Tag Archives: designer

Flat as a Fiddle: 4 Benefits of Flat Web Design

Flat as a Fiddle- 4 Benefits of Flat Web Design

Just like the world of high fashion, web design has gone through several different trends during its relatively short existence. There was a time that simple flash animation was a pretty common sight on the internet. At the dawn of the 21st century, skeumorphism, a design language in which digital interface is made to closely mimic its real-life counterpart, a digital bookstore made to look like a bookshelf for example, briefly emerged as a leading trend before the world decided that a digital interface being limited to earthly restrictions kind of misses the point.

As a response to skeumorphism, the early 2010s ushered in a design trend that is still prevalent in today’s internet, referred to as flat design. Flat might be an adjective those in the music industry would like to avoid but it is actually one of the more functionally and aesthetically pleasing trend in web design. If you’ve ever used the oft-maligned Windows 8 OS, then you’re already familiar with how flat design looks like.

Flat design as a functional aesthetic

Flat design takes its name from the judicious use of two-dimensional characteristics, employing simple flat shapes as building blocks, contrasting color palette and noticeable typography to ensure a clean and minimalist interface. Flat design put its focus on the user’s experience. It aims to streamline user’s experience in order to provide optimum usability while still maintaining an aesthetically pleasing look.

Now, it’s true that the Windows 8 wasn’t favorably viewed by both the public and critics when it was first released but that’s more because it wasn’t a particularly good fit for mouse & keyboard users. Use it on a tablet or any touch-capable device and its brilliance shines through. Flat design came in part because of the world’s continuous shift into smartphones. With a much reduced screen real estate, web designers have to come up with a way to simplify navigation for users.

To do this, they look at the concept of minimalism and applied that similar line of thinking into the design of a user interface. As a result, flat design is stripped off of any frivolous features, displaying only the necessary elements for navigation to users. Using this approach results in a number of benefits for both the users and designers, functionally and aesthetically as well, which we’ll explore further in the article.

It’s highly flexible and modular

Because flat design relies on simple rectangular shapes and typography, it is highly modifiable by nature. It employs a grid-based design where things can be easily added or resized according to the whims of the designer, so long it doesn’t interfere with the user’s experience. The Windows 8 start menu and the pinned tiles in the Windows 10 is an example of this modular nature.

Content is still the focus on the modern internet and having an interface that allows you to mess with how that content is displayed without wrecking your website is a highly desirable characteristic for designers.

It fits perfectly with responsive design

Like what’s been stated above, Microsoft’s idea with Windows 8 is that it aims to present roughly the same experience to both smartphone users and traditional desktop users. As a result, Windows Phone 8, the mobile OS that was launched concurrently with the desktop OS, has the same interface as you’d find on desktop, only with slightly different layout and placement.

Because the interface is made up of smaller building blocks of rectangular shapes, adapting this interface to a smaller screen and different orientations (portrait and landscape) is simply a matter of resizing and placing these blocks differently, just like Lego pieces. This meshes well with the concept of responsive web design, in which a webpage adapts itself to the size and orientation of the screen it’s being displayed on to present the optimum experience for users.

It utilizes clean and functional design

Since it mostly relies on two main elements, rectangular shapes and typography, flat design won’t be confusing for users. The website for Wyss Institute, a bio-engineering research institute in America, employs a flat design for its main page, with news arranged in blocks akin to Windows 8.

To a lesser extent, the collection of information spread underneath, acting as introductory passages to what exactly the Wyss Institute stands for, employs a grid-based design as well. Each segment is placed within their own rectangular area. Flat design doesn’t always have to conform to the same uniform design language; brands can still build on the same principle of clean and functional design without looking similar to each other.

It is now an industry standard

While the unique applications vary from websites to websites, flat design works using the same underlining example. Using the same basic design saves users time by not having to adapt to another design language when they hop from one website to another. Think of it this way, if traffic lights around the world uses different colors instead of the same combination of red, yellow, and green, motorists would have problem when moving to another city.

Ask anyone who’s had to switch from right-hand drive vehicles to left-hand drive vehicles and I’m pretty sure cases of them opening the door on the passenger’s side instead of the driver’s side is pretty common.

Admittedly, flat design doesn’t give a lot of wiggle room for designers to be creative with their design, limiting customization to little more than colors and layouts. I prefer to consider this a good thing though. Brands should flex their creativity on contents while putting functionality considerations in their interface above all else. Flat web design achieves that goal while still enabling designers to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look, if done correctly.

How to Map Out Psychology-based SEO Strategies to Improve Your Business

How to Map Out Psychology-based SEO Strategies to Improve Your Business

Now that most business owners know how important SEO for business is, many of them start looking for the best SEO services in town. It may be exaggerating, but it’s true. When you own a business, SEO is the right solution for digital marketing part, since nowadays the technology keeps growing. However, it is not only about the technology. When it comes to human nature, psychology is the key. Why? That’s because human is your target audience. If you are a business owner, keep reading this article to find out the strategy to improve your business by mapping out psychology-based SEO strategies.

When SEO is seen in psychology and strategy perspective, the entire method has more punch when it reaches the stage of coding and content structuring. It can make use of synergies with marketing ventures like social media, press releases, public relations and more. As someone who has goals in business, your aims include:

  • Increase sales
  • Reduce costs (saved on other marketing channels)
  • Improve resource efficiency
  • Create synergies (that often last for years)

However, even after knowing the aims, there is a contrast between a low-priced SEO firm that relies purely on keyword-stuffing and basic link building which leaves a lot of money on the table from missed opportunities. Many Internet marketers know how important it is to begin with keyword research. Sadly, too many stop right there. Keywords are important. If done properly, they will help you comprehend exactly what your market wants, in specific numbers, and suggest methods of optimisation that are suitable. However, take a look at deeper intent and these keywords show a lot more about your prospective buyers that can help boost conversions. A keyword that’s a specific expensive food supplement suggests an affluent, health conscious prospect who searches for quality products, and is willing to pay for the best quality.

With that in mind, business owners need to look at every page as a ‘landing page’.  Also, they need to ask themselves these questions:

  • What are visitors arriving at this page looking for?
  • What problem are they facing and how can we help them?
  • How can we deliver an experience they’ve been looking for everywhere else?

If you implement SEO strategies based on using those questions, you can reach more people to look at your brand. If you need more information about SEO, feel free to contact us and we will gladly help you.

Designing for Print vs. Digital Media: Feel the Difference Based on the Viewers’ Impression

Web design tips

Design projects may have different kinds of purposes. Whether it is a brochure design, web design, or even interior design, each has different purposes as to why it should be done. However, design has one thing in common when it comes to aim; clients’ satisfaction. Yes, every designer must have a design and practical thinking to a certain extent before diving into a project, because they should also think in clients’ perspective about how a design should be done. In this article, we are going to discuss about the difference between designing for print and designing for digital media. Keep reading to find out.

Viewers’ engagement

The interaction between your viewers and your design is expressed in a different way when it comes to screen and print. For digital mediums, you want to make sure your design is easily accessible, usable, navigable, intuitive and clear while entertaining at the same time. Also, many users arrive in a digital space with a particularly informative goal in mind. When you design for these users, your work should function to facilitate their goal in browsing so that they can get all the information they want to know without having to bounce from the space immediately after entry. In the digital world, there is actual data that can show how effective your design is. For this reason, there is often a statistical element at work alongside the creative design process.

However, in printed mediums, the environmental conditions of how a viewer will find your work can really depend on location and function. Sometimes it is unknown whether they will find your work or not, which can result in these questions; “Will they find my design?” or “Is it seen when they pass by?” or even “Will they even touch my design?”

Senses

Printed mediums give you the opportunity to engage viewers on a physical level. Aside from thinking about the imagination of what you design, you should also consider many of the physical aspects of the printing process. When it comes to printed designs, you should also consider the texture and weight of the paper, foam core or canvas print material. Embossed lettering and design is another way to evoke both visual complexity and the sense of touch.

As for digital designs, we may use our fingers to work on scrolling while viewing a digital design, but it doesn’t give you a sense of touch – it will only let you see visuals. That being said, you can use video and music so you can evoke emotions from your viewers both in audio and visual. Interactive elements can also work to simulate an immersive experience with your design.

That’s how you can feel the difference between printed designs and digital designs. Whether you need it or not, it all depends on your company’s needs. However, when you decide to choose one of them; at least try to make it when the time is right. For example, you are joining a relevant seasonal event to your business; you might want to design brochures to let people know what you are up to in this event. Try to make it more appealing with a choice of paper that can make it more unique and different even though it is just a brochure.