Dark mode - pros & cons

Dark mode – pros & cons

Dark Mode is a supplemental mode that can be used to display mostly dark surfaces on the UI. The dark mode is going to be a trend for this year. 

The dark theme comes with some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • Saves energy
  • Better readability 
  • When the screen is dark, the screen glare is reduced
  • Looks amazing. 

Disadvantages:

  • Dark themes are not always better for eye strain
  • Long pieces of content or text are more challenging to read in dark mode.

Who supports dark mode:

Operating systems

Windows 10

Mac OS Mojave

Android

IOS 13

Browsers

Google Chrome

Safari

Mozilla Firefox

Chat services

Facebook Messenger

Whatsapp

Viber

Skype

Slack

Social media

Twitter

Productivity tools

Todoist

Notion

Trello

What is your favorite mode?

Thank you for reading.


Importance of Design Critiques

Importance of Design Critiques

 According to Nielsen Norman Group, Design critique refers to analyzing the design and giving feedback on whether it meets its objectives.

A design critique usually manifests as a group conversation with the ultimate goal of improving a design. It does not mean simply judging a design.

Critique is important and it is impossible to improve a design without feedback from others. We always ask ourselves how to give productive design critiques. Here is a couple of rules:

  1. Identify the design owner
  2. Designate a facilitaor 
  3. Restate the project goal
  4. Ask for what you want
  5. Don’t design in the meeting
  6. Leave with a task list
  7. Go negative and positive 
  8. Write, think about it and say it

Next time I would love to talk more about this interesting topic. It’s pretty unusual to find someone who enjoys critique and I will try to explain some techniques on how to be more comfortable when you are listening critiques.

Thank you for reading!

Communication between Designers & Developers

Communication between Designers & Developers

Communication and understanding between designers and developers is very important. 

Designers are specialized in making the app/project comprehensible for their users, while developers specialize in software and application building. 

The key thing to a successful partnership is knowing each other’s strengths and qualities. Once you are familiar with your partner, ideas and projects are easier to come to and complete. 

It is very important that the designer and developer are on the same page. Working on the same element at the same time is recommended so that both people can follow the work of the other. 

For any strong project, app, or design, a great partnership is needed. Having two artists, with different capabilities and interests working together as one is not often easy, but once they start working in harmony, great products can be made. 

“I like to work with devs, and as a designer, I think it’s essential to be able to communicate with devs when you’re designing.”

Phillipe Hong 

Thank you for reading!

Importance of Competitive Analysis

Importance of Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is an extremely important strategy in which you will be able to analyze the competitors and the state of the market in order to identify opportunities for improvement and/or potential threats to the product.

It is crucial to conduct a proper market analysis in order to help your product grow as much as possible.

Here are some key steps to conducting an excellent competitive analysis

  1. Analyze who your competitors are
  2. Determine what products your competitors are offering
  3. Analyze your competitors’ sales and marketing tactics.
  4. Analyze the key aspects of your competitors’ product and marketing engagement.

It is important to note that you should only be focused on direct competitors. 

*Direct competitors are those competitors that are offering the exact same product as you in a similar manner. 

Also, it is key that you pay attention to the competitors’ pricing. It is important to analyze any discounts or price changes that they may have incorporated. Knowing your competitors’ market and sales approach is very important. Monitoring them for a longer period of time and seeing any change in sales, discounts, pricing or marketing is key.

Thank you for reading. 

I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!


Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process for creative problem-solving.

There are three key components to design thinking processes. 

1) Understanding the user

There are two smaller phases to this one.

  1. Empathize – with your users
  2. Define – your users’ needs, your insights, and their problems

2) Explore

Just like the first phase, the “Explore” phase also has two smaller phases that need to be completed.

  1. Ideate – by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions. Bring your team members together and sketch out many different ideas.
  2. Prototype – The goal of this phase is to understand what components of your ideas work, and which do not. 

3) Materialize

  1. Test –  Return to your users for feedback. Put your prototype in front of real customers and verify that it achieves your goals. 
  2. Implement – Milton Glaser: “There’s no such thing as a creative type. As if creativity is a verb, a very time-consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work.” Put the vision into effect. 

Thank you for reading and feel free to leave any questions/comments about “Design Thinking” down below!

I like this topic and will make sure to expand on it next week.

User Interview

User interview

User interviews are where a researcher asks questions of and records responses from, users.  The ideal interview takes place with two UX researchers and one user. 

– One UX researcher focuses on asking questions and guiding the interviewee through the interview. 

– The other UX researcher takes notes (if a second researcher is unavailable for this – then take a video or audio recording )

Typical topics covered within user interviews include:

The use of technology 

The use of the product

The user’s main objectives and motivations

The user’s main points

Background

Preparation for user interviews begins with recruitment; you want to ensure that you recruit a representative sample of users for your interviews.

Then you will need to create a script with questions. Some tips for your script:

  1. Explain the purpose of the interview
  2. Explain how the person’s data and any data you collect will be used from the interview
  3. Keep leading questions to a minimum
  4. Keep it short. Interviews should, ideally, be less than 1 hour long.

If you have any questions feel free to comment down below!

Thank you for reading!



Uncategorized

UX Design Process

“The main point of difference is that of timing. Both artists and scientists operate on the physical world as it exists in the present (whether it is real or symbolic), while mathematicians operate on abstract relationships that are independent of historical time. Designers, on the other hand, are forever bound to treat as real that which exists only in an imagined future and have to specify ways in which the foreseen thing can be made to exist.”

John Chris Jones, Design Method

1. Understand user’s needs – User (what their needs are; what their problems are).

2. Research – 

1:1 interviews – Can be in person or online.

Focus Groups -A group of 3-5 target users that discuss their attitudes, emotions, and frustrations with an issue or product. Remember: It’s a discussion—not just an interview. Encourage dialogue between the participants and yourself.

Surveys – These are questionnaires you send out to your target users. These are good for finding out your users’ attitudes towards a specific topic with the added benefit of receiving the data as soon as the users are done with the survey. However, you have to be careful not to use leading questions that could disproportionately impact the results.

Usability Testing – (This is the practice of observing your target audience using a program or product. For example, if you were a designer for the Uber app, you might ask your user to pull up the app and order a car):

User testing, 

A/B Testing,

Click Heat to find out what the users are clicking on/showing the most interest in.

3. Analyze – User Persona (user needs), User Journey Map (what the users will be going through when they interact with the product)

4.   Design 

  • Brainstorming
  • Paper sketches, low fidelity sketches, wireframes 
  • User testing
  • High Fidelity prototype
  • User testing

  5.      Launch 

  6.      Analyze again!

Thank you for reading. 

I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!


Typography elements - part two

Typography elements-part two

Down below are the last three typography elements. With this, I will conclude my analysis of a very important UI element. 

1. White space 

White space is the unmarked distance between different elements that gives viewers some visual breaks when they process design, minimizing distractions and making it easier to focus. 

White space can be the best way of drawing the viewer in, as it indicates that whatever is within the large field of empty space must be important.

2. Alignment

Alignment refers to placing text and other design elements on a page so they line up. It helps to create order, organize your elements, create visual connections, and improve the readability of your design.

Alignment can apply to an individual word, images or whole body of the text. 

The best way to keep track of aligning shapes, text, lines, and images is Gravit design rulers.

3. Hierarchy

Hierarchy is created by the contrast between visual elements in a composition. Typically visual elements with the highest contrast are noticed first. Using hierarchy we can control how a viewer engages with information to ensure that information is navigated and digested in the way it is intended.

Here is my favorite quote:

” Typography is a two-dimensional architecture based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability”,

Hermann Zapf

I would like to hear your views on design elements and what you think about them.



Typography Elements

Typography Elements

Last week I wrote about the basics of typography. Now I will explain in more detail what the typography elements are. Some typography elements are:

1.Contrast:

Different size, typeface, weight, color, and style can give your designs a big impact, as well as make your ideas organized. The contrast makes the text more interesting and that way it is easier to get the users’ attention to the important details.

2.Typeface:

Three kinds of typefaces are serif, sans-serif, and decorative.

Serif fonts have little embellishments at the end of their lines.

“Sans” means “without,” which is why all fonts without serifs are called  “sans-serif.”  

Decorative fonts don’t really fit strictly in either of those categories and are often elaborate, creative fonts used for titles.

3.Consistency:

Consistency is the key element of typography and here are some important things to note.

Using one font for all ideas that are related. 

Use up to two fonts in your designs.

4.Color:

The use of different colors to send different messages is important. There are three main components of color: 

Hue – the shade of colors.

Value – lightness or darkness of the color.

Saturation – how brilliant the color is.

There are three more typography elements and we will discuss them next week.

Thank you for reading.