Tag Archives: design studio

Night in Berlin app design case study

Case Study: Night in Berlin. UI for Event App.

Have you ever felt the urge to leave the planned and predictable routine and do something impulsive? Maybe go to the random concert of an unknown band, or visit the exhibition you are walking by? Certainly, you know that feeling. Nowadays, people move in the circle of the everyday drills and the desire to drop everything naturally appears from time to time. But when the moment comes, we often don’t know the places to go or where to find interesting events. Here is how we have come up with the idea for a new mobile app concept called Night in Berlin.

 

Night in Berlin is one of the design projects accomplished in terms of Tubik UI Fridays. In one of previous case studies, we told about our new tradition presenting the set of creative sessions when the designers have a day to work on the design concepts out of current projects. The concepts are created within a particular general idea of a digital product but with all the passion and freedom for the designers’ artistic souls. Today’s case study describes the creative process of the unusual mobile application design.

 

Task

 

UI\UX and motion design for a mobile event app.

 

UI Design

 

During UI Fridays the designers sometimes receive objectives far from ordinary. In this way, the team has an opportunity to create something absolutely unique. This time, the task given to the designers was to design a mobile application of the future. To specify the task, the art director gave them the background story. The designers had to imagine themselves in Berlin of 2019 where every night is extremely eventful. Their objective was to create the design concept for the mobile application that would come in handy to people who love hanging out at night. When the task was set, Tubik designers Ludmila Shevchenko, Eugene Cameel and Olga Popova started their work with art direction by Sergey Valiukh.

 

After active brainstorming, the designers’ team determined the concept of the app. It should be a simple application which enables people, who love socializing and visiting the latest events, to see the list of all the events, parties, exhibitions and the like taking place in Berlin. In order to add the effect of bright impulsive decisions, the list is shown at a particular time and only for the current day. The core thing the designers were supposed to keep in mind that the application is meant for the users of the future, so the design needs to be absolutely original and extraordinary. Let’s see what the team managed to create.

 

night_in_berlin_onboarding_tubik_ui

 

The first screen featured the onboarding with the countdown to the time when the list becomes available. The chosen gradient colors accurately convey the atmosphere of the night since they are associated with lights in night clubs. The illustration of the Fernsehturm, the famous television tower in central Berlin, is made in the corresponding colors, so the design of the screen looks solid. The app’s name is situated at the left bottom part of the screen. All the functionality is hidden behind the hamburger menu button placed in the top left corner allowing to make the focus on the countdown.

 

night_in_berlin_event_list_tubik

 

The screen above presents the list itself, informing the user about the variety of events. The data is organized along the cards for every event, which users can review scrolling vertically. Each card shows the key details about the event: its type, title and the time when it starts as well as the thematic image in the background. Being interested, the user can tap on the card and see more details about the offer.

 

Night in Berlin Event Details

 

When the users tap on the event card, they see the event screen. This concept features the exhibition in the art gallery, which is marked in the top right corner. The name of the artist and the exhibition are situated in the center of the page. The background image presents an actual artwork by the artists so the users are able to quickly catch the style and artistic manner, read the description and see the time when the event starts. All that combination provides the information to the user quickly, in clear and stylish manner.

 

night_in_berlin_app_event_screen_tubik

 

Motion Design

 

When the static variants of the screens were ready, motion designer Kirill Erokhin started working on the animations.

 

night_in_berlin_animation_tubik

 

Here is the animated version of the onboarding screen. The major element is the countdown numbers which are smoothly animated. The background is moving similar to haze changing the colors.

 

ui animation design tubik

 

This animation presents the screen with the list of events showing the user interactions. The data is organized along the cards for every event, which users can review scrolling vertically. The user can tap on the card and see more details about the event. The arrow button on the top of the screen brings the user back to the list.

 

Work over the design concepts of this kinds gives designers the prominent chances to think out of the box. It stimulates their creativity which beams brighter when given regular practice. Follow our blog and check out our Dribbble page not to miss the updates on the Tubik UI Fridays. More concepts and case studies are coming very soon. Meanwhile, you can be interested in reviewing another case study for the creative design concept called Big City Guide. Stay tuned!


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user motivation design

Two Types of User Motivation: Design to Satisfy.

No doubt, every designer — as well as any creative person — wishes to make something desired by lots of users, preferably on a regular basis. There is a group of creators who claim that they are interested in the process or the fact of creation and don’t care about the further life of the product, still, it’s incredibly tiny if compared to the number of people who want to see the results of their creative work usable, useful and regularly used. One of the key factors to achieve this goal is knowing the final users and ways to motivate them. So, today let’s take another little journey to the psychology of users, this time concentrating on types of motivation and their influence on design solutions.

 

What is motivation?

 

Basically, motivation is the term coming from psychology and dealing with behavior. This concept describes something that makes people do particular actions giving specific reasons for these actions or needs. Motivation is the force that gives people motives, defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary as «something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act». According to professor of psychology J. Nevid, «The term motivation refers to factors that activate, direct, and sustain goal-directed behavior… Motives are the «whys» of behavior — the needs or wants that drive behavior and explain what we do. We don’t actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe.» (Nevid J., Psychology: Concepts and applications. 2013)

 

Motivation appears on the crossroads of biological, cognitive, social and emotional factors, that all together influence its strength and behavior it stimulates. Three basic features which could describe the motivation of any kind are the following:

  • Activation — the decision to activate the particular type of behavior, often stimulated by formulating a particular goal or achievement
  • Persistence — the power of effort which is taken in short-term or long-term perspective to achieve a particular goal
  • Intensity — the level of concentration and desire applied by a person to achieve the goal

 

Why is it important for designers to understand the types and mechanisms of motivation? Because it shows the direct way how to make the product correspondent to users’ expectations and solving users’ pains. The product, which is designed, can be extremely helpful, but to learn that, the user should be motivated to try. And design, being the part of the product, which is both functionally and emotionally appealing, is the first and powerful way to give a user the reason to try the app or website.

 

UI design product management

 

Two basic types of motivation

 

There are two major directions of how motivation evolves and they deeply influence the decision-making process. In short, they are based on what is the source when «Why would I do that?» appears and encourages us to act: some of these reasons come from the outer world while the others are found inside ourselves. On that ground, psychologists define extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

 

Extrinsic motivation

 

This term unites the group of factors that come from outer sources. These motives can come from family, professional environment, competitions, contests etc. The motives of this sort encourage the person to deal with the outer world of other people as there is no other way to achieve the particular goals. It means that they involve the diversity of social reasons as well as stereotypes. Cultural background, age and gender, level of education, country of residence, religion and family status — these and many other factors can form and correct the reasons coming from outside and motivating people to communicate and behave this or that way. In the vast majority of cases, extrinsic motivation is a seek of reward, which can be tangible (money, prizes, diplomas, certificates, trophies, medals etc.) and intangible (praise, support, recognition etc.). The situation of competition itself presents the strong extrinsic motive: some of us are more motivated with not the prize we get but purely with the understanding that we won the others. Moreover, this factor can become even stronger in the case when there is direct support from others like friends or followers.

 

These factors should be the object of thorough research for UX designers as they actually present the doors opening the digital products to the world. The motivation via rewards has been widely used in all the kinds of games — without it for many users, a game usually doesn’t make sense — it should present the real goal which is achievable and stimulates persistence in the process of getting it. The wide invasion of the internet technologies and social networking added the element of constant competition with others strengthening the power of outer sources of motivation.

 

However, this mechanism of attracting and retaining users is applied in the variety of digital products now, including those which are far from games in their traditional understanding. When you are marked as the most loyal customer or are promised to be given a discount in case of the particular purchase; when you get the certificate via the online educational platform of which you can boast to you friends via social networks; when you are marked as the top writer or top contributor on the blog platform, and so on so forth — all that stuff presents the signs of extrinsic motivation. And that’s not bad: that’s just the way to make specific activities reasoned, which is crucial for most users. The trick is to find which reason works for this particular audience.

 

snake battle app UI design

Snake Battle App based on the extrinsic motives of winning the battle and getting rewards

 

Intrinsic Motivation

 

This is another side of the coin: that set of motives and stimuli comes out from the inner world of the person. These are the motives which are formed by the wishes and needs the person has due to its intelligence, soul, and heart. These are the motives which can be much harder to find and understand, but much longer to work successfully.

 

Intrinsic motivation is the inner engine moving a person to self-improvement whatever it could mean. In fact, people are born with this need and wish, which gets the higher level of development when the person satisfies basic needs like food and shelter and goes to the next stages in the hierarchy of needs. It’s natural for us to wish trying new things, to accept new challenges, to try our own abilities and gifts, to feel satisfaction from getting new knowledge and mastering new skills. This type of motivation is often stronger than the previous as it comes from what nature the person has and what personal likes or dislikes move decision-making process. In everyday terms, we often call this type of motivation «interest» or «desire» which becomes a significant factor for retaining users. And it’s a well-known factor that the simple explanation: «I do it just because it’s interesting» is one of the strongest motives which can only exist. It moves the user to act because of the subject of the activity itself rather than reward or recognition.

 

underwater world encyclopedia design tubik

Underwater World Encyclopedia based on intrinsic motive of getting new knowledge

 

wedding planner app UI design

Wedding Planner based on the intrinsic motive to optimize personal effort in organization of the event 

 

toonie alarm UI design

Toonie Alarm combining intrinsic motive (getting up on time) and extrinsic motive (getting stickers as rewards)

 

Getting the knowledge about target audience at the stage of user research, designers can analyze which types of motives and which their combinations will work for the specific users.

 

Intrinsic_extinsic_motivation_by_IDF

 

The visual presentation of two major motivation types by experts from Interaction Design Foundation 

 

Building motivation with design

 

Knowledge on the mechanisms of motivation can become the great help for UI/UX designers and information architects. The advantage of providing appropriate motives for the target audience can be applied at the levels of:

— thinking over the clear application or website structure and organization of triggers and informational blocks supported with rigorous user research

— building navigation and call-to-action elements according to things which engage users motivating them to act

— creating appropriate layout demonstrating key benefits or rewards

— providing supportive onboarding process motivating to try the product and test its functions

— presenting visual design solutions appealing to the target audience and adding the motive of aesthetic satisfaction

— including the copy which stimulates users, describes the key benefits of the product, the achievements users can get and support available in the process of interaction

— adding the features of setting short-term and long-term goals

— enabling users to share their achievements via various social networks — approval and praise of virtual communities is the powerful extrinsic motive nowadays.

 

user motivation design

Upper App using the mechanism of intrinsic motivation to boost users’ productivity

 

The bottom line is simple here: if you want users to like and use your product, give them a reason to love it. They will start their journey with «Why?» and will repeat that question regularly at different levels of interaction — so get prepared to show them the answer.


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big city guide web ui design

Case Study: Big City Guide. Landing Page Design.

People say the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. It’s hard to argue since traveling is always a chance to learn new things, meet new people and do something absolutely extraordinary. What’s more, a nice trip can become a source of life energy and inspiration. Today, travelers have more opportunities than ever before and the World Wide Web plays the significant role here. The Internet provides loads of information about various countries and their cultures helping travelers decide where to wend their way.

 

Tubik designer Tania Bashkatova loves traveling as much as design, so she often combines these passions to create sophisticated concepts devoted to travelings and nature. Today we present the case study on the design concept of the website for travelers called the Big City Guide.

 

tubik ui designer

 

Task

 

UI/UX design for onboarding landing page presenting a website about big cities all over the world.

 

Process

 

The Big City Guide (BCG) is one of the first works made in terms of Tubik UI Fridays. Those following Tubik team on Dribbble already know about our new tradition which is the set of creative sessions when the designers have a day to work on the design concepts out of current projects. The concepts are created within a particular general idea of a digital product but with all the passion and freedom for the designers’ artistic souls.

 

During one of these creative sessions, the task was given to design the landing page for the online resource providing the information about big cities around the world. Typically for the design of landing pages, the designer decided to apply expressive and informative potential of the background images. The objective set for the visual design was to convey the mood and the atmosphere via one photo for each city. The solution found for this aim was the animated widget with horizontal scrolling presenting three big cities in order to create the efficient visual perception of the information for the target readers. The three different capital cities were chosen to show how dissimilar styles can be united in one design.

 

The first page of the BCG concept presents Berlin. The city is filled with various sights so it was the difficult choice to make. The designer tested many pictures to find the one which would bring the right mood of the city. In the end, there were two variants.

 

Berlin big city guide ui

 

big city guide berlin tubik

 

Both pictures make an effective design but the second conveys the atmosphere of solid and futuristic Berlin better so the designer favored it. The name of the city becomes the center of the composition, bold and quickly readable in strong uppercase letters. The word sets the high perspective of the famous tower. The letters are arranged among the spires in the way which gives the feeling they always were there.

 

The second featured city is Madrid. It is often thought that Spanish capital city fully consists of medieval buildings but that’s not exactly true. Today Madrid is one of the modern European business centers, so the designer decided to present the modern side of the city. Here is one of the examples made while searching for the best fitting picture.

 

Madrid big city guide ui

 

Yet the priority has been given to the bridge in contemporary style. Keeping the consistent scheme with the previous page, the center of the composition remains the name of the city. The word shows the deep perspective with the modern construction echoing the form of the swirl or vortex. The subheading presents the motivating line gives the mood of the energetic and bright city. Here is the final result.

 

Big City Guide Madrid tubik

 

Every new day brings new knowledge. Searching for the perfect background photo the designer missed the fact that there is not only Madrid in Spain but also another one in Iowa, USA. The Internet played a joke with the designer mixing photos of two Madrids, so it’s impossible to distinguish them for those who haven’t visited all the corners of these places. Well, that’s good to take lessons from the errors, and this case gave us all the chance to learn something new.

 

The last city featured is Stockholm. It is full of magnificent ancient buildings and modern-styled places, so the designer experimented with various photos of the city places. Here is the example with the picture of the underground in Stockholm which presents the part of the creative search for the visual concept.

 

Stockholm big city guide ui

 

However, all the urban photos couldn’t convey the unique atmosphere of Stockholm. That’s why the designer comes from the other side. Stockholm is one of the biggest Scandinavian cities, so nothing can deliver the Nordic vibes better than its nature.

 

web ui design city guide

 

This is the final variant of the Stockholm page. The content elements on the page are placed similarly to the previous with the name of the city in the center. The word is harmonically inscribed into the thematic picture with deep and magnificent Nordic forest. The subheading presents the motivating line whose message naturally combines with the image and the associations set by the city.

 

The onboarding landing page applies simple structure recognizable for users. The left part of the header features a clickable logo BCG taking users to the home page. The header menu allows people to see the full list of cities, go to the blog or learn the maps. Also, the service provides the registration feature. The search icon completes the header.

 

The vital part of any city guide is the description copy. Since the pages are focused on the name of the city, short copy is placed at the left bottom part of the page. CTA button under the text provides users with an opportunity to read more if they are interested in detailed information. The users can also find social network links easily in the footer.

 

The final stage of work on the landing page was the animation of the presented layouts, accomplished by motion designer Kirill Erokhin.

 

Big City Guide animation tubik

 

The static variants of pages have different colors of the background, but in the final animated version, all pages are united with one color. Smooth animation adds the dynamic nature of traveling and supports the feeling of consistent interaction. Navigation through the pages can be accomplished in two ways: via navigation button and with the help of progress bar placed on the top of the page. They both use the same contrast color to keep the visual consistency and make all the ways of navigation clear.

 

As we can see, despite the fact that all cities differ by style and energy they bring, the designer managed to keep them in a single tone creating the feeling of the website unity. Moreover, such a construction of the landing page makes it flexible for further alterations, for example, adding more pages of the cities which are particularly popular with readers of the website.

 

Tubik UI Fridays go on for more concepts and case studies we will share with you soon. So, follow our blog and Dribbble not to miss the updates.


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UI research web and app design tubik

User Research. Empathy Is the Best UX Policy.

Starting any project, which is not their personal presentation but a product for users, designers should be deeply aware: they work primarily not for self-expression, not for showing their creativity to the world, not for creating something revolutionary new that will make the world go round in opposite direction. They work to solve users’ problems, satisfy their wishes and achieve business goals.

 

That is why it’s vital to establish who the potential users of the future product are and which their wishes and needs could be met. This is the time when the designer turns into the researcher to get as much information as possible and analyze it for the sake of user-friendly solutions in design and interactions. In our earlier articles, we have already mentioned the significant role of user research in creating problem-solving user-friendly designs, and today we suggest getting deeper into its definition, methods, techniques and benefits in the process of creating a digital product.

 

web design tubik studio

 

What is user research?

 

Generally, the word «research», being quite universal for the diverse spheres of professional activities, roots into the Old French word recercher meaning «seek out, search closely»; first, it was the verb and later transformed into the noun of the same semantics. The modern definition of the noun according to Cambridge Dictionary state the meaning as «a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding». This sort of activity is widely applied in a variety of sciences and practical fields, including informational architecture and user experience design.

 

Basically, user research is the comprehensive and multilayered activity whose aim is to collect information about the potential target audience of the product. Via a number of techniques, user researchers collect and then analyze the information obtained from real users, and this outcome usually allows the design team to work on the optimal solutions which will make the product user-friendly and attractive.

 

Therefore, user research means getting deeper into details of core target audience to understand their preferences and psychological peculiarities, the influence of different factors like colors, stylistic decisions, and logic of interaction on emotions and experience of the defined group, the sources of information and creative performance ways which could engage users and make them active. On this basis, visual design presumes to create the original and recognizable style that will make the product stand out of the crowd and draw potential customer’s attention.

 

User research is actually the way by which designer is able to step into the shoes of the user and go along his or her path feeling all the stones on the way. This is the way to create designs based on empathy — the ability to place yourself onto the place of the other person, to feel what they are feeling and see what they are seeing. This precious ability enables designers to create things which not only work well and look good but also do what the particular users need them to do.

 

web development

 

Why is user research needed?

 

Famous guru of advertising David Ogilvy emphasized the great importance of research for creating effective result: «Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.» Time has changed the means, goals and technologies, still, the vital role of research established even stronger. Neglecting the research stage and relying only on their creative intuition, experience and talent, designers risk failing this task as they will not know the conditions of the app functioning and will not be able to make it efficient, user-friendly and original.

 

As we mentioned before, designers who start creating a product just at once when they get the task are quite risky guys. There are plenty of things to do before the designing process itself. Ignoring those things can give the interesting but not viable result. It’s important to analyze the competition, to understand the target market, to find out the sources of traffic and potential expectations of the users before setting off. Otherwise, you can waste much more time on loads of inefficient variants.

 

Toonie Alarm UI design

 

When is user research applied?

 

Describing the typical stages of product creation process here in Tubik, we have mentioned the set of the following stages: setting the task and initial scope of works; estimation; user/market research; UX wireframing; prototyping; UI design; animation; software architecture planning; development; testing; release; updates. Still, it doesn’t mean that all these stages go one-by-one in this order — some of them are interconnected and some of them are spread around the whole creative process. User research is applied at several different levels of creation, somehow changing the perspective and the goals on the data which should be obtained and analyzed.

 

We would mark out three typical stages when user research is a must-do essential for creating the efficient design.

 

Pre-design research: this is actually the initial stage of the creative process when designer working over the project is exploring the requirements of the stakeholders and collects the maximum information about the target audience.  As well as in a scientific project, the scientist collects and analyzes the heritage of the previous specialists involved in the sphere to make the product actual, the UX designer needs to do the same to offer the solutions correspondent to what users need and want.  This is the time to talk, read and analyze a lot. This is when the designer needs to dive into psychology and behavior, together with the stakeholder set the goals of the product and investigate the factors which influence choices in this domain. Certainly, with every next project and each next dose of experience, the designer can get accustomed to user research techniques and needs less time for them. However, there never comes the day when the designer doesn’t need any time for research as long as every project has its unique requirements and its own USP which should be enlightened by design.

 

In-process research: it is applied at different stages of the actual design process when, having the chances to interact with users, discuss their wishes, watch their behavior and analyze the problems they have, designers explore the offered solutions in action and on that basis can alter some positions of their research and add more efficiency to the user interfaces.

 

Real product research: this is the another level of research applied to actually existing digital product users operate with. Applying various techniques of user testing, designers collect actual experience, analyze it and make improvements in terms of real cases of the product usage in different environments and conditions.

 

UI design Upper App

 

What are the dimensions of user research?

 

Certainly, there are numerous approaches to the process of research. Among them, we would like to draw your attention to the dimensions outlined by Nielsen Norman Group, highly experienced in the domain of research and analysis and regularly sharing their findings in this sphere. They offer to view the methods of user research along a 3-dimensional framework with the following axes:

  • Attitudinal vs. Behavioral
  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative
  • Context of Use

ux-landscape-questions

 

As we can see from the scheme, attitude is what people say while behavior is what people do. In real life, they are often different things and aspects, due to numerous reasons like individual traits of character, temper, education level, age, gender, beliefs and so on. Another opposition presents qualitative analysis, which is usually measured by definite numbers (like «how many clicks the user makes before accomplishing the payment») and qualitative analysis («why user can leave the page without registration and how this problem could be fixed»). And the context of use analyzes all the additional factors which can influence the outcome of interaction with the product, for example, is the user goes along the preliminary given script or interaction is full improvisation.

 

Analyzing the data in terms of different dimensions, designers are able to take the comprehensive outcome enabling to make solid decisions about the interactions and visual performance.

 

What are the methods of user research?

 

Today, user experience design has already grown into a sphere with the considerable background of project and research cases, which have resulted in the extensive set of different research methods. Some methods are used on a regular basis, some are more rare and specific, yet it’s good for designers to be aware of a variety of them. Let’s briefly review the popular ones.

 

Interviews. Perhaps the most widely spread method when, having set the target audience of the product, people involved into the creative process interact directly with potential users and ask them questions to collect information. The quality of questions is the issue of high importance here. It’s effective to apply both close (yes/no) and open (giving the detailed answer) questions to let users provide diverse information.

 

Personas. The technique which has been applied in marketing and sales for a long time with client/buyer personas and now has transformed into a new perspective of user personas. With this technique, designer collects the data about the potential target audience, its psychological and behavioral preferences and habits and creates a bunch of imaginary users with these characteristic. On the ground of this data, the designer models users’ interactions with the product and possible issues that can arise in the process.

 

Sorting cards. This technique is effectively applied in cases when designers deal with the products presenting complex interfaces and variety of diverse content. The users are asked to categorize the content and set the hierarchies. In this way, the designers obtain the data showing how users see this sort of content and what way of its organization would be efficient for quick and easy navigation around the app or website.

 

Surveys. Another traditional method of scientific and social explorations when users are offered the set of questions. Answering them, users give the actual information enabling designers to understand their preferences and wishes deeper.

 

Focus group. Popular method presenting the moderated discussion of the product, its features, benefits and drawbacks within the group of people potentially close to the target audience. Altering some characteristics of the group, for example, age, gender, education level, tech literacy, researchers can receive the variety of data and see how these features can influence user behavior.

 

Task analysis. The method exploring the tasks and goals which users have interacting with the product. Understanding what users want to do enables designer to consider the fast and effective ways to achieve these goals.

 

Eyetracking. Special devices enable the designer to review which zones of the website or app users interact with more actively and use these zones in the most efficient and informative way.

 

Participatory design. Users are offered the set of elements for the layout and can suggest their own vision of the construction.

 

Clickstream testing. The analysis of the most clickable parts of the layout with the aim of designing clear interactions and reveal the problems.

 

A/B Testing. The users deal with one variant of design (version A) for some time and then another variant (version B) while the researcher collects the information along the necessary metrics and makes the conclusion about the efficiency of the versions.

 

Daily Reports. The user is asked to interact with a product for a particular period providing the reports on a daily basis. This helps to check the usability of the product in the perspective of long-term use.

 

Desirability testing. The users are usually offered visually and stylistically different versions and provide the feedback which version they would prefer and why.

 

design navigation UI UX tubik studio

 

What are the important points to consider in user research?

 

Collecting the data about user behavior and preferences via diverse methods and techniques, the designer has to take into account the following factors:

 

— the environment of use (the factors of using the product indoors or outdoors, the level of light, noise, available time and tons of other things can have an impact on design solutions)

— factors of intrinsic motivation (the internal personal stimuli moving the person to act)

— factors of extrinsic motivation (the outer factors of getting a reward or avoiding punishment that encourage people’s behavior)

— longevity of the product (based on the period for which the product is planned for use: if it grows together with the user or is applicable only in a particular age).

 

It’s should be remembered that removing the mistakes in design, even if its already high-fidelity level, is faster, cheaper and less painful for users than fixing negative issues with already launched and operating product.

 

The bottom line is simple. Don’t be lazy to research vital points of the project before you start designing. Don’t fancy doing the research? No problem, go to duck and dive in loads of baseless concepts instead of going along the solid path of understanding the user’s needs and wishes. Just don’t forget: it’s not you who decides that the product is successful, it’s not even other designers or stakeholders. It’s users. So, empathy is the best policy.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some articles we recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:

 

Complete Beginner’s Guide to UX Research

 

When to Use Which User-Experience Research Methods

 

User Research Basics

 

Pareto Principle-Based User Research

 

How To Conduct User Experience Research Like A Professional

 

Open-Ended vs. Closed-Ended Questions in User Research

 


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psychology of design article tubik blog

Psychology in Design. Principles Helping to Understand Users.

Some people are used to thinking of design as a purely artistic job but there is much more standing behind it. The sense of beauty and inspiration are not enough to create the proficient design. That’s why designers should possess certain knowledge and skills of distinct sciences to do their job right. And it’s not only the art of design, it’s also about various fields of knowledge and practice which help them work efficiently and productively. One of the basic studies helping designers to understand users is psychology. Today, we will figure out what a big part psychology plays in design and what psychological principles are essential to remember during the design process.

 

tubikstudio ted-talks collection

 

The role of psychology in design

 

Today the tendency of user-centered design makes designers reconsider approach to their work and go deeper into the understanding of the target audience. Donald A. Norman in his book “The Design of Everyday Things” defines design as an act of communication, which means having the deep understanding of the person with whom the designer is communicating. In order to get better insight into people’s needs, designers are recommended to bear in mind the psychological principles of human behavior, aspirations and motivations.

 

The outcome of the work can be even more positive if a designer applies psychology in the creative process since the science gives the close understanding of the target audience. Psychology knowledge helps to create the design which will make users perform the actions they are expected to such as making a purchase or contacting the team.

 

Designers may see psychology as a complicated approach to improving the design and for that reason neglect this part of research and analysis. However, you don’t need to be a Ph.D. in psychology to use it at your work effectively. All you need to consider are the basic principles constantly presented in design. Based on our experience and the conducted research, we’ve defined six effective psychological principles often applied in the design process.

 

tubik studio quote collection

 

Gestalt Principles

 

This psychological theory is almost 100-year-old but it hasn’t lost its actuality. The word “gestalt” means «unified whole» so the theory explores users’ visual perception of elements in relation to each other. In other words, it shows how people tend to unify the visual elements into groups. The principles, on which users form the groups, include:

 

Similarity. If a user sees objects that look somehow similar, they may automatically perceive them as the individual elements of one group. The similarity between elements is usually defined with shape, color, size, texture or value. The similarity gives users the sense of coherence between the design elements.

 

Continuation. It is the principle according to which the human eye moves naturally from one object to the other. This often happens through the creation of curved lines allowing the eye to flow with the line.

 

Closure. It is a technique based on the human eye’s tendency to see closed shapes. Closure works where an object is incomplete but the user perceives it as a full shape by filling in the missing parts.

 

Proximity. When objects are placed in close proximity, the eye perceives them as a group rather than seen individually even if they aren’t similar.

 

Figure/Ground. This principle demonstrates the eye’s tendency to separate objects from their background. There are lots of examples of pictures that shows two faces depending on where your eye is focused the object or background.

 

website design for photographers

Photography Workshops  website

 

The Gestalt principles confirm in practice that our brain tends to make tricks with us, so designers should consider that fact during the creation process to exclude the possibility of misunderstandings.

 

Visceral Reactions

 

Have you ever had that feeling when you fall in love with the website after the first second when you’ve opened it? Or maybe an application has made you sick only with the quick glance at it? If yes, then you’ve already known what’s a visceral reaction. This kind of reactions comes from the part of our head called “old brain” responsible for the instincts and it reacts much faster than our consciousness does. Visceral reactions are rooted in our DNA, so they can be easily predicted.

 

How do designers use this knowledge? They aim at creating a positive aesthetic impression with the design. It’s not that difficult to guess what looks nice to people and what doesn’t if you know your target audience and their needs. So, the tendency of using the high-resolution beautiful photos or the colorful pictures at landing pages, websites or any other web and mobile products is not accidental.

 

jewellery_e-commerce_app_concept_by_tubik

Jewelry E-commerce Application

 

Psychology of Colors

 

A science studying the influence of colors on the human’s mind, behavior, and reactions is called the psychology of colors. Today we won’t go deep into the aspects of this study since it is complex so deserves to have a specialized post devoted to it (on which, besides, we’re already working). In a few words, the main idea of the study is that the colors have a great impact on the users’ perception. That’s why designers should choose the colors knowingly to make sure their work presents the right message and tune.

 

Here is the list of the basic colors and the meanings which they are typically associated with:

Red. The color usually associates with passionate, strong, or aggressive feelings. It symbolizes both good and bad feelings including love, confidence, passion and anger.

Orange. An energetic and warm color bringing the feelings of excitement.

Yellow. This is the color of happiness. It symbolizes the sunlight, joy and warmth.

Green. The color of nature. It brings calming and renewing feelings. Also, may signify inexperience.

Blue. It often represents some corporate images. It usually shows calm feelings but as a cool color it also associates with distance and sadness.

Purple. Long associated with royalty and wealth since many kings wore purple clothes. It’s also a color of a mystery and magic.

Black. The color has a great number of the meanings. It associates with a tragedy and death. It signifies a mystery. It can be traditional and modern. Everything depends on how you employ it and which colors go with it.

White. The color means purity and innocence, as well as wholeness and clarity.

 

tubik studio web UI design

Slopes Website

 

Recognition Patterns

 

You may have noticed that website or applications united with one theme usually have common patterns in their design. The reason is the users’ psychology. The thing is that people visiting a website or using an application are expecting to see certain things associated with the definite kind of product.

 

For example, visiting a website of a barbershop, the users are not expecting to see bright colors or pictures with cats or anything like this because if they do see it, this will definitely make them think of a website as an untrustworthy resource.

 

However, not only the colors and pictures matter. Some obvious and common things such as a list of blog posts on the front page of a blog or the filters in the e-commerce website are also important for successful navigation. Users become accustomed to things quickly and their absence makes them feel uncomfortable.

 

todo list UI app tubik studio

To-do list concept

 

Scanning Patterns

 

In our article Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces, we’ve already mentioned that before reading a web page, people scan it to get a sense of whether they are interested. According to different studies, including the publications by Nielsen Norman Group, UXPin team and others, there are several popular scanning patterns for web pages, among which “F” and “Z” patterns.

 

F-pattern is referred to as the most common eye-scanning pattern, especially for web pages with the big amount of content. A user first scans a horizontal line on the top of the screen, then moves down the page a bit and reads along the horizontal line which usually covers a shorter area. And the last one is a vertical line down on the left side of the copy where they look for keywords in the initial sentences of the paragraphs. It usually occurs on text-heavy pages like blogs, news platforms, thematic editorials etc.

 

Z-pattern is applied to pages which are not so heavily concentrated on the copy. A user first scans across the top of the page starting from the top left corner, looking for important information, and then goes down to the opposite corner at a diagonal, finishing with the horizontal line at the bottom of the page, again from left to right. This is a typical model of scanning for landing pages or websites not loaded with copy and not requiring scrolling down the page, which means that all the core data is visible in the pre-scroll area.

 

Knowing these patterns, designers can place the elements in an effective way for users’ perception and help them perform expected actions.

 

Hick’s Law

 

The law states that the more options users are exposed to, the longer it takes them to make a decision. This means that the more options you give to users, be it products to choose or pictures to look at, the more time and energy it takes to make a decision about the next step of interaction. The possible result here is that the users make the choices but get unpleasant feelings after using the product, or in the worst case, they may not want to take such a significant effort and just leave.

 

That’s why designers are recommended to keep any options including buttons, pictures, pages to a minimum. Removing unnecessary choices, you make the usability of the product more effective.

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App

 

Psychology is an effective tool in design which makes the creative process more productive while the result is going to be more user-centered. We’ve told you about six useful principles but they are only the tip of the iceberg because there is much more to learn on the topic. Don’t miss our next blog posts continuing this useful theme!

 

Recommended reading:

 

Here are some more articles we could recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:

 

Gestalt principles

 

The role of psychology as a design tool

 

5 psychology rules every UX designer must know

 

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Don Norman

 

The 5 pillars of visual hierarchy in Web design

 

6 principles of visual hierarchy for designers

 

On Visual Hierarchy

 

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

opera video design case study tubik

Case Study: Opera. Year-in-Review Video Design.

A picture is able to tell a lot instantly. It can inform, call associations,  set the mood and atmosphere, give the insights and wake up curiosity, get people inspired or engage further considerations and do that all in a beautiful and attractive manner. Still, to spark all that amazing potential, the picture needs to be created by a professional, who knows how to do that magic via talent, skills and experience.

 

Having the whole set of such professionals on-board, we finished the last year with an interesting and challenging project. In December Tubik team got the chance of creative collaboration with Opera to work on the bright and catchy year-in-review video. You could already have seen the video and design process presentation in Tubik Portfolio, and today we invite our readers to take a deeper look at this design story in a new case study.

 

opera video graphic design case study tubik

 

Task

 

Design of a short animated video «Opera 2016: Year in Review» within a tight timeline.

 

Process

 

Introducing a customer, Opera is a web browser developed by Opera Software. According to Opera Software, it had more than 350 million users worldwide in the 4th quarter 2014. Total Opera mobile users reached 291 million in June 2015. According to SlashGeek, Opera has originated features later adopted by other web browsers, including Speed Dial, pop-up blocking, browser sessions, private browsing, and tabbed browsing.

 

The initial stage of project discussion with the customer showed that they needed an animated video accomplished in an attractive manner immediately setting the positive and cheerful mood. The video had to present the essential milestones of the year when Opera, one of the actively used web browsers around the world, presented fresh innovative features to its numerous users. Opera team enjoyed bright colors and lifestyle object compositions and the approach they wished to use for the video was to devote each composition to a specific month when a particular feature was delivered. It was agreed that the visual performance should feature the 3D flat style, minimalistic animations and lush colors — everything that Tubik team is strong at.

 

Meanwhile, the early stage of discussions on creative process also established the biggest challenge of the project: the timeline was extremely short. The team of designers had only 5 days for design and animation of 8 complex flat illustrations full of details, transforming the company message, looking bright and fresh and keeping visual consistency to look natural in one video. This was the type of project that proved the great power of teamwork when all the participants of the creative process worked like a clock.

 

Illustrations

 

The first creative stage of the project had to result in a set of flat illustrations presenting the prominent innovations of the year: Ad Blocker, Battery Saver, Video Pop Out, Personal News, VPN, Faster Startup, Currency Converter. All the illustrations had to present the interiors decorated with bright details close and clear for every user, and also set the atmosphere of the particular season and the visual element showing the presented browser feature. In this way, combined in the video and replacing each other, the illustrations would support the feeling of the year flowing. Here is the final set presented to motion designers who had to do further work on breathing life into the pictures.

 

opera video animation case study

 

This is the intro illustration opening the video, setting the cheerful mood and giving the strong link with the brand.

 

opera video animation case study

 

This illustration presents the feature of native Ad-Blocker, which Opera presented in spring, so the color palette corresponds to the shades traditionally associated with this time of the year.

 

opera video animation case study

 

The next illustration presents the feature of Battery Saver, which got active in late spring: the season is supported with general bright and sunny color palette, flowers in the vase and green trees outside the window.

 

opera video animation case study

 

Another illustration was designed to present the feature of Video Pop Out, enabling users to watch videos while browsing. Big window shows the green plants and blue sky and the diagonal light shadows let us guess the shiny sun, the table sets the scene with a couple of books and a glass of lemonade, and even the video on the screen shows the sea shore and people having fun — everything allows viewers to understand easily that this user-friendly innovation was added in summer.

 

opera video animation case study

 

The next artwork is associated with the feature of a personal newsreader. A bit darker sky, a bit longer shadows, some clouds, the cup of tea and red-ripe apples on the tree say: when users got the ability to read the news right from their browser, the summer had almost finished. 

 

opera video animation case study

 

The feature of built-in VPN enhancing the privacy of browsing was set up in autumn, which us immediately clear from the view with yellow trees outside, while the passport seen on the table sets the strong connection with the matter of privacy.

 

opera video animation case study

 

Next illustration featured the faster speed of start-up loading, so the key visual element of the composition is the speedometer shown on the computer screen. It immediately sets association with the issue of speed while the color palette chosen for this artwork enables users to feel the vibes of deep autumn.

 

opera video animation case study

 

The last innovation to present was the built-in currency converter enabling users to shop online faster and easier. Some details in the picture, like the calculator, the decorative recognizable model of a shop placed on the shelf, the delivery truck behind the window as well as the layout on the screen set the atmosphere of shopping, while the outside view and the gifts let us know it’s the busy time of buying Christmas presents. 

 

Having a full set of illustrations approved by the client, motion designers came into play and presented the variants of transitions, while graphic designers worked on the fonts for the short descriptions to be used in the video. The fonts had to look highly readable and correspond to the general stylistic concept.

 

opera video animation case study

The sample of animated transitions between the slides livened up with the natural movements of the details close to motion in real life.

 

opera video animation case study

The sample of the fonts used on the slide in combination with the illustration

 

Final video

 

Five days of hard and coordinated work of the design team resulted in the final video of about 40 seconds showing the full set of key innovations Opera presented in 2016.

 

 

In one of the previous articles, devoted to design processes and work styles, we mentioned: the studio experience lets us believe that teamwork organized wisely and thoughtfully doesn’t take away designers’ individual space or freedom — vice versa, it adds to it the power of solid support and prospective ways for bigger and more complex, therefore more interesting and challenging projects and tasks. The project for Opera became one of the convincing proofs.

 

opera video design case study tubik

 

In their testimonial to Tubik team, Opera Software team mentioned: «The loose storyboard and tight timeline we presented you with were undoubtedly a challenge but everyone is very happy with how well your team delivered on it!» No doubt, this project became not only a great and absorbing challenge but also the case of fruitful collaboration and bright finale for the extremely busy design year.


Welcome to check out the presentation of Opera project in Tubik Portfolio

Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

UI design product management

Managing Success. The Role of Product Manager.

In our user-centered world, people’s requirements are extremely high and companies have no other option than trying to give only the best products to them. But how can the companies define if their product responds to the requirements of its target audience and make sure it’ll be successful? Who’s responsible for this key part of the workflow? The answer is a product manager.

 

Even though product management is a core part of the workflow in many companies, meaning behind this position can get people confused. First of all, it may be difficult to understand the essence of the “product” part. We are used to seeing “products” as something that is sold to people, so product managers may be confused with merchandiser, sales manager or other person responsible for purchases. Moreover, it may be mistaken for a job of project manager because sometimes they do have similar responsibilities. Today, in our article, we’ll clear up the essence of a product manager and their role in the workflow of web and mobile development and design companies.

 

wordpress theme design tubik

 

Who’s a product manager?

 

Typically, it is a person who is in charge of the general success of the product. A product manager makes sure that all aspects including business model, positioning, branding, and marketing of the product come together and, what’s more importantly, they ensure it meets users’ needs. Their primary concern is the target audience of the product, the business needs and measurement of the future success.

 

However, the role of product management varies depending on a size and a type of a company. For the web and mobile companies, a product manager is the one who builds the extensive network of relationships between customers and all the parts of the team including development, design and marketing departments to identify the goals, roadmaps and the requirements for the product. Their responsibilities include setting the strategy, the communication with customers, and defining the set of basic features. The main objective of a product manager is to create a product that users will love.

 

Product manager vs Project manager

 

It is sometimes thought that these two jobs are identical: they can be mistaken because people don’t see the differences between a product and a project. Let’s figure it out. A product is what a company provides to the users and it doesn’t matter if it’s a tangible thing or a service that they provide such as design. And, speaking of a project we usually mean a plan that includes work stages, expected outcome, responsible parties, fixed terms and budget. The project is accomplished when the outcome is provided, while the product keeps existing (hopefully) far long after the project is complete. In many cases, product is the result obtained from a particular project.

 

tubik studio manager designer

 

According to this, we can say that the prior objective of a project manager is managing the team of specialists to complete all the stages of the project on time and under budget, while a product manager aims at managing and creating the competitive product that will work after the project is complete.

 

You can find more detailed information about a job of project manager in our article Project Management. Design Process Backstage.

 

Why do IT companies need a product manager?

 

Today the importance of product management is higher than it’s been ever before because of the focus on creating user-centered products. Nevertheless, many companies doubt whether they need to hire a product manager or it would be enough to have a project manager who will lead the team. For better understanding of the key role of a product manager in a workflow, we suggest looking closer at the tasks and responsibilities that a product manager usually takes on.

 

User/market research and analysis

 

In one of our previous articles, we’ve already discussed the role of user and market research in the process of mobile application development. User research means getting deeper into details of core target audience to understand their preferences and psychological peculiarities, the influence of different factors like colors and creative performance ways which could engage users and make them active. Marketing research means exploring the market segment, primarily in the perspective of creative solutions used by competitors. The success of final result depends on how these stages were worked out, so it may be useful and beneficial if they are accomplished by the professional product manager.

 

tubik studio design business

 

Product strategy

 

Product strategy is a plan that organizations follow to achieve desired outcomes.It helps to structure the goals and the ways to achieving them. The product strategy usually consists of a set of chosen activities and milestones to be complete which are typically illustrated as a phased timeline that starts with the current stage and goes to the specific point in the future. The aim of a product manager is to create a solid product strategy that will help organize activities, establish the connection between the product and the company strategy, and clearly identify the steps that should be taken to achieve the business goals.

 

Features for MVP

 

Just to remember, MVP is a product with the set of minimal functions and features which are logically completed and sustainable providing the most important and basic functions for the core target audience. This means that the basic version of the product, able to fulfill key operations solving target audience’s problems, is created as live and starts real functioning as soon as possible.

 

Product manager’s responsibilities include setting priorities in all the processes of creating a product. Based on the research results, they need to choose only necessary features that respond to the actual needs of core target audience at the moment.

 

design navigation UI UX tubik studio

 

Communication with clients

 

At the early stages, product managers build communication with the clients in order to identify their goals for the future business. When the product is being created, product managers usually write short reports daily which may be filled with graphs, charts, or updated suggestions. In this way, you can build trustworthy relationships with your clients and create the competitive product. Certainly, in some companies these are the responsibilities of project managers. Nevertheless, a product manager knows more about the specific features of the product, that’s why it may be more effective if the reports on the product development (not a project’s progress) are made by product managers.

 

Presentation

 

Research and analysis process aren’t over after a product has been developed. Product managers keep searching for new ideas and the updates on the target market. That’s why regular meetings and presentations about the findings may be quite useful for the successful outcome.

 

Design Studio Tubik

 

We should note that in many digital agencies, UI/UX designers carry out user and market research by themselves to get deeper understanding what they need to do. Nevertheless, global product strategy planning can be hardly related to the field of designers’ specializations. Marketing, business strategies, economics and communications are forte of a product manager who may know little about design but be able to maintain the product presentation and promotion effectively.

 

As you can see, product management can make the connection of the product to the clients and users tight and efficient from the earliest stages of its creation. However, in any case the decision on involving a product manager into the process is highly individual. It depends on numerous factors, including the budget, complexity of the product and the goals behind it.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some more articles we could recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:
 

Behind Every Great Product. The Role of the Product Manager
 

Who Needs Product Management?
 

Why Companies Need Full-Time Product Managers (And What They Do All Day)
 

Transitioning from User Experience to Product Management
 

The User Experience Guide Book For Product Managers


Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

upper app UI design case study

Case Study: Upper App. UI Design for To-Do List.

Famous author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said: «You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.» Planning our day and managing our tasks is the significant job we have to do regularly and devotedly in case we seek for success. Tons of books, articles and interviews from successful and productive people generally send the global message: to be productive you have to plan your day and tasks distributing your time and effort wisely. 

 

Would you like to have a reliable helping hand in the process of planning your days and setting goals effectively and without any distractions? Welcome to try Upper, simple and elegant free application for iPhones, designed and developed by Tubik team. Today this motivating to-do list is featured and spinning up at Product Hunt, so we’ve also decided to unveil some details of design and functionality with our readers.

 

Upper App to-do list tubik

 

Task

 

Full-cycle UI/UX design for the simple and motivational productivity app for iPhones.

 

Process

 

Creating the to-do list application, Tubik team realized the high scale of competition in this sphere of utilities: that was a step into the red ocean. Still, as it usually happens in the fields covering wide and diverse target audience, a variety of the products is another user-friendly feature: it allows choosing the styles and features every particular user likes. Continuing the theme of personal productivity, which was started with our previous app Toonie Alarm, we’ve established the goal to present the app of totally different look and functionality deeply focused on personal and professional motivation.

 

 upper app UI design

 

In UX perspective, the app interface was concentrated on extremely simple interactions and intuitive navigation, while in UI design the core concerns gathered around high readability level and visual hierarchy that would allow users to use the app easily in any environment and on the go. In addition, working over the visual performance of the app user interface, Tubik designer Ernest Asanov made a general stylistic concept choice in favor of minimalist and elegant solutions.

 

Functionality

 

The basic idea set behind Upper was creating helpful to-do list, deeply concentrating user’s attention on the tasks and deadline. That’s why it doesn’t include complex functionality, distractions or decorations. It presents only the features and elements needed for time and task management.

 

Functions and features provide the following:

  • All the features of the app are free for everyone
  • Upper Streak Challenge motivate users to complete all the tasks for the day
  • Statistics of tasks completion
  • Simple and clear navigation
  • Easy adding, deleting and marking tasks
  • Eye-pleasing slight animation
  • Instant sharing achievements with friends

 

upper app UI design case study

 

Design and Layout

 

Interactions: The basic functionality of the app is built around user’s ability to create the list of tasks which can be saved for the particular date and time, easily deleted or marked complete. In addition, Upper analyzes task completion progress and shows stats to keep users updated and motivated. The absence of distractions, simple screen design and thought-out typography make the content highly readable and allow using the app easily in any environment and on-the-go.

 

upper app UI design case study

 

Basic functional buttons are placed in the bottom of the screen, which supports usability for users with big devices. Different swipe gestures allow a user to mark the task complete or delete it from the list. Core information such as dates, the words for the closest days (tomorrow, today), the number of tasks and days in Upper Streak are presented in uppercase font, supporting both efficient visual hierarchy of the layout elements and the harmonic consistency in combination with the product brand name.

 

Upper App to-do list 7

 

Upper Streak: The original feature of Upper App is user motivation with special challenge of non-breaking plans and increasing productivity potential: the app motivates to complete all the planned tasks via Upper Streak Challenge. Streak is the period during which users don’t interrupt completing the tasks with Upper: it shows the achievement in being consistent and productive and encourages not to stop and break the progress. Seeing your determination, the app will challenge you with bigger number of tasks, so users are motivated to get organized and complete the plans with Upper without missing a day.

 

upper app UI design case study

 

Color and style: The app is designed in minimalist and elegant style of layout based deeply on quick functionality and intuitive navigation. What is more, users are provided with the variety of skins and can choose between dark, light and red skin depending on their personal taste and wishes. At the moment the app is presented in dark skin, but next update coming very soon will let users activate any of the three palettes.

 

upper app UI design case study

 

User-friendly navigation, supported with slight eye-pleasing animation, will help users to focus on their tasks.  No ads, no complications, no extra copy, interface motivating to create short concise notes for the tasks – nothing will distract from the goals. Application provides the simple calendar, allows saving notes conveniently, check stats and plan anything from everyday stuff to business objectives.

 

upper app UI design case study

 

To get more information on design and interactions, you can also review the full presentation of Upper App design or check full pack of the details via Upper Press Kit


Welcome to see full presentation on Product Hunt

Welcome to download Upper App via App Store

Welcome to see the designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

health care app calendar tubik

Case Study: Health Care App. UI for Doctors.

One of the life aspects whose importance is never faded or lost in any country is the issue of healthcare. This is the factor having, perhaps, the biggest impact on not only personal and professional life of an individual, but also general productivity and welfare of the whole country. With the rapid growth of technology, it would be irrational not to apply the great potential of modern innovation in the sphere of health care and medical services. Recent years have shown increasing interest of professionals and stakeholders in setting creative experiments and searching for new innovative solutions helping doctors to take the advantage of technology in saving lives, enhancing and speeding up health care. As a result of this massive concern, the bunch of apps and websites useful for doctors and patients have already come into play, and the field is still actively progressing. The role of design is literally vital here, in many cases providing real support in the matters of life and death.

 

Our today’s case study is devoted to this vitally actual theme and presents the design concept of the web application for doctors called HealthCare App. Having explored the specific nature of this type of digital products, Tubik designer Eugene Cameel thought over the solutions concentrated on fast and intuitive interaction for making communication between a doctor and a patient easy and fast while saving and looking for the data optimized and organized. Let’s look at the details of the concept closer.

 

tubik studio designer ux

 

Task

UI/UX design of a web application for doctors

 

Process

UX Wireframing

 

As we mentioned in our recent article about UX wireframing, this initial part of creative process lays the foundation of future functionality before the aspects of visual performance and style are approached. Work over wireframes is based on definition and analysis of the target audience and its potential pains which the future product is going to solve. The target audience of HealthCare App was primarily doctors and the key objective of the product was set as optimization of huge amount of data which doctors deal with on a regular basis. Every single piece of information about every patient is vital for making the right decision, so creating the interface, the designer was focused on making it organized, clear and easy-to-use. Intuitive navigation was set as the biggest priority to make the app applicable even for people with low or medium level of tech literacy.

 

Basically,  the app provides doctors with the functionality of saving and organizing data about patients with the ability to find it quickly in database when it’s needed. Also, doctor’s can plan and save appointments in the calendar as well as the history of medical examinations for patients under supervision. Application also saves history of diagnoses, prescribed medicines, personal data and complex medication plans with marking the stages. Another useful feature is that the users of the app get the access to the stats and explorations on different issues at different level of coverage, from local to general statistics and recommendations by WHO.

 

Let’s check UX solutions for three basic screens presenting appointments, calendar and statistics.

health care app UX design

 

The app features the sidebar with five tabs located on the left side of the screen and the header featuring the title of the information field (calendar, appointments etc.), the current date and search field, well-seen and easily accessible in case any data should be found quickly. The main field of the Calendar screen presented below organizes data about all the appointments in three modes along the period of time reviewed — month, week and day, switched via top menu. This part also gives particular dates shown on the screen. All the data is organized in special cards while the timeline located on the left lets to catch the timing. The user can review all the planned appointments or things to do, getting more extensive data after tapping the necessary tab, or add new appointments to the free spaces in the schedule. In preview, notes show the full name of the patient, time of the planned appointment and mark of the visit nature (urgent, follow-up therapy etc.)

 

health care UX calendar

 

The screen of a particular appointment shows the dynamic head menu which can be scrolled horizontally and presents the list of patients. Then lower we can see the tab presenting detailed information about the current patient, who is being examined, including name, gender, doctor’s name, ID number, address and contacts. The biggest interactive field on the page shows three basic categories to organize data: medical background, lab results, insurance and charges.

 

tubik health care app UX

 

The third screen shows various stats which can be useful for the doctor in exploration a particular case or diagnosis. The tab below the header allows user to switch between the categories of stats coverage and set a particular month or year for the required data.

 

tubik health care app UX

 

UI design

 

The essential issues to consider about UI design, going deeper into convenient and functional visual presentation of the data in the app, were color palette and typography. As you can see, the designer made his choice in contrast color palette with deep blue general background including the sidebar and header part, that worked well for creating deep contrast with bright orange active icons and basic data in header written in white. Contrarily, the main operative field of the app uses white background which looks natural for the app in health care sphere and serves several important goals:

 

— it supports high level of readability and quick perception of text-based content, which is crucial for healthcare operation with patient’s data, especially in cases of emergency;

 

— it provides the great field of creating prominent contrast for key interaction elements, such as buttons or icons;

 

— it creates the strong association with paper on which the data is fixed and in this way sets the pleasant feel of interaction close to typical operations with physical paper documentation, which can be beneficial for people of older generation, who usually tend to feel better in well-known environment;

 

— it adds the space and air to the screen which is helpful to avoid the feeling of the screen overloaded with information and can hinder quick perception of core data fields.

 

health-care-app-schedule-tubik

 

The screen of the current appointment shows for main areas of data: diagnoses, problems, medications and complex medication plans.

 

health-care-app-calendar-tubik

 

The calendar screen uses light pastel colors for cards which again set the association to the traditional interaction with physical objects when doctors and receptionists use colorful notes to mark the data and organize it on the noticeboard.

 

health-care-app-statistics-tubik

 

Statistics screen shows graphs and charts in minimalistic manner with appliance of contrast colors easily distinguished by human eye. For all the screens, the designer uses simple san serif font, highly legible and readable. Concentration on functionality doesn’t prevent the designer from giving the app simple and elegant appearance with the touch of style and creativity.

 

health care app interactions tubik studio

 

Animated transitions were also added to present some basic interactions with the app: inputting data, operating with pricing and completing the reception.

 

This case has actively opened the direction of design for medical industry and healthcare here in Tubik and proved how many special features and aspects of the job should be taken into account by the designer. The tasks of this kind are definitely challenging, but highly rewarding in both creative and humanity values. No doubt, new day will bring fresh challenges which will result in practical case studies for Tubik Blog readers. Stay tuned and healthy!


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tubik studio wireframing UI UX

UX Wireframing: Bedrock of Interface Usability.

In 4th BC Plato said: “The beginning is the most important part of the work”. Almost 24 centuries since then his words are still up-to-date in our realias. Buildings require a stable foundation to stand and give shelter for long as well as any project needs to be well-planned from the very beginning to avoid problems at the further stages. Wireframing is the early step of UI/UX design process when the structure of the project is being formed. The usability and efficiency of final product often depend on how well the wireframe is created at the very first steps of the design process. However, today designers still haven’t agreed upon the common opinion about wireframing: some of them consider it to be a key part of the design process while the others regard wireframing as the waste of time. But where does the truth lie?

 

We’ve already touched upon the topic of wireframing in our article about creating mobile applications, and since the topic remains actual and debatable, this time we want to devote the full article to the roots, nature, benefits and diverse issues of wireframing process as well as the reasons why it’s advisable for designers to apply it.

 

tubikstudio ui ux design

 

What’s a wireframe?

 

Wireframe is a simplified and schematic visual representation of a layout for website pages or screens of an application interface. Wireframes are similar to architectural blueprints: they are usually black and white illustrations, sometimes with bright marks or spots to outline specific areas or points, that give a clear vision of the project structure and connections between different parts.

 

Wireframing is effective at the beginning of design process when the main objective is to create product’s structure. Designers use wireframes to outline visual and typographic hierarchy on user interfaces, set the interactive zones and elements, plan transitions and interactions, organize the general interface clearly for the target audience. Since a wireframe is focused on the structure, not the visual and emotional perception of the details, designers try to keep it simple. They mostly limit it to monochromatic color schemes, with boxes and lines representing copy, pictures and all the interactive elements on the page.

 

Tubik Studio designer UX screens

 

Earlier we presented the typical creative flow for digital product we have here in Tubik by example of creating mobile apps and mentioned the set of stages in this process:

  • setting the task and initial scope of works
  • estimation
  • user/market research
  • UX wireframing
  • prototyping
  • UI design
  • animation
  • software architecture planning
  • iOS development
  • testing
  • release
  • updates.

 

According to this list, it’s easy to see that UX wireframing is not the first stage of digital product creation, but it’s usually the initial phase of actual design, when the future website or application gets its first visual presentation, the sketch of its face and figure. The chances are high that the actual participants of creating digital products would agree with the idea offered by UXPin team in their book on wireframing: «Whether you’re building the next hot startup or a solid website or mobile application, wireframes are invaluable in keeping everyone on the same page – not just product managers, designers, and engineers. And they can be changed really quickly to accommodate the collaborative and iterative nature of product design and development, especially in agile startups and enterprises.»

 

Why do you need wireframing?

 

Wireframing is a fast and cheap way to plan the structure of the page or screen design. What’s more, it gives numerous advantageous opportunities not only for designers but for the whole development team and for clients too. First of all, a wireframe is the first visual representation of a designer’s abstract idea. This step ensures that the developers and the clients get a clear understanding of the project’s design. Furthermore, in case the client wants to make some changes, a wireframe is much easier to reshape since it doesn’t take much efforts and time to create one.

 

The other benefit a team gets from the wireframes is that developers can clearly see the placement of the elements on the page. Some software for creating wireframes allows seeing all the sizes and spacing by clicking a single button that saves time for both designer and development team. In addition, wireframing is quite inspiring for designers. It is flexible and provides much room for experiments which make the creative process more productive and presents the field for fresh outstanding solutions.

 

tubikstudio teamwork

 

In one of our previous articles we provided a bit of metaphor on the basic reasons why wireframing is always included in creative process here in Tubik. When we think about building the house, for example, we usually mean the process of physical appearance of the construction rather than tons of projects, drawings, and calculations made on paper. And yes, physically it’s possible to build the house without any project as well as it’s possible to create the interface out of thin air. However, in this case, you shouldn’t be surprised if one day the house will crack and collapse without any visible reasons as well as the app looking amazing and stylish won’t bring you any loyal users. If you want to have a reliable house, a durable mechanism, a powerful application or a highly-functional website, the recipe is the same – take your time for thorough planning and projecting. This is not going to waste your time: vice versa, it will save your time and effort you would otherwise have to spend on redesign and attempts to find out why your product doesn’t work properly.

 

All in all, wireframing is an effective tool that can save time and money for both the team and the client. It helps organize development and design processes and reduce chances of problems on the future steps.

 

Types of wireframes

 

There is an opinion that a wireframe is exceptionally a low-fidelity paper sketch of the page structure with boxes and lines illustrating visual elements. Nevertheless, today modern technologies help designers create wireframes of different fidelity level within a short time and without great effort. Typically we can define 3 widely-used types of wireframes.

 

Low-fidelity wireframes. They are black and white illustrations focused on a “big picture” of the page. UI elements are shown as boxes and lines without detailed annotations. The wireframes of this kind are quite abstract, but they give a chance to see the basic structure of the user interface.

 

Tubik Studio UI sketches

 

Medium-fidelity wireframes. This type is created in a monochrome palette, often gray-scale which makes it similar to the previous one. The wireframes can be created both manually or via digital tools so that the UI components are more detailed and realistic. Copy elements such as headlines and headers are distinguished that assists to establish typographic hierarchy. Placeholders are filled with images and the comments describing their destination.

 

SwiftyBeaver UX by Tubik Studio

The UX wireframes for SwiftyBeaver project

 

High-fidelity wireframes. These wireframes are created via digital tools. The core difference from the other types is that high-fidelity wireframes are built in color and present the screens in the view close to the final visual performance. The fonts are styled and visual elements are created with textures and shadows. The designer pays more attention to the sizes and alignment of UI components. It’s actually the static version of the app or website presented page-by-page or screen-by-screen. So, in distinction from the previous stage, they are called UI wireframes.

 

UI design by Tubik Studio

UI Wireframes for Saily App

 

Wireframing vs Prototyping

 

High-fidelity wireframes tend to be often confused with prototypes because they are created in colors and look realistic, similar to a fully accomplished project. Nevertheless, these concepts present different stages of design process, have different aims and focuses. As we’ve already mentioned, wireframes are focused mostly on the structure of the page. On the other hand, prototypes are created to give the more detailed look at the UI elements, their style and alignment: the biggest difference is that prototypes give the opportunity to test the interactions between the user and the interface similar to the final product. As we mentioned in UI/UX Glossary, the original concept behind the term ‘prototype’ is the sample model of the product that gives the ability to test it and see if the solutions and decisions made about the product are efficient. However, prototypes should not be seen as the analog of the final product as they aren’t those: their main aim is to enable a designer, a customer and a user to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions.

 

Interactions need to be thought out well and similar to the final result and checked thoroughly before the development team starts their work. Making alterations, adding elements and changing transitions is much more time-consuming and expensive at the stage of development, that’s why it’s important to check the usability of the UI elements in advance. Prototyping is much more efficient and useful as the step between UX design and UI design. So, here in Tubik we support the workflow having the sequence «UX – prototype – UI».

 

The prototypes on UI stage can be created for the presentation of application general looks rather than for testing and improving its functional features. And this is the trap in which it is easy to get confused. Prototyping all the details on the final stage of UI in most cases is not so reasonable as it could seem. It can be too time-consuming and in this perspective, it would be better to spend the same time on coding a demo-version. Moreover, usability should be thoroughly checked first of all at the UX stage, otherwise, it would be much harder to change inefficient solution after having accomplished a lot of work on UI. Certainly, it would be amazing to create prototypes both for UX and UI, but by far not all the designers and customers agree to spend so much time on design tasks and want to test and improve the design much faster and cheaper. Anyway, the solution of applying prototyping at different stages of UI process should be approached individually according to the requirements and goals of every particular case.

 

Prototypes are created on the basis of the static wireframes, making them clickable and interactive, so the designer can try out if the interface is clear and usable for a real user. This kind of testing is a key step in the design process because it allows identifying possible problems and difficulties with user interactions. There are various prototyping tools providing functionality on checking usability of the design solutions, and research platforms which make the process even easier.

 

invision prototyping tool tubikstudio review

 

Efficient wireframing tools

 

Today, designers are not limited in choosing tools for wireframing: there are plenty them, free and paid, to set up the productive design flow. The number of tools is growing so fast that it’s easy to get lost among them.

 

Wireframing is an integral part of the design process here at Tubik, so our designers need a flexible and effective tool for creating wireframes which can be effective both for individual and complex team tasks. The long path of probes has led us to Sketch.

 

Sketch is a professional design software that allows creating the variety of art and design projects. The program is vector-based and gives the opportunity to work with layers and shapes which can be easily manipulated via the tools panel. Sketch is an effective tool for UI/UX designers because it can be applied at different stages of the design workflow starting from wireframing. The features which we see as advantages are quite convincing.

 

It’s vector-based. This means designers can use vector shapes and scale them without losing quality. Moreover, the artboard is still pixel aware which is a core thing for creating quality web and app design.

 

Effective guidelines. You can see dimensions of the components and spacing between them only by holding the alt key. This is helpful not only for designers but also for developers. When designer shares the wireframes with the development team, they can define the placement and details of UI components and layout without designer’s explanations.

 

Grids. Unlike many other tools, Sketch provides in-build grid feature that saves designers’ time since they don’t need to create it beforehand.

 

Native font rendering. It often happens that fonts in a browser look absolutely different compared to the PSD and it ruins the whole picture. Nevertheless, Sketch uses native font rendering that makes fonts feel more natural and accurate in browsers.

 

It’s fast. Sketch is a tool oriented on web and app design, so the functionality is more concise compared to other software in the field. This makes it lighter, so it works much faster not overloading the computer which saves time (and nerve!) for designers.

 

tubik studio design process ux

 

Yet, there is one specific feature about Sketch: it works only on Mac and there are no exceptions. Nevertheless, if you don’t have one, you shouldn’t give up. There is still a classic option — Adobe Photoshop. Yes, it may work a bit slower but it is an efficient tool for creating wireframes, and many designers are sincerely linked to it as a multipurpose tool. Moreover, you should remember that not all the customers are ready to accept the assets in Sketch, so Photoshop will save the game in this case. It proved itself as the efficient tool. Among newer options, the star of Adobe Experience Design (XD) is also rising and winning its positions on the market and in design flows.

 

And, for the last point here, if you are keen to creating interactive high-fidelity wireframes, you’ll need additional tools to make them clickable prototypes. For this stage, we could single out InVision and UXPin: these tools help to add the interactivity to wireframes creating efficient samples for gathering feedbacks from the team and clients.

 

Tips on how to make your wireframing efficient

 

There are no big secrets about creating a quality wireframe still some tips on how to make it more productive can be mentioned for the bottom line:

 

Do thorough research beforehand. Do not start wireframing process before you outline the goals, USP, target audience and the problems which should be solved with the product.

 

Keep them simple. The aim of a wireframe is to create a structure of the page design, details go after.

 

Use a monochromatic palette for UX wireframes. Our experience proves that design process is more productive if the designer leaves detalization for the next step.

 

Write annotation. If the designer plans to present a wireframe to the team, it would be good to include annotations. They help to catch and understand the ideas quicker and deeper.

 

Gather feedback. Try to ask opinions of your team members and perhaps even potential users, if possible, at this stage. It is an effective way to improve your work and save your time for later stages needing more sophisticated design.

 

Use a grid. It helps to place all the components in the efficient way for users’ perception.

 

tubik studio wireframing UI UX

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is the collection of recommended materials for further reading in case you would like to read more on the theme.

The Guide to Wireframing (E-book)

The Wireframe Perfectionist’s Guide

Using Wireframes to Streamline Your Development Process

What is a Wireframe: Designing Your UX Backbone

Jargonbuster: mockups, wireframes, prototypes

What’s the difference between wireframes and prototypes?

10 tips to improve your wireframes in the web design process

9 Free to Use Wireframing Tools


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