UX vs. UI Design

These two terms are quite often used interchangeably. A majority of individuals usually consider both to be the same, as we see it in a layman’s perspective. But that’s not the case. These two are quite different, and have their own functionalities. In the exclusive domain of website design & development, you often hear ‘UI & UX rich’ terminology. What exactly are they? And, what significance does it hold while designing a website with all the latest design attributes, functions, analytics, tools & software.

Without much ado, let’s dive into it. Here, UI refers to the user-interface of a website or niche, whereas UX refers to the overall user experience. Since this blog focuses on web design, let’s think about UX (user experience) from a website’s perspective. For all aspiring WordPress web designers, this has always been an interesting topic to get familiar with. Let’s get into it!

What is UX Design?

The term UX refers to ‘user experience design’. It basically encompasses all aspects of a user’s interaction with a website or a particular web page. As per Don Norman’s definition, regardless of its medium, UX design embodies all interactions between a prospect or active customer and an organization. In this case, a website. The basic idea here is to provide a meaningful and satisfactory experience to the user or web visitor. The user experience may result from attributes like usability, accessibility, navigability, functions, buttons and landing page design.

It is the entire process a user experiences while using a service of a company. Here, it is about a website that a user visits for finding certain services, and navigating with ease to find what the user is searching for. It is the entire experience a person encounters, from visiting a website to the final purchase, which is termed as a user experience. Thus, a website should be rich in UX design attributes. This is to obtain repeat customers and increase leads.

The main aspects of UX-rich web design are:

User Feeling – Be it mobile app design or website design, if the UX is satisfactory, practical, and rich, it is bound to create a ‘feel good’ factor for any web visitor or user. It mainly focuses on achieving an overwhelming feeling, when a customer visits any website, either looking for a product or buying any service. The basic idea is to create a meaningful experience for users.

Testing & Prototyping – It is by creating wireframes and testable prototypes that form the backbone of a website’s user flow. On the other hand UI designers help design a website that drives user-engagement. In the UX design process, a majority of designs go through multiple iterations, before they’re finalized by the senior design team. Here, A/B testing is also a valued asset, when it comes to a UX design. Some important tasks include:

Content Strategy – A lot of organizations are now focusing on a content-driven design to deliver a greater punch, when it comes to enhancing user-experience. It is the content (text & images) in a website that plays a pivotal role in achieving the desired ‘feel good’ experience. Such as, when any visitor reads the blog posts, home page, and service pages content. A UX design content strategy includes:

What is UI Design?

It is basically about the specifics of a website’s user-interface. Here, a web designer selects advanced Google fonts, designs/redesigns visual elements, and ensures that individual pages are visually appealing and perfectly fit into the company’s overall business objectives and long-term growth plan. A website design or mobile UI design must look into all aspects of style and functionality of a particular web page. It should be made easy for any user to browse through pages, with no navigation related issues. A fast loading page is also one of the aspects of a UI-rich web design.

Visual Design – Today, a majority of web and mobile app development companies are optimizing the individual elements of websites, which includes typography (font), button design, and other fields that help in getting a robust interface. The main components of a visual design are:

Interactive Design – While designing a UI rich website, web designers implement or incorporate the interactive elements in the design of a mobile responsive (dynamic) or static website. It can be animations, graphics and other interactive aspects. For example, a web designer can create animation on a website that triggers after any web visitor clicks a button or scrolls down. Some of the best examples of interactive UI design are:

Mobile Responsive Design – Modern day web design & mobile application design must be easily accessible, adaptable, and viewable on all types of mobile devices and screen sizes. It must easily adapt and open exactly in the same manner in all devices like iPads, laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. A mobile responsive design is related to the UI design concept, as it is the process of making a website and its content easy to access and view on different mobile devices. This is especially important in web design where sites should open or load exactly the same manner from a 15.6 inch monitor to a 6.5-inch smartphone screen.

Some examples of a responsive design process are:

Final Thoughts

Both UI & UX design are somewhat different from each other in concept, process, and attributes. One is about creating a rich user experience, while the other is about providing a web visitor with a seamlessly designed web page that is easy to navigate, loads fast, has rich fonts (typography) with attractive background color, and be easy to understand, use, and operate. Hope this clears any questions between the two. Stay tuned for more blogs!

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Template Websites vs. Custom Web Design

Are you thinking about redesigning your existing website or building a new site from scratch? But…. You have questions on which route to take. Do I go custom or purchase one of these user friendly template options websites? Let’s take a look at which is a better option out of the two, by weighing the pros and cons. Here in San Diego, CA, there are a couple of famed web design agencies that can be your perfect design partner. Without much ado, let’s dive into this topic.

Custom Websites

1. Uniqueness

This can only be achieved with a custom designed website. Here, you can incorporate your own design ideas that are unique in their own way, while aiming for your target market. Something, which best represents your brand, company, business values, ethics, products, ideas and services. A web design which can be revised multiple times, modified, customized, to fit your company’s needs. Although, it must be known to you that even custom designed websites have built-in templates. Instead of building it (template) from the box or on a platform, it is created from scratch. Overall, it is the level of customization involved that helps in creating that uniqueness in design, when you go on to best represent your brand or company through a well-conceived site.

ALSO READ: Fascinating Web Design Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow

2. Scalability, Flexibility, & Easy-to-Manage

A custom designed website is always made ‘future ready’. You can anytime call-up your personal web development team or the San Diego web design company that developed your niche, with a new design idea that crops up in your mind, and make the changes necessary. A lot of custom features can be incorporated into your website, making it highly scalable. This clearly shows the amount of flexibility and dynamism that you can achieve with a custom web design & development. This is by thinking ‘out of the box’ and standing out from the competition. Most importantly a bespoke website is easily manageable, as the features have been incorporated, by understanding your business or personal requirements. The customization, scalability & flexibility factor comes into light when designing areas like events, shopping carts for eCommerce stores, members, ‘only sections’ or product/project portfolios.

3. Latest Built-In HTML Codes & SEO Ready

One such San Diego web design company can easily update the HTML codes and find creative ways to help a site perform well on all design, development and SEO metrics. A website which is designed ‘SEO ready’, stands the chance of roping-in more prospects, visitors, customers and generating new leads. Most importantly, secure a favorable place and organic rankings in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position).

4. Development Support

Well, custom designed websites will always have the support of a dedicated and experienced website developer from the company that built your site from scratch. They can easily troubleshoot any technical errors, snags, malfunctions or glitches that hinder the smooth operation and functionality of your site. For example, these guys can easily fix bugs, if any, with very little effort. So, you need to ensure that the web design agency you choose has in-house web developers on their payroll, rather than outsourcing.

5. Expensive to Build and Time Consuming

Let’s be honest, If you want something better than the rest, it’s going to take more time and money to build. Same applies to a custom web design. Depending on the features, a custom website can run you anywhere from 2k-50k, sometimes more. Things like level of customization, features, functionalities, tools, software and plugins involved in designing the site can affect the cost. The time taken to design one such site can be anything between 4 to 10 weeks. Again, it all depends on the scale of work and level of customization and goals you wish to have for your users.

Template Websites

1. Static Layout – What You See is What You Get!

You cannot expect any kind of customization in a template web design. The layout that you see in a template is what you get on your site. No scalability or flexibility, whatsoever. Here, you can only think of changing the fonts or background color scheme, but the design layout stays intact. If you think that the template is perfect for your website that you had in mind, then a template website design is a better option, considering the cost and time. The drawback here is, there might be someone out there that has the same design layout, as of yours. This is where it hurts the most. A big ‘zero’ on the aspect of uniqueness.

ALSO READ: The A-Z of Web Design

2. Shorter Time & Less Expensive

If time and cost is a factor for you, always go for template web design services, as offered by many companies. A lot of DIY web designers & developers are now using platforms like Wix and WordPress.com to design their own site. Here, you find a variety of template designs. Someone with a very little knowledge about website designing can follow the instructions in these platforms, and put together text, images and other information, in order to get the site up & running within a couple of weeks. If you already have a large customer base, a template website may save you time and money. These platforms also offer web hosting support, after the site is readied by you. The bad news is that most of these companies are subscription based and may end up costing you more than a custom website in the long run.

3. Restricted Customization

With templates, there’s literally no customization at all, barring the font (typography) size, color, style and background color scheme. For a company that needs their website to talk and engage clients, this may not be the best option. There’s no CMS (customer management system) or analytics set-up incorporated, and you cannot redesign the headers, footers, sliders or banners with animation, graphics or Flash. So, customizing such a template designed website for a particular company or organizational theme can be quite difficult. If you’re OK with compromising on the aspect of flexibility and dynamism, a template web design works out well for you.

4. Not Always Supported by Developers

Not all companies that design such template websites offer dedicated support and maintenance. So, in case of bugs, errors or design related changes, you have to do it all by yourself. You will never have access to the web designer or developer that built your site from a template. This is a big drawback.

Final Words

If your first thoughts are about saving money and time, then a template website can be perfect for you. Although, if you want something that precisely depicts your brand value, business, company, products and services to your targeted audience, there’s no alternative to custom website design & development. You may have to eat increased upfront costs but, you will be rewarded with a flexible, scalable, adaptable, and 100% customizable website. There’s no ambiguity or contradiction about it, a custom website design is our choice.

Mastering the Art of Mobile App Design with 6 Expert Suggested Tips

It is no surprise for anyone that with the extensive proliferation of smartphones and Android devices the world over, business organizations are now forced to think of alternative marketing strategies. The focus is on getting new customers, credible business leads, and prospects that want ‘easy-to-use’ applications in their daily lives. So, how to go about it? By designing a custom mobile application that opens seamlessly on all devices, loads fast, is easy-to-navigate, UI/UX rich, interactive, 100% mobile responsive, while being engaging and cleverly designed. All mobile apps need to have high image clarity and a clear intent of what your company wants to deliver its end-users. Let’s dive into this subject by learning about 6 smart tips for mobile application design.

1. Stick to the Basics

App design that works seamlessly for all is always better than being something too out there, which ultimately achieves nothing. That doesn’t mean you cannot be creative. What I am saying is that if something is rather ‘old school’ or traditional but works well, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The bottomline is, the end-users must feel familiar and find mobile apps easy to use. This can only be achieved by keeping the design simple and the user-interface practical. Statistics reveal that all successful applications have more or less similar designs. An app that is difficult to use, understand and navigate through, is literally useless. You got to keep it simple so that anyone can use it, regardless of technological tenure.

ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide To Mobile App Design

2. Navigational Features

This is the key to mobile app design & development. Any mobile application must be extremely navigable, user friendly, interface-rich and intuitive in design. All the ‘call-to-action’ buttons must be clearly visible to users with proper attributes. It is always advised NOT to use jargon, which can confuse your prospects or customers that are using your App. Another important thing is that your ‘Menu Categories’ must not overlap. The users should be able to go back and forth easily. You need to engage your users by highlighting the new features.

3. Choosing the Right Typography, Background Color & Clarity

These above mentioned features are quintessential for any mobile application design and development, across the globe. Typography refers to the font style and size in the mobile app. It plays a significant role in impacting user-experience. A quite familiar example here is when you search for YouTube videos, only some ‘vlogs’ catch your attention, which have a professional or intellectual looking font and thumbnail. Selecting the right fonts and having UHD image clarity can be a game changer. It not only enhances readability, but user experience too. The crux of the matter is users should not find it difficult to read the application’s content or text. Same applies to font & background color. You should not go for ‘loud’ and aggressive colors. You should go for a more soothing tone.

4. Decluttering UI

Mobile UI design MUST always be kept clutter-free. In any good mobile application design & development, clarity is one of the key aspects. If you overstuff your application design with too many buttons, images and texts, it can make the App complicated and difficult to understand for anyone. A cluttered design is NO help, and is the worst enemy of a mobile app UI design. You need to keep the design simple, practical and minimalistic. The basic idea must be to deliver the message to your user in a crisp and concise way. Since mobile screens have less space when compared to laptops or desktops, it is best advised to get rid of unwanted mobile design elements. Keep the UI design ‘clean’ and help the user to easily find the information they are looking for.

5. Readability

As all mobile and Android devices have smaller screens, it becomes imperative to fill-in as much of relevant and specific information pertaining to the company, brand, product or service. Therefore, a mobile app developer must keep in mind having short & crisp content that gives important information. In fact, the content should be easy to skim. Meaning, to be ‘optimally’ filled with the highly searched keywords and key phrases. People rather pick only the essential info that matters. The mobile application content must be optimized in such a manner that it is able to provide a seamless user experience to all ages.

6. Accessibility & Responsive

With the Government becoming stricter on web design accessibility features, you must create a mobile app design that is easily accessible to everyone. The application design should comply with the ADA & WCAG guidelines. A well designed mobile application should be highly accessible to users with different types of physical disabilities, such as low vision, partial & total blindness, or hearing impairments. Therefore, the design of the App should be easy to navigate. Here, you must keep in mind the ‘thumb zone’ design concept, and be wary of the ‘OW zone’ for mobile phones that have a bigger screen size. It becomes difficult to hold the bigger phone in one hand and take your thumb to the ‘OW zone’ on the screen where some key icons are placed. It should also have ‘finger friendly’ tap targets in bigger sizes that are easily noticeable. Last but not the least, the mobile App design should be highly mobile responsive.

Endnote

When you follow and master these 6 tips for designing mobile apps, you can’t go wrong. Trust my words! After all, user experience and the ease-of-use holds the key for mobile applications. If the mobile UI design is highly practical, it becomes easier to use. With all the buttons, fonts, colors, size and pixel-perfect clarity, your company’s mobile app is bound to stand out from the crowd.

Fascinating Web Design Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow

There are many aspects to getting your business online, but one of the things you absolutely need to think about is web design. After all, it’s not enough just to get online. Once you’re there you need to attract attention and keep that attention long enough to get new customers. Focusing on your web design will make a huge difference on that front.

Why Web Design Matters

Web design keeps people interested once they get to your page. If your website looks sleek and polished people think that your business is sleek and polished. In other words, they think that it’s worth spending their money on. That’s why hiring a web design company might be a good idea.

What to Keep in Mind

Let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks you should consider, or work with a company on web development San Diego, to help with.

1. Keep it simple. We’ve all heard of the KISS strategy of ‘keep it simple’ and that’s definitely the case with your web design as well. You want a color scheme that flows together and a font scheme that fits with it well.

2. Use images. People see images a whole lot faster than they see all the text you spent so long writing up. So place images strategically across your website to draw the eye and get people to take a closer look.

3. Capitalize on SEO. SEO or search engine optimization, is going to get people to your website. That means it’s extremely important to focus on before you get your website developer working on the ‘pretty’ aspects on the page.

4. Make it work for everyone. You want a design that is going to be easy for people to read and understand. So take a look at what you’re writing and how you’re writing it. Is the text easy to read? Is the content at a good reading level? Don’t make anything too advanced (unless that’s your target audience).

5. Consider different screens. Not everyone is going to be checking out your web page from a computer. In fact, chances are the majority of people will be checking it out from a mobile device. So make sure your content can easily scale to different mobile device screens.

6. Make it fit you. Think about the audience for your product or service and then make sure that the design you use is actually going to appeal to them. If you’re into green products you want to keep your look in line with that rather than getting too ‘techy.’ Or if you have a ‘boho’ vibe you may want to avoid too many bright and bold colors.

Working with a web developer to get your web design services done is definitely going to help you create a cohesive, high quality website that offers the custom web design features you’re looking for. Make sure you’re hiring a website designer who can help you get from where you are to the top of your market.

How Compelling Graphic Design Will Shape Your Company

In need of graphic design services? If you’re using an image that you created yourself using Photoshop (or worse, Paint) then you definitely are. If you’ve ever looked around on the internet you’ll know that there are plenty of companies that should have hired someone to create a professional graphic design and you just might be one of them.

What You Get

When you pick a graphic design agency in San Diego you can create a custom logo design that really fits the image of your business, or at least the image that you want to portray.

People shop with their eyes first. So, if they get to your website, intentionally or by happenstance, the first thing they’re going to do is scan what’s on the page. If it looks like their kindergartener designed it they’re not going to stay long. That first impression is going to stick with them.

When you have a business logo design and an overall flow to your page that seems like it fits your business, and is attractive, you’re definitely going to make a better impression. If you don’t know quality design from subpar design (or if you’re like a lot of us and not so artistic) then getting the top logo designer San Diego has to offer is probably in your best interests.

Having a quality design is going to help you create an image for your business. When you think about an Apple, you think about an iPhone. When you think about a swoosh, you think about Nike. What will your image portray?

Making it All You

Your business is all about you. Sure, you’re trying to do what’s right for the customer and provide them with the product or service they’re looking for. But the way you do that is by selling yourself. If you (or rather, your business) don’t look appealing then a potential customer is going to just skate on by.

When you hire a logo design company, make sure they know what it is you want customers to think when they first see your logo. Is it that you’re a hipster who loves avocados and chickpeas? Or maybe it’s that you’re super modern and love high tech and bold colors. Maybe you’re into vintage and your business is all about ‘yesteryear.’

Whatever it is that you want your brand to stand for, your logo design and the design of your website all need to focus on that.

When it comes to graphic design you might even be surprised how much it matters. Getting a professional logo design may cost you a bit more of the budget, but it’s going to pay dividends by the time you’re done.

The Ultimate Guide To Mobile App Design

Statistics show that “people spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones. Americans spend around 5.4 hours a day using phones. Millennials are on their phones 5.7 hours a day, while baby boomers devote 5 hours to their smartphones.”

Gone are the days when mobile devices were only for the Elite. Nowadays, almost everyone owns at least one. In 2022, the number of smartphone users in the world today is 6.648 Billion, which translates to 83.72% of the world’s population owning a smartphone. In total, the number of people that own a smart and feature phone is 7.26 Billion, making up 91.54% of the world’s population.

Mobile devices have become an integral part of everyday life. Suppose you have a business; you would agree that competition is fierce. Therefore, hiring the best mobile app developers is essential to stay above the competition.

The global download from App Store increased to 8.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022. As a result, mobile app for businesses is a priority.

Mobile app design is the process of designing mobile applications. This article will cover a step-by-step guide on designing a mobile app.

  1. Planning and setting your goals

The first step in designing a mobile app is making plans. In this stage, you mention the following:

Making a plan is like drawing a map to guide the mobile application design and development. Planning helps you identify possible problems and solutions in app design.

2. Research

Research is an essential aspect of app design. There are two parts-market and user research. You need to get information about your niche to understand the competition better. As a result, you may discover a lapse in existing apps, and addressing this issue will be the selling point for your brand.

In addition, conduct in-depth user research to identify user needs and complaints to provide a solution. At this stage, you can modify your plan’s objectives, functionality, and other areas.

Furthermore, you may collect data from the public about their preferences. The result will then inform the mobile app UI design, which helps form an emotional connection with end-users.

3. Create a UX Wireframe

The UX wireframe is a visual representation of the app’s architecture. This is like a blueprint of the function and appearance of the app. Web and mobile app development companies create the wireframe digitally for proper representation.

The UX wireframe is a detailed outline of the mobile app layout. It specifies the pages and the location of the features. You can use the following wireframing tools to create a wireframe:

The wireframe gives the app designer a clear overview of the features of the mobile application. This helps evaluate the mobile UI design to ensure it is easy to navigate.

4. Prototyping

The next step is to create a clickable prototype. At this stage, the designers test the interface before implementing the design. Prototyping is an essential stage because it helps to make any corrections before the main design begins.

A prototype is a sample of the app that allows for testing the efficiency of the design blueprint. This is a more cost-effective method than making corrections after launching the application. Therefore, professional app designers use prototypes to ensure they have not missed any important feature or function.

After testing the prototype, web and mobile app development companies, I advise conducting usability testing.

5. UI Design

Designing the user experience is as essential as the user interface. Therefore, it is crucial to define the visual specification of the app design. The user interface is the final field where the user interacts with the mobile application.

At this stage, app developers must analyze and optimize visual perception and feelings from client interaction with the application. Features analyzed include color, font, animations, shapes, and other factors influencing positive or negative user experience.

However, an app designer must work on the UX while focusing on the layout to ensure it is easy to navigate. As a result, the risk of creating a messy mobile app UI design is significantly reduced.

6. Mobile App Testing

Mobile app testing is one of the essential phases before the launch. Testing aims to find bugs and errors that may affect its functions. Irrespective of an app’s solution, users and app stores will reject it if it does not meet the standard.

The aim of testing is not to discredit the app developers. However, it is to ensure that the final product meets the expectations. In addition, designers have to test-run the mobile app on devices with different operating systems like android and ios. The aim is to test the functionality, loading time, and ease of navigation. Any errors detected will be promptly fixed.

7. Launching

After all the errors have been fixed, you can now prepare to introduce the mobile app to the world. Apple usually requires review before approving the app. However, filling out an additional form is required if the app is intended for commercial purposes.

8. Conclusion

This article has covered the guide to mobile app design. The best mobile app developers need to work with other individuals to produce a quality application. Feedback from users and research are two aspects of app design that must not be taken for granted. Remember, if users cannot navigate the app, it would be useless irrespective of its prospects!

The A-Z of Web Design

Web design encompasses many skills. However, the goal is to make a website looks good. Let us explore some terms related to web design.

A: Accessibility
In designing a website, it is essential to ensure it is readily accessible from various devices and platforms.

B: Browser Compatibility
The website must be able to function on numerous browsers like Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

C: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
It allows for custom web design across all pages that use the style sheet

D: Domain
Domain is the physical address of a website.

E: Email
It is essential that you integrate your business email into your website so that you can easily be reached.

F: Fixed Header
A website developer uses the fixed header to place “CTA” or navigation bar at the top of the browser.

G: Git
Git is essential in web development as it offers high performance, flexibility and security.

H: Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)
This is a markup language used for coding on websites.

I: Interaction Design
Website designers must consider interactive design as it optimizes the user experience on the site.

J: JavaScript
JavaScript is a programming language that enhances functionality, interaction, and user experience.

K: Keywords
Keywords are specific words and phrases you include in content to increase organic traffic.

L: Load Time
Every web design company understands the significance of load time. Website page loading speed may be the factor that keeps or drives away the audience.

M: Meta Data
Meta-description and Meta-tags are examples of metadata; they increase ranking on search engine results.

N: Navigation
Navigation allows users to find information on a website easily; this increases user experience.

O: Objectivity
The process of web design has to be objective and not subjective. Therefore, the design should be tailored to meet the clients’ needs and not based on personal preferences.

P: Plugin
Plugins are software added to a website to optimize the functionality

Q: Quality
Developing quality websites means upholding a standard for customer satisfaction.

R: Readability
A website’s content must be readable and user-friendly to impress the clients to visit again.

S: Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an integral part of web design services. The goal is to increase traffic and ensure your website ranks highly in search engine results.

T: Typography
A website designer uses typography (choosing font, color, and thickness) to present text in an impressive and readable form.

U: User Interface and Experience (UI & UX)
UI focuses on designing the visual aspect the customer interacts with on the website. UX, on the other hand, describes customer satisfaction from using and navigating the website.

V: Validity
Factors like website layout, readability, and organization affect validity.
Validity involves ensuring the quality of the website

W: Web Standard
Web standard entails specification and recommendations on the best ways to use various programming languages.

X: XML
XML is an abbreviation for eXtensible Markup Language. It is a multi-purpose language that is even more flexible than HTML. XML functions to transfer and store data on websites.

Y: Yahoo
Yahoo is a search engine that was created before Google. However, the latter has more popularity.

Z: Zip
Zip is a method of transferring large files between devices. Zip files are usually compressed to enhance transfer speed. You can always download a zip software if absent from your device.

Conclusion

Creating a website is a fun process. However, understanding some key concepts helps to reduce mistakes in the website design process.