Tag Archives: design for business

Articles and case studies devoted to customer-oriented design for business goals: branding and logo design, graphic design, problem-solving UI and UX, animation, targeting and user research.

usability_interfaces_ux_design_tubik

Take It Easy: Tips for Effort-Saving User Interfaces.

«Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,» said genius Leonardo da Vinci, and this eternal truth is as fair now as it was several centuries ago. Such an approach in design for web and mobile interfaces results in human-centred products which are pleasant and easy in use. Make no mistake, simple doesn’t mean empty, primitive or monofunctional. Instead, it means clear, intuitive and helpful. Really simple products not only solve user’s problems but also do it in an optimal way in the aspects of times and effort.

 

We aren’t often thinking in terms of love and respect when it comes to digital products. We can describe them in tons of other words featuring appearance (like beautiful, elegant, interesting etc.) or functionality (like intuitive, easy-to-use, confusing etc.) or content (like informative, consistent etc.) but you rarely can hear that someone names a website or app respectful. However, respect of user’s time and energy is one of the vital goals which designers should strive to achieve in the product they work on. This approach is the great factor of usability and desirability. Today we would like to share some advice and techniques which could become supportive in this aim. These tips aren’t reinventing the wheel but present a helpful checklist for design outcome. So, let’s check what designers can do to save time and effort for users.

visual hierarchy in UI design

 

1. Put the core data into header

 

Talking about websites, it is an extremely helpful idea for quick and easy navigation. The only problem is to decide on what core data is, especially for websites with a huge amount of various data, like big e-commerce websites, news platforms or multi-theme blogs. Header is a strategic part of a page as people see it before scrolling the page in the first seconds of introduction to the website. Being a sign of invitation, header should provide the key information about the digital product so that users could scan it in split seconds.

 

In our article telling about web headers design in detail, we provided the typical types of content which can be included into headers:

 

  • basic elements of brand identity: logo, brand name lettering, slogan or company statement, corporate mascot, photo presenting the company or its leader, corporate colors etc.
  • copy block setting the theme of the product or service presented
  • links to basic categories of website content
  • links to the most important social networks
  • basic contact information (telephone number, e-mail etc.)
  • switcher of the languages in case of multi-lingual interface
  • search field
  • subscription field
  • links to interaction with the product such as trial version, downloading from the AppStore etc.

 

It doesn’t mean that all the mentioned elements should be included in one web page header: in this case, the risk is high that the header section would be overloaded with information. The more objects attract user’s attention, the harder it is to concentrate on the vital ones. Here designers, preferably together with marketing specialists and stakeholders, need to decide on the strategically important options and pick them up from the list or add the others.

Why is header so essential? Eye-tracking investigations show that whichever scanning model a particular user follows, the scanning process will start in the top horizontal area of the webpage. Using it for showing the core information and branding is a strategy supporting both sides: readers scan the key data quickly while website gets the chance to retain them if it’s presented properly. That is the basic reason why header design is an essential issue for UI/UX designers as well as content and promotion specialists.

gourmet_website_interactions_tubik

 

2. Make branding highly visual

 

In terms of the discussed topic, brand means a sort of image created via a set of distinguishing features and promoting awareness and recognizability of the product or service on the market. This image can be created in tons of diverse ways — visual, verbal, touchable etc. In web and mobile design, branding supposedly means a set of visual elements defining the brand style, which can be applied in the interfaces such as logo, typography, brand colors and the like. All of them together are a powerful tool for creating visual recognizability of the product as well as its style. Being based on the analysis of target audience and marketing/ customer research, branding in this sense plays the vital role in product promotion as visual perception is very fast and easy for most people, much easier than reading the text and much more memorable than listening to speech. Moreover, if the brand is already well-established, it’s signs observed in the first seconds of seeing a website or app increase the level of trust.

Bakery website design case study tubik

 

3. Use numbers, not words

 

One of the investigations of user behavior provided by Nielsen Norman Blog shared an interesting finding: based on eye-tracking studies while users scan web pages, numerals often stop the wandering eye and attract fixations, even when they’re embedded within a mass of words that users otherwise ignore. People subconsciously associate numbers with facts, stats, sizes and distance — something potentially useful for them. So they are hooked with the numbers included into copy while words representing numerals can be misses in the bulk of text. Even more, whatever numbers represent, they are more compact than their textual variant, which enables to make the content more concise and time-saving for skimming the data.

 

4. Make the call-to-action (CTA) instantly noticeable

 

A call to action (CTA) is actually a word of phrase stimulating users to interact with a product in a way and for the aim it is designed for. CTA elements are the interactive controls which enable users to do the action they are called to. Typical types of such interactive elements in the layout are buttons, tabs, or links. In the interfaces of all kinds, CTA elements are the core factor of effective interaction with the product, which plays the crucial role in usability and navigability. When all the path of interaction and transitions is built clearly for users but CTA element is not thought-out, placed or designed well, users can get confused and will need to take additional effort trying to achieve their goals. That sets the high risk for poor conversion rate and general user experience. That’s why this navigation element should draw particularly deep designers attention. In any interface, it should be one of the most prominent and quickly noticeable parts to inform users how the product can be helpful or useful for them.

bookshop website animation

 

5. Care about general page scannability

 

As it was already mentioned, users don’t usually read and observe all the content on the page or screen from the starting point: instead, they start from quick scanning to understand if it contains something they need or want. This significant domain of user research is massively supported by Nielsen Norman Group and provides designers and usability specialists with the better understanding of user behavior and interactions. Different experiments collecting data on user eye-tracking have shown that there are several typical models along which visitors usually scan the website. In the article about 3 design layouts, the author Steven Bradley mentions the following common models: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern.

reading pattern

Gutenberg Diagram

 

reading pattern zig-zag

Z-Pattern

 

f_reading_pattern_eyetracking

F-Pattern

 

Knowing these models, designers and information architects can build navigation and important data in the points where they have the highest chances to be seen and get the user interested. The well-thought-out visual hierarchy will make the page easily skimmed saving users’ time and energy.

design for users copy in UI

 

6. Check the icons perception

 

Icons are pictograms or ideograms used in the web or mobile interface to support its usability and provide the successful flow of human-computer interaction. It’s hard to overestimate their role in UI navigation: they make it much quicker as most users perceive images faster than words. Usage of recognizable and clear icons has a great potential in boosting usability. However, even the slightest misperception can become the reason of poor UX so the solutions on the type of icons should be carefully tested and if needed supported with the appropriate copy content.

 

7. Strengthen the message with theme images and hero banners

 

No secret, in many cases an image is worth a thousand words. In web and mobile UI it often works that way: images become highly supportive and effective in setting the mood or transferring the message. In addition, images present the part of the content which is both informative and emotionally appealing. Original illustration, prominent hero banners, engaging photos can satisfy multiple goals: they catch users’ attention, transfer the message visually, support the general stylistic concept,

  • catch users’ attention
  • transfer the message visually
  • support the general stylistic concept
  • set the needed theme, mood or atmosphere
  • demonstrate the core benefits or items effectively.

dance academy landing page animation

 

8. Talk to users in their language

 

Copy content plays the crucial role for communication with the user. Not only its effective visual presentation is significant for high page performance: the style, structure, and vocabulary should also correspond to user’s expectation from a page. Usage of too formal or business-like style in an entertainment app for teenagers, or vice versa too informal style on the luxury website selling elite real estate — there can be hundreds of cases when copy doesn’t follow business goals as well as habits and needs of a target audience. That kind of content inconsistency can be confusing and move the users away from the website or app. User research will be effective for this issue to see what way users want to communicate while a professional copywriter will help to strengthen design with the power of words.

web_ui_design_tubik

 

9. Use the power of Gestalt principles

 

Gestalt is the term meaning «shape, form». It is used primarily in cognitive psychology for the field exploring the laws of meaningful perception of the data which people constantly get from the world that seems primarily chaotic. It works on different levels of perception, but the visual part seems to be the most interesting for designers creating interfaces. It helps understand the psychology of the app or website users better. When designers know the factors influencing visual perception, it makes the process of UX design much more proficient giving higher rates of successful interactions and lowering the level of misunderstandings users could get on this way.

gestalt-theory-grouping_principles
 

For example, applying the principles of similarity and proximity, designers can group the layout elements according to  human cognitive abilities, so that users could perceive them in the most natural and convenient way.

bright_vibe_calendar_app_ui_tubik

 

10. Optimize visual content

 

Whatever interesting, attractive and informative is the interface, there is the invisible factor which can erase all the benefits — the loading speed. If the visual content — images, animations, video — applied to an interface is too heavy or doesn’t perform well on different devices, the risks are high to lose users before they will understand the strong points of the product. In terms of high competition, with loads of websites and application, be sure: users aren’t going to wait, they will head for the more convenient and quick alternative even if it loses in a number of points. Optimization and persistent testing of visual content is the real sign of respect to the user boosting less time-consuming flow of interaction.

website design UI

 

Hopefully, this list will be helpful for those who are aimed at creating positive user experience. Don’t miss the updates — new practical tips and inspiration are coming very soon.

 

Useful articles

 

This set of articles can be useful to dive deeper into the points mentioned above

 

Best Practices for Website Header Design

The Role of Branding in UI Design

Visual Hierarchy: Effective UI Content Organization.

Gestalt Theory for Efficient UX: Principle of Similarity.

Gestalt Theory for UX Design: Principle of Proximity.

Copywriting in UI. Words that Make Design Go Round.

Small Elements, Big Impact: Types and Functions of UI Icons.

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces.


 
Welcome to see designs by Tubik Studio on Dribbble and Behance

visual hierarchy in UI design

Visual Hierarchy: Effective UI Content Organization.

Henry Adams once said: “Chaos was the law of nature and order was the dream of man”. People always favor the order because it makes things more comprehensible. The same works with user interfaces of digital products. When UI elements are organized and structured, people can easily use an app or a website and feel satisfied with a product.

 

To organize content in UI clearly for users, designers apply a well-known technique called visual hierarchy. Today’s article gives a general insight into the essence of this approach and the tools helping to organize the content properly.

 

What’s visual hierarchy?

 

Visual hierarchy is one of the core techniques which are applied to the design process. It is initially based on Gestalt psychological theory which examines users’ visual perception of elements in relation to each other and shows how people tend to unify the visual elements into groups.

 

Visual hierarchy strives at presenting the content of a product that way so users could comprehend the level of importance for each element. It organizes UI components so that the brain could distinguish the objects on the basis of their physical differences, such as size, color, contrast, style etc.

 

The visual presentation of UI elements has great influence on user experience of a product. If content components look like a mess, people can’t navigate within a product or interact with it properly. Moreover, unstructured copy content has a low level of legibility, so users can’t scan it quickly and they need to make a significant effort to distinguish the data they’ve been looking for. Such bad UX can lead to poor user satisfaction which means a product wouldn’t be much sought-after.

 

tubik_studio_structure

 

Typographic hierarchy

 

Copy content is a significant part of any UI design. That’s why visual hierarchy often highly depends on typography. Specialists decided to emphasize the importance of copy presentation by creating a separate system of visual hierarchy called typographic hierarchy.

 

The system aims at organizing copy content in the best way for users’ perception. Designers modify and combine fonts to build the contrast between the most meaningful and prominent copy elements which should be noticed first and ordinary text information. The fonts are modified by regulating sizes, colors, and families as well as their alignment.

 

Typographic hierarchy includes different elements of copy content which are headlines, subheaders, body copy, call-to-action elements, captions, and some others. To build effective visual hierarchy, all the elements need to be segmented into different levels. Let’s see what they are.

 

The primary level. It includes the biggest type like in headlines. The primary level aims at providing users with the core information as well as drawing people’s attention to a product.

 

The secondary level. This is the type of copy elements which should be easily scanned. They usually involve subheaders and captions which help users quickly navigate through the content.

 

The tertiary level. Body text and some additional data build the tertiary level. Designers often apply relatively small type still it should remain readable enough.

 

As the copy content is usually a major source of information in UI, designers need to present the data gradually. By segmenting copy elements into different levels designers help users easily go from one piece of copy to the other and perceive the information in the right order.

 

One more thing to mention is that while creating typography for mobile products, designers are recommended to keep the number of layers within two. The thing is that small mobile screens don’t provide enough space for three levels. That is why the elements of a secondary level such as subheaders step aside to make mobile UI look clean.

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

 

Visual hierarchy tools

 

When designers have already chosen all the content components, it’s time to create an order. Let’s find out what helps designers to set the effective visual hierarchy of UI components.

 

Size

 

One of the most powerful tools for visual material transformation is size. It is rooted in human’s mind that big things are somehow more important than the small ones. That’s why users’ attention automatically goes first to the large words or big pictures.
Designers need to distinguish the level of significance for each content element and based on this data transform the components into big and small.

 

Color

 

In our previous articles, we’ve mentioned that color has a great impact on the users’ perception the reason why it serves as an effective tool for visual hierarchy creation.

 

Colors have their own hierarchy which is defined by the power of influence on users’ mind. There are bold colors such as red, orange, and black which can easily draw attention. On the other hand, there are weak, or soft, colors like white and cream which work better as the background.

 

Using the different colors designers can support a slight hierarchy of the UI elements. For example, CTA buttons in bold colors will definitely be the first thing that users see if the other UI elements are created in a softer palette.

 

Contrast

 

Hierarchy is based on contrast itself. One element contrasts with the other and that’s how users can see the differences between the content elements. Contrast can be created via visual differences including size, color, and style. Still, it’s recommended to keep the contrast in balance so that one object wouldn’t completely obscure the others.

 

Negative space

 

There can be many components in a user interface and to make them all noticeable for users’ eyes designers need to give them some private space. Negative space, or white space, is the area between elements in a design composition. Some designers usually don’t think of the white space as a component of design still the experts apply it as a useful tool helping to build an appropriate composition. A right amount of negative space between the elements will help users to notice and perceive each of them to each of them.

 

Proximity

 

As we said above, visual hierarchy is built upon Gestalt principles, so designers pay deep attention to the proximity of UI elements. As people tend to unify the visual elements into groups, UI components need to be placed that way so users could categorize them. If some elements are placed in certain proximity, users automatically perceive them as a group. Designers can use proximity as a tool which helps to divide the content into subcategories.

 

Repetition

 

If people notice that some elements look similar, they may automatically unify them into one group. That’s how repetition works. Designers repeat some patterns for different objects on purpose so that users could unify them. For example, a website with a great amount of body copy at a page can highlight the most important sentences with another color. Seeing the sentences in this color users can follow from one key point to another.

 

Visual hierarchy is a foundation of the effective information architecture. When UI elements are structured and organized, people enjoy using a product and it will be more effective in solving their problems. Moreover, powerful visual hierarchy improves the navigation system since people can better orient within a product. Stay tuned and be ready for the next article about visual hierarchy.

dance_academy_website_interactions_tubik

Recommended reading

 

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces

Information Architecture. Basics for Designers.

Information Architecture: Effective Techniques For Designers.

Gestalt Theory for Efficient UX: Principle of Similarity.

Gestalt Theory for UX Design: Principle of Proximity.


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

design cinema app UI tubik

Spectacular Design. Elements of Cinema App UI.

Going to the cinema is always a nice way of entertainment. The young and old like watching their favorite films on the large screens while eating tasty popcorn and drinking soda. However, cinema lovers are very often forced to wait in long queues because this kind of leisure is so popular.

 

Digital technologies have come for a rescue. Nowadays, cinema industry provides their customers with the handy assistants — cinema apps. They are convenient helpers enabling people to find the information about movies along with schedules and the seats available. Moreover, cinema apps are a tool which makes the process of booking and purchasing tickets much more comfortable than ever before. Today’s article describes UI screens and features which are common for cinema applications.

 

Profile screen

 

Nowadays every app aims at making user experience more personalized and individual the reason why a profile is an essential part of any kind of applications. As for cinema apps, profiles are tools which help users book and buy tickets within a few taps. What’s more, if a cinema contributes a loyalty program it’s easier to follow customers’ activities because everything is marked in the profile.

 

A profile should contain only necessary info otherwise the screen may look too complex. When a user creates their profile, a cinema app usually asks for user’s name, email, location, and preferences in cinematography. Since ticket purchase is one of the major features, it may be good to add an option of credit card data. This way users will be able to make a convenient and fast purchase. In addition, by gathering and analyzing data about users’ tastes and location, an app can inform people about interesting movie premieres near them.

 

Home screen

 

Home screen is a base for any type of digital products that’s why it’s also known as the main page. It is a start point where users begin journey within a product. The content of home screens varies depending on the type of an app.

 

The main screen of cinema applications usually includes movie posters followed by captions with the name to show users what is on today. Films can be presented as a list or a feed so that users could quickly scan them and make their choice. The posters should be clickable and lead to the next screen with the schedule and movie info.

 

Also, UI of a home page needs to provide the search field. People who have already chosen a film will be able to type a name and quickly find what they want. It may be a good idea to add some filters such as film genres to make the search process more pleasant.

 

cinema app design

 

Movie details screen

 

A poster and name can’t give a proper explanation of a movie plot. That’s why a cinema app needs to provide the movie details so that users would know what they choose.

 

UI design for a movie details screen is simple. It consists of a high-resolution poster, the name of a film and a short text description. Mobile typography should be chosen properly so that the text would be legible and pleasant to users’ eyes.

 

In addition, some cinema apps show the rating of a movie. It can be IMDb ratings or assessments given by the users who already watched a film. This way people can see how popular a movie is and decide if they want to watch it.

 

One more additional feature is bookmarking. Users can fill their personal wish list or a list of favorites and go back to the selected movies later.

 

Player screen

 

It is known that video content is perceived better than copy that’s why it’s always a good idea to include movie trailers to the movie info.

 

The video player allows users to watch various trailers right in the app. A player can be a part of a movie details screen as well as an app can have a separate screen with the list of movie trailers. This feature is not a key for cinema apps still there are many of them which have already included it.

 

Schedule screen

 

A schedule is a vital part of the information which users receive from cinema apps. Designers should pay deep attention to its presentation as it needs to be compact and easy to find.

 

The schedule usually relates to one certain movie and shows the time when different film showings start. The time is often presented as a button so that users could tap or click it to continue their journey on booking or buying tickets.

 

cinema_app_ui_design_tubik

 

Choosing seats

 

When the movie and the time are chosen, people need to see where they can sit. There are two types of UI for the seats choice screen — the list and visual representation of a cinema hall.

 

A list includes two main options to choose — a row and a number of a seat. The list is a light variant which doesn’t take much time to be created and the UI looks nice on various devices even with the small screens.

 

Today UI with the visual representation of a cinema hall gains more and more popularity. This type allows users to see exactly where the seats are located and make a proper choice. However, designers have to concentrate on the details while creating the visual representation of a cinema hall for UI. Seats should be big enough so that users could easily tap the right one from the first try. Moreover, it’s vital to make sure a visual cinema hall looks good on different screens.

 

Purchase screen

 

The opportunity to buy tickets earlier and choose the best seats is one of the biggest profits which users receive from cinema apps. Designers’ big task is to make the process of purchase comfortable and secure.

 

The checkout screen usually includes a form where a buyer fills in a specific personal data such as a name and a number of the credit card. As we said above, if users of a cinema app have their personal profiles, a personal information can be taken from there automatically.

 

In addition, it’s vital to make sure people feel that their personal data is secure. Marks of security can be presented via visual including callouts in a copy as well as some icons of the famous brands that gave their approval or maybe even some certificate signs if there are such.

 

cinema app interaction ui animation

 

Tickets

 

Tickets are the documents which confirm the payment and allow entering a cinema hall. Some apps send the digital tickets to the email so that users could download them on a smartphone or print them to show at the entrance. However, some cinema applications reduce the number of actions. When a user buys a ticket, it is automatically saved in their personal account and all they need to do is to activate an app right before going into the cinema hall.

 

Tickets can be presented via custom illustrations which adds originality to an app. Also, if a client wants something more minimalistic, tickets can be represented with simple QR codes.

 

Map screen

 

Only small towns have a single movie theatre in the area. There are several cinemas from one company around cities so the map feature seems important here. If users set their location while creating a personal profile, an app can automatically choose the nearest cinema.

 

design cinema app UI tubik

 

Watching films at home can’t be compared with feelings of watching it on the big screen. It means that cinema industry is unlikely to lose its popularity anytime soon. Digital technology should help to improve cinema services so that more people would become loyal visitors. Cinema apps are effective tools for both cinema industry and their clients. Designers need to learn how to make these tools user-friendly and maybe even improve them with their creative solutions. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

Mobile UI Design: 15 Basic Types of Screens.

UI for Movies. Collection of Cinema App Designs.


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

UI navigation design elements

UX Design Glossary: Interface Navigation Elements. Set 2.

Interface navigation belongs to the core issues of UX design. That’s not surprising: it’s hard to get to your destination if you can’t see the way. Being surrounded by more and more websites and applications every day, users are high-fed with the diversity of offers and expect intuitive navigation as a must-have. So, let’s continue our talk about the theme with a new issue of navigation glossary to learn more about this powerful booster of usability. Earlier we presented you the first set of UX glossary for navigation covering the definitions and examples for navigation, menu, button, CTA, bar, picker, switch etc.  Today let’s add the new ones to the list: check the details for icons, search field and tags.

 

information architecture for designers tubik

 

Icons

 

An icon can be defined as an image which has a high symbolic value and is used for the purpose of communication. Icons present signs which are informative and support data exchange between the informer and addressee alongside with words and sentences: while copy is served with letters or characters, icons communicate via the images showing pictorial resemblance with an object of the physical world. In computing and digital design, icons are pictograms or ideograms used in the web or mobile interface to support its usability and provide the successful flow of human-computer interaction.

 

One of the most valuable benefits of icons among is the ability to effectively replace the text. This feature is able to boost usability and strengthen navigation as most users tend to perceive and decode images faster than words. However, even the slightest misperception or double meaning can become the reason of poor UX so the solutions on the type of icons should be carefully tested to reach the good balance of icons and copy for a particular target audience. One of the effective variants is using both copy and icon so that different categories of users could feel good with that: this approach is particularly popular in various catalogues of e-commerce websites where different positions are presented by both words and pictures giving the user double support for quick and clear navigation.

UI icons in interface design tubik blog

 

Based on their functions, icons can be classified as: 

— interactive icons: icons which are directly involved into interaction process. They are clickable or tappable and respond to the users request doing the action symbolized by them. They inform users about the functions or features of the buttons, controls and other elements of interaction. In many cases, they are obvious and don’t need the copy support.

— clarifying icons: icons aimed at explanation, visual markers explaining particular features or marking out categories of content. They may be not the layout elements of direct interaction; also, they are often found in combination with copy supporting their meaning. 

— entertaining and decorative icons: icons aimed at aesthetic appeal rather than functionality, often used to present seasonal features and special offers. They present the effective way of attracting user’s attention and enhance the general stylistic concept of a digital product.

— app icons: interactive brand signs that present the application on different platforms supporting the original identity of the digital product.

— favicons: represents the product or brand in the URL-line of the browser as well as in the bookmark tab. It allows users to get a quick visual connection with it while they are browsing.

 

tubik studio tapbar ui

 

Read more about types and functions of icons here

 

Search Field

 

A search field, which is also called search box or search bar, presents the interface element enabling user to type in the keywords and this way find the pieces of content that are needed. It is one of the core navigation elements for the websites or apps with a big amount of content, in particular blogs, e-commerce and news websites etc. Well-designed and easily found search field enables the user jump to the necessary point without browsing through the numerous pages and menus: as this approach respects user’s time and effort, it is highly demanded in user-friendly interfaces.

 

In terms of design, this element can be presented in different ways, from the framed tab to the interactive input line, or even minimalist clickable icon. In the vast majority of cases, the search field is marked with the icon featuring a magnifying glass. This symbol is recognizable by a wide variety of users so it has proved itself effective for setting intuitive navigation. Experiments with this icons can influence badly on interactions and usability of the layout, so if other symbolic images are applied, they should be carefully tested. The flow of interaction can also be supported with the dropdown menu offering possible options or auto-filling functionality.

 

tubik studio ice ui website

Another important issue is the placement of the search graphic control in the interface. In web design, search field can be often found in a header of a website and this is a good choice: as we mentioned in the article devoted to design practices for website headers, for any website it is the zone of the highest visibility, so putting a search field there enables users to quickly get transferred to the pages they really need without wandering through the website and scrolling down. For example, it is actual for big e-commerce websites often visited by users who have a particular goal, a specific item they are looking for — if they can’t find it quickly and conveniently, the risk is high that they will leave decreasing the profitability of the resource. Moreover, the power of habit should also be taken into account: as numerous websites include search into their headers, users are accustomed to looking for it there when they need it.

 

Talking about search field in mobile interfaces, the situation differs as the designer is much more limited in the usable space. If the app is based on a lot of content and search is one of the central elements of interaction, it can be found in the tab bar and easily reached. In case the search is not crucial for the user goals and usability of the app, it can be hidden in menus or shown only on the screen where it’s potentially needed.

 

tubik studio motion design ui

 

Tag

 

Tag is an interactive element presented with a keyword or phrase that enables the user to move quickly to the items marked up with it. Tags are actually pieces of metadata that provide quick access to specific categories of content so they support navigation with the additional way of content classification. Moreover, tags are often the elements which users create by themselves comparing to the names of categories that are fixed by the website and can’t be changed by users.

 

design for users website interface

 

Tags are widely used on the platforms based on user-generated content: when you upload the photo to the stock, post on the social networks or write on the blog, you can mark your content with the particular keywords which will then unite all the pieces of content marked with the tag. The screenshot above shows you the part of the home page of Design4Users Blog which actively uses a cloud of tags to enhance navigation around the blog content. In terms of interaction, click on a tag moves the user to the webpage collecting all the content marked with this tag. Also, tags are SEO-friendly technique increasing the chances that the content will be found via search engines.

example of tag in the interface

As another example, here’s the tagging offered by Unsplash, the well-known platform of free stock photos. When users download a photo, they are offered to type their own tags aka keywords which would describe this photo in the best way helping other users to find it. As we can see, the input field for adding tags also supports users with prompts for better usability. So, tags present user-generated elements of navigation that makes the interface closer and clearer to its target audience. 

 


 

Planning the navigation is the hard work which demands a good knowledge of psychology and interaction patterns, user testing and serious approach to information architecture from the earliest stages of an app or website design. However, it becomes the solid ground for positive user experience which will solve users’ problems and motivate them to get back to the product again and again.

 

Today’s set of our glossary is ready for those who need it and we are going to continue this practice before long. Don’t miss the new sets — the next one will continue the issues of navigation with deeper insights into types of menus, buttons, and breadcrumbs. If there are any specific terms you would like to see explained, described and illustrated, feel free to contact viadirect message on our Facebook page , via Twitter or our Quora representative. New definitions are coming soon!

 

Recommended reading

 

Here is the set of recommended materials for further reading for those who would like to get deeper into this topic and learn more on the theme.

 

UI/UX Design Glossary. Navigation Elements.

iOS Human Interface Guidelines

Navigation patterns for ten common types of websites

Small Elements, Big Impact: Types and Functions of UI Icons.

3 essential rules for effective navigation design

Perfecting navigation for the mobile web

Understanding Web UI Elements & Principles

User Interface Elements

The Most Creative Mobile Navigation Patterns

Basic Patterns for Mobile Navigation


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tubik_quotes_design_for_emotion

Design for Emotion: Expert Tips by Aarron Walter.

The highest priority, which the designers set creating a website or mobile application, is functionality and usability of the interface — and for sure, that’s a right direction. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that one of the crucial conditions of positive user experience is desirability. People aren’t only made of logic and action, they are also full of feelings, intuition, emotions, and memories. That’s what designers have to keep in mind aiming at user-friendly products.

 

Earlier we have already shared numerous expert quotes, tips, video talks and books worth reading to support our readers with useful resources. In particular, you could check the insights into Design Is a Job by Mike Monteiro — the book belongs to the series A Book Apart supporting designers with the diversity of expert tips, case studies, and resources. Today continuing this way, we would like to share a new set of quotes from the book highly recommended for UI/UX designers: Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter, former Director of User Experience in MailChimp and now the VP of Design Education at InVision. The book offers the reasons why users’ emotional respond means much for setting positive user experience strengthening this idea with references to scientific research works and practical case studies of design for recognized websites. So, here we will save a bunch of 35 useful expert tips from the book for Tubik Quotes Collection — join in and let’s look into the design for emotion together. 

tubik_quotes_design_for_emotion
 

For a user’s needs to be met, an interface must be functional. If the user can’t complete a task, they certainly won’t spend much time with an application.

 

Many websites and applications are creating an even better experience. They’re redrawing the hierarchy of needs to include a new top tier with pleasure, fun, joy, and delight. What if an interface could help you complete a critical task and put a smile on your face? Well, that would be powerful indeed!That would be an experience you’d recommend to a friend; that would be an idea worth spreading.

 

We’ve been designing usable interfaces, which is like a chef cooking edible food. Certainly we all want to eat edible foods with nutritional value, but we also crave flavor. Why do we settle for usable when we can make interfaces both usable and pleasurable?

 

design_quotes_tubik 02

 

Emotional experiences make a profound imprint on our longterm memory. We generate emotion and record memories in the limbic system, a collection of glands and structures in the brain’s foldy gray matter.

 

When you start your next design project, keep this principle in mind: people will forgive shortcomings, follow your lead, and sing your praises if you reward them with positive emotion.

 

Certainly, emotional design has risks. If emotional engagement compromises the functionality, reliability, or usability of an interface, the positive experience you wanted will mutate into a rant-inducing disaster for your users. A friendly wager with an upset customer isn’t always going to turn the tide.

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Our definition of beauty originates in our own image. The human mind is exceptionally skilled at scanning objects and information to discover meaning in abstract forms. We can find traces of ourselves in most anything we see, and we like that. Our ability to find signal and discern patterns in so much noise is a very important trait we use to navigate life, and as you might expect, this ability to recognize patterns greatly affects the way we design.

 

As you increase the number of high contrast elements on a page, you proportionally increase the time needed to perform a task, learn a system, and remember pathways. Adding stuff pushes the human brain to its limits. Have you ever been to a party where everyone is yelling to speak to the person next to them? As the volume increases, everyone must speak louder to be heard, but that makes it even harder to have a conversation. Design works in the same way. If everything yells for your viewer’s attention, nothing is heard.

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Design is too often wrongly taken for the indulgent frosting on a functional interface. Have you ever overheard a colleague declare, “It would be nice if we could have a sexy interface, but people care more about what the site does than how it looks”? Would this person show up to a job interview in their pajamas because people only care about what they can do and not how they look? If they did, I’d bet they’d discover that thinking is flawed.

 

Through our personalities, we express the entire gamut of human emotion. Personality is the mysterious force that attracts us to certain people and repels us from others. Because personality greatly influences our decision-making process, it can be a powerful tool in design.

 

With personality as the foundation of your designs, you can layer more emotional engagement on top.

design_quotes_tubik 07

 

 

Emotional design’s primary goal is to facilitate human-to-human communication. If we’re doing our job well, the computer recedes into the background, and personalities rise to the surface. To achieve this goal, we must consider how we interact with one another in real life.

 

In modern web design, we research, plan, and create with our audience’s attitudes and motivations in mind. User experience designers interview their audience, then create personas—a dossier on an archetypal user who represents a larger group. Think of personas as the artifacts of user research. They help a web design team remain aware of their target audience and stay focused on their needs.

 

Following a structure similar to a user persona, you can flesh out your design’s personality by creating a design persona. Personality can manifest itself in an interface through visual design, copy, and interactions. A design persona describes how to channel personality in each of these areas and helps the web team to construct a unified and consistent result.

 

We know that people using websites and applications navigate and process content quickly and that their attention is limited. Introducing surprise into an interface can break a behavior pattern and force the brain to reassess the situation.

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Aside from being the right thing to do, surprising people with kindness and individual attention can help a business achieve success.

 

Anticipation is what game designers call an open system. Games designed with an open structure, like The Sims, allow users to wander and shape game play on their own terms. Open systems encourage people to use their imagination to create a personalized experience.

 

Giving users the power to choose changes the tone of their response. When forced to change, people often react negatively. Allow people to change on their own schedule, and you empower them, diffusing animosity. We’d all rather hear “You may …” instead of “You must ….”

 

Surprise, delight, anticipation, elevating perceived status, and limiting access to elicit a feeling of exclusivity can all be effective in getting your audience to fall in love with your brand. But your tactics must be appropriate for your audience and brand experience.

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As designers, we’re in a unique position to help users follow their gut instincts. Using common design tools like layout, color, line, typography, and contrast, we can help people more easily consume information and make a decision driven by instinct more than reason. Just as you chose the shirt you’re wearing because it felt right, we can help our audience sign up for a service or complete a task because their gut tells them it’s the right thing to do.

 

The way type, color, and layout fit together says a lot about a brand and shapes new users’ perceptions.

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Appearance can greatly influence perceptions, and we carry that mental model with us when sizing up a website.

 

Skepticism is not the only obstacle we confront when trying to entice our audience to act. Laziness is just as big a hurdle. In truth, people really aren’t as lazy as we like to think they are. They’re just looking for the path of least resistance to their destination. When people are reluctant to act, sometimes a little incentive gets them moving.

 

Great design that uses cognitive and visual contrast not only makes you stand out, it can also influence the way people use your interface.

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Users react apathetically to websites when the content is irrelevant to their interests, or when content is poorly presented. Content strategy will help you create the right content for your audience.

 

Great content delivered in an emotionally engaging manner is like kryptonite for apathy.

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Emotional design is not just about creating positive experiences and overcoming obstacles. It can also help us deal with difficult situations like server downtime, lost data, or bugs that affect a user’s workflow. Mistakes happen. Things go wrong. But a well-crafted response, and the cache of trust you accrue with your audience through prolonged emotional engagement, can save you in times of trouble.

 

In fact, when you create a compelling experience, your audience will often forget about the inconveniences they’ve encountered over time and just remember the good things about your brand. So long as the good outweighs the bad, you win.

 

When people are deeply stressed by an outage or a mistake you’ve made, you must explain what happened swiftly, honestly, and clearly. Give people the facts of the event, communicate that you’re doing your best to resolve things, then update users regularly, even if not much has changed.

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Updates let people know you’re still focusing all of your attention on resolving the problem. They give you another opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience and reassure your users that you’ll fix the problem as quickly as possible.

 

In high-stress situations, your top priority must be to tame negative emotions as best you can and, if possible, shift them back to the positive.

 

Emotional design is your insurance to maintain audience trust when things aren’t going your way. If you’ve ever been emotionally committed to someone who has hurt you, you know that the human response to such situations is driven by gut feeling more than by logic. You don’t add up the good and bad experiences in your mind and do a detailed comparison before deciding whether or not to maintain ties with the person. You simply respond based on the strength of your emotional commitment. We react similarly to products and services.

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Emotional engagement can help us look past even the most serious infractions, leaving the good more prominent in our mind than the bad. Psychologists call this phenomenon of positive recollection the rosy effect. As time passes, memories of inconveniences and transgressions fade, leaving only positive memories to shape our perceptions. This is good news for designers, as it means that the inevitable imperfections in our work don’t necessarily lead to mass user exodus.

 

Emotional design does more than entice and keep your audience, it helps ensure you’re talking to the right people. Not every customer is right for your business. Some will be so high maintenance that they will cost you more than they contribute. That can be a real morale and financial drag.

 

We’re not just designing pages. We’re designing human experiences. Like the visionaries of the Arts and Crafts movement, we know that preserving the human touch and showing ourselves in our work isn’t optional: it’s essential.

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As a bonus, we also add the video talk by Aarron Walter continuing the ideas from the book — it was included in the set of must-see expert speeches for UI/UX designers.

 


 

Welcome to check the quotes by Mike Monteiro from «Design Is a Job» for A Book Apart

Welcome to check issues of Tubik Quotes Collection on brandingusabilityuser-centered design and content strategy

Welcome to read or download Tubik Magazine free books on logo design, design for business and problem-solving web design

mood boards in UI design tubik article

Design Mood. 7 Motives to Create Mood Boards.

Just imagine you worked hard, spent plenty of time creating a detailed prototype, and then a client rejected it saying that it isn’t even close to what he wanted. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Every designer at least once has been through such an unpleasant situation. Probably right now everyone expects some relevant advice how to avoid this kind of situations but truly saying there is no a perfect decision.

 

However, there are several methods helping to reduce risks of clients’ rejects as well as save designers’ time and nerves. Today’s article is devoted to the technique called moodboarding. Let’s see what mood boards are and how they can help in the designer’s workflow.

 

What’s a mood board?

 

The technique of moodboarding is popular not only in design field but among many creative professionals. Mood boards are literally boards (digital or material) which people fill with different kinds of things from photos to various textures so that they could visualize ideas and concepts.

 

Unlike wireframes and prototypes, mood boards don’t show the detailed picture of a future project. They are meant to transfer the right mood and bring the emotions expected from a product.

 

Mood boards are a useful tool helping designers effectively collaborate with clients and team members. Boards can be easily created within a tight time frame and turn an abstract idea into a real one. This way designers can effectively share their ideas with the others because visual material always works better than fluent phrases.

 

mood board UI design

Mood board compiled by Tubik designer Ernest Asanov

 

How to create mood board?

 

Mood boards are a good way to experiment with a color palette, fonts, and style as well as plan visual hierarchy of a project. Everyone decides for themselves what components to include in a mood board. UI/UX designers usually use the various samples so that they could characterize interface elements. There are several common types of mood boards. Let’s see what they are.

 

Free collage

 

Designers often collect free high-resolution photos so that they could use the material in the future projects or elsewhere. These collections may come in handy for the mood board creation. A free collage consisting of beautiful photos is an effective way to transfer a mood of the design concept. Also, collages can be filled with illustrations, fonts, and color examples.

 

This type of mood boards is the fastest and the easiest among the others. However, if a client is detail-oriented, they may not be excited with a free collage as an example of a future project.

 

mood board graphic UI design

Mood board compiled by Tubik designer Ludmila Shevchenko

 

Reference collection

 

Another source of inspiration and a method for idea visualization is quality references. There are plenty resources such as Behance and Dribbble where designers can find inspiring concepts and real projects with a free access. Collection of design works united by a common style or any other feature can easily illustrate an idea for a new project. Moreover, such mood boards help clients effectively comprehend a concept because they can see similar references and imagine what their product will look like.

 

Template board

 

These mood boards are more like prototypes and wireframes. Their aim is to show the structure and visual hierarchy of a product. The difference is that UI elements on a template board are not detailed as in prototypes or schematic as in wireframes. Components are shown via random illustrations and photos presenting a layout of a digital product. In addition, images can be selected that way so it would be easy to recognize corresponding color palette. This method is faster than prototyping because it doesn’t require details.

 

ui moodboard design

 

Mood board compiled by Tubik designer Ludmila Shevchenko

 

Why should UI/UX designers create mood boards?

 

Many of us may notice that wireframing and prototyping are always described as essential stages in design workflow while moodboards are rarely mentioned. Some may consider them as the waste of time or just entertainment. Nevertheless, there are many people who include moodboarding as a part of every creative process. But why do they choose the technique? Here we’ve gathered the list of reasons for designers.

 

1. To save time and effort.

 

The first and a big advantage of moodboarding is that it doesn’t require much time to be done. It means that in a few hours, or maybe less, designers can create a visual guide for clients presenting a concept. A mood board can be easily edited so it saves both time and effort.

 

Such a guideline is a good foundation which allows quickly jumping to the next stage of prototyping. Moreover, designers save their nerves if a client is not satisfied with the outcome and demands a new concept because they don’t spend a whole day to create a detailed presentation.

 

2. To get inspired.

 

Of course, designers can’t always rely on inspiration because they have work to do, still, things are done more effectively if the creator is inspired. Moodboarding is a good way to find ideas and enthusiasm. Beautiful photos and illustrations help to find the right mood and style. In addition, if you can, try to create a material mood board via things surrounding you. It is said that handwork has a powerful impact on creative thinking. So, why don’t take a try?

 

3. To find a right color palette.

 

A collage can include photos, illustrations and color samples forming a compelling composition. By mixing images in different colors on a board designers can experiment with a color palette even if UI elements are not ready yet.

 

4. To enhance communication with customers.

 

When a product is at the stage of an abstract idea, it is sometimes difficult for a designer and a customer to understand each other while discussions. For example, both sides can see the certain style a bit differently so it can cause an argument. That’s why it is always a good idea to have some visual references such as a mood board.

 

5. To talk less and show more.

 

Continuing the point above, it should be said that any long report can’t explain your plans and ideas better than a visual presentation. Words can fail in shaping a picture in a client’s head but the visual material is a reliable guide helping customers to dive deeper into details and understand your ideas correctly.

 

Illustrate your ideas at the early stages so that clients could see what you plan and how their product is shaped up.

 

6. To find a style for a design.

 

If a creative team hasn’t received directives from clients about the style of the design, the task lays on a designer’s shoulders. To see how one or another style works, there is no need to build a detailed prototype for each of them. Add to a mood board different textures, experiment with types of illustration, test fonts, and change colors. It’s faster and more convenient to try options with a mood board than spend time changing prototypes one by one.

 

7. To involve clients in a process.

 

One of the ways of gaining clients’ trust is to let them feel they are deeply involved in a project. So, at this stage, if they wish, they can actively participate in the selection of styles and samples. Moodboarding is an easy technique which can be accomplished if you’re a non-designer.

 

Clients can be suggested to make a collage of photos and pictures, or maybe even references if they are not new at this. This way designers can easily learn clients’ tastes and preferences and see what they expect from the project.

 

Examples of mood boards for digital design projects

 

For more practical presentation of the issue, we would like to show you the set of extended mood board, compiled by Tubik designer Dima Panchenko for his projects on user interface design. He also practices adding the general notes presenting the mood board to the client which has a positive effect on the process of communication and choosing the concept for the project.

 

1. The mood board for setting the client’s preferences about the general stylistic concept of the screen.

 

moodboard for UI project

 

2. The mood board presenting the vision of the style corresponding to the project requirements.

 

moodboard for UI design project

 

3. The moodboard with a variety of concepts for a sport app with football theme.

 

moodboard sport app UI design

 

Moodboarding can become a useful habit for every creative person. Designers can create mood boards to find the inspiration or use them as an additional tool in their workflow. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

24 pro tips for creating inspirational mood boards

Creating Better Moodboards for UX Projects

 


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interface testing UI design tubik

Make the Right Choice. A/B Testing for UX Improvement.

To be or not to be? That is a question and a constantly repeating situation. People often have to face some choices which are hard to make. Designers’ job is also full of the situations when two solutions seem like right but you need to make a choice and not to stumble. When it happens, a creative team runs tests for both to find out which solution is the best. One of the popular methods is called A/B testing. The article describes the facets of A/B testing methodology and shows how designers apply it for UX improvement.

 

What is A/B testing?

 

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of a digital product in order to find out which one performs better. A creative team divides users into two groups and each of them is shown different variants. One half sees A version, the other — B. Such an approach helps to determine a more profitable solution.

 

The differences between A and B options can vary from the smallest to the big one. For example, it can be a color of a small element or different placement of all the components. The effectiveness can be measured by different criteria such as page views, clicks, number of subscriptions, or sale-leads. The choice of criteria for measurement depends on the goals a company or a creative team has established. In some cases, it may be good to combine these metrics to achieve deeper insights of all aspects.

 

How can designers use A/B testing?

 

UI and UX design for a product is always created to gain certain goals. Designers thoroughly choose all UI elements as well as plan clear and pleasant interaction and navigation system for effective user experience. However, what once worked well, may not have the same effect after a while. Business goals constantly change during the time a product functions, so the design requires some improvements.

 

A/B testing is an approach helping to make design changes carefully so that users wouldn’t feel inconvenient. Designers can collect the needed data and metrics while people continue to use an app or website.

 

So, what do designers get from A/B testing? First of all, it’s a good way to learn behavior patterns and peculiarities of the target audience. By testing different versions of UI, designers can see what kind of influence each solution has on users and which one performs more effectively. Moreover, A/B testing assists to remove bad design decisions if there were ones and replace them with something more profitable.

 

In addition, A/B testing can reduce conflicts between designers and the clients. It often happens that the opinions of both sides differ and no one wants to step aside. To solve such a kind of conflict, designers can run A/B testing for two variants which a creative team and a customer see as the best solution.

 

As we said above, differences between versions A and B can be either small or big. Here is a list of elements which designers often choose for A/B testing.

 

  • CTA buttons (their placement, size, color or copy);
  • Headings and subheaders;
  • Images on landing pages;
  • Presentation of clients’ form on websites;
  • Copy (length, placement and content);
  • Offer display;
  • Videos (presence or absence).

 

A/B testing is not a one-time operation. Designers can test different elements one by one and then combine gathered information to check which of their solutions is more user-friendly and goal-oriented.

 

usability testing for web and mobile

 

A/B testing process

 

If you never tried A/B testing before, it’s never too late to experiment. Besides, experimenting with new approaches can help to open new opportunities. Moreover, A/B testing is not a complicated method. It can be accomplished easily if you take the following steps.

 

Step 1. Gather data and rates.

The first aim of A/B testing is optimization. It can be revenue optimization, user experience improvements or just a product upgrade as a whole. That is why the first step before you run A/B testing should be data collecting. Analytics results can help to understand what aspect needs the optimization the most. Pages with low conversion rates or CTA buttons with a small amount of clicks can be the first targets.

 

Step 2. Set the goals.

To make the improvements work right, designers need to determine what they expect to gain from them. For example, it can be more subscribers for a blog, more time spent on a website, or more clicks on CTA buttons. Setting the goals you can track the effectiveness of your decisions.

 

Step 3. Build a hypothesis.

This step is needed so that designers could use the gathered information for the future improvements. After the goals are set, you need to think of the reasons why the new solutions will work better. A research on the target audience helps to generate some hypotheses about what can improve the current version. It will guide designers when the testing ends and will give deep insights on the target audience preferences.

 

Step 4. Create A and B versions.

When designers have decided what changes they want to implement, it’s time to bring them to life. There are many free and paid tools helping to divide the users’ stream into two groups. It may be a good idea to QA the testing at the beginning to make sure everything goes as it should be.

 

Step 5. Go testing.

It is the most pleasant part of A/B testing for a creative team because it’s time for users to work. People use an application or visit a website and everything they do is measured and transformed into useful data.

 

Step 6. Results analysis.

The experiment lasts for certain time and when it’s complete designers work on results. All the data and metrics from two versions are gathered and compared. Based on the results designers decide which variant performed better and is capable of accomplishing the goals that have been set at the start.

 

gamification in UX design

 

Benefits and limitations of A/B testing

 

There is no perfect methodology which would suit any situation. However, each approach is unique and brings certain advantages which others can’t. Let’s see what A/B testing can offer to designers and what are its limitations.

 

Benefits

 

It measures the actual user behavior. People use a product without knowing they are a part of the experiment now. That’s why they act naturally which helps to identify the model of their behavior quite accurately.

 

It is a cheap method. A/B testing doesn’t require applying expensive tools and hiring people who’d like to test a product. All you need is two versions of the experiment and a software which would randomly divide users into groups.

 

Quality content. A/B testing is a good way to find out what content is valuable and works best for a product.

 

User-centered design. A/B testing is absolutely oriented on users’ needs and their behavior patterns. After the experiment designers get the data helping to make a product even more user-friendly.

 

Fast and easy analysis. A/B testing is usually focused on a few certain metrics. So when the results are delivered, it’s not that hard to determine which version performed better.

 

Everything can be tested. Not all the approaches allow testing really small things such as buttons color, fonts or headings placement. However, even such little elements can have a great impact on users’ behavior and their perception of the design.

 

Reduced risks. Some mistakes may cost a lot if they are made at the important stages. A/B testing can reduce the risks of losing money because of the wrong design decisions. By testing several versions of design at the early stages, designers make sure UI elements work well.

 

Limitations

 

A/B testing works only for fully implemented design. You can’t test just CTA buttons in UI without copy content or any other component because the results won’t be the same. Everything should be as a fully accomplished product ready for the usage.

 

It doesn’t tell you why. A/B testing is an effective method of gathering certain data and metrics showing what works well or not. But if you are looking for the answers why it is so, you need to do user research which will go deeper into the peculiarities of the target audience.

 

It can’t tell you what is wrong. Continuing the point above, we need to add that A/B testing isn’t meant to identify the problems in design. It only can show which improvements work effectively.

 

If design goes into real usage without proper testing, there is a high risk of its low effectiveness. That’s why designers are recommended to make testing an essential part of UX process. The choice of approach is a matter of circumstances and designers’ preferences. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

A/B Testing, Usability Engineering, Radical Innovation: What Pays Best?

Putting A/B Testing in Its Place

How to A/B test landing pages

Tests Go First. Usability Testing in Design


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video design animation tubik

Step by Step Guide to Custom Promo Video Design.

We are living in the times when information is absorbed faster and faster via numerous ways and sources. Videos of all kinds are increasing their popularity in many spheres including education and entertainment. Surely, one of the fields where video production is rapidly growing its presence is marketing with the aim of promoting and selling products and services. It’s not surprising as videos are often faster and more expressive than other ways of sending the message to the potential buyers or customers. So, creative teams accept the challenges of making original video content which is not so easy under the conditions of tight competition and tons of already produced commercials and promos.

 

Watching a short promo video on web or TV, most viewers don’t even imagine how much time and effort those short seconds of animation take from their creators. In the vast majority of cases, the visual part of the video is made by the team of illustrators and motion designers. Today we would like to show you the creative flow of the design process we have for this kind of projects as well as answer the questions frequently asked by the clients who need the custom design of a promo video.

 

Types and benefits of promo videos

 

In one of our previous articles devoted to design of promo videos for websites, we have given a classification. Let’s just briefly review the frequently used types:

introduction video usually gives the first insights about the company, product, or brand and shows what benefits the users can get

product presentation videos gives details about product’s features and advantages, informs about special steps of interactions and shows the problem-solving potential of the product

landing page videos strengthening the message driving users to a particular call-to-action offered on the page

video testimonials showing the reasons and signs of trust and loyalty to the company, brand or product

entertaining and educational videos rising emotional appeal and often presenting the material for viral marketing.

 

All the mentioned types can serve efficiently for marketing goals and increase brand awareness. A creative and catchy video is a good way of attracting customers’ attention and the proven method of informing them quickly and brightly. A video activates several channels of perception — audio, visual, sound — simultaneously and usually do it in a way of telling a story. All the mentioned combination of factors tend to make the presentation strong and memorable especially if based on high-quality graphic design and animation. People are daily overloaded with tons of information of all kinds, so most of them aren’t ready to devote much time learning about products or services, especially the new ones. In these conditions, video can become the way of communication which is dynamic, informative and attractive.

 

No doubt, technically design any sort of video is the complex multi-level process in terms of design. Promotional video adds its own specific aspects being focused on the particular business goals.

 

opera video graphic design case study tubik

 

Creative stages of video production

 

Generally, the process of video production includes the following steps:

research stage: target audience and market research

pre-production stage: script writing and storyboarding

production stage: creating the graphic assets and animation

post-production stage: video editing, adding sounds, music and voice-over etc.

 

Pre-production

 

Being a full-stack design team, Tubik is usually involved in the process at pre-production stage which means that the creative flow starts from discussing a video script we get from the client. Obviously, the most effective scripts are the ones based on the preliminary market research learning what kind of promos are used by the competitors on the market. Another important factor of making the idea behind the video appealing is the definition of the target audience. To make the final promo attractive and interesting, designers need to know who are its potential viewers, their age, preferences, and goals. So, if this information is not provided by default in the project brief, designers have to be ready to ask for all the missing data while the clients would better consider all these aspects beforehand.

 

Script and voice-over

 

The scripts for the future videos come to us in different forms: some of them are really basic, containing preferred timing of the video, general description of the scenes and their sequence while the others present the documentation with the full scenario of the scenes and even the audio with its voice-over. Is that essential to present the audio before the graphics for the video start to be done? Well, it really helps. Having the ready-made voice over, motion designer can achieve the best synchronization of the footage with the sound right from the start of the production process. 

 

As a tip for clients who are considering custom video design for their business projects, we would recommend ordering voice-over from professional voice-actors aka specialist voice talents. Be careful choosing the voice as it should correspond to the offer and mood of the video, all the words should be legible and the tone would better correspond to the preferences of the target audience. The same could be said about the music if the promo doesn’t apply speech: sound and imagery should harmonically support and strengthen each other instead of living their own lives. That is why if needed our team is always ready to take part in the process of choice and recommend possible types of voices or background music which could work well for the created type and style of the video. 

 

Is it possible to start working on the promo video before the voice-over or soundtrack is ready? Certainly, yes. However, the client should be ready that the additional time will be needed for alterations and editing combining the sound with the already created footage which wasn’t based on the given sound initially. This is really the matter of seconds when all movements and sounds have to feel like clockwork.

 

tubik studio teamwork designers managers

 

Storyboard

 

The other part of pre-production stage is fully done on the design team side: it’s a creation of a storyboard for a future short video. Storyboard is the set of organized graphic assets: these are the illustrations arranged in the sequence of their flow for the video. This technique is not a new thing: its early version is said to be invented by the Walt Disney Animation Studio in the 1930s and has been adopted by many animation studios around the world. Storyboard visualizes storytelling and gives the better idea on the flow of the video. It allows design team and the client to discuss the details about the visual part and the sequence of scenes before motion designer starts the actual animation. Depending on the requirements and urgency of the project, images applied for the storyboard can feature various level of fidelity, from simple sketches to sophisticated and detailed illustrations.

 

At this stage it’s vital to set a constructive dialogue between the design team and the client: every single image in the storyboard should be discussed and approved in terms of general idea and goals set for the video. This type of design has many specific features and motion designers have to be ready to explain them: it can happen that clients express ideas and wishes which technically can overload the footage or look bad in the limited timing. Getting deeper into the goals and results which the client expects, designers look for the optimal solutions which will make the video both good-looking and effective.

 

storyboard video design tubik

 

Sometimes the clients come with only the basic understanding of what they want to get not having strong visual preferences. In this case, moodboards compiled by motion designers can give the client a variety of possible styles and flows to feel better what they want to see. 

 

Production

 

When the storyboard is all agreed upon and every illustration in the footage is accomplished hi-res according to the approved style, graphic designers polish all the details and prepare all the necessary assets for the motion design stage. At the moment, the software used for these types of work here in Tubik is Adobe After Effects, so motion designer can work on some elements by himself on the basis of the existing functionality of the tool and without additional effort from the graphic designer side. However, most of the assets are prepared by illustrators and altered in the process if necessary: when it comes to motion, sometimes even slight changes measured in millimeters can have a big impact on the result. That is another advantage of our having graphic and motion designers in one team as they work together on all the details and assets and can consult with each other any moment it’s needed. It makes the workflow dynamic and productive enabling the client to get the video without wasting time on trying to bring several teams together.

 

After the animation of all the shots is done, it’s thoroughly checked along the required timing and harmonic combination with the voice-over. The final version of the video is then delivered to the client to be transferred to the professional sound designer — this service isn’t provided by our team. 

 

animation video production tubik

 

Case Studies

 

Here is the set of short promo videos designed by Tubik team: to check more about the project, follow the links.

 

Promo video for PassFold project

 

Year-in-review video for Opera

 

Promo video animated for Binned

The described creative flow is used here in the studio for not only promotional videos but also for educational videos and cartoons for various purposes. Productive work and effective result are always based on thorough research and tight collaboration with the client to satisfy the viewers and support the business goals at the same time.


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