Tag Archives: user-friendly

choice of color in UI design

Color Matters. 6 Tips on Choosing UI Colors.

User experience design involves many processes which need to be done thoughtfully so that an interface would meet the needs of the target audience. Each step requires deep attention to details, even if it doesn’t seem too complicated.

 

One of the time-consuming still vital stages in UI creation is color choice. Designers sometimes can spend hours to pick up the right color palette. In this article, we’ll describe six useful tips helping designers choose powerful colors for UI and make this process easier and more productive.

 

Tip 1. Learn 60–30–10 rule

 

This rule, or technique, came from the interior design, so it is often applied for house decorating. The idea is simple. To bring the balance into the composition, the colors should be combined in the proportion of 60%–30%–10%. The biggest part should go to the dominant hue, the third of the composition takes secondary color and 10% percent goes to the color which helps to make the accents.

 

Such a proportion is thought to be pleasant for human eyes since it allows perceiving all the visual elements gradually. Knowing the appropriate proportion designers can successfully combine the colors without risks of turning UI into a colorful mess.

 

web_ui_design_tubik

Digital Agency Landing Page

 

Tip 2. Contrast is a friend

 

Color contrast is a key part of any visual composition. It brings the individuality for each UI element and makes all of them noticeable. User interfaces containing only shades from the same color family have fewer chances to draw users’ attention. Moreover, copy content in this UI will look illegible which make the interactions with a product almost impossible.

 

Designers control the level of contrast depending on the goals it is supposed to accomplish. For example, if you need users to pay special attention to the specific UI elements, it’s a good idea to apply two highly contrasting colors such as blue and red. High contrast is often used for CTA buttons design.

 

However, speaking of UI as a whole composition, high level of color contrast may not always work well. If copy content and the background colors contrast each other too much, it will be difficult to read or scan the text. That’s why designers are recommended to create a mild level of contrast and apply high contrasting colors only for highlighting elements. User-testing on various devices can help designers to make sure of the effectiveness of their solutions.

 

choice of color in UI design

Urban Sketcher App

 

Tip 3. Consider psychology of colors

 

As we’ve mentioned in our previous articles, psychology is one of the basic studies helping in design workflow. There is a branch of psychology showing the influence of colors on human mood and behavior called color psychology. It states that our mind reacts on colors while we usually do not notice it. When human eyes perceive a color, our brain gives signals to the endocrine system releasing hormones responsible for the mood and emotions.

 

Each color has its own influence on our mind and the knowledge of the possible reactions can help designers to transfer the right message and call users to make the expected action. Here is a short list of color meanings.

 

Red. It symbolizes both good and bad feelings including love, confidence, passion, and anger.
Orange. An energetic and warm color bringing the feelings of excitement.
Yellow. This is the color of happiness, the sunlight, joy, and warmth.
Green. The color of nature which brings calming and renewing feelings.
Blue. It often represents some corporate images. May be associated with distance and sadness.
Purple. Long associated with royalty and wealth. It’s also a color of a mystery and magic.
Black. It associates with a tragedy and death and signifies a mystery. At the same time, it can be traditional and modern.
White. The color means purity and innocence, as well as wholeness and clarity.

 

In addition, designers need to remember that visual perception is quite individual for everyone. Such factors as age and gender have a great impact on color preferences, so it’s vital to know the target audience peculiarities. You can find the detailed description of color meanings and preferences in our previous article.

dance academy landing page

Dance Academy Website

 

Tip 4. Don’t forget cultural differences

 

Each culture has its own traditions and beliefs, so before you choose the colors, you need to make sure that they will be interpreted the way you mean. The thing is that sometimes one color may have absolutely opposite meanings in different countries. For example, in European countries white color signifies purity and it is often used at the weddings while in many Asian countries this color means death and sorrow. Incorrect usage may lead to misunderstandings which could be fatal for a product. By acknowledging the specialties of culture’s color perception designers decrease risks of being misconceived.

 

Tip 5. Strive to color harmony

 
Harmony is what UI design strives to. To make users feel pleased and comfortable, designers try to bring the balance into user interface design. The color harmony is about the arrangement of the colors in design in the most attractive and effective way for users’ perception. Harmonic colors contribute to a nice first impression from the website or application.

 

After years of searching, designers distinguished the basic color schemes that work effectively. Let’s see what they are.

Monochromatic. Color harmony is based on one color with various tones and shades of it.

Analogous. The scheme applies colors located right next to each other on the color wheel.

Complementary. It is the mix of colors placed in front of each other on the color wheel and it aims to produce high contrast.

Split-Complementary. This scheme works similar to the previous one but it employs more colors. For instance, if you choose the blue color you need to take two others which are adjacent to its opposite color meaning yellow and red.

Triadic. It is based on three separate colors which are equidistant on the color wheel. Professionals recommend to use one color as a dominant, the others as accents.

Tetradic/Double-Complementary. The tetradic color scheme employs four colors from the wheel which are complementary pairs. If you connect the points on the chosen colors they form the rectangle.

 

color theory design tubik

Source

 

Detailed information and examples of color harmony can be found in our article Color Theory: Brief Guide for Designers.

 

Tip 6. Steal ideas from nature

 

Mother nature is the best artist and designer in the world. Color combinations which we can see in the natural environment are always close to perfect. People enjoy watching sunsets and dawns, autumn forests and winter mountains since they are full of natural color combinations.

 

So, why don’t you try to borrow a few ideas? Go for a walk or search for beautiful nature photos and you will definitely find the inspiration.

 

web ui design city guide

Big City Guide

 

The success of a digital product depends largely upon the colors chosen for its UI. The right colors help users feel comfortable with a product. Designers can put people in the frame of mind that compels them to take action just by applying the appropriate color palette. Make your choices wisely.

 

Recommended reading

 

Color Theory: Brief Guide For Designers.

Color in Design: Influence on Users’ Actions.

Color in UI Design. Look on the Bright Side.

Dark Side of UI. Benefits of Dark Background.

3C of Interface Design: Color, Contrast, Content.


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information architecture for designers tubik

Information Architecture. Basics for Designers.

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

 

What’s information architecture?

 

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

 

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

 

UX design process tubik

 

The role of information architecture in design

 

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

 

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

 

IA and UX design

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

tubik studio design process ux

 

IA system components

 

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

 

Organization systems

 

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

 

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

 

web ui design city guide

Big City Guide

 

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

 

Bakery website design case study tubik

Vinny’s Bakery Website

 

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

 

mobile app design tubik studio

MoneyWise App

 

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

 

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

 

Chronological schemes. This type organizes content by date.

 

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

 

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

 

book swap app tubik studio

Book Swap App

 

Labeling systems

 

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

 

gym landing page concept by Tubik

 

Gym Landing Page

 

Navigation systems

 

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

 

Searching systems

 

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

 

tubikstudio-ui-ux-design

 

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

 

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

 

Recommended reading

 

IA for the Web and Beyond

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

Information Architecture Basics

The Difference Between Information Architecture and UX Design


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badges_illustration_tubik_design

Gamification in UX. Increasing User Engagement.

The user-centered approach, which strives for creating products highly responding to the user’s needs, has become the major philosophy behind many projects. Following this method designers constantly search for the new techniques improving user experience which depends on various aspects including emotions. The thing is that users expect a product to be simple and enjoyable in use, so the idea to add a “fun” element to the UX came as it is. But how to make the product fun and enjoyable in use? The technique called gamification was created to solve the problem. Let’s find out what’s the method of gamification in design and how it can improve UX.

 

What is gamification?

 

When we say word “gamification” in the context of design, it can be easily mistaken with the game design. Still, these terms hardly relate to each other, even more, they are opposite in many aspects. In the tech world, the word “gamification” stands for the technique of exerting game mechanics into the non-game environment, such as websites and mobile applications. For example, if you want to encourage the users to interact more with your application, you can add the game element such as a challenge. They can be challenged to check-in every day during a week and be rewarded if they do so.The thing is that people like having a clear goal and even more to be rewarded after it’s achieved, so such a challenge would doubtfully pass unnoticed among the users. This way, designers are able to influence users’ behavior and motivate them as “players” to do the expected actions via game elements such as a challenge and rewards.

 

toonie alarm stickers ios tubik

Toonie Alarm

 

Types of game mechanics for UX improvement

 

Gamification is a complicated design technique which requires using various game mechanics referring to the interactive UI elements. The main task for designers applying gamification is not to turn the product fully into a game. For this reason, there have been distinguished the effective game mechanics that are commonly used in design. Let’s see what they are.

 

Challenge

 

Human nature always makes us take the challenges and prove that we are able to handle them. So, a challenge is thought to be one of the most compelling game elements motivating people to take an action which can be a great tool on the way for UX improvement. In order to enhance the challenge effect, it may be a good idea to use some kind of rewards, so that users could feel even more motivated.

 

upper app UI design case study

Upper Streak Challenge in Upper App

 

Points

 

To measure the players’ success, many games use the points system. The gamified product can apply the same scheme that helps both users and stakeholders: the first sees their achievements and the others can estimate user engagement of the website or application. It is not necessary to make the count of points in the rating form. It may be just the number of check-ins or video views.

 

Badges and stickers

 

When users complete the challenge or gather a certain number of points, they can be awarded the badges or stickers. This kind of virtual rewards is often used in video games, so people are familiar with them. Stickers have gained people’s love long ago, therefore this kind of rewards will be appreciated. Besides, the badges and stickers give much room for the creative experimentations since they can be designed in various ways. Such rewards can become the additional drivers of motivation.

 

badges_illustration_tubik_design

PukaPal Badges

 

ui animation design tubik

Toonie Alarm Stickers

 

Leaderboards

 

The thing making the challenge even more interesting for people is the competition. Not many things can motivate users better than the desire to be the leader. The list of the “players” ranked in the order “Who’s got more badges” can increase users’ enthusiasm. However, in some cases, it may work contrarily demotivating people due to high ranks of the others. That’s why this game element is recommended to be applied carefully.

 

snake battle app UI design

Snake Battle

 

Journey

 

This game mechanic aims to make the process of interaction with the product as easy and understandable as possible. The user should feel as the real player starting the personal journey of the product usage. For example, on the onboarding page from which the user starts, they can be offered an introduction to the features, so that users won’t be afraid to make a mistake. When the journey continues, it is recommended to use the method of “scaffolding”. It means to disclose features progressively as the users become more experienced in using the product. Such an approach allows people to avoid errors and makes the product pleasing to use. Also, the journey element may be supplemented with the progress feature. Providing the information about the progress of the user’s journey, we can inspire them to continue.

 

graphic design tutorial tubik studio

Singify App Tutorial

 

Constraints

 

Many of us may think that it is not funny at all, still, there is a game element constraining players’ time. For example, the task in the games are often needed to be complete in the limited time, otherwise, players lose. The same approach can be applied to the gamified product. Users may be offered to do something which is available only today. The constraints make people react faster and somehow motivate them to take an action right here and now.

 

night in berlin tubik design case study

Night in Berlin App

 

These are some common examples of game elements in design but there is a room for the innovative game mechanics that can be applied in UX design. The major point to consider is that the product shouldn’t become too playful if it’s not expected according to general stylistic strategy and brand image.

 

The role of gamification in UX design

 

Today the method of gamification is widely used in design since it is thought to help to solve many problems in UX. The appropriate use of gamification and well-chosen game mechanics can become a valuable tool for UX designers on the way to increasing user engagement of the product as well as conversion rates. So how does it work? First of all, the gamification brings the element of fun to the websites and applications. People enjoy the interactive process full of fun, challenges, and competitive spirit similar to video games, so they are encouraged to go back. Furthermore, the game mechanics are the powerful motivators for the users. The game elements set the tasks and the awards are promised to those who accomplish them. The curiosity and excitement drive people to continue performing various the tasks and spend more time on the app or the website.

 

In addition, today gamification already goes as one of the major design approaches. Plenty of designers have caught the hype and actively apply this method in various projects. That’s why many users might already have an experience of interacting with the gamified products which mean they expect the same from yours.

 

Animated stickers mood messenger design tubik

Animated Stickers for Mood Messenger

 

Summing it up, gamification is quite a new technique which is now on the path of active proving its reliability as an effective design method. Nevertheless, its popularity is growing really fast so it has good chances to become the leading approach in a short time.

 

Recommended reading

 

Here are some more articles we could recommend for those who would like to get deeper into the topic:

 

Gamification And UX: Where Users Win Or Lose

Gamification: Designing for Motivation

5 examples of great gamification

Introducing Game Mechanics for Gamification


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book swap app design

UI Animation: Eye-Pleasing, Problem-Solving.

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

 

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

 

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

 

Tubik Studio

 

Define the problem

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

tubik studio work

 

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

 

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

 

Problem: I want to know the action is done.

 

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

 

switch animation tubik studio

Switch Control Animation

 

hamburger_menu tubik studio

Hamburger Menu Animation

 

hamburger button tubik studio

Hamburger button interaction

 

tubik studio button ui

Tab Bar interaction

 

add button animation

Add Button interaction

 

pageindicator tubik studio

Rubber Indicator

 

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

 

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

 

pull_to_refresh tubik studio

Pull To Refresh

 

preloader animation tubik studio

Preloader

 

pull to refresh animation tubik

Pull to refresh

 

pull-down animation tubik studio

Pull Down — Hourglass

 

tubik studio pull down

Pull Down — Space Ship

 

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

 

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

 

— they inform user about the level of progress

 

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

 

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

 

tubik studio motion design

GIF for the Timeline App

 

tubikstudio motion design

GIF of Dynamic Scroll

 

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

 

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

 

sport app motion ui tubik studio

GIF for Sport App

 

tubik studio motion design ui

Cards Animation

 

UI Design Interaction Tubik Studio

Boat Station App

 

tubikstudio blog app ui animation

Blog App

 

Problem: I want to see the key things first.

 

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

 

tubik studio tapbar ui

Tapbar Interactions

 

tubik studio behance weather app

GIF for the Weather App

 

App screens by Tubik Studio

Resto App 

 

Problem: I want to feel the interaction natural.

 

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

 

tubik studio_social_network

GIF For Social Network 

 

tubik_studio_book_swap

Book Swap App

 

Dribbble shot by Sergey Valiukh

GIF for Restaurant Menu

 

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

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Landing page animation

 

landing page animation Tubik studio

Landing page animation

 

landing page for capitoledge by TUBIK

Capitoledge — Free Screensaver

 

tubikstudio ui animation website design

Bjorn Website

 

 

Problem: The screen/page is boring.

 

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

 

calendar-app animation tubik

Calendar App Animation

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App

 

Contact List Concept Scrolls Tubik

Contact List Concept

 

tubik studio application recipes and cooking

Recipes App

 

juicy player UI Tubik Studio

Juicy Player

 

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

 

Tubik quote UI animation

 

Recommended reading

 

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

 

Interface Animation. The Force of Motion.

 

Animated Interactions. Motion on Purpose.

 

UI Animation. Microinteraction for Macroresult.

 

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

 

How to Use Animation to Improve UX

 

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

 

Experience Design Essentials: Animated Microinteractions In Mobile Apps

 

The ultimate guide to Web animation


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tubik studio design business

Business Terms in Design for E-Commerce. Sales Basics

 

«Contrary to popular belief, designers are not artists. We employ artistic methods to visualize thinking and process, but, unlike artists, we work to solve a client’s problem, not present our own view of the world.» (Erik Spiekermann)

 

 

Modern design has multiple faces, sides and directions. Some of them are more artistic than the others which are deeper concentrated on profits and goals. However, any way it goes, design is the sphere with a different perspective. Design is goal-oriented and problem-solving activity applying art to serve people.

 

«Whether you are helping to launch a new business from scratch, or making incremental changes to an existing product, or something in between, any design task you undertake must serve a goal. It’s your job to find out what those goals are.» (Mike Monteiro)

 

Talking about the sphere of web and app design, one of the most practical and goal-oriented fields of creativity is design for e-commerce. In this domain, there are many factors influencing design decisions and lots of relevant aspects to study and research. Designing a product for e-commerce, be it a website, a web or mobile application, branding design, advertising materials, designers work within various limitations built by particular product or service features, target audience, marketing and promotion strategy, business goals, budget and investment plan etc. Design becomes a tool working when used properly. Therefore, to use it efficiently, the designer needs to know the basics of business and economy as the goal of design process, in this case, is creating an app or a website raising money and built on business techniques and methods. Moreover, quite often designers creating e-commerce platforms and products work in team with marketing specialists, advertisers, researchers, analysts, and psychologists all of whom have a purpose of increasing the level of profit brought by the final product.

 

So, today we decided to start collecting and explaining here basic business terms which are important in the process of digital design for e-commerce. Considering this list can make the designer much closer to marketing specialists and provide great help for better communication. In addition, keeping the aspects mentioned below in mind on the earliest stages of design such as UX research and wireframing is a good way to effective solutions increasing profits on the solid well-thought-out logic of interaction. The set of terms can be also useful for project managers involved in the process and managing collaboration between different sides of the same process.

 

tubikstudio design office teamwork

 

Business Basics

 

Today’s section is focused on basic terms used in the domain of economics and business strategy mostly concentrated on sales in their broad understanding. Taking them into account and analyzing significantly increases the chances of creating efficient digital product.

 

«A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.» Michael LeBoeuf

 

E-commerce (Electronic Commerce)

 

«If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.» (Jeff Bezos)

 

Definition. E-commerce is the direction of business activity when the process of providing customers with goods or services is done by means of electronic devices and the Internet. This sort of communication and finalization of sales adds some new aspects to data management, sales channels, advertising, presenting goods and services and moreover — enabling full cycle of commerce operations, including payments, delivery and refunds.

 

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

 

Design aspect. Obviously, success of e-commerce activity depends on several factors among which:

— quality of the product or service offered

— quality of the content presenting the offer to customers

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

 

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

 

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

 

— operational simplicity

— strong branding

— security of users’ data

— effective use of visual elements

— clear data presentation via menus, catalogues etc.

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

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

— design that supports the offer not overshadowing it.

 

tubikstudio ui animation

Product Card Animation by Alla Kudin

 

Conversion

 

«It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic» (Jeff Eisenberg)

 

Definition. Initially in terms of e-commerce, conversion is the index showing how many visitors actually moved to the end of the way they were offered actually buying a product. So, for e-commerce conversion transforms visitors (users) into buyers.

 

Design aspect. Today e-commerce uses a wide range of techniques, so in terms of web or app platforms, the meaning of conversion also gets broader. In modern terms of comprehensive and numerous functions and needs, which users are able to fulfill with online resources and digital products, conversion is the rate of cases when visitors did the action they were called to. And that can be not only buying something.

 

For example, in our article about landing pages which are recognized as one of strong tools for e-marketing and e-trade we mentioned that conversion can be also fixed in case of:

 

  • moving to direct use of a product
  • subscription
  • transition to the other page
  • downloading an app or a file
  • providing some information
  • answering the question in the survey
  • starting free/discounted trial use of a product
  • browsing a library
  • reading more detailed description of the product or service etc.

 

Therefore, conversion for a webpage or app screen can mean different actions that correspond to sales or marketing strategy of the particular business.

 

Conversion means that your page transforms passive users into active. They don’t just observe the information given to them, but also do the action which is offered by this page. So, conversion is one of the most important indices of the web page or app screen efficiency which is vital for business. It is a metric reflecting focus on engaging visitors with data performance and stimulating them to make the action which is a part of a business plan.

 

For designers the factor mentioned above means that if they create design concentrated on conversion rates via positive user experience, their work will result in website or app bringing profit both for user and business.

 

Landing Page Animation Tubik Studio

Landing Page Animation by Sergey Valiukh

 

Read more and review the examples on this topic in our previous article

 

Sales Funnel

 

«Communications is at the heart of e-commerce and community.» (Meg Whitman)

 

Definition. Sales funnel (in other words — purchase funnel) is a technique which is deeply customer-focused and based on the gradual involvement of a customer into the process that potentially gets finalized with the act of actual purchase. When this technique is applied, the customer moves through several stages of involvement providing him/her with necessary information about the product and benefits persuading to make a purchase.

 

Basic sales funnel includes the following stages:

 

— Introduction (Awareness). User gets the initial information about the product, its brand name and nature. In other words, user learns that the product or service exists on the market.

 

— Education (Interest). User is provided with more detailed information about the features and benefits of the product or service that can potentially interest them and solve their problems.

 

— Evaluation (Analysis). User gets the chance to compare the offer with its competitors and obtain the information about USPs (Unique Selling Points) of the offered product or service.

 

— Decision (Engagement). User gets final vital arguments engaging him/her to make a decision; it can be short summing-up about core benefits of the offer, data about additional bonuses or special offers, engaging call to actions and explanation of purchase process.

 

— Purchase. User makes a decision and takes the ability to make a purchase. The sale is done.

 

— Retaining (Repeating the experience). User gets the opportunity to leave feedback, obtain additional contacts supporting the offer, subscribes to updates, gets the chance to repeat the purchase easily if desired.

 

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

 

In addition, sales funnel stages thought out and applied properly can work as a sort of filters letting quickly inform users about the product or service and move to the next stage those who are potentially more interested while saving time and effort for those who are looking for something other.

 

However, sales funnel designed carelessly can play the opposite role: it can confuse users who are potential buyers and turn them out of the website or app without taking a chance to know proper information about the offer.

 

Sales funnel should be applied and designed on the basis of thorough research of target audience and market segment. Moreover, it should be carefully tested from the very start of its implementation to measure if all the stages work efficiently. Practice proves that even minor design changes can bring big changes.

 

website design concept tubikstudio

BRMC Website by Konst

 

Sales Channel

 

«It is not your customer’s job to remember you.It is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.» Patricia Fripp

 

Definition. Sales channels are the ways through which the potential customers come to the point of e-commerce, be it a website or mobile application with which they can realize the actual purchase.

 

Design aspect. Designing for e-commerce, it is important to take into account maximum of the possible sales channels which are really numerous on the Internet, from social networks to specialized forums, influencer’s reviews and tailor-made advertising campaigns. Researching and understanding those channels gives broader prospects to the actual point of sale which you are designing for.

 

There are several vital asects to remember about:

 

— Sales channels should be initially concentrated on target audience. There is always the place and time to broaden the perspective as soon as core target audience is involved. However, the attempts to «sell for all» and «design for everyone» from the launch can bring to waste of effort, time and money spent on design and promotion. Move gradually and measure the efficiency of design solutions at every step.

 

— Sales channels will work effectively from initial awareness stage if they witness strong connection to general brand identity. That is the reason to develop guidelines for online sources presentation in brandbook considering all the details of visual presentation and mission statement. Consistency is a powerful tool for both design and marketing.

 

— Sales channels should direct traffic to the places which enable users quickly get informed and make the actions they come for. For example, if the post in Facebook invites users to participate in summer sale, they should be directed right on the landing page of this sale, not to the homepage of the website.

 

The mentioned factors thought out at the stage of thinking over UX design solutions are able to make a good impact on conversion and sales rates.

 

Niche

 

«We will continue to see a convergence of the digital and physical world. Those who conquer that trend will be market leaders.» John Phillips

 

Definition. In business, niche means the concentration of the offer on specific needs, wishes and problems of a specific target audience. Niche market is a specialized market segment which is aimed at specific market needs with a close view on its demography, education level, level of income and purchase abilites etc. For example, when one company produces software generally used for creating and editing textual materials for broad target audience while the other is adapted for specific needs of copywriters and editors (grammar checking, plagiarism analysis, synonyms prompts etc.), the latter one presents the niche business.

 

Design aspect. Designing for a niche market and niche product, it’s important to learn all the details about the target audience as it is going to be quite specific and more details are usually influencing the process of design and marketing. Applying psychology of color, copy targeted at potential clients, deep analysis of their needs and providing efficient layout, easy transitions, clear data presentation and aesthetic features that suit this particular audience is a good way to high profit. In addition, creative ways to emphasize specific nature of the product or service by means of design such as branding and original UI solutions can help the product to stand out of the crowd and stay competitive.

 

tubik studio ui animation

Bonano e-commerce interactions by Vladyslav Taran

 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

 

«It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these, in turn, are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency» (Abraham Maslow, 1943).

 

Definition. One of the basic psychological theories widely applied in business on both micro- and macroeconomic levels. Developed by Abraham Maslow, it is focused on the hierarchy of human needs and consequently factors of motivation.

 

Its presentation found at Simply Psychology website features  5 levels of human needs featured by the theory:

 

1. Biological and Physiological needs — air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

 

2. Safety needs — protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

 

3. Love and Belongingness needs — friendship, intimacy, affection and love, — from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.

 

4. Esteem needs — achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.

 

5. Self-Actualization needs — realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

 

Design aspect. Having read the points of the theory, it’s easy for a designer to ask: «What does it have in common with design process?» The link perhaps doesn’t look really obvious, but it is fundamental in motivating people to use or buy products or services on different levels of economic relationship. Designing for e-commerce, which is one more type of human relationship, with a specific goal and ability to apply the mentioned theory can produce user-friendly and customer-centric product achieving its target audience and solving its problems.

 

Certainly, it’s great when the designer is able to involve professional marketing specialists into all the stages of the creative process and apply their professional knowledge and skills in design form. However, this opportunity isn’t always available. Moreover, designer able to analyze economic basics and business factors influencing the design scheme and logic gets the higher level of proficiency.

 

In design for e-commerce, it is good to understand from the early stages of the process what stage of the Maslow’s pyramid the core target users are at. Answering this question, designer is able to talk to users’ in their language and find the solutions that resonate in their hearts and minds the best. Users’ needs determine their motifs, triggers that can catch their attention, words that can touch them, the length of copy and calls to actions that they are ready to accept and follow. Analyzing the level of needs and expectations, the designer is able to find the most efficient layout and informative graphic elements. Knowing and feeling the user is the solid foundation for problem-solving goal-oriented design.

 

ui animation cafe app tubikstudio

Cafe Coupon App by Dima Panchenko

 

4P Theory

 

“People don’t call it e-commerce anymore. It’s called omni-commerce, and it’s the idea that digital permeates every step of the purchase chain from product discovery to trial to pricing to actual purchase.” (Tolman Geffs)

 

Definition. Famous 4P theory, presented by Neil H. Borden and later grouped by E.Jerome McCarthy, also known as marketing mix, has become highly popular and efficient in business strategy, including e-commerce sphere. It states that product launch and lifecycle is based on four «P» factors: product, price, place, promotion. Business Case Studies website simply formulates it the following way:

 

«When marketing their products, firms need to create a successful mix of:

  • the right product
  • sold at the right price
  • in the right place
  • using the most suitable promotion.»

 

Marketing case studies prove that missing even one of four mentioned positions can waste all the effort and reduce the levels of profit and brand awareness significantly.

 

Design aspect. No doubt, 4P theory is highly applicable in design for e-commerce. The Price of the product is usually the furthest part from designer’s decisions as it is decided and given by the stakeholders ordering design part of work. In perspective of Product it works only partly being applicable to those cases when users buy digital products or services, let’s say mobile applications, which also need UI/UX design.

 

However, talking about the other two factors we can see how actual they are in terms of design effort and creativity. Indeed, designers creating websites or apps for e-commerce, create the right Place for trading and are responsible for making this place comfortable, attractive and correspondent to the product nature as well as target audience expectations. As for the Promotion, today online marketing features numerous ways of presenting the product and achieve the target audience; its effectiveness also significantly depends on design decisions. 

 

Neglecting close interconnection and mutual influence of all those factors on the final result increases the risk of poor rates. Design decisions made on the basis of those factors supporting each other help to provide pleasant, positive, easy-to-use and user-focused e-commerce platforms.

 

Tubik studio UI animation

Tubik Studio | Museu by Ernest Asanov

 

The bottom line

 

The set of business terms and their definitions given above builds the bridge between business strategies and designs able to efficiently support them. However, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all those techniques and forget the first and most important thing. There are no any sophisticated design solutions, marketing techniques and any sort of magic which will sell the bad product for a long time. Surely, there can be some effect, but it will never retain the users. Positive experience of interaction with a website will not overcome bad experience of interaction with low-quality product or service.

 

The offer is the key. Design is an actionable and helpful tool on every stage of launching, presenting and promoting the product, informing users about it and selling it in the fast and easy way. Nevertheless, if the product is of poor quality, successful design of e-commerce platform isn’t going to make it better. Think about the product and its user first, only then design will give it the chance to beam at full.

 

«To satisfy our customers’ needs, we’ll give them what they want, not what we want to give them.» Steve James

 

tubik studio designer ecommerce

 

Don’t miss our next article which is going to present the set of business terms useful for UI/UX and graphic designers in terms of marketing and user research. Stay tuned!


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