Tag Archives: ux/ui

tubik-studio-architecture-firm

Web of Life. Creative Web Design Concepts.

Nowadays, World Wide Web could definitely be named the web of life. It connects people from all around the world whatever their aims and wishes are about. 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. No doubt, there are both advantages and disadvantages brought by technology and new ways of broader and faster communication of all kinds. Still, today we are going to focus more on the variety of perspectives for positive influence of the web on people’s lives of global society.

 

In the design glossary issue devoted to key terms of web design we mentioned that as a domain of human activity it lies on the crossroads of many sciences and practices. Among them the following should be mentioned:

  • drawing and composition
  • painting and coloristics
  • logic and schematism
  • analysis and statistics
  • visual arts
  • programming
  • user research
  • psychology
  • copywriting
  • branding and marketing etc.

 

Covering diverse aspects of a website functionality and appearance, some designers work in teams every member of which specializes in a particular sphere while the others can work out different of the mentioned aspects individually. Anyway, in vast majority of cases web design is the sphere of digital products which have to be functional and user-centered. As famous American designer Charles Eames said “Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose” and his words totally reflect the idea of modern web design.

 

Working over a website, designers have to concentrate on such aspects as:

usability (the website is convenient, clear, logical and easy to use)

utility (the website provides useful content and solves users’ problems)

accessibility (the website is convenient for different categories of users)

desirability (the website is attractive and problem-solving, it retains users and creates positive experience which they are ready to repeat).

 

Here in Tubik Studio we have felt all the power of web, both from the perspective of professional growth and positive user experience. If you take a virtual trip around Tubik Blog, you’ll see the case studies and articles devoted to the theme of creating websites solving users’ problems, providing natural and effective flow of human-computer interaction and positive experience. Being a team knowing the inside-out of web design and development, today we are going to continue the topic with the collection of practical design concepts presenting design solutions for the variety of websites with different objectives, target audience and visual style. Here you’ll find the concepts for particular web pages, animated web interactions, ideas for landing and home page design and the like. So, let’s get started!

 

Website on travel destinations in Iceland

 

tubik studio ice ui website

Presented concept features the set of interactions with a website devoted to the theme of traveling around Iceland. Working over the color palette, the designer chose the light background featuring the theme of Iceland and a contrast bold headline. Images are used in the scheme one-per-page so that they could support the theme but not overloading the page or distracting the user. Thorough attention was paid to typography and composition as key sides of user-friendly minimalism enhancing usability, navigability and visual harmony transferring the spirit of the presented place. Navigation features the right side menu with titles placed vertically still easily readable due to the choice of font, the rest of the navigation links are hidden in extended menu behind the hamburger button. Animation shows transitions between pages to give the feeling of general design consistency.

 

Design concept for online magazine

 

online magazine design tubik studio

 

The design concept of an online magazine features the page of a particular article presenting a famous person so an image showing the personality becomes the center of composition still doesn’t take too much attention from the text as the bearer of information. All the design is concentrated on user-friendly solutions around readability and stylish non-distracting looks as well. So, the concept is based around clear visual hierarchy applied in general layout of elements and also copy blocks. As for navigation, the page features the header including the title of the website as a central element of the top part composition, two active links to basic categories of publications, link to live mode and search field marked with a magnifier icon.

 

Web design for architecture blog

 

tubik studio design

 

Another concept full of light and air for readable text and stylish visuals. Animated interactions demonstrate the consistency of the flow while scrolling the page with the smooth move of visuals elements, headlines and copy blocks, imitating movement of physical objects while pulling. The presented design of a website has a fixed header which doesn’t hide while the page is scrolled. However, it follows minimalist principles featuring brand name lettering as a center of composition, magnifier icon marking search functionality and hamburger button hiding links to navigation areas.

 

Corporate website for an architectural company

 

website design UI

 

This concept is also devoted to the theme of architecture, still it has different objectives and core target audience: it is the corporate website for a company presenting the variety and potential of its services. The general performance of the webpages is following minimalist and functional approach. The layout is accomplished on the basis of priorities in presenting this particular business field. Taking into account that the nature of the company activity is deeply visual especially in terms of presentation to new clients, the designer selected the background and fonts that have to leave the immediate impression of style and sophistication. The key words brought out in capital letters become the integral part of stylistic concept being also informative and quickly setting the company ideas and approach to work. The visual effects are supported with smooth animation.

 

Landing page for the website of seafood recipes

 

landing page UI design tubik studio

 

This example presents a landing page for a website collecting recipes of meals with seafood from all over the world. As well as in the previous case, dark background is chosen to make the images of meals look even more delicious and also create stylish appearance for general visual presentation of the layout. The landing quickly provides general understanding of the website purpose and content featuring different sections that could be interesting for users.

 

website UI design

 

Website on Swedish ski resorts

 

tubik studio web UI design

 

Obviously, traveling is the great way to get inspired and we really believe it’s true. This concepts adds one more example on this theme. Here is the set of animated interactions for a website Slopes presenting Swedish ski resorts and enabling users to get full scope of information about them. Home page features the video background immediately setting the theme, and color palette based on strong contrast and concise color combinations also visually supports the idea of active winter holidays. The basic points are shown in header for quick availability while all the other variety of content categories is hidden behind the hamburger button to support minimalist design approach.

 

Web interface for design blog

 

design4users blog

 

This case shows the web interface for Design4Users, a content project created, designed and developed by Tubik Studio team. Design of the webpages is accomplished with a view to effective presentation of both copy and visual materials featured in wide variety.

 

webdesign tubik studio

design blog web UI

 

Web design for an online magazine about traveling

 

tubik studio web design

 

Here’s the design concept for a website which presents the online magazine «The Big Landscape». Its target audience is primarily people keen on traveling and learning more about the world. The interface is minimalist following the principles of clear visual hierarchy, good readability, intuitive navigation and aesthetic pleasure from visual perception.

 

Website for a design studio

 

tubikstudio ui animation website design

 

It is a promotional webpage of the particular product by design studio. Its purpose is to present the design object via descriptions and visual details providing users with the link to this item in online shop. Thus, this page, which is actually the part of a sales funnel for the e-commerce website, is in charge of attracting users and informing them about the product. Minimalist design full of air makes visual accents noticeable and engaging while general layout presents the actual direction of company services. Broader aim was to transfer the atmosphere and spirit of the brand by means of design solutions.

 

Web platform for an encyclopedia

 

tubik studio web ui design

 

This case realized the idea of web encyclopedia devoted to the theme of birds-of-paradise. The designer concentrated on main aspects of usability and utility of such a resource for readers and at the same time set the goal to make it attractive and giving clear message of the site features with general stylistic concept. Animated transitions make  scrolling interactions engaging and add style to general performance.

 

Web design for photography workshops service

 

website design for photographers

 

Here is the landing page for a company organizing photo tours and workshops for photographers. Functional and stylish minimalism is the basic approach behind this web interface, visual elements inform users and provide quick harmonic perception of the nature of the services while animation is provided to show the transitions between content blocks.

 

Landing page for coffee delivery service

 

web design UI tubik studio

 

It’s not a secret that drinking coffee is the daily habit, sometimes even obsession, for many people, and different services speeding up the process of getting a cup “on the go” are getting more and more popular. This example shows you a design concept of a landing page which presents an experimental service «Coffee Wings» providing coffee delivery by drones. Landing was created in the manner combining traditional visual elements setting positive associations with coffee and images of innovative technologies involved to this user-friendly service. Copy blocks are not overloaded so that visitors could get the idea and benefits of the service quickly and clearly and obtain more information, if they want, following the calls to action.

 

Design concepts for 404 page

 

web page illustration

 

There are tons of design solutions for 404 webpage, which is strategically important for any website, and still this design object is always actual. This sample shows web design accomplished with some artistic approach featuring the original illustration of the penguin directing everyone back from the Pole where nothing can be found.

 

tubik studio web design

 

Another concepts shows different stylistic approach and features a page 404 for e-commerce website. It is based on harmonic interconnection of the background and actual layout elements such as header, CTA button and copy.

 

Today’s list is over but studio practice is full of many other interesting examples of design concepts for different purposes and needs of modern users. Don’t miss new presentations in our future posts.


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

Welcome to read UI/UX glossary on web design

mobile application testing

The Brief Guide to Testing Mobile Interfaces

Mobile technology and smart devices have already brought massive and significant changes in human behavior, communication, way of thinking and lifestyle. In fact, the boom of apps popularity can be seen in plenty of industries, among which we can easily sort out some noticeable ones such as Media (magazines and newspapers), Travel (maps), Medicine (patient records), Finance (apps for real-time trading), Education (translators and dictionaries) and Social (games and social media platforms). With steady and obvious progress of the sphere, mobile and web apps are definitely going to become more critical for personal, professional and business success and efficiency. So, creating and launching a new application, all sides of its production should test the solutions and environment and well as practical quality of design and development outcome. Extensive practice we have got here in Tubik Studio proves that this is the well-lit way to providing users with positive experience and helpful products.

 

Testing is vital for product quality

 

In our previous article, devoted to the full cycle of creating a mobile application, we have already mentioned the great part of testing in providing high quality products, able to solve problems and improve lives. As it was outlined in general terms, testing is one of the crucial phases of the entire app design and development process: it helps to reveal bugs before the app is brought out to actual users. Practice shows that in the majority of cases, users abandon the app if it has functionality problems, no matter how promising and engaging it seems. Vise versa, even the simplest apps can be successful for commerce, business, advertising and other aims if they work correctly and efficiently, according to target audience’s expectations and solving their problems.

 

Testing doesn’t mean that designers or developers do not provide the upper quality. To set the analogy, the fact that every book, magazine or newspaper issue goes through editor’s eye doesn’t say that journalists or writers are not talented and qualified. Different specialists have different goals and skills in the process to increase general productivity and efficiency, and it works the same way for design and development of mobile apps. Supposing that developers have done a great job and made no mistakes, the task of testing is not only finding errors. Quite the opposite, it helps to understand the quality of the app and find the way to improve via real interactions.

 

Peter Drucker once said “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”  In the majority of cases, if users see that anything in the app is broken or it constantly takes large amount of time to load preventing them from quick accomplishment of the task at hand, the risk is really high that they will bounce it and never come back. That’s why testing phase is the hidden hero of mobile app development.

 

Today we are going to concentrate more on perspective of testing mobile apps, as websites testing has its own specific features worth another article. So, let’s review the basic steps and aspects important for effective digital product testing.

 

mobile app testing

 

Start with the type of the app

 

Mobile app testing has plenty of challenges based on multiple factors: there are some compromise decisions testers or developers need to consider and choices they need to make on combinations of different techniques and methods to be used. One of the aspects to think over is the nature of the app itself directly influencing the process and limits of testing. In this perspective, the following basic categories of the apps should be mentioned.

 

Native apps. The apps of this sort are created specifically for one platform, aka operating system of device. They can take full advantage of all the device features such as the camera, the list of contacts, the flashlight, the accelerometer, the compass or others, and are installed via an app store (Google Play, Apple’s App Store, Microsoft store, etc.).

 

Mobile web apps. They are mobile-optimized websites that look and feel like native apps, still they are run by a web browser.

 

Hybrid apps. This type representatives provide the mix of native apps and web apps. Like native apps, they are installed through app stores and can take advantage of the numerous features available on device. As well as web apps, they rely on HTML being rendered in a web browser.

 

Toonie Alarm UI design

 

The type of the app under construction directly influences all creative stages from UX wireframing to final check of all the code. Different operational systems set their own guidelines and recommendations on design solutions and performance, development tools and restrictions.  Neglecting those limitations and rules can bring to fail of submitting the app to open use and turn all the creative process into wasted time and effort.

 

Plan the testing levels

 

Starting actual work over the app, creative and production team needs to consider a testing plan combining different testing levels. Testing is not the process taken as one single stage or action: it is spreaded via different stages. Schematically, this process can develop in vertical and horizontal directions. Vertical dimension is presented with testing levels and usually deals with going deeper to the code and functionality from separate units to whole app, its connection with the server if its needed, and its technical correspondence to the requirements. Horizontal dimension deals with different aspects of app performance and user experience.

 

Taking the testing levels to account, their basis is variety of tests grouped according to the stages when they are used in the development process, or by the level of specificity of the test. The main task of testing levels is to identify missing areas and prevent overlap and repetition between the development phases. Let’s briefly describe the various levels of testing.

 

Unit testing. This testing is commonly done by the developers to make sure that their code is working correctly: they test the sections of code like classes, functions, interfaces, etc.

 

Integration testing. Integration testing is done when particular units are integrated with each other, with the aim to test the behavior and functionality of each unit after integration. This testing level is usually carried out by a software testing engineer. There are a few types of integration testing such as big bang integration testing, top down and bottom up.

 

System testing. Here the name says everything: at this level all the components of the app are tested as a system in order to ensure that the product at the pre-launch stage meets the specified requirements. As the app is almost ready, it can be tested in the environments really close to the actual in which users will get their experience once it is deployed.

 

Acceptance testing. The main objective of this testing level is to evaluate whether the app system complies with the user requirements and whether everything is ready for release.

 

ios-developers-tubik-studio

 

Define the types of testing

 

All aspects of the app usage should be tested. Designers, developers and testers will need to check it across different devices as the points like screen resolution, processors, battery life and memory are different and can significantly affect on the efficiency and performance of the app, functionality, handling and loading time, as well as UX and UI solutions.

 

Among the variety of types, applied to test the mobile app at different stages of its creation, we should definitely mention the following list.

 

Usability testing. It is carried out from the early stages of app creation to verify if the app fulfills the established objectives and tasks getting a good response from users. The primary focus of this testing is on easy and quick use of an app, simple on-boarding and user’s satisfaction with the entire experience. For higher efficiency and productivity of general creative flow, this type of testing should start much earlier than any single line of code will be written, from the first schemes and transitions put into UX wireframes.

 

Installation testing. At the initial stage on installation, the app should add required software to the device automatically. And uninstalling, it should remove all the available content and databases from the device which are used by the app. So, this type of testing checks that the install/uninstall flow goes properly.

 

Functional testing. It is the most basic test for any app to ensure that it is working according to the defined requirements and there are no functions missed in the process of interaction. Functional testing mainly includes finding possible specific bugs of the device or navigation issues of the app. This type of testing should be done at the primary stages of development. In enables developers or testers to check and measure database or network queries with response times, crashes and memory issues.

 

Performance testing. Rather stressful part of any app testing is performance test revealing the omissions which left unnoticed during functional and user interface testing. This testing is required to be done on actual device only so it means the whole app is coded t this stage. This type covers client-side, server and network performance. For example, it checks the performance specifications and behavior of the app under certain conditions such as low battery, bad network coverage, low available memory and etc.

 

Interruption testing. An app may face various interruptions being in active mode, such as incoming calls or network coverage outage and recovery. This kind of testing shows what the app will do in this variety of cases. The common types of interruptions are:

 

  • Incoming and Outgoing calls, SMS or MMS and different notifications
  • Low memory warning
  • Cable insertion or removal
  • Network outage or recovery
  • Media Player on/off
  • The device power cycle, such as low battery notification.

 

Memory testing. This type checks that each app maintains optimized memory usage throughout surfing. As mobile devices have definite limits of available memory, this testing is crucial for the appropriate product functioning.

 

Security testing. It checks vulnerability of the app to hacking, authentication and authorization policies, data security, session management and other security standards. The fundamental objective of security testing is to ensure that the app data and networking security requirements are met according to standards.

 

Tubik Studio iOS development

 

Don’t forget to test design

 

One of the huge mistakes that could be done about testing it planning this part not earlier than the development stage starts. Obviously, the product getting live via code presents wider perspective of testing its actual functionality and performance. Still, we should remember that any digital product is not just code — it is the set on user interactions which should be thought-over and designed thoroughly with target audience in mind. Therefore, testing should take its first steps at the stage of wireframing to check if all the elements take their places, communicate to users, provide them with feedback from the system and what is more, achieve the goals and solve users’ pains.

 

Numerous prototyping tools enable to simplify and speed up the process of testing user interface so that developers obtained the verified version of design not taking major design alterations in the process of development. This is the efficient way to optimize the general creative flow and provide maximum efficient outcome at every stage. Prototyping gets testing sides, be it client, designer or even potential users, closer to real interaction with the concept of the future interface. Prototypes should not be seen as the analogue of the final product as they aren’t those. Their main aim is to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions way before they will be transferred to developers.

 

The most effective point to involve prototyping for testing design is the step between UX wireframing and UI design.  The prototypes on UI stage can also be created for presentation of application general looks rather than for testing and improving its functional features. Still, it crucial that usability should be thoroughly checked first of all at the UX stage, otherwise it will be much harder to change inefficient solution after having accomplished a lot of work on UI and then development.

 

All the numerous aspects of design testing are definitely worth a separate article which will continue this topic in our blog very soon.

 

InVision for UI prototyping tubikstudio

 

Check the code thoroughly

 

When the design is transformed into code, the developers and testers need to make sure that all the quality and performance nuances are considered and included. Pointers in this area are testing on actual devices and simulators. Testing on devices is proceeded on the actual handset where app is installed, run and tested. Testing in simulator applies the software that can accurately imitate a mobile phone.

 

Simulator testing is useful at the primary stages of development as it allows quick and efficient checking the app, but it doesn’t fully measures performance and usability which should have their healthy doze of actual human testing. Still, automated testing got really popular now because it is effective, cheap and quite reliable. iOS Simulator as well as testing tools such as Appium, Frank, Calabash and others are available to support moving the app through the testing process and point out the issues requiring attention.

 

Continuous testing at all stages lays the strong foundation for keeping small bugs from becoming major issues later on. The final testing is conducted on actual devices so that crashes and hangings could be identified. Testing on device is obligatory for every app as it provides developers with actual data on the app behavior in different environments.

 

Test and measure after launch

 

Another mistake that should be avoided is stopping testing after the product is launched. Vise versa: testing will get even more diverse and comprehensive as it will inform the sides maintaining the app viability and efficiency about behavior, problems and preferences of real users. This information is the direct route to product improvements providing users the updates they really need and want.

 

testing digital product

 

Mobile technology is transforming the way of using devices. Smartphones and tablets of all kinds are rapidly becoming the valid method of interaction between consumers and businesses. People use mobile apps to connect socially, find information, order and track goods, book places and set appointments and do hundreds of other operations improving their lives regularly. It is important to build an app with all features and functionality that are required. Without effective testing plan, users are likely to come across unexpected bugs and errors. In the modern world with tough and growing competition in this field, the risk is high that they will quickly lose interest to the app while thoughtful testing and analysis is the solid way to avoid this risk.

 

Recommended reading

 

Diverse issues of applying testing at different stages of creating digital products have been an object of professionals’ attention lately. Here is the collection of recommended sources on further reading for those who would like to read more on the theme.

 

Testing Strategies and Tactics for Mobile Applications

 

Mobile: Native Apps, Web Apps, and Hybrid Apps

 

Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Application Testing

 

Mobile Testing: Complete Guide to Test your Mobile Apps

 

17 Strategies for End to End Mobile Testing on both iOS and Android

 

Levels Of Testing

 

Software Testing Levels

 


Welcome to read The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Mobile Application

tubik studio web development

Front-End Development. From UX Design to Code.

User interface serving the aims of positive and problem-solving user experience is one of the key aspects of creating digital product, still it’s web development that enables users to get real and live surfing experiences. With the course of time, more and more businesses are going online, so there appear some loose ends that need to be cured through user experience. In business struggle, everyone wants to please their customers and engage them to return again. Today, businesses realizing the value of thought-out and professionally built user experience are able to take the best from digital technologies and products. Full-cycle UX design gets its live version via web and mobile development transfroming step by step from subtle idea to real digital product.

 

Getting down to cases, online businesses are all about user experiences and of course the products and services they are selling. Have you seen websites like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress? They are convenient and helpful for their users even being huge websites that offer millions of products and thousands of services. The value of thought-out UX and efficient UI is irreplaceable. How could this result be achieved? This is the point when the power of front-end development comes into play to not just enhance the look and feel of website but also take the major role in increasing the level of user experience.

 

Tubik Studio design team

 

What is front-end?

 

All websites consist of structure, data, design, content, and functionality. Creating user-facing functionality is the task of front-end developer. Using a combination of markup languages, design, client-side scripts and frameworks, they create everything that users see and interact with: content, layout, and functional elements.

 

Three main parts of every website are: the client, the database, the server. The client is simply the web browser a person is using to load a site, and it’s where client-side technology is unpacked and processed. In a general way, a server is a computer, a device or a program that is dedicated to managing network resources and data. The server is at a remote location anywhere, it is holding data, running back-end of a website, processing requests, and sending response to the browser. The client is anywhere the users are loading a site: mobile devices, laptops, or desktop computers. Server-side scripting is executed by a web server; client-side scripting is executed by a web browser.

 

front end develoment tubik studio

 

Let’s have a closer look at this process.

 

The Server — this part of website is responsible for holding data, running the website’s back-end architecture, processing requests, and sending response to the browser.

 

The Client — requests pages from the Server, and displays them to the The User. In most cases, the client is a web browser.

 

The User — uses the Client in order to surf the web, fill in forms, watch videos online, in other words and interact with webpage.

 

web development server

 

To see how it works in practice, let’s take the flow of interactions with Tubik website for example.

 

The User opens his/her web browser (the Client), then loads http://tubikstudio.com/. The Client (on the behalf of the User) sends a request to http://tubikstudio.com/ (the Server), for our home page. The Server then acknowledges the request, and replies the client with some meta-data (called headers), followed by the page’s source. The Client receives the page’s source and renders it into a human viewable website. The User types «Case Study» into the search field, and presses ‘Enter’. The Client submits that data to the Server. The Server processes the data, and replies with a page matching the search results. The Client, once again, renders that page for the User to view.

 

Processes running in web browser are the following: when the page is in process of loading, scripts are embedded within and interact with the HTML of a site, selecting elements of it, then manipulating those elements to provide an interactive experience. Next, scripts interact with a CSS file that styles the way the page looks. It dictates what work the server-side code will accomplish and returns data that’s pulled from the site in a way that’s readable by the browser.

 

For example, when we open home page of Tubik Studio website, the back-end is built to pull specific data from the database to Client, while front-end scripts render this data into readable for human view webpage.

 

Front-end languages

 

Widespread client-side languages which front-end developers use regularly and have to know include:

 

JavaScript: With its frameworks and libraries, it’s the core of front-end development, and beyond. It is called the first client-side language and is still the most common client-side script on the web.

 

HTML: Every front-end developer has to know this language. It dictates a site’s organization and content and all interaction. HTML elements can annotate footers, headers, how text is displayed , how media and images are appeared, and more.

 

CSS: Cascading style sheets (CSS) is broken into modules and comprises the code for every graphic element—from backgrounds to font—that make up the look and feel of a website.

 

programming languages fron-end

 

Front-end frameworks

 

A framework is a hierarchical directory that encapsulates shared resources, such as a dynamic shared library, nib files, image files, localized strings, header files, and reference documentation in a single package. Here are some popular frameworks that are usually used.

 

AngularJS: This framework and several other JS frameworks, like Backbone.js, Ember.js, Express.js or ReactJS demonstrate the capabilities of JavaScript.

 

jQuery: It is a fast, small, JS object library that streamlines how JavaScript behaves across different browsers.

 

Bootstrap: This leading mobile-first framework includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to facilitate rapid responsive app development. With Bootstrap, website is compatible with all modern browsers and looks great on any size screen, from tablets to phones, from laptops to desktop computers.

 

Foundation: Responsive front-end framework is used by sites like Facebook, Yahoo!, and eBay.

 

Semantic UI: It is a development framework that helps create beautiful, responsive layouts using human-friendly HTML.

 

Yeoman: It is a generic scaffolding system allowing creating of any kind of app.

 

Pure.css: It is the set of small, responsive CSS modules that you can use in every web project.

 

Skeleton.css: As Skeleton’s developers stated: “A dead simple, responsive boilerplate.” It is the set of small and easy, responsive CSS modules that can be used in every web project.

 

web development framework

 

The next posts about web development are coming soon for those who are interested and in them we are going to tell you more details about different aspects of the job: the closest ones will tell about specific features and tools for back-end, web developers work flow, and trends for front-end development. Don’t miss!


Welcome to read the article about basic terms and tools of web development

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

Toonie Alarm UI design

Case Study: Toonie Alarm. App UI Design.

Designing a product for everyday use, it is vital to ground it on the thorough market research, thought-out design presentation and deep analysis of the target audience. No wonder: the stuff like note-apps, alarms, to-do lists, calculators, calendars and the like surround users in their everyday life, help in common situations and sometimes add color to the routine. We have checked that well and now would like to present you the first case telling the design story of the brand new alarm app for iOS called Toonie Alarm which today is featured on Product Hunt and has reached top-5 in the category Tech in 4 hours after featuring.

 

Toonie Alarm UI design

 

Task:

 

Full-cycle UI/UX design for the simple and engaging alarm app for iPhones.

 

Process:

 

The design process for this case was different from typical ones in the studio as before it we had worked more on outsource projects which means that creating initial product concept and setting the task was done mainly by the client’s side. The process for Toonie Alarm took the other direction and gave us what it was set for: the feeling of full product creation process from the very first steps. We had to set the idea and test it competitive potential, establish its USP and marketing plan, branding and usability foundation and all the other stuff like this.

 

Initially the idea behind the app was to create a simple alarm clock with attractive design and consistent element of motivation and support for such a basic and often far-from-pleasant process as waking up. The basic brand image was set as fun, cute, bright and cheerful, and marketing research supported this concept with the analysis of competition and ideas on adding original features to the app.

 

User research and analysis enabled the team to form the USP for the product on the basis of the following set of key features:

  • All the features of the app free for everyone
  • Simple, clear and intuitive navigation
  • Bright and pretty interface
  • Huge set of beautiful stickers
  • Achievements and rewards for waking up
  • Eye-pleasing interactive animation
  • Animated time picker
  • Instant sharing achievement with friends.

 

Let’s look over the details of UI created by Tubik designers.

 

Cute Mascot

 

In one of our previous articles we have already mentioned the great role of mascots in branding and UI design. As for Toonie Alarm, the idea of applying the mascot was set almost instantly as mascot is not only a sort of communicator between interface and user, but also a great representative of the brand able to enhance its recognizability. Moreover, it has a great impact on easy establishing the voice and tone of the product, creating the feeling of natural communication and supporting the mood. That was the point when Toonie was born to be a funny cheerful bird, whose mission is to make the world  brighter and help users to interact with the alarm. It informs users about news, rewards, errors and just adds some fun and color to everyday life.

 

Toonie Alarm mascot design

 

toonie alarm mascot design

 

App Tutorial

 

App tutorial is an important part of the interface which helps users to get informed on the basic interactions. In Toonie Alarm it consists of three screens that tell the user about the functionality of the app. Small concise copy blocks are supported by smooth and pleasant animation of transitions to create the feeling of integrity and cheerful mascot featured as the consistent element and the center of the screen graphic composition.

 

Toonie Alarm Tutorial design

 

Home Screen

 

The home screen shows the alarms which user already set for particular time and days and the tab with funny stickers already collected for waking up. Active alarms toggles feature the animated sun. Left swipe opens active options for the particular alarm.

 

Toonie Alarm UI design

 

Stickers Screen

 

Various stickers become the reward for waking up at the particular period. Moreover, waking up several times at this time, users can level up their stickers and enrich their collection. All the stickers can be shared to social networks to mark users’ achievements.

 

toonie alarm stickers

 

Toonie alarm stickers screen

 

Time Picker

 

Another prominent feature of the app is the animated time picker. The app has simple navigation and nice motion makes it even more intuitive. Picking time for the alarm, users can enjoy animated march of night and day.

 

Toonie Alarm time picker screen

 

Animated Stickers

 

Animated stickers make interaction even more lively and enjoyable and also enhance user experience making the interface attractive and playful.

 

toonie alarm stickers

 

Logo Style

 

Logo design keeps style of lettering associated with fun and entertainment and creating harmonic link to the fonts typical for cute cartoons.

 

Toonie Alarm logo

 

Product Video

 

To catch more details and see the interactions with the app in real, welcome to review the video guide on Toonie Alarm.

 

 

You can also review the presentation of Toonie Alarm design on Behance or check full pack of the details via Toonie Press Kit


Welcome to see full presentation on Product Hunt

Welcome to download Toonie Alarm via App Store

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

tubik_studio_book_swap_app

UI Animation: Eye-Pleasing, Problem-Solving.

Animation applied in user interfaces is the topic drawing high attention and provoking hot debates nowadays. Although there is a big army of those who find animation an unnecessary feature overloading user interface and making it more complicated, most users expect motion as an integral part of interaction experience. So, designers and developers work over more and more sophisticated methods to make animation pleasant-looking and problem-solving characteristic of modern apps and websites.

 

Why do users love motion so much? Mostly, because animation supports the essence of actual and real interaction, it creates the level of feelings and perception close to what people have when they are interacting with a physical object in real life. This sort of feeling can boost user experience rate of positiveness really high as the more natural user feels, the less effort is needed to deal with the app or a website and the more clear it is how it works. Certainly, it makes users satisfied. No secret, satisfaction and pleasure are among top things encouraging people to use the product again.

 

Like everything that is put into the interface and process of interaction with it, animation must be a functional element, not just a decor. Considering motion elements while planning user journey around the digital product, designer should deeply analyze its potential for increasing usability, utility and desirability of the product before making a decision to apply it in the layout or transitions. Animation in UI requires thoughtful approach and always needs to have a clear purpose set behind. Advantages and utility of using it in the interaction process have to be obvious and outweighing possible disadvantages. Animation should become icing on the cake, not a fly in the ointment.

 

Tubik Studio

 

Define the problem

 

One of the best approaches to make animation functional not only attractive is to reveal the problems that it potentially can solve. It can be done at all the stages of design process:

 

user research will let you know who the target users are, what’s their age, preferences, level of tech literacy, environments and conditions at which the product will be used, and plenty of other factors from the users’ side that can influence user experience;

 

marketing research will give the insights of existing products, their strong and weak sides as well as methods of forming user loyalty, which is the good basis for defining USP solving particular users’ problems as well as original ways of the product presentation and performance;

 

UX wireframing stage will enable to think over the logic of interaction, layout and transitions and get the first assumptions of the points which can be strengthened with animation;

 

prototyping stage will reveal new aspects of live interaction with the screens;

 

UI design stage will provide the complex of visual presentation for the product scheme and system setting a new perspective of applying animation into the app or website;

 

 user testing will show if the decisions made about animated elements were correct and their benefits really outweigh possible pitfalls.

 

tubik studio work

 

At every stage, if designer sets the goal to reveal possible big or small problems users can have, animation as well as any other design element can take the role of problem-solver for the case.

 

Let’s review some typical problems that can be solved by means of interface animation.

 

Problem: I want to know the action is done.

 

This is one of the problems that can be easily and quickly solved by animated details applied in UI. Microinteractions supported by clear finalization via motion create fast feedback for the user and make the experience positive and efficient while navigation simple and intuitive. Animated buttons, switchers, toggles and other interactive elements inform user in split seconds activating all the potential of fast visual perception.

 

switch animation tubik studio

Switch Control Animation

 

hamburger_menu tubik studio

Hamburger Menu Animation

 

hamburger button tubik studio

Hamburger button interaction

 

tubik studio button ui

Tab Bar interaction

 

add button animation

Add Button interaction

 

pageindicator tubik studio

Rubber Indicator

 

Problem: I want to know that action is in progress.

 

This is also a huge area of application for diverse motion design potential. When users interact with a digital product, they want to know what is going on at every single step. Making users wait in uncertainty is the risk of losing those users. Still, when users are informed, waiting can be not so annoying and stressful. So, this aspect should always be taken into account and there are many ways to support it via interface animation. This is the high time for pull-to-refresh indicators to come into play and show their best.

 

pull_to_refresh tubik studio

Pull To Refresh

 

preloader animation tubik studio

Preloader

 

pull to refresh animation tubik

Pull to refresh

 

pull-down animation tubik studio

Pull Down — Hourglass

 

tubik studio pull down

Pull Down — Space Ship

 

Problem: I can’t see the progress and don’t understand how long it will take.

 

Quite often it’s not enough just to let users know that the process is going on. They often want more: to see how fast it is progressing and how long it will take. Again, interface animation can be a great helper here. Load bars and progress bars, animated timelines and other dynamic elements can kill several birds with one stone:

 

— they inform user about the level of progress

 

— they can become the entertaining element blunting negative experience of waiting in the process of interaction

 

— designed and animated in an original way, they can become a viral feature which users will want to share with others and engage more users into action.

 

tubik studio motion design

GIF for the Timeline App

 

tubikstudio motion design

GIF of Dynamic Scroll

 

Problem: I don’t want to make my screen a mess.

 

That is really a vital thing to think over in the interface design. If the screen or page looks like mess overloaded with tons of data which is not clearly organized, it will require additional effort from the user to understand how it works and where the needed information can be found. The more effort, the higher chances are getting that users will go away in search of simpler solution. In vast majority of cases users wish to have apps and websites that will simplify and improve their life, perhaps even will do some job for them rather than will take additional effort and time on interaction. Animation can be a good way to enhance interaction with various data blocks and sections and make everything feel organized even in highly data-saturated and complex interfaces.

 

sport app motion ui tubik studio

GIF for Sport App

 

tubik studio motion design ui

Cards Animation

 

UI Design Interaction Tubik Studio

Boat Station App

 

tubikstudio blog app ui animation

Blog App

 

Problem: I want to see the key things first.

 

Visual hierarchy and clear navigation are always a great concern for designers creating interactive digital product. Users’ attention should be immediately drawn to the key element of interaction according to its goal and conditions. Animated interface elements present great supportive force for this aspect, enabling faster and more distinct visual marking of important elements in the layout.

 

tubik studio tapbar ui

Tapbar Interactions

 

tubik studio behance weather app

GIF for the Weather App

 

App screens by Tubik Studio

Resto App 

 

Problem: I want to feel the interaction natural.

 

This is the problem that most users will not be able to formulate, still it has a great influence on user experience. If users say something like «I’m not sure what’s wrong but there’s definitely a thing», try thinking over more natural interaction. Animation in the interface can create pleasant illusion close to natural interaction with physical objects which often doesn’t need too much cognitive process. For example, if you pull the object, press it, move out the tab, the movements should feel natural.  Again, users won’t be able to see this sophisticated work accomplished by designers: they will take it for granted and the fact it makes them comfortable will be the biggest praise for design solutions.

 

tubik studio_social_network

GIF For Social Network 

 

tubik_studio_book_swap

Book Swap App

 

Dribbble shot by Sergey Valiukh

GIF for Restaurant Menu

 

This sort of problem is also popular in interaction with web interfaces. Thought-out movement of layout elements while the webpage is scrolled can enhance user experience significantly and create the feeling of one integral smooth interaction rather than several separate parts or blocks of the page. All in all, it’s pleasant and engaging, and these emotions are a good factor of retaining users.

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Landing page animation

 

landing page animation Tubik studio

Landing page animation

 

landing page for capitoledge by TUBIK

Capitoledge — Free Screensaver

 

tubikstudio ui animation website design

Bjorn Website

 

 

Problem: The screen/page is boring.

 

Obviously, talking about interfaces, people often move functional side and usability to the foreground, as key or sometimes even the only aspect requiring consideration. And that’s right and logical, still it cannot null the fact that people are driven not only by logic. There are also such big factors as emotional and aesthetic satisfaction able to influence user experience greatly. Thoughtful balance of utility and usability on the one hand with emotions and aesthetics on the other can bring user-friendly product. And animation is a great booster in this perspective of interface design. It can mark out the beauty of colors and gradients, breath life into layout, make movements dynamic or vise versa smooth, strengthen the power of UI elements with motion and original transitions.

 

calendar-app animation tubik

Calendar App Animation

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App

 

Contact List Concept Scrolls Tubik

Contact List Concept

 

tubik studio application recipes and cooking

Recipes App

 

juicy player UI Tubik Studio

Juicy Player

 

So, definitely, animation in user interfaces has massive potential in solving diverse problems of interaction. Still, even the slightest piece of motion added into UI requires thoughtful approach analyzing not only advantages but also possible drawbacks. Animation should support the user, that is its main goal in the interface.

 

Tubik quote UI animation

 

Recommended reading

 

Diverse issues of applying animation in UI design have been an object of professionals’ attention for a considerable period. Here is the collection of articles for those who would like to read more on the topic.

 

Interface Animation. The Force of Motion.

 

Animated Interactions. Motion on Purpose.

 

UI Animation. Microinteraction for Macroresult.

 

UI in Action. 15 Animated Design Concepts of Mobile UI.

 

How to Use Animation to Improve UX

 

Functional Animation In UX Design: What Makes a Good Transition?

 

Experience Design Essentials: Animated Microinteractions In Mobile Apps

 

The ultimate guide to Web animation


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

design4users blog by Tubik

Design4Users Blog. Official Release.

Here in Tubik Studio we have had the opportunity to create a considerable number of design stories, all so different and so unique. It gave us the chance to feel all the benefits and pitfalls of design provided in terms of outsource partnership. To go further and get even closer to final users, to feel all the pains of our clients and all the variety of steps needed for creating an efficient product out of thin air, we have decided to take the next step and launch our own digital products.

 

Today we are happy to announce the release of our first product called Design4Users. It is a content-driven professional platform fully created by the studio team from the ideation and concept phase, to creating branding, developing content strategy and communication model, designing logic and layout (UX), original interface and navigation (UI), providing full-cycle of front-end development and creating responsive webdesign, careful testing and thoughtful content writing.

 

D4U design4users blog

 

Welcome to get a bit more details about the project.

 

Mission and background

 

Design4Users is a blog devoted to diverse design issues solving users’ problems. It’s mission is establishing a solid highly informative platform for designers, customers, managers, product creators and marketologists focused on the aspects of user-friendly design trends, process, organization, collaboration, resources and tips.

 

One more objective of the blog is promoting and inspiring young designers and sharing expertise of well-known masters in the sphere.

 

Initially, the blog was created as small in-studio platform for sharing useful information on current projects as well as helpful resources, tools, design hacks, inspirational collections etc. Still, growing and active Tubik Blog readers community encouraged us to transform it in the open platform and share our knowledge, practical experience, tips on tools and sources, projects and concepts we find inspiring. And all of them have one thing in common: they are concentrated on design for problem solving, on helping users and making their life brighter, easier, more productive, more profitable and more beautiful.

 

design4users logo

 

Description and functionality

 

The website is organized around several basic categories reflecting different design directions.

 

design4users blog

 

Categories

 

Design: the broadest category focused on general design trends and strategies. It also features reviews for design books and tools, sets of quotes, historical retrospective on design trends, recommendations about useful resources and articles, stories about designers and projects, advice on organization and management of design processes and efficient collaboration with clients etc.

 

Branding: the category considering various issues of design for branding and marketing, creating identity, logo design, copywriting and brand naming, marketing research and content management tips.

 

UI/UX: the category focused on the comprehensive presentation of design processes via practical case studies and articles about design for digital products like websites and mobile applications. Covers all the variety of topics about user interfaces, user experience, user research, usability testing, interaction design, applying psychology and analytics in design process, organizing effective teamwork for complex design projects.

 

Product: the category offering articles and reviews on full cycle of product design, development and promotion, tips on creating user-friendly problem-solving products, cases of improving lifestyle, professional processes and achieving business goals for products by means of design.

 

Print: the category concentrated on all the variety of design directions and techniques for editorials and books, aspects of graphic design, illustration, typography and lettering, small print forms like postcards, invitations, posters etc.

 

wordpress theme design tubikstudio

 

All the categories can feature posts marked as original D4U sections.

 

  • D4U Inspiration: thematic collections of design works, quotes, videos
  • D4U Interview: interviews with people connected to design sphere, inspiring leaders, newcoming stars etc.
  • D4U Review: books and tools reviews
  • D4U Expertise: presentations of recognized experts in design sphere, their biographies, works, tips, videos and publications.
  • D4U Reading List: collections of recommended articles about from various resources published weekly
  • D4U History: posts about prominent cases and works in the sphere of design in historic retrospective.
  • D4U Case Study: practical case studies giving details on creative process for different design projects.

 

Design and Layout

 

Design of the website is accomplished with a view to effective presentation of both copy and visual materials that are provided in wide variety. Basic background of the web pages is dark, aiming at creating stylish harmony and balance for featured images in preview sections and contract with the light background for the article body supporting better usability and readability of copy blocks.

 

Home page features two blocks of articles: the most popular according to the total number of views and recent, showing the chronological feed of posting.

 

design4users Tubik Studio

 

The users are provided with the ability to switch to another category immediately from the top menu, footer menu and dynamic menu moving in the process of scrolling and making navigation easy. The articles are supported with tags and recommendations on further reading.

 

Subscription is fast and simple, enabling users to get the fresh updates immediately after publishing in their inboxes. Also, readers are able to share the content to the variety of social networks right from the article in split seconds.

 

Welcome to see more details about design for the website in extended Behance presentation

 

Creators

 

Design4Users is the content project fully created, designed and developed by Tubik Studio. Being a comprehensive team experienced in variety of design directions and knowing all the stones on the path, we have decided to set a platform uniting creators via knowledge, practice and inspiration for the sake of design for users.

 

Tubik Studio design team

 

Supplements

 

For those who are interested to get more about the website structure and content in more interactive way, welcome to watch Design4USers Video Tour.

 

 

If you wish to see details and contact information about Design4Users, welcome to check out the Press Kit.

In the next post, we will provide the case study on design process for the website. Stay tuned and join us via Design4Users!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

Welcome to Design4Users

Welcome to connect with Design4Users on Facebook and Twitter

Tubik Studio iOS development

Case Study: SqueezeOutSwitch. Animation in Code.

UI animation has been the subject of hot debates for a long time. Designers work over the sophisticated animations to make interfaces attractive, original and functional while developers often support the idea that slick and complex animation takes more effort in the process of development than necessary.

 

As you know from our previous posts devoted to the issues of interface animation, here in Tubik we support the position that wisely used animation is the powerful and multi-functional tool enhancing user experience. We checked that on numerous design projects of diverse purposes. Our complex motion design concepts have been used by developers who like challenges and want to present high-level skills in coding.

 

Broadening our professional horizons, we also started sharing our design concepts on GitHub, to show how design, even quite complex and specific, can be brought to life with code. Today we will look at more detail at SqueezeOut Switch animation of the interface interaction.

 

button animation tubik

 

The design concept Switch Control Animation was presented on Dribbble featuring animated switch control that can be used for accepting or declining the changes on any settings screen. The main motion design style the designer aimed at was adding some gum effect when the control is switched on and off. And this sort of design details can become a bit of challenge for developers.

 

The animation in code representation is made of two parts.

 

The first part works like that: when user makes a tap on the screen, the circle has to move to the opposite side until it is covered by the baffler. Then animation slightly slows down, the circle changes its appearance, goes up to final point and features bouncing. The baffler also shows the animated pulsing with the circle. The oscillations decay.

 

The second variant takes place when user tries to move the circle manually, like pressing it and pulls to the needed side and then can release. While the user pulls the circle, it changes its position within acceptable range, up to maximum stretching of the baffler. The baffler stretches only to one side in that case. If the user releases the circle not taking him to the middle of the switcher, it gets back to its initial position and pulses. The baffler will just get back to the initial point. If the user takes the circle further than the middle of the switch, it goes to the opposite side, both the circle and baffler pulsing, and the circle changing its image.

 

Animation of the circle movement doesn’t create any problems. This is the standard task which can be solved with UIView animation and CASpringAnimation. However, animation of the baffler is more challenging.

 

In case when animation is done with Core Animation, setting the initial and final path, then the arc performance is unpredictable. In addition, the form of animation can be inappropriate and the problems with color change can raise.

 

In animation, the change should be done discretely. When should it be done? If you do it in advance, then the good point is when path is at its initial stage, which means it features the straight line in the middle of switch. So, you have to create an array with the set of paths and colors and place it into CAKeyframeAnimation. The approach gives the working outcome, still the code will look messy and illegible. Moreover, the circle will need to be moved manually for synchronization.

 

In this case we can use CADisplayLink (timer of screen redrawing) and manipulate with presentationLayer (the copy of the layer which is visible on the screen at the moment). In the method launching CADisplayLink, we will change the path for the buffler. The points which form this path depend on the position of the circle in the switcher. The position of the circle is animated with UIView animation. Therefore, animation with UIView will smoothly change the bearings of the circle layer, while we are changing the path of the buffler on the basis of those bearings.

 

The path for the buffler feature two UIBeziePaths.

 

UI animation code

 

The first one goes from the point 1 to the middle of the circle edge at point 3. Control point for this curve is point 2, it proportionally depends on how far the circle moved out. The second line goes from point 3 to point 5 and its control point is point 4. In this way we can get the line of the buffler edge smoother.

 

The method of forming path for the particular extreme point

 

 

 

The method of animation on tap  

 

 

For reaction on pan we added UIPanGestureRecognizer. Here is the method that processes it

 

 

Welcome to review the GitHub source code for this animation. New cases are coming soon!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

ToonUP design by Tubik Studio

Tubik Products: Feel the Way of Outsource Clients.

Design is always the story of creative process for a particular purpose. However, the story itself can be written in a hundred of different ways and styles. It can be done individually or become the result of effective teamwork. It can be simple or complex. It can be narrow and specific or multipurpose. It can be outsourced or fully accomplished in-house. There are tons of shades for this story and all of them influence the final result that goes to users.

 

Here in Tubik Studio we have had the lucky opportunity to create a considerable number of design stories, all so different but all so definitely bright. It gave us the opportunity to feel all the benefits and pitfalls of design provided in terms of outsource partnership. To go further and get even closer to final users, to feel all the pains of our clients and all the variety of steps needed for creating an efficient product out of thin air, we have decided to make the next step and launch our own digital products. Extended design practice we have got through the years encouraged us to dive into all the path of product creation, testing, promotion and analysis to obtain that precious knowledge that will enable us to be even more helpful for our clients all over the world.

 

design studio TUBIK

 

No doubt, full-scope product design is not the way to start light-headedly. First of all, we had to analyze how design provided in outsorce differs from product design provided in-house. Let’s look over some insights together.

 

Outsource design

 

Being a team with a broad portfolio of outsource projects and having studied experience of our clients as well as plenty of successful product companies, we have marked out the following points needing consideration.

 

In outsource design process you are given a particular design task. That means you are able to concentrate on design tasks only as the strategic decisions are mostly made on the customer’s side. In practice, however, this disclaimer works a bit differently: creating design solutions solving users’ problems and bringing profit to the customers, designers can and often should influence the strategy of the product progress on the market. Anyway, all the final decisions and small or big changes of the product strategy are made by the customers team as they bear the final responsibilities and all the alterations or suggestions should be made in tight collaboration with the side launching the product.

 

In outsource design you work on the task you are assigned for, you are not a chooser of the strategy and not a decision-maker if this product is needed and if the idea behind it is good or bad. You have to study how to like and love any idea you have to work with because it is the only way to create good result and by the way to earn money. That is not in your scope of work to get into deep layers and tell the client that this idea will not work — your task is to make it work. That is what you are paid for.

 

In outsource design you need to have good skills of getting dip into the business goals and correspondent wishes of your client. In fact, if you are lucky you get a clear task supported with outlined target audience of the final product, perhaps marketing plan and ideas on client’s stylistic preferences. In other cases, you will get just a general line containing highly blurred task like «I want you to design a social network for drivers» and that is the part of the job to get all the details of how the clients sees it. It can be done by designers, sales and project managers, but whoever the doer of this vital job is, it is the only way to make the process of collaboration on the stage of design smooth and resultative.

 

—  In outsource design you aren’t always provided with the opportunity to communicate with stakeholders and influence their decisions. You are hired to accomplish a particular scope of works. It has to be mentioned that for many designers it is a benefit as they start work with a particular task in mind and do not need to get involved deeply at predesign or post-design stages. However, there also can be projects at which after launch of the product designers are later given additional tasks on maintenance and alterations of the existing product.

 

Design Studio Tubik

 

Product design

 

— In product design accomplished in-house all the scope of stages from ideization up to sophisticated testing and maintenance is done by one team. This means that designers get more chances of being involved into all the phases of strategical decision-making upon the product which is even more creative and analytical job but at the same time requiring more diverse skills and much higher responsibility.

 

— Full-scope in-house product design goes much further than actual design tasks. It includes all the creative cycle, with complex of tactic and strategic plans, ideas on commercialization and promotion, budgeting and content marketing, product philosophy and full-scope branding and so on and so forth. It means that the team will need diverse specialists that will establish solid foundation of specific skills strengthening design and bringing effective product into life.

 

— In product design the creators are the stakeholders. This certainly means deeper involvement of all the participants into creative process and at the same time more responsibilities.

 

Product design is the domain of higher financial and creative risks. In outsource design, especially when the process is already tuned and clear, the earnings can be more predictable and flexible in budget planning of the company.

 

— Product design suggests deep concentration on one project and one aim for a long time while outsource projects can be different and support the feeling of refreshment. Should be said,  none of the ways is better or worse, they are just different and sometimes what is one designers’ meat is other designer’s poison according to the individual peculiarities of nature and creative approach.

 

To sum up, in outsource design you are a vital part of the product creation and support while in product design you are actually in the heart of all the processes being not a part but the whole story. In outsource design you are a sort of hired executive while in product design you are a stakeholder with all the responsibilities of this not-so-easy job.

 

Broadening the horizons: Tubik upcoming products

 

Considering all those issues, we have decided to know it first hand: the work was organized in several direction so that our team could obtain as broad experience of full product cycle as possible and it could bring us even closer  to the pains, problems and pitfalls which our clients tackle on their way. We have set the purpose to create products helpful for their target audience and adding some social value as well as giving us comprehensive experience of full path of goal-centered design.

 

So, the directions in which we are working over the digital products are:

— content

— entertainment

— business

— education.

 

The first two of the mentioned points are actually represented with the products by Tubik team we are happy to announce. «Content» direction is presented with recently launched website Design4Users and «Entertainment» direction is presented with an application ToonUp which is really close to its release.

 

Design4Users

 

Design4Users Tubik Studio

 

Design4Users is a blog devoted to diverse design issues solving users’ problems. It is organized via the basic categories such as «Branding» «Product» «Print» and «UI/UX» and plenty of more detailed tags in the mentioned domains. This resource was started with the aim to provide designers, customers and all those who are interested in this sphere of human activity with a wide variety of useful and interesting content supported with attractive and functional design. The blog is designed, developed and curated fully by Tubik studio team.

 

Tubik Studio design team

 

ToonUp

 

ToonUp is a brand new alarm application for iPhones designed and developed by Tubik team. At the moment it is being prepared to release and its live version is coming up very soon. In this case, we have set the purpose to combine functionality with entertainment and support the product of everyday use with stylish graphics, which have been recognized our house specialty by great deal of clients, and gamification elements. If you would like to get updates about its release and sweet bonuses from our team, welcome to sign up here or keep up with the news on its Facebook page.

 

toonup application tubik studio

 

In our next articles and case studies we will tell you more about the creative process for these products and unveil some considerations on product design features, issues and requirements. Follow the news!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

Welcome to Design4Users

wordpress theme design tubik

WordPress Theme Design: Ready-Made vs Custom.

Today there is no point explaining numerous advantages which a website can bring to personal and business development. Websites provide companies, readers and sharers with a great variety of opportunities and niches, from personal presentation and communication to global educational programs and large business partnerships or charity projects. Every day more and more people are looking for a way to efficiently use the unlimited potential of the world wide web for self and professional growth without spending too much time on its maintenance and studying how to operate with web dashboards or write code.

 

Understanding this growing need, there are platforms providing needed functionality: they allow people with intermediate or even basic skills of using the web to start their own website or blog quickly and easily. As the issue is debatable today in perspective of design and user experience of the websites created on these platforms, we have decided to add our ideas to this global discussion here in our blog. Naturally we will start with the most popular option which is widely used worldwide and is called WordPress.

 

wordpress theme design tubikstudio

 

What is WordPress?

 

WordPress is a content management system (CMS), at the moment it wins the top position in its niche. Content management systems are web applications created for making and operating (aka managing) different sorts of content via uploading, editing, and publishing posts containing copy, images, audio and video etc. So, this is the multifunctional platform for blogging, both personal and professional, and also creating websites for various businesses or non-profit organizations and movements.

 

There is a number of content management systems nowadays, all of which have their wide or narrow audience. However, at the moment WordPress presents the market leader opening wide opportunities for setting websites quickly and easily. Let’s look closer what are the benefits attracting people so much.

 

What are general benefits of WordPress?

 

To the benefits that have really positive impact on any sort of website set in this CMS we would definitely mention the following:

 

— WYSIWYG  («what you see is what you get») editor that enables people to work with the system and operate with content without knowledge and skills of coding in HTML or other languages. This means that, for example, professional copywriters or journalists can be involved straight into the process without necessity of additional training. Basic skills of operating with text editors is enough to start publishing. Moreover, it’s a great way to start for those people who can offer their services and goods but are really far from any sort of coding.

 

— Individual and group operations. One WordPress account presenting a website or blog can be controlled and filled with content by either one admin user or multiple users. That enables efficient teamwork which is especially appreciated for big informative resources.

 

— SEO-oriented URL formation and copy processing. Content applied in the products created on the basis of CMS can be automatically optimized for search engines that creates higher chances for the content to reach its readers. In addition, in the admin dashboard writers are offered the ability to even work over optimization of all the images uploaded to posts.

 

— WordPress offers its users detailed documentation and technical support, which makes interaction with the platform much easier.

 

The rich system of plugins enables to effectively adapt the websites along the requirements of its creators and final readers/users.

 

The variety of themes (design templates) enables users to select the design which is the most suitable for their aims, target audience needs as well as their own tastes.

 

Definitely, there are many other benefits, but the outlined ones are among the most popular features creating the feeling of user-friendly and multipurpose resource. Furthermore, today they are added with steadily growing field of design for WordPress themes that have already formed a huge repository of themes and templates for the users worldwide. So, let’s look a bit closer at the design aspect of the story.

 

front end develoment tubik studio

 

What is a WordPress theme?

 

A WordPress theme is a set of design templates that determines the general visual concept of a website as well as the interactive layout of its interface. Basically, it is the designed frame of a website which later will be filled with content. Themes are the way to display your content in attractive and edible manner to the final visitors and readers.

 

The theme can be chosen from the admin area and there are several ways to apply:

— the theme can be used in its original variant without changes;

— the theme can be slightly modified with the help of plugins or adding alterations to the original code;

— the theme can be massively changed via alterations in the code.

 

Themes define website layout on different pages (for example home page, post page, about page etc.), design features and elements (color combinations, typography, theme icons, buttons and illustrations etc.) and perhaps some special features (for example, sliders, preview models, menus, footer and header options, widgets etc.).

Summing up, choosing a WordPress theme, users can expect them to contain:

— typefaces and fonts styling

— the general visual design stylistic concept of the website

— color palette that often offers several combinations to choose from

— widgets availability and options for their location

— layouts of the webpages

— stylistic solution for blog or website archives.

 

There are themes that can be chosen for free and the ones that are paid for. Some of the themes could be defined as universal which means they can be adapted for different sorts and types of content, while others are designed aiming at more specific purposes like e-commerce, personal blogging, business presentation, portfolios, social communication, professional blogging for particular topic etc.

 

tubik studio landing page design

Vinny’s Bakery — website design concept by Ernest Asanov

 

In this perspective, the big question worrying many people thinking over the options of dealing with WordPress is the choice of selecting the ready-made theme, making slight alterations or creating totally unique design frame for their content management. Let’s consider this issue a bit deeper.

 

WordPress Theme: ready-made, adjusted or originally designed?

 

Actually, the theme choice is an issue of great importance. Visual impression is actually a card of invitation which gives readers of your blog or visitors of your website general imagination about its purpose and utility as well as can engage their interest to learn more. Carefully chosen theme can literally define the success of the business as well as reduce the chances of attracting broad audience.

 

It does mean that in any case users starting their path of interaction with WordPress CMS have to make a decision standing on the crossroads. Should they use a free theme or a buy a premium one? Should they select a universal theme or specified would be more efficient? Should they alter the theme anyhow or rely upon the original solutions made by professional designers? This sort of questions seem not really easy. And there is no a single universal answer for all of them, which is why, perhaps, the market of WordPress themes is so comperehensive and dynamic today.

 

Looking at the options and grounding on the extended practice in webdesign for different purposes here in Tubik Studio, we are certain that choosing the topic or asking professionals to do it for them, prospective users selecting the theme should find the answers for several questions:

 

— What is the purpose of the website? What is it launched for?

— What is the target audience of the website? What is their motif to use your website? What their problems can you solve? What are their general preferences and psychologic peculiarities?

— What is the color scheme appropriate to your content and to the preferences of your prospective visitors?

— What sort of data should be shown on the home page?

— What sort of previews you find effective?

— What kinds of content are going to be presented?

 

These and many other questions can seem quite specific, especially if we are talking about the idea that is launched just for communication rather than for having profits, like personal blog, for example. However, any project having even a simple goal can use design means directly to achieve this goal. Design with thought-out interactions brings positive user experience and is a solid foundation for successful use of the CMS whatever it is used for.

 

Free themes

 

Free themes can work well, especially when users only start dealing with WordPress. They will definitely get all the benefits of the CMS platform, mentioned above, and perhaps even will be able to select the theme which will correspond to their aims. However, they should be ready that the number of variants will be quite limited and there will be not so many themes designed for specific purposes. Moreover, it will be hard to make your website look original as you will use something available to anyone. Still, for users with very limited skills and no experience of coding it can be a great platform to start getting familiar with the process. Knowledge of coding will make possible to alter some settings and features in the theme.

 

However, for users starting websites with clear and particular business or personal goals and time frame of their achievement, this option can be too restricted and moreover too slow in providing result. For them, it is vital to start the website with clear, thought-out and recognizable design which will definitely attract their target audience and engage it to interact with the website content. In this case, more active help of professional designers can set the right route. And it can be accomplished in two ways.

 

Bought ready-made theme

 

Firstly, users can select the appropriate theme in the directories presenting them, such as ThemeForest, for instance. There is a big selection of various themes which get available for the buyers only after careful review checking the quality of their design solutions and code accomplishment. You can see the theme preview showing its main features. The themes are created by professionals who know how to deal with user-friendly solutions and think over the options not so obvious for average users but influencing final usability and conversion rates. You can see the creators of the theme and review their portfolio if you wish to ensure that they are professional enough. One more positive point is that the themes are categorized, so having specific goals it is easier for users to select the theme they need. For example, if you create a corporate website you set this filter and the list gets concentrated on what could be appropriate for your particular needs. This is a sort of goal-driven start of the way which makes possible to find the best match.

 

website design tubik studio

Adventure Agency Website by Valentyn Khenkin

 

Custom-design theme

 

Next step which can be also applied in the process of theme selection and its implementation for a user-centered and efficient website is theme of custom design. That means that all the features of the website like colors, layouts of the webpages, transitions and scrolling animation, call-to-action elements, responsive adaptation and many other design aspects will be originally created, tested and coded specifically for the requirements of this particular website and its target audience.

 

This approach allows website creators to think over the slightest details which will be empowered by general benefits of WordPress CMS. Design will be purposefully concentrated on clear goals and ways of their achievement, providing unique and custom user-friendly solutions on the basis of user research and then user testing. To make the thing even better, designer or design team curating the website can maintain the small alterations on the basis of practical analytics or provide general redesign on the basis of solutions that already proved themselves effective.

 

wordpress theme design tubikstudio

Originally designed theme created by Tubik Studio for Design4Users

 

To sum up, every above mentioned approach has its points and peculiarities in the aspects of pricing, adaptability, workflow and maintenance, usability of webdesign and many others. Anyway, we have to emphasize that every mentioned option has its own benefits for its segment of users. There is no one universal variant: each of them is good and appropriate when applied in accordance with corresponding conditions.

 

If you want to try yourself as a blogger, let’s say, posting short notes about traveling to different cities or visiting interesting events, then trying a free theme can be quite applicable to get familiar with a dashboard and the system in general.

 

For goal-centered business or personal blogging setting particular aims and timing for them, careful selecting and buying an appropriate ready-made theme can be a more efficient variant which increases the chances of getting more original looks for the website, as paid themes are used not so broadly and can offer more functionality and design templates or features.

 

For big websites with complex interface or those that require particular originality, creating a custom theme totally adapted to specific requirements and supported by the CMS abilities and benefits can show itself as the best and highest-performing option, but can involve bigger investments. Any individual choice of approach should be made on the basis of the particular goals, requirements, target audience and budgeting.

 

In our next articles we will concentrate more on applying these approaches in practical design perspective. Stay tuned!


Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance