Tag Archives: interaction design

watering tracker app design tubik

Case Study: Watering Tracker. UI Design for Home Needs.

In all the diversity of applications fulfilling different personal, social and business needs, the special place will always belong to the ones that become our everyday helpers in sometimes basic but necessary operations. Calendars, calculators, to-do lists or fitness timers, apps saving our menus and reminding to take medicine along the schedule — all this simple stuff makes users’ lives much easier. The apps of this kind increase productivity as well as save time and effort for multiple challenges life prepares for us on a daily basis. Designers creating such interfaces become a sort of magicians activating problem-solving potential of modern technology. Today we would like to share a new design case study telling about that kind of UI: welcome to check the creative flow for Watering Tracker App.

 

Project

 

User interface and interaction design for an iOS application tracking plants watering.

 

Process

 

Have you ever forgotten to water plants at home? Being busy with hundreds of tasks, we sometimes miss very basic things and then regret not doing them on time. With pieces of nature, the effect may be even more crucial as they can get sick or even die without proper care. The task for the interface concept of a mobile app was aimed at helping users having plants at homes or offices: first of all, it had to remind users of watering when it’s needed as well as keep the data about watering.

 

As we mentioned in diverse articles devoted to UX design, high-quality user interfaces should harmonically satisfy four basic aspects:

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

 

Based on that, Tubik designer Anton Morozov under art-direction by Ernest Asanov set the goal to make the application not only problem-solving but also informative to broaden its utility. Also, the appearance of the app was an object of thorough attention: as that was definitely the app for daily use, why wouldn’t designers add a pinch of elegance and sophistication to grow desirability and aesthetic satisfaction?

 

After the flow of UX wireframing, the designer planned the following set of basic functionality for the app:

— adding plants to the app

— reminders and notifications about watering

— getting information and recommendations about conditions and care for particular kinds of plants

— tracking stats of watering and plans for next week.

 

Let’s check how the layout was designed and what flows of interactions were planned for the mentioned goals.

 

water_tracking_application_ui_tubik

 

Adding items to the app, a user gets his/her own directory of the plants which need to be watered now and then. The left screen on the picture below shows the collection of items which were added by the user: it is shown as a set of tabs. The title above the tab gives the name of the plant while on the tab users can instantly see the notification when the next watering is expected for this position. The icon of drops in the top right corner of the tab helps to set the visual association with water and informs a user that the plant on this tab will need watering soon. In contrast, the lowest tab on the presented screen shows the icon of a tick which means that this item has been recently watered.

 

This way of data organization lets the user quickly scan the state of things right from this screen if there’s no time or need to move to the screens of every particular plant. The background of each tab features an easily recognizable photo of a natural object. And to add a new item, users need just to take a photo, as it’s seen on the right screen below.

 

watering tracker interaction design

 

The tab bar is highly functional and simple: it includes three most demanded zones of interactions. «My Plants» opens the directory of the ones tracked for watering, «Add New» allows to create a new item and «My Profile» goes to all the history and stats data.

 

Adding a plant takes just short seconds. When a user has taken a photo with a smartphone camera, the application recognizes it and offers the data from the app catalog of plants: it includes the name, the background picture and the data of care conditions like temperature, humidity and light rates comfortable for this type. The user may add it to his/her set of tracked plants and it will get seen on the screen with user’s collection. In case there is no data about a particular plant in the app database, the user can create a new item and add it to the app catalog. This approach has two big benefits: firstly, it will strengthen the app with the ability to add user-generated content; secondly, it will inform app creators and support which types of objects have to enlarge the original app database.

 

watering tracker app interactions

 

Here’s the animation showing the interactions described above.

 

watering_tracker_app_interactions_tubik

 

Now let’s look into some details of watering tracking itself. When the date comes, the user gets a notification that the item needs to be watered. Opening the screen of that plant, users see:

 

— the name and the background picture of the plant in the upper part of the screen,

— the interactive zone with the tabs of other plants ready for watering,

— the contrast light tab in the lower part of the screen including information about the plant which can be pulled up to open.

 

watering tracker UI design

 

The interactive zone with the tabs of other plants ready for watering can also be extended. In this case, it opens the graph showing the progress  — aka watering workload — for the current week.  This zone is presented on the dark background which makes the graph look stylish and deep and also sets the good level of contrast with the information tab below presented on the light background. The information tab is grounded on light and airy solution: in combination with bold sans-serif fonts in the interface, it provides high readability level and contributes much to the effective visual hierarchy of the layout.

 

When the plant is watered, the user just needs to tap on the icon with drops and it will transform into a tick.

 

watering tracker user interface design

 

Slight unobtrusive animation makes the interactions live and enhances the general usability of the user interface.

 

watering_tracker_app_ui_tubik

 

Working on the concept of mobile user interface aimed at solving simple but everlasting problems of everyday life, the designer made the screens informative, efficient and stylish. First of all, the app of this kind could be helpful at home, taking over the responsibility of a reminder and tracker. Moreover, it could effectively help workers of the offices, public and private gardens or parks,  landscape firms and services — all those who are in charge of taking care of plants and supporting the beauty of nature around us.

 

watering tracker app design tubik

 

Recommended reading

 

If you are interested to see more practical case studies with creative flows for UI/UX design, here is the set of them.

 

Home Budget App. UI for Finance.

Night in Berlin. UI for Event App.

Big City Guide. Landing Page Design.

Vinny’s Bakery. UI Design for E-Commerce.

Upper App. UI Design for To-Do List.

Health Care App. UI for Doctors.

Wedding Planner. UI Design Concept.

Toonie Alarm. Mobile App UI Design.

SwiftyBeaver. UX/UI Design for a Mac Application.


Welcome to see designs by Tubik on Dribbble and Behance

fitness_app_ui_design_article

Keep Fit. UI Design for Fitness Apps.

A professional athlete Billie Jean King once said: “Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose — it teaches you about life.” Sports has become a part of our routine a long time ago. Even more, today a healthy lifestyle is a top trend which constantly grows its popularity across the world.

 

Fitness apps are the key helpers for people who strive to get fit. Their functionality gives a lot of opportunities and makes keeping fit easier. Understanding the significant impact of these applications on users’ everyday life, designers do their best to activate the problem-solving potential of fitness apps. Today’s article describes common screens and essential UI elements for fitness apps.

 

sport app motion ui tubik studio

Sports App Interactions

 

Sign-in and profile screen

 

Fitness app is something like a pocket instructor telling you what to do and gives a feedback on your achievements. To make it more comfortable and personalized, designers need to create an effective profile UI.

 

Before users obtain their profiles they usually go through the sign-in process. Fitness apps, as well as the other ones, can allow logging in via social networks still there are some aspects which users have to fill in to create a personalized profile. The applications usually require the personal data including age, gender, weight, and height which helps to define users’ physical condition. Profile creation is often similar to filling in an application form. This way users can easily provide the needed information to make a profile more personalized.

 

The major objective of a fitness app is to help users in their self-improvement, the reason why profiles should contain not only the personal data but also the user’s achievements such as the number of burnt calories or personal records in sports. It’s important to not to overload the profile screen with the unnecessary information otherwise user interface may look chaotic.

 

Home screen

 

It’s a core element for any type of apps. Home screens serve as the main point where users start the journey within a product. Creating UI for home screen designers need to think of it as a center of navigation and make sure users will be able to operate it easily. 

 

First of all, home screen should provide access to the other parts of the app. Designers can choose various ways of the presentation from a sidebar with minimalistic icons to the clickable subheaders leading to the different sections of app content. The choice often depends on the number of features provided by the product as well as the platform which it is meant for.

 

Activity screen

 

People who aim at getting fit always have to do various physical activities. Fitness apps provide users with the feature which helps to track how active they are during a day. To make a sufficient UI for activity screen, designers include different kinds of activities and sports. Traditionally, fitness apps provide tracking time spent on sports as well as measuring the distance which users cover during a day. The distance can be calculated in two ways: walking is measured by the number of steps and running is usually measured in miles (kilometers).

 

The information about users’ activity is often presented via diagrams of various forms. Such presentation contributes the effective visual perception of the data which includes many numerals. Also, designers often apply custom icons representing each kind of activity. This way the screen looks clean and neat even if users have a really active life.

 

fitness_app_ui_landscape_tubik

Fitness App

 

Heart rate screen

 

The heart is an engine which lets our body live and function, so it’s important to follow its condition daily. Many fitness apps can be connected to the various devices such as fitness wearables which allow measuring pulse. The applications usually transfer the data gathered with devices on a heart rate screen.

 

User interface representing the feature should be simple with the minimum of elements so that it could be easily operated. Since the process of pulse measuring takes some time it may be a good idea to supply the UI with sufficient animation which will show the loading process. For example, motion designers can animate an illustration of the heart showing it beats. Custom illustrations along with motion design can make UI look more proficient and make the process of the pulse measuring more interactive.

 

Sleep tracking screen

 

Nice sleep is a guarantee of the human health. Sportspeople know it better than anyone else and always try to control the time and quality of their sleep. Fitness apps show the gathered information during a night which includes the time and stages of sleep. There are four stages of sleep: the first and the second are called light sleep, the third is deep sleep and the fourth is rem sleep. The applications track these stages and in the morning users can see the statistics. The data on sleep is often shown as graphs.

 

Calories screen

 

They say that fitness people are obsessed with calories. Well, there is truth in the words because if you want to get fit it’s vital to control what and how much you eat. As we said above, fitness applications show the information on the number of burnt calories based on the activity results. The calories data can be displayed on the activity screen as well as on the personal profile. However, it may be an effective solution to create a separate screen to provide users with the expanded information on the lost calories.

 

Sport app UI design

Sports App

 

Progress screen

 

To stay motivated and continue self-improvement, it’s important to know that the hard work gives results. The progress screen shows the statistics about users achievements along with failures. Here the graphs will be the best choice. If people have the progress, they see that their results are getting better and the scales on the graphs go higher.

 

Schedule screen

 

There can be many sports activities in different time and different places so the schedule seems to be essential in this situation. The screen of schedule is standardized, but to make it unique and original, designers can add some interesting icons representing various sports directions.

 

Goals screen

 

Goals move us to achieve more and more, especially if we talk about fitness. People start doing sport because they have some goals like losing weight or shaping up. In fitness applications, users set maybe a bit less radical goals but easier to achieve on a regular basis. They often include walking a certain number of steps per day or week along with burning the fixed amount of calories.

 

The screen of goals can be presented as a sheet divided into categories: to do, doing, done. This way users will see how much they have managed to achieve and what they need to strive for. In addition, designers can settle the system of awards which will help users be even more motivated. We’ve already described awards as effective gamification tools which contribute increasing user engagement. You can find detailed info in our previous articles.

 

tubik_studio_bebright_app

BeBright App

 

The sport requires persistence and fortitude and so does the creation of sufficient UI design. Learn the basics, add some inspiration and you can surprise yourself. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

If you want to learn more about common screens for various mobile apps, here is the list of helpful articles revealing tips on mobile UI design and its components.

Mobile UI Design: 15 Basic Types of Screens.

Feel the Beat. UI Design for Music Streaming Services.

Spectacular Design. Elements of Cinema App UI.

 

fitness_app_ui_design_article


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

ux_design_practices_article

Get Professional. Useful Habits for UX Designers.

To become a UX expert, designers need to work hard on the daily basis. Constant self-improvement and love to what you do are two key factors helping to become a master of your craft. Of course, all UX experts have their personal secrets of the success still they have something in common. There are certain characteristics which differ amateurs from the real professionals. The new article describes habits which expert UX designers possess.

 

They listen to users

 

The success of a product is defined by several points including the level of satisfaction which it brings to the users. To make a website or an application meet users needs, you have to know what exactly users require. So, before creating UX for a digital product, the professionals always go user researching.

 

The process of user research applies collecting and analyzing the information received from the potential users. The obtained outcome helps designers go deeper into details of the target audience as well as comprehend their preferences and psychological peculiarities. Applying user research UX experts actually can step into the users’ shoes and find the effective solutions for a user-friendly product. UX design built on empathy has the great chances to meet users needs and draw attention to a product.

 

usability testing

 

They conduct usability testing

 

Usability is one of the key factors influencing the quality of a digital product. So, to see if a website or an app is usable and to distinguish possible problems in UX, designers need to apply the technique of usability testing.

 

The level of usability is defined by five aspects: learnability, satisfaction, efficiency, memorability, and errors. Learnability stands for how easy users can attain tasks during the first usage and satisfaction is if the usage process feels pleasant. Efficiency is determined by users’ ability to accomplish a task quickly while memorability depends on time which people need to re-establish their proficiency after a period of not using a product. And finally, designers track the number of errors users make and how easily they can learn from these mistakes.

 

Usability testing is usually conducted at the UX building stage before a project goes to the development team. It allows changing inefficient solutions easier than in a complete product. Moreover, usability testing allows watching the users’ reactions while a product is used and estimate how much they like it or don’t. This technique is helpful for gathering the essential information for the effective user-centered design.

 

interface testing UI design tubik

 

They pay attention to the information architecture

 

In one of our previous articles, we defined the information architecture as a science which strives at organizing and structuring content so that users would easily adjust to the functionality of the product and could find everything they need without big effort.

 

Many UX experts learn the IA principles since they believe the information architecture is a foundation of the effective design. If the content is badly organized, users may have difficulties with navigation, so they can get lost and feel annoyed. That’s why even compelling content elements and powerful UI design can fail without appropriate IA.

 

Some may think that it’s impractical to devote much time to IA building but the effective information architecture is crucial for powerful user experience design. It helps users quickly navigate through content and find everything they need without striking a blow.

 

information architecture for designers

 

They strive for clarity

 

A quality digital product has to give a quick access to the features which users come for. The main objective for designers is to help people easily reach the desired functionality and make the process of usage pleasant and clear.

 

While planning problem-solving UX, professionals should work out which of design elements will be helpful and which of them will distract users. Unneeded functionality makes a product complicated and has the bad influence on the user experience. What’s more, it’s important to keep mental models which include common UI patterns for specific types of products. The thing is that design is often built on the elements which are already familiar to users. Such an approach makes navigation much more intuitive and simple.

 

tubik_photo_app

 

They consider real-life context

 

Being an idealist is not always a good thing, especially for UX masters. It may happen that some designers just forget to consider all the life factors which have the significant impact on UX.

 

A product is often built and tested in comfortable conditions, but people do not always have a chance to use apps in such pleasant environment. The modern world is too rush and people often have lots of tasks to do per minute. However, despite all the circumstances websites and mobile applications need to be enjoyable. Designers have to consider possible disturbances and create UX that way so people could manage everything even without being 100% engaged with a product, especially a mobile application.

 

home budget app case study

 

They are open to new tools

 

Being a profound user of Photoshop or Sketch is a great advantage for a professional still it’s always a good idea to try new tools. It may seem as time waste for some designers so they don’t see a point in it. However, you may be surprised how advanced the new technology can be and what functionality it provides. Learning new tools you’re are not obliged to apply them as the major instruments but you can use them as additional helpers which will be useful in certain situations.

 

They never stop learning

 

UX design is a field which never stays still. Each day brings new ideas and opportunities which designers willingly share around the world. Today there are so many techniques and methods which UX experts apply for creating quality products and it may be hard to keep up with all of them. Nevertheless, for a UX professional, it’s vital to learn as much as they can because this kind of knowledge only improves the professional skills.

 

In addition, designers shouldn’t concentrate only on the design aspects. Learning the wide spectrum of sciences which somehow relate to the design can be extremely helpful in the creative workflow. For example, it is recommended to learn psychology which helps to understand users and their needs as well as learn some basics of programming so that you could have the better vision of product development.

 

tubik-studio-free-ebook-on-design

 

They stay up to date

 

Digital technologies evolve pretty fast and UX experts have to follow the updates. It would be difficult to create the proper design without knowing the peculiarities of the devices it’s meant for. Moreover, the trends in design field are also changing quickly so UX designers need to know what’s on the top now and which solutions step aside.

 

They don’t forget to get inspired

 

Some people may think that UX design is a complex science with the strict rules which doesn’t have a room for creativity. However, it’s a false thought since UX masters never forget to let the imagination out of control. Many original and unique solutions are born due to designers’ open-mindedness and inspiration. That’s why designers always have to charge their creative power with the help of their favorite activities.

 

Book tubik design inspiration

 

To sum up, let’s remember Sean Covey’s words: “We become what we repeatedly do.” Work hard, improve yourself and you will be able to become a master in your field. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

FAQ: Do UX Designers Need to Know Programming and Computer Science?

How Human Memory Works: Tips for UX Designers.

FAQ: Diversity of Design Job

6 Tips How to Apply Information Architecture in UX Design

7 Key Motives to Invest Time and Effort in UX for Digital Product

Gamification in UX. Increasing User Engagement.

User Research. Empathy Is the Best UX Policy.


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

home page design article

Feel Homey. Handy Tips for Home Page Design.

There’s no place like home, they say. And in the growing world of websites for all the needs and aims, it actually works the same. Home page has multiple functions: it’s a card of invitation, a starting point of the journey around the website, a storage of the vital links and data, and a strategic asset for marketing goals. In the majority of cases, it is often the first visual and emotional touch to the website. No doubt, design is one of the core ways to make this touch gentle, smart and helpful. Today we are discussing some effective tips for creating user-friendly home pages.

 

One of our previous articles has already given the insights into the definition, types of content such a page usually includes and basic design strategies increasing home page usability. Continuing the topic, today we are adding more recommendations organized around three essential aspects: information, interaction, and appearance.

usability_interfaces_ux_design_tubik

 

Information

 

To use or not to use? That is the question. In the vast majority of cases, home page is the point of user’s decision. In the early 2000s guru of usability Jacob Nielsen mentioned in his article: «Your homepage is often your first — and possibly your last — chance to attract and retain each customer, rather like the front page of a newspaper.» With all the progress the World Wide Web has witnessed, this position doesn’t change: home page often defines if a user goes further around the website. And it is done not only by beauty and style but first of all by information which is looked for by visitors to the resource. Making it accessible, noticeable and clear, designers grow the chances of positive user experience.

 

In general, home page can include the following data:

  • the nature of the website: the page has to instantly inform users if it’s a company website, blog, e-commerce website, social network, educational platform or anything else;
  • brand or company identity elements: home page requires a recognizable visual presentation distinguishing the website from its competitors. If there is a product, company or brand behind it, webpage design should consistently reflect its identity. In other cases, the website itself should be seen as a brand and apply strategies of identity design for better brand awareness.
  • benefits of the website: it should quickly inform users why the website can be helpful or interesting for them.
  • internal search: many users come to the websites with clear goals, so functionality to search right from the homepage will make interaction highly productive
  • links to the core interaction zones
  • contact data and links to social networks
  • signs of trust: testimonials, reviews, big numbers of presence in social networks etc.

The solution which of the mentioned points are going to be included and how they are going to be spread on the layout should depend on the goals of the website and the research of target audience. Let’s check some tips effective in this aspect.

 

Fill the header with core data

 

As we mentioned in the article about web header design, it is the top part of the webpage, which people see before scrolling the page in the first seconds of introduction to the website. Headers can include a variety of meaningful layout elements, for example:

  • basic elements of brand identity: logo, slogan etc.
  • tagline setting the theme of the website
  • links to the core categories of website content
  • links to the most important social networks
  • basic contact information (telephone number, e-mail etc.)
  • a language switch in case of multilingual interface
  • search field
  • subscription field
  • links to interaction with the product such as trial version, downloading from the AppStore etc.

 

Obviously, it’s impossible to put all the list into one header. Moreover, it’s not a good idea to put everything because the header overloaded with diverse information will distract users’ attention. As Aarron Walter said in his book, «If everything yells for your viewer’s attention, nothing is heard». That is why the choice which information goes to the header and what it looks like arises on the solid ground of communication between a designer, a stakeholder and a marketing specialist. Header is the top zone of early interaction: eye-tracking studies show that the web page is mostly scanned starting from it. So decide, which elements are primary to achieve website goals and use the limited space of header for them. For example, on a news website or a big e-commerce platform search field is crucial for positive UX while on a small company website it may be not needed at all.

 

tubik_studio_structure

 

Apply informative tagline

 

Don’t think the users are going to wander around the website trying to set why it’s useful for them. Being surrounded by the thousands of websites, they may get away at the first seconds if they don’t see a clear reason to stay. So, give it to them — it’s the time for a tagline. In marketing terms, it is the name of a short and catchy phrase that summarizes the benefits or gives the description of the website. Including the keywords setting the proper theme and taking the place on the first level of visual hierarchy for the page, the tagline will quickly inform users why the website is worth their attention.

 

booking_service_ui_tubik

 

Enable users to contact with duty holders

 

Home page is usually the place where people expect to find the contact info any time they need it. The most popular placement for it is footer, the bottom part of the page. However, if any kind of contact data is core for conversion, it’s logical to put in the pre-scroll area or even a header. For example, if the website presents the delivery service or online shop, users may want to call more frequently and this ability will have a direct impact on conversion rate. Meanwhile, for an entertainment or news resource, it may be not that crucial so it’s placed in zones of less active interaction. However, in any case, the contact data should be available from home. Among other reasons, it is one of the factors influencing the level of trust to the website.

 

Contacts can be presented in various formats. They can reveal the data such as phone number and location, emails, links to messengers, contact forms and instant chat window. Making the phone numbers clickable is supportive as many users now browse from their smartphones and may want to call right from there. The address can be also clickable opening the screenshot or map showing how to find the location. The solutions have to be based on thoughful user research setting target audience’s expectations, level of tech literacy and the most convenient ways of contact for them. For instance, if your target audience is teenagers, just giving the phone number may be not effective as they really stick to messengers and social networks. At the same time, if your users are elderly people, social networks may not work in comparison to a phone number.

 

Make call-to-action element instantly visible

 

Unlike the landing pages, focused on narrow and concise goals, home page contents are quite diverse. That’s why it’s important for a UX designer to care how users will see what they really need to see in all that mass of data. No doubt, it cannot happen that all, let’s say, fifty available links on the home page are equally important. So, to make the page usable, all the interactive elements in the layout should be prioritized. Visually, it can be done via the rules of visual hierarchy so that users could see the key things first. And among them, call-to-action elements should be noticed instantly. Otherwise, there will be loss in conversion not because users didn’t want to do the action but because they didn’t find how to do it.

web design UI concept tubik studio

 

Interaction

 

The next aspect to consider is interaction — the way how users perceive, process and interact with the information they find on the home page as well as the website in general. The next set of tips is all about that.

 

Check scannability and mind eye-tracking models

 

It’s not a secret that users first scan pages and only then make a decision if they want to get dip into details. Interface designers are highly recommended to study eye-tracking models which are now described in numerous publications, with the most prominent contribution by Nielsen Norman Blog sharing the results of actual experiments in that sphere for a couple of decades. In brief, researchers mention three typical models of scanning: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern. In case you want to get more, we have given detailed descriptions in an earlier article, so now let’s just check them on schemes.

reading pattern

Guttenberg Pattern is quite typical for the web pages with the uniform presentation of information and weak visual hierarchy.

reading pattern zig-zag

Z-pattern and the presented zig-zag version is typical for pages with visually divided content blocks. 

 

f_reading_pattern_eyetracking

F-pattern natural for pages with massive presence of copy content

 

Scannability of web pages is enhanced with visual hierarchy that enables designers to show the content in terms of its priority and navigates user from the core zones to the secondary ones. Scannability is one of the parameters to be carefully tested all the time as it has a great impact on usability of the page and its problem-solving potential.

 

Remember that patterns are user’s friends

 

Every creative person feels the urge to apply the original and unique solutions and think out-of-the-box all the time. However, make not to go too far on that way. Remember that the website is made not for creative contests or gallery of fame but for real users. As we mentioned in the post about social networks design, the power of habit in terms of user experience can be stronger than the wish of revolution. Surely, the dose of wow-effect is needed, but not so much to knock down the user. On home page, too much of design revolution might confuse and scare: if the first page is so hard to understand, user thinks, what’s going to be next? Study the habits of interaction and typical products for that particular target audience to make their habits their power. Strive for the balance between innovation and traditions.

 

bookshop website animation

 

Make the search field easily accessible

 

As we said above, search means much, especially for the users coming to the resource with a clear understanding what they want. A/B testing can support the analysis of its most productive placement on the page layout. It can be a small search field, an icon in the header, a long horizontal field across the page as we have here in Tubik Blog. The main thing is to make it noticeable and clear so that users didn’t waste their time.

 

Use different menus and interaction zones

 

As home pages can provide a variety of links, tabs, fields and buttons, they should be grouped in different menus and zones instead of being given as the list of links. For example, double menu in the header can present two layers of navigation. We have shown the example of such a trick in the case study for a bakery website design. The website uses a sticky header which has two levels of navigation. The upper menu shows the links to social networks, the logo, search, shopping cart and hamburger button hiding the extended menu. The second line of navigation gives instant connection to the core interaction areas: products catalog, locations for the point-of-sales, news and special offers, information about the service and contact section. Visual and typographic hierarchy makes all the elements clear and easily scanned providing solid ground for quick interaction right from home page.

Bakery website design case study tubik

 

 

Make the home page accessible from any point of the website

 

Home is usually the foundation of the website structure. So, users need to have a chance to get back home from any page they are on. Check it when all the pages are designed not to miss this obvious still vital interaction.

 

Don’t direct all the outer traffic to home page

 

For simple one-page websites this question is not actual: indeed, they represent only a home page which satisfies one or multiple functions and there is no other place where the traffic could be directed from the outer sources. The same happens if the website is not complex, home is not overloaded with diverse links and navigation elements, so conversion can be reached right from it while other pages play secondary roles. In this case directing all the traffic to the most informative part of the site, which also enables a user to accomplish necessary action and get what they need, is a good idea.

 

However, for complex websites and platforms, especially if they satisfy multiple needs of broad target audience, this approach can be the step killing profitability and reducing conversion rates. The user can get scared, distracted or even annoyed with the amount of information they have to get through to find what they need, especially if focused on a particular narrow goal. Using landing pages in the case when you need to concentrate user’s attention on something specific can be the efficient way of solving this problem. Landing page is focused on one item, to make it quickly found and reduce delays when target user seeks for specific operations, services or items. This is the issue of especially high importance in the case of e-commerce websites when unwise design solutions bring to poor user experience and financial losses.

 

design agency landing page

 

Appearance

 

The third set of tips is concentrated on the page looks. No doubt, the recommendations are applicable for any kind of webpage, still, on home page, they tend to be more influential.

 

Be stringent in color choice

 

Color is power which can either strengthen or ruin other design decisions. Choosing the color palette, remember that colors influence user perception. Studying color psychology is helpful to make choices that transfer the right message. Attention to traditional color theory will help to find the color combinations that will look elegant and harmonic. One more popular issue is choosing between light or dark background: the solution is mostly based on the type of content website presents. Text-based websites usually use light and airy interfaces while visual-based ones can apply dark background to make the images look deeper and more stylish.

 

Apply recognizable visual prompts and associations

 

Being full of data, home pages usually include the variety of icons and illustrations. Choosing them, always test their recognizability and check if they build right associations. If there is the risk of double meaning or culture differences of target audience, supporting the icons or illustrations with a short copy might be helpful.

 

web design florist store ecommerce

 

Mind the typography issues and readability

 

Choice of fonts and their combination determine not only style but also readability of the home page. Even more, fonts, as well as colors, are also powerful in forming the mood of the page, from entertaining to business-like. So take your time to test various combinations and find the one which corresponds to the nature of the website as well as other design elements.

 

Strengthen the page with a prominent visual

 

Most users are visually driven and perceive messages given in images faster than words. That is why applying custom theme illustrations, high-quality photos or hero banners is a profitable step for a home page. The image of that kind will work as a quick hook catching users attention and transferring the necessary idea. However, overloading home page with images will make none of them effective.

 

financial_service_website_tubik

 

Think about motion and video

 

Another way to support interesting experience on home page is applying videos and animations. On the one hand, motion breathes life into the page, makes it more dynamic and lively, always draws attention. On the other hand, it can increase loading time. Moreover, too much animation annoys users. So, motion should be added in unobtrusive way and thoroughly check in terms of its effect on page functionality.

 

Test the loading speed

 

Whatever brilliant, stylish and breathtaking the page is designed, whatever cool and intuitive is navigation and information architecture — all those things won’t work if users have to wait while it’s loading. For the home page filled with various data, too long time of loading means losing the part of target audience. So, check the speed, optimize the images, make sure video and animation loads up correctly. Caring about this aspect, you respect your users’ time and effort and lay the ground for positive user experience.

 

tubik studio ice ui website

 

Obviously, not all the list of mentioned tips is actual for every single project: approaches can differ as well as audience and goals of the created websites. Yet, it may become a helpful checklist for web designers striving for home page usability.

 

Useful articles

 

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

Best Practices for Website Header Design

Home Sweet Home. Strategies of Home Page Design.

9 Effective Tips on Visual Hierarchy

Color Matters. 6 Tips on Choosing UI Colors.

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

8 Typography Tips For Designers: How to Make Fonts Speak.


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tips on visual hierarchy in design

9 Effective Tips on Visual Hierarchy

Sufficient visual hierarchy is a foundation of a successful digital product. It helps to organize UI elements in an effective way so that content would be easy to comprehend and pleasant to see. The presentation of visual elements has a great impact on user experience. If the components are organized wisely, users navigate and interact with a product without efforts and enjoy the process.

 

So, what makes powerful visual hierarchy? Of course, different kinds of products require different methods of building it still there are some common solutions helpful for UI content organization. Today’s article provides useful tips on creating the compelling visual hierarchy for web and mobile products.

 

Keep business goals in mind

 

There are often business goals standing behind a digital product. To achieve them, creative team needs to work out which UI elements are more important and prioritize them according to their roles. For example, all the elements on e-commerce websites perform the tasks of various levels. The item images are usually the main eye-catchers since they have to encourage customers to consider it. A heading goes after the image explaining what it is and the next important stage is a CTA button calling people to buy an item. By considering business and marketing goals set for the website or app, the creative team can effectively prioritize visual content and make a product stand out the crowd.

 

design agency landing page

Design Agency Landing Page

 

Consider scanning patterns

 

In our previous articles, we mentioned that before reading a web page people scan it to get a sense of whether they are interested. Different studies, including the ones by Nielsen Norman Group , have revealed several popular scanning patterns among which “F” and “Z”-shaped.

 

F-pattern appears mainly on digital pages or screens with the big amount of content such as blogs, news platforms etc. Users’ eyes move in F-shape: first, they scan a horizontal line on the top of the screen, then move down the page a bit and read across the shorter horizontal line, finishing with the vertical line down on the left side of the copy where people look for keywords in the paragraphs’ initial sentences.

 

Z-shaped pattern takes place on the pages which are not so heavily concentrated on copy or those which don’t require scrolling down. The pattern is the following: people first scan across the head of the page starting from the top left corner, searching for core information, and then go down to the opposite corner at a diagonal, finishing with the horizontal line at the bottom of the page from its left to right.

 

Knowing these patterns designers organize content putting all the core UI elements on the most scanned spots to draw users’ attention.

 

Functionality first

 

The visual hierarchy may seem to be oriented only to the aesthetic aspects but it’s not like that. First of all, by structuring and organizing visual elements designers need to make sure a product is clear to use and the navigation works right. The visual hierarchy which is built exceptionally on aesthetics can’t work effectively. User interface with the badly structured content leads to the bad UX. So, while building visual hierarchy designers need to consider what functions of UI elements and a role they play in the navigation process.

 

landing page UI design tubik studio

Seafood Recipes Landing Page

 

White space is a visual element

 

White space, or negative space, is not just an area between design elements, it is actually a core component of each visual composition. It is a tool able to make all the user interface elements noticeable to users’ eyes. Designers can group or separate UI components so that they could create the effective layout. Moreover, negative space helps to emphasize particular elements which require deep attention from users. White space is an effective instrument for creating visual hierarchy so designers need to work on its balanced usage.

 

landing page web design

Colony Landing Page

 

Apply the golden ratio

 

We devoted one of our latest articles to the golden ratio applied in design. It is a mathematical proportion of the elements of different sizes which is thought to be the most aesthetically pleasing for human eyes. The proportion equals 1:1.618 and it is often illustrated with seashell-shaped spirals which many of you could have probably seen.

 

Designers often apply golden ratio at the stage of wireframing. It helps to plan a structure for the layout placing and sizing user interface elements in the right proportion which will be pleasant for users.

 

golden ratio in ui design

Tracking Widget

 

Use a grid

 

A grid is one of the key tools applied at the different stages of the creative process and visual hierarchy is not an exception. A grid helps to structure all the components and put them into the appropriate sizes and proportion. What’s more, designers can effectively work with the negative space since a grid shows if the elements are placed proportionally and even.

 

Add some colors

 

Color choice and combinations are essential for visual hierarchy as they help users to distinguish the core elements. The thing is that colors have their own hierarchy which is defined by the power of influence on users’ mind. There are bold colors such as red and orange as well as the weak ones like white and cream. Bold colors are easy to notice so designers often use them as the means of highlighting or setting contrast.

 

Moreover, applying one color to the several elements you can show that they are somehow connected. For example, you can choose a red color for purchase buttons so that people could intuitively find them when they need.

 

financial_service_website_tubik

Financial Service Website

 

Pay attention to the fonts

 

Visual hierarchy includes a core subsection called typographic hierarchy which aims at modifying and combining fonts to build the contrast between the most meaningful and prominent copy elements which should be noticed first and ordinary text information. The fonts can be transformed by regulating sizes, colors, and families as well as their alignment. Different fonts can divide copy content into different levels so that users could perceive the information gradually. However, designers are recommended to keep the number of fonts within three since too many fonts look messy and make the design inconsistent.

 

Three levels for web, two for mobile

 

As we mentioned above, different fonts form typographic levels which consist of such elements as headlines, subheaders, body copy, call-to-action elements, and captions. There are three typographic levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The first one includes the biggest type and aims at drawing people’s attention to the core information on the screen. The next level provides copy elements which are easily scanned and help users navigate through the content. The tertiary level usually applies body text and some additional data which is presented via relatively small type.

 

In many cases, web products include all three levels since they are more likely to provide the big amount of content. On the other hand, designers are recommended to keep the number of layers within two while creating typography for mobile. The small screens don’t provide enough space for three levels so the elements of a secondary level such as subheaders have to step aside to make mobile UI look clean.

 

UI animation wine app

WineYard App

 

Effective visual hierarchy is not only about aesthetics. It aims at providing problem-solving navigation and interaction systems as well as friendly user experience. To create a sufficient visual hierarchy, designers need to organize all UI elements considering the functionality and business goals.

 

Useful articles

 

The topic of visual hierarchy is wide and complex, so we gathered some helpful articles revealing various aspects.

 

Visual Hierarchy: Effective UI Content Organization.

Golden Ratio. Bring Balance in UI Design.

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

Tips on Applying Copy Content in User Interfaces

Information Architecture. Basics for Designers.

Typography in UI: Guide for Beginners.

 


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psychology of shapes in design tubik article

Knock Design Into Shape. Psychology of Shapes.

The success of any visual composition highly relates to how people perceive it. There are many factors influencing human perception and the significant part goes to psychology. In one of our articles, we’ve already discussed the role of psychological principles in design and described how useful they can be on the way to understanding users.

 

The aspect which we want to cover in today’s article is called the psychology of shapes. Let’s see what this direction studies and how it can help designers in the creative process.

 

Psychology of shapes

 

All the visual objects can be analyzed in terms of shape. For example, an average house may be perceived as a rectangle with a triangle on the top and the sun is often presented like a circle with lines around it. People may not always notice what figures and shapes surround them still they have a great impact on our consciousness and behavior. The science studying the influence of shapes on people is known as the psychology of shapes.

 

The study claims that each shape has its own meaning and influences our mind and reactions differently. There are many psychological tests which are used to define the personality or mental condition via shapes. For example, a favorite figure can tell about person’s character traits, a quickly chosen shape can show what’s on the mind.

 

Many years of research and tests have helped professionals to define what meaning each shape typically brings and how it can influence human perception. Let’s take a closer look.

 

animated tutorial

Social network tutorial animation

 

Geometric shapes meaning

 

Hearing the word shape most people think about geometric figures first. There are plenty of geometric shapes which people see daily including squares, circles, rectangles and others. But what do they mean? Let’s see.

 

Squares and Rectangles

 

These two shapes are thought to be the most commonly used. We see them many and many times per a day. The walls and furniture, books or monitors, cell phones and cameras as well as many other everyday things have square or rectangular shape. Straight lines and right angles of these two shapes give a sense of reliability and security. People strongly associate squares and rectangles with buildings the reason why they bring the feeling of trust and authority.

 

Common meanings:

  • discipline
  • strength
  • courage
  • security
  • reliability

 

tubik_photo_app

Photo App

 

Triangles

Triangle is an energetic and dynamic shape which is always associated with motion and direction. The lines are placed that way so our eyes automatically move to the top of a triangle or in the direction it is placed. Triangles can have different meanings. An upright triangle brings the feelings of stability and balance but the reversed one looks risky and ready to fall giving people a sense of tense.

 

Common meanings:

  • excitement
  • risk
  • danger
  • balance
  • stability

 

Circles, ovals, and ellipses

 

The first and foremost meaning of this shape is the eternity since they have no beginning or end. The circle has a long association with the sun and Earth as well as other cosmic objects while ellipse is similar to the whole universe. That’s why round shapes may give the feeling of magic and mystery. In addition, unlike the previous shapes circles don’t have angles so it makes them softer and milder.

 

Common meanings:

  • eternity
  • female
  • universe
  • magic
  • mystery

 

tubik_art_courses_app

Art Courses App

 

Spirals

 

These shapes can be often seen in nature, for example, shells and some flowers, the reason why it’s often associated with the circle of life and growth. Also, in some cultures, spirals may represent the knowledge or information. In modern society, they are seen as a sign of creativity and a fresh mind.

 

Common meanings:

  • growth
  • creativity
  • calmness
  • intelligence

 

Big City Guide Madrid tubik

Big City Guide

 

Natural shapes meaning

 

All the things created by mother nature have their unique shape. Leaves, flowers, trees, animals, and many other representatives of flora and fauna become the source of inspiration for artists and designers. Natural shapes have clear meanings of the plants and animals which they symbolize. They often bring the feeling of refreshment and unity with the natural environment. In addition, animals and plants can also have their own characteristics and symbols. For example, a rose is a flower of love and passion, while a lion is a symbol of pride and bravery but this is another topic to discuss.

 

Common meanings:

  • originality
  • organic
  • balance
  • refreshment

 

andre landscape tubik studio logo design

Andre landscape logo option

 

Abstract shapes meaning

 

They are usually visual symbols of abstract ideas or simplified versions of natural shapes. Some abstract shapes can be too difficult to recognize because they are stylized and only small details give a hint to what it is. One abstract shape often has both direct and figurative meanings.It is often used in graphic design, especially for logos and icons. Abstract shapes are an effective way to transfer a message quickly without text.

 

Common meanings:

  • the duality of meaning
  • uniqueness
  • elaborate.

 

wedding_theme_website_ui_design_tubik

Wedding theme

 

How designers use psychology of shapes

 

Shapes are essential elements in all design directions. They can serve as components of a visual composition as well as a content organizing tool which divides or connects design elements into groups. To make the sophisticated design, experts need to consider the meaning of shapes and the impact which they have on users’ mind.

 

Graphic designers often deal with small but meaningful elements such as logo and icons. A powerful logo needs to convey the right message which would serve as the brand voice. If the shapes are chosen appropriately for a logo, they will assist to convey the right mood without additional words. For example, in case of a logo for a financial company, one of the approaches can be applying to apply the shapes which convey the feeling of trust and balance such as square or triangle.

 

Various shapes are often found in user interfaces of digital products. They can be used as buttons or icons as well as applied to organize the content on the layout. For instance, text blocks are often gathered in a rectangular or square shape which allows users to quickly scan copy. Using different shapes designers can create effective information architecture for a product. The elements of the layout may be structured in certain shapes so that make users’ eyes easily find core information. For example, if we place the content in a triangular shape placing the vital component on its top, people’ eyes will automatically go to the peak.

web design UI concept tubik studio

The Big Landscape

 

Psychology of shapes plays a big role in typography. There is a great number of typefaces and all of them have their individual impact on visual perception. Some kinds apply round shapes as a dominant and they seem more feminine and mild unlike those with straight lines and sharp angles which are more formal and sometimes aggressive. That’s why it’s important to pay attention what shapes are dominant in a chosen font to avoid a conflict between the context and visual presentation.

 

The human mind is full of secrets and it’s often hard to predict possible reactions. However, the science of psychology helps designers be prepared and comprehend how our brain works, at least at some basic level. Knowing psychology of shapes designers are able to create proficient logos along with problem-solving user interfaces for web and mobile products.

 

Recommended reading

 

Color in Design: Influence on Users’ Actions.

Psychology in Design. Principles Helping to Understand Users.


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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-centered 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 for 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 a great factor of usability and desirability. Today we would like to share some advice and techniques which could become supportive of 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 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 kinds 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, its 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 in copy while words representing numerals can be missed 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. Common 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 for 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: 

  • 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 is its effective visual presentation 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

Source
 

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.


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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.


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gamification in UI UX tubik blog

Gamification in UX. Missions and Challenges.

A life is always full of challenges and that what makes us self-improve again and again. The same pattern works with digital products. When users have challenges to handle and missions to attain, they have reasons to come back to an app or website.

 

In our previous articles, we described the role of gamification (the technique of exerting game mechanics into the non-game environment) in UX. Also, we explored one of the game mechanics called user journey. Today’s article is devoted to a mission and a challenge as two effective gamification elements. Let’s see how they can be applied in a digital product and what solutions they can bring for the efficient UX.

 

Mission and challenge as game mechanics

 

Every game provides missions and challenges to the players so that their journey would be exciting and interesting. People go from one mission to another handling different challenges on their way. Accomplishing the levels players grow from beginners to professionals which helps them feel more confident in the world of this game. These game mechanics have the same effect on apps and websites.

 

Users need the motivation to return to a digital product every day. One of the most powerful motives which move people to do something is a desire to prove that we are able to handle any kind of challenges. So, why not to make a good use of it? Let’s see what mission and challenge are in terms of product UX.

 

upper app UI design case study

Upper App

 

Mission

 

A mission is basically a task which users need to complete. Missions serve as guidelines which help users adapt within a product. People learn how to use an app and improve their skills by accomplishing one mission after another. There are also repeatable missions which can return every day, week, month or any other interval. This kind of game mechanics keeps users motivated and engaged daily and makes them constantly go back to a product.

 

Challenge

 

Challenges can be compared to the stairways which lead users to the end of a mission. In other words, they are mini-tasks which people need to do to complete a major task. For example, users have a mission to gain a new level of user proficiency so that they could have an access to extra features of a product. To complete the task, users have to handle certain challenges such as visiting a website daily during a week.

 

A mission and a challenge are effective game elements motivating people to take an action which can be great tools on the way for UX improvement. To enhance their effect, it may be a good idea to use some kind of rewards, so that users could feel even more motivated.

 

Mission and challenge in digital products

 

To delve deeper into the topic, let’s see some practical examples of how and where missions and challenges can be applied as effective UX boosting tools.

 

home budget app case study

Home Budget app

 

First of all, we need to say that these game mechanics are widely used for educational applications. Learning itself is often a difficult process which requires persistence and motivation to get things done right. That’s why one of the main tasks of educational apps is to keep the learners interested and motivated all the time.

 

Various missions and challenges can work as powerful motivators for people. Game elements are able to make educational process more dynamic and exciting especially for young learners. What kind of a mission and challenges to choose depends on the type of educational material. For example, language learning apps can challenge the users in learning of a certain number of words per a day.

 

Another sphere of human life where people challenge themselves day by day is a sport. Fitness apps are useful helpers for both amateurs and professional sportsmen. They track our activities as well as show how a body reacts to physical exertion. So, why not to add the element of fun? Providing new missions and challenges, fitness apps help people self-improve their sports skills and reach greater heights.

 

fitness app UI design tubik

Fitness App

 

One more example of applying mission and challenges in digital products is alarm apps. To be more specific, let’s see a practical case of the app called Toonie. It’s is a simple alarm app for iOS which wakes people up whenever they need it. The thing that makes it stand out of the crowd is custom stickers which users receive as a reward for handling challenges such as waking up at the certain time. This way users turn into collectors and take one challenge after another to gather all the stickers available.

 

toonie alarm stickers ios tubik

Toonie Alarm app

 

These are only a few examples of how missions and challenges are applied in products. Designers can experiment with game mechanics and apply them to the most ordinary digital products. This way they may add the element of uniqueness.

 

When and why to apply mission and challenge

 

To define if missions and challenges suit your project, let’s see what solutions they may bring to UX.

  • Missions help to onboard users which only start their journey. They guide people assisting to adapt within a new interaction and navigation system.
  • When users accomplish tasks from applications, they achieve different life goals. For example, taking challenges such as doing squats every day, they move forward to their big life goal — getting fit.
  • Challenges are strong motivators which induce users to take the expected actions. They are the effective tools assisting to increase user engagement.
  • Game elements such as a mission and challenge add interactivity to digital products.
  • They can bring the element of fun to an ordinary product making it stand out of the crowd.
  • Missions and challenges make people return to an app or website more often because some tasks require constant actions within a product.

 

Animated stickers mood messenger design tubik

Animated stickers for Mood Messenger

 

Gamification may not work well for some products. Everything depends on the business goals which stand behind a product as well as the solutions which it brings to users. Before you start gamification process, you need to consider the peculiarities of a target audience and learn if the game elements respond to the users’ needs.

 

— Make sure if the potential users will have time and desire to take the challenges. In some cases, people just need to use a product quickly and leave it till the next.

— Missions and challenges should be optional to attain. Even if the target audience is inclined to challenges, there is still a part which would prefer to skip the tasks.

— Keep the level of gamification in balance. Depending on the type of a product choose the number of missions and challenges as well as their level of difficulty.

 

gamification in UI UX tubik blog

Night in Berlin App

 

Motivation is a powerful engine that makes people move forward. Challenges and missions are the game mechanics serving as motivators for users. The curiosity and excitement drive people to continue performing various the missions and handling and spend more time on an app or a website. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

Gamification in UX. Increasing User Engagement.

Gamification Mechanics in UX: Smart User Journey.

Gamification

Challenge Accepted! The role of challenge for gameful design


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