10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Animation

An animation is a form of art whereby the artist expresses stories through drawings to the audience. The animation part means that the artist has to use characters that are in motion in order to give the storyline life which is an important factor in any animation.

The characters you choose to use are essential in shaping your story as well as captivating your audiences’ empathy for the animation to pass your story the way you intended. Animation can be used to pass a complex message in a simple way that is interesting and easy for your audience to remember. You should ensure that the characters and the stories in your animations are relevant to the audience you are targeting.

The motion of the characters is important in animation because it gives it life. This makes it necessary for you to understand the behaviours and motions of the characters you are using in the animation. Another thing that is important to any animation is the quality of the pictures that you make. A high-quality animation will always captivate your audience in watching and appreciating your work more.

Below are the tips you should always have in mind when creating animations.

Use your hand to draw

You can choose to use the design tools to give out a refined product but you should always remember that your hand is much needed in the drawing. The design tools should only be used to enhance your animation. For best animations, ilustra website is a great one in giving life to your animations. You can always use your hand to differentiate your work from that of others and this gives it originality.

Be educative

An animation is a great way of telling stories and passing important messages. It is good to know your audience well for you to develop a story that is relevant to them. Animations give life to a story which makes the human mind to be captivated to the story. An image that has a life makes it simple to remember a story and hence, it is important to develop characters and stories that relate directly to your audience such as good old memories.

Connectivity

Remember to always keep your audience captivated by having a good flow of the story. A good flow will always raise the anticipation of the audience of how the next piece will be. Connecting your pieces well will also make your story easy to follow.

Timing and spaces

Timing and spaces are important factors in giving your animation authenticity because you want to make the characters as real as possible. You should know when the characters have to move fast or slowly according to the flow of the story.

Block to make work easier

Blocking allows you to see how the animation will be like in the final product which can simplify your work. You can be able to plan the poses and breakdown in the animation in a stepped way which makes it easy to edit when necessary instead of having to delete the whole story.

Keep it simple

Animations should be simple preferably with light colors to make it easy for the audience to capture enormous details at a glance. The characters use should also be simple and familiar and to top it all, the story should relate to the audience.

Include your style

This is where your ability to draw applies best. Different people can tell a story but the way you will present it can give it uniqueness. Although it is important to keep animations simple, do not forget to add your own style that will make it stand out from the rest.

Exaggerate

The characters you use should have a motion that identifies with them naturally, but you should make it interesting to watch by exaggerating. This will make your characters to be lively and much entertaining as opposed to the usual motions which the audiences are accustomed to seeing.

Use curve editor

The curve editor can be used to clean up your animation after blocking it. You can use it to guide the controllers in the right way and smooth out kinks and breaks in key poses.

Use the principles

Always use the well laid out principles to make your work easier when making an animation. The guidelines are meant to make it look lively and natural and this produces high-quality work.

 



What Is a Website Redesign & How To Plan For It Effectively

Websites have become essential marketing tools for businesses and it’s mandatory to keep them up to date and fresh always. This can be justified with the help of the statement made by a Danish computer scientist, Jakob Nielsen: “A bad website is like a grumpy salesperson.”

This is where the need for website redesigning comes into the picture. Your website can never be static, but it should be constantly tweaked so that to be in sync with the changing market scenarios and specific customers’ requirements. This task is a bit challenging but can be easily executed with the help of a seasoned website design company.

Usually, entrepreneurs overhaul their entire web presence to ensure a better user experience, increased conversion, and enhanced online visibility. But the real challenge is to plan for it strategically and effectively. Let’s explore the top eight steps that you should take in order to make your web redesign project successful.

1. Determine The Right Time

First of all, you need to evaluate that when is it the right time to redesign your company’s website? Assess the overall look, feel, technology stack, content, fonts, images, videos, etc. If you find one or more than one of these elements outdated then it’s the right time for you to invest some money in revamping your site. Also, you also have to decide whether you are going for a mild redesign or a complete overhaul.

2. Research Extensively & Define Clear Goals

Before anything else, you need to create an early sitemap on the basis of SEO research and define specific goals for the website redesign. With the help of research, you can discover the areas of your website which needs improvement. Also, you can identify the pain points that your current and potential customers are facing. You should analyze the current web design and find out where it’s falling behind?

Document all your ideas and ways in which you want to improvise your web presence. You should also find out ways in which you can make the overall design of your website much more impressive and appealing.

3. Coordinate With The Head Of Design & Finalize The New Site Structure

In order to redesign your website efficiently, it’s mandatory for you to consult with the head of design. Mostly, they are occupied with making website updates that are tedious and time-consuming. But they will be the best person to advise you on how to find a better and efficient solution.

In addition, you can discuss and finalize the new site structure with the head of design. Also, you can have a comprehensive plan of what type of content are you going to incorporate in your site? How will you storyboard the entire concept? What will be the site layout? And, how a sample of the landing page will look like?

4. Gather Referrals & Involve The Major Stakeholders In The Project

Before moving forward, you have to get consent from all the stakeholders of your business. Show them the design layout that you finalized and get their feedback. Also, answer the initial questions they may have.

In addition, you should also seek referrals from the people in your network so that to find the best design agency. Research about those companies and filter the ones who built your favorite sites. Document all the potential design agencies and have an introductory meeting or a call with them.

5. Create The Project Brief

On the basis of your meetings and calls, you should create a brief of the redesign project that you can present to the agencies you finalized. The brief should be straightforward and contain a background of your company. Also, you should specify the goals of your project and target audience.

In addition, you can also add a few supporting materials such as the branding guidelines, storyboard, main marketing assets, sample landing page, etc. Moreover, enrich the brief by mentioning the websites that are developed with the vibe, look, and feel that you want in your revamped site.

6. Pick The Best Design Agency

After presenting the potential design agencies with the project brief, give them some time to come up with their ideas and designs. Collect all of them and have a discussion with the head of design.

You can select the firms that seem apt according to you by evaluating the proposals on different criteria: the portfolio, price, the content of the proposal, creativity, etc. Ultimately, choose the agency that is in sync with your vision for the redesign and also has a robust portfolio to prove their calibre.

7. Manage The Entire Project Efficiently

Once when you are done with choosing a design agency, have a discussion with them and decide the timeline and costs. Also, during the entire redesign process, you should be always willing to give answers to the questions and give reviews and feedback about design layouts. This responsiveness will only keep your project moving forward.

It is quite possible that in the redesigning process, you are also required to deliver design assets, choose high-quality imagery, plan a team photo shoot, etc. Also, you will be needed to be on your toes when it comes to transforming and incorporating these innovative ideas into the fully functional design.

8. Get It Accomplished Successfully

This is the most challenging part of the entire project – making sure that the redesign is aligned with your vision. You should get all your stakeholders involved in the progress and take their consent on delivery date and budget. But remember that it’s advisable to schedule a launching date that’s at least one month later than the date given by your design agency.

Review the design several times, be sure that it’s coming out to be what you actually expected. Then, decide a final launch date to publish the revamped website and make sure that you commit to it.

In this way, you have to plan for the redesign project very logically. Your website is the asset that has the power to evolve with your brand so make sure that it’s redesigned in the best way so that to provide the end users with a mesmerizing experience.



Spring Cleaning: Five Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Site

Spring is on the horizon, so you know what that means. Spring-cleaning time is coming soon too. This yearly refresh is more than just a reminder to dust your home; it’s also a chance to revitalize your ecommerce business, attract new customers and delight loyal shoppers. Here are five easy ways to improve your ecommerce site during spring-cleaning season.

1. Putting Old Goods on Clearance

You know the saying, “out with the old and in with the new.” That’s what spring is all about. So, take a moment to review your product offerings. Find the outdated merchandise on your site and offer it a discount. Be sure to promote these sales over social media and email marketing. As this stuff is sold off, you will have more room to add new items. This is also an opportunity to generate new interest in your e-store, especially as consumers come off the holiday hangover and start shopping again.

2. Switch to the Cloud

Are you still hosting your ecommerce site from an at-home server? If so, you are likely missing out on some of the benefits and functionalities of the cloud. Cloud-based ecommerce allows storeowners to scale their sites to accommodate more traffic. Even better, most cloud platform providers are plug-and-play, meaning you can change certain elements of the site without having to take a deep dive into coding. Many cloud-based ecommerce platform providers offer free website templates. Among other benefits his makes redesign a breeze! Especially if you want to change your website at will to match certain holidays and seasons—which brings us to…

3. Update Your Design

It’s a new year. Shouldn’t you have a new store design to match? Try updating your e-store design to attract customers. But don’t just change things willy-nilly. That won’t do anybody any good. Instead, take a moment to see how you can improve your store. Perhaps you need to update your checkout process to make it quicker and easier to use. Maybe you need to consolidate your FAQ, contact and about us pages for greater ease of use. Try putting yourself in a consumer mindset to see what needs to be changed and why.

4. Revamp Your Logo

Another idea is to give your logo a facelift. It’s entirely possible that your brand identityhas changed over the past year. You might have gone from a fun and fresh ecommerce page, to something a little more professional. Yet, your logo is still mired in a bubbly and silly history. If this is the case, try swapping your logo for something a little more mature, with muted colors and sleek lines. It could be the evolution you need to attract your target audience.

5. Prep Your Yearly Schedule

We all like to believe the New Year will be full of changes and surprises. To make it happen, take some time now to prepare for the next 12 months. After all, our calendar is cyclical. You already know when the big holidays will arrive and when the seasons will change. So, in a way, you already know when your hottest sales will occur and when your seasonal slumps will crop up. Lay in the groundwork now by writing down these occurrences and beginning to prepare for them. For example, you can anticipate your summer blow out sale and your holiday bundle deal long before they ever happen. By doing so, you can get ahead of your competition and set yourself up for success.

The bottom line is that spring is a time for refreshment. Why not rejuvenate your ecommerce store while you can? These five easy ways to improve your ecommerce site during spring-cleaning season will get you started.



Why to start email marketing with SendPulse

SendPulse is one of the leading email marketing platforms which offers integrated solutions: emails, SMS, push notifications, SMTP and API. It was launched in 2015, and now is a successful startup with representatives in 8 countries. SendPulse team offers cost and time efficient service  to over 250,000 active users including large and small businesses and individual business owners that increase their sales and brand awareness through affordable tools.

It’s all about efficiency

Trust and commitment to a simple yet high-quality communication lay at the core of SendPulse resulting in impressive numbers: average email open rate is 15% while SendPulse helps to elevate it to 25% and more. It’s a customer oriented company; thus, it offers up-to-date technologies for mobile, desktop, and tablet users. Almost 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices, and SendPulse team considers this fact  while developing mobile-friendly versions of their products.

Event-based email marketing

SendPulse launched an email marketing services centered around automation that allows sending emails, SMS and push notifications based on user actions. Intuitive interface lets you drag and drop desired events such as emails, web push, SMS, filters, conditions, actions, and goals to easily adjust your campaigns to the needs of the users, and create a personalized automation flow.

Artificial Intelligence

Do you know how many people actually read your emails? SendPulse makes sure that you do and implements artificial intelligence, which tracks down emails, analyzes your campaigns and predicts users’ behavior. Then, it automatically opts for the best time and channel to deliver your message. That leads up to 70% higher open rate. SendPulse tools help you segment users by their interactions with your products, and check detailed statistics on each newsletter and campaign: time of email opening, time between receiving and opening, clicked links, type of device, CTR, open rate, and many more. You can use this data to hold A/B tests and pick the most effective version which can be sent out automatically.

Drag-and-drop email builder

SendPulse offers amazing opportunities to its users giving out 2,500 subscribers, 15,000 emails, and 120+ email templates and designs for free. No extra efforts or HTML knowledge is needed to create a top quality email optimized for all devices in a drag-and-drop email builder. In a matter of minutes, you can import, create from scratch or edit ready-made templates. There is also a tool for setting up customized web forms for users to subscribe to your emails with further detailed statistics.

Easy to use web push and SMS

Web push notifications and SMS solutions are just as clear and simple. You can edit or create new templates, check the preview, and send SMS or copy the code of a push notification to your website.

API and SMTP: fast integration

SendPulse offers an SMTP integration with MS Outlook, The Bat or any other email client. There is also an option to receive a full API integrated with a CMS, CRM or other system for sending messages from personal projects. All settings are comfortably stored on the SundPulse user dashboard.

Discovering new opportunities

SendPulse made it to the TOP-3 finalists of The Next Web SCALE 2016 program and was acknowledged as one of the best startups of 2016. They also launched a Startup Accelerator Program that provides a $5,000 grant for email marketing development. SendPulse experts share their experience and coach all the participants of the program who bring innovative products on the market.

Customers first

24/7 support is ready to solve any possible issues and answer questions. Every user is heard, and SendPulse considers their feedback constantly upgrading existing tools and adding new useful features.