Hamburger Menu is an integral part of the entire UI/UX design process.
The hamburger menu is used as a navigation element on websites, apps, and programs.
The name ‘hamburger menu’ comes from its design: the design consists of a combination of three horizontal lines that denotes a hamburger. Likewise in real-world characteristics, the hamburger menu is known as a space-saving mechanism. However, the icon is not something that attracts a lot of controversies. For most of the designers, it works as a toolkit.
Now, let’s get into the hamburger menu and try to understand its functionality.
To start with, let’s discuss the subject itself:
WHAT IS A HAMBURGER MENU?
The hamburger can be referred to a menu or an icon, that is typically a type of button used in the website or application that opens as a form of side menu or navigation drawer. It is an integral part of the entire UI/UX design process.
The menu was primarily designed in 1981 by Norm Cox, an interaction designer for the Xerox Star personal workstation. The primary function of this menu is to make communication in terms of navigation to the users as easy as possible. As this button or icon provides a number of items.
Even though the hamburger menu is used for the purpose of making the navigation experience easy, the whole purpose of introducing the hamburger menu was quite different.
During an interview Cox said; he designed the menu as a container for holding the options for contextual menu choice. As a matter of fact, the menu is quite similar to the context menu that is quite common today while clicking on an object by the use of the right mouse button.
After the inception of the hamburger menu in Xerox Star, the icon stayed quite silent. But, the moment when the UX designers had to find out a way to accommodate a number of buttons onto a small phone screen, the call for the hamburger menu started to initiate all around the world. Ever since then, the hamburger menu has become an essential part of every website or application to drop in the navigation button.
Now after the transition period, most designers don’t prefer to use the icon. In fact, by stretching the subject, do people really like to go through the hamburger menu? On the contrary, even if they do prefer it, shouldn’t the items reflect in the Hamburger menu all the time as those are so important to the app?
At Worldwide Developers Conference talk, the concept of introducing navigation system into the UI/UX design came up as – they should tell users where they are and also direct users to where else they can possibly go. Certainly, the hamburger menu disappoints users with respect to both these areas. As the menu is not even located on the screen, it’s hard to notice. Moreover, this is just a button to show you the drop-down menu.
Considering all the above aspects, do we really need to get rid of these three lined icons? Or is it time that we stop differentiating and start to love the three lined hamburger menu?
To be precise, here are some basic pros and cons of the hamburger menu. to help you understand it better and make your move wisely.
3 ESSENTIAL BENEFITS OF HAMBURGER MENU IN DESIGN
Let’s talk about the most notable benefits of the hamburger menu:
One of the notable things about the hamburger menu is that it’s universal. Which means you can find it everywhere, starting from applications to websites to video games. In short, a hamburger menu is present throughout the entire design process.
The hamburger menu is an icon that has spent a great deal of time in evolving itself as a button for the convenience of users, where they can access the navigation drawer. Hence, users can easily rely on the hamburger menu. Similar to the trash symbol that denotes the deletion of items, or even the home icon that directs users to the main menu.
In fact, it doesn’t make any literal sense to remove or hate an element that primarily matches a user’s requirements. The icon holds its own status and almost all users know the usage of such an icon. Therefore replacing the same with the new symbol will bring back the struggle to learn again for the developers.
#2 Neat and Clean
Imagine a web page filled with tons of icons and navigation options – there’s nothing worse than that. Hence, for mobile applications and websites, the hamburger menu can bring a remarkable visual experience. Moreover, you don’t want your users to get confused while choosing items from the hamburger menu. As too many items make the selection process quite difficult for all of them. Thus, to add value to the visual experience of the interface, with the clean and precise look, then the hamburger menu is the ultimate option for you.
#3 Alternate Access
The hamburger menu acts as an ideal place to load all your navigation options, without distracting your users from your service goal. Like many applications, Uber also uses this icon for the same purpose. The service objective of this application is to let you order a car, hence, the main interface is completely dedicated towards this purpose.
The icon will grant you access to other fields such as trip history, payment options, receipts and so on. These are not as important as the primary goal, therefore, there’s no need to place them on the main interface. Thus, it makes the perfect option to design a clean and smart UI (user interface).
3 DISADVANTAGES OF HAMBURGER MENU
At this point, allow us to introduce the three basic disadvantages of these three lined icon and find out why it has its fair share of haters among designers:
#1 Devalued the Options
The most disappointing thing about the hamburger menu is that it decreases the value of the item you put on that menu. For instance, imagine the application or the website as a performing platform, and the hamburger menu is a sort of small and unimportant stage. Therefore, you don’t want to put valuable inputs on that stage. Instead, you prefer to put them on the bigger stage. In this case, it’s the home page or main interface.
Thus, whenever you’re putting any design or application on the hamburger menu, it simply means that those items are not as important as the primary menu or main interface. Hence, it makes them less likely to go on that section.
#2 Less Engagement Activity
Certainly, the hamburger menu attracts a lower click rate, which can be attributed to a number of reasons. As phones are getting bigger, it becomes quite difficult to access the top left or right corner of the website or app. And if the navigation option is not in the visual parameter, then users are less likely to engage with the website.
These are the primary facts, however, not the only facts. Due to these reasons, users lose interest in the content or website.
#3 Not Efficient Enough
A knowledgeable designer knows that compelling users to go through extra steps to accomplish the end goal is never going to work. And the hamburger menu does exactly the same thing.
For instance, suppose you’re looking for a registration process. In that case, you don’t want the main button up on the icon bar. Rather you want them to be present on the main screen that will make your process convenient. However, the hamburger menu makes the process quite complicated for the users in most of the instances.
Now let’s discuss 4 examples of the hamburger menu:
4 EXAMPLES OF USING HAMBURGER MENU
Here are the best 4 illustrations of the hamburger menu in action. Irrespective of the application, desktop website and mobile websites as well, you will find all of them included in these examples.
The main interface of the application is dedicated to one particular goal – to collecting leads. Also, do check out the hamburger menu on the top right-hand corner of the application.
2. Google Drive
Google has designed its drive to provide users with what is important to them – documents. They also used the hamburger menu to accommodate the less important components of the drive, such as settings, helps, etc. The navigation button is set to the icon that helps users focus on the primary work in the first place.
This is a design blog that offers tutorial and demos on different site designs, absolutely free. Note the hamburger menu on the top right corner of the site that turns into X.
4. Portuguese Chimneys
A beautifully implemented hamburger menu for a website that is totally dedicated to the nature and architecture of Portuguese Chimneys. At the top, left corner of the window will direct you to the other required tasks of their website.
These are some examples and real-life usages of the hamburger menu to make the hamburger menu interface clean and user-friendly. Now it’s your turn to make use of the hamburger menu as effectively as you can, and enhance the overall user experience through a great UI!
Our informative blog posted above also got featured on Nasscom Design website.
There are quite a lot of thoughts and emotions that we possess as human beings which are an integral part of all our creative decisions. This is why having a close observation of our feelings can help us to understand some interesting choices which we tend to make in our creative work fields.
The area which is becoming more and more critical in the field of design and UI/UX over the last few years has been the selection of fonts. With the creative world constantly changing and adapting to those changes, there has also been a regular flow in learning about the methods to understand and execute typography in different kinds of environments.
UI and UX are two terms that include a lot of things, which is easy to observe because their definitions tend to vary according to the people you talk to. In the simplest terms, UI embodies the whole layout of the website or app, while UX sums up the feelings and emotions of a user when interacting with the different components of the design.
The link between UI and UX is pretty direct, with the UI exerting a lot of influence on UX and the same holds vice- versa.
People also have become more aware of the design, typography, and ways how the world around them looks. When you become involved with a digital marketing agency for your requirements, it becomes essential that you prepare at your end for discussing fonts at the time of creative processes.
Quite a large number of people are aware of color psychology, and how some particular shades influence the behavior and the thought process of people. What is not known to many is that fonts also have an enormous impact on our overall psychology.
Associating with different methods of typography can help initiate powerful emotions and ideas. In the context of companies, it translates to selecting the right kind of fonts for a logo design which can help you fill the void in your entire brand personality.
Fonts are pretty useful tools for brand recognition. From getting a logo designed that has a sober and severe typeface or taking up something more edgy and vibrant, it becomes easier to define a ‘formal’ brand.
Selecting the right kind of font can have a significant impact on the overall feel of your website or app. The correct font, letter, size, color and the lack of unwanted distractions makes it easy for the user to read and go through the content available on your website or app.
If you can understand that every font has a unique set of characteristics, you can finalize the best collection of fonts which act as the best representative of your business.
The choice of font you wish to include will depend a lot upon the overall emotions that you want to convey to your target audience, and this involves getting a little into the psychology behind font selection.
THE TYPOGRAPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY
Humans have an automatic reaction to the style in which a particular kind of text gets written. For instance, if you want to convey that you have a business which is pretty well- established and imbibed in tradition, you are more likely to go for a font style which reflects the idea of heritage.
In another case, if you are looking to make people perceive your business as a welcoming and stable venture, you can go to a less formal kind of a typeface.
Here are a few types of typography that are known around in the design industry-
THE SERIF FONT PSYCHOLOGY
This is the most generic kind of font option. Serif fonts help convey the feelings of heritage and class, making them a great opportunity when you want to create for a company which gives out a vibe of being well- established.
They have a very artistic nature, and this is why Serif fonts bring with them the emotions of respectability and trust, making them the perfect choice for brands who want to have identities which move around grandeur and authority.
The serif fonts are best in formal situations, and work best with the companies who are looking to create solid brand awareness among the target market, and portray a genuine nature.
The fonts are suited for finance companies, editorials, academics, and broadsheets.
Times New Roman, Garamond, and Georgia are popular choices in serif fonts.
SLAB SERIF FONT PSYCHOLOGY
The Slab Serif typefaces are often regarded as a subset of serif fonts as they are pretty similar in their appearance but have pronounced slab sections present in them. These typefaces are more often than not associated with solidity, confidence and a bold feeling of attitude.
Slab Serif fonts are perfect for the companies who are looking to make a significant impact in the market with either a very unique product or idea. Technology and automobile companies make free use of these fonts as they want to fill in their customers with a feeling of trust and confidence and not compromise on the new creativity part of it.
Their favored options include Rockwell, Courier, and Museo fonts.
SANS SERIF FONT PSYCHOLOGY
Simply put, the Sans Serif fonts are modern, clean and pretty engaging. These fonts are utilized by companies who believe in demonstrating a simple, straightforward and no-nonsense attitude.
When things come down to logo design and typography, the sans serif options bring about a sense of sensibility and honesty. There is no decorative element which could distract the eye or divert the objective of delivering a message through fonts.
This simple yet practical nature of sans serif fonts attracts such brands to them who put clarity as to their priority when they get their company logo designed.
Some of the best sans serif font options are Century Gothic, Arial, and Helvetica.
SCRIPT FONT PSYCHOLOGY
The Script fonts are way fancier than their serif counterparts. The fonts promote ideas of elegance, femininity, and creativity, which is because of their handwritten nature. If you are someone who wished to make their company look more personal to get that customer loyalty, then the script typefaces can serve your purpose without a doubt.
The script fonts are the ones which are likely to encourage more creative and emotional ideas. However, script fonts demand a lot of caution. They may look artistic and fancy, but specific contexts also make deciphering them a challenging task.
Lobster and Lucida Script are two options which are great for use.
If you wish that your brand name has a separate and explicit entity apart from the logo, it is essential to understand that the way a word appears has the same amount of utility as the word itself. Your name plays a part in generating brand awareness, but if the shape and style of your font cannot boost a customer’s curiosity, then you may be losing the kind of brand recognition you are looking for.
Choose your font type wisely, and you will see a significant impact of your brand on customers, undoubtedly.
At one of our wings- GoodWorks Design Studio, we think light years ahead and transform your brand for the future with design and innovation. We don’t believe in perfect designs. We believe in evolving with design. For any design requirements for Web/Mobile Design OR UI/UX Design, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog also got featured on NASSCOM Design4India’s blog section.
Considering the rapid technological advancement in today’s scenario, the impact, and existence of brilliant technologies has become a vital part of our daily lives. For instance, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Business Intelligence, Blockchain all these technologies are prominent when it comes to a reliable information source.
All these advanced technologies are loaded with critical algorithms to enhance the huge data analyzing process to serve you with valid reliable information.
However, this important information will be of no use, if the users are not able to understand or relate to the same. Or even in the worst-case scenario, what if the users find it entirely unimportant. Thus, for this particular reason, dashboard designing has gained immense popularity.
Here in this section, we would be discussing the visual design of the dashboard, as “UI” (user interface) to make the dashboard experience convenient and attractive. Even though the main point of discussion here are the ways to make the dashboard look its best, yet it is essential to put some light into the significance of the dashboard itself.
Essential Characteristics of Dashboard
The dashboard helps to represent the complicated data visually so that one can act on the information. It also shows you the vital information.
An effective dashboard helps its users to comprehend, and analyze the data as well as presenting the vital insights of the data.
You can easily customize the data that do not vault and most importantly intuitive.
Even though there’s limited space on the dashboard, however, it has space for important data components widgets that make it easy to arrange the data making it look clean.
These are the most prominent and notable characteristics of the dashboard. So, let’s dive into the essential aspect of designing the dashboard. To make your dashboard look manageable and fun to use.
The Key Elements Related to Customizing Dashboard
We have outlined the key elements that are worth mentioning. These elements will help you customize the dashboard and get the most out of it.
So, without further ado, let’s start with the first point:
Consistency in Design
The primary process of making your dashboard convenient for use is to maintain consistency in terms of visual design for all the device you use. A uniform and specific design for all the devices, Almost all the users own a number of devices, for instance, smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop, etc. Therefore, it’s highly important to make sure that the dashboard should be consistent both in terms of looks and operation for all of the devices. That usually means, be it the fonts, navigation, placement of the elements, or even the style of the chart it should look similar.
As a matter of fact, it would be wise to use the golden rule of design in the first place, Hence, start with the small device, it will help you create the visually appealing interface and allow you to manage the most relevant and important information in the first. Also, will lead you to create the perfect user interface enhancing the ability and UX experience.
Put the Vital Information in the First Place
While designing a dashboard, content hierarchy plays a vital role, certainly, this is the one thing that can only be achieved from the detailed user experience of dashboard design. However, the crucial information and data can be delivered to the users through visual representation in an appealing and convenient manner. Furthermore, this stage will help you to define the design guidelines as well.
Points to be noted:
- For almost all cases, card layout is the preferred form, as it provides concise data classification. Also, give you the flexibility to customize easily.
- Make sure you have a central alignment for the layout, as it will help you to perceive that part of the information in the first place.
- Keep your font below 18 pixels, also make sure you use different colors to highlight the information.
When it comes to dashboard design it would be great not to follow the “one size fits all” approach. Due to the fact that there are a number of users with specific different requirements and priorities. Furthermore, the design or layout should be scaled.
In addition to that, it is also important to empower the specific users to need, so that they can adjust and fit the layout according to their business need. The process could be as simple as adding an extra column or deleting one, Simultaneously, it could be as complex as creating an entirely new module.
Considering all the factors, no matter what, the process is complex or simple, irrespective of all, a good dashboard design should always have the proximity for easy customization.
- For easy customization, you can try the drag and drop interaction process.
- Make sure you allow the easy modification, for instance, addition or deletion of fields.
- If possible then add multiple color theme
- Also, consider adding various options for viewing or downloading the data.
For Charts Considers Less Complication
As per general conception, for almost all the designers, when it comes to present the data differently, they usually get overwhelmed by different ideas. That, in turn, complicate the data representation. For a fact, charts are the primary tool for visual data presentation. Hence, they should be simple and try to avoid complications.
Points to remember:
- Use bar charts, pie charts, and line charts as they are comfortable to recognize and fit well in the compact space.
- Avoid using the 3D charts, instead, use charts with flat design as they look clean and easy to understand.
Icons are Essential
In most cases, everyone ignores the icons, however, they are the essential elements of the dashboard designing. A good and efficient dashboard design always include familiar icons. Of course, the dashboard is likely to be used a number of times a day, thus, the process should be fast and convenient. Also, it will create a great user experience with the user interface.
The above-mentioned tips and hacks will help you create a better dashboard interface. Moreover, to get the most out of it, you need to know the users and their specific requirements. Only then you will be able to tailor the layout matching their exact need. That will surely make the audience feel that the dashboard is useful.
Artificial Intelligence in UX Design
Do you have a fear that AI is going to replace your job as a UX designer?
Well, guess what! That is not going to happen anytime soon. So, breathe!
If you had that doubt previously or you are now in doubt, don’t be! Sure, AI is advancing at a rapid and an alarming pace that might make human designers restless but the touch that a designer can provide is not anywhere close to the design results of an AI.
Yes, AI holds a great significance. The advanced tools that are available to designers these days are by virtue of AI only. But are these tools promising enough to replace a human designer?
NO! These tools are meant to only enhance your capabilities as a designer instead of replacing your role entirely in designing. Let’s talk AI-powered web builder, The Grid, for instance.
The Grid is a promising venture with machine learning and executes all the tasks with algorithms that take colors, text, and shape into consideration. With a lot of investors counting on it, the expectations from this venture were quite high. But the truth is, the output that was received was not satisfactory at all.
The reason: It lacked a human touch. The concept behind AI in design is to create tools that enhance designers’ intelligence and capabilities rather than replacing them altogether.
The Future of Design with AI
AI technology takes a variety of inputs into account like shapes, colors, and text and produces a workable design. But the right blend is when a designer uses AI to come up with a design that creates a connection between brand and audience.
It is a continued partnership of machine and man that will find its way in the future in which the human designers will borrow intelligence through tools for dealing with higher-level tasks. Only the touch of a human designer can bring out sympathy and relatability in the target audience.
For instance, AI can be used to do the legwork such as looking and rating templates against a set criteria while designers spend more time on how to create a customized design for the client.
But how to lay the foundation of this enduring partnership?
There are several AI tools available that will ease your routine design works.
Let’s look at some to get a better understanding of how AI can prove as an aid to human designers:
1) Let’s Enhance
It is a great web tool for designers and is of great help as it enhances a small image without losing quality. This tool uses AI and machine learning to learn the typical features of physical objects.
Once these features are taken into account, this tool can add extra details on its own. Let’s enhance has three main functions namely a JPEG noise remover, Magic filter, and Boring filter.
2) JPEG noise remover:
JPEG noise remover automatically applies a noise reduction system if it detects .jpg or .jpeg extension in an image based on neural networks.
3) Magic Filter:
Magic filter ‘hallucinates’ additional details and adds them to the picture to improve the image quality significantly. This filter is great for photos and complex pictures.
4) Boring filter
This filter works best for art, logos, illustrations etc. This filter keeps the details, colors, and edges sharp while enlarging the image up to 4 times of its original size. This means you can upscale and clean your designs at once.
5) Select Subject
Select subject is a freshman’s tool in Adobe Photoshop which uses Adobe Sensei, an Adobe’s machine learning technology, for memorizing shapes and allowing users to select in a single click. There was a time when Photoshop just recognized an image with pixels without recognizing shapes and objects in the image.
With Select subject and Adobe Sensei in the picture, these issues stay in past. Now the users can select prominent subjects in images without the necessity to drag around the cursor.
Prisma is a photo-editing application that uses AI and neural networks to transform pictures quickly into “paintings” with artistic effects.
This means that the input image looks like they were actually painted by the artists.
Deepart is a web tool that is similar to Prisma and leans heavily on the artistic side.
It is an advanced version of Prisma as this tool allows you to turn your image into artwork and also to upload your own style image for further customizing. This web tool uses a neural algorithm of artistic style which was developed to allow the user to separate style elements from a piece of art.
It is just like magic what AI does to the world of design which is why the fear of unemployment prevails in the world of designers.
It is a significant and valid concern among the designers these days. The best answer to all your worries is ‘design’ is a field that would be flavorless without human intervention. The best way to place AI in your lives is to set an enduring partnership where the best of AI is used to yield great designs by human designers.
Design Tips for Wearable Technology
With the growing popularity of wearables in the form of watches, wristbands, earphones, glasses, and rings, if you haven’t designed for a wearable yet, expect it soon.
A survey showed that 1 in 6 consumers are currently using the wearable technology. Also, more than 70% of consumers in the age group of 16-24 years want to purchase a wearable device. This clearly shows an upcoming rise in the demand of wearables in the times to come.
The life of a designer is a roller coaster ride when it comes to designing wearables. So much has to be done with just a little piece of device. The set of challenges a designer faces while designing for wearables is unique. There are device limitations like smaller screen display, less battery life, and less information density. There is also a use case that people use it mostly when in motion. These all count for a set of tips to be kept in mind before designing for wearables.
1. Design for glanceability
The essence of design for a wearable is the glanceability. Glanceability is a term used for information designed for short moments of interaction.
The term was first coined in the context of screen less fitness trackers that were dependent on light to explain to the users what is going on.
However, in the context of a smartwatch, the definition changed entirely. Glanceability is more about sorting and displaying only the essential information to the user at any given moment.
In smartwatches, this is the first priority instead of reducing the interface down to the most basic visual feedback. The user should find it convenient to consume the content made, in less than 5 seconds.
Thus, it is imperative for the designers to keep the limited space in mind and display only crucial information.
2. Design light-weight interactions
Lightweight interactions are a must for short and crisp wearable user experiences.
If more than 10 seconds are required for user interaction, then you should redesign the interface to fit it in below 10 seconds. Show only required information that is essential for completing a task.
For reverting to a message, it’s better to avoid typing. Quick response templates should be offered and in case of longer responses, voice input option should also be provided.
3. Keep It Simple
The keep it simple principle in more applicable in wearables than in mobile and desktop user interfaces.
It should be cautiously taken care that the least amount of information and features are fed in the wearables. Avoid putting more actions and information than the required. Try and focus on one use case at a time and make a proper flow so that users can accomplish tasks quickly.
4. Design a Minimalistic Interface
Minimalistic design is a great fit for wearables. A minimalistic design covers everything from typography to color to object size. It means that the user should be able to interact easily with whatever is placed on the screen even when in motion.
We have outlined a few features that will help in developing a minimalistic design:
- Sharp contrast:
Contrast is a crucial element on small screens as it enhances visibility and readability.
- Uncomplicated typography:
A simple font which is readable from a distance should be chosen and it should be used in the wearable device. For example, Sans Serif works wonders when readability comes into question.
- Adequate space between elements:
To provide function and usability, you have to strike the right balance between too much space and too less space. Both of them are equally degrading for the design. Too much space will leave no room for other content to be placed while too less space will hinder the readability.
5. Minimize Interruption:
Would you like it if something constantly vibrates up against your skin during an important meeting or while you are asleep?
That is a big no, right?
Interruptions are disruptive highly on even large-screen smartphones. Now, if that is distractive what about the world of wearable that habitats on your skin?
Keep the interruptions minimum, so that the user can lead a blissful life in silence.
6. Focus on privacy:
With the advantage of being connected to the world every second, wearables are at risk of disclosing very personal information such as health data, private conversation, emails etc to anyone because they are at plain sight.
Given the issue, the designers should always opt for more privacy like vibrate first, then display the content and more such interactions.
7. Design for Offline Usage:
Why should people with internet have all the fun?
Think out of the box and create the utility of wearables even when not connected to the internet. Wearables are always on the move with us, definitely, they will face connectivity issues. Instead of always looking for a network, the user should have some offline utilities as well.
8. Check What’s Viable:
For designing a wearable, it is essential to check what is viable in terms of the capabilities and limitations of the platform.
Conduct proper research to assess the possibilities with the software development kit (SDK) and the physical capabilities which are available on the device.
If you skip the research part you might end up with unfeasible design ideas which is a huge risk in case of wearables and will definitely amount to a lot of rework.
Above principles might sound surfaced and very prudent. It is essential to keep the essence of simplicity while designing for a wearable in long run. The reason behind this is every interface is designed to empower a user to perform the desired activity quickly and with ease.
At GoodWorks Design, we have a team of highly proficient UX/UI designers for wearable technology.
Have an idea in mind? Send us a quick message
Animations for UX Design
Do you think good visuals and an appealing user interface is enough to keep people hooked to your app?
With smartphones establishing their existence in the pocket of almost every individual, the number of mobile applications has been steadily increasing. Such a situation has made it very difficult for mobile apps to stand out with something unique on offer.
This is where animations have upped the game for many applications. Without enough animations, even the best interfaces will only lead to confusion among users and instill a feeling where they are choosing things directly without any context. Nicely done animations prove crucial to enhance the user experience of your design and deliver the users a satisfying, smooth and delightful overall experience.
Animations can use and combine the sound and haptic features in mobile applications, enabling the general experience to be much more close to reality with a considerable reduction in the cognitive load as well. The pressure is less because animations make it easier to recognize every connection and context pretty quickly when using an app.
Principles of Creating Animated Interfaces
Here are some of the principles which are unavoidable when you create animated interfaces. Regardless of the tools, techniques, and framework you use, these principles will come in handy.
1) Attention and Focus:
The most significant objective of any animation in your app is to give a context and also direct the focus of a user to critical elements for a more fluid experience.T he screens which seem without any connection can be seamlessly merged to assist the user in navigating while using your website or app.
To get the maximum impact from the animations on your app, you need to learn the art of restraint. Admittedly, it is a tempting prospect to exhibit a lot of animation on every single screen on your app. If you get carried away then the core motive of including animation gets lost in the process.
2) Order and Hierarchy with sequences:
If you are pondering to animate every element in your user interface, your thought process may incline in the wrong direction. While the right set of animation will focus the attention of a user inevitably, too much of it on a single page will also divert the attention.
However, if you still want to animate multiple elements on a single screen, you should always use a small delay in between them. Ensure that the ease and duration of animations are consistent. The entire process of this timing and delay in animation is known as the choreography principle of Material Motion.
3) The right kind of speed:
The speed of animation in an app is generally controlled by modifying the duration of animation. It is the duration of animations which either makes or breaks a great user experience.
Follow the general rule and try to incorporate animations which have a duration of 0.3-1 second. The animations lesser than 0.3 seconds feel as if they don’t even exist because you can easily miss the transition.
Also if a user can notice them, such speed can easily confuse the app user. Even animations that are longer than 1 second do not have too many fans. Animations can feel very slow and prove as a barrier to a smooth interaction between the users and the interface.
The most significant advantage of using snappy and quick animations is that your app feels faster and more responsive. If the animations lag a lot, your app will feel slow and broken, which is going to make the overall experience of using the app an unpleasant one.
The speed we are talking about is not just limited to the duration of the animation but also applies to the lag which happens between the first swipe gesture and animation which follows next.
Understand the Physics involved:
Nothing in this world starts or stops instantly. It always takes a considerable amount of time for things to speed up or slow down. Forces like friction, remember?
An ideal animation is natural in its behavior, which also helps to ease the cognitive load on a user in understanding and using the application. Other than the duration of animations, you should also familiarize yourself with the different kinds of easing that is used in design:
This is the animation which is brought to use without any easing. It is also the most unnatural, so limit its use to only when very necessary.
Ease-in is an accelerated easing. The animation here begins gradually and ends quickly.
Now it is the opposite of easing in. It is decelerated easing. The animation starts very quickly and slows down a bit at the end. This is the best option as the quick start lends a sense of responsiveness in the app and provides a natural slowness in the end.
Spring is an animation which ends on a bouncing note. It is used in a large number of modern mobile applications due to its responsiveness and vibrancy. Once you close on the right kind of animations which are needed in your app, you will be able to extend the natural world into the devices of people, which is always better than a strange and abstract experience.
Based on the above discussion, you would have clearly understood how animations are a crucial part to create a great user experience without too much last-minute thinking.
Keep animation and the interaction in your mind right from the beginning so that the focus on overall experience remains constant during the entire process of product designing.
The principles discussed are timeless. If you are getting familiar with animations or are fully aware of them as well, these are some points which you need to always keep in your mind while creating new designs and applications.
Elevating user experience to new levels should always be your priority as a designer.
Speaking of a designer, are you looking for one? At GoodWorks Design, our creative team is acing the UX with animations . If you have a design idea and need help with execution, talk to us!.
What are micro-interactions?
Remember the last time when you shut down an app and a sad smiley popped up?
Did you like the brief interaction that conveyed a message?
These interactions that you encounter in your everyday life are known as micro-interactions. Micro-interactions are those small bits that have only a single function to do – convey a definitive message to the user. The instances of quoting micro-interactions are numerous and they are so trivial that you use them in your daily life and barely notice.
For example, you hit like on a photo, that is a micro-interaction. You set an alarm that is another micro-interaction. These features or the moments that are based on simple tasks are the micro-interactions. The usability that micro-interactions cater to have made them so popular and widely used that now you can find them in any device.
It is prevalent like wildfire everywhere. Also, micro-interaction is used to turn a feature on or off. The valor of micro-interaction is widespread and it is quite essential for UX/UI designers to capture these details properly.
Top 7 micro-interactions for your design project
You may think that the use of micro-interactions is not going to make any impact but the truth is, they make a huge impact on your app or your project. They function like the mitochondria of your project. They are tiny but they are the powerhouses of your design.
1. Swipe left or right:
The world has become fast-paced and everyone is now looking for shortcuts to save time. We are way past those times where we have to click either the back / next button to view content.
Swipe is a great and smooth interaction to help users navigate easily. The Swipe micro-interaction is also useful to reduce the tapping on the screen. It is a great gesture to open something or see something on the smartphone. This doesn’t need any specific knowledge to use. It is intuitive and perfectly guides the user. This feature can actually make your project stand out. Although it is a small detail, it is quite powerful to drag users to your work.
How to incorporate it?
You can use the swipe action to either swipe left or right. Also, you can use that small feature to archive a message or delete it. You can also use the swipe action for clearing the notifications.
2. Pull Screen to Refresh
This is the most used micro-interaction by many people out there. Whenever they use any social media app and they wish to see the new feeds as they go. The basic instinct is to pull the screen down. You might have missed observing this, but this a major micro-interaction that has changed users lives.
We have gotten so used to this action that for each and every app or website that loads slow or needs refreshment, we perform this gesture subconsciously.
3. Data Input
Data input is helping users with suggestions to ease out the process of filling up forms online.
For example, whenever a user is required to sign up on a new website to use its resources, an interactive session is there to help the user complete the whole sign up procedure in one go.
This is a very useful micro-interaction, given the time consumed and character specification required to create a suitable password these days.
4. Call to Action:
Call to actions make it a hundred times easier to interact with a user. This micro-interaction can help the user to interact with the website or the app. Call-to-actions also help in generating prospective clientele to a major extent.
Most websites today use call to action buttons to persuade users to drop in an inquiry and generate user engagement.
5. Animations and Animated buttons:
Imagine a world without animation, boring isn’t it? It is unanimously agreed that animation makes lives much better!
Animation makes everything interesting, and though it isn’t noticed much, it does improve the overall appearance of the website or the app. However, animation can act as a double-edged sword. It can either engage the users or distract them which is why it is recommended to be vigilant about its use.
6. System status
If you want to convey a little failure message to the user or some other user prompt, then you can use system status micro-interaction. With this it is easier to communicate the status to the user and will understand the underlying issue in one go.
7. Live tutorials:
Bingo! there comes your new app user. How would you make him learn the basics of your app and its usage? May be a quick tutorial?
Rather than going for a static tutorials go for live tutorial that familiarizes the user in a step-by-step manner . Make the best use of micro-interaction by creating great live tutorials that engage users and help them learn about the app quickly.
Thus the main purpose of these micro-interactions is to make the user experience better with every single chance. Although they may be small, they breathe interesting elements into your design.
These micro-interactions make you attend to every tiny detail and thus, create some stunning websites and apps. Apps like SnapChat use micro-interactions to show that users are present in the same chat window. And when you type something, then your Bitmoji appears to be in a little thought cloud or bubble.
Micro-interactions make your brand more interesting. Also, they provide useful visual feedback like the current system status. Micro-interactions help in warning users about the incorrect input. They can completely transform your product and help you score your targeted user engagement.
Stay tuned to the GoodWorks Design Blog, for more intriguing updates on how to use micro-interactions.
Conversational UI – The Future
The mobile era has taken sharp turns in recent times. Remember the times, when you had to click on a certain icon or link in order to perform any task on mobile or computer device? Today, we have upgraded to voice UI or conversational UI where you can just speak your requirements and get things done.
You might be stuck at some point in past when Siri couldn’t catch your instructions right or when Alexa was offering limited functionalities. Wave goodbye to those time as now the Conversational UI has changed the game and has introduced some cool features that you will want to get addicted to.
What is Conversational UI?
Conversational UI is a chatbot experience which processes your commands in a natural and most obvious way. Commands are processed and responses are designed in a way that the user feels as if he is speaking or texting with another human being.
This approach to incorporating technology in our lives is more natural and innate. The most popular examples of Conversational UI in actual speech form is Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. For texting, you can consider Facebook messenger as well.
Why is conversational UI a good idea?
What would you appreciate more? Technology aligning to your ways to communicate or the reverse? The majority of the votes fell in the favor of the first option.
Technology is here to ease our lives and hence should adapt to our ways of communication. Communicating with a device should be as easy as communicating with another human being. With this ideology in mind, conversational UI is a right move in the current times. Before we conclude on the importance of conversational UI, let’s browse through some existing conversational UI in the market and why there is a need for more such softwares.
Not long back, Facebook integrated a chatbot API into the Messenger app which allowed users to interact with businesses through conversational UI.
You might not interact directly with the employees located at the business but you will get the feeling that you are interacting with real humans on the other side.
These days you can easily interact with Tommy Hilfiger, Fynd’s Fify, Spring, Uniqlo, Burberry, 1800-flowers, and even eBay. All these commerce chatbots might not allow browsing and shopping, but can supply you with the relevant information such as tracking an order, FAQs etc.
For tracking your order, all you have to do is ask ‘where is my order’ and you will receive an update. Swift and fascinating! Isn’t it?
Slack is well known for its chatbots which are more popularly known as Slackbots.
The app is integrated with its own bot with which you can interact. You can integrate several apps with Slack such as Hangouts, Google calendar, Maker, Intro, Giphy, or Statbot. You can get the necessary information while talking to the Slackbot.
Slack has changed the way the how companies and teams functioned in past. Just by asking slack you can receive information from a multitude of sources in a just a matter of minutes.
Digit, a chatbot based savings app
Other than Slack and Facebook messenger, Digit is a chatbot based savings app. You can pay a bill, withdraw money, save money, check account balances, make recurring transfers and so on.
There are two ways to interact with the bot, first is the main screen of the app. The second way is by texting to its number. You can also opt for a few other account functionalities and setting up custom interactions outside the chatbot.
Why Conversational UI is relevant now
When conventionally automated interfaces didn’t cater to the basic requirement of communicating naturally and with Siri catching the instructions wrong almost all the times, we need this!
We need conversational UI to collaborate our needs and push us towards the future. We have outlined a few case-critical reasons to consider:
1) The user adoption of texting is huge:
By far messaging has become the top digital activity on the planet. If you are in the customer service business, scaling up by hiring humans may not an smart option. Instead invest in conversational UI to survive in the long term.
2) The Conversational UI is finally functioning seamlessly
As days pass by, technology is advancing and there is a major transition in using Conversational UI. Today, technology is adapting to the innate way humans communicate. A significant wave of improvement can be seen in interacting with voice UIs (Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant).
Also, the texting interface has been enriched greatly. Now you can add pictures, links, share locations and shop together! This is definitely the extension of our brain, Don’t you think?
3) Ecosystems and infrastructure already in place for Conversational UI
At the end of 2017, there were 33 million voice-first devices in US households alone. Needless to say, we are ready for this transition on the infrastructural level.
Previously nascent technologies are holding a strong foot now. The technologies that were used for automated interactions have reached a point where they can add real value.
The days of Siri mishearing your instructions have come to an end. Also, the advancement in the underlying technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Machine Learning (ML), is highly appreciable.
When it comes to user interfaces, Conversational UI is not something most people think it is. Conversational UI is about using technology in a way that simplifies the way we communicate with machines. It is not easy to replicate the human interactions but with the available infrastructure, advancement in the underlying technologies, and widespread adoption of conversational interfaces, we are about to enter the world of conversational UI which is carved differently than you would have experienced in the past.
The onset of 2018 came with a fresh wave of trends such as data-driven UX, the accentuated role of UX researcher, the introduction of a trending buzzword ‘DesignOps’, and privacy by design in the light of GDPR.
Every year such trends come into being and define the graphs of the designing business.
But what is in store for UX in 2019?
Voice UI is definitely going to be the most talked term in 2019. But here are the top FIVE UX trends that are expected to transform the market in 2019.
Design has made our world more transparent and interconnected, posing new opportunities for every business.
1. Business Success
It is a proven fact that UX drives business success. This McKinsey report highlights the business value of design and reassures the belief in how strong design can lead to disruptive and sustained commercial success in digital, physical, and service settings.
Almost 300 different companies over a 5 year period were being tracked and awarded with a McKinsey Design Index (MDI) score. The results were astonishing as the companies with a great MDI score performed better financially than the companies with lower MDI.
In 2019, designers are expected to contribute to making data-driven designs, a positive design shift. UX will be incorporated on a strategic level and businesses will soon recognize how crucial UX is.
The direct connection of how a good design contributes to business success is now recognized by many brands and they are shifting their focus to the design methodology.
2. Storytelling promises a competitive edge
Create compelling stories. Period.
Brands should now focus on creating an experience which is memorable rather than just a good user experience. In 2019, sub-par UX will not thrive and users will replace you at the first chance that he gets.
Opt for new and innovative ways to advance and differentiate yourself, which is why ‘Storytelling in UX’ will be a trending concept in 2019.
A research shows that stories leave a great impact on your mind and last for a considerably long time. With a story narration going on, the neural activity in the brain increases five-fold and makes it more likely to remember and absorb the message that it conveys.
To translate the user value into reality, UX designers will increasingly be using storytelling to create products and experience that connect to users at a deeper level. Now, the major challenge for UX designers will be to align UX trends and incorporate storytelling into the design processes.
3. Accentuated value of UX writer
UX writer is of the trending job roles the field of design, especially with giants like Google, YouTube, and Amazon. But why this sudden demand for UX writers?
Big brands have come to realize that copy is as important as the overall design of the product such as prototypes, wireframes, and UI elements. In today’s competitive world, even the smallest change of micro copy shapes the UX.
The voice or tone of a UI design is equally influential as the typography, colors, and information architecture. Thus it is essential for designers to work closely with UX writers.
Also, with the rise of chatbots, virtual assistants, and voice technology it is necessary to master the art of drafting the right message and picking the right words.
4. Voice UI: The obsession continues
In its report, Deloitte Global predicts that the smart speaker industry will touch a growth rate of 63% thus making it the fastest-growing connected device category across the world in 2019.
This is a great opportunity for the design industry as now with this level of product reach, users will demand more than basic functions such as playing music and checking the weather. Now, designers are expected to build user-friendly voice applications which are useful and deliver an awesome voice experience. Seamless UX clubbed with a flawless design will go a long way in the smart speaker industry.
Very soon, designers will be expected to master the art of voice user interface design. This will come with a challenge of learning how to strike a perfect balance between usability and security of voice UI apps. But 2019 is definitely going to be the year of voice UI.
5. Device-agnostic experiences: DevOps
DevOps is the new buzzword in the market to get your hands on. It is a freshly baked answer to responsive design.
With the advent of voice assistants and the wearables, designers practically have to think of the user’s journey as a whole rather than just about the devices being used.
This is exactly what device-agnostic design experience caters to. Through this process, a continuous user journey is created which is capable of seamlessly passing through various touch points like a smartphone, a smart speaker, or a laptop.
DevOps is adaptable and agile. It helps in creating the whole user journey with the greatest of ease. It is predicted that the brands who set their focus on the whole user journey and not just on the devices will leave an imprint in 2019.
Thus, these trends seem very promising and gives UX a whole new outlook for 2019. And as a promising young agency, we are all set to create some landmark changes in the field of UX.
An introduction to Enterprise Application
Beyond streamlining business processes and functionalities, enterprise applications are now featured with remote mobility and real-time knowledge transfers. They are the oil in the corporate system keeping functions intact and are saving a lot of money, time and effort. No doubt the dependence on enterprise applications is increasing and they have become indispensable in the contemporary world.
These apps can be categorized across several platforms like across intranets, internet, or corporate networks. Usually, enterprise apps are customized to meet the requirements of multi-layer organizations.
As the enterprise apps have a very crucial role to play in the overall operations of any organization, special attention is paid to every aspect of the UX design of an enterprise app.
In order to create one full-fledged dynamic enterprise app, hundreds of separate requirements are knitted together to design a flawless app that delivers assistive, functional, and delightful user experience. As easy and cheesy as it may sound, the designing process of an enterprise app is tiresome and requires patience, commitment, and endless hours of designing.
Why put serious thoughts into designing enterprise apps?
Do you ever buy a piece of clothing that misfits your body? No right?
Precisely why some serious thought process is required while designing enterprise apps! It has to perfectly solve the issues faced by real users. The UX is designed after full comprehension of user requirements, user behavior, user preferences, and pain points that were not addressed by the existing software. An intelligent design will extend the benefits of utility to users, employees, and organization at large.
If your enterprise app is updated and agile to adapt to changing user requirements, you are already ahead of your competitors who are still using legacy apps. A well-integrated enterprise app that is designed to fulfill the requirements of all business departments is a high-grade tool to boost your business revenues.
Find out how UX design can help increase performance of enterprise applications:
1. Improves Efficiency
Usually, the enterprise apps are not user-friendly as they are designed on the basis of how the top management wants employees to work. A more productive enterprise app will be the one that assists employees in their work and improves their productivity.
A user-centric approach is required to bridge the gap between the existing enterprise apps and the actual requirements of the users. A customized UX design will drive better and faster workflows that are easy on the users and will improve the efficiency of the tasks at hand.
2. Data Optimization & Forecasting
Enterprise apps backed by big data capabilities helps in unlocking business insights and actionable opportunities with a single click.
Contrary, corporates of all magnitudes are leveraging big data analytics to drive better comprehension of customer’s needs and behavior. Based on these insights, companies are building products and services around user needs.
3. Less cognitive load
It is often seen that the enterprise apps have a cluttered home screen. This inflicts users to deal with confusing options in order to accomplish a rather simple task. With a cautious effort put in designing, such confusing interfaces can be simplified to minimal and most relevant choices.
It is essential to simplify the home screen. Human abilities to perceive and process data is limited and access to unnecessary information diminishes efficiency at work. With a well-designed interface, the possibility of errors reduce and information can be accessed at a very fast pace.
4. Cost-effective Solutions
The cost benefits of a good design are indisputable. With an intuitive interface, little or no training is required for the user to learn how to operate the app. Also, scalability issues and technology redundancy that can lead to ad hoc investments in the future can be optimised by an agile design. This in turn will also help to optimize maintenance and set up costs to a major extent.
5. Greater Employee Satisfaction
A digital tool should assist users rather than burdening them with the requirement of understanding complex functions. Hence, simplified interfaces are the most essential elements of user interaction. An intelligent UX design directly relates to lowering the stress levels of the users. Lesser efforts in turn result in better productivity.
Roadblocks while designing an Enterprise application
There are sizeable roadblocks in creating a UX driven enterprise app and these require the immediate attention of a UX designer. Also, a proper UX driven app requires investment in terms of time, efforts, and funds.
Below, we have listed a few roadblocks that you might face while designing an enterprise app.
1. Cross-platform Integration
The purpose of an enterprise app is that it has to be a single point platform for all organizational needs. It is supposed to be integrated with different types of software, processes, and frameworks, and still remain user-friendly across different verticals. This purpose is defeated when the organization proceeds to buy different software at the time of development without considering the integration challenges that can arise at the later stage. At this point, cross-platform integration is a big challenge for UX designers.
2. Training Sessions
An enterprise application is built to suit the needs of employees from different departments and across different verticals. Separate training sessions will be required to demonstrate the functionalities of the enterprise app. These sessions will also require additional resources.
3. Iterative Process
As the enterprise app serve multiple purposes at the same time, it is bound to undergo several iterations in order to achieve a near-to-perfection operative stage. Hence, when you design an enterprise app, be prepared for a long-term association with the project.
With the correct UX design strategy, enterprise applications can do wonders for your organization. Want to build a custom enterprise application for your business? Let’s talk!