Why evolution is better than revolution in product design

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Digital products will always need to be redesigned. Styles progress, hardware technologies advance, and development possibilities are ever-increasing. Just in the past year the potential for implementing microinteractions, and processor-intensive animations and graphics, has come along at a fair pace. Product teams are continuously looking to iterate and stay ahead of or pass the competition. This is ever important in furthering the design and development industries, and delivering to the consumer the very best product available.

The process of redesigning is not always so straightforward. There are times when teams and individuals have to decide whether to redesign from the ground up, or iterate on the current product. In this article we are going to look at both options and analyze just why redesigning from scratch should be avoided in the majority of cases.

REDESIGNING FROM SCRATCH

To begin, redesigning from scratch should not always be avoided. On occasion, a company can inherit a product simply for the user base, domain name, or because they see the potential to completely re-engineer the product from the ground up, into something completely different.

One example of a product that completely redesigned from the ground up is Bebo. What was once a fast-growing social network has since become multiple new products as a result of complete redesigns. In its latest relaunch, it has been developed into a messaging app, somewhat reminiscent of Slack.

The issue with redesigning from scratch, is you pose the risk of alienating users. In certain cases, the product can have such underperforming design and UX, that it leaves this as the only appropriate course of action. The issue is when products are redesigned for little reason other than for change for its own sake.

It’s important to ask two questions when pondering this decision:

  • Does my vision for the product clash considerably with the current design and framework?
  • Is the current product posing multiple substantial design and UX issues for users?

If the answer to either is yes, then this may well be the most appropriate course.

If you believe a redesign may cause a loss of users, answering yes to either should override any worries you have of this being the case. Sometimes, and only sometimes, a small proportion of the existing user base who are entirely opposed to change has to be discounted in order to move the product forward. You just have to be sure you are truly moving the product forward with a complete redesign—there has to be clear underlying reasons such as above.

REDESIGNING IN ITERATIONS

For most cases, this should be the route to take. By continuously iterating on a product, you avoid alienating the current user base by by slowly but surely introducing new UI and UX enhancements with each version. This is a lot easier to digest for users, and typically helps avoid having them move to competitors. It also allows for the removal of a feature if proven not to be effective or useful for new and existing users.

Redesigning in iterations can also often result in the best possible product. When you are constantly redesigning from the ground up, it eliminates the positive effects of stepwise refinement.

Take Google’s core search product, for example. I’d argue they have never redesigned completely, and instead continuously iterated over multiple decades. With Google, they have an incredibly complex product, but a simple interface, and have iterated upon this in small steps to the point now where the product is extremely refined, powerful, and easy to use.

Another such example is InVision. A few years ago, they could have completely wiped the design which was looking tired and outdated. Instead of building something new with the latest short-term style trends, they chose to iterate on the current version one step at a time with the outlook of creating one of the finest design industry tools. All the while, they kept existing users satisfied by not overhauling every feature and layout.

In the above examples, you can see just how the product has progressed from something very dated, to a cutting-edge, industry leading product design—all through continuous iterating on the features, layout, and styles.

This approach also excludes the issue of overhauling a design every time the design team or lead is changed. It provides a consistent approach over long periods of time, and avoids individual designs and styles making their mark at the users’ expense.

Next time you are working on a design, ask yourself: should I really redesign this product from scratch, or can we achieve better long-term results with stepwise refinement?

 

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

The simple way to get better at design

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Design, by its very nature, is there to be judged. We do it every day—whether it’s our own creation, or that of someone else. When we see something, we’re looking at it and forming an opinion (positive or negative).

So, those of us who do this type of work for a living do understand that it’s all part of the gig. Clients will of course give their opinions about what we have created for them. Our job is generally two-fold:

  • Communicate with the client as to why we made specific design choices and back up our methods with supporting evidence. For example, perhaps a client doesn’t like the placement of a search field. You might point out that you placed it in that particular spot as research shows more users will utilize the feature.
  • Make sure you’ve done your best to ensure the client’s happiness with your work. Whether they come around to your way of thinking or not, you still need to put forth your best effort to help them achieve their goal.

There’s a certain amount of give-and-take in the design process when working with a client. But that’s to be expected when you’ve been hired by someone to represent their brand.

However, in recent times, designers have also become subject to another kind of criticism: one they voluntarily sign up for.

PUTTING YOUR WORK ON DISPLAY FOR THE DESIGN COMMUNITY

Beyond the usual client feedback, there are “community critique” websites. Many designers are choosing to submit their work to sites like Behance or Awwwards – places where the community at large (and a jury in the case of Awwwards) can offer both critique and some creative inspiration.

Both communities, although a bit different in methodology, are quite popular. Behance is run by Adobe and is completely free to use. Besides websites, they also feature varied types of media such as photography, architecture and fashion. You can upload your work via their site or directly from Photoshop CC. Community members can vote up and comment on submitted works, while Behance curators create featured galleries showing the best of the best.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

 

Snapchat vs Instagram – Which Platform is Better for Your Brand?

Who Will Win the Battle between Snapchat & Instagram? | Social Media Today

Snapchat vs. Instagram: A rivalry as old as time. Well, almost.

There have been a lot of discussion this year about who’ll eventually win the battle between the two social media giants, and while out of the gate it looked like Snapchat would eventually be declared the victor, Instagram has been leading a charge to take some of Snapchat’s best features and… well, copy them.

However you slice it, these two platforms are what many think are the future of social media. In this post, we want to break down what each platform is, and more importantly, what it can offer to brands who are looking to connect with their ideal consumers.

By The Numbers

As of the end of 2016, Snapchat is seeing 150 million active users every day. They’re also reportedly serving 10 billion daily video views, while users, on average, are logged into Snapchat for 30 minutes every day.

Instagram, meanwhile, now has more than 600 million registered users, with more than 300 million of them logging into the app daily. For brands looking for engagement, it doesn’t get much better than that, especially among the younger populations.

Both Snapchat and Instagram have major appeal among people users age 35 and under – researchers have found that up to 90% of Instagram’s users are 35 and under, while 86% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34.

Which Platform Do Millenials Prefer?

Wishbone recently conducted a survey asking users between the ages of 12 and 25 (the coveted heart of the Millennial target group) which they preferred, Snapchat or Instagram. Here are their decidedly unscientific, yet still interesting, results:

 

 
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Facebook delivers a better UX for businesses

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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]

New Apple Watch 2 release date, UK price and specs rumours: Front-facing camera | Built-in GPS | Cellular connectivity | September 2016 release | Thinner with better battery life

When will the Apple Watch 2 launch in the UK? What new features and specs should we expect from the new Apple Watch?

When Apple announced its much-anticipated Apple Watch back in September 2014, people got very excited about the concept of an Apple-designed smartwatch. Fast-forward 21 months: the Apple Watch has been on sale for well over a year and people are wondering about the next-generation Apple Watch 2. When will the Apple Watch 2 launch, and what new features can we expect?

The Apple Watch 2 didn’t get a mention at Apple’s 21 March press event(although the Apple Watch did get some love at that event, in the form of new straps – more on that below). Then in June, the Apple Watch 2 wasn’t announced at WWDC 2016, but there was lots of news about watchOS 3 and what that means for your Apple Watch.

In this article, we round up all the rumours we’ve heard regarding the so far unannounced Apple Watch 2: when it’s going to launch, the specs and new features to expect, and likely design decisions. And we list the features and tech specs we’re hoping Apple will include in the second Apple Watch – particularly anARM Cortex A32 processor – and why they’re essential to improving users’ experience.

When will the Apple Watch 2 launch in the UK? What new features and specs should we expect from the new Apple Watch?

When Apple announced its much-anticipated Apple Watch back in September 2014, people got very excited about the concept of an Apple-designed smartwatch. Fast-forward 21 months: the Apple Watch has been on sale for well over a year and people are wondering about the next-generation Apple Watch 2. When will the Apple Watch 2 launch, and what new features can we expect?

New Apple Watch 2 release date, price and specification: Release date

Update 20 June 2016: Digitimes reckons a recent increase in supply of Apple Watch components is a sign that the launch of the next watch will be in September 2016, alongside the next iPhone. This is based on analysis of Apple’s famously complex hardware supply chain and can’t be taken as gospel – but we hope these rumours are true.

Although there is no solid release date for the second-generation Apple Watch 2, we now expect it to be announced in September 2016. We had hoped that we would get our first glimpse at the second-generation Apple Watch at the March 2016 event, but instead Apple used it to show off new watch straps as a ‘Spring’ collection, and surprised us with an Apple Watch price drop. (We also saw a new Phone SE and a9.7in iPad Pro.)

You can find out more about the new Apple Watch straps and pricing in our Apple Watch buying guide, or continue reading for all of the Apple Watch 2 rumours we’ve seen so far.

Another rumour regarding the release date of the Apple Watch 2 comes from China – more specifically, the chairman of Quanta, Barry Lam. Quanta manufactured the first-generation Apple Watch, and we expect it’ll also be the manufacturer of the second-generation device, so when the chairman announced a general release date window at an investors meeting, people paid attention.

According to reports, Lam claims that we’ll be seeing limited stock of the Apple Watch 2 near the end of Q2 2016, with more stock becoming available in Q3 2016. Based on this, it looks like the Apple Watch 2 will have a possible June 2016 release date, which falls in line with the analyst claims above.

Apple launches new Apple Watch straps at 21 March event

Although the Apple Watch 2 didn’t get a mention at Apple’s March 2016 event, but the smartwatch didn’t go entirely unnoticed. Apple announced that the Apple Watch was the number one selling smartwatch in the world, and that people loved the fact that changing the strap changed the look of the watch. With that being said, Apple announced a flurry of new Apple Watch bands including £39 nylon bands available in seven colours, some of which can be seen below.

New Apple Watch 2 release date, price and specification: Design and build

We’ve got an idea of when to expect the Apple Watch 2, then. But what will it look like?

New design(s)

Update 1 August: Current rumours suggest that the Watch 2 will be thinner than its predecessor. This comes from TPK Holding informing Digitimes that Apple are moving away from a glass-on-glass panel to a ‘One Glass Solution’. This would allow for a small amount of space to be increased within the watch’s frame. Some are even suggesting that it can be up to 40% thinner. However, we’re doubtful its size will be drastically cut, as it will be used to accommodate a bigger battery.

Apple is said to be exploring more variations of the Apple Watch, beyond the Sports, Steel and Edition tiers available with the first-gen Apple Watch. It’s said that the company is planning to introduce new models that should sit between the most expensive steel Apple Watch (£949) and the cheapest Apple Watch Edition (£8,000).

The gap between the top of the middle price band and the bottom of the top price band has always looked rather wide, and Apple seems to be looking to attract customers willing to pay between £1,000 and £8,000 for an Apple Watch: which is potentially quite a lot of people.

However, it’s unclear how the new tiers will differ from current models. It’s been suggested that the new tier could feature more advanced bands or new materials including tungsten, palladium, titanium or even platinum.

Despite what’s been said about potential new models, according to reports in April 2016 from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, the Apple Watch 2 might not actually adopt a new design, with only the internals getting some love from Apple. We’ve come to expect incremental specs improvements to hardware from the company in iPhones and iPads of recent years, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility that this is the option Apple will go with.

Apple Watch 2 design rumours: Third-party battery straps

We’d all also had our eyes on a cool company called Reserve Strap. Its clever design made use of the Apple Watch’s accessory port in a strap with a battery that allowed the watch to, it’s claimed, hold a charge for up to a week. However, the companyannounced its disappointment recently that in a change to the Apple External Accessory Protocol in Apple’s watchOS 2.0.1 update, the accessory port will no longer support the Reserve Strap’s functionality.

For those who had pre-ordered the strap, the company advises that if you don’t upgrade your OS, you’ll be OK – but for all those who will no doubt want to it seems, for now, the battery boost idea will have to go back to the drawing board.

[Source: Macworld]

 

Cyberpunk 2077 is ‘Better, Bigger, More Revolutionary’ Than Witcher 3

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In a financial call, CD Projekt RED reveals that upcoming RPGCyberpunk 2077 is a ‘huge game’ with a magnitude ‘much greater’ than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Taking place in a dystopian setting where advancements in technology have become “both the salvation and the curse of humanity”, Cyberpunk 2077 sounds gloriously grim and futuristic. Despite only having been seen in a teaser trailer released several years ago, RPG fans have put the CD Projekt RED game high up on their wish lists. With the developer’s work on The Witcher 3: Wild Huntwrapping up and the team now “hard at work” on Cyberpunk 2077, fans are eager for info about the upcoming game, and in a recent financial call the dev offered just that.

Speaking during CD Projekt RED’s 2015 financial results conference, the studio’s president Adam Kiciński and studio head Adam Badowski both revealed more on the game. Badowski said that after the massive success of The Witcher 3 (it won Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2015, for example), Cyperpunk 2077 has to be “even better, even bigger, even more revolutionary” and the developer wants it to be a “truly outstanding game”. Moreover, it was revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 is a “huge game” and that its magnitude will be “much greater” than The Witcher. CD Projekt RED has “amazingly large ambitions” for it.

Cyberpunk 2077 Wallpaper Art

This isn’t the first time the developer has spoken of its high expectations for Cyberpunk 2077, nor is it the first time that the dev has promised that it will be larger than The Witcher 3. Towards the end of 2015, the developer revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 would be bigger than anything it had ever created, “far, far bigger” in fact. CD Projekt RED has also said that it has considered multiplayer gameplay for Cyberpunk 2077, but there’s no word on whether that will be classic team deathmatch or just co-op.

During the call, the CD Projekt RED bosses also revealed their plans to double the amount of developers at the studio. There are currently 400 developers who are working on two major games (Cyberpunk 2077 and an unannounced RPG) and some other projects the developer cannot currently talk about, and it wants to up that number to 800 and split the devs into four teams.

That increased studio size doesn’t necessarily mean that fans will get Cyberpunk 2077 any faster, though, as during the call, the developer also said that it is still “a long ways away from the premiere.” While that statement is disappointing, it also obliterates a previous rumor that suggested that Cyberpunk 2077 would be released this year. However, given just how much CD Projekt RED has planned for this, many fans will accept a longer wait time if it means that the developer can deliver something incredible.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]