Tag Archives: product design

problem solving web design free book

Problem-Solving Web Design. Free E-Book by Tubik.

Nowadays, World Wide Web connects people from all around the world whatever their aims and wishes are. Personal and professional communication, ordering and delivery of goods and services, education and mentoring, searching for new information, advertising, watching films, tracking everyday stuff and accounting finances, and so on, and so forth—seems, there’s no sphere to which the Internet wouldn’t add its own two cents. This reality presents new challenges for designers.

 

Today we would like to present you the new issue of Tubik Magazine. This time the free e-book called Problem-Solving Web Design presents the overview of theory, practices and design cases for user-friendly and attractive websites and landing pages. We have collected tips and ideas sharing our experience in this field.

 

Welcome to download the book at one step or read it online below.

 

 

tubik teamwork design digital agency

Effective Teamwork in Digital Agency: How to Avoid Pitfalls.

There’s an old saying “Two heads are better than one”. But when there are ten heads it’s called a team and this is when the real workflow begins. Today, the majority of digital agencies include three main departments: designers, developers, and managers. People working in a company know how difficult it may be to collaborate, especially if they are from different departments.

 

Nevertheless, effective teamwork is a foundation of a successful company and teammates need to get along with each other to work productively and efficiently. Step by step, Tubik Studio was transformed from a small design agency to the full-service digital company so we’ve experienced the pitfalls appearing on the way of creating a cohesive team. Today’s article highlights the problems occurring in the teamwork and presents useful tips on organization of the effective teamwork in a digital agency.

 

Why is teamwork important for a company?

 

No matter how many talented workers a company has, it will be hard to build a profitable business if employees don’t work as a team. Teamwork is not only about operating together for one company, it means to collaborate so that you could achieve the company’s goals on its way to success. But what benefits can teamwork bring? Let’s see.

 

First of all, team members increase the efficiency of their work as well as general productivity of the company. The amount of work is shared among employees so the tasks are done faster while nobody is while nobody is overloaded with a ton of work. Moreover, it’s much easier to solve problems if there are colleagues willing to help rather than dealing with them by yourself.

 

ux designers brainstorm tubik

 

Another benefit of the teamwork is that together team members are able to generate more ideas. Brainstorming and task discussions are one of the biggest sources of fresh and unique ideas. The diversity of opinions and creative thoughts make the pleasant environment for idea generation. Furthermore, each team member can share their experience and knowledge so employees constantly learn and develop their professional skills.

 

In addition, teamwork enhances connections between team members. The efficient interaction within a team contributes to better understanding of the project details and ensures the quality of the product in all aspects. Besides, informal communication between colleagues increases their effectiveness on the work since some fun and laughter help to reduce the stress and fatigue.

 

tubikstudio design office teamwork

 

How can different departments get along?

 

Effective teamwork is impossible when the departments can’t get along. Digital agencies have a difficult task — unite extremely different personalities under one roof and even more make them support each other. To achieve this aim, you need to learn deeper about possible pitfalls on the way the successful teamwork in a company. Let’s discover common problems which can appear when designers, developers, and managers are working together.

 

teamwork tubik studio designers developers

 

Designers vs Developers

 

Designers and developers are often seen like cats and dogs bickering all the time which often has the bad influence on the workflow. However, now when most of the digital companies aim at providing full-cycle services, these two opponents are forced to find the ways how to understand each other. To find out what causes these confrontations, we’ve distinguished the most common issues occurring in designer-developer relationships.

 

Developers ignore design principles. Design harmony, visual hierarchy, the balance of design elements play a significant role in a quality digital product. However, it often happens that developers miss some details or change them for some reasons crushing the harmony within the design. Obviously, designers react negatively and ask to correct errors. But the conflict starts when developers say “What’s the big deal?”. It actually is the big deal and designers need to explain why rather than arguing.

 

Designers don’t understand anything about HTML CSS. Of course, designers are not developers and they don’t have to know how to program but the basic knowledge of the web and how it works is essential. Design created without knowing web principles can be too difficult to actualize in a real life and it’s not about developers skills. To avoid such an unpleasant situation, designers are recommended to learn the basics of CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, language that defines a layout of HTML.

 

Developers make the design look different than designers expect. Every designer must have been in a situation when the developer shows the coded version of the design and it looks like anything but the one that designer meant. Different colors, unnecessary white spacings, or even different fonts can make designers get angry with the developers but it’s not always their fault. Many designers do not consider the fact that colors may look different on Mac and the whole picture can be changed on the different browsers.

 

Designers estimate their work time wrong. Time estimation is a painful question for everyone who’s paid hourly. When you work in a team, it’s getting worse because the other departments depend on you. Sometimes, designers underestimate the time they need to accomplish their part of work and the development team is forced to push hard so that they could meet the deadlines. Certainly, it can’t be a good thing for the relationships between designers and developers. However, programmers need to take into account the fact that the design process heavily depends on creative aspects and inspiration presence, so it makes time estimation more difficult for designers.

 

Tubik Studio design team

 

Designers and Developers vs Managers

 

One thing that designers and developers undoubtedly have in common is their confrontations with managers. When it comes to the “managing time”, programmers and designers can forget about their issues and create a coalition against the manager. But what are the problems? Here they are.

 

Designers and developers don’t stick to the deadlines. Managers are responsible for delivering the product to the client on time. And when the product team is late and can’t meet deadlines, the blame goes to the managers. Still, in this situation, the fault lays on the both sides because managers couldn’t organize the team properly at the start while the team was too irresponsible.

 

Managers are too demanding. Sometimes there come clients with a project that can be done during two weeks and they say “I need it to be done in three days, no longer”. Managers take the risk of agreeing and ask the team for the impossible. This may happen when the managers don’t understand the peculiarities of the design and programming process and underestimate its complexity.

 

Managers can’t establish the connection between the product group and the clients. One of the biggest problems leading to the bad product creation is misunderstandings between clients and the product group. If managers do not make sure this connection is established right, designers and developers can build the product that doesn’t correspond to the client’s expectations, and the blame will be put on the product team.

 

No one takes responsibility for the failure. People can’t live a life without failures, and of course, digital companies also have bad days. There always will be the clients who will abandon their project and pay no money to the agency. This is when the team starts to blame each other and no one takes any responsibilities. However, it’s a common problem which companies face from time to time and that it’s not a reason to fight. The team needs to accept the failure and learn from the mistakes.

 

ux designers tubik

 

Useful tips to improve teamwork between departments

 

Difficulties exist so that we could overcome them. Today there are many great digital agencies showing that effective teamwork is possible. Discovering their secrets, we’ve conducted the research on the efficient tips about teamwork and created a list completed with some advice from Tubik experience.

 

Constant communication. To collaborate and understand each other, team members need to communicate. If the team works on the project, every department should know how the things are going. Designers should involve development team on the very first steps explaining their choices. And the development team need to advise designers on the aspects of realization.

 

Learn the craft of the others. Misunderstandings are often the result of ignorance. Designers don’t know about CSS, developers are not aware of design principles and managers know only about management. It’s the worst scenario for the team. If each department learns the basics of the craft of the other departments, they will understand each other.

 

Managers can help. Both design and development teams need to understand that manager is a major link connecting them with the client. Managers know the product team as well as the customers, the reason why they can organize the work in the best way.

 

Respect. It may sound too obvious still many of us underestimate someone else’s job putting our job as the biggest. We need to keep in mind that all the parts of the work are vital and proper combination of them gives the desired outcome.

 

Use the technology to your advance. Modern technology makes our life easier in many aspects and teamwork is not an exception. To make collaboration and communication more productive, team members can use cloud-based platforms such as Slack to communicate faster. Moreover, using tools like Sketch and Zeplin can significantly improve designer-developer relationships because they make the process of assets exchange much easier and faster.

 

Learn the trends. If you’re designer, it doesn’t mean you need to follow only the design news. Read about the web and programming trends and you will find more topics to discuss with the programmers, or even you’ll together come up with the new idea. The same refers to developers.

 

Informal communication. If you want to know the colleague, you need to communicate not only in the office but also somewhere outside. When you learn the personalities, you may be able to collaborate at work more effectively. Besides, friendly atmosphere reduces stress and improves the productivity of the whole team.

 

tubik studio teamwork designers managers

 

Today the summing will be short: working together people can move mountains. So, the effective teamwork leads straight to the success. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

Designers And Developers: No Longer A House Divided

5 Pet Peeves Developers Have With Designers (and How to Avoid Them)

5 Pet Peeves Designers Have With Developers (and How to Avoid Them)

Designers and developers collaborate better with these 5 adjustments


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

tubik free podcast design business terms

Tubik Podcast #4. Business Terms for Designers: Sales Basics.

Working on projects and concepts, designers often have to combine creative approaches and solutions with business goals. Effective outcome is based on not only design techniques and knowledge of user psychology but also awareness of sales flows and processes. Today we have prepared a new episode for the listeners of Tubik Podcast, the series of free audio talks devoted to various aspects of design. The fourth track presented here continues the set called «Business Terms for Designers» and considers basic notions from business vocabulary like conversion, niche, sales channel and sales funnel. On the ground of practical experience, we review them in design perspective for the sake of usable and useful digital products. Welcome to listen and follow the updates!

 

If you want to get the set of episodes devoted to the theme of business terms and processes in design aspect, subscribe here and get them right into your inbox.

 

 

To learn more and see practical case studies, welcome to read or download our free ebooks. Stay tuned!

human memory tips on ux design

How Human Memory Works: Tips for UX Designers.

One of the greatest information processors we deal with in our everyday life cannot be seen or touched. It cannot be bought or sold as well as taken from other people; however, it can be developed and strengthened by many ways. It cannot be easily described but belongs to the most precious features of human life and determines perhaps any step we take and any decision we make. It is a wonder we rarely think about that way. It’s human memory.

 

Memory presents an amazing natural complex of data storage and processing. It keeps great loads of information through life and is even able to organize it for the sake of the holder. Moreover, it takes responsibility of setting priorities and keeping some details which could be remembered just off the top of our heads while erasing others which seem not necessary or haven’t been used for a long time. Human memory is one of the mechanisms determining person’s interaction with the outer world.

 

Obviously, this aspect needs to be studied and considered in the sphere of UX design responsible for interfaces of all kinds. Knowing how memory works, designers can create human-centered interfaces which correspond to the natural abilities of the users, save their effort and boost usability.

 

Ui design trends by Tubik Blog

Healthy Food App

 

Basic points about memory

 

In general terms, human memory is the natural storage for the data right in the human brain. It reacts to the outer stimuli, collects the data, processes it and organizes in different ways. Also, it enables a person to access the needed data collected in the memory when it’s needed. However, it doesn’t present the perfect mechanism as it’s influenced by a big number of factors of physical and emotional nature.

 

Basically, psychologists mention three types of memory:

sensory memory holds the data for a short moment when we perceive it with our physical senses like hearing, vision or touch;

— short-term memory (working memory) allows a person to keep some data remembered for a short period of time without repetitions;

— long-term memory presents the storage for big quantities of diverse data which could be saved for long periods of time, potentially up to the whole lifetime.

 

The effective methods of getting the information kept in long-term memory are repetitions and associations. Taking a look at the scheme below, which was provided in the article by Learning Solutions Magazine, we can see the basic flow of data from the first outer stimulus to the long-term memory.

 

memory work

 

Creating the flow of interactions with a website or a mobile application, UX designers have to take this factor into account. Surely, they aim at long-term memory which will keep the core data about the app and will allow using the interface easily again and again. Knowing the steps moving the data to this storage enables designers to set the effective strategy of data perception and necessary repetitions. Also, it helps to organize the data on the screen properly and strengthen information architecture of the product.

 

Basic laws of memory

 

Three core aspects of memorizing which are mentioned by specialists in psychology are very simple:

 

1. Concentration. To remember a thing or chunk of data, a person needs to concentrate on it. Otherwise, the chances are high that the data will be discarded on the level of short-term memory.

2. Association. The memory presents the huge network of links connecting different data. If a person builds the association which links the new data or object with something well-known or kept in long-term memory, the chances of memorizing get higher.

3. Repetition. It is one of the effective ways to activate the data in working memory several times until it moves to the long-term memory storage.

 

Organization of the interface content based on these three points performs with visual hierarchy and perception which can mark important layout elements that should be remembered and make the interaction easier.

 

cinema app interaction ui animation

Cinema App

 

Expert explorations of memory

 

There are also some laws and rules which were concluded from various research, experiments and practical testing. Among them, we would mention Miller’s Law and Hick’s Law.

 

Miller’s Law

 

The number of objects an average person can hold in working memory is about seven.

 

This exploration was offered on the basis of scientific research by George Miller in 1956 psychological review «The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information». In general terms, it states that short-term memory of an average human is able to keep and process about seven objects or chunks of data plus/minus two at once. Obviously, the formulation given here is generalized as the real flow depends on many factors, including the nature of information.

 

Later studies, for example, the review by Richard Shiffrin and Robert Nosofsky called «Seven plus or minus two: A commentary on capacity limitations» provided deeper insights into the work of working memory. In particular, the authors mention that the number of objects which a person can remember at once after they were presented is dependent on the nature of the objects, on average with seven for digits, six for letters and about five for words. It gives the brain abilities to quickly process information, recognize its character and connection to the objects already existing in long-term memory and finalize memorizing.

 

In design perspective, this information plays the vital role in building up the usable and clear layout. Interfaces, which demand to remember too many options at once, can create the tension and get users irritated even if they aren’t able to describe the reason of unpleasant emotions.

 

landing page animation Tubik studio

Magic.co landing page

 

Hick’s Law

 

The more elements people get, the harder it is to make a choice.

 

At the first glance, it seems that this law is not about memory, still, the connection exists. Memory is one of the mechanisms that protects people from negative experience. The more options people get at once, the more distracted they get with numerous associations which can be called — and that’s impossible to predict how good or bad they can be in this particular case. In addition, giving many options for the choice at once, again we can overload users memory with the bigger number then the working memory can process. In particular, this factor needs special attention in cases of platforms for e-commerce, which should keep the hard balance between giving the user all the necessary information and overwhelming him or her with too many options. Finding this harmony is one of the major challenges for UX designers.

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App

 

Tips for memory-friendly UX

 

On the basis of the factors and explorations given above, let’s consider a set of tips applying this knowledge for the sake of usability.

 

1. Don’t make users memorize many items at once.

 

Definitely, it doesn’t mean that all the screens or pages should be limited to 5-9 elements. Still, the number of elements that present core interaction points would rather be considered in these terms. Making several objects in the layout prominent and attractive, designers can follow the law of concentration which will catch the key zones like menu, call-to-action, an image presenting the product etc. Visual hierarchy is one of the vital strategies that enables to create an interface containing many elements visually grouped and divided in a way which is digestible for human memory.

 

It is also effectively applied to the copy content in the interfaces. In the article, devoted to this issue, we mentioned some investigations: according to the research published by one of the popular social media sharing platforms Buffer, the ideal length of the headline is 6 words; Jacob Nielsen provides the study at which shows that headlines of 5-6 words work effectively, not less than extensive headlines presenting a full sentence. One of the reasons for that is obviously connected with the ability of the working memory to process such chunks of data faster and more effectively.

website design for photographers

Photography workshops

 

2. Don’t present too many elements for the choice together.

 

It’s important to care about the concentration ratio. If you present several choices, buttons, options at once, you should be ready that it will take more time and effort for user’s short-term memory to work them over and this can distract him or her from making the final decision or interaction. This can be the reason of inefficient landing pages or sales funnels: even if they are stunningly designed, the over-distracted user can go away before the conversion happens. Apply scrolling and transitions based on careful prioritization, dividing the objects on the screen or page into groups of primary, secondary and tertiary importance — this will help users and make navigation through the interface more natural.

 

book swap app tubik studio

Book Swap App

 

3. Save memory effort with recognizable patterns and symbols

 

No secret, people are visually driven creatures, so designers usually master the art of applying images that not only attract attention but also inform users and organize the content. In one of our articles, we gave the details on how users recognize icons and copy. It shows that pictorial elements such as icons and illustrations are perceived faster while copy can be more informative. This can be useful in interface design to apply diverse models and markers which are widely recognizable not only in this particular interface but generally in a variety of them. Magnifier icons for search, shopping cart for the page collecting orders, plus button for creating a new item, flags marking the buttons changing the language — all of them present the elements existing in human memory for a long time and bringing up correct associations without the need to keep and process new information.

 

Moreover, going to a broader perspective, most users expect to see the sign of the brand and the links to core sections of the website in the header while the contacts, privacy policy, terms of use and credits in the footer. Knowing these and other similar patterns of user behavior, designers can save users’ effort making basic operations simple and intuitive. This way it’s easier to focus user’s attention on new data and make its perception quick.

 

tubik studio behance weather app

Weather App

 

4. Apply consistent markers in navigation

 

Navigation is the crucial factor of usability. Enabling to move through the interfaces, it also presents the data which should be kept by users’ memory; therefore, designers apply a variety of techniques making transitions and interactions consistent and clear. For example, color or shape markers sorting out particular sections, icons defining specific groups of items, fonts used consistently for specific names or types of copy, illustrations and mascots uniting different screens — these and similar tricks boost memorability of the layout and often support user in processing new data.

 

Homey app smart home UI

Homey App

 

5. Don’t hide the core elements of navigation

 

The discussions about various menus showing or hiding blocks of content are still hot and popular. It’s vital to remember that the key aim of the interface should be the user clearly understanding what’s going on. So, the decision about hamburger menus, sliders, hidden layers of navigation and content should be based on the careful analysis of the target audience. In most cases, especially for the complex interfaces used by the diverse target audience, hiding core navigation elements can serve badly: users need to find and memorize the patterns of reaching them. Some users can appreciate the techniques saving space for other elements, while the others will be annoyed with the necessity to remember how to find the necessary section. Again, prioritization plays the great role: hiding secondary elements while leaving primary ones always visible, designers focus users’ attention on what is the core for them. User testing helps to evaluate the efficiency of the navigation flow and its impact on conversion rate.

 

bookshop website animation

Bookshop Website

 

6. Stimulate different types of memory

 

Remember the scheme given above? You could see that the first and the quickest stage of absorbing data is the sensory memory. Basically, it is divided into several types of memory which depend on the sensor: it can be visual, audio, kinesthetic, verbal, mechanical etc. Activating them, not only do designers create more memorable interaction flows, but also support broader circles of users. Research and experiments show that different people have different types of memory as the most effective for them. That’s why, for example, icons given with copy in the names of core categories of the menu can boost usability supporting users via both visual and verbal memory. Sounds accompanying interactions also create memorable flows and operations.

 

tubik studio application recipes and cooking

Recipe App

 

7. Remember about emotions

 

Make no mistake, emotional feedback from the interaction is the great factor in retaining or losing users. Bad experience stimulates quicker forgetting the details but tends to leave general negative feeling because in this way brain tries to protect the human. Vice versa, positive emotions, be it fun, aesthetic satisfaction, gratification for the quickly solved problem or accessible communication can bring the person back to feel it again and again. 

 

ui animation design tubik

Night in Berlin App

 

So, the bottom line is simple: creating interfaces for people, designers have to know how people interact with the world and what influences their behavior. Human memory is one of the essential features determining successful and positive user experience on both conscious and unconscious levels, so it needs to be studied, considered and tested for human-centered UX design.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is a bunch of useful links which could provide further interesting explorations of the topic:

 

Short-Term Memory and Web Usability

 

UX and Memory: Present Information at Relevant Points

 

The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information

 

User Memory Design: How To Design For Experiences That Last

 

Visual Perception. Icons vs Copy in UI.

 

Total (Memory) Recall

 

The Properties of Human Memory and Their Importance for Information Visualization


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

graphic design stickers tubik

State of the Art: 15 Creative Graphic Design Concepts.

Famous graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister said “You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt… or in front of a piece of graphic design.” It’s hard to disagree with the expression since there are so many beautiful breathtaking graphic design concepts today. Various modern tools allow designers to create gorgeous graphic concepts that could easily be called artworks. However, graphic design isn’t purely artistic field. In one of our previous articles, we’ve defined graphic design as the sphere of human activity that lies at the crossroads of several directions, first of all, visual arts, communication, and psychology. By means of graphic (visual) elements such as images, types and fonts, pictograms, shapes and sizes, colors and shades, lines and curves graphic designers do the job of communication. Every visual element transfers the message, so it becomes functional.

 

Graphic design broadly covers all spheres of human life which deal with visual communication, from books and posters to sophisticated mobile applications or 3D animation. Today’s post presents 15 creative concepts by Tubik which we gathered to show you the diversity of graphic design.

 

Character concepts

 

tubikstudio graphic design

Girl and Flowers

 

The first concept introducing this set is an illustration of a girl with flowers. The work is a representation of flat design which is seen in the simplicity of shapes and visual elements. Despite the minimalist style the illustration accurately transfers bright and warm feeling of the springtime. The designer applied the color palette which shows a little girl’s sensitivity and purity. And, the final accent was made via shadows giving the flat picture more vivid look.

 

tubik_illustration_under_water

Underwater Explorer

 

Next concept is a flat design illustration presenting a character of underwater explorer. The designer applied various techniques combining classic and new approaches to flat design. Along with minimalistic shapes, there are noise textures across the illustration which are unusual for the direction. The dark background and bright elements, including the character’s costume, create deep contrast and enhance visual perception. One more detail complementing the illustration is the light lines which are barely seen still they make the picture complete.

 

Character design is used for different video and mobile games, the reason why designers often need to create more than one character for the particular project. The trick is that all the characters should be made in one original style so that they would be recognizable for gamers. Let’s look at the Wild West set of characters by Tubik.

 

illustration by tubikstudio

Sheriff Foxx

 

The first character created for this set was a sheriff named Jimmy Foxx. The designer has chosen the unique style of drawing putting accents to the details which transfer character traits. Creating the sheriff personality, the designer aimed at illustrating fearless and fair man with the sense of humor. The prominent mustache makes Jimmy look serious still there might be the smile hidden behind it. The main attribute is the big hat with the star signifying sheriff’s power.

 

character illustration tubik studio

Indian Dreamcatcher

 

Good stories require the presence of culture spirit, so the native American character was an obvious choice continuing this set. The designer sticks to the style applied to the first character. The character wears typical attributes such as a feather and painted mask. His eyes are closed which makes a character look wise. The circle around the character, which by the way is shown in the first illustration too, is decorated with a skull of a bird. Such an item usually serves for magical rituals so the character seems mysterious.

 

character design illustration tubik

Wild West Bandit

 

It’s hard to imagine a wild west story without a bandit terrorizing the citizens. The designer presents us a bad guy through the well-thought details. The bandit has a massive chin with a dimple and the dark straight hair. The cigarette and the golden tooth give him a brutal look. The hat and scarf are embellished with the skull signs to show that he’s a dangerous man.

 

City illustrations

 

There are many paintings and drawings illustrating the beautiful sights of various cities. Today designers have an opportunity to show cities from the different perspective — as digital artworks. Here is the set of city illustrations by Tubik.

 

city illustration digital art tubik

Hallo Lofoten

 

The first illustration presents Norwegian city Lofoten. Beautiful colors, nature, bright buildings and amazing mountains of this city have inspired the designer to create the illustration. The unique idea of this set of concepts is that they are framed like post stamps. The illustration is another example of the flat design which is created with simple geometric shapes. Lines on the water presents the reflection of the building so it feels more natural. Bright colors and various tones transfer the atmosphere of the city.

 

city illustration digital art tubik

Buongiorno Roma

 

Next city chosen for this set was Rome. The designer applies the complementary scheme of colors mixing blue and yellow, which makes the illustration full of contrasts similar the bright Italian city. Famous buildings are formed with simple shapes so the viewer can easily recognize the city. The designer creates lights and shadows on the landmark via different tones sticking to the minimalistic style.

 

guten tag bavaria illustration tubik

Guten Tag Bavaria

 

The last concept of the series illustrates Bavaria. The Neuschwanstein Castle, the nineteenth-century palace known all over the world, is presented as a magical place full of spring vibes. The mild color scheme is pleasant for human eyes enhancing visual perception.

 

Posters

 

Nowadays, graphic designers experiment a lot with poster creation following modern design directions such as flat design and applying various techniques. Digital artists design original posters which accurately bring people into the atmosphere of the films, cartoons, and other performances or events.

 

flat illustration

Star Wars Rouge One Illustration

 

No matter if you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, you obviously know what they are. This graphic design concept is devoted to the recent episode of Star Wars (Rogue One) which inspired the designer to create the original poster. The illustration presents main characters of the movie in minimalistic style. They are shown as focused, strong and brave heroes ready to fight for the better. Dark blue background creates the atmosphere of the deep space. Small but bright details such as characters’ clothes make this poster contrasting and interesting for the viewers.

 

pikachu poster tubik studio design

Pikachu Poster

 

Many people will associate last summer with the hype about mobile game Go Pokemon. Designers couldn’t stay unaffected so there are various design concepts devoted to the topic. Here is graphic design poster featuring one of the favorite pokemons Pikachu. The character’s body isn’t highlighted with lines still people can recognize the pokemon’s silhouette due to face parts and the yellow color of the background. Unusual presentation of the character is complemented with white lighting which is the special power of the little creature. Pokemon’s shadow is performed via repeating a word, “Pika” to be more specific. Such a creative idea will definitely strike a fan right in the heart.

 

poster design tubik studio

Suicide Squad Poster

 

Continuing the topic of mainstream, here is the poster for Suicide Squad movie. One of the brightest and deepest characters of a film is Joker who’s well-known for all DC comics fans. Creating this poster, the designer tried to catch and transfer the character’s features by means of digital graphics. The poster is dark transferring character’s mood still with the original lettering which presents laughing. Moreover, if you take a closer look at the poster, you’ll find small Joker’s signs hidden everywhere.

 

Covers

 

The cover illustration is a substantive art direction which deserves great respect. Graphic designers usually work long and hard to create one single composition that will do its function best. Let’s look at the cover designs by Tubik.

 

tubik studio illustration graphic design

Muscles Magazine

 

The first example presents a cover page for the magazine devoted to sports and active life. The issue shown here is about relations of sport and business. The idea behind the central illustration featuring the athlete was to immediately introduce the topic and at the same time add some fun and style. Graphic elements fully replace the photos creating the original look for the magazine.

 

tubik_illustration_jazz_tales_book

Tales of the Jazz

 

Many graphic designers secretly dream to create the cover design for their favorite book. Here is an interpretation of cover page for a collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald called Tales of the Jazz Age. The girl on the cover looks like a typical lady of the jazz age setting the right mood for the viewers. The mild color scheme and noise texture are nice to the visual perception.

 

Stickers

 

Today stickers are everywhere, printed and digital, especially popular in mobile apps. Tubik designers constantly work on original sticker packs for apps, websites and promotional campaigns.

 

healthy_stickers_shot_tubik_studio

 

stickers_tubik_studio_digital_art

Healthy Stickers

 

This design concept presents stickers of vegetables and fruit. They are meant to stimulate everyone to follow the healthy lifestyle and add energy to people as well. Bright colors make vegetables and fruit look juicy and yummy so it’s hard to resist the desire of tasting one of them in real life which means the stimulation works well. This flat picture is good for both printed and digital use.

 

Animated stickers mood messenger design tubik

Animated Stickers for Mood Messenger

 

Today stickers are popular in various messengers. This concept shows stickers designed for Mood Messenger. Each sticker presents a different emotion so that the users could chat quickly showing their friends how they feel. Detailed faces on this concepts are able to transfer any emotion clearly. Attractive illustrations can make applications interesting and fun for users setting great benefits for the owners.

 

Reviewing creative graphic design artworks is always inspiring. These fifteen concepts are only a few examples but there are much more of them waiting for you to look. Stay tuned and get inspired!


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

information architecture for designers

6 Tips How to Apply Information Architecture in UX Design

Being a good designer means constant learning various sciences and methodologies helping to improve professional skills. One of the essential studies recommended to designers is information architecture. In our previous articles, we’ve defined the essence of IA and described the efficient techniques assisting designers in the workflow. We discovered that information architecture is believed to be a foundation of efficient UX and UI design. Moreover, the appropriate IA may become a compelling tool for designers when all its principles are considered. Today’s post continues this theme unveiling useful tips for designers on IA implementation.

 

Keep product goals in mind

 

Definition of product goals is a core stage which influences every team working on the project, be it developers or designers. So, before you start building information structure of the product, you need to learn what your client expects from the product. To achieve the product vision and see the whole picture, the product goals should be established. They should respond to the product strategy, be understandable to all the members of the creative team and achievable. Awareness of the goals gives a clear idea of what the tasks are and where to start. When the goals are set, designers can agree on the content elements and the purposes with the clients so that they could avoid possible misunderstandings resulting in additional work hours in the future.

 

copywriting tips

 

Conduct user research

 

IA experts consider the specifics of the target audience needs because IA puts user satisfaction as a priority. To learn more about the potential users, designers are recommended to conduct user research. It’s a process of collecting information about the consumers of the product via various techniques. When the data is gathered, the design team analyze it and work on the optimal solutions which will make the product user-friendly and attractive.

 

User research helps to dive deep into the details of core target audience to understand their needs and psychological peculiarities. Considering preferences of the users, designers are capable of creating a user-friendly product that will stand out of the crowd and draw potential customer’s attention.

 

design navigation UI UX tubik studio

 

Consider cognitive psychology principles

 

To comprehend the nature of the visual perception and the factors affecting users’ attention, designers learn the сognitive psychology principles. It is the science studying information processing that goes on inside people’s minds. Cognitive psychology experts state that there are various ways of data perception and different factors influencing people’s attention.

 

Based on the cognitive psychology studies and principles, designers developed many techniques helping to create powerful content. In article Psychology in Design, we described some effective psychological principles that are often applied in design including Gestalt principles and recognition patterns. The former 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 according to their similarity, continuation, or closure. Speaking of recognition patterns, people visiting a website or using an application are expecting to see certain features associated with the definite kind of product. That’s why designers apply various recognition patterns to help users be oriented in the structure.

 

tubik-design-books

 

Plan the navigation system

 

Information structure and navigation are two essential components of any digital product. In one of our UX Glossary articles, we’ve defined navigation as the set of actions and techniques guiding users throughout the app or website, enabling them to fulfill their goals and successfully interact with the product. The navigation system, in terms of IA, involves the ways how users move through content. 

 

Navigation of a digital product is based on the information architecture, so it’s vital to make sure it reflects and supports IA, otherwise the product may be unsolid. Therefore, designers are recommended to plan the navigation system while creating information architecture of the product.

 

Tubik Studio UI sketches

 

Don’t forget about visual hierarchy

 

To organize and prioritize content in interfaces clearly for users, designers apply a well-known technique called visual hierarchy. Its main goal is to present the content on the carrier, be it a book page or poster, web page or mobile screen, in such a way that users can understand the level of importance for each element. It activates the ability of the brain to distinguish objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, alignment etc. This allows users to see where the needed information is so that they could navigate easily.

 

web design UI concept tubik studio

 

Visual hierarchy plays a significant role in visual performance and readability of the copy content in digital products. Giving tips on applying copy content in UI, we distinguished core aspects helping to build powerful visual hierarchy. One of the essential points to consider for designers is scanning patterns. Lots of studies have shown that before reading a web page people scan it to get a sense of interest. According to different studies, including the publications by Nielsen Norman Group as one of the pioneers of this field, UXPin team, and others, there are several popular scanning patterns for web pages, among which “F” and “Z” patterns. Detailed information about scanning patterns you can find here.

 

Knowing the principles of visual hierarchy, designers can create effective information architecture placing the key components of the content on the most scanned spots making users take expected actions.

 

wordpress theme design tubik

 

Things to consider

 

The science of information architecture may seem too complicated and demand much efforts but when you learn its basics and start applying them in design projects, you see how useful it is. Summing up the set of Tubik articles devoted to this theme, we’d like to single out a few main points.

 

— IA forms a skeleton of any design project for a digital product. Visual elements, functionality, interactions, and navigation are built according to the information architecture principles.

 

— Powerful IA is a guarantee of the high-quality product since it reduces possible problems of poor usability and navigation.

 

— Good information architecture is a foundation of efficient user experience.

 

— Information architecture is like a blueprint of the layout which needs to be generated by a visual scheme like a wireframe.

 

— Defining product goals is a core stage before IA creation.

 

— User research and cognitive psychology principles assist in predicting possible users’ reactions to the product and creating a user-friendly outcome.

 

— Clear visual hierarchy plays a significant role in the visual performance of the content.


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

ux designers tubik

10 Ways How User Experience Designers Bring Value to the World

What makes us feel happy at work? Choosing the career path or switch, we ask and answer tons of questions and try to analyze the variety of factors. No wonder: that choice determines our lifestyle, relations, personal and professional growth for the big part of everyday life. Recently, we’ve run into this sort of question at Quora which sounded like «How do User Experience designers (Mobile and Web) provide value to humanity?» and became the ground for today’s article.

 

The question is definitely great and the answer, in particular, can be important for the young specialists who are considering this career. Not only in terms of the humanity, but also in terms of yourself adding something to the global progress. Whatever people tell about money as the key point, in creative spheres there is a variety of research showing that designers need the feeling of creative growth and participation in global progress not less than a good salary. One of the articles in Harvard Business Blog mentions three big reasons that are common in making people happy at work: a meaningful vision of the future, a sense of purpose and great relationships. Specifying the sense of purpose, they state: «People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.» Being aware of the destinations and seeing themselves the part of globally important processes, people tend to make the choice of a particular career as good for them.

 

ux designers brainstorm tubik

 

Without getting dip into the sphere, you can see UX designers like people working out endless flows of screens. At the first sight for many people who don’t deal with all the aspects, this job looks neither interesting nor creative. And the aspect of its value for humanity also seems to be not so obvious. Here in Tubik, we’ve been lucky to see the sphere of UX design high and deep, in all its diversity, creating digital products for the companies worldwide. And what we’ve seen and taken part in, makes us certain to answer: UX designers do provide a considerable value for humanity.

 

Before starting the list of aspects for this value, let’s check the terminology. In one of the issues of UI/UX Design Glossary, we described UX in the following way: it is the general attitude and emotional feedback that user has at different stages of using the product. In terms of digital products, such as websites or applications, UX is a comprehensive term involving all the possible stages of user engagement. UX is based on several key factors such as usability, utility, desirability, attractiveness, the speed of work etc. If all the logic and possible issues of product implementation into real life are analyzed and designed properly, it forms positive user experience which means that users are able to satisfy their needs in a fast, easy and pleasant way. Positive user experience remains one of the strongest factors of retaining users.

 

Tubik-Studio ux design

 

Working on the UX for a digital product such as a website or mobile app, UX designers have to concentrate on such aspects as:

usability (the product is convenient, clear, logical and easy to use)
utility (the product provides useful content and solves users’ problems)
accessibility (the product is convenient for different categories of users)
desirability (the product is attractive and problem-solving, it retains users and creates the positive experience which they are ready to repeat).

 

All of the mentioned positions present the value for people in terms of particular operations done day in and day out as well as global processes in different spheres like commerce and business, education, management, housekeeping, communications and so on, and so forth. On the ground of everything above mentioned, we could assume several points of the value which UX designers provide to humanity creating a wide variety of digital products.

 

What are the values brought by UX designers?

 

1. They support fast, easy and productive communication worldwide via products like various messengers, social networks etc. Communication is one of the key reasons why people turn to websites and apps, and its flow has a great impact on user’s life, from personal chats with family and friends to professional online conferences and business negotiations. Creating user experience for this purpose, designers have to study the needs of the audience and offer the appropriate solutions which will make the product helpful for getting in touch with other people.

 

bikers website blog

StarDust Bikers Website

 

2. They support international collaboration working over successful experience for apps enabling productive work within a team scattered around. Today the world has a number of applications and tools enabling professionals to work effectively from different places. That creates new business contacts and supports a great variety of international projects. And by the way, sets the ground for creating new workplaces, raising profits and developing welfare which, no doubt, sound like credible value. The platforms, apps, tools and software enabling specialists from different cities, countries, and continents to operate in a big number of professional activities, all have user experience designers behind them.

 

3. They support everyday life of millions of people with digital products that solve actual problems (like to-do lists or apps for taking notes), inform (like news websites or different blogs), and entertain (like apps for listening to music and watching films as well as tons of games). Every day, using quite basic and simple things like alarms, news platforms, video apps or music players, most users don’t even imagine that simplicity of those interfaces and navigation which makes all the flow intuitive are the result of thorough work which takes many hours. User experience designers are the one who have to build these products helpful and pleasant-to-use on the balance of applied content, target audience and business goals.

 

upper app UI design case study

Upper App

 

4. They support and improve core spheres of human life like health care, education, commerce, and self-expression. In this aspect, UX designers are the contributors into different fields of human growth and development. They create the flows of interactions and layouts for educational websites, applications used in medical treatment and health care, data analysis, technical support and other directions. Add to it the variety of specialized platforms where people share their creative outcome like artworks, music or pieces of writing — all of them need experience and interactions appropriate for these needs.

 

health care app interactions tubik studio

Health Care App

 

5. They make technology more accessible which means closer to people of different ages and nationalities, levels of education and tech literacy, physical and mental abilities or disabilities. User research is one of the core parts of UX design, and one of the objectives is finding the solutions for problems, which could make using the product hard and tricky for some categories of users. Diligent UX designers aim at creating products which will be inclusive and accessible for users of different abilities.

 

6. They support the concept of non-stop learning through life via educational and information resources. Motion is life, and motion through the ocean of information around is not an easy part of it. People are born with natural curiosity, the wish of getting knowledge and being informed. UX designers contribute in this eternal human movement creating flows at which users, readers, learners will not get lost under the tons of data. They apply the techniques and methods of information architecture to make the interfaces organized and problem-solving for their readers.

 

tubik studio web ui design

Birds of Paradise Encyclopedia

 

7. They respond to the human need of harmony and aesthetic satisfaction finding the ways to make digital products both useful and beautiful. There are many people who support the idea that digital products of today should be minimalist and purely functional. However, life is not just like that: practice shows that people want to both solve the problems and feel aesthetic satisfaction using apps and websites. The balance of these things is included in responsibilities of UX designers.

 

calendar-app animation tubik

Calendar App 

 

8. They support the process of creating the products which will simplify and automate the decent mechanic processes saving time for activities applying creative human energy. More and more products nowadays, including chatbots, are able to automate simple things, for example, scheduling, computing, checking grammar in writing, analyzing and organizing received data etc. Those things allow to people to accomplish some tasks faster and easier and free their time for more creative tasks which machines cannot do. This is one more side of positive user experience.

ngin_app_car_statistics_animation_tubik

NGIN App

 

9. They keep the balance between the rational and irrational parts of human life and activity. UX designers work on the crossroads of rational and emotional sides of human life: creating apps and websites, they have to consider both logical thinking and typical interaction models as well as emotional background which can greatly influence user behavior.

 

cinema app interaction UI

Cinema App

 

10. They make beauty working and logical as well as they make simple operations beautified and pleasant to the human eye. No special comments are needed. UX designers know how to get the efficient combination of beauty and functionality, doing it in the way which the particular product and audience require.

 

home budget web interface

Home Budget app

 

Surely, this list is not full as well as the issue is not so purely positive. There are many aspects of the job of UX designers, some of which are inspiring while the others are challenging or confusing. Still, we suppose the given positions are a good ground to believe that the job of UX designer is the one creating real value which has plenty of shades and tones. On the other hand, this variety of values added by the representatives of the given professional field brings out the number of responsibilities for the job, which should be also considered and kept in mind.

 

ux designers tubik

 

Life of UX designers is not the life of a magician flying in silver clouds and saving the world with every move of a hand. No, it’s a flow of rigorous research and analysis, creative effort and review of the slightest details — and many other things to mention, as well as in any other job. However, that is definitely the job that brings something precious for the humanity of today and tomorrow.


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

Welcome to read us on Quora

information architecture for designers

Information Architecture: Effective Techniques For Designers.

Content is a constituent that can make any digital product valuable. Informative copy and well-thought visual elements of UI design are able to create the foundation for the successful product. However, even good content may fail in case it is structured badly. One of our previous articles was devoted to the basic points of information architecture and today’s post continues the topic.

 

In a nutshell, information architecture (IA) is a science of structuring content of the websites, web and mobile applications, and social media software. IA study aims at organizing content so that users would easily adjust to the functionality of the product and could find everything they need without big effort. Nowadays, when the user-centered approach in design is a top trend, many designers learn the principles of information architecture science which are believed to be a foundation of the powerful design. There are many experts working on IA development now, so loads of various techniques appear. Our article presents four efficient IA methodologies commonly used in design.

 

tubikstudio teamwork

 

Content inventory

 

Before you start constructing a layout of the product, you need to understand what elements your project will consist of. One of the first stages of building information architecture is called content inventory. The technique considers creating a list of the components for the future design project. The inventory list usually includes various elements such as title, author/provider, meta elements (keywords, description, tags), copy, images, audio, video, and document files.

 

A content inventory list assists designers at the different stages of the workflow. First of all, the list helps identify the essential content components in so that designers could plan the product structure. Knowing all the constituents, designers can place them properly. Furthermore, it’s an easy way to discuss the structure peculiarities of the project with your clients. It is much faster and easier to edit the list rather than modify the design project when it’s been started. Finally, the list of components can help designers deeply comprehend the content that results in creating appropriate connections between elements so that the design of the product would look integral.

 

tubik studio wireframing UI UX

 

Wireframing

 

Information architecture is something like a blueprint of the layout which needs to be generated by a visual scheme. The majority of designers constantly use the well-known technique called wireframing helping to create a simplified and schematic visual representation of a layout for digital products. 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 a fast and cheap technique to plan the information architecture of the page or screen. Designers use wireframes to outline visual and typographic hierarchy of user interfaces, set the interactive zones and elements, plan transitions and interactions, organize the general layout markedly 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 design process ux

 

Wireframing gives numerous advantageous opportunities not only for designers but for the whole development team and 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 the full understanding of the project’s design. Furthermore, 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 design and development teams.

 

Organization structures and schemes

 

In our article “Information Architecture. Basics for Designers” we’ve defined four essential components of IA: organization systems, labeling systems, navigation systems, and search systems. The organization systems are the groups or the categories in which the information is divided. It helps users to predict where they can find certain information easily. To categorize the design components effectively, designers apply the technique of division into specific structures and schemes.

 

There are three main types of content structures: Hierarchical, Sequential, and Matrix.

 

Hierarchical. In one of our previous articles, we’ve mentioned well-known technique of content organization called visual hierarchy. It is initially based on Gestalt psychological theory and its main goal is to present content on the carrier, be it a book page or poster, web page or mobile screen, in such a way that users can understand the level of importance for each element. It activates the ability of the brain to distinguish objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, alignment etc.

 

Big City Guide tubik

Big City Guide

 

Sequential. This structure creates some kind of a path for the users. They go step-by-step through content to accomplish the task they needed. This type is often used for the retail websites or apps where people have to go from one task to another to make the purchase.

 

jewellery ecommerce app UI

Jewellery E-Commerce App

 

Matrix. This type is a bit more complicated for the users since they choose the way of navigation on their own. Users are given choices of content organization. For example, they can navigate through content which is ordered according to date, or some may prefer navigation along the topic.

 

health care app interactions tubik studio

HealthCare App

 

Content can be divided according to the organization schemes which are meant to classify the design components into certain groups. Here are some of the popular schemes:

 

Alphabetical. Content is organized in alphabetical order. This scheme works best when users know exactly what they’re looking for and know how to describe or name the object of search, so it can serve as a navigation tool for the users.

 

Audience. The type of content organization for separate groups of users. As an example, there are many educational resources which divide the information according to the skill level of the learners.

 

Chronological. This type organizes content by date and time. It’s often used on the news websites, event apps, and blogs.

 

Topic. Content is organized according to the specific subject. For instance, online book shops divide the products according to genres.

 

bookshop website animation

Bookshop Website

 

Content organization models

 

Designers have been working on the development of the information architecture field for a long time and so far they have established some efficient models of the content structure. Knowing them, designers can choose appropriate information structure for a product. Let’s take a look at the most common models.

 

Single page model

 

When the digital product requires a minimum of the content, the single page model is a perfect choice. Websites for a single product and with focused purpose often apply this type of data structure. As an example, we can consider design for the website promoting the brand new application. Its purpose is to make users upload the app, so generally, it provides a limited amount of copy with the focus on the button “Available on App Store”.

 

Upper App Animation

Upper App

 

Flat model

 

This model works best for the small websites or landing pages. In the flat structure, all the pages are equal and they are put at the same level of navigation, so they are interchangeably accessible for the users. This type of information structure is good for the websites which have a limited amount of the content and it’s not going to grow anytime soon. It may be a good idea to apply the flat model to the design of a startup company.

 

landing page design tubik studio

 

Index model

 

The index structure is one of the most commonly used. All the pages are equally similar to the flat model but the navigation system differs. Index model allows users to access pages via the page list which is available on every page of the product. This way, index model may contain more content and remain usable and simple for users since they can skip useless pages.

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

Vinny’s Bakery Website

 

Strict hierarchy model

 

The model received its name, not by chance. It’s called “strict” because it gives users only one way to access the subpages: from the main page. This structure is a good choice for the digital products that have a specific purpose. For example, e-commerce websites use the structure so that the users wouldn’t skip the important information about their new offers. Also, educational platforms may apply the model in order to make the educational process gradual.

 

Co-existing hierarchy model

 

This kind of information structure is probably the most difficult to apply. It combines the ideas of a few models. Similar to index model, it provides users with various ways to access the content still it aims at guiding people through the certain path so that they would take expected actions. That’s why to create such a structure, designers need to have a bit of experience in this area. However, it may be worth trying.

web design UI concept tubik studio

 

The Big Landscape

 

Daisy model

 

This type of content structure is common for educational websites and apps as well as the others which require users complete certain tasks. The daisy structure is built that way so users return to a homepage (sometimes other specific points) after they accomplish the tasks. For instance, many to-do apps automatically return the users to the main screen when they point the task as complete.

 

upper app UI design case study

Upper App

 

Information architecture is vital for the powerful design but it needs to be done right. The various IA techniques we’ve discussed above can be combined and applied depending on the product and the clients’ requirements. Moreover, they are constantly improved since the design field never stays still, so many new methodologies may appear soon. Our next article will continue the topic of IA so stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

A Practical Guide to Information Architecture by Donna Spencer

 

The ultimate guide to information architecture

 

How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody

 

Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond

 

Information Architecture Basics


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

ux design for ecommerce tubik blog

UX Design for E-Commerce: Principles and Strategies.

Quite long time ago known British author and scholar Thomas Gray stated: «Commerce changes the fate and genius of nations.» For the last decade, commerce has got hundreds of new ways to reach the customer, especially with the leap of innovation in technology and its growing role in everyday life. More and more buyers are turning to the experience of shopping online, more and more sellers start new channels and methods responding this trend. And this is the sphere in which design of positive user experience directly moves the stakeholders to profits. Today we are talking about UX design for e-commerce.

 

What is E-Commerce?

 

As we mentioned in our free ebook «Design for Business», in general terms, e-commerce (Electronic Commerce) is the direction of business activity when the process of providing customers with goods or services is done by means of electronic devices and the Internet. This sort of communication and finalization of sales adds some new aspects to data management, sales channels, advertising, presenting goods and services and moreover — enabling full cycle of commerce operations, including payments, delivery and refunds.

 

The last decade witnessed booming e-commerce development. Today it provides the opportunities for not only e-trade both from businesses to buyers but also online auctions and user-to-user sales platforms. E-commerce systems and activities today include presenting and booking wide range of services, e-banking, commercial operations with e-money and e-wallets, diverse forms of e-marketing and many other things which customers are using more and more often on everyday basis.

 

tubikstudio travel gear landing

Travel Gear Landing Page

 

The role of design for e-commerce

 

«If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful» says CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos, and it’s hard to argue. Obviously, the success of e-commerce activity depends on several factors among which:

— the quality of the product or service offered

— the quality of the content presenting the offer to customers

— the quality of design for the electronic platform — website and/or mobile application — via which the sales are going to be delivered.

 

So, it’s easy to see that UI/UX design part plays the vital role. Thoroughly thought-out logic and transitions, simple and clear microinteractions, fast feedback from the system, attractive product presentation, easy payment flow and plenty of other details and features can directly influence increasing profits for the business involved in such a popular e-commerce game. This is the field where designers and business experts can work as one team for good of everyone, first of all of the target user.

 

Designing e-commerce website or mobile app, designers should definitely consider the following aspects:

— operational simplicity

— strong branding

— security of users’ data

— effective use of visual elements

— clear data presentation via menus, catalogs etc.

— user’s ability to leave feedback about goods and services

— easily available general and contact information about the business providing goods or services

— design that supports the offer not overshadowing it.

 

tubik studio landing page toys

Handmade Toys Landing Page

 

On that ground, let’s check the details in three key perspectives whose combination in design makes success for e-commerce platforms: business aspect, UX aspect and UI aspect.

 

Business Perspective: Branding and Promotion

 

Websites and mobile applications for e-commerce are (well, should be) always the products created within a particular business scheme. It means they are the part of a certain business plan with the specific goals in mind and the planned ways to achieve them. Therefore, design for this sort of products definitely starts much before the first real line appears on the paper or screen. There are several important issues which should be considered and agreed upon before actual design starts.  Among them we would mention the following:

 

USP of the product. It’s essential to set which benefit (or set of benefits) will differ this website or application from the others and make it the core value presented via design.

 

defined target audience. In e-commerce, it’s important to set who your buyers are from the initial stage of the project. Knowing their age and culture, potential problems and wishes, level of tech literacy and trust to the idea of online shopping, the social circles influencing them and aspects forming their habits, designers can be more precise searching for the shortest way to successful purchase.

 

positioning, tone and voice of the brand. How would you describe your brand? Is it friendly? Fun or serious? Mass or luxury? Easily available or exclusive? Does it communicate to potential buyers in formal, informal or semi-formal style? Does it open much or mostly keeps reserved silence creating the mystery around the offered goods? These questions may seem far from business which has to be all about finance, profits, points of sales and other stuff of that kind. Still, these issues present the number of features which will set the future brand image. And design is somehow going to be its face, outfit and make-up.

 

marketing and sales channels. No doubt, it’s hard to immediately set all the channels for selling and promoting the future product; however, effective business planning means thinking over the core of them from the start. It will enable design team track and support the consistent experience of both getting to product and actually interacting with it. Even more, designers take active part in setting and strengthening marketing and sales via variety of means from branded items, landing pages and product videos to exclusive photos, posters and banners attracting customers to the platform where they actually can buy.

 

— type of business relations. Type of business relations based on target customers deeply influences the core aspects of UX design. Set from the start whether it’s B2C, B2B or B2C to create proper layout and predict possible user behavior.

 

typical environment of use. Designers need to know when, where and in which conditions users will typically use the website or app: these factors have a considerable impact on the decisions about layout, color scheme, typography, transitions and interactions, which all need to have the global objective to make the process of shopping easy, quick and enjoyable.

 

gym landing page concept by Tubik

Gym Landing Page

 

It’s easy to see that all the mentioned points directly influence design solutions as well as techniques and approaches for their realization. It means that the best way to go is to involve designers into the discussion together with stakeholders and marketing specialists at early ideation stage if it’s possible; if not, then specification and tasks provided to designer afterward have to include maximum information about those aspects. In case you work in outsource design team, make sure you get this information to be more concentrated on the key aspects of the task, and if not, communicate with the clients as long as it’s needed to get all those points clear. This communication will save many hours of iterations, which happens in cases when design is started out of the thin air without the basis of information and goals.

 

UX perspective

 

Talking about e-commerce, it’s vital to understand that selling the goods once via the website or mobile application is the minimal program of actions. What stakeholders of the business really aim at is having this user buying via their website or app again and again. User retention is the direct condition of growing profits. And we have to admit that this aspect makes e-commerce sphere highly attractive for designers. The objective which should be achieved is clear and simple: people have to reach the e-commerce platform and buy items offered on it.

 

Make no mistake, positive user experience is the key thing for user retention. In case of e-commerce, the four key aspects of UX are quite clear:

  • utility lies in the nature of the product: it helps users to choose and buy things and services they need.
  • usability has to make the customer journey clear and easy, without unnecessary clicks, time lost on loading overloaded pages or inconvenient menu, frustration of not getting feedback from the system etc.
  • accessibility has to bring up design which can be used by different categories of users, for example people with disabilities (dyslexic, color-blind etc.) or low level of tech literacy.
  • desirability means that the app will get the look and feel which will make the experience enjoyable and users will wish to get back again.

 

bookshop website animation

Bookshop Website

 

Among the core aspects dealing with the mentioned issues and considered from the early stages of design like UX-wireframing and user research, we would mention the following.

 

Intuitive navigation

 

You can have an amazing website with stylish and trendy design and breathtaking images, but the success of it will be measured not by the number of «wows» it will bring out. The efficiency is measured simply: by the number of complete purchases. If users don’t buy, design means nothing while stakeholders lose their money. Clear intuitive navigation plays the premier violin here. At every step of interaction, users need to understand clearly plenty of simple things, like:

— what company or brand they are dealing with

— what page they are at

— where the menu is

— how they can get back to home page or catalog

— where is the search and filters

— how long the page-loading process is going to take

— how they can see the detailed information about the item

— how they can choose between the option for the same item (color, size etc.)

— how they can pay for the item

— how they can save the items they would like to get back to later

— how they can contact the seller

— how they can see the rating and reviews of previous buyers etc.

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

Bakery Website

 

Every button, link and card can play the crucial role and change the conversion significantly. What’s vital to bear in mind: in terms of intense competition we have in e-commerce now, buyers aren’t ready to wait or waste their time on unnecessary operations. What they demand from e-commerce is the experience which is faster, easier and more convenient comparing to going to the actual store. If you don’t give it to them, they will look for it somewhere else.

 

Sales funnel

 

Sales funnel (in other words — purchase funnel) is a technique that moves the customer through several stages of involvement providing him/her with necessary information about the product and benefits persuading to make a purchase. As we described before in the book, basic sales funnel includes the following stages:

 

  • Introduction (Awareness). User gets the initial information about the product, its brand name and nature. In other words, user learns that the product or service exists on the market.
  • Education (Interest). User is provided with more detailed information about the features and benefits of the product or service that can potentially interest them and solve their problems.
  • Evaluation (Analysis). User gets the chance to compare the offer with its competitors and obtain the information about USPs (Unique Selling Points) of the offered product or service.
  • Decision (Engagement). User gets final vital arguments engaging him/her to make a decision; it can be short summing-up about core benefits of the offer, data about additional bonuses or special offers, engaging call to actions and explanation of purchase process.
  • Purchase. User makes a decision and takes the ability to make a purchase. The sale is done.
  • Retaining (Repeating the experience). User gets the opportunity to leave feedback, obtain additional contacts supporting the offer, subscribes to updates, gets the chance to repeat the purchase easily if desired.

 

In terms of e-commerce, sales funnel is supported with diversity of functions digital products can offer. Awareness of the principles of sales funnel leads to customer-centric, informative and engaging design solutions. Sales funnel can be either fully represented on the website or landing page as well as in mobile application or from outer source, for example, social media taking over the mission of awareness and interest and directing engaged traffic to the platform enabling users to buy.

 

home page landing tubikstudio

Comics Online Shop

 

Effective presentation of the items

 

The layout of the product pages or screens is another core aspect to think over. On the one hand, it’s advisable not to overload the page with too much information which will overwhelm users and can distract their attention from the major goal — to make the purchase. On the other hand, users aren’t ready to go from one page to the other to get different information about the item. Therefore, the designer has to take the time for thorough research of the issue and find the right balance of data given on one screen. The analysis of target audience and user testing can give the clues what information is required by the target audience for the specific categories of items or services.

 

jewellery ecommerce app UI

 

jewellery ecommerce app

Jewellery E-Commerce App

 

UI perspective

 

Being concentrated on not only logic and transitions but also looks and style, UI design stage also contributes much to the success of the e-commerce project. It is the aspect which creates visual performance and sets the solid ground for the desirability of the interface and positive emotional feedback from the buyer. At UI design stage for e-commerce, designers have to find the general stylistic concept which will support UX aspects mentioned before and will give the online point-of-sale the attractive looks. Some aspects, which designers have to take into account in this perspective, are:

 

— choice of colors that correspond to the brand image and strengthen emotional feedback

 

— setting the style corresponding to the nature of the commercial offer: reaching the website, people should instantly understand if it sells household goods, fresh vegetables, trendy clothes, exclusive devices or anything else

 

— visual hierarchy which makes the core zones of interaction instantly noticeable

 

— general harmony of perception which sets the feeling of aesthetic satisfaction supporting positive user experience.

tubikstudio ui animation website design

Design Studio Website

 

Points to consider

 

For the bottom line, here’s a simple check-list for some essential aspects designers would rather consider working on e-commerce projects:

 

— Know the buyers: user research will help to get the needs and wishes of target audience.

 

— Have users informed: make the screens or pages filled with information and functionality users really need for making purchase.

 

— Keep design consistent: not only does the website or app itself need consistency of design for all the screens in terms of general branding, but also social networks, print materials and actual point-of-sales appearance if they exist.

 

— Refresh the experience: minor changes or attractive details added to the interface from time to time without breaking general visual consistency can give the feeling of refreshment, like new looks of mannequins do in the window displays of the shop.

 

— Check your solutions: user testing can have a great impact on understanding the factors that boost conversions. Ideally, it should be applied not only in the process of design but also after the launch of e-commerce platform on the basis of real user interactions and troubles which can arise.

 

— Be careful about revolutions and wow-effect: the power of habit plays the big role in the products of this kind. Choosing layout, menus or icons, which stand too far from the ones users are generally accustomed to, can bring confusion and frustration. For example, usage of any other image instead of the magnifying glass to mark the search field can result in bad user experience as buyers know that visual symbol and will look for it. So, making this sort of experiments, take time to test them well.

 

— Respect the buyers: remember, that they are not abstract metrics — every figure in conversion report is about real people. Look for the interface that will respect their time, effort and needs and it will bring positive experience of shopping for both sides.

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Organic Food Shop

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is a bunch of links to the articles and design collections which could provide further interesting explorations of the topic:

 

Two Types of User Motivation: Design to Satisfy.

 

The ultimate guide to designing ecommerce websites

 

Ecommerce UX: 3 Design Trends to Follow and 3 to Avoid

 

Designing for 5 Types of E-Commerce Shoppers

 

20 Common UX Mistakes In Ecommerce Websites

 

Everything You Need to Know About Designing for eCommerce


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

Welcome to read or download the free e-book «Design for Business»

information architecture for designers tubik

Information Architecture. Basics for Designers.

The World Wide Web contains a tremendous amount of information which is hard to imagine unstructured because a human brain wouldn’t be able to perceive any single thing. People got used to seeing content and functionality of the digital products as many of them are now: structured and easy to use. However, it doesn’t occur unintentionally. Designers and developers take a responsibility of constructing content and navigation system in the appropriate way for users perception. The science that assists experts in the content structuring is called information architecture. Today’s article is devoted to the essence of information architecture and presents the basic points every designer should know.

 

What’s information architecture?

 

Information architecture (IA) is a science of organizing and structuring content of the websites, web and mobile applications, and social media software. An American architect and graphic designer, Richard Saul Wurman, is considered to be a founder of the IA field. Today, there are many specialists working on IA development who have established the Information Architecture Institute. According to the IAI experts, information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable.

 

Information architecture aims at organizing content so that users would easily adjust to the functionality of the product and could find everything they need without big effort. The content structure depends on various factors. First of all, IA experts consider the specifics of the target audience needs because IA puts user satisfaction as a priority. Also, the structure depends on the type of the product and the offers companies have. For example, if we compare a retail website and a blog, we’ll see two absolutely different structures both efficient for accomplishing certain objectives. Information architecture has become the fundamental study in many spheres including design and software development.

 

UX design process tubik

 

The role of information architecture in design

 

Nowadays, when the user-centered approach in design is a top trend, many designers learn the principles of information architecture science which they believe is a foundation of efficient design. IA forms a skeleton of any design project. Visual elements, functionality, interaction, and navigation are built according to the information architecture principles. The thing is that even compelling content elements and powerful UI design can fail without appropriate IA. Unorganized content makes navigation difficult and inexplicit, so the users can easily get lost and feel annoyed. If the users face first bad interaction, they may not give the second chance to your product.

 

Many companies don’t see the importance of information architecture because they think it’s impractical. It’s hard to argue that IA takes some time to create it and requires specific skills to do it efficiently. However, powerful IA is a guarantee of the high-quality product since it reduces the possibility of the usability and navigation problems. This way, well-thought information architecture can save both time and money of the company which otherwise they would have spent on fixing and improvement.

 

IA and UX design

 

After reading everything written above, many people may have the question: “Isn’t IA the same as UX design?”. Technically, these terms relate to each other but they are far not the same. IA is a blueprint of the design structure which can be generated into wireframes and sitemaps of the project. UX designers use them as the basic materials so that they could plan navigation system.

 

UX design means much more than content structuring. In the first place, UX designers aim at making pleasant interaction model, so that users feel comfortable using the product. They encompass various aspects influencing users’ behavior and actions such as emotion and psychology when the IA experts stay focused on the user’s goals.

 

Let’s get this straight: good information architecture is a foundation of efficient user experience, so the IA skill is essential for the designers. Effective IA makes the product easy to use but only united with design thinking the product has the powerful user experience.

 

tubik studio design process ux

 

IA system components

 

If you want to build strong information architecture for the product, you need to understand what it consists of. Pioneers of the IA field, Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville in their book “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” have distinguished four main components: organization systems, labeling systems, navigation systems and searching systems.

 

Organization systems

 

These are the groups or the categories in which the information is divided. Such system helps users to predict where they can find certain information easily. There are three main organizational structures: Hierarchical, Sequential, and Matrix.

 

Hierarchical. In one of our previous articles, we’ve mentioned a well-known technique of content organization which is called visual hierarchy. It is initially based on Gestalt psychological theory and its main goal is to present content on the carrier, be it a book page or poster, web page or mobile screen, in such a way that users can understand the level of importance for each element. It activates the ability of the brain to distinguish objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, alignment etc.

 

web ui design city guide

Big City Guide

 

Sequential. This structure creates some kind of a path for the users. They go step-by-step through content to accomplish the task they needed. This type is often used for the retail websites or apps, where people have to go from one task to another to make the purchase.

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

Vinny’s Bakery Website

 

Matrix. This type is a bit more complicated for the users since they choose the way of navigation on their own. Users are given choices of content organization. For example, they can navigate through content which is ordered according to date, or some may prefer navigation along the topic.

 

mobile app design tubik studio

MoneyWise App

 

In addition, content can be grouped according to the organization schemes. They are meant to categorize content the product. Here are some of the popular schemes:

 

Alphabetical schemes. Content is organized in alphabetical order. Also, they can serve as a navigation tool for the users.

 

Chronological schemes. This type organizes content by date.

 

Topic schemes. Content is organized according to the specific subject.

 

Audience schemes. The type of content organization for separate groups of users.

 

book swap app tubik studio

Book Swap App

 

Labeling systems

 

This system involves the ways of data representation. Design of the product requires simplicity, so a great amount of information can confuse users. That’s why designers create the labels which represent loads of data in few words. For example, when the designers give contact information of the company on the website, it usually includes the phone number, email, and social media contacts. However, designers can’t present all of this information on one page. The button “Contact” in the header of the page is a label that triggers the associations in the users’ heads without placing the whole data on the page. So, the labeling system aims at uniting the data effectively.

 

gym landing page concept by Tubik

 

Gym Landing Page

 

Navigation systems

 

In one of our UX Glossary articles, we’ve defined navigation as the set of actions and techniques guiding users throughout the app or website, enabling them to fulfill their goals and successfully interact with the product. The navigation system, in terms of IA, involves the ways how users move through content. It’s a complex system which employs many techniques and approaches, the reason why it’s wrong to describe it in a short paragraph. So, we’ll go back to the topic a bit later on our new blog’s article.

 

Searching systems

 

This system is used in information architecture to help users search for the data within the digital product like a website or an app. The searching system is effective only for the products with loads of information when the users risk getting lost there. In this case, the designers should consider a search engine, filters, and many other tools helping users find content and plan how the data will look after the search.

 

tubikstudio-ui-ux-design

 

To sum up, we can claim that information architecture is a core part of the powerful user experience design. Efficient IA helps users quickly and easily navigate through content and find everything they need without striking a blow. That’s why designers are recommended to learn the basics of the IA science.

 

The topic of information architecture is wide and there are more interesting and useful aspects. Our next article on this theme will be devoted to the various techniques and methodologies which designers employ to create efficient IA. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

IA for the Web and Beyond

How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody

Information Architecture Basics

The Difference Between Information Architecture and UX Design


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