Does this type make my design look fat?

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Nothing can ruin a design like typography that doesn’t fit. Whether it’s too big (or too small), improper type scaling is a major problem.

It’s a problem for more designs than you might think. Too commonly you visit a website where the type renders beautifully on a desktop browser, only to revisit later from a phone and find it difficult to read. It happens all the time.

The issue is that the type wasn’t truly scaled for each device. It’s a totally avoidable problem when you consider a typographic scale for projects.

WHAT IS A TYPOGRAPHIC SCALE?

A visual typographic scale encapsulates the sizes, space and proportions of type elements relative to on another in a project. This includes everything from the main body text style to headlines, subheaders, captions and any other text element.

The scale helps determine size and placement of the text elements in relationship to one another. For web design, in particular, the visual type scale often corresponds to tags in your CSS (such as h1, h2, h3, p, and so on).

A type scale helps you create harmony and rhythm in the design. It also keeps you out of stylistic trouble because text elements correspond with CSS elements so that every part of the design uses the same elements and consistency.

The scale should be based on the size of body text. (Always set a typeface and size for that first). Then build the scale around this main typography. Not sure where to start? Google has a solid recommendation:

  1. Use a base font size of 16 CSS pixels. Adjust size based on properties of the font being used.
  2. Use sizes relative to the base size to define the typographic scale.
  3. Text needs vertical space between characters; the general recommendation is to use the browser default line-height of 1.2 em.
  4. Restrict the number of fonts used and the typographic scale.

CREATE HARMONY AND RHYTHM

A type scale does more than just help users move through the copy, it creates harmony and rhythm for the flow of text. This is important on any device.

So where do you start?

UX Matters has some of the best research available on minimum text sizes by device. Note that these are minimum sizes and as body text sizes continue to increase (as does line spacing), you should strongly consider larger point sizes. Steven Hoober recommends starting at least 40 percent larger than the recommended minimums. Further, enhanced content styles can go up to 80 percent above the minimum, but you should be cautious with exceptionally large type as well.

Device Type Minimum Size 40% Recommendation (adjusted for easy use) 80% Maximum (adjusted for easy use)
Small Phone 4 5.6 (6) 7.2 (7.5)
Large Phone 6 8.4 (8.5) 10.8 (11)
Phablet 7 9.8 (10) 12.6 (13)
Tablet 8 11.2 (11.5) 14.4 (14.5)
Laptop/Desktop 10 14 (14) 18 (18)

Once the body text size is set, you can determine how to size supporting text elements. There’s a fine art to that and the eye test is often a good place to start.

There’s almost no such thing as a headline that’s too big. Say what you need to say and size to scale the words in the space. A two-line headline will feel larger than one-line even if the text is the exact same size.

The easiest way to think about scaling up for headlines and other larger test elements is working in percent based on the body text. While every designer has a different starting point, 250 percent larger than the body text is a good ballpark for the headline; 150 percent for h2, 75 percent for h3 and 50 percent for elements such as block quotes. (This is not a rule, just a starting point.)

Here’s why percents, rather than set sizes, are important: Once you set the size of the body type the percents adjust sizes accordingly regardless of screen size. Every type element is relative to the body type.

CHARACTER AND SPACING GUIDELINES

There are some other guidelines that designers look to as well when it comes to type on the screen. When it comes to spacing, one of the rules of thumb has been to look at characters per line to ensure readability.

  • Desktop and large devices: 60 to 75 characters per line
  • Phones and small devices: 35 to 40 characters per line

Note that readability on smaller screens is based on having fewer characters (larger text).

The same idea applies to spacing as well. You need more space between lines of text when the screen size is limited to make it easier for users to read and scan content. Consider adding 25 percent more line spacing on smaller devices than for desktop typography.

The additional size and spacing helps ease that tight or crunched feeling that users can feel when trying to read on smaller devices. Because the canvas is small, reader flow and legibility is vital to keep users scrolling.

TIPS TO GET STARTED

There are plenty of ways to create a typographic scale and ensure that the text does not make your design look fat. How you go about it likely depends on your comfort level with code and development in addition to the design.

The best option is to use a responsive design with media queries. This is the designer-developer option that will provide the greatest level of control over text specifications. (For more go back to those Google recommendations, above.)

Another route is to design different versions. While this is a pretty out-of-date concept, there are still some places using mobile URLs and desktop URLs for their websites. It’s not recommended in most cases, but for some websites where the design is dramatically different or users experience different things, it can be an option.

The easy option is to start with a theme for your website. Just make sure to opt for a fully responsive option. When you use a high quality responsive theme, most of the guesswork is taken out of it for you. All you really have to think about is the body text size. Just make sure to check everything to make sure the mobile type sizes meet your standards.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

The big interview: Jon von Tzetchner talks Vivaldi

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Vivaldi is a browser that’s an alternative to better-known browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Launched only earlier this year, it has a long way to go before it claims a fair share of the browser market, but that’s not stopping Vivaldi founder Jon von Tzetchner from telling people what’s so exciting and unique about his new project. I recently had the chance to speak to him about everything Vivaldi.

In an in-depth interview, we talk about everything from why Vivaldi is good for web designers to how many users it has and if the Internet of Things is something the company will focus on, going forward.

WebdesignerDepot: Our readers are web designers who are interested in the best or an alternative browser to help with their work and projects. How can Vivaldi benefit web designers?

Jon von Tzetchner: The special thing about Vivaldi is that we designed the browser in the browser, so the user interface of the browser is actually web-based. For all practical purposes, we’re using the same tools as any web designer is using to make webpages. The difference is that we’re making a user interface instead, so we’re using technologies like React, HTML, CSS, and the like; I mean, that’s what we’re using to build the browser. We’re also working on the C++ side of the equation, so we can do things on either side to get the best possible results, but most of the work on our side actually is being done on the HTML side.

The special thing about Vivaldi is that we designed the browser in the browser, so the user interface of the browser is actually web-based

WDD: I’d like to ask you about support for emerging technologies like CSS Grids, for instance. Does Vivaldi currently support that? If not, any plans to?

JvT: I think you just asked a question that I don’t feel comfortable with answering (laughs)—and that’s embarrassing. In general, code-wise, we’re built on Chromium. You’re asking about a standard that Chrome already supports, and we do as well. That’s the standard answer to that. Whether we’re using it in the browser in our own designs, I’m not sure about that at this time.

WDD: A CNET article from earlier this year quotes you as saying Vivaldi has almost a million users per month. Has that number grown? How many use Vivaldi as we close out 2016?

JvT: What I was saying and what I’ve been saying is that we’re well on the way toward a million. People write that in different ways, so that’s the current situation. We’re well on our way toward the first million, but we’re not totally there yet. We’ve had about 5 million downloads so far and an active user base well on its way—between 700,000 and a million is where we are.

WDD: In terms of Vivaldi expansion, what are your projections for the number of users hitting the 5-million mark, which you said was about the number need for profitability? How’s that coming along?

JvT: It’s going well. We need between 3 and 5 million users to break even, and I think that’s a reasonable goal for us to reach in the not-too-distant future. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but that’s the way it works when you’re growing the browser kind of through word of mouth. As an example of that that I’ve mentioned to people: With Opera, my last browser company, it took us 15 years to get our 100 million users, and then 18 months later, we had double that. So it’s kind of exponential growth, but we’re still early days. It’s been 6 months or thereabouts since we launched 1.0, and we continue to come up with new versions, and I think 3 to 5 million is a realistic, relatively short term target, and then we take it from there.

WDD: I’d like to talk about the uptake of Vivaldi. Are these Vivaldi users leaving other browsers permanently and moving full-time to Vivaldi?

JvT: Clearly, anyone that’s coming to Vivaldi has been using other browsers before. We don’t have any statistics that tell us what other browsers are using and things like that. We don’t really have much information, but we know that everyone that comes to Vivaldi has been using other browsers before, and then they make the decision to make the switch. We see the enthusiasm that we see on our website and our communities, and they seem to be extremely happy about the direction we’re going. That’s a very positive thing, but we don’t really have the numbers to say to what extent they’re using other browsers besides Vivaldi, but the impression is that there’s a gradual improvement in the number of people that are using it significantly.

WDD: What are the demographics like of those who are shifting to Vivaldi full-time…? Are there more people perhaps in a certain age group or part of the world who are moving to Vivaldi more than others?

We have a very high Linux usage. I think you’ll find among our users that there’s 10 times more Linux users than what you’ll find on average

JvT: We don’t track anything, and that’s one of the things that we are very…kind of…the only thing—we do know where people are in the world. The number one country for us is Japan, and number two is the U.S., and after that there is Russia and Germany. What you’re already seeing is that it’s already quite distributed, so we can’t really say that there’s one country taking it. It’s distributed, and we’re getting people all across the world. There’s one thing that we’ve seen that’s a bit different, probably: We have a very high Linux usage. I think you’ll find among our users that there’s 10 times more Linux users than what you’ll find on average. Which kind of makes sense: Linux users are more likely to download new software…given that they’ve already taken the steps to move over to a new operating system.

WDD: The latest update of Vivaldi actually lets users control the lights in their home, thanks to integration with Philips Hue color lights. This is a move toward the Internet of Things. Is this a path that Vivaldi will continue to explore and make progress toward?

JvT: Definitely. In some ways, the way this started, we described it in a blog entry—how Henrik kind of had this idea of going…bought himself this Hue, and that’s how it started. The idea of going in the direction of the Internet of Things is clearly interesting to us. I think there’s a lot of potential in the Internet of Things; I think it’s being held back in many ways by proprietary solutions. Personally, I would like to see that we go for open solutions where you find APIs, so that developers can build systems that make use of all the different units out there in a standardized manner. I think that’s something we should expect to see happening, and I think that will open up the floodgates of innovation. For us, obviously, we want to be part of that. We are geeks. We love playing with new technology, and, clearly, the Internet of Things is one of those technologies that 1) is very early days in many ways compared to what you can expect to happen, and 2) it’s just very interesting technology.

WDD: Do you have any ideas of maybe moving to integration with vehicles or other parts of the home, besides just lighting?

JvT: We start in one corner. I think the primary purpose in the short term is to be running toward home items. I think that’s natural.

WDD: As we’re ending the year, we want to get your thoughts on what Vivaldi wants to do in 2017. For example, do you have any plans for 2017, a vision for where you want to take the browser next year?

JvT: I mean, we want to continue to evolve the browser and stretch the limit of what you can expect from the browser. We’re playing around with that a little bit, and there are a lot of details, right?

You see that in some of the latest builds that we’ve been sending out. We have a build where we look outside of the machine—kind of. We change the color of your lights in your home based on your browsing, so this is thinking kind of outside the box. At the same time, we’re also paying attention to details.

In a late build now, there’s a lot of people that like the fact that we’re now showing how many “unreads” you have on sites. So, if you have Facebook up on a tab, we’ll have a clear indicator that indicates how many unread notes you have there, and you can do that even if it’s pages. And that’s the kind of detail that a lot of people get excited about, so we’ll continue in that direction—just focusing on what people want.

Then we have some of the bigger things, which are things like email, which we promised. We’re working on a mobile browser…sync, but what exactly we’ll come up with during the year…it’s really hard to say because, the way we work, we just do things.

WDD: So it seems to me that you listen to your community of users quite a bit, and I guess that informs the process of what new features you want to add into Vivaldi. Is there anything that your user community at this moment is asking for the most…some kind of a theme or pattern that they have always talked about and that they would want to see, perhaps, in Vivaldi in the future?

JvT: Very high on the list for our users have been things like email and sync, so that’s getting the sync functionality in, so that it’s very clearly there. We get a lot of requests from the users, and think most of the requests we get from the users are evolution, and then we try to think out of the box every now and then.

WDD: I’d like to switch gears a little bit to features. What would you say is Vivaldi’s biggest selling point? If there’s one feature that makes Vivaldi better than other browsers, what would that be?

JvT: Well, I think the biggest selling point is that it’s personal. I mean, all the other browsers they just say, “Okay. Here’s a browser—use it.” There’s not much more to it! We adapt to you as a user, and that’s unique. There’s a lot of details to that. There’s a lot of functions to that and saying that one is more important than another—in some ways, you could say that it’s our tab handling, it’s our callers, it’s our zoom handling, keyboard shortcuts. I mean there’s a lot of different things.

The core to all of this—how we’re different—is we see every user as being different, and we see their requirements, and their requirements differ. It’s our job to adapt to your requirements, so whatever your requirements are. Some people—latest one—signal a starting point, like with the speed dials. Others, they have a lot of tabs, and the tab handling becomes extremely important, so there’s really an individual answer to that question.

We’re not a single-feature browser. Our approach is singular. It’s really about every single user and acknowledging that we’re all different. We all have different requirements, and they’re all equally valuable.

That was something that we really didn’t want to be: a single-feature browser. We’re not a single-feature browser. Our approach is singular. It’s really about every single user and acknowledging that we’re all different. We all have different requirements, and they’re all equally valuable.

WDD: Vivaldi’s big draw for our web-design community is that it’s very friendly for designers and developers, but is it geared specifically to that community, or would you say that even just ordinary users could get a lot out of Vivaldi as well?

JvT: I frankly believe—I mean—in many ways, Vivaldi is the best for everyone. The kind of people that find Vivaldi is the people that are spending more time online. That’s definitely the development community. They like the fact that they can play around and change settings and things like that, but that’s also the group of people that tells others what to do. It’s the influencers, and we’re seeing that.

You install it first on your computer, and the next thing that happens is that you install it on your parents’ computer and your brother’s and sister’s and friends’ and all those that are asking for your advice because you’re the person in the know. It’s just like all of us: We have friends that have certain—maybe we have a friend that’s a car mechanic. We go to him, that person, whenever we have a question around cars, but similarly with technology, we’ll ask the people that are in the know and that spend time, and that’s the kind of users we are attracting, and then they go and tell their friends.

WDD: It seems that there’s a big word-of-mouth component to Vivaldi in the sense of trying to get more people to hear about it, to get it advertised. To that extent, I just want to ask if you think there’s one big thing—like one big piece of media coverage maybe or one big announcement—you think that Vivaldi needs in order to kind of put it on the map more, so that it goes beyond the designer or the developer community?

JvT: We’ve been gradually getting a bigger and bigger reach, but obviously the more media coverage, in some ways, the more often it is. The way this works: We get to a certain group of people, and once you have one guy in the group, and that influences the others. Once you have two or three, the group may all turn and start using us because it’s kind of more and more people are seeing what other people are seeing. Obviously, the bigger stakes, the better it is for us, but we see this as a process that we gradually reach out to people.

I think we already have quite a lot of very high-profile articles. If you look both in the tech community…also some of the larger magazines have covered us. I mean, Guardian in the UK, Boston Globe here…and others, so we’re seeing more and more magazines that think it’s a worthwhile story to cover, but obviously it’s only one article, and we over time need more articles to reach. It’s a process, and it’s a process we saw at Opera as well where we would have growth every year and gradually that got us to the number—we said 350 million (reference to Opera users).

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

Don’t design this at home…3 UI disasters to avoid

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I coined a term today: Loathsome Design.

It means something along the lines of “design decisions that make me want to die.” In other words, it’s the opposite of the recently popular “designing for delight” concept.

Loathsome design captures the essence of frustration. Often, this comes about as a result of neglect—in an attempt to achieve one thing, something else must be left by the wayside.

Why should you care about loathsome design practices?

Because they are the type of decisions that can drive users from your sphere of influence, and into that of your competitors.

1) HIDDEN SETTINGS

I opened my Spotify app today with the intent of showing an undecided co worker its “extreme quality” streaming options, so that he could make an informed decision on which music platform would serve him best—Google Play Music, Spotify, or Tidal.

Before Spotify redesigned their Android app to mimic the design language of their iOS app (and in effect, iOS itself), the settings icon was located in the hamburger menu. It was straightforward, and intuitive.

Now that the hamburger menu is toast, the four menu options have been moved to a permanent spot at the bottom of the screen.

So where’s the settings button?

That’s the question I found myself asking.

Turns out, Spotify’s designers have tucked the settings away in the top right corner of the “Your Library” tab; an extremely unintuitive placement, if you ask me.

And did you notice where the “My Profile” button went? Yeah, me neither. That little icon in the top left corner of the “Your Library” tab (the one that barely passes for a stick figure) is what you’re looking for.

The new design may become upsetting to users, because it forces them to fiddle with the menu in order to find the settings, or their profile.

For some, this may be a prime example of the drawbacks of the Apple-style bottom menu; for others, this is just a case of loathsome design.

2) DISRUPTIVE LAUNCH

One particularly loathsome design choice, is the disruptive launch. Uber and Wikipedia are both extremely guilty of this, except Wikipedia only does this during their fundraising season, while Uber does this year round.

A disruptive launch is one where the user is required to complete a task prior to using the app. In most cases, this is a one-time thing required of users on first launch—aka, the user must sign up before they can use the service. It makes sense, and it’s not that much of a hassle.

Uber takes this one step further by forcing users to rate their previous driver before they can order a ride. Regardless of whether you’re in a hurry, or if you don’t want to rate a driver, you cannot order a ride without rating the previous one.

This is not only an inconvenience, but it actively changes the way that users interact with the app. By mercilessly prompting users to rate a driver at every launch, they are essentially conditioning users to mindlessly click a rating as quickly as they can (see: classical conditioning).

What probably looked like a good idea on the Uber design team’s whiteboard is actually a horrible tactic that has made me, and likely other users, apathetic toward the rating system.

Users are effectively encouraged not to think before rating, because doing so will delay their gratification. Every driver gets a five star rating (or wherever a user’s thumb comfortably falls on the rating scale), regardless of the experience.

Wikipedia is guilty of this as well, if to a lesser extent. During fundraiser season, visitors to Wikipedia are prompted to donate to the online encyclopedia—something I am not innately opposed to.

It’s the way that the site prompts users to donate that makes it loathsome.

The donation prompt takes over the full height of the screen, and gives no indication the user need only scroll down to view their intended page.

Over time, of course, most users will learn that if they do not wish to donate, they need only scroll down, but for first-time users it is likely to be a catastrophic annoyance.

3) CUMBERSOME INTERACTIONS

Occasionally, all it takes for a design choice to become loathsome is for it to require cumbersome interactions. A prime example of this is the way in which Apple and some third party versions of Android have designed their alarm clock apps.

It’s not the apps as a whole that are causing me to feel encumbered, but rather the way in which the designers require users to input the time at which an alarm will sound.

This is the face of pure evil. Who decided that scrolling to a specific time, in increments of one, was a good idea?

Not only does it take longer to scroll than it would to input a time in one of a handful of other common ways, but it also cannot be done in one movement. On ZTE’s Android skin, in order to get from “01” minutes to “59” minutes, users have to swipe several times.

On iOS, one swipe will send the numbers spinning with momentum. Of course it’s cool and realistic, but it is hardly more efficient or usable. This seems to be a current trendwith Apple.

A dramatically more efficient and usable method for inputting alarm values is presented in stock Android.

Google’s designers have figured out a layout that allows users to input alarm values in just two taps. This means that when sleepy users are trying to set an alarm, they won’t be forced to pay extra attention to the input method, and can instead focus on getting to sleep.

DON’T MAKE YOUR USERS LOATHE YOUR DESIGN

There aren’t that many things that will make users loathe your app. Typically, the number one offense is simply inconveniencing users.

Hiding critical functions, disrupting the launch of an app, and designing overly complex interactions will inconvenience your users, and depending on how much it bothers them, they may come to loathe your app.

Avoiding the pitfalls of loathsome design isn’t hard.

You just have to start (and finish) every feature with one simple question: am I making this as convenient and intuitive as it could be?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then there is still work to be done.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Designing effective web surveys

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Web surveys are important tools that websites and businesses can use to gauge important feedback from their site visitors and customers. Web surveys are also somewhat unsung elements of a site because their role is primarily to collect data instead of being a main feature.

In e-commerce, and in any business really, determining what your customers want is largely based on directly asking them. Plus, doing so will also give you amazing insight into the user experience—what’s working, what’s not, and what could and should be improved!

So, as you see, using web surveys offers a lot of benefits. Of course, designing them properly has a lot to do with whether or not they’re successful for any site.

We’re going to skip the part about defining your survey’s objective and being clear on the type of feedback you want since that’s a given for any successful survey. Rather, we’ll only focus on the survey-design aspect.

1) THE USE OF IMAGES

You probably have a belief in your head that a web survey should be mostly just a bunch of rote lines all up and down the webpage, with each line asking a question. While that’s definitely the classic or old-school idea of a survey…designing it in such a stark and empty fashion won’t do any wonders for its conversion rate!

Using images throughout your survey—intelligently spaced and breaking up different sections—has been proven to influence the conversion rate, but also other, very important survey behaviors.

Survey Monkey ran an interesting experiment tied in to the 2015 UK elections. They had three treatments of their survey design, each with three, unique images—which was the only constant variation in the design (they phrased the question of who respondents wanted as PM differently in two of three designs). They wanted to determine how the click and completion rates were affected.

The images they used were:

  • The entrance to 10 Downing Street (where the British PM lives).
  • A color-coded map of the UK, colored by party representation.
  • Rosettes (ribbons for military decoration).

The map image performed the best in terms of the click rate, which was 9.3%. The Downing Street entrance did the worst with only 5.9%, and the rosettes has 8.2%.

On the completion rate side, the images didn’t really affect this stat, as both the map and Downing Street images had a completion rate of 89.9% while the rosettes did a bit better with 90.9%.

This makes a lot of sense, as images have been proven to affect the conversion rates of sites. On the web, using images in your design always leads to better results.

So when you’re designing surveys, don’t just include images, but think carefully about the ones you’re using. In surveys, they should relate somehow to respondent characteristics for maximum impact.

2) UNDERSTANDING THE LIMITATIONS OF MOBILE

When it comes to mobile, surveys are a double-edged sword. On one hand, more people are now using mobile than desktop, so more people than ever will be taking your survey on their smartphones. Unfortunately, the survey user experience is just worse on mobile for a number of reasons.

The big problem is time. Surveys on mobile take users anywhere from 11% to 50% longer to complete than those on desktop. Users and customers today value speed more than anything in UX, so the length of time for survey completion on mobile is definitely a big cause of friction.

This slowness boils down to three reasons in particular:

  • Server connections on mobile are just slower than high-speed, desktop Internet.
  • The smaller screen sizes of mobile make it harder to read and get through survey questions.
  • Users are just more distracted on their smartphones, particularly when attempting to do surveys in transit.

What can be done about this slow mobile speed?

For starters, don’t use matrix questions, which are those multiple questions shown on a grid. You’ve seen them anytime you’ve ever had to answer a survey question, but they aggravate the UX by forcing users to scroll up and down and left and right. Doing all of this on a small smartphone screen is clearly a nuisance. Instead, forego multiple choice questions and answers with more direct questions that only require a yes or no answer from users (and, therefore, no need for a grid).

Keep the length of your surveys relatively short to increase completions.

Of course, remember to always test your survey across various devices: iOS, Android and desktop.

ABOVE ALL: DESIGN FOR USER EXPERIENCE

Designers and developers are always taught to first design for the user experience. Designing a web survey can be a tad tricky since you’re not dealing with a conventional page, but it’s a great chance nonetheless to apply all that you know about designing for great UX.

The Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes at the University of Maryland provides a set of helpful guidelines in web-survey design. The basic principles all have to do with presenting the survey in a user-friendly way.

Some helpful pieces of design advice include:

  • Putting your logo at the top left of the page and the navigation menu vertically, on the left side of the page.
  • All questions and answers should be left-aligned.
  • The response format should be positioned to the left of all response categories.

Besides these, it’s always a good idea to use design elements that encourage easy reading since your users/survey respondents will be scanning the length of the page to read the questions and, hopefully, complete the entire survey.

Further good practices include:

  • Using enough white space between the individual questions so users can focus on one question at a time without feeling like they have to squint or try hard to guess what the question is asking.
  • Using a size of font that’s easily readable on the web, especially on smaller screens for mobile; according to research from UXmatters, that would at least be 4-point for small mobile devices and 6-point for bigger mobile devices.
  • Using, if possible, numbers and/or bullet points to further break up the questions into smaller, more easily digestible chunks of text that’s easier to skim.

Overall, the web survey you design should be a joy to move through and answer—not a detestable chore that your users won’t finish.

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Web surveys can be an effective tool to get feedback from users, readers, clients and consumers of any given site. The catch is that they have to be designed for usability, so the respondents don’t abandon the survey before completion. You want good, usable data from any survey that you create!

So remember some important guidance:

  • Definitely use images, but be choosy and only use those relevant to survey respondents.
  • Always design your survey for mobile since more and more people use mobile even to answer surveys these days.
  • Follow basic UX principles to ensure survey readability and usability.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Samsung expands entry-level VR browsing

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Those not completely familiar with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 smartphones may not have heard about Gear VR, the company’s mobile virtual reality headset. Users wearing the Gear VR get to utilize their phone as their display and processor, but the Gear VR unit is the controller.

Different iterations of the headset have been released to good reviews, so users will be excited to know that the latest release of the Oculus-powered app that controls the experience comes with an improved browsing experience.

According to a news release on Samsung’s Newsroom, version 4.2 helps users get greater control and a more immersive experience.

All this is centered on one of the biggest improvements in the browser, which is support for WebVR 1.0. This is the premier iteration of the VR web browser standard that’s been developed by Mozilla and Google. As far as users are concerned, they’ll experience this improvement by now being able to look at 3D images and streaming VR content more easily on the device.

Another big change is the ability to alter the background of their VR environment, courtesy of the aptly named Change Background feature. High-quality images are provided in-app, so users just have to make the selection for the background they desire. Thanks to VR tech, these vivid scenes infuse more depth than ever to a user’s browsing experience, which has the effect of bringing them to an environment that’s realistic enough to stimulate the interest for exploration.

The end result of this update is a far richer browsing experience. When you include the Skybox feature, which was added to Gear VR in an earlier update, users get to enjoy a truly immersive way of browsing.

One last feature should also have a positive impact on users’ browsing habits.

The File Explorer feature gives users the chance to both seamlessly browse and view videos and pictures on their mobile devices or USB storage, thanks to the USB OTG (on the go) support tool.

All of these updates should be considered in conjunction with other, powerful Gear VR features like:

• Voice-recognition support
• An on-screen keyboard that includes 11 languages (among them English, Korean and French)
• Bluetooth-device integration (mouse, keyboard, gamepad)

Together, version 4.2 now offers users a very comprehensive, immersive experience to explore and browse the most interesting content on the Internet.

What has always made Gear VR stand out is how it allows users to experience the web as if they were watching a movie in a theater. The big, virtual screen—now made richer with these improvements—is a key component of this experience.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

LinkedIn announces a new online platform

featured_linkedin

Hot on the heels of the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft this year and the redesign of the company’s iOS and Android apps last year, LinkedIn will be debuting a new desktop experience. In a recent press event, the company also unveiled LinkedIn Learning, a platform designed to help its users discover and develop various skills by way of a data-driven and personalized learning experience.

In a recent blog post, LinkedIn’s VP of Product, Ryan Roslansky, established that LinkedIn’s redesigned desktop interface will take inspiration from its flagship mobile app that came out with a new design last December. The app’s redesign was met with a generally positive response, so it makes sense for the company to try and duplicate what it did right with its mobile app for its desktop, too.

The redesigned desktop experience will rely on minimalistic touches to bring users a cleaner, more intuitive, and simpler approach for users to efficiently access their jobs, insights and info that they require. As a result, the user experience should see a noticeable boon as well: Thanks to the redesign, professionals can go into their daily meetings with better preparation or, alternately, easily learn more about a new business skill that they’re interested in mastering.

the largest redesign since LinkedIn’s inception

Roslansky is calling this desktop redesign “the largest redesign since LinkedIn’s inception,” so it will be interesting to see just how far the company will go to give users a better UX while still staying faithful to the LinkedIn brand.

In tandem with this, the company’s messaging feature gets an upgrade as well as it gets more intelligent and gets more consistent with the experience offered on the company’s redesigned mobile apps. How does this look on desktop? The revamped Messaging approach bears a remarkable resemblance to Facebook’s chat feature. LinkedIn also revealed the integration of a bot platform that could conceivably be utilized for various purposes, such as scheduling meetings.

LinkedIn also revealed the integration of a bot platform

As for the new online platform, LinkedIn Learning will bring together content from Lynda.com, which LinkedIn owns, and the company’s own professional network and rich data. LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to provide its users with this service designed to appeal to their thirst for continuing education and knowledge.

LinkedIn says that it can leverage its own knowledge of how jobs and skills evolve over a period of time to identify various skills that its users require and then offer expert-led courses that allow them to acquire said skills.

LinkedIn Learning is envisioned as a freemium service, yet all of the company’s users will have the chance to try the new service free for one month. LinkedIn will also continue with its goal to constantly keep enhancing the content on Lynda.com as part of its broader ambition to create opportunities in the global workforce. In the end, the launch of LinkedIn Learning is consistent with Microsoft’s (LinkedIn’s new owner) mission to empower professionals, businesses and organizations to achieve and earn more.

With the company’s desktop redesign and debut of its new learning platform, it’ll be interesting to see how well-received LinkedIn’s new look and features will be.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot.]

 

 

 

ClickSend boost the marketing possibilities for your business

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ClickSend are well known for their online SMS capabilities, and have now expanded their service by adding a heap of new products including MMS, Email, Voice, Fax, and even physical Post, to anywhere in the world.

ClickSend has been operating since 2006 and now have thousands of customers worldwide, including some pretty big name clients: HP, Citrix, Red Cross, and AVG just to name a few.

With a brand new website and dashboard, the signup process for the service is quick and simple; the first screen you see once logged in is a dashboard, which gives you some vital stats on your recent messages.

USING CLICKSEND SMS

SMS is a fantastic tool for direct marketing and thanks to the portability and global use of mobile phones, a business can reach countless customers instantly and at any time. The engagement rate of SMS is also far greater than for any other marketing method, with more than ninety percent of SMS messages being opened and read within just a few minutes of receipt.

Sending an SMS with ClickSend is quick and easy. Simply enter the recipients, select the from option, compose the message and click Send. You can choose to send the message immediately or schedule it for a later date.

CLICKSEND MMS OPTIONS

MMS is very similar, simply enter the recipients, select the from option, drag and drop the image, compose the message and click Send.

CLICKSEND’S EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM

Marketing via email works very effectively to build your business and attract and retain customers. Even though email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is still a very valuable tool to improve your business and to elicit results that are tangible—when you do it right, that is.

ClickSend provide an email marketing platform which lets you create your email using any of their free templates. It’s similar to MailChimp’s offering, but around half the price.

CLICKSEND’S EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORM

Marketing via email works very effectively to build your business and attract and retain customers. Even though email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is still a very valuable tool to improve your business and to elicit results that are tangible—when you do it right, that is.

ClickSend provide an email marketing platform which lets you create your email using any of their free templates. It’s similar to MailChimp’s offering, but around half the price.

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Free download: Weem handwriting font

weem2

Serious in intent, legible, playful in style. When designing a font, it can be tough to nail an aesthetic that embodies all three of those things. Well, Gatis Vilaks and Evita Vilaka did it when they created Weem, a free handwriting font for all of your headline and block-of-text needs.

It has that sketchy style you look for in any handwriting font, but is clearly meant to be used in projects with a serious tone. The designers say as much. They also state that it’s intended to be used for titles, headings, and blocks of text.

Despite being free, it’s no “light” version. It comes with all of the characters and punctuation you might expect, in upper and lower case. It also has all of the accent marks, umlauts, and extra lines or squiggles you might need when writing in languages that aren’t English.

Download it here for free, and keep an eye on its creators for whatever they might make next.

 

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Facebook delivers a better UX for businesses

featured_facebook

Every business today seems to have its own Facebook business page, and with good reason; Facebook is a huge force in marketing as the world’s second-most visited website, and no business wants to miss out on potential leads it can pick up from having a Facebook presence.

In the last few days, the company has been finalizing the rollout of its new business page that are characterized by a cleaner look and feel. One of the most prominent changes that users will notice is that the tabs are gone and have been replaced by a left-hand side navigation. Also, the call to action buttons on the page—CTAs like “shop now,” “learn more” and “sign up”—are all more prominent than they ever were.

Facebook began experimenting with these new designs a couple of months ago, but they’re only now being rolled out on a wider basis. The past couple of months has seen a few, different iterations of business pages. For example, at first, business pages sported a bigger Cover photo and removed any display ads that usually showed up on the right-hand side of desktop pages.

The user experience drastically changes thanks to this redesign. The profile picture will not block a page’s cover photo anymore since the latter has been moved to the right. The cover photo after the redesign still retains the same dimensions: 828 X 315 pixels.

The striking, blue call to action button is now at the top right of the page, just beneath the cover photo. Businesses also enjoy more customization, as this call to action button can be configured to show exactly the kind of action the businesses want their customers to take. For instance, shopping at their retail site, watching a video, learning more about their product or service, or booking an appointment.

The theme of this redesign is a cleaner and more minimalist look. The removal of the right-side display ads greatly help with this appearance, as Facebook is attempting to make desktop business pages more consistent with the recent mobile updates for its Facebook pages from earlier this year.

As far as usability goes, the biggest improvement comes from the removal of the page tabs. Without the tabs, a business page now feels like a traditional site, with navigation down the left-hand side of the page. As a result, users should feel like they can navigate the entire page more efficiently as they browse from one section—such as About, Likes, Events and Events—to the next.

In the last several weeks, more and more users have already begun remarking on these changes. Most users should now be able to see the improvements to the redesigned business pages—Last week, a Facebook spokesperson asserted that this redesign rollout is almost finished. On August 3rd, the rollout was expanded; by this week, you should be able to see exactly what the new business page looks like.

 

 

[Source: Webdesignerdepot]

Comics of the week #352

feat

 

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons.

Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below as well as any related stories of your own…

 
[Source: Webdesignerdepot]