10 Best Tools That Improve Your Skills As A UI/UX Designer

By James Tredwell on September 23, 2019

The drastic enhancement in UI/UX designing tools are providing positive impression on user experience, usability that delivers great convenience for designers along with other utilities, distributions, products and services for their users. Therefore, a good web designer will try to be updated with frontier and master the latest tools and resources with a greater extent to design industry oriented based UI/UX designs. Nowadays, there are extensive blogs and website design update design articles, sharing designing skills and recommended tools on the Internet.

If you are UI/UX designer, it might seem a difficult task to keep your user satisfied is getting quite difficult with a passage of time, as the expectations of people are increasing and user demands are even more from each boundary they are encountering. Basically, this is overall a great news as user expectations are increasing with respect to quality of products and services for interaction purposes. Hence, to improve your design workflow, in this article we have discussed about 10 best tools that improves your skills as UI/UX designer.

1. Sketch

Sketch was basically designed as an image editing tool for product based digital designs. In contrast, Adobe Photoshop is suitable for a wide range of users and tasks managers, sketch also shares many of the same features but improved specifically for their web design applications.

Basically, Sketch uses CSS based logics from the scratch which makes transformation into software development that is classified as much easier instance. The Automatic Slicing feature and one click exports also enables creating assets in the format of your choices and classification. It must be noted that each new object is automatically gets fixed to a new layer with opening innovative combinations, flexible navigation and more convenience for professional developers and developers etc.

2. UX Pin

The significance of UX Pin is that you can easily design a website or an app from scratch to the deployment phase via using the similar documents from lo-fi wireframes to hi-fi prototypes and many more. UXPin seems to be more intrusive by its focus on UX elements including codeless animation, interaction, UI focused patterns can be incorporated in an easier and flexible way via drag and drop, also on the basic wireframes.

This isn’t an initial aspect that UXPin is placed on top rankings according to the latest research, UX Pin is a collaborative design platform that allows entire teams to participate in the design process from initial phase to the completion phase. Further, UX Pin can also incorporate with Adobe Photoshop and Sketch that enables designers to convert static files into interactive prototypes without affecting the quality standards of the design aspects.

3. User Testing

UserTesting is an interactive tool for UI/UX designers, this tool is intended to relieve stress and hassle of searching for users and prototype testing and quality assurance metrics. Hence, SQA and testing professionals always prefer those targeted users, administer the tests remotely to deliver positive results within a 60 minutes of time duration. Primarily, each test was demonstrated with a video integrated by the user. In this way, you can easily observe face expression and people’s emotional mood swings.

Significantly, this service performs functions for websites and apps, prototypes and finished products. You can also proceed for UserTesting team to design prototype that you want to test or take benefit from their project manager to keep a consistent workflow within the development and testing environment.

4. XMind

XMind is a popular mind mapping and brainstorming software developed by XMind. This software app can be used to devise ideas, logical thinking perspectives, manage complicated information and collaborate with team members effectively.

  • XMind supports mind maps, tree diagrams, use case diagrams, chart organizations, spreadsheets, etc.
  • It is used for knowledge management, meeting minutes, project coordination and GTD.

XMind app comprises of two versions, the basic version is available for free and the premium version can be purchased within certain bucks. This tool helps you to organize your own thoughts, visions and values. It’s open-ended (mind-mapping) diagramming tools to promote brainstorming session to explore innovative ideas, and its organizational capabilities makes it a great task management tool for individuals as well as team members with cloud storage mechanism. Precisely, XMind relies on visual communication prospects for quick skimming and comprehension and it basically allows you to modify your outline and goals, progressive and problematic situations.

5. Mural

Mural is a popular subscription based visualized workplace that assists remote team collaborative platforms. Primarily, the digital whiteboards increase modern teams and individuals to visually explore complicated challenges and collaborate among various time zones and location guides. This app allows entire product teams to brainstorm and visualize their ideas and concepts in real-time environment.

  • More than 1000 companies across the globe collaborate with Mural to test and scale down their innovative processes in a manageable way.
  • It supports YouTube, Vimeo SlideShare, Google Drive and Evernote.

6. Wireframe.cc

If you are interested to keep your designs simplistic then Wireframe.cc would be a suitable tool for you. Wireframe.cc is an organizable tool to present design options only when it is needed. Furthermore, you can drag and drop approach to create your desired graphical user interface, and can interpret your designs. Basically, wireframe.cc works for desktop, laptops and mobile based UI interfaces.

Certainly, Wireframe.cc consists of a free-version which enables you to create genuine, single page wireframes etc. But if you want to save your designs in your own personal account and keep them in private mode, then you’ll have to upgrade to the premium version which is starts with an initial price of $16 to $100 per month.

7. Web Flow

If you are interested to test your website interface then you should try the visual prototyping features in Web Flow. You can also use the designer to create a versatile look and feel of your website. Web Flow is an integrated platform and it does work of HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding for you to create a successful brand-oriented website.

Furthermore, you can also use this tool to create flawless animations, interactive diagrams, parallax scrolling and many more, you can also share your designs on public portfolios and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

8. Fluid UI

Fluid UI is a poweful UI prototyping tool that requires collaborative approach and teamwork to devise instant solutions. It allows fast prototyping technique for web and mobile based frameworks and interfaces with high or low trustworthiness. You can easily access prototypes in the web browser or on desktop and can preview mobile based interfaces in the Fluid UI based apps and relevant resources.

Primarily, multiple team members can coordinate and work accordingly on a prototype at the same timeframe and you can also link multiple prototype together to get an interactive look and feel. The solo pricing plan allows you to deal with five active projects and unlimited reviewers for $8.25 per month. However, if you want to pursue real-time corporation with you project team members, the team plan is priced at $41.58 per month.

9. Invision

Invision is a strong digital product design platform that enables you to clearly envision, design, prototypes and receive responses in a single unified interface., Likewise, you can design freehand on a digital whiteboard, gather inspiration using design vision boards and clearly uses vector based approaches and multilayers to brainstorm and design compelling ideas.

It is also easy to make transition of static designs into interactive prototypes and to coordinate and get prevalent feedback in a shared design workplace environment. Albeit, it should be noted that Invision is a free for a single prototype consisting of paid pricing prospects ranging from $15 to $100 per month.

10. Keynotopia

Keynotopia is the huge collection of UI design kits for devising mockups, wireframes and interactive apps prototypes in a short span of time via Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint. It consists of a huge collection of UI design kits, so you can easily design mockups, prototypes and wireframes.

Once you have completed the design of each screen, it is quite easy to link them altogether to devise interactive prototype for your website, mobile or desktop app. Likewise, you can also conduct tests to assure the quality metrics using your mobile device. The UI designs bundles for PowerPoint or Keynote are priced at $97 along with integrated add-ons for different platforms with a mere price rate ranging from $39 to onwards.

Wrap Up

In a nutshell, the demand of UI/UX designers is rapidly increasing in the marketplace. The main reason behind their success rate is the use of professional design tools to create impressive designs, prototypes and various diagrams that are essential to brand your business identity to the next level. Hence, UI/UX designing is considered as a versatile way to promote your brand in the industry specific regions.

About Author  

Fenton Zach is working as a web content writer at WebbyGiants, a leading web development services company in Hayward, California, US. His expertise includes web content writing, SEO content writing, technical documentation and software quality assurance.

7 Golden Rules Of Designing That Every Designer Must Know

By James Tredwell on August 20, 2019

One of the most important aspects of doing business is to grab the attention of the customers and make a brand identity. This is where a logo design comes into play. It is likely that you have a name for your business,but without a logo design, your business will not be known to the world.

A logo design is the face of the company,which can help in tuning your potential customers into regular clients. It is a symbolic representation of your business,which can speak volumes about your business. It is an important part of your brand and plays a significant role in making an impression on the audience.

The job of a designer is to creatively design a logo which plays with the elements of design and can set them apart from all in the industry. Providing logo design services as a freelancer or working at a designing company, you need to make sure that you follow the golden rules of designing a logo.

However, if you are a newbie and don’t have the know-how of the golden rule of designing, this article is for you. So without further delay, let’s discuss the seven golden rules of designing.

Lay a solid foundation for design

Each designer has something new to learn from every different project. You get to learn new design and unleash your creativity in making a unique design every time you get a project. You have a different style of designing and to make sure that you and your client are on the same page, it is essential that you develop an agreement before beginning the project.

This does not only helps you produce a great design but also helps in understanding what the clients expect from you. Carry out in-depth research to lay the groundwork of the project so you can build a great design for the client.

Sketch Out Your Design

With the development of all the innovative digital tools to design, sometimes it can be highly beneficial for the designer to sketch the design using a pencil and sketch pad. Sketching is easierto play around with. Not just that, it also helps inshowing a rough sketch of the design to the client.

This doesn’t only allow you to experiment with the design but also gives the clientinsight into what the finished product will look like. In addition to that, the client can also request a change on the spot if they require something to be changed.

The Relevance OfDesign

A logo design can speak volumes about a brand. Every element of a logo is able to deliver meaning to the audience. This is one of the reasons you need to devote your thoughts to minor details about your brand while designing. A colour, a shape, the image, and font, all these elements can tell a story for your brand; you need to be very thoughtful when choosing your element to design.

If your design and logo elements don’t align with your business personality, it will not be able to make the same impression on the audience as it should. However, if done right, it can make your potential clients turn in to regular customers.

Simple Is Sophisticated

When it comes to designing a logo, it should be all about simplicity. You need to make sure that your design is easy to remember,which can be very problematic for a complex design. A complex design can confuse your audience with the business massage making them choose your competitor over you.

A simple design is easy to remember and can be recognised from a distance. It is easy to communicate using a simple design,and it can make a brand identity.

Design To Standout

Every business needs a design which can set them apart from the competition. This is why they design a unique image to represent their brand. Being a designer, you need to think outside the box to create an exceptional image of the brand. You can choose to follow the trend, but you need to make sure that it is not similar to the designs already present in the market.

Think of some of the big names in the industry,such as Apple. The iconic Apple “byte” is a unique design that has little changed since its inception. It is a unique design which can be recognised from a distance.

Let Your Logo Speak For Your Brand

Not all logos have to have the brand name in design unless told to do so by the client. You need a design which can give the idea of the business without having the needs to have the name of the company. The Apple byte is the perfect example of such logo which can speak volumes about the brand without having a name included in it.

Fill colours

When designing a logo, make sure to work with the black and white version of the design. It can help you to stay focused on the design and pay attention to the design elements without worrying about the colours. You can fill in the colours once you are finished designing. Make sure that you use relevant colours to make a perfect impression on the audience.

Different Types Of UX Designer Jobs To Choose From

By James Tredwell on August 11, 2019

When it comes to UX careers you will have a lot of variety of jobs to choose from. User experience, also known as UX, is one of the fastest growing parts of the interactive industry. It is also the most exciting part of it. However, if you want to choose UX designing as your career, you will need to consider the different facets of user experience as well as the different career options that it provides.

All of these options are deeply rooted with passion and skill that helps to shape up the best user experiences in the best way possible. There are a few national benchmarks set for these different UX designer jobs that you should know before choosing any one of it. You must also know the different UX design tools that are essentially required in this trade by the user experience professionals.

User research

With a salary within the range of $80k and $117k, this specific area of UX designing needs a broader insight and deeper understanding of the behavior of the users, their needs as well as their motivations. These aspects will offer feedbacks that pertains to all phases of UX design process right from its conception to implementation.

There are different tasks you will need to perform during user research such as:

  • Conducting user analyses
  • Identify the opportunities for improvement
  • Analyze research findings and 
  • Creating usable data from them.

This will ensure that you provide actionable results, just as desired by the users, through your product.

Usability analyst

Offering a salary between $66k and $127k, this career will involve identifying usability issues problems by applying user research and different usability principles. A usability analyst typically helps in achieving the usability goals that are normally met through identifying different objectives for:

  • The project benefits
  • For measuring outcomes and 
  • Evaluating its success with the help of the given studies.

The different types of job responsibilities of a user analyst involve:

  • Investigating user experience issues
  • Resolving them through evaluating and testing and 
  • Improving and communicating actionable insights.

This will ensure better performance of the digital product and the optimal customer or user experience. 

Information architect

You can earn anywhere between $80k and $126k as an information architect. In this position you will have to focus on:

  • Scoping
  • Constructing and 
  • Optimizing information that is provided to the users through the website. 

You may also have to take active part in developing a thorough and more realistic plan that will meet with the user experience objective of the organization.

Different responsibilities of this career include creating:

  • Wireframes
  • Process maps
  • Functional specifications
  • Prototypes and 
  • Several other artifacts.

All these will define the user experience and at the same time help in applying user scenarios and personas. This will further help in developing a relevant process as well as a proper user flow model. 

Interactive designer

The salary offered to an interactive designer can range from $74k to $115k. As an interactive designer you will draw upon different user data and research. You will need to give input to create an interaction concept. This will ensure a seamless, fluid and more relevant experience to the users that will be more engaging.

You job will include:

  • Participating in the creation process of rapid prototypes
  • Illustrating any application or service and 
  • Cooperating with your peers such as the visual designers.

Your job will actually involve solving problems and creating full design and more dynamic solutions for the projects. 

Visual designer

With a salary of $60k to $97k, a visual designer is responsible for turning different wireframes and prototypes into visual designs. This will make the site more relevant and user friendly and at the same time ensure that it adheres to any or all brand guidelines. These designers typically rely on their intense understanding of brand standards, graphical elements, design systems and style guides.

The job of a visual designer typically includes:

  • Creating engaging, usable and effective visual design solutions
  • Validation of the effectiveness of the design and 
  • Do thorough research on usability.

This will help the site to achieve its goals and to reach out to more and more users.

UX designer

A user experience designer draws a salary between $73k and $110k. They are practically the jack of all trades in the design process that is typically focused on the users. Their role will focus on creating the most successful and effective user experience through research, feedback, and testing, analyzing, and best practices.

The primary focus of a user experience designer is on:

  • Driving development and communication related to the user design process
  • Participating in researching on any given project and 
  • Analyzing, developing, and testing different phases of the user design process. 

With so many alternatives to choose from and all of them high paying, it is just the right time to make switch from web to UX design.

Type of projects and distribution

There are different types of web based projects handled by the user experience professionals. These are:

  • Public websites
  • Ecommerce websites
  • Web-based apps
  • Shopping carts
  • Landing pages and lots more.

Their job also includes creating advertisements that will drive more users and engagement such as:

  • Banners
  • Social networks
  • Email campaigns
  • Dating sites 
  • Video games and 
  • Surveys.

They also handle different applications such as mobile apps or apps on GPS, e-reader or any other device.

The distribution of the UX professionals in the order of popularity however is as follows:

  • UX Designers – 26%
  • Interaction Designers – 24%
  • Visual Designers – 23%
  • Information Architects – 18%
  • User Researchers – 6% and 
  • Usability Analysts – 2%

When it comes to the skills required by the user experience professional it includes:

  • Markups like HTML, XML and XHTML
  • CSS coding
  • Page layout
  • Interface design
  • Front-end programming such as JavaScript
  • Image editing and production
  • Information architecture
  • Site mapping
  • Wire framing
  • Usability testing
  • Graphic design
  • Back-end development involving Ruby on Rails, PHP and ASP
  • Writing and editing 
  • Project management
  • Usability testing 
  • Search engine optimization,
  • Search engine marketing and 
  • Accessibility testing.

In addition to that, having a formal university education will increase your opportunities and pay.

Graphic Design & Multimedia for Grabbing Attention

By James Tredwell on June 21, 2019

Graphic design & multimedia help businesses capture attention to promote and sell products or services. It also helps with opening new markets.

Most companies are using the internet to expand their business across the border.

They like to hire more experienced and talented graphic designers and multimedia experts to create their marketing collateral. A website bears your first impression and it can be seen all over the world.

Companies set aside a good amount of budget for their marketing department. Besides placing ads in the newspapers and magazines or on television they like to run online campaigns to promote their products and services.

Graphic designers help convey the business message and when designs are done right they bring in more sales. The use of multimedia helps companies squeeze a comprehensive message in a few seconds. These days people on the go like to watch videos instead of reading the complicated text.

Mobile users prefer to watch the informative video to learn what all you have on offer and how your goods or services can be of use to them. For this reason, all businesses now prefer to add videos to their websites along with images of their products.

Your website and all marketing collateral is part of your corporate identity. Illustration, typography, photography, and motion graphics help a business in many ways as follows:

1. It Is A Trendy Way of Communication

These days, consumers are overwhelmed with the outpouring of marketing information from various companies. They do not like to read the text as it takes a lot of time and instead want to look at something that is attractive and explains things in an easy to understand manner.

They will look at infographics, illustrations, and product videos and leave out the lengthy text for later. Marketing is going through cultural change as most shoppers are browsing and buying online. Businesses have just a few seconds to grab the attention of viewers.

Graphic designers have to pack extensive and sometimes complex business messages in illustrations and infographics. Stock photos need to be avoided as they do not help with rankings. All content on the website has to be original and useful for viewers.

2. It Enhances Employee Productivity

A healthy workplace where employees are proud of their job is the core of brand identity. Besides marketing collateral, you, your employees, your workplace and how it looks form the basis of your brand identity.

In a well-designed interior, the employees are more committed and feel a certain level of pride as part of the organization. These employees are more productive and are able to reflect the company vision better.

A well-developed website that is easy to navigate and looks good reduces employee frustration. Your logo has to be well made and the employees need to be happy with it as well.

3. Good Graphics Increase Viewer Interaction

Low-quality stock is not able to retain the attention of viewers. Instead use the high-quality graphics so your social media views, shares and followers increase rapidly.

A visually appealing website, social media properties, blogs and e-newsletters can do wonders for your web traffic. Most online shoppers evaluate image quality and video content before making a purchasing decision.

Good-quality photography, infographics, illustrations, and product videos serve as effective marketing tools and take your brand image forward.

4. It Is A Money Saver

Good graphic design helps you save money. You can continue with a design that works well. Cheaper designs may not bring good results.

This is why you will need to redo all the graphic design which will turn out to be more expensive. It is a better idea to hire good graphic design and multimedia experts to do all the marketing collateral for you.

5. Keep Viewers Engaged

Fresh themes and graphics seem more appealing to viewers. They like to stay at sites that have unique designs and interesting graphics. When you plan to redesign the company website and other marketing collateral, use an expert graphic designer so you can get a good return on investment.

This way you can create a unique identity that is both visually appealing and will also help you stand apart from the competition. Your offerings have to look different as compared to your rivals and graphic designers know exactly how to make you look novel. With an attractive website with useful content, your guest will keep coming back to check if you have any new offerings for them.

6. It Helps with Brand Reinforcement

When the traffic graph is falling and as a result sales graph is also facing downwards, it is time to revamp your online image. A good graphic design company will redo the face of your business.

Get a fresh-looking logo and use a new color scheme to refresh the brand image. Get a friendly or formal image engineered to suit your business needs.

All the visual elements will be created keeping your input and feedback in focus. This new image has to be consistent in order to gain trust from the target market.

This article is contributed by Gary Brandon, SEO consultant at ENET Technologies.

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