Design is the outcome of the current trend of liking of the audience and the manifestation of the cultural atmosphere. Though at present the designers are following the masculine and feminine approaches to reach the audience, very soon the design trends will focus on gender-neutral design. Gender neutrality is taking over in all realms of interactions and though it is not very widespread yet, it will become very popular in the coming years.

The gender-neutral design approach can result in design in products that can find a greater audience. It can be more productive and easy for all to choose the products based on gender-neutral design. Universal design can encourage and promote the varying needs of individuals easily.

How to make a gender-neutral product design?

The most important thing that you need to do is to make a balance between the feminine and masculine aspects of design. You should find the different aspects of a design that can manifest itself into masculine and feminine gender. When you have good knowledge about it, you can make a design that can meet the need of both genders and can produce a good gender-neutral design.

Gender-neutral colors

Gender-neutral colors

Selection of color can play a big role in making a gender-neutral design. The disruption of the stereotyped design and out of box thinking approach can be the stepping stone to make a gender-neutral design. Grey, white, black, light-browns, etc all are gender-neutral colors.

The blue color is often liked by both genders and it can be suitable as a gender-neutral color though not in a very dark tone. The use of accent colors can be good to balance between masculine and feminine connotations. When you start making a gender-neutral design, these color ideas can be a good starting point.

The gender-neutral colors are normally minimalist and muted. However, it is always better to analyze the audience so that you have a fair understanding of what type of color will be suitable for them. A few examples of gender-neutral colors are grey, white, black, green, yellow, light brown, orange, and the muted toned.

Color and typography can play a mutually important role in the gender-neutral design

The role of typography is very important in the gender-neutral design along with color. The masculine fonts are straight lines, with geometric shapes and sharp edges. On the other hand, the feminine fonts are thin, cursive, smooth and slanted, and tend to be decorated.

Of course, there is some typography style that is classical and does not have any gender association. For example, Roboto, Grammond and Helvetica, and these fonts can be highly suitable to use in gender-neutral design. Helvetica may be the most popular among these to use as a gender-neutral typeface.

However, there can be variations in Helvetica also that connotes gender. For example, the ultra-light variation of Helvetica can be quite feminine whereas the extra bold Helvetica can be masculine. There will be more fonts that you will see in near future that can be more gender-inclusive. You need to consider the context where there will be use of both font and the color, together. There can be particular color suitable for a font in a particular context. When you want to make a gender-neutral design, you should be conscious of the relation between the color and the typography.

Layouts

Layouts can have a masculine and feminine connotation in terms of graphics and websites. As earlier pointed out, the color and the choice of typography should be perfectly balanced to get a gender-neutral design. Some websites may look feminine due to the use of pink, turquoise or rose-gold colors.

The elements of color, typography, and shapes will affect the appearance of a layout. To understand a gender-neutral design, it can be great if you research websites that cater to everyone’s needs. For example, sites like Google, eBay, or Amazon, etc and all these sites have a gender-neutral approach in design.

Photography and Imagery

Photography and Imagery

The imagery and photography that support the inclusive of gender do not picture any particular type of gender. It does not have a stereotypical gender norm. When photography pertains to a group of people, the group should be diverse to make it gender-neutral.

When you want to target a particular demographic group, only a particular segment of the population needs to be considered for your marketing campaign. However, advertising imagery for a specific gender can be a stereotype in nature. For example, Gillet advertising is generally targeted to a male audience whereas, Dove imagery with its soft and delicate imagery is targeted towards women.

The common approach to gender-neutral imagery for advertising is its emphasis on the functionality of the product instead of gender. For example, Aesop, the cosmetic brand, is doing an excellent job of appealing to both the genders by not making stereotypical gender profiling. Another example may be Burberry that is trying to popularize the gender neutrality in the fashion designs.

Aesthetics based on androgeny

Androgyny is a combination of feminine and masculine characteristics and it produces an effect that is neither feminine nor masculine. While the androgynous aesthetics is not a new thing, it is finding a great deal of application in gender-neutral design at present. You can include it in your brand imagery if you want to make a gender-neutral design.

Icons

Icons

Similar to typography, smooth and curved line icons are mainly targeted towards the feminine audience whereas straight and sharp-edged icons are targeted to a masculine audience. The choice of color can be very vital for making the icons gender-neutral. A gender-neutral style of icons is having a one-color use approach and the chosen color is normally an accent or neutral color.

In most cases, the gender-neutral icons are outline icons and glyphs. There is no specific dimension or color and these can be perfect for any design. You can choose the best style that matches the requirement for your brand.

Gender-neutral glyphs

Glyphs are symbols that can help to communicate a specific message. The examples of glyphs can be the zebra crossing, and the danger symbols, etc. It is a challenge to make gender-neutral glyph designs and designers are trying to make gender-neutral glyph design and you can expect to see some arising in a short time.

Packaging

You need to understand the gender stereotypes that come in the traditional design of packages to understand the concept of gender-neutral packaging designs. Normally matt black, chrome, and dark blue represent men’s products. Sometimes packaging for men features sports connotations or sports imagery.

On the other hand, the pink color is widely used to make products and toiletries for women. The sleek packaging is often made for women that come with flower pattern and rounded iconography. In the recent design methodology for gender-neutral design, there is a massive shift in the choice of pink color.

Developers for gender-neutral design are now not favoring to choose the pink color in package design. Now there are more colors available to choose for women packages. Many of these colors are blue, yellow and gender-neutral patterns that can appeal to both genders.

Gender-neutral product designs should not have graphics of flowers or sports connotations. It can feature minimalist packaging and it can emphasize on the product practicality. The perfume brand, skincare brand, cosmetic line, etc are some examples that are trying to bring gender-neutral packaging designs.

Conclusion

Stereotype designs targeting a specific gender are alienating several consumers for choosing a product.

The future in design focuses on breaking gender stereotypes as the line between what men and women respond to design is thinning. At present, more and more people are responding positively to a gender-neutral design concept.

A gender-neutral design may be the right path for attracting a larger customer base for a product. You need to know the likes and dislikes of your customers better to decide what they prefer.

In modern website design, the choice of website background can be a key ingredient to build a great look. Website background can be useful to frame the content and can provide visual separation for the section of the site. The backgrounds can also set the right tone for a website and can influence the first impression of the users, and it can be a test for the UI/UX Designer skills. 

The choice for the colors or the visuals for developing the background of a website should not be taken lightly. The type of selection that you make can make or break the ability to communicate the message of the site effectively. Here you can find some best practices that you should follow when selecting website backgrounds for your site.

Choice of the right image is very important

Choice of the right image is very important

The right image can impact your audience immediately and it can set the right mood and can immediately communicate about what you do or what is your site is about. The choice of the image can show your location, your product and also about you. Large size for the background image can produce a first impression to your audience that can be either good or bad.

Therefore, you need to choose the image carefully and you may need to run a slideshow as you can not choose from one image only. With a large, beautiful image having excellent color, design, and patterns, you can make a brilliant tone for your website. Website background should always be considered as the overall branding strategy and it means that the video or the images you choose should be able to communicate the website’s messages effectively.

Make sure that the photo or image you choose has a lot of open space for putting your text. Something that is too cluttered can easily distract your visitors from the content and try to avoid overwhelming images for the site background.

Accessibility of the website is important

Accessibility of the website is important

Website accessibility should never suffer, even if you are using an image or video background. You need to make sure that your choice for the background does not in any way take away the focus from the text content or make the legibility of the text difficult over the background. An acceptable contrast ratio must be applied to ensure that the text does not blend with the images and there is no compromise of the User Experience.

You may consider using an image editor to adjust the opacity and contrast of the photo for resolving the readability issue on a free website background. The selection of font size and the right font for the text is very important to make it distinctly visible in the image. The overall background needs to be adjusted to ensure that it does not interfere in any way with the ability of the users to read your content.

Choose the right resolution of the image

Choose the right resolution of the image

It is always helpful to use high-quality website backgrounds with the right technical specification of the images. It can be better to use background images that are oriented in the landscape rather than in portrait and fit most modern computer screens in widescreen format. You may crop the images down to your preferred size as per the specifications of the website builder.

The size of the mage that you choose is also very important and your background photo should be at least 1024×760 pixels that most computer screens support. You should aim for at least 1200 pixels wide image as uploading a low-resolution image can in blurry and pixilated visuals particularly in a larger screen. You can find the pixel size of the image I most photo editing programs and accordingly you should choose the correct one to choose a brilliant image.

Keep the things symmetrical

Keep the things symmetrical

Symmetrical design always appeals to visitors for its beauty. Though the asymmetrical design is one of the recent design trends, you should always try with the symmetrical design pattern at the beginning. With the choice of asymmetrical design pattern with minimal background mages, you can bring a great look to the website, and it can be one of the great tests for an UX Designer.

Align background images with the focal point

Align background images with the focal point

The focal point on your website is important to help the visitors to reach the content of your website. You should use a hierarchy to help people towards something and the background image that you choose should align itself with the focal point.

Choose the right color palette and stay creative

Choose the right color palette and stay creative

The simple color palette may be very effective for your website background at all times, regardless of the branding of the elements that are present on the website. You should gladly choose any unconventional but brilliant idea when browsing through different sites on the internet and is different from your website design. Uniqueness is something that people love and appreciate always and you should never be afraid to accept and manifest it.

Whether you should tile or not tile?

Whether you should tile or not tile?

When you use a background image, you should not tile it as a website that repeats a small photo again and again in the background look busy and jarring. You should instead use a high-quality image that can easily set to full width and can make the background look exquisite. A tiled background can work nicely with a subtle pattern like wallpaper and if you like this option, you can choose an image that tile seamlessly and don’t clash when set to repeat.

Video background

Video backgrounds are getting popular around the web as the internet speed is getting faster. Now, when you have a good video on your website, it can work seamlessly with your site. It can be tricky to find the right video, and if you have an image like this, it can be great as there can be some subtle motion in the background.An ambient and calm video can work best instead of a clumsy video that can be annoying or distracting. The calm videos can create the right ambiance and can evoke the right emotions of the users and is a great UX Design guide. You should try to choose a video that is not very long having a seamless loop both at the beginning and at the end.

Conclusion

The creation of great website background is gaining in importance as it can be the first point to create an impression on the mind of the users. The choice of the right image, correct color scheme, accessibility to the content of the website, display of video, etc are some key points that should be considered for creating a great background.

Interaction design facilitates the interaction of the users with digital products like the websites or the apps. The interaction may sometimes involve only the design itself, while at other times it may include related elements like aesthetics, space, sound, etc. The purpose of good interaction design is to create a great User Experience by making it easy to use with simple operations.

What are the five dimensions of interaction design?

The five dimensions of interaction design remains a very useful model to understand the interaction design involvements. Gillian Crampton Smith first introduced the idea of the interaction design and he came up with four dimensions of interaction design language. Kevin Silver added the fifth dimension in the interaction design behavior later and made the model of interaction design complete.

Words: Words used in design interaction should be meaningful and simple to understand as it covers the direct communication with the users. It can happen when a clear and concise and useful message is available to the users.

Visual Presentation: The visual elements include UI Design elements like typography, images, icons, and it can very well supplement the communication with words.

Physical space or objects: The physical objects or space usually refer to the actual environment or the device that users interact with. It can be a laptop or a tablet or a smartphone and the environment may vary as it will depend on where the user is.

Time: It is adimension that measures the length of the interactions that users spent on interaction with any type of interface that may be through words or animations, etc.

Behavior: The last dimension refers to the behavior of the user interaction with the products. Programmers can create a better interaction for the users by studying the interaction of the users.

The role of an interaction designer

The role of an interaction designer

An interaction design engineer creates the design strategy for the interactions between the users and the product and the services. The work includes defining interactions, creation of the prototypes, and tracking of the prevailing design trends that may affect or benefit the users. The interaction designer has several key roles that you can find in the following paragraphs:

An interaction designer thinks like a philosopher: Interaction designers assume the role of a philosopher and keeps a lot of questions in mind while creating interactions for design. The categories of questions that are important to consider are defining how users can interact with the interface, giving clues to the users about behaviors before starting any interaction. Moreover, anticipating and mitigating errors, considering system feedback and the response time, strategic thinking about the elements and simplification for learnability are other important things for interaction designers.

Define design strategy: Another important role of an Interaction designer is to define the design strategy as per the agreed goals for the service or product. The interaction designer conducts user research to get the strategy right as the research can tell about the goals of the users using the product. The information gathered when combined with the listed usability can deliver a suitable interaction strategy.

Wireframes and prototypes: Prototypes and wireframes are very important concepts for developing a digital product. It is one of the most important jobs to create wireframes and prototypes for most interaction designers. Wireframes and Prototypes can help interaction designers present the strategy that can reflect the intuitive thinking even without any help of the programmers.

Principles for Interaction design

Principles for Interaction design

For designers those are creating very complex interactions between the users, products, and devices, the interaction design principles can be very important guidelines.

Visibility: In a good interaction design there will be visible and appropriate information for the users. The UI design description information must communicate to the users in a very easy way about the product and service and how the users can use it.

Consistency: Consistency in the ui design process means using similar operations and similar elements for all similar tasks. It can reduce the chances of mistakes of the users and the users can easily understand the design for its consistent approach.

Feedback: Feedback is the reaction of the system when a user interacts with a User Interface like a sound or an animation, etc. When there is clear feedback, it can give both the users and the products a signal that the service or the product is working.

Constraints: While feedback can inform what is happening, constraints can give users the possibilities of the interactions and their limits. It can simplify the interface and also it can guide the users to move to the next step systematically.

The methods for interaction design

The methods for interaction design

Use Cases: It is a description of how users act on a website and it enables to collect data on user performance and how many different types of interactions are there.

Card Sorting: It is a method for building an information system for your product and website, and it can enable you to learn what a user wants and to what extent the user understands the design.

Prototyping: It is a part of the interaction design and through prototyping design, you can create the whole layout and structure for your product. In prototypes, you can bring the products to life that you do out of your brainstorms and can help to make a perfect product design.

Qualitative Research: The purpose of doing qualitative research is to find out the five important elements of the interaction design and these are attitudes, activities, aptitudes, skills, and motivations.

Persona: It contains the basic information of the user and analyzing the persona can help the interaction designers to learn about the users in detail. The designers can know about the specific situation related to the use of the product like the family, the living environment, the working conditions, etc. A set of three to six user roles can represent the whole real user’s group.

Scenario: The understanding of the problem scenario and the action scenario and the persona can help the interaction designers to visualize and to connect to the problems that users face during the use of the product.

Expert evaluation: An evaluation of your prototype is very essential and the heuristic evaluation is a very commonly used evaluation method. Nielsen Heuristic rules can come handy in the heuristic evaluation and the designer can calculate the points and understand the status of the design success. Once the evaluation is complete, it is important to modify the wireframe and the prototype.

User evaluation: You can find some typical users for the test of the prototypes after the expert evaluation is complete. Once the users address the special tasks assigned, it can assist to have a precise evaluation, and help to make the correct decision to make a full-proof product design.

Conclusion

It is no longer only visual design for designing a product; the creation of positive user experience can enable pain-free interactions. It is highly important to apply the core interaction design principles in designing modern design projects. Companies now are building success by providing the users with an excellent experience of the products and services.

With the evolving technology that is disrupting the industries, UX Designers need to adapt to the latest trends very fast. The disruptive technologies include smart home devices, voice assistants, the Internet of things, etc and a UX Designer should fast understand the technologies to make brilliant designs. There are new experiences, new solutions and new human behavior related to the new technologies that are important to understand to make excellent User Experience.

Here you can find a brief discussion on the emerging UX Design trend that can make a big difference to the experience of the users.

The popularity of Voice-command will grow

The popularity of Voice-command will grow

Voice command technology will continue to grow with the rise in popularity of virtual assistants, smart home devices, etc. Users love to use voice command and with the majority of searches now relate to voice-command, search engine optimization began to cater to the long-voice command queries. Advanced navigation and customization will continue to drive the voice command technology forward and future search queries will mostly relate to voice.

Gesture, discrete interactions, and IoT will play a big role

Gesture, discrete interactions, and IoT will play a big role

The UX Design process will need to deliver and design a greater digital experience that caters to the human experience like the assurance and trust. The influence of IoT in the daily lives of the people will create more expectations for digital interfaces to create a close resemblance to human interactions. UX Design will play a very significant role in the emerging technologies and it will be particularly around gestural design and discrete information.

Irrespective of the thought-activated design or augmented reality (AR), the UX Designers will go beyond the screen-only interfaces and will include micro-movements and physical interactions. The anticipation of the next move or query of the user will be the encouraging factors for the UX Designers for making a design that can meet the user’s needs and create delight. Delivering an exceptional human experience can further increase the demand for the UX Designers and it will also increase the demand for the researchers, psychologists and other specialists throughout the design process.

With the increase in the liking of the content and information hoarding, the device makers are freeing up more screen space to accommodate more information on the screen. This led to the sacrifice of the ‘home’ button from the screen and led rise to the UX based on gestures. UX Designers now emulate common human gestures in the UX Design guide and translate it for a smooth experience by using drags, flicks, swipes, etc that counts as totally natural motion. 

Device-agnostic design

Device-agnostic design

Device agnostic design is going to supersede the ‘mobile-first’ user concept in the latest UX Design concepts. Whether it is your smartphone, laptop, smartwatch, or tablet, the UX Designers will try to create more dynamic designs that can offer multi-device experience. The latest UX Design architecture will focus more on creating a unique digital experience that can go beyond the mobile or the PC and can cater to multiple devices easily.

The shift to material design from flat design

The shift to material design from flat design

Compared to flat design, material design has more detail and depth with the use of responsive animations, grid-based layouts, padding, and transitions. Material designs focus on the use of 3D icons against 2D icons of flat designs and the material design will take the digital UI to the next level. The increased details in material design can help to build the trust of the users and can provide more security to your applications.

When you tailor the digital experience, it can increase your efficiency and it can allow you to nurture the users better. With the IoT, people are now getting close to the world than ever before and the smart devices are closing the gap between the way of experiencing digital products and humans. The increase in material designs will be there whether in the voice-command design or the addition of human touch.

Content-focused experiences

Content-focused experiences

The ability to tell compelling stories for a digital experience will be the biggest trend in the coming UX designs. There is no point in creating superb services or products unless the people know about it and here the content-focused experience can play a significant role. Storytelling requires human connection, empathy, and understanding of the inspirations and motivations for the users.

To make it happen properly, UX designers need to obtain enough data about the expectations of the customers. The video will account for more viewership and video advertising and video will be the go-to medium. Immersive storytelling through VR and AR technology can be more effective for design consideration for video for engagement or entertainment or information purposes.

The concept of creating mass-production based on the assumption that users will automatically come is no longer valid. Since the markets are over-saturated, the consumers can expect more from the brands to have an interest. It is now becoming a trend for big brands to tailor personalized trends and it is becoming a norm very fast.

The wearable is the new trend

The wearable is the new trend

The wearable is getting popular very fast and the number of users that use wearable is increasing significantly. The wearable is in use for making payments or tracking health or for managing simple tasks like to-do lists and for carrying out other tons of routine problems. Smartwatches, for example, are not simple toys anymore, the cellular connectivity makes the smartwatches more powerful than ever before and it can even replace mobile phones.

Wearable technology goes beyond the smartwatches and it can expand its use in the health industry to monitor sleeping, for taking ECG measures for stress levels and it can even act as hearing aid. Thus with the proliferation of wearable, the UX Design boundary is getting bigger and there is a lot of scope for experimentation and bringing new ideas. You can expect a larger adoption rate of the new design concept in the coming years with the explosion of excellent wearable designs in the market.

Protection of privacy

Protection of privacy

The importance of data privacy is more at present particularly with the data leaks and recent scam incidences happening regularly. For every UX Design requirements, data protection takes the priority for making the design. Incorporating improved privacy features for the users in the UX Design can help you to expand your business and you can gain the trust of the new and potential customers.

Conclusion

There is a huge change in technology and adapting to these changes and developments is very important to reach the target. UX Designs need to be continuously evolving so that the users can find a more engaging and satisfying way to interact with the brands and the products. Effective planning and adaptation of the new UX trends can help businesses succeed in the highly competitive market of the digital world.

As a designer, you need to be critical about your designs and also the designs of others with proper reasoning. If you apply the 10 rules of Nielsen and Molich’s for evaluating the interface design, you can be able to recognize all potential issues. It can guide you as well as your team to create a better User Experience for the users.

The general principles for interaction designs are highly useful guidelines and are also known as ‘heuristic’ design. The term ‘heuristic’ applied here is because the guidelines are not for specific usability purposes, and these are broad rules of thumb. Here, you can get a broad overview of the useful guidelines that will help you to grow as a brilliant UX Designer, and to improve the design of a website or app.

Make every effort for consistency

Make every effort for consistency

Keep your words and actions consistent so that users never get confused with the different words, actions or situations. When you keep your words and actions simple and consistent, the users will have a better understanding of your communications and more likely to accept your design dearly. Always ensure to use all elements of your design consistently to produce the best result.

If you are using a certain style of button, it should always perform the same thing, and your navigation through the website should function logically. You should maintain consistency in workflow and functionalities to have coherence between your words and action. Also, there should be consistency in the terminology used in the design and the appearance of the design.

Ensure full visibility of the system status

Users should always be able to know about the status of the system operations with appropriate feedback within a reasonable time. It is possible when you provide a highly visible status that is easy to understand displayed prominently on the screen. The users always want to remain in full control and want the system behaves as per the expectations of the users.

Do not baffle the users with surprises and make your UX Design process perfectly easy for the users to understand. When the actions are minor and frequent, be a modes response, however, for major and infrequent actions, the response needs to be more substantial. A relevant, comprehensive and meaningful response within an appropriate time is what can make the system visible fully.

Match the system with the real world

Users feel comfortable when there is no need to guess and the system should be able to speak the language of the users. The use of the phrase and the concepts that are familiar to the users will make a useful design than using special system terms. The action sequencing should start with a beginning followed by middle and end, and a notification message should be there to inform the users that the user completed all needed actions.

User control and freedom for easy reversal of action

When users know that any error made can be undone, it can relieve the anxiety to a great extent. With this option, the users can happily explore unfamiliar options and decide for the next action. It can be ‘undo’ or ‘redo’ functionality in the applications, and the reversal of actions should not interfere with workflow.

Handling and prevention of error

When users do something wrong, they usually feel very bad about it. You should endeavor to create the interface design free of error-prone conditions or you can notify the users before the users commit any action that can lead to error. The system should be able to detect any error caused and should offer a comprehensive solution for handling the error.

Recognization can be easier than recall

As per Nielsen, it is always easier to recognize something than remembering. Considering this as your UX Design guide you should provide objects, options, and actions that can minimize the memory load of the users. Information with visible instruction can be useful to remember information all through the interaction. 

The use of iconography and other useful visual aids like the consistent placement of the items or themed coloring can be helpful for the users to find the functionalities.

Enable shortcuts to frequent users

Users should be able to manipulate and personalize the actions done frequently. Function keys, abbreviations, and macro facilities can be very helpful for an expert user.

Minimalist design and aesthetics

The human brain can process a limited amount of information only at a time. There are some interfaces too cluttered and a lack of hierarchy makes it difficult to focus properly. Anesthetics and minimalist design can be very important to deal with such limitations and can provide a great UX Design experience. 

User should recognize, and diagnose and recover quickly from errors

Error messages should express in plain language and should indicate the problem precisely. Is should also come up with a proper solution that can help the users. You should tell the users plainly and clearly what is happening when the users act and on the background.

Help and documentation

An interface without documentation can be good; however, it may be necessary to provide documentation and help. Focused on the task of the user, help should enable to search for any information easily, and should provide a list of concrete steps with precise information.

Conclusion

You will be able to design great usability, desirability, and utility in mind if you follow the Nielson’s and Molich’s guidelines for 10 user interface. You will also be able to support your design having well-researched heuristics like the highly successful companies. It can boost your confidence in making creative designs that can be beautiful as well as usable.

That you created a good design and want to present to your prospects, is a piece of great news. But did you consider that you need to verify how your design will fair to exceed the expectation of your customers before going for a final development? Here comes the importance of mockup UI/UX Design and it can come very handy for you to understand the capability of the designs before its launch.

What do you need to know about mockups

What do you need to know about mockups?

Mockups are mid to high-fidelity static pictures and can be very useful to render your design on the products of your client. A mockup aims to demonstrate the content layout, color scheme, fonts, navigation, icons, images, visuals and the overall feeling of the product design and User Experience. With a mockup rendering, you can even show the world how the product will look like in a real situation.

It is the first look of a design that matters the most for the acceptance to the customers and the success of a product. When you make a good mockup, it can help the clients to know what to expect from the product much before the development and purchase of the product. If the mockup fails to accurately communicate about the brand, then the design of the mockup may be faulty.

Start your Mockup design at the right time

Mockup comes at the end of the lo-fi phase and right at the beginning of the hi-fi phase in the designing process. When you consider your design as the actual product, you can save a lot of time in transforming it into a functional product. You can start making a mockup just after wireframing or else you can start after the lo-fi prototype testing.

While designing the mockup, you can ask yourself who, what, where and why questions to get a clear picture of the actual use of the product. It can apply to the design of a t-shirt or for a packaging item and any other product. The questions may help you to bring an effective design and will help you to think of the real-world situation concerning the design context.

It may be difficult to change the big picture options like the flow and navigation in high fidelity and you should consider doing the following:

Narrowing of the concepts

Mockups come just after wireframing is due to the need to eliminate the big-picture options. If you don’t have a clear picture of the structure of navigation, you should not make mockups for both the versions and should choose one first.

Examine the product of the competitors

Understand what your competitors are doing before deciding the visuals of your design. Look at the areas of the products of the competitors and decide where you can improve and don’t make a copy of the product designs. Look for the UI Design aspects that users want to change and it can help you to make a better design.

Choice of best tools can help you make an excellent mockup design

Choice of best tools can help you make an excellent mockup design

To present your design work adequately, that may be a graphic layout or a brand, a well-designed mockup can be the best way to bring a realistic look. There are several tools available to make a mockup and the most common among these tools is Photoshop. You can use it easily to manipulate the images that you own and can see how the design made by you will look in the real-world situation.

You can use the design tools to fit a design over a three-dimensional object and it can be useful to make sure that your design will work. You can also see whether the text is visible or whether the image is clear by seeing the shape of the product after application. You can also use more complex tools that may help you to make a powerful and convincing mockup.

Depending on the type of objects the techniques for making a mockup template may vary. You may design a smart object or use the transform tool to skew or rotate or position the design over the desired image. There are additional techniques available like adjustment filters, or painting or the Liquify option that can make a more convincing mockup design.

The use of Photoshop Actions can help to speed up the workflow, and you can create mockups step by step with it. You will also be able to apply theme over the image again and again after you save the steps. You can also customize your mockup easily after buying a ready-made good mockup template. You can use the mockup generator website easily by loading your design and dragging and dropping on the objects that you want to mockup.

Good Mockup design should focus on presentation

Good Mockup design should focus on presentation

Mockup designs should make your product design clear to the customers and should not mislead. You should start presenting with a flat design at the beginning to let your customers understand the actual design. You can further move to a 3D rendering on a final product to make the ultimate presentation of the product design in the real world situation.

Your mockup design should demonstrate exactly where the design can fit into the brand of the client. A mockup can create a permanent impression in the minds of the customers and can showcase the full vision to your client. You need to remember that you are selling a design to your client and showing the future of the product when the product gets the design.

Customization of the mockups is extremely important than the use of generic mockups. The generic mockups can be great as a 3D presentation but may not communicate to the clients effectively about the ultimate look of the products. The real depth of a mockup design can only come when you customize the mockup with the actual need for the product of your client.

Characteristics of an excellent mockup presentation

An effective mock is not necessarily all about making a 3D presentation; it is about bringing life to a design. You should try to implement the following tips while you make a mockup design:

  • Show the final product in action.
  • Don’t distract the viewers and make a focused design for the mockup.
  • Avoid stock photos.
  • Design mockups to adapt to different settings.
  • Showcase several mock-up designs.

Why a mockup is important?

Frontend developers make estimates with the use of mockups and if there is no mockup, there will be no estimate possible. Also, if there is no mockup, it will not be possible to implement shapes, colors, and fonts. If no mockup is there, there will be no investors and finally, there will be no users.

Smartphones have become a way of life for people and the popularity of smartphones is growing at an exponential pace. It has become a very effective source to get all information quickly and easily at any point of time from anywhere. You can place orders, do banking, get healthcare tracking, and even control your home’s security and home appliances with the unique UI design approach of smartphones.

Now, designing an enjoyable and usable mobile experience is not related to aesthetics only, you need to make sure that it is both intuitive and useful. How fast the users can complete basic tasks and the ability of the users to remember the use of the system is an important part of the design. UI design at present centers around providing excellent user experience by allowing the users to correct the errors in operation easily and providing great user satisfaction.

You can find here, a few important and tested& UX Design principles that can be the key to creating a great experience for the users for using mobiles.

Clutter-free design

User attention can be very precious for designing a successful mobile design. Cluttering the interface can overload the users with too much information. When you add more buttons, more images and more lines of texts, your screen gets complicated and it becomes difficult to understand.

It can be excellent to design with one primary action on each screen without the use of too many actions. Every screen that you design for the new app should support a single action having real value to the users. It makes easier to learn and use and it can be easier to add to anytime you feel necessary and a hundred screens can be preferable to a single cluttered screen.

It can be excellent to design with one primary action on each screen without the use of too many actions. Every screen that you design for the new app should support a single action having real value to the users. It makes easier to learn and use and it can be easier to add to anytime you feel necessary and a hundred screens can be preferable to a single cluttered screen.

Prioritization of content

While making a mobile UI/UX design, a designer should remember that human attention lasts for a short time. Therefore, it is extremely important to grab the attention of the users in the first few seconds of starting an interaction with the products of a business. You need to use the interface elements minimum and simple design is the key to increase user engagement.

The only display of essential content and functionalities that can fulfill the need of the users is the need for a good UX Design. You can make available the secondary content to the users through a menu list. The menu list should have simple terminology and progressive disclosure and should not confuse the users.

Intuitive navigation

User-Friendly navigation can be the key to the success of a UX mobile design. When a user can navigate through an app with a clear pathway and can complete the primary tasks without needing any explanation, it can be very satisfying. Good navigation should give a feeling of getting an invisible hand for guiding the users throughout the journey.

Mobile navigation for the app should be consistent and you should not move the control of the navigation to a new location or you should not hide it on different pages. The navigation should always communicate the current location and providing this feature will help the users not to make mistakes. Simplifying the process of navigation by making all information readily accessible can be a great way to make a useful user experience.

The target size of the touch screen

Interface elements should be big enough to allow people to complete all actions easily while using a mobile device. It should be big enough to accommodate the small screen and small touch targets may be frustrating for the users as it requires very high accuracy. The guidelines for Human Interface suggest that the minimum target size should be 44 pixels tall and 44 pixels wide.

Undesired actions may lead to frustration for the users when the actions buttons are close. Contradicting action buttons like the save and delete buttons when spaced out can help to avoid errors. Also, the inclusion of an undo button can help to have a creative mobile UI Design that can produce a great user experience.

Provision of excellent user control

The chance of success of a mobile design increases when users fee that they have full control of the mobile device. As a designer, you should allow the users to make a decision easily while making a journey through the features. Ability to change the settings, controlling the notifications can provide the user with a customized way of controlling the system.

The user should also be able to know what is happening. This integration of the status and feedbacks into the interface can be excellent without interfering with the workflow of the users. Users can get a sense of transparency and freedom if a demo is there to understand a sign-up requirement for an app before making a decision.

Use of legible text content

Successful mobile typography is all about readability, and if the users are unable to read content, brilliant efforts for making the content may go in vain. It is important to communicate the designs in a simple and clear layout to deliver the messages effortlessly. A balance between space conservation and optimum legibility should be the strategy for successful mobile typography.

A size that is smaller than 16 pixels may become challenging to read on any screen. On the other hand, large font size may result in awkward hyphenation and breaks and can take a longer time to read. Content should legibly provide all necessary information on a small screen to provide a great user experience.

Interface elements should be visible

People use mobile phones everywhere whether it is on a train or bus or planes or indoors. If you can provide enough contrast between the background and the content in the design, it can be legible even if it is outside in daylight. You should use the recommended contrast ratio for getting the best effect, and the best thing can be to check with the users about the quality of the contrast.

Make the hand position control proper

Hand position control is another important factor in the success of making a mobile design. Research findings reveal that people use thumb very often while using a mobile. This finding may be important to remember while making a good user-friendly mobile design.

Action like delete button and other common features should be easily accessible to the users to avoid chances of errors. It can make the navigation of the users easier and can help to reach the target zone quickly. Designers should consider the need for different types of users while making the design for the mobile

Use minimum data input

There is not a direct solution to the inconvenience of typing in a small device like a mobile. Auto correct may be a great option though it does not always produce the correct result. Providing the users with ‘remember me’ option, or removing unnecessary fields, etc and providing recent search history, autocomplete and location detection can be great for UX Design of mobile.

Enable a seamless experience

For getting a perfect online journey the ultimate goal for the best mobile UI design is creating a seamless experience across all the devices. Though the users may not realize it, it can help to create a natural flow and users feel happy using it. Responsive, functional and flexible mobile designs are something that the users look for in recent times.

Test the design

Continuous testing and optimization are the keys to produce any successful product including mobile. The test of usability is very essential for the success of mobile design, and you should test layouts, different features, and the variations of the design. You can uncover newer ways for improvement with each round of testing of your design.

Conclusion

It is important to keep up with the fast pace of the advancement of technology for adapting to the latest smartphone design. The usability principle should be the guiding factor for getting a very good user experience in mobile design. Users may not like the lagging systems and it is of utmost importance that the designs should deliver an extraordinary experience.

As the year is coming to an end, it is time to check what new exciting UI design trends are going to be relevant in the market. The new UI trends that will be successful are not only about aesthetics but also about the high level of usability for the users. With a wise combination of the emerging trends, made by a unique UI design approach there will be a lot happier users.

Factors that influence the latest UI trends

The technological ecosystems that are prevailing at present will always influence the upcoming trends of the UI designs. UI designers no longer consider the Design-first approach as the primary attribute for a design. The new design requirements call for improving people’s lives and meeting business goals.

In the coming year, these requirements will be met by the new design trends than ever before. Simple page designs, high speed, mobile-first approach, and artificial intelligence are considerations for the latest trends. The top trends for a UI Design process will be unique illustration and animation, full-screen smartphones, storytelling, AR, VR, responsive colors, and AI.

UI trends focused more on looks than the UX with the use of bold and oversized typography, broken grids with asymmetrical layouts and skeuomorphic designs. Here you can find about the latest UI trends that are going to rock the market in the coming year.

Full-screen smartphone

Full-screen smartphone

Most modern phones do not have round edges and come with no borders. With this change in the design, there is a change in the interface and designers have a lot of challenges for using sharp-edged elements for app design and mobile UI. Modern iPhones do not have any home button and the Android phones are also coming with less on-screen buttons to save space to display content.

Now, to have a clearer screen, navigation with the help of gestures can pose a challenge to the designers. The users can learn the new navigation styles with the help of visual hints and it has become a challenge for the designers to make the users understand the navigation process. The other thing that the designers need to consider for the new design trend is about implementing dark mode for the apps that are running on the latest operating systems in full-screen smartphones.

Unique illustration and beautiful animations

Freeform, unaligned, asymmetric designs, can help platforms to distinctly stand out from the generic and also can create an inviting and friendly environment. Additionally, the use of complex motions can make these illustrations come to life and these dynamic designs can capture the attention of users easily. It can easily help to explain about a brand or the offerings of a company.

It will be easier to load the animated 3D by UI design maker with the 5G capability in the recent era. The other animated features like illustrations, logos, and texts will also be very popular in the upcoming design trends. It will have extensive use in web pages and it will be easier for the users to understand the parts that they can interact with.

Storytelling

Storytelling

Being able to weave a good story about a digital experience will always remain the top favorite trend. Typography can be one such important thing to build a great visual hierarchy. Storytelling can be very important from the UI perspective and can make a great UX. Copywriting has also become a very important UI design element that can bring a great user experience.

Styles can be good to capture the attention of the users; the narratives can help to engage with a brand. With the use of narratives in a proper way, the users start feeling that they are part of the whole story. It can keep the users from simply scanning the contents but also engages the users to make decisions.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

The new design trends will not be UI fixed to the screen, and it will have a real-world environment. Google, as well as Apple, started introducing interactions that feel like happening in a real-world scenario. Augmented Reality UI can bring different approaches to real-world object interaction, and can use the surrounding physical worlds that are real-world related.

It can come fixed to the screen and users need to position the camera in a typical way. Therefore, you need to redefine the UI design guidelines and expand your knowledge to implement the great AR possibilities. You need to start learning the new tools and need to acquire the skills to make use of AR and 3D elements correctly.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality

We have seen great progress in virtual reality in the present year and it has a lasting effect on the users. Apart from the popular VR headsets that bring quite an excitement for the gaming audience, it has got many opportunities for other industries too. It can be excellent for healthcare or in education industries also to name a few, and designers look forward to exploring ways to use this wonderful possibility.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence

In the forthcoming design trend, AI is going to take a pivotal role in UI design and it is going to benefits our working style. AI has the capability of collecting a huge amount of data and there is a possibility of more customized products with the help of AI. It can easily help the designers to understand the taste of customers and boring on boarding’s will be out of fashion.

Responsive color

Responsive color

Responsive colors are in use for quite sometimes and brands increasingly preferring to use it. Examples of responsive colors are there in Spotify and Dropbox and Face book uses it to highlight the company brand. Responsive colors can become responsive as per the context rather than displaying a single symbolical color.

Bold, Oversized typography

Bold, Oversized typography

Bold typography is already in use and it will grow bigger for producing brilliant designs. Though it may not look good, it can excite the visitors who visit a website with its eye-catching solution. It can bring a value proposition that can provide a solution to the visitors with the call to action buttons that help the visitors to take immediate action.

Asymmetrical, broken grids layouts

Asymmetrical, broken grids layouts

The newer design trends are not likely to favor the traditional and tidy use of grids. Split screens are now coming back with the asymmetrical layout and it consists of elements that are placed unusually. As a creative UI designer, you need to make sure to use this design element to improve conversions.

Skeuomorphic design

Skeuomorphism is a term that is most often used in a graphical user interface and it simulates the real-world object very closely. It can be an excellent option for making a brilliant design with the use of gradients and soft shadows that can make it seem real. When the design is done rightly, it can be a very nice looking design also apart from the excellent functionality that it provides.

Conclusion

UI designers need to work closely with the UX designers to bring out innovative and creative work in the designs for tomorrow. It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest design possibilities and technological breakthroughs. The emerging technologies like VR, AR, AI, full-screen smartphone concept, etc are going to be there in the coming years and the UI designers should be able to make the best use of it.

When you work with developers, you hear the terms wireframe, mockup and prototype often, but you may not exactly understand the terms. It is extremely important to distinguish the terms when you communicate with a development team. For an UX design beginner, or a fresh product owner or anyone interested in product design or architecture, this article may be helpful to understand these terms.

Some common traits are there in the wireframes, prototypes and mockups, all these are very good in representing the final product. However, there is some underlying difference among the wireframe, prototypes and mockup are knowing the fundamental difference may help you to become a better UX designer. The understanding of the differences will help you to define what you want and can save a lot of money for explaining to the developers.

Wireframe

Wireframe:

What does wireframe mean?

In simple terms, a wireframe is a low fidelity depiction of a design. It tells about the type of content, about the main information of the content and a description of the basic visualization of the UI design approach. The wireframe is the backbone of a design and it should contain a representation of all important pieces of a final product.

A wireframe is a graphic representation of a website or an app and it acts as a blueprint before construction of a building. It helps to gather useful things together and weave it nicely to get a bigger picture. Since, wireframe is fast to complete and not expensive, it can be a huge advantage to use it. A well-made wireframe can communicate the design in a very clear way and can set a clear road map for the entire team.

When you should use a wireframe?

Documentation of a project is the most typical use of a wireframe. Wireframes are static and it interacts with the interface at an appropriate time. For this reason, there should be written words like short notes explaining the interaction whenever needed. Wireframes can also help to communicate within a team and it is also possible to prepare it quickly to explain to the developers.

Wireframes are seldom used for testing material, though it can help in research where methodological purity is not important. The wireframes that are used for a whole design story can be very effective. It can be indispensable at the initial stage of a project that is complex.

Mockup

Mockup:

What does Mockup mean? 

A mockup is a static, visual way of design representation of a product. A mockup shows how a product will look like, unlike a wireframe that represents the structure of a product. It is middle to high-fidelity design representation that encourages people to review the visual side of any project.

Mockups can help you to take the final decision regarding the visual style, color scheme, typography of a product. You can experiment with the visual aspect of a product with the mockup, and decide what looks best. You may also ask your potential or existing users for feedback and can make necessary changes easily.

When you should use mockup

Mockups can be very helpful to get early buy-in from the customers. The visual nature of mockup is useful for having no resistance to low-fidelity deliverables. It is also much quicker and easier to create than a prototype.

A mockup can let the UI design maker get good feedback from the users. In the context of the whole story of design, it can be a great chapter of the documentation. With the use of a proper mockup tool, you can make the final decision of product design in a much quicker way than wireframe. 

Prototype

Prototype:

What does a prototype mean?

A prototype is different from wireframe and it is middle to the high-fidelity depiction of a final product that simulates the UI interaction. Prototypes allow the users to experience the content and the interactions with an interface and to test the principal interactions like a final product. It is meant for simulating the ultimate interaction of the users with an interface.

It does not look the same as the final product, but has a very close resemblance with the final product. The interactions are modeled with a lot of care and have significant similarity to the ultimate experience. In prototypes, the interdependence between the back end mechanisms and the interfaces can be omitted to increase the speed of the development cycles and to reduce cost.

When you should use prototype?

Prototypes often find use in user testing where it can demonstrate its full potential. Such type of simulation of final interaction with users can be great to check the usability of the interface It can help in checking the usability of an interface even before the start of a development process. Though prototypes are not the best for documentation, it can be a very engaging form of UI design process documentation since the interfaces are straightforward and tangible.

Prototype is a very time-consuming and expensive process for communicating a design. Efforts for creating prototypes for reusing for development purposes can help to reduce costs. It can be very helpful for a relatively simple project and when combined with user testing in the right way, it can pay for itself.

Conclusion

Wireframe, Mockup and Prototype, each has got its advantages and you need to decide which one you choose for your product designing process You can also customize your design process with all three forms of representation, and you need to choose that can suit your objective best.

Appealing website design with excellent logo, typography, and color combination, may not appeal to the users effectively. In spite of making a crisp and innovative work, your website design may fail to make an emotional connection with the users. You may miss what your customers want from your User Experience design that you have made with so much care.

A business may need to dig deeper to understand the reason for the failure of the design to engage the customers with your website. The best design that can make value to the business and fulfill the business objectives may not only look stylish but can get into the minds of the valued customers effectively. Liking a design may not be a logical process; rather, it can be a psychological process that is based on emotional stimulation.

Emotions can be a very important factor to change the operation of the human brain. A negative emotional experience can make people tense and anxious as the thought process gets narrowed. A positive emotional experience, on the other hand, elicits a sense of security, safety, and pleasure. Here, you can find a few tips for an effective UX Design process, that throws light on human psychology and it can help the designers to make a brilliant and useful design.

When a design tells a story, customers start connecting with you more frequently

When a design tells a story, customers start connecting with you more frequently

One way of designing a UX process is by incorporating boring and bland statistics and the other way is by telling a story. A story always engages the customers better by appealing to the empathetic side of human beings. A product may sell more by making a beautiful product design with bright colors and excellent text rather than simply giving the statistics of an increase in revenue.

You can display a video showing the success story on your homepage that can make an optimal engagement of the users. You can display the product design in the videos and can give a brief idea of the functionality of the products in a story form to make it more engaging.

Addition of social features can motivate the users to have an active interest in the products

Addition of social features can motivate the users to have an active interest in the products

We are part of society and love to make social interactions with other people. Social engagement releases dopamine, the hormone which releases during a pleasurable moment like eating chocolate or laughing. Today, social networking can help a person to become visible and to become the center of attraction without having any physical contact.

These changes in human psychology lead to the importance of change in UX Design guidelines, as it can no longer continue to remain the same to have the best user experience. It requires a rethinking of the design since the objects that a person will share with many people in social media should be able to glorify the image. When you include social sharing buttons like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, it can help to improve the presentation of the brand image and also increase the excitement of people.

Mirror neurons mimic emotions that we see

Mirror neurons mimic emotions that we see

There are special types of neurons in our body and these are mirror neurons that mimic different types of emotions that we see around us. When we see pictures of smiling faces, we also feel like smiling and it makes us happier. You need to make sure that the content that you post on your websites should reflect on what way you expect our customers to feel.

When you find the picture of a little sad boy or disabled persons begging for alms in a fundraising site, you can be easily motivated to donate in such sites. Here the act of smiling or act of begging can stimulate your emotions and you are empathetic to the cause. You need to choose those elements in your design that can mirror the emotions of how you like your customers to feel.

Recognize the role of time

Recognize the role of time

As we always face the issue of time management, there is a time constant in our brain also. The time constants in our brain are very objective in each person, and each action of the brain can be tracked down to even milliseconds by the neuro scientists. It is very important to understand the time of the reactions of the users for making an excellent User Experience design.

You must make a product that is synchronized with the requirements of the internal time of the users in an excellent way, the result will improve. When you understand and use the time constant of human perception, you can make the design of your products more responsively. The best way to make effective use of time is to put the necessary information right under the nose of the users.

The users normally have 100 seconds to complete the processing of information and to make a decision. When the end is in sight to the users, the users take decisions faster. You can help to improve the time management of the users by including a status bar that can help the users understand the status of where they are in a multi-step process in your site.

Visual cues can communicate value effectively

Visual cues can communicate value effectively

Both explicit and implicit visual or directional cues can draw the attention of the users in a very subtle way to the important areas of your site. It can increase the interaction of the users with the products on your website more effortlessly. Images, layouts, colors, etc are not for decoration purposes only; they can set up your website in a more effective way.

When you use this powerful tactic of visual cues, the well-crafted content will get more acceptability and there can be more conversions. For an UX Design beginner who is trying to set up the design for a website, it can be a useful guideline. While image or symbol can be excellent explicit visual clues, color is an implicit visual clue that can essentially draw the user’s attention. Make sure periodically that your online content is stunning visually and if necessary make suitable changes to incorporate visual clues.

Conclusion

An UX Design focused on enhancing the emotional engagement of the users can make an impact to improve customer perception about your brand. Focusing only on making a good design may not ultimately improve the conversions and you should design your products that stimulate the emotional aspects of the customers also. If you know the time frame of the users and use visual cues, social features, and weave a good story, the user journey will be pleasurable and more conversions will be there.