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How to Create a Big Impact with Minimalism Design

web design

Today, minimalism has become popular among web designers as it is known as one of powerful techniques in modern web design, especially when many designs become more complex.  Besides, many studies have revealed that a clean design may result in lower bounce rate since it produces more benefits to websites, such as faster-loading times and better compatibility between screen sizes. One of the most well-known sites that utilize minimalist web design is Google search.

Visual Characteristics

You can assume that a page is a minimalist when they leave these significant details:

  • Flat Texture

Minimalist interfaces often have flat textures, icons and graphic elements. Flat interfaces don’t make use of any of the obvious highlights, shadows, gradients or other textures that would make UI elements look glossy or 3D.

  • Vivid Photography and Illustration

Image is one of the most important elements in minimalist design. Through images, your user can experience emotional connection and set an atmosphere. However, not all photos are considered good for minimalism design. In fact, many photos negate the benefits of the surrounding minimalist interface and ruin the integrity of the layout. Therefore, you need to learn how to select or capture a photo that follows the principles of minimalism.

  • Limited Color Scheme

Color also plays a very important role in minimalism design; it is good to set both informative and emotional connections between the product and the user. Besides, a color can add a visual interest or a direct attention without needing any additional design elements or actual graphics. If the designers understand how to aim for minimalism, they will tend to squeeze the maximum from just a few selected colors, and it’s not that rare to use just a single color.

  • Dramatic Typography

Another important element that has a big impact to your design is typography, if you wish to have an immediate focus to the words and contents, while helping to craft a much larger intriguing visual.

  • Contrast

Not many elements you can use in minimalism design, that’s why applying high-contrast copy or graphic elements can be a good choice. With high contrast, you can direct the user’s attention to the important elements and make the text more readable.

Best Practices

Minimalism focuses on clarity and functionality; therefore, for some designers, minimalism design is truly a challenge since with fewer elements, you have to be able to explain more. If you are wondering  how to put minimalism design into practice, you can learn from the following points.

  • Have a single focal point per screen

In a minimalist design, content is king and the visual layout salutes the king. The aim is to put away distractions from the message and keep focusing on what’s important. This is why a strong focal area is important as minimalism involves stripping away elements that are unnecessary.

  • Set great expectations with the top area of the screen

To encourage users to explore the website, make sure that you provide contents that keep them interested. You can place high-level contents with ample negative space at the top of the screen, and then increase the content density as the scroll deepens.

  • Make Crisp Copy

Since you are working to create a minimalism design; therefore, you have to omit needless words in your copy to include only the bare minimum needed words. This technique will help you explain your message adequately.

  • Simplify but don’t hide the navigation

Minimalism design should make users easily accomplish tasks without distraction. Therefore, you need to have intuitive navigation as the biggest contributing factor to this kind of simplicity. However, navigation in a minimalist interface brings a significant challenge. Many designers even choose to hide some or all of the navigation to remove all the unnecessary elements and streamline the content which can result in lower discoverability of navigation items. Therefore, the best way is to design minimalist websites that ensure visitors to find what they need easily.

  • Incorporate Functional Animation

Don’t forget your animation; it should also follow the principles of minimalism. It should be meaningful and functional. For example, you could use animation to save screen space. Aside from its functionality, animation also makes your site look a bit more fun.

  • Use minimalism for landing pages and portfolios

Remember that not every page is suitable with a minimalist aesthetic. Generally, minimalism is appropriate for portfolio websites and landing pages which usually have fairly simple goals and relatively little content. Furthermore, you may also find difficulties when applying minimalism effectively to a content-rich website.

The bottom line is, if you choose minimalism design as your choice, you have to consider many things before applying it on your design. At the end, what makes a good website is always the good combination of usability and great aesthetics.

Designer’s Ego: Benefits and Dangers

The Benefits and Dangers of a Designer’s Ego-ywf

Most of us certainly have an ego, some  like to be praised, and some  think that their choice is absolutely right. As a web designer, it is not a sin to have ego, for it is a human nature. However, how far an ego should take you? You can discover the good side and the bad side of an ego that may affect a designer’s work by reading the points below.

The Good Side

  • Confidence

Having a good amount of ego will produce you a good confidence, because you know that you have talents; it gives you a good start to set a level of expectation. With a good amount of confidence, you can stay focused and work hard, this is all for the sake of living up to expectations.

  • Moving Forward

Another benefit of having a healthy ego is that it can lead you to make decisions. On the other hand, getting overconfident may lead to biting off more than you can chew. However, a balance of confidence and awareness will help you decide which projects to jump on and which to let go.  Besides, you will know when to wait for the right one.

  • How to Get There

For some people, they might have a good ego naturally. Therefore, it is not difficult for them to have a balanced view of themselves and their abilities. However, some may have to work a bit harder to achieve the balance. If you find yourself in difficulties in handling your ego, you can start balancing it by realizing that you are human and that you’re going to make mistakes. However, once you make mistakes, do everything you can to correct it. You can take your mistake as a lesson to learn from and then move on.

When your confidence is low, you can remember things that can elevate your sense of pride. For example, you can recall your thoughts of the first websites you created or other good memories that can make you feel good.

The Dark Side

  • Stop Listening

One of the biggest disadvantages when you have a bad case of ego is to stop listening. Your client wants a result to be like what they expected, sometimes they demand something that are fraught with problems or make little sense which surely will make designers confuse, lose their patience, and start tuning people out. However, we suggest you to be patient.

This is because when you reach the point where you simply know better and refuse to take other people’s opinions seriously, you start creating things only to please yourself while your client is the one that you should please. Therefore, listening to others and working to understand their point of view is critical to a successful project, even though it is okay to gently argue and compromise for what you believe is best.

  •  Stop Learning

It is common to stop learning, especially when you get to a high level of proficiency with a skill (HTML, CSS, graphics, etc.). You might think that somehow you don’t need to keep up with the times as you know everything. However, soon you will realize that your skill isn’t sufficient, especially when you are working with WordPress and the old static HTML sites.

  • You Operate on Instinct Alone

Gut feelings can mean so much, but without proper research, your gut feelings will only lead to a wrong choice. Therefore, put in the required effort to ensure it’s the right one. That doesn’t mean you have to toil for hours just for doing research, but use research as a media that can facilitate our gut feeling whether it is right or not.

The overall point is that an ego should be managed very well as it can creep up and hurt any one of us. However, we believe that most of us can conquer the dark side of our ego and play it very well for the success of our project.

Why UI Changes Annoy People and How to Handle It

When it comes to designing for good user interfaces, especially for website design interfaces, there are so many reading patterns that you can apply. Each pattern has their own knowledge of how people perceive visual information and theory of how to improve user experience while reading or observing content. Among so many theories, there are three patterns that gain the most popularity. They are the Gutenberg Diagram, the F-pattern, and the Z-pattern. If you are a web designer, we  highly recommend this article for you!

The Gutenberg Diagram
This theory reflects the western culture of reading which is top to bottom and left to right.

image 1 for UI changes

From the diagram above, we can see that there are four quadrants. For key contents like a headline and a logo, you’d better place it in the top left quadrant. Then, you can place logical conclusion in the bottom right quadrant in the bottom quadrant. Therefore, it is recommended to put a CTA (call-to-action) in this section in the form of text, a video, or a link.

The F-Pattern
In F-pattern, people start engaging with content by moving their eyes in a horizontal line. Then, they scan a vertical line trying to find the points they’re interested in. Then, they will continue what they’re looking for after scanning the content horizontally.

image 2 for UI changes

 

You can use elements like bullet, points, typography, colored buttons, and highlighted texts and so on to improve the user experience. These elements give visual weight to the interface and indicate important points.

The Z-Pattern
Many people consider Z-pattern as the king of landing pages since it covers important aspects including visual hierarchy, content structure, and CTAs. Different from F-pattern, which is more suitable for text- or content-heavy page, the Z-pattern efficiently grasps users’ attention on landing pages with minimal copy. Here is an image of Z-pattern.

image 3 for UI changes

You can follow the structure below when designing with the Z-pattern:

  1. A top horizontal line should include catchy contents and elements like the logo and navigation bar (so users can quickly access the website’s pages).
  2. Following a classic storytelling approach, a diagonal line should introduce users to the main content including the main copy, attention-grabbing images, slideshows, and so on.
  3. Finally, a lower horizontal line should feature a CTA that stimulates users to perform a certain action such as signing up, subscribing, or making a purchase.

How to Prevent User Dissatisfaction with Interface Changes

Since everyone is unique,  we cannot determine which pattern that might suit your users. To know what kind of pattern that might suit your readers; you can apply the following methods to evaluate the design and functionality of a new or an existing system with real users. Here are some of the methods:

A/B Testing
Comparing two different concepts is called as A/B testing or split testing. In A/B testing, you can compare buttons, CTAs, color schemes, and banners. The aim of A/B testing is to figure out which of various options is the most successful, for instance, which button gets the most clicks. Each case of A/B testing is unique. What elements you test depends on your business goals. However,  the following elements are generally tested:

  • Copy (product descriptions, button text, etc.)
  • Calls-to-action (for example, their placement or wording)
  • Application forms
  • Layouts
  • Images
  • Color Schemes

Bear in mind that in order to get relevant results, the A/B testing should be performed simultaneously. Besides, doing A/B tests will avoid you from audience backlash and can even help you achieve better conversion rates by making necessary tweaks to an interface.

Hallway Testing
If you are looking for an informal way, the hallway testing is the answer. It involves going to a crowded area and simply asking passers-by to test and evaluate an interface. For example, you may go to local Starbucks and do little interviews with strangers in that cozy place. You can also apply this method with your office colleagues. Therefore, to conduct testing successfully, you can plan everything in advance.

By performing this method, you can figure out what elements of an interface puzzle users and how your users conceive the system as a whole.

Five-Second Testing
The main purpose of 5-second testing is to elicit the user’s first impressions to an interface and discover whether a website or an app communicates its purpose to its visitors. In 5-seconds, they have to view an interface and try to remember as much as possible. Then, they will be given some questions regarding the sense of their reactions.

Through 5-second observing, you can generally aim at evaluating a visual UI component rather than the whole interface.

Conclusion
Even though the changes of UI will upset people,  ignoring the last trend will ruin your product. Therefore, you need to study your pattern before applying it. This trick will make the necessary tweaks without scaring off your users.