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A user-centered design creates a positive experience for anyone who lands on your page. Not all UX design strategies are created equal, and best practices vary from year to year. Figuring out which things are important to implement is half the battle in running a successful website.
Around 75 percent of users decide whether a website is credible based on how usable it is. Since users are more likely to buy from businesses they trust, credibility is vital to your profitability. However, there are so many different aspects of user experience it can be difficult to know where to focus. Here are nine current UX strategies that should drive your growth this year.
Storytelling is as old as time itself, but it is trending in website design. Anytime you tell a story, you engage the user rather than simply throwing information at them. They stimulate the senses and tug on emotions. Your narrative should be personal to your brand but relevant to what the consumer wants to know about you. You might share information about the company founders or highlight some of the employees people interact with.
The easiest pages to navigate are the ones with a clear focus and plenty of white space. If you cram too much information into a single page, your user may feel confused about where to go and what action to take. When you work in a balance of both positive and negative space, you give the site visitor a singular focus and remove the question about where to go next.
H.Bloom has a simple design that points the user toward scheduling regular flower deliveries. It lays out the 1, 2, 3 process by explaining each step and limiting other elements on the page. The area above the fold on the landing page has only a hero image, a brief explanation of its services and a description of how it works.
About 70 percent of online shoppers told researchers in a survey of 750 consumers and 395 marketers that page load speed factored into their decision to buy. How fast your site loads has a big impact on the experience of your site visitors. If you want to improve overall UX, speed up your load times today. Look at your server and how fast it delivers the page. Optimize images and make sure elements also work on mobile devices. Remove any scripts that slow down your page loading time. There are several free sites where you can check your site speed and gather tips for ticking milliseconds off the delivery:
In order to effectively test your website, you need to run speed tests from a variety of locations and use different services to ensure you’re hitting on all the elements that might improve the user’s experience on your site.
Today's economy is global, so take advantage of shoppers in other countries by implementing translation services and ensuring you accept payments that make sense for users outside your home country. You may want to add just one new language at a time, so you don't become overwhelmed and can ensure the translation is correct. Fortunately, there are also translation services, such as Google, which users can implement to read your site in their native language.
Remember to figure out logistics before targeting a new market, too. You need to be able to deliver products on time.
IDC Spring uses Google to offer site visitors the ability to select a language. At this time, the site is available in English and Spanish, allowing it to reach most of the citizens in North America. This expands its base into Mexico as well, so it has an opportunity to ship springs wherever an individual or business needs them.
Smart speakers are a $7 billion industry, and more voice searches are conducted each day. In addition to Alexa and Google Home, people also use Siri and other such features. This is the wave of the future, so adding this capability to your site is almost a must.
One of the biggest frustrations for consumers is dealing with a company that isn't clear about expectations and return policies. Make everything as upfront as possible and use simple language. If your policies are filled with legalese, work with your lawyers to make them easier to understand for those without a law degree. Be open about any potential delays on orders and follow up whenever possible to keep the lines of communication open.
Capital One Spark clearly lays out what its offer is on the Spark card page. Note how it lists the offers and annual fees. It also clearly defines interest rates, how many cards come with the account and the fraud coverage it provides.
Your navigation is one of the first impressions visitors have of your site, and it must be intuitive. Think about the different websites you've visited and where elements reside on the ones you like best. More than likely, there is a home button on the far left and a contact tab on the right. The navigation should also be easy to spot from the minute the user lands on the page, so locate it near the top, either directly above or below the header or in the sidebar.
Your call to action (CTA) needs to grab users' attention. People are used to seeing CTAs in today's oversaturated market, but if yours seems more personal and stands out, then users are more likely to notice it.
Grubhub does a good job with its CTA on the landing page. It personalizes the CTA text with "Order food delivery you'll love." The phrasing uses both action verbs and the second person to make the call more intimate. It then asks for a location to further personalize the experience and a red arrow button to show what the user should do next.
The best UX is one that grabs the user from the moment they land on your website and keeps their interest until they convert into a customer. Look at each step in your buyer's journey. Make sure you're using words and images that drive them through the process and keep them making choices, answering questions and remaining engaged until they leave your site.
Designers constantly come up with new strategies for improving user experience. Study what's on trend and see which tactics might work best for your target audience. If you're unsure about a change, do some split testing to see how it resonates with your customers. With a little attention to the usability of your site, visitors will come back again and convert into fans.
If you’re looking to beautify your home right away, changing your windows and doors might be a very good idea. This is an exciting premise and at the same time you have quite a lot of options to think about too. But you do need to be smart about this approach, you need to fully focus on quality and value, all while sticking to your budget.
Once you realize that you want new windows and doors, then you have to think about colors, styles and so on. You first need to measure for replacement windows and ensure that you have those measurements right, because even the smallest lack of detail will end up being a problem here, so try to keep that in mind as much as possible.
Door colors matter a lot, because you want your door to look great and you want to bring in that great visual allure as much as possible. Some people like to have white doors, others want black doors, maroon or anything in between. Color combinations are not that common, it’s a much more plausible option to go with a single color and see how it fits the style within your home.
The same thing happens after you read a replacement window buying guide. Most of the time windows will also have the colors listed above. But you can also find some other colors and styles based on the situation. The trick is to figure out what approach works for you and what colors you enjoy the most. Style and colors matter a lot, so as long as you pick the right color system and outline it adequately you will be just fine.
Rectangular windows and doors tend to be very common. But here and there you can also find some more creative shapes as well. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to come up with a creative allure and a unique approach. Square doors and square windows are also rather popular, and they are even gaining more and more popularity as they go along. Something unique and different is always going to entice people and that’s exactly what you should expect from a situation like this. Just consider checking it out and exploring all the options, it will bring in some rather creative and powerful features too.
As you can see, both colors and shapes are very important when you install new doors and windows. It all comes down to being creative and coming up with a huge range of different options all the time. You do need to take your time and avoid rushing as you try to make the right choice. But you can rest assured that the value is always extraordinary and the quality itself can be second to none. Just keep in mind that colors and shapes are crucial when you want to decorate your home. That’s especially true if you want something more distinctive. Once you think about these options the payoff can be outstanding!
One major advantage of the web design galaxy is the existence of oh, so many open source digital archives for fonts, vectors, images, videos, etc. In our previous articles, we have listed some useful websites where you can find stock images and videos, as well as free fonts, while we never really explored where all the free icons hide. In this article, you may find referrals to some addresses you can knock on for free package of icons you'll love.
Daniel Bruce designs are publicly available on Entypo, a lake of web fonts. More than 400 icons are available, under a CC share-alike license, and there are two sets available for your icons - the main set and a social set. Whatever you are designing online, Entypo has you covered.
The famous Ionic Framework, a top-notch open source digital infrastructure, is one of the easiest frameworks for building and distributing apps across all platforms. They have recently released their icons, creating a web font they call Ionicons. It is available on their website, completely free for download.
Font Awesome is considered one of the oldest big open source icon font. It grows and gets updated all the time, so it is always fresh and up-to-date with contemporary designer's needs. You can scale all their icons, and even change colors, shadows, and background while maintaining them in CSS.
This pack specialized in tech-related brands, so it is most handy if you are dealing with tech logos and brands. Although someone might say that it is useless unless you are working on a tech-related project, Devicons, being completely free and quite broad, makes me encourage you to get creative and inspired by using these icons for something new and groundbreaking. This is how Devicons made the list.
Octicons is an icon pack being given to the world by GitHub. They made their own icon pack available for the crowd, for free, uploading loads of icons with simple symbols, to be used in various purposes. Because of their simplicity, these icons are likely to work on almost every interface.
Typicon is often recommended to the community as one of the best free sources for icons online. With their rounded shapes, these icons are simply adorable, making you wanna use them on whatever project you are currently working on. They will melt your heart.
Author: Nina Petrov
The secret of great design lies in following the rules and the famous 6 principles of design, and great design masters know how to break or bend those rules to inspire new style, and a new age of amazing combination of shape, color, and composition.
How far is too far? A good designer has a sense of proximity, the distance between elements, but a great designer pushes these limits until something beautiful emerges. Harmony also means recognizing a similarity and creating a repetition of elements alike, giving the design rhythm and extending the pattern continuously.
Having a good balance in design is the key to evoke a visual experience among the audience. More than just a golden ratio, a master of design know when to use symmetry or asymmetry, and to keep a good balance in the design when using elements which are different from each other. Depending on what the design represents, many choose circular form to distribute different sections.
Designs are visual storytellers, a shortcut for pitching a product or an idea. Different patterns are telling different stories, which is why a hierarchy matters when arranging your graphic elements - whether you implement an order of a tree or nest, or you distribute your factors according to their class and give them adequate weight.
Every factor of your design has to be in a relationship with others. You can express this relationship by scaling the elements by size, harmonically distribute it in a ratio, according to laws of geometry, or choose the main focus and explain the connection of other elements using division.
An element that stands out can be highlighted with its size, but there are other ways to create beauty without making something bigger (or something else smaller). Your focus can stand out with its shape - a unique shape surrounded with others which are similar, and also color, which is more frequent in colorful designs nowadays - in other words, if you want an object to stand out, let it shine.
Do you know that drawing where all the lines are straight, but one of them is freely wiggling around? When working on a new project, think about that special focus of the design and make it be the first thing someone sees. Practically used in advertising, a visual add in a campaign could look like "Everybody does this, but we do it this special way", so this contrast will make a design appealing and also serve a purpose of selling the product. Another common technique to achieve contrast is to use color and particularly contrast between light and dark shade.
As it said at the beginning of the text, a great designer is not only a master of these principles and techniques but is also not afraid to think out of the box and use the rules to create outstanding designs to remember.
Author: Nina Petrov
Taking care of the earth’s environment makes a lot of sense, especially when you can manage it without doing anything extreme. You don’t have to be an environmental activist to make a difference. Here are a few simple ways you can do your part.
Buying junky furniture means you have to dispose of it more often. When you choose high-quality furniture, though, it will last for many years. Then, you won’t be contributing to the massive amounts of debris already piling up in landfills..
Another thing you can do when buying furniture is to stay away from faddish styles. Instead, select furniture that never looks outdated. If your furniture continues to look good year after year, you won’t have to replace it so soon.
And, if you ever decide to update your home décor, the furniture will still be serviceable. That means you can donate it to a charity like a Habitat for Humanity and let someone else enjoy it even longer.
Unless you’re using green energy sources like wind and solar power, every time you turn on the heat and lights, you’re having a negative ecological impact. Reduce the amount of heat you use by choosing warm bedding, throw blankets, and rugs. Natural lighting helps, too, so open up your curtains and let the sunlight light up your life.
You’ll need far less heating if you can snuggle up comfortably in bed or wrap a shawl around you as you read or watch TV in the living room. And, you won’t have to crank up the heat in the mornings when you don’t have to step out of bed onto a cold floor.
Eco-friendly habits and products are called “green” for a reason. Green is the color of living plants, which contribute oxygen and eat up carbon dioxide. So, put lots of plants both inside and outside your home. You’ll not only be helping keep the earth environment healthy. You’ll also be making a beautiful ambiance in your home.
One thing to remember, though, is that you can get soil and water on the floor easily if you have a lot of plants in your home. It can damage your hardwood floors or carpeting. That’s easy to remedy. Just get an attractive rug to place under the larger plants or groupings of smaller plants that you set on the floor. Doing so contributes to your interior décor while protecting your flooring.
Accessories can enhance your home décor dramatically. Choose items that are environmentally-friendly. For example, a plastic laundry basket is both harmful to the environment and unsightly. Instead, choose a rope or woven basket. Unlike the plastic basket, it will contribute to your interior design and decompose naturally when it’s served its purpose.
The choices you make in decorating your home can hurt the environment or protect it. And, you don’t have to give up an attractive design to do it. You can find the right options at a furniture company that has a wide selection of furniture and accessories. Then, you can breathe easier, knowing that you’ve done something good.
At first glance, it may seem that everyone around is going crazy by bothering with materials that complement the interior of their home. However, it is a matter of habit. Trying new, more rational, approaches to organizing and arranging yourself and your home - you expand your world view and cease to be a simple user. You become a thinking citizen who does not just follow the possible trends, but does it wisely!
Behind an appealing and user-friendly web design, there is a lot of knowledge about how different elements are connected. In some cases you also have to choose different programming languages, depending on which platform the website is published on.
A web designer often works solely with content and layout on a website, but many designers also have programming skills. Web design is the visuals that meets us when we visit a page. The design is put together so that it appeals to the right audience. This means knowledge about web design is also necessary to understand digital marketing.
Do you think this sounds interesting? Follow on to learn more about what a good web design entails and what you can do to get a better, user-friendly and targeted website.
Before you start designing or redesigning a website, think about:
No matter if you’re designing a website for bank services, a blog about how to find the best personal loans, or an online clothing store, it is important that your design matches what the purpose of the website is.
To get an optimal web design, you need to implement digital marketing, and design and redesign the website accordingly. This is a practice that is often called Growth-Driven Design (GDD). Such a design means that you have a website that is constantly evolving in line with customer behavior. To achieve this, there will be a constant need for analysis of what visitors do, how long they stay on the page, and what services they use the most.
In traditional web design, the case is often as follows: A customer needs a new website. The website is designed and then maintained and redesigned every second or third year. For some, this may be optimal, but many also miss out on good marketing and sales opportunities because the development is too slow.
With the Growth-Driven-Design method you get a web design that you can change and develop in step with your customers, and this way you will see a faster growth in the number of visits. It doesn't have to be big changes, and often it’s something you can change and structure on your own, without any programming skills.
Benefits of growth-driven-web design:
It can be profitable to get professional help with your web design. Using external agencies will save you unnecessary costs and adjust your budget according to needs.
To get an optimal web design, the design must be adapted to all screen sizes. Many of us use our smartphones and smart tablets, and therefore you should make sure that the website is adaptable to all platforms.
If you are unsure of how the website looks on your mobile, you can change the size of your browser and see how the items move. If the page ends up looking a little strange, the page is most likely not responsive.
Are you an entrepreneur looking to build your own website? Here’s a quick pick-me-up for non-designers to guide you through the basics.
Graphics designers all over the world generally prefers Mac over PCs, so congrats if you’re on one. Apple has been consistently stronger in colour display and design support, but either way, get your device ready and let’s dive right in!
It is rather pricey to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, but you will soon find out that it’s far superior than using free, cracked software. Be it Photoshop or Illustrator, updates are usually unavailable when you’re on a cracked software. It’s also very time consuming to look for a legitimate crack - most of the time you just end up with malware.
Freebies are not worth a virus-ridden, lagging device, especially when the Mac itself is not cheap. Don’t waste time looking for the latest software crack, head straight to Adobe’s official site and get a subscription.
Students get the software at a discounted price, but even if you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur, it’s worth paying full price. View shelling out the money as an investment but not an expense.
Once you have your digital design tools all set up, here’s a simple design rule of thumb that should always be at the back of your mind – less is more.
Adobe design software comes with a range of fonts and you might be tempted to put them all to use, but consistency is key. One or at most, two styles are enough: one for the headers (title and sub-headers), and one for the body. If you must use multiple fonts, try to be as organized as possible. Make sure there is strong reason behind each change of font so it’s not confusing to the reader.
As with the saying, ‘simple English is good English,’ any sort of creative work should be focused primarily on getting the message across. If you’re not sure whether you’re overdoing it, come back to your design in a few days with fresh eyes. You’ll instantly notice if something sticks out.
This might be quite counter-intuitive to the beginner, but leaving blank spaces actually adds to your design. A cluttered layout is overwhelming and confusing. Readers want to be clearly guided as to where to look, so direct their attention to what’s important by leaving lots of blanks around it. Don’t fill up white spaces thinking you’re maximizing your real estate; a messy layout only deters your audience.
Apple’s ads are prime examples. Notice how they’re always ultra-simple yet super impactful? That’s the way to do it.
Sometimes structure is vital to visual appeal. While we want to be unorthodox and creative, a solid framework gives your design a strong backbone so interesting features pop. Aligning key shapes and texts also makes your layout more presentable and professional. Once you’ve identified the objects you want to align, highlight them in one go and choose the way you want to line them up or distribute them.
Here on Colour Lovers, there are millions of palettes to choose from. Unsure what to go for? You can decide based on the mood of your project or brand, or simply go for the palettes of the year.
Not only is it a dreadful process to pick your colours one by one, it’s also going to take a while before you get it right. Opting for pre-selected combinations will help you jump-start your design process.
The prevalent style of design varies from culture to culture, so make sure you conduct adequate research before you start putting things together to appeal to your audience. If you’re targeting a foreign market, consider installing a VPN on your Mac or PC to change your virtual location to the target locale. With a changed location, you’ll see search results as if you’re in the area, so you can take inspiration from competitor sites. Even if you’re going for an international and professional look, a VPN can still be of help – just change your location to the United States and take a leaf off their book.
When people see a particular color, or even hear the name of that color, it can trigger deep-set memories and associations made from long ago. Color affects many different psychological and physical aspects, with each color possessing unique attributes. As further evidence of its effects, it’s often used in different types of therapies, including Emotional Transformation Therapy. Surrounding yourself with colors that reflect how you want to feel can have a prominent impact on your well-being. Redecorating is the perfect opportunity to incorporate colors that will benefit your state of mind.
Choose Your Canvas
Home decorating often involves interior wall painting, which is a great means of implementing color- but it’s not your only option. Furniture, flooring, and exterior siding are just a few other possibilities. If you want to go with an exciting, bold color like red, for example, you may feel it’s a bit too much for your wall, but you can accent the room with red throw pillows and tapestries. Make this color the star by balancing the scheme with a neutral wall color, like cream. You can keep things simple with one renovation, or choose to overhaul several to work in your color scheme. If you choose the latter, be sure you have the means to invest in a large-scale project. It’s important to choose high quality materials so your work remains intact for many years to come. You can finance home renovations to meet your needs, or scale back on what you’re remodeling all at once so that it doesn’t become a financial strain. Once you’ve determined how you want to redesign, you can begin choosing your scheme.
Cool Color Tones
When it comes to choosing your color scheme, you’ve likely already given it some thought without knowing the psychology behind specific colors, not to mention other aspects you may want to consider. For example, cool color tones recede within a room, making a space look larger. These tones include pinks, blues, and greens. Pinks create a sense of nurturing, love, and compassion, as well as femininity. Blues are associated with wisdom, faith, trust, intelligence, and confidence. Finally, shades of green represent calmness, harmony, growth, security, and fertility. A shade of green is an excellent choice for a child’s room to provide a sense of soothing, or any space you’d like to embody a sense of peace.
Warm Color Tones
On the other side of the spectrum, you have warm colors. These include reds, yellows, and oranges, as well as many brown-based earth tones. Choose red colors if you’re looking to enhance passion and excitement; red raises a room’s warmth and energy levels and creates a strong first impression. Yellow is associated with happiness and sunlight, and can provide a sense of welcoming. Orange, similar to yellow, is also associated with sunshine, as well as joy, but this color has such a large range of tones that different shades can have drastically different effects, so do a little more reading on the topic if you want to use this color. A very vibrant warm color is a nice choice for any lively, energetic space, like a play room or kitchen, where you’d expect to hear a lot of conversation and laughter.
When you’re choosing colors for your home, there’s really no right or wrong answer. Take your time to decide what you want, and choose what's right for you. Cool colors can bring out your inner zen, while bright warm tones can enhance your zest for life. The choice is yours.
Whether you build websites for fun, or want to make a career out of it, it’s important to note that the technology is continuously changing. Because of this, it’s vital that you keep your knowledge up to date and refresh your skills. If you’re currently wondering what you could do to improve, read on. We’re going to provide you with five options that could all work in your favor.
The first thing you’ll want to do is start with the theory. You can either purchase books related to web design, sign up to online courses, or take a course at a local school or college. You can learn everything from SQL to responsive design, and even coding, and every extra thing you learn will place you a step ahead of the competition. Courses and books are available for people of all different levels of experience, so whether you need beginner help or want to take your current skills to the next level, you’ll surely find something suitable.
The next thing you’ll want to do is build a sandbox website where you can practice your skills without them affecting your clients. After all, practicing on an in-production site is a big no-no! You can do this easily with a local host. Simply build a sandbox and try out new design concepts without fear of breaking anything. If you do run into problems, you can simply reset the sandbox to an earlier point in time, while making note of what caused the error.
Exchanging feedback with another designer can prove immensely helpful, and it’s one of the best ways to improve your knowledge. Giving feedback to other designers can help you to improve your own skills. If something isn’t quite right with a designer’s website, you can explain why and what you would do to change it. Not only are you helping out a fellow professional, but you’ll be practicing communication skills that will be useful for design jobs in the future. Of course, this works the other way around too and you may end up learning some new tips and techniques that could boost your knowledge too.
Finally, it’s also important to pay attention to trends. As we said in the introduction, technology is constantly changing and if you want to remain at the top of your game, you need to be willing to learn and be able to implement each trend as it is released. Some of the biggest ones over the last decade include the end of Flash, and the expansion of responsive design. Those who are still designing in Flash, and designing websites that can only be viewed clearly on PCs and laptops are not going to be highly sought after by many people.
Improving your web design skills should be something you do regularly, so don’t neglect this task!
Deciding on a color palette which fits your mood is like choosing the right playlist for the day. Colourlovers are explorers who discover new palettes for every occasion, matching perfect shades with perfect tones, for the blues and the jazz of a perfect day.
We came across a list of palettes by Reux Design Co, their top picks for five different ambiances.
If you are feeling poetic, full of care and tenderness, this delicate flower which is created with this choice of colors can make your day even more romantic. This palette fits vagabond souls, nature-loving and free spirits, it is a spontaneous yet gentle combination. Every shade is a soft pick, but put together they are a perfect fit for dreamers and love birds.
#c6d8cf | #dfbbb6 | #e7c9b1 | #f6e3c4 | #dc7863
Black and white are always giving a strong impression, like a good cup of coffee in the morning. This combination is exuding simplicity and clear rationalist view. Strong blue and green are empowering this simple base and giving the "muscles" to your combination.
#5c5ba7 | #43a472 | #f0f0f0 | #000000
Now, this palette is like riding a roller coaster. It has everything you need for a bright sunny day - the gray is a firm base for the cheery shades of blue and red, not too strong but not subtle either. Smooth shades of orange and yellow are adding the sweetness, playfulness, and goofiness to the combination. Almost if you can taste the lollypop, sugar melting in your mouth, just from looking at these shades full of flavor.
#40979b | #acb0ad | #f06134 | #ffd2aa | #faf6a7
Sophisticated color palettes never get old. Everybody has a moment when they need one - like a royal outfit combination to make us come across as more mature and serious. This choice, however, doesn't have any haughty statements but offers a wiser point of view, full of understanding. These colors remind us to appreciate life and the knowledge that comes with time.
#adc9c7 | #254a45 | #d9b9a9
This brave color composition is contained of very strong, juicy shades, on a dirty white base. Even though it appears playful, nothing about this palette is innocent. The purple shade is the most tricky one - one thing is to be brave, and another not to know if we can pull something off. This blend is both feminine and masculine at the same time, which is its true wealth.
#842279 | #f5290b | #f1f0e8 | #171e4b
About the author:
Nina Petrov is an activist, poet, performer and mathematician. She communicates with the world mostly through words, movement and equations, but sometimes also by speaking very loudly. The only truth she could say about herself is that she keeps changing every day, never stops learning and interacting with her surroundings.