice up your bed by pilling up some cozy, patterned, and colorful cushions on it. Any cushions with quirky or eccentric design or slogan cushions can spark some life to your bed area. You can also get adventurous with shapes, prints, or even sizes which contrast against your bedding to make your space pop up with a remarkably cozy bed! You can check out Etsy for these and much more selections to suit any student room.

  1. Personalize your hangers

dorm design

If your room has an open wardrobe that features a visible hanging rail, the whole setup can look quite messy in an instance especially if you are using a load of mismatched hangers. Alternatively, you can decide to purchase a set of relatively cheap hangers and proceed to tailor them to match your room. You can add sequins, and either spray paint them with gold to a chic touch or cover them with fabric.

  1. Add some greenery

While there is nothing much to this little trick, adding some plants across your room is a simple way to spark some life into your room. What’s more, this trick comes with a surprising assortment of health benefits such as making the air cleaner as well as enabling you to study better (for real!). Jade plants, rubber trees, not to mention rubber trees are some few examples of simple to maintain plants you can start with.

  1. Paint your own rug

One of the simplest ways to land a personalized, unique rug is just to paint one. You can find an assortment of cheap rugs in thrift shops as well as numerous other secondhand outlets which you can use. However, for the best results, go for one with a relatively low pile.

  1. Use your furniture to break up space

If your room is a studio apartment, it can give you problems thinking about how to work on the open space. However, there is a simple fix to it! You can make use of your furniture pieces to establish different ‘zones.' As a first, you can set up your working desk along the living room side to separate the living room from your sleeping area. There are multiple ways you can do it… Be sure to visit Houzz to get some inspiration or

  1. Make your desk a creative hub

As you will discover from various sources and surveys, college life is quite a buzz and crucial, and the load you get in school in order to enroll can be so enormous that it’s difficult to keep up. That' why students turn to numerous online essay writers who can get your assignment done for you with ease and on time.

Nonetheless, this is not to say that you still can’t invest in a desk to do your research or review your custom essay.  If you have a desk in your dorm room, it does not hurt to make this place worth sitting at. You can spruce up the desk area with photos, colorful lanterns, or even plants. If you want to attach items to your room wall, you can try the UHU white tack as it doesn’t leave any stains.

  1. Switch your handles

Are you fed up of the fittings which came with your dorm room? If so, there are numerous easy ways you can follow to spice up things a little bit. To start with, you can unscrew handles on old furniture such as your drawers and screw in some new ones of your choice. The options are unlimited, but be sure to put back the old handles once your tenancy is over to avoid getting in trouble!

  1. Organize messy wires

It is no brainer that you, of course, have a phone, or even a tablet and a laptop…right? Each of these gadgets needs to charge regularly. With such a tangle of wires, it is very easy for the electronic cables to pile up and become unsightly. However, we have a solution to it; create your own charging station. It is surprising how easily things get tidier without all these wires entangled around the room.

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Lighting Colour And The Effect On Our Sleep


lamp shade

Sleep is one of the most important activities that we engage in and it’s essential to ensuring optimal health. Lack of sleep can compromise your ability to perform even the most basic mental functions like focusing on a task or processing thoughts clearly. That’s why it’s paramount to not only focus on the quantity of sleep but on the quality as well.

According to experts, light exposure can have a tremendous effect your body’s internal clock. This is what makes us feel sleepy when it’s dark and energized when the suns out. New research suggests that it’s not just the presence or absence of light that affects our circadian rhythm, but the color of that light as well.

This might explain why we feel a certain way when we see a beautiful peachy sunset or the blue light emanating from our electronic devices.  Read on to find out how lighting color can affect your sleep.

 

Blue Light

It’s a well-known fact that the blue light coming from our laptops and smart devices can have a detrimental effect on our circadian rhythm. That’s because it suppresses the body’s ability to produce melatonin and this gives rise to problems like insomnia and restlessness. That’s also why we tend to have a harder time falling sitting in front of a laptop or smartphone screen.

The PLOS Biology journal published a 2015 study which was aimed at understanding how mice responded to light color exposure. What makes this study unique is the fact that it focused on the effect of light color on suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is the part of the brain that regulates time through chemical signals. As such, the researchers checked the mice’s mental and physical chemical reactions to light color changes.

During the research, the mice were exposed to different levels of light intensity and darkness while measuring their suprachiasmatic nerve signals. To achieve this, the researchers used a “fake sky” setup, kind of like in the Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show. The researchers also tested the mice’s response to different light colors like the purples and peaches that you get during sunrises and sunsets.

The data showed that the mice reacted normally to regular light exposure. However, the response of their suprachiasmatic nerve signals showed a 30 minute delay whenever they were exposed to conditions that went from light to dark without any changes in color hue. This is like working on your laptop all night and being exposed to its blue light and then suddenly switching it off without any sort of transition light color.

This research also shows us that the mice actually needed changes in light color to help them transition from light to dark. So the intensity and color of light has a strong correlation to our sleep patterns because science has shown us that there is a strong link between humans and mice in terms of suprachiasmatic nerve signals.

It’s also interesting to note that LED light bulbs may affect our ability to fall asleep because they emit more blue light than other light bulbs. But, according to the Elektra lighting design team, light fittings with specially engineered LED light can actually facilitate better sleep by emiting a unique amber glow.

 

Rectifying the Problem

The good news is that there are certain methods that we can apply to correct the problems caused by blue light exposure. The most obvious solution is to work on drastically reducing your exposure. This is understandably difficult for anyone living in the 21st century because we conduct most of our lives through a screen interface.

But, even if you can’t eliminate the use of blue light emitting screens during the day, you may do so at night. Try and read a book instead of looking at your cellphone, resist the urge to check emails or texts before bedtime, and avoid watching TV for at least two hours before you sleep.

If you can’t completely avoid blue light exposure at night, then wear orange tinted sunglasses while looking at the screen to reduce its effects on your biology. Orange tinted glasses help to block the blue light, thus making it easier to fall asleep afterward.

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Top 5 VR Designing Software


As we mentioned in our previous article, the thing with VR software is that everybody has a preference and each company is developing new features every day. Here are top picks from designers around the world, and some of their main features.

 

1. Unity 3D

 

Researching many different tools, Unity still stays our number one for all purposes - gaming, real-time film, architecture. If you are already familiar with C# or JavaScript, scripting with Unity will be easy to adapt to and prototype your virtual reality apps real quick. There is a large community built around Unity technology and your design is easy to export to any platform you want.

 

2. Forge

 

Developed by Autodesk, Forge represents a great platform with team management features. Their great toolkit enables you to merge your design with engineering and enable you tools such as Model Derivative API, Reality Capture API and many more.

 

how to make an amazing VR experience

 

3. SketchUp

 

This modeling application was developed by Google, with excellent tutorials to get everyone to model basics quickly. This is an absolute winner for beginners, to get you used to the language quickly before you move on to modeling on some more professional platforms. There is a free trial for this software, so see for yourself.

 

4. Blender

 

Blender is a perfect example of what you can move on from SketchUp, although you can also dive into it straight away. Blender is open source and free for all, which makes it favorite for many developers. This software uses Python and it is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac. Another great advantage is the ability to export your work in many different formats, including a format for JanusVR with a free open source plugin FireVR.

 

5. Unreal Engine UE4

 

UE4 is the main competitor to Unity 3D, also a leading gaming software with many integrations, wide store, and good support. It is comparably good as Unity, although some say the results are much more realistic and with better navigation. Unreal Engine also allows you to export to various formats, although not as much as Unity.

 

which VR software to use

 

These are our current top five picks of software to design an awesome virtual reality. Their abilities range based on their target groups - some are more basic like SketchUp, and some way more advanced like Unity 3D and UE4. What software do you prefer for designing and modeling virtual reality? What are the most important features for you, how important are the learning materials and the community?

 

Tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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Which Software Should I Use For Designing Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality is a trend with exponentially-growing popularity. The possibility to experience 3-dimensional environment from the safety of your home, either to explore a game Universe or to test a product, and travel far, yet staying in one place, is a fantasy or a dream that is soon becoming available for all of us.

 

VR applications

VR is finding its applications mostly in the gaming industry, but also in architecture, where prototypes of the whole cities can be built virtually, explored from every perspective and painted up - ready to go on the construction office desk. VR software comes useful to almost every other industry as well; imagine if the test market is offered a possibility to test your product virtually before buying it - the time and money that virtual prototype would save you!

 

VR software

VR software often comes with a variety of features enabling the developers to create a full virtual experience in one place. Tools which have the feature for content management allow you to upload a 3D model to add to the VR experience or an existing VR content to the platform. These platforms let you store and manage your content before publishing. Among the most popular content management systems for VR is Contentful, which is a must for many VR professionals.

 

VR experience

The development of 360 cameras is enhancing the VR experience, giving you the genuine experience of the atmosphere and better space orientation. This reality is sometimes upgraded with other tools such as gloves which even enable you to feel the sensation of touch in the virtual world. Top products for VR development are Virtual Reality on Steam, Google Scale and Forge. Some experts use popular Vimeo360 to upload and watch 360 videos. Steam is often a good choice if you want to try it out for free, but their paid plans are well-oiled to satisfy hardcore gamers, which says it all, really.

 

If you are really into designing games, there are game engine products on the market which are among the most innovative software in information technology today. Most popular among these are 3ds Max Design, Unreal Engine, Maya, and as we already mentioned in the previous article, Unity - a top-notch fastest developing software for creating the universe that gathers everything you love in one place.

 

Since virtual reality is only at its rise and tech is developing almost too quickly to follow, there is new software on the market every day. Every designer has a preference, and it is hard to tell which ones are "top 5" for designing a reality. However, we will try to look at some features that we like and some that we don't so much, in our next article.

 

Do you have a preference? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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The Beauty of Playing and Game Design


The carefree moments of playing and living in a world of our own abstract creation are essential to every childhood. Playing is how we discover the world, how we get to know ourselves, how we interact with others. Playing is our way of experimenting, pushing the limits, breaking the borders, learning about love, friendship, resilience, pain, ethics, everything that matters in the human world.

 

As we grow older, we have less time to discover, relax, or investigate something in depths. We no longer just take our time to grab a metal bar, swing it around pretending it’s a lightsaber, while not paying attention to a chandelier above our heads that we will smash to pieces in a minute (guilty!). This is why we like to be introduced to games from time to time, games designed to project our brain into a different reality, the one we are no longer creating actively ourselves as we once did when we were children.

 

Designing a game is an art form on its own - it is a beautiful combination of designing a visual space and making it interactive and user-friendly. Game design merges a variety of knowledge about psychology, aesthetics, mathematics, social phenomena and the process of learning, and it creates an art piece which communicates and develops different parts of the human brain.

 

Game design implies creating a set of rules and goals, with many challenges on a journey to reach the goals. Each set defines a game, be it board game, role-playing game, dice game, card game, sport, war game, casino game, video game, or a simulation of a life segment that brings different outcome from interaction with the player. Depending on what we are designing our game for - different aspects of the game are in our main focus. A game which has a goal to educate will focus more on the strategy and iterative decision-making, while Googles dinosaur just goes on and on until you're back online.

 

Games offer us an inexhaustible way to learn about human behavior, psychology, and sociology, but also discover more about the way our brain cells are connected (The Stanford Prison Experiment might not be the best example). It is scientifically interesting what impact video games have on the minds of those who play them, and scientists confirmed that some abilities such as orientation, pattern-shaped memory and sense of time are more developed among people who play more video games.

 

If you are thinking of becoming a game artist, as a designer you will have an opportunity to help create a new world, starting with choosing and designing the figures, board, cards, or drawing a storyboard for a video game. Designing games can teach you how to use narrative elements and storytelling for game plots, visualize many different storylines and challenge your designing skills, especially if you dive into video game design.

 

What is truly revolutionizing the video game industry today is a rapid development of virtual and augmentative reality software and technology. This tech is giving us more possibilities by month, enabling us to discover games which are placing the game features into our own bedroom, able to turn your home into an escape room - and all you need is a pair of lenses. The world we grew up with is struggling to catch up with this fast technological evolution, and all over the sudden - sci-fi features are not so sci-fi anymore.

 

using VR in Game Design

 

Virtual reality is yet to be exploited as an art tool, and many contemporary creators are theoretically exploring the possibilities for virtual galleries, theaters, and concerts. The important focus of their research is that VR lets you enjoy the art piece without distractions, but also without collective empathy of the audience. But, more importantly, VR can sustain more interactive art, which is turning art into a game with an unlimited number of participants.

 

The gaming industry is growing bigger every day, expanding the variety of tools which are built for the sole purpose of gaming. If you have an urge to explore, and start designing life-changing stories which the users can experience with all of their senses, here is our recommendation for where you can start.

 

Unity 3D is the leading 3D engine which is super friendly to new users enabling you to learn how to use it fast, and very strong to satisfy you when you progress into a reality designing expert. This software is completely free for every game-builder and with a little help from GoogleVR plugin you can create your first game in just five minutes, and play it on both IOS and Android.

 

It is a fun and creative way to spend your afternoon, and you can learn something new every day. The only technical equipment you would need for this is a VR headset, which is now easily available for everyone.

 

If you are not so much into the virtual world, there is a large field of designing board games and card games (in fact, this industry makes the biggest capital on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter), which is worth exploring and playing with. One thing is absolutely certain - game design has a great impact on the development of our society. Maybe you can be the change we want to see in the world?

 

Sources: Unity 3D, Mind Field, Instructables, Pergamon Press

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

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Top 5 Online Video Editors


If you are not a professional video editor, you might find high-quality complex editors for movie makers a bit overwhelming. If you need to make a short trailer or your promo video, and you are looking for a simple, free and quick solution, then it is great news for you that there is some great video editing software online. Here, we are suggesting our top five choices.

 

top free online video editors

 

 

 

Movie Maker Online is a very simple and elegant solution, easy to use by the "drag and drop" principle. It offers you a choice of filters and effects to edit your footage, as well as a library of audio samples and images that you can use for free.

 

The downside on Movie Maker Online is that it runs on ads, which might be annoying, especially as it requires from you to disable your ad-blocker.

 

 

 

This is a super basic editor, which you might use for trimming and cropping your video, as well as to adjust brightness, color balance etc. Specific for Clipchamp is that it edits the video file directly on your computer, so there are no limits in file size and no need to upload anything online.

 

Clipchamp offers you the free, premium or business plan, depending on how fancy your needs are.

 

 

 

WeVideo is among the most popular ones out there, as it is so easy to use that you can edit videos directly from your phone. Its interface is very elegant and it lets you do fancy experiments such as voiceover, animation, and others.

 

WeVideo storages your footage on the cloud and free version allow up to 1GB and videos of 480p resolution. Free WeVideo, when downloaded, leaves a watermark in the corner of your video.

 

 

 

This lovely platform helps you not only to edit your video, but also to understand it better. It will give you a detailed analysis of the resolution, frame rate, codec, and bit rate. It also saves your video in any format you prefer.

 

The downside of this platform is that supports about 600MB of footage, so this gives you a lot of freedom with short videos.

 

 

 

This powerful software is going to charm you with a great design and how quickly you will learn your way around with it. Just upload your video, add the soundtrack and you are good to go for your social media followers.

 

How did you like our choice? What is your preference? Tell us in the comment section below.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

 

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Choosing The Right Font


One of the biggest challenges in designing a brand, for me, is without a doubt - choosing the perfect font. We get on well in terms of shapes, colors, intonations, volumes, images to back up our brand, but we often underestimate the role of fonts in our presentation of ourselves.

 

And when we get to it - the step often seems impossible to finish. There is an absolute infinity when it comes to choices we are offered, and even then we trouble even selecting the right type of font to begin with. Why are some fonts better than others, some more expensive, and what do they really say about us to the large audience - that is what we will try to reveal by observing these four types of fonts.

 

Serif

 

Serif stands for a bit conservative and traditional font type. It is frequently appeared in newspapers and books, while designers seem to avoid this type of fonts because it is not the most readable one. This, however, was an obstacle that high quality screens easily overcame, bringing serif back in the game. Serif font is easily recognizable by its divots on the end of the letters. These can be different from font to font, and although serif is more readable on the screen, it is not nearly as used as the sans font types, or their hybrid sans serif.

 

This font is best used for the body of the text, good to pair with a sans serif font, and not recommended in large amounts - except if you want your text to have that old-fashioned look.

 

Sans Serif

 

Sans serif is a much simpler font type than serif, and this doesn't make it dull - it rather gives it the elegance and sense of fashion, and there is a lot to experiment with these fonts. There is a reason why this font type has been dominating the visuals online, and this is mostly because of its simplicity and the fact that it is super easy to read. With different fonts from this type you can make any statement you'd like - there are tall, thick, stretched versions of the fonts among which you can find the absolute perfect one for your brand. Even when we are talking about a font of this type that is often used, you can most certainly still match it with your identity.

 

It is great for the text body, but also for your brand name. Take precautions when choosing very thin or tall fonts, because of its readability. Best part about this type is that you can match them with any other font type you choose. My personal favorite from this family is Roboto.

 

Script

 

Now, this font type gives you the chills as if you have just received a hand written letter. And just like a real letter, besides the emotion flow, they are very difficult to read. This is why these fonts are the least common in the design world. The impression this font is giving to the reader, and the emotional connection it is establishing, may often come across as a feminine writing style. But, nonetheless, this font is also messy and it is not recommended to be used in a text block.

 

old type

 

It makes good few words, titles, brand names (arts and crafts frequently rely on these fonts), it gives your website the special ingredient. It is well combined with sans serif, just like the others.

 

Slab

 

Emerging from a serif typeface, slab has become an independent font type, referring to any other type with powerful thick stroke weights on the letters. This font type came in well when it comes to big headlines and this typeface is your expert on getting attention and focus of the consumer. In small amounts, this font is perfect for advertisement, but also for the news headlines - it shouts out the message and it sticks with the readers.

 

This aggressive approach is your choice if you are dedicated to marketing of your product/brand, and seeking to attract more consumers and attract them fast. These funky fonts can be used nicely in design when combined with photos - they are bold and there is a lot of space to be filled in the body of the letters. They are well combined with sans serif or serif for the text body.

 

 

There are four main types of typefaces, and they work best together if combined well. It is important to think about combining two different font types - one for the headline and one for the body. This achieves a great effect of highlighting the important headlines, but it is not confusing for the eye as they are not similar, not from the same family of fonts. My personal advice would be to figure out which body type you would like to have in your text, and then go from there - find another typeface that will match your base font. Now, these recommendations, rather than rules, are here to guide us into the right direction, where we can experiment and discover ultimate perfect combos ourselves. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite font combinations? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

Author:

Nina Petrov | @fusion_writer | www.ninapetrov.com

 

 

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Matching Your Bed to Your Decor


Creating the perfect living space is a smart balance of colour and coordinating furniture and the bedroom is no exception. Your bedroom should be the perfect space for relaxing and sleeping and therefore should get something of a priority when it comes to decorating. There is nothing relaxing about trying to sleep in a mishmash of colour and clutter, so it is time to take control and get your bedroom up to scratch. Bed SOS has some great ideas for making sure your bedroom is the perfect space.

Decide on a Theme

There are lots of great themes for the bedroom but remember that colour can change the mood. Bright and acidic colours are perfect for living spaces but as a bedroom can make it hard to switch off and relax. Softer, muted colours work well in a bedroom with perhaps a splash of brightness on a feature wall. So, your first challenge is to pick your colours. Blues, purples, cream and chocolate all work well in a sleeping environment. You could opt for plain walls, and patterned curtains and duvet cover or vice-versa but again there is an argument for keeping it chilled and mellow as loads of patterns and colours can send the brain into overdrive and make it much harder to sleep.

Pick a Bed

In most rooms, the bed will be one of the most significant pieces of furniture. Certainly, in a room with a kingsize bed, you are looking at a large bed that can either make or break the whole look and feel of the room. There is such a wide selection of bed bases on offer that you have scope to really personalise and set the scene. Wooden bed frames tend to be more imposing that metal so if space is a premium you might want to consider opting for the latter. A divan bed is designed for practicality, and often they are not the best looking, but these can be hidden with valance sheets. Bed makers are getting on board with the idea of using the bed to make the internal decor work better, and therefore you will find a range of coloured beds in various finishes. Velvet beds have enjoyed a run of popularity and feature upholstered frames in a variety of colour to give the room an opulent look.

Consider Storage

The other useful features of many bed frames are the storage they offer, so as well as finding the colour and style of bed that best compliments your decor, have a think about storage. Whether you opt for an ottoman bed or one with drawers you can really make a room look bigger by removing clutter into the storage offered by the bed. This gives you space to store clothing or other things that you struggle to accommodate, and the room look is not impeded in any way. With so many different styles and colourways on offer finding the perfect bed to match the colour scheme of your room should prove to be a fun and enjoyable activity.

 

 

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What Your Customers Want From Your Company this Year


The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to set goals for your company and make decisions on where to invest your time and money. Satisfied customers come back to your business in the future and tell others what they love about your brand. Figuring out what your customers want builds your business on multiple levels.

In a study of consumers, researchers learned customers value a positive experience so much that by the year 2020, customer experience (CX) will become even more important than price and product features in highlighting some brands as consumer favorites.

CX is made of intricate layers and hard to define. Below are six key things customers want more of from brands they patronize.

1. Get Personal

The world becomes more impersonal every year. If you phone a company, a computer offers responses. If you go to a grocery store, a machine checks you out. However, even though more and more things are automated, people want a personalized experience that applies specifically to their needs.

Your first step toward a more personalized experience is understanding your target audience and their pain points. However, you should also target language, offers and customer service based on each customer. Search engines offer information such as the customer's regional location, and social media informs you of their interests.

Coca-Cola has a Share-a-Coke campaign that offers personalized coke bottles with a variety of names. Name Cokes are in stores, but you can also order a Coke with a specific name or saying through their website. Offering a product with your name on it is the height of personalization. Your site might provide ideas for services in the location of the site visitor or something more straightforward, but the more customization you give the better.

2. Respect Customer's Time

Most families today have two people working outside the home and children involved in activities after school. They don't have a lot of extra time, and their time is valuable. Anything that saves a customer time endears your company to them.

Speed up your website. Most people won't wait around longer than a few seconds for your site to load.

Offer conveniences and keep checkout pages and forms as short as possible. If you offer customer service or ordering via telephone, reduce hold times as low as possible.

3. Collect Detailed Information

Don't make customers repeat the same information over and over again. Collect the necessary details to serve them effectively and make sure key people in your organization have access to that data. If a customer calls and complains about a product issue, they shouldn't have to repeat their entire problem when they call back the second time. Instead, the customer service rep should pull up the data and instantly know the issue they're having.

DY Concrete Pumps offers a custom quote that allows them to gather contact information and provide a chance for the user to include a personalized message. The custom quote offer is located at the bottom of the landing page with a bright yellow call to action (CTA) button that grabs the users attention.

4. Embrace Augmented Reality

Experts predict smart augmented reality glasses with reach 5.4 million people by 2020. Already, augmented reality permeates everyday life. Cinemark theaters offer games on the big screen leading up to movies that work with a Smartphone or mobile device and allow movie-goers to play games through augmented reality. The phone works with the image on the screen.

Advertisers place ads in magazines that work with an app on your phone and come to life. Pokémon Go became all the rage a few years ago, as players used their surroundings to view Pokémon you can only see in the app. As AR becomes more popular, expect to see it utilized more and more.

One way of utilizing AR on your website is through images that, when hovered over or clicked on, become a 360-degree video the user interacts with. You could also consider developing apps for smartphones that allow a user to place the item in their home and see how it looks.

5. Offer Better Communication

Customers want communication with you to be easy and accessible. Around 51 percent of consumers state businesses should be available 24/7. Smaller companies and startups have a smaller budget that doesn't allow for 24/7 customer service. Fortunately, you can automate email and chatbot responses, answering some questions automatically and letting customers know you'll get back as quickly as possible on others.

Look at the different forms of communication offered on your website. If you only provide your email, add a live chat option and a toll-free number. Make communicating with your brand simple and painless as possible.

Razer offers high-tech products such as laptops, headphones and keyboards. Note how their support page provides several options to get in touch with them, including a searchable knowledgebase, live chat, a toll-free number, email and community help.

6. Exceed Expectations

Customers come into a transaction with your brand with certain expectations. Once you understand what expectations your typical customer has, you can not only meet but exceed them.

For example, if your typical customer expects 24/7 customer support, work not only to offer 24/7 customer support but to also shorten your response times.

When you receive a complaint, solve it beyond what the person asks. If they want a replacement for a product damaged in shipping, include a small free item and thank them for the chance to make things right and overnight the package. Create goodwill with your customers, and they'll tell others about your brand.

Talk to Your Customers

If you're not sure what your customers want, ask them. Send out a poll and ask what areas need improvement. Pay attention to customer complaints, as well, and see if there are any patterns. No matter what type of business you're in, your success boils down to the relationship between you and your customers. Find the right mix, and you'll keep the customers you have while also attracting new ones.

 

Lexie is a graphic designer and typography enthusiast. She spends most of her time A/B testing websites and creating style guides. Check out her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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Mint, butter, chartreuse and others - colors we should love and use more often


Let’s stop lying to ourselves - we’ve all been there! Choosing the right colors for your design or artwork can be a real pain when you are just starting out.

Many Colourlovers actually started learning about color looking through other users’ palettes and trying to see how they match and mix them.

A good piece of advice I can give you as beginner color users is to take a look at some of the pieces your favorite artists have produced. How do they use color? How do they emphasize what’s important and what’s not? How do they create contrast? Do they use a particular color throughout their work in the same way? What message does that send about their art?

Whether we talk about designing, illustration, painting, photography, craft or any kind of art form that involves using color, what’s important to consider is the meaning of each of the colors in the color palette we chose for our art piece?

Colors have more to them then just to make our work look pretty. Besides making it come to life, they also send a message to our audience.

First, let’s understand the basics.

Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. All the other colors derive from these three.

We get secondary colors – orange, green and purple as a combination of two primary colors.

 

Color property

 

The first on the list is purity. A pure color is the one that hasn’t been mixed with any other color, therefore its intensity remains original. A good example is the primary color blue. If it’s mixed with a bit of red, it loses purity as its intensity changes.

Hue is dependent of the dominant wavelength and it is independent of color intensity. When choosing color for a specific artwork, you might need a certain color to be a hue closer to green rather than yellow.

Shade (tone) and tint are in effect terms defining two opposite processes. When we want a stronger tone of green, we add more gray to it. A quieter version of the same green will have a higher purity, meaning less gray added to it.

When creating a tint of green, we will add white to it. The more white we add, the lighter the color becomes. Primary or secondary colors amalgamated with white create  pastel colors.

Lightness or value is a property that tells us about the amount of black or white mixed with the chosen hue. It is represented on the scale 0-100%. Green with 100% lightness is pure. Green with 50% lightness is darker.

 

 

Colors throughout cultures

 

Today we’ll learn about color and the cultural connotations certain colors have. I chose a couple of often underrepresented colors to analyze. For more colors and meanings, take a look at the book “The Designer’s Dictionary of Color” to comprehend color theory on a much deeper level.

 

Butter

 

This color awakens a sense of happiness without being intrusive. Depending on how we use it, in some combinations it can seem washed out and pale. On the other hand, when using butter we minimize the risk of unfavorable cultural implications.

Most nations relate butter to happiness, optimism, the feeling of general positivity. Its soft character makes it a good color choice for branding institution or trying to invoke a feeling of domestic bliss.

Other names: Lemon, Vanilla, Cream.

One of the successful applications of butter was using it for the color of post-it notes in 1974.

How would you use this color?

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Chartreuse

Nor green nor yellow, this color got its name after a French liqueur that is produced in a monastery close to Grenoble. This color screams creativity, boldness, youth. It shouldn’t be used as a green that presents nature as it’s more aggressive.

Other names: citrus, lime, yellow-green.

Cultural connotations can be positive and negative. Positive ones are growth, prosperity and travel. The negative ones are sickness and envy.

Which colors would you match chartreuse with?

 

 

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Coral

 

The word coral stems from old Latin word “corallum”. It’s a color often associated to femininity, the tropics, softness, courtship. In the culture of the Caribbean countries, it is regarded as a carefree, festive color. It is seen as a friendly color, and a tidbit more sensual than pink.

In the cultures of the East it symbolizes life force and longevity.

Marilyn Monroe used to wear a coral lipstick. It was contradictory with the rest of her black outfit. These colors were selected on purpose to send a message of her dual personality: simultaneously sensual and innocent.

Other names: salmon, shell pink, watermelon.

Have you ever used coral? If so, which colors did you match it with?

 

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Mint

 

Mint is a color that resides on a playful border between blue and green. Mint recalls of life, nature, financial prosperity. It’s associated with growth, youth, innocence, and beginnings. It is a cool color that has to be carefully sent to print. A slightly bit more of yellow can turn it into a turquoise, and not enough yellow can turn it into light blue.

It’s often used for brands related to spiritual pursuits or holistic healing.

It has to be carefully combined with other colors in the palette in order to avoid it looking too cold.

Other names: pale green, aquamarine.

 

 

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Scarlet

 

If red conveys a feeling of energy, scarlet conveys feelings of danger and passion. As a color, it's attention-grabber. It can be used more successfully than red alongside a color such as blue as it is less probable it will resonate and create a contrast that's unpleasant to look at.

It was used in times of Old Romans as a color that informed of one's prestige. Catholic cardinals often wore it.

Nowadays, as a color it often relates to education and knowledge, but also adultery.

 

Other names: Burgundy, brick.

 

scarlet color palette

 

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Peach

 

And last but not least - peach. Color peach reminds us of the fruit. It's regarded as  warm and soft. It has been associated with the goddess Venus.

When selecting our nuance of peach, we need to be careful not to add too much yellow because that might remind of jaundice.

It is used in branding of a couple of prestigious restaurants around Europe, one of them being Sant Ambroeus in Milan.

Other names: Apricot, melon, shell.

 

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New year, new colors. Even though we love colors, sometimes we catch ourselves repeatedly using all the same combinations for our designs, and for our crafts. This short guide can help you understand more color choices and how and when to use them. Stop making excuses.

What color will you choose to include in your designs?

 

About the author:

Ana Maksimovic is the community manager and editor at Colorlovers. Part-time traveler and part-time web and graphic designer, she loves working with sustainable brands. She supports circular economy and good businesses and writes about social entrepreneurship. She is passionate about photography and nature -  a never-ending source of inspiration.

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