August 11, 2022No Comments

Contrast: the spice of life

The verb contrast means to show a difference. Think of it as photos that reveal how much weight a person lost. Looking at the “before” and “after” shots. You probably know contrast in its relation to the term compare.

Contrast allows for more engagement and stimulation. In creative design, contrast brings life to your work. You take control of how your users interact with your design. It's used in colors, fonts, shapes, sizes, and everything you can think of in design. 

Why all the fuss about Contrast

It's what makes the difference between boring and great design. It helps with readability and information overload.

The contrast in color and shape

Contrasting color and shapes to make an element stand out

When creating great compositions, it is how you make better-looking images. With it, you control and define a hierarchy, movement, and meaning.

Establishing Hierarchy

We can use contrast to give importance to an element in a design with contrast. By drastically increasing the contrast, by 2x, 4x, or even 10x, then you can control the most important bit of information the viewer should see first.

Creating movement

Building on establishing heirarchy, we can create the illusion of motion by creating a path for the eyes of your audience. The example below also shows that some elements draw more attention than others. A small red circle draws more attention than a larger grey one. Contrasting elements can be combined in creative ways to bring better attention to your designs, illustrations, movies, etc.

Here are some live examples of contrast being used.

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August 11, 2022No Comments

For Content, Sometimes Less is More

Content development has changed dramatically from what it used to be. Back in the day, you could write fleshy content and be sure that people who come to your site will read it and get all the information they need.

Today, things are different. Written content has taken a backseat for several reasons, and content developers now have to focus on grabbing the attention of their readers.

Whether you’re developing content for social media, a website, or even content for YouTube, hardly does anything matter like brevity. Your focus should be to grab the reader’s attention and convey your message as briefly and quickly as possible.

Readers Have Short Attention Spans These Days

With the internet becoming more ubiquitous, everyone’s trying to carve a palace for themselves now. This means that people who surf the web looking for information now have different sources where they can get it.

Over time, readers have grown to have shorter attention spans. If I head over to YouTube and search for “who won the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2018?,” I want to see the answer immediately and get back to what I was doing. I’m not necessarily looking for copious details — just tell me who won, and that’s it.

This has presented a bit of a problem for most content developers — especially when writing web content. Most times, there’s a lot of information you need to convey, and you might not know how to pass it across without using so many words.

Being Creative With Your Storytelling

As a content developer, the best way to work around this problem is to be more creative with your storytelling.

We already established that readers have short attention spans these days. But, what they do like is a compelling story — something they can relate to, and which will resonate with them. That’s how you catch — and hold — their attention.

When it comes to storytelling, remember to be as relatable as possible. If your content is aimed at selling a product or a service, then speak to your target market in a way that makes them know you understand their pain points.

Don’t just tell what your product or service has. Sell what it does.

Remember: Don’t Bore People

Of course, while you’re telling your story, it’s still important that you keep things brief. Don’t go on about how you got injured on the football pitch as a kid just because you’re trying to sell a pair of football boots. Instead, explain why your boots are the best in the market, and how your customers will be able to benefit from them.

If a story can be told in 50 words, why use 75?

Also, you can engage other forms of content to pass your message across. Video content is very popular right now, and some stats even suggest that video content will make up 82% of all consumer traffic this year.

Graphic content also works well to convey your message. People are more likely to engage with something when they see graphics — instead of just long blocks of text. But, even your video content or graphic content will need scripts. For those, remember the rule — keep it brief!

August 11, 2022No Comments

Consistency and Its Importance in Design

Coca-Cola branding is consistent on all products: Source: google search

Quite a lot has been said about user interface design and its importance to the successful launch of a product. A user-friendly design will yield proper dividends when the product launches and users actually find it easy to use. They become more familiar with the product itself, and your work is done.

There are many elements to proper user interface design, as we know. However, one of the most fundamental is consistency. While it might seem like a no-brainer, you’d be shocked at the number of designers who tend to gloss over it when they work.

What is Design Consistency?

Simply put, consistency occurs when all the elements of a user interface design behave the same way. Implementing consistency in your design is important in ensuring that your users can understand how the product works. It also encourages them more to use the product, bringing it another step closer to fulfilling its objective.

When a user first comes in contact with a product, they make assumptions immediately. Once they see your home page (or landing page, for an app), they start thinking about what to expect when they see other parts of the product.

With consistency, you ensure that the users’ assumptions about your product are correct. This gives a sense of control, encouraging the user to explore. Just like that, you have them hooked!

Why You Should Prioritize Design Consistency

Expert designers agree that design consistency is important. But why?

It cuts out confusion

Confusion is the enemy of any product. As a designer, the absolute worst thing that can happen to you is for your end-users to get confused when using your product. It’s the Achilles heel of any designer.

This is why consistency is key. As a designer, it’s easy to get lost in the magic of what you’re doing that you throw in different elements. But, you should always remember to keep all elements consistent with each other.

Users want to go into a product and find their way around easily, and consistency is what gets you there.

It encourages users to learn

When designing, you should note four different types of consistency — external, internal, functional, and visual.

When you achieve all these, you don’t just make the product usable; you make it learnable as well. Users know they’re in control of the product, and they’re encouraged to look around to see what else the product can do.

As a designer, your joy is to build something that people always want to use; not because they have to use it, but because they love using it. However, no matter how hard you try, the users won’t be able to do this if they’re not willing to learn how the product works.

With a consistent design, you can keep users on your product for as long as possible. They won’t get frustrated while using it, and they’ll be more interested in exploring every facet of the product.

Contributing to the product’s overall success

When coming up with innovative ideas, consistency helps you to advance the chances of success in your user interface design. By doing this, you’re guaranteeing that your process is done with the users’ expectations in mind.

Preventing issues like confusion and errors will keep your product ringing in your users’ minds. They won’t get tired of using what you’re building, and your stock will keep rising.

December 29, 2020No Comments

Designing for User Experience

As a UI/UX designer, your contribution to your client is immeasurable. You hold an important place in their ultimate goal — to sell. However, you need to consider certain factors if you hope to create a UI that is truly attractive and useful at the same time this is Designing for User Experience.

Through some trial and error, we’ve discovered that certain user interface factors hold more importance than others. These include:

Objective Focus

As a UI/UX designer, you should remember the most important thing — your design isn’t just about beauty or showing off your skills; it’s about offering value to the user.

You have to understand what your customers want and factor that into your design. At the end of the day, people will only use something if it makes life easier for them.

User first Design

In some way, every product hopes to improve the lives of its users. As a designer, you need to understand your product and look into the best way for it to get its job done.

Remember that your product is being created for the users — not you. When making a design choice, do so from the user’s perspective. To make things easier, try to understand your end user’s psychology. Know their wants, pain points, and expectations. Then, get to designing.

In some cases, you might need a proper multilingual user interface. This way, you build a product that appeals to someone in Nigeria and their friend in Russia.

Breathing Space

As designers, we sometimes tend to focus more on the things we need to add. If you’re creating a Graphic User Interface (GUIs), you want to know what images or icons to add to bring more meaning to the design.

But, sometimes, less is more.

Studies have shown that by adding more space to a website or mobile app, you can actually attract users. Minimalism is a trend for a reason — people want to see everything they need in one page, and they don’t need a million icons and images shouting at them.

People feel more comfortable when they aren’t being bombarded with details. So, in many cases, negative space can be your best friend as a UI/UX designer.

1minute pay landing page, showing breathing space around text.
Letting the Image breathe, sometimes less is more. 1-MinutePay

Pretty Colors

Another important part of creating strong GUIs is an understanding of color. Studies have shown that people associate certain colors with certain meanings. So, choosing colors wisely can make all the difference in the world for your design.

Letting colours work for you in a design.
Here's a design using colors that work, CARDTONIC

Content Placement and Length

No matter how well-written, putting a lengthy block of content on your main page never works.

When working with content, always place it where users expect it to be. Also, try to make the content as concise as possible. Add images and more to the GUI design, and you’ve got yourself something nice.

Responsivity is a Must

When you’re working on a website, you should have a mobile-friendly version of it as well. Over 50% of website users surf the internet with their phones. So, they won’t want to keep zooming in and out all the time.

Making your website responsive is very important. Don’t give your users the opportunity to leave.

Keywords: user interface, UI/UX designer, multilingual user interface, graphical user interface, GUIs, GUI design