Tag Archives: user experience

UI design for photo editor

Picture Perfect. UI Screens for Photo Editors.

Designers know so much about graphic editing art, so it seems like a pleasure and honor for them to take part in the creation of photo editing services. There are many photo editors both web and mobile but all of them stand for the quality photos. They can be not only an independent digital product but also a part of the applications or websites with the wide functionality such as Instagram. Realizing how complicated the process of image edition can be, design experts try to create an effective instrument which would make things easier. The article describes common UI screens for photo editing services. For graphic support, we used here some screens from our design project for Ribbet

 

photo editor interface design

 

Home screen

 

Home screen, or main screen, is a core part of any user interface since it’s a place where users start to interact with a product. Its content and structure can vary depending on the type of a photo editing service.

 

Web photo editors along with desktop applications usually apply home screen as one and major page where users can reach all the features. Traditionally, a photo is placed at the center of the layout so that users could see it in the details. Due to the size of web and desktop page, designers can put the key functionality into a single page. They are often placed into the left sidebar which allows controlling the space effectively and makes the interactions easier and faster. Moreover, if a photo editor isn’t oriented to the professional designers or photographers and provides only the essential features, the instruments can be presented as minimalistic icons.

 

Mobile photo editing apps are not that simple to create and require deep attention to the structure planning. Considering the fact that mobile devices have small screens, a mobile photo editor can’t include all the tools together, so designers need to separate them.

 

Ribbet ui by Tubik studio

 

Let’s see the detailed description of the interfaces introducing the major tools.

 

Photo editing

 

The number of features in photo editors varies depending on the target audience. Some of them are created for experts in this field which means the services need to provide a wide range of instruments so that professionals could do complicated transformations. On the other hand, there are many digital products which allow making photographs beautiful even if you don’t have special skills.

 

Traditionally, mobile editors are oriented to the non-expert audience so they usually don’t provide many tools at once. There is a list of image editing tools which are essential for this kind of application. Let’s look at the common functions and UI solution helping to represent them effectively.

 

photo editor interface design screens

 

Cropping

 

One of the basic features is cropping. It often happens that there is too much unwanted space around the object on a photo and we need to remove it. Cropping is a quick way to get rid of unnecessary space on the photo which takes minimum efforts. Designers usually present a tool in a shape of a rectangle which users can scale and move. The spare area is darkened so that it could be easy to distinguish. Even if an app is oriented to users with a very basic level of tech literacy, it may be a good idea to add the information about the size of a photo on the screen. It can be shown in pixels or inches allowing users to see the size the image after the operation. The action of cropping, as well as the other functionality, should be confirmed to avoid accidental changes.

 

Alignment and rotating

 

Taking photos we don’t always have a chance to build a perfect composition since we often need to catch some important moments immediately and an image may look not as good as we wish. That’s why photo editing apps need to provide the possibility to align images. The alignment screen requires some guides assisting to see if visual elements are placed even so it usually contains a grid. To make the process effortless, designers place the horizontal scale with a slider in the middle of it. Users can move the slider to the left or right to bring the balance into a composition. In addition, a slider can be followed by the degree showing how much you inclined a picture.

 

If a photo is taken in a hurry, there is a chance it would be upside-down. Rotation feature may not always be presented as a separate screen. The tool can be combined with another one in a single layout since its functionality doesn’t take much place. It usually takes one or two icons in a shape of a rounded arrow which indicates the direction. Commonly, it’s combined with alignment or cropping screen.

 

photo editor interactions UI design

 

Saturation and exposure settings

 

Color is a major factor influencing visual perception. To make photos more pleasant for the eyes, it’s vital to set the colors appropriately. The settings UI usually includes several horizontal scales with sliders. Each scale is responsible for a particular aspect which includes brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, and lights. Also, photo editors often allow enhancing or decreasing certain colors. There are three common ways to present saturation settings. First is a long horizontal scale which applies all basic colors and can be chosen with a slider. Another option includes applying color wheel with a wide range of colors. It helps users accurately choose proper shades. And the third way is presenting several horizontal scales which consist of two colors each. The color pair applies two opposite colors so that users could easily decrease the unnecessary dominating colors.

 

case study ribbet logo branding design

 

Filters and effects

 

Some users can’t stand bothering with color settings because it may take some time before they reach the desired outcome. That’s why photo editing apps provide a great spectrum of filters and effects. People can make a black and white or vintage photo within a tap and it makes the process effortless even for the most impatient users. Filters and effects UI is simple. A photo is placed at the center of the layout and the filters are presented via miniatures at the bottom of the screen. Miniatures give an idea of how the filters and effects look so that users wouldn’t be forced to check all of them.

 

Frames

 

Photo frames existed long before the digital photography and they don’t lose the actuality. However, today people mostly use them as the decoration for digital images. The layout of frames interface is similar to filters and effects — the example of frames are shown as miniatures at the bottom. Also, the screen requires a tool which will help to regulate the width of frames such as scale.

 

Collage

 

Collage is known as a collection of photos that are combined to make a single picture. Along with photos, a collage can usually include frames, stickers, text or custom background. This screen differs from the others because it applies several photos. Photo editor apps need to help users quickly create a pretty collage so the key part of the layout is different templates.

 

Collage samples vary by the number of photos as well as the structure. Users can choose the perfect template and then download chosen pictures. The templates can be shown differently. Web photo editing services often apply a sidebar showing samples via clickable icons. As for mobile applications, the templates can be put on a separate screen so that users could see them well. When people choose a collage sample the application leads them to the editing interface where the creative process starts.

 

ribbet-collage

 

Effective UI for photo editing services helps non-designers make beautiful photos without significant efforts. Designers’ task is to organize and present all the features that way so that everyone could do the editing intuitively.

 

Recommended reading

 

Mobile UI Design: 15 Basic Types of Screens.

Feel the Beat. UI Design for Music Streaming Services.

Spectacular Design. Elements of Cinema App UI.

Keep Fit. UI Design for Fitness Apps.

UX Design for E-Commerce: Principles and Strategies.


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

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

strategies for ecommerce ui design

11 Profitable Strategies for E-Commerce UI Design

Ratings of e-commerce are booming and rocketing. People are getting more and more confident in buying things online. The report by BigCommerce on customers buying habits in 2016-2017 shows really interesting stats about online shopping:

 

  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online
  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone
  • E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website
  • Online orders increase 8.9% in Q3 2016, but average order value (AOV) increased only 0.2% — indicating that transactional growth is outpacing total revenue.

 

The numbers above still haven’t stopped their increasing. That wouldn’t be reasonable for any business to ignore such global trends having a great impact on profits and reaching customers. For the last couple of years here in Tubik we see the obvious and logical growth of interest from big and small businesses in establishing their presence online via websites and/or mobile applications. Based on our experience and the research of the sphere, today we offer you the article telling a bit more about strategies and best practices in UI design for e-commerce.

 

So, let’s start with the 11 points which are important to consider when you are designing e-commerce user interfaces.

 

ux design for ecommerce tubik blog

 

1. Make the branding instantly visible

 

From the business perspective, branding is a crucial thing: it enables to provide a product, company or service with a recognizable face and personality.  In general terms, branding 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.

 

Branding tends to be essential in an e-commerce user interface design, especially if stakeholders want to use the digital product as the additional flow of customer attraction. Moreover, identity integrated thoughtfully into the interface is the effective way to increase brand awareness. The time taken for proper market and user research, target audience definition, competition analysis and development of brand identity on the basis of all that data by a professional designer is a worthy investment. If that’s done before launching the process of UI design, the product gets higher chances of becoming recognizable faster and easier.

 

In this case, UI designer working on the interface, its color palette, shapes, types and fonts, illustrations and icons, will consider design solutions appropriate and corresponding to the general branding concept of the product that will make them mutually supporting each other. It provides more natural and harmonic feeling of the brand in general and the particular interface as an integral part of this brand.

 

There are numerous ways to add branding to the interface, still some layout zones and elements which have the highest potential in this issue:

 

Headers. In the article about website header design, we showed in detail that headers present the area of high visibility. So putting strategically important elements of branding in it is a good way to strengthen its memorability.

 

Splash screens. In mobile applications, splash screen or welcome screen is the first screen seen by a user while the application is loading and starting. It’s a good idea to use a logo, mascot or any other thing setting the instant visual connection with a brand. Moreover, adding a bit of wow-effect with slight stylish animation, it’s easy to make the sign even more attractive and memorable.

 

Preloaders and pull-to-refresh indicators. These are the elements which show the flow of the current loading process on the app or website. Branding applied elegantly in them can add much into the consistency of both UI and identity design.

 

MascotsMascots are images, usually personified, which often represent the brand, product or service identity and can be its symbolic convention in all the application or website. Mascots push the limits of personification and give the chance to create the unexpected combinations of elements or make fantastic and non-existing characters alive. A mascot becomes the element of identity and inter-connector between the user and the product. In many cases, it is the basic element of communication and interaction delivering the necessary message to the user.

 

jewellery ecommerce app UI

 

2. Set clear and easy navigation as the core task

 

In the article on UX design for ecommerce, we stated: whatever an amazing website or app is, whatever the stylish and trendy design and breathtaking images it features, its success will be measured not by the number of «wows». The efficiency is analyzed simply — by the number of complete purchases. If users don’t buy, design means nothing while stakeholders lose their money. Clear intuitive navigation plays the premier violin here. At every step of interaction, users need to understand clearly plenty of simple things, like:

  • what company or brand they are dealing with
  • what page they are at
  • where the menu is
  • how they can get back to home page or catalog
  • where the search and filters are
  • how long the page-loading process is going to take
  • how they can see the detailed information about the item
  • how they can choose between the option for the same item (color, size etc.)
  • how they can pay for the item
  • how they can save the items they would like to get back to later
  • how they can contact the seller
  • how they can see the rating and reviews of previous buyers etc.

 

gourmet_website_interactions_tubik

 

3. Check the scannability of the page or screen

 

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. Knowing the eye-tracking models, Gestalt principles and laws of visual hierarchy, designers and information architects can put the core data and interaction elements to the zones of high and natural visibility.

 

Calls to action (CTA), in particular, should be instantly seen in the first seconds on the page or screen. In the interfaces for e-commerce, CTA elements are the core factor of effective interaction with the product playing the crucial role in usability and navigability and therefore in getting profits. 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 increases the risk of poor conversion rate and general user experience.

 

4. Minimize user’s efforts whenever its possible

 

The respect to the customer lies not in pouring out your thanks. The real respect is in saving users’ time and effort day in and day out. Here are some design practices which can make the interface effort-saving:

 

Show related products. Seen on the item page as recommendations close to the features of this particular product can make the process of search and browsing much faster for users. However, it’s vital to check together with developers that this section really works according to the algorithm which shows suitable items, not random ones.

 

Strive for a minimal number of clicks. If going from page to page or jumping from screen to screen is not a part of the journey into the sales funnel, save every users’ click possible. Too many operations are tiring and annoying which is a kind of negative emotion. And emotions have a huge influence on user experience and make retaining users much harder.  Minimize the number of clicks on the way of choosing and buying whenever it’s possible — this way you respect user’s time better than politest words of thanks.

 

Simplify the sign-in process. Imagine the situation when you got to the amazing website selling the goods of your dream, and they are presented in such a stylish way that you want to buy them at once. But when you click the button «Buy», you are taken to the huge long from which you have to fill in to register on that website. That will cool down your hot wish to buy everything right here, right now, isn’t it? You change from the state «Take my money, give me that» to «Really? 20 points to fill in before I can buy?» in split seconds. Not all the users will survive that transformation and the website or app will lose a part of buyers. So, it’s necessary to make the sign-in/log-in process as simple as possible.

 

User shape and color marking to group the items or types of content. Color and shape codes enable designers to apply Gestalt principle of similarity not only on one screen or page but on the whole app or website. Color or shape markers simplify navigation and keep the consistency of design enabling users to remember the prompts and find the content they want easily. For e-commerce platforms which are usually full of numerous items, it can make the interface much more user-friendly.

 

Check that perception of the layout is natural and harmonic for the human eye. There are numerous things that have an impact on decision-making, and harmony is one of them. Eye-tensing color combinations, unreadable or not combining fonts, aggressive background, intrusive pop-ups or animations, annoying sounds or pages loading for ages — any point of that stuff can spoil the experience quickly and move users away.

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

 

5. Don’t go too far experimenting

 

There are many articles and videos calling creative people to hear their heart, trust their guts and think out-of-the-box. However, design is not just pure creativity striving to show all the power of original solutions. First of all, it the way to solve the problem and make users happier. So, it’s vital to look at the interface from user’s perspective and find the way to make interactions that will provide the smooth and easy way to conversion. In the article on home page design strategies we mentioned: the website is made not for creative contests or gallery of fame but for real users. The positive impact of habit in terms of user experience can be stronger than the wish of revolution. Surely, the dose of uniqueness is needed, but not so much to knock down the user. In e-commerce UI design, often aimed at quite a diverse target audience, too much of revolution might confuse and scare: do I really need to buy this thing, a user may think, if it’s so hard to get it? Study the interaction patterns and typical products for that particular target audience to make their habits their power. And don’t forget to check that all the icons on the screen don’t have a double meaning. Strive for the balance between innovation and traditions.

 

6. Use landing pages for specific purposes

 

For business aims and profits rate, this tip may bring crucial changes. E-commerce UI design principles are usually based on dealing complex websites or apps which are filled in with a variety of information. So, the approach of directing all the traffic from outer sources to the home page can be a step killing profitability and reducing conversion rates. Users might get overwhelmed, distracted or even annoyed with the amount of data they have to process finding what they need, especially if they are focused on a particular narrow goal presented in the source they come from. Using landing pages when you need to concentrate user’s attention on something specific can solve this problem efficiently. 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.

 

web design UI tubik studio

 

7. Make the homepage informative

 

Home page can satisfy 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 the first visual and emotional touch to the website. Certainly, design is one of the core ways to make this touch gentle, smart and helpful. 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, not only by beauty and style but first of all by information which is looked for. 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
  • brand or company identity elements
  • internal search
  • 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)
  • for e-commerce websites, it can be visual presentation of bestselling and/or exclusive items, for example, specific books, toys, clothing, equipment 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 set for the website and the research of target audience.

 

bookshop website animation

 

8. Apply high-quality images giving the message

 

Images take a big part in usability: as the vast majority of users are visually driven, images become the hook points of getting basic data about the website or app. They present the part of the content which is both informative and emotionally appealing. The level of detail and functionality allow classifying the images in user interfaces into types, among which:

 

— photos: theme photos creating the appropriate mood and setting the message, demonstration photos, photos of the items, title photos for blog articles and pages of special offers etc.

— illustrations: custom illustrations in graphic interface design can look both informative and original allowing the design to stand out of the competition.

— hero banners: applied mostly in web design, they are big images which are usually the first visual element catching user’s attention in the initial seconds of interaction; they usually give the attractive visual presentation of the main content of the resource.

— icons: these are small but meaningful pictograms which are informative and support data exchange between the informer and addressee. Icons play the key role in providing clear and intuitive navigation, but they should be checked on proper clarity and the absence of double meanings.

— mascots: images, usually personified, representing the brand, product or service identity.

— visual identity elements: various visual signs of branding like logos, custom lettering for brand name and/or slogan etc.

florist shop website design

 

 

9. Think about promotional videos of different kinds

 

There are several common types of promotional videos:

 

  • introduction video (the first insights on the company, product, or brand showing its benefits for users)
  • product presentation videos (details about product’s features and advantages, special steps of interactions and 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 (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. 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. However, the technical side should be double-checked so that the video was integrated correctly and didn’t overload the page.

 

10. Let the user contact the duty holders from any point of interaction

 

The most popular placement for contact information 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, on an e-commerce website, presents the online shop, users may want to call more frequently and this ability will have a direct impact on conversion rate. Anyway, the contact data should be available at any point users may need it. Among others, 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 a 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 thoughtful user research setting target audience’s expectations, level of tech literacy and ways of contact which are the most convenient 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.

 

11. Add gamification

 

Gamification integrated into digital products is a great way to stimulate users’ extrinsic motivation, which is mostly a seek of reward, which can be tangible (money, prizes, diplomas, certificates, trophies, medals etc.) and intangible (praise, support, recognition etc.). So, challenges, leaderboards, rewards for loyalty and big orders, discounts, badges, coupons, stickers and all the other stuff of that kind can become great stimuli for users to not only start interaction with a website or app but also stay there and buy regularly.

 

badges illustration tubik studio

 

The offered e-commerce UI design examples and strategies, for sure, do not cover the whole scope of issues to consider in this fields. However, they can serve as a useful checklist or a source of UI design inspiration for those who aim at creating user-friendly platforms supporting business goals. No doubt, best UI design for e-commerce website is the one which leaves a buyer happy and brings profits to the stakeholders. 

 

Recommended reading

 

UX Design for E-Commerce: Principles and Strategies.

The Role of Branding in UI Design

Business-Oriented Design. Know Your Target.

Short but Vital. Key Abbreviations in Design for Business.

Business Terms in Design for E-Commerce. Sales Basics.

Two Types of User Motivation: Design to Satisfy.

Sell Like Hotcakes: UI Designs for E-Commerce.

Feel Homey. Handy Tips for Home Page Design.

Landing Page. Direct Flight to High Conversion.


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

Welcome to read or download free e-books about Design for Business and Problem-Solving Web Design

mobile interaction design tubik blog

7 Tips to Enhance Mobile Interactions

The quality of mobile design can be measured simply. When the process of usage is so smooth and effortless that people don’t even think about it, it is the sign of the professional design work. On the other hand, if there are some problems in the interaction system, users will definitely notice them and won’t be pleased about it.

 

Mobile apps are expected to be clear and easy to operate so that they could be effectively used anytime and anyplace. Designers’ task is to create an intuitive interface which will guide users within the app helping them operate its functionality without problems. In this article, we describe the essential aspects of the effective mobile interaction system along with the tips helping designers to create intuitive design.

UI navigation elements

 

Increase learnability

 

Every designer strives at creating a unique product with original interactions and navigation systems. Such an approach allows standing out a crowd and being noticeable on the market. However, creating absolutely new environment designers have to think how users will adjust to it.

 

If the interaction system of a mobile application has no logic and sequence or it doesn’t respond to needs of the target audience, it may be frustrating and annoying. That condition is critical for UX, so people will simply give up on trying to decipher an app and quit it.

 

To avoid this kind of outcome, designers need to care about learnability of the interactive elements. Learnability stands for how easy tasks can be attained during the first usage and how quickly users learn from the previous experience. To increase learnability, designers need to keep it simple and clear helping quickly adjust to it. Also, the system should be consistent and logical so that users could identify the repeating patterns and use a mobile app intuitively.

 

Consider multiple holds

 

We all are different in many ways, even how we hold smartphones. The way of holding smartphones depends on various factors including the situation and conditions in which the app is used as well as the task we need to accomplish.

 

There are three common types of holding a mobile. The first is when we take it with one hand and navigate it with a thumb. Another way is to hold a smartphone in one hand and interact with it with the forefinger of the other hand. Also, the type which is common for chatting people is holding a phone in two hands using both thumbs for actions. Of course, there are other types of holds but these three are thought to be the most common.

 

interaction_models_mobile_interfaces

Source

 

thumb-zone-mapping_UI_design

Source

 

Considering this fact, designers have to figure out if the layout elements placed effectively for different holds. One-handed hold requires special attention since it has the most limited space of reach. To make the interaction process within a mobile app effortless it may be a good idea to put the key components at the bottom of the screen so that users would be able to reach tap areas easily. In addition, the interactive elements should be big enough so there would be no chance for a mistap.

 

user motivation design

 

Apply recognition patterns

 

When a new app can be used intuitively it means that the designer did a good job. To provide intuitive interactions, UI design has to contain recognition patterns. They are the elements which users are already familiar with and those which give slight hints on how an app works. The thing is that using an application we are expecting to see certain things associated with the definite kind of product. For example, working with e-commerce apps we are used to seeing cart icons along with CTA buttons “Buy”. Familiar elements in a new app make people feel more confident in their actions.

 

Users become accustomed to things quickly and their absence makes them feel uncomfortable. That’s why, if you plan to use custom interactive elements, don’t forget to add some standard components. This way a new application won’t overwhelm with an absolutely unfamiliar environment and will help to learn quickly.

 

ux design for ecommerce tubik blog

 

Make a clean UI

 

A big pitfall of mobile UI design is small screens of the devices. Designers have to figure out how to include all content in a short space without turning user interface into clutter. Clean UI design helps effectively interact with a product since all the core elements can be easily reached.

 

To create neat mobile UI it is recommended to use icons as interactive components. Copy elements often can be too big for the small screen, so icons are a sufficient alternative. They can explain a function visualizing it with simple shapes and it helps to save the space on the screen. However, during usability testing, it should be thoroughly checked if the icons are perceived appropriately and transfer the right message.

 

Decrease the number of actions

 

Probably, many of us have the experience of using an annoying mobile app which made us take a long way before we could finally accomplish the task. It may often be caused by ineffective interaction system which employs too many actions and the unnecessary functionality.

 

Mobile apps usually serve as problem-solving assistants, so it’s vital for them to be designed ergonomically. It means that designers have to apply only core functional elements which will get the users right to the point they needed. Minimum of actions won’t make your product look primitive. It will help a mobile app be effective and pleasing in usage. Remember that people mostly rate the quality of an application not by extraordinary features but how helpful it is.

 

tubik_photo_app

 

Add game mechanics

 

Based on the facts described above, we can say that an effective mobile interaction system should be simple and clear to use so that it could be operated without problems.

 

However, simplifying the interface it’s vital not make it boring. Apps which seem ordinary have fewer chances to gain users’ attention. That’s why it’s important to bring some emotional aspects into applications that look standard at the first glance.

 

To make the process interesting and catchy, it may be a good idea to use gamification. It is the technique of exerting game mechanics into the non-game environment like mobile applications. Various challenges and leaderboards along with the awards and stickers motivate users to interact with a product more and come back to it constantly.

 

What’s more, implementing a game mechanic called a user journey is an effective way to create clear layout and transitions. A journey is user’s progression stages at the time of usage. Designers create UX that way so that people could go step-by-step through the various features which gradually change depending on needs of the target audience. An approach helps to avoid problems with incomprehensible interactions and functions.

 

Last but not least, gamification adds the element of fun. Users enjoy entertainment, challenges, and competitive spirit similar to video games, so they are encouraged to go back. People always need some kind of recreational activity so that they could escape from everyday routine for a bit. By adding the fun element into a casual application, you help to reduce some stress and relax for a moment.

 

toonie alarm UI design

 

Don’t forget about testing

 

Mobile interaction design aims at creating a user-friendly product which will be pleasant to use under different circumstances. But how can a designer define if an app is usable enough and distinguish possible problems in UX? This is when usability testing comes into play.

 

Usability testing is an essential stage in creating mobile apps helping to evaluate it by testing on the potential audience. It is usually conducted at the UX building stage before a project goes to the development team so that inefficient solutions could be changed easier and faster.

 

Various usability testing methods allow identifying problems and bugs and quickly eliminate them. This way designers can improve all the aspects of UX ensuring user satisfaction.

 

So, before you deliver a project to the development team remember to handle testing. Test it by yourself, on your colleagues, on the potential users and then you’ll get the desired outcome.

 

choice of color in UI design

 

A simple mobile interaction system is not that easy to create. It requires hard work, concentration and lots of practice before you receive sufficient results. Stay tuned!

 

Recommended reading

 

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

Gamification in UX. Increasing User Engagement.

Color Matters. 6 Tips on Choosing UI Colors.

Mobile Typography: 8 Steps Toward Powerful UI.

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

Tests Go First. Usability Testing in Design.

Gamification Mechanics in UX: Smart User Journey.

Mobile UI Design: 15 Basic Types of Screens.


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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


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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.


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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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ux writing tubik article

UX Writing. Let User Interface Speak.

During the last two years digital design community has been discussing a brand new trend called UX writing. The term appeared suddenly confusing many people, even some design professionals. Some think it’s a new name for UX design, others see it as copywriting related to the UX topic. In this article, we’ll figure out the meaning of UX writing and why tech world talks so much about it. Also, we’ll provide some practical tips on effective UX writing.

 

What’s UX writing?

 

The term may be new but the process has existed for a long time. UX writing is the practice of crafting copy which is directly used in user interfaces to guide users within a product and help them interact with it. The major aim of UX writing is to settle communication between users and a digital product.

 

Copy created by UX writers is also known as microcopy. The name tells for itself and stands for the small components of text which serve as hints for users. To be more specific, microcopy includes buttons and menu copy, error messages, security notes, terms and conditions, as well as any kind of instructions on product usage.

 

tubik studio page 404

Page 404

 

Why is UX writing needed?

 

Microcopy has always been a part of digital products, so why have people started to call the process of its creation UX writing? Let’s get it straight.

 

One of the first reasons leading to UX writing appearance is growing attention to the role of copy in UI. Marketing and design specialists have agreed that copy content is a significant element influencing both UI and UX. Bad-written copy can ruin even a really good-looking user interface. As for the microcopy, various user tests have shown that it affects user experience as well as the information architecture and navigation system do.

 

If we look at a product from users’ perspective, we’ll see how useful small copy hints are for them. When people start their journey in new software, short text tips make the process of adaptation fast and easy. Moreover, if menu copy is written professionally, the navigation system is much more clear to use.

 

Considering the positive impact of microcopy on user experience, the new direction appeared in copywriting. At this point, we can expand the essence of UX writing and say that it’s a process of building microcopy elements which aim at improving user experience of a website or app.

 

tutorial_design_tubik_studio

Shauts App Tutorial

 

Who has to do UX writing?

 

We defined the essence of UX writing still one question remains open. Whose duty is it?

 

The direction couldn’t be formed by itself, so, obviously, there are specialists standing behind it. A job of UX writer grows its potential and today we can see more and more offers from companies. They are writers specializing in creating microcopy which aims at boosting pleasant user experience and improving navigation system.

 

UX writing is still a green direction, the reason why the task of microcopy creation often lays upon marketers and copywriters. These professionals have been writing microcopy long before a term of UX writing appeared and they continue doing it as one of the parts of their work.

 

However, it’s not only writers who can create copy for UX. Designers also often try themselves in UX writing. They may not be the specialists in copy creation still they know everything about the information architecture and navigation system of a product. Moreover, UI/UX designers research the target audience peculiarities, so they know how to present visual information for user perception.

 

Copywriters and designers can do UX writing separately but to improve outcome it’s always a good idea to collaborate and share the experience. Together IA professionals, designers and copywriters can successfully create UX copy content and this is how it is often done by many companies today. However, if a company handles many projects which involve much of UX writing, it is reasonable to consider hiring a UX writer to gain maximum productivity for all the team.

 

gourmet_website_interactions_tubik

The Gourmet Website

 

What makes efficient UX writing

 

Some may think that UX writing takes a few minutes to be done since it includes only small pieces of text. However, creation of a powerful phrase for a CTA button sometimes can take much more time and effort than writing of a whole body copy.

 

Microcopy usually can vary from one word to short sentences which should perform numerous functions. So, if we say that in UX writing every word counts, it won’t be an hyperbola. A single word should both help users to get oriented as well as encourage them to stick around. Moreover, there is often a business goal standing behind CTA buttons, so this factor should also be considered during UX writing.

 

The sufficient UX copy needs to be clear and consistent. Users don’t have to figure out what you mean. Copy should be simple so that people could interact with product intuitively. If users don’t notice they’ve been guided, UX writing has been done well. In addition, UX writing, as any other copy content, should be based on the context and the target audience.

 

In addition, we need to say that copy is a design element the reason why its effectiveness highly depends on the visual presentation. UX writers need to make sure it looks good and fits the design composition. Such a condition creates constraints for a writer about the amount of copy and its appearance.

 

web_ui_design_tubik

Digital Agency Landing Page

 

Practical tips on UX writing

 

The experts are still working on developing the direction to set the best techniques and methods of the effective UX writing. However, there are some sufficient tips helping to make sure UX copy will work well.

 

Step into users’ shoes. If you want to create useful copy, you need to understand where users need help. User research assists to learn the target audience and knowing their specialties you can assume what hints people need.

 

Don’t use complicated vocabulary. As we said above, one of the major characteristics of effective UX writing is clarity and simplicity. Copy should be easy to perceive that’s why difficult words may not work well.

 

Write short and then cut it into half. Microcopy received its name not by coincidence. It has to be short but meaningful so that it wouldn’t draw too much attention, only slightly guiding people from one point to another.

 

Test the copy on various users. You can be a guru of writing and UX design still user testing never hurts. If you don’t have anyone who would match the target audience, at least test copy on your co-workers or friends and ask them what they feel about it.

 

Be creative. Microcopy typically includes only short informative messages but it doesn’t mean you have to make it boring. Try to be creative and bring some positive emotions. For example, writing an error message you can use some polite jokes. It breaks tension which may appear if users do something wrong and encourage them to stick around. Just remember to make sure your creativity doesn’t go too far and the target audience will react appropriately.

 

Add images. In case of error messages or onboarding instructions, it can be a good idea to supplement them with funny and pretty images. You can use photos as well as custom illustrations which will strengthen the right message of a copy.

 

Reflect brand voice. Don’t forget that instructions which a product gives to users are always perceived as a voice of a brand. So, before you write copy you need to learn about brand nature so that microcopy would sound accordingly to the brand image.

 

web design tubik studio

Page 404

 

UX writing is a new direction which is full of potential. UX professionals need to consider it as an another essential tool on the way to the improved user interaction and boosted satisfaction from a product.

 

Recommended reading

 

10 UX copywriting tips for designers

5 Ideas for Better UX Writing

UX Writing: How to do it like Google with this powerful checklist

Copywriting in UI. Words that Make Design Go Round.


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