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.



Top 50 Design Blog Articles and Sites From 2017

It’s nearly the the close of 2017. Lots has happened and I’ve been reading about UX, Design Thinking, Design Systems, Agile, Block Chain, Crypto currencies, Machine Learning, AI, Startups and plenty more. 2018 seems to be shaping up to be an exciting year for digital! (and maybe we’ll stop asking ourselves, why didn’t we all buy Bitcoins 5 years ago?)

Trends running into 2018

  • Better personalisation (Machine learning, AI) – With tech coming to the forefront we need to made experiences individual
  • Better Security all over – We need to prevent those Cryptocurrencies form being stolen!
  • Wider adoption of design processes in product management (Design Systems, Design Thinking leading to better product design
  • The new breed of disruptors taking on AI, Machine learnings and Cryptocurrencies
  • Chat Bots & Speech – More and more popping up as people test the benefits

Top 50 Design Blog Articles and Sites

The Ultimate Guide to Minimum Viable Product

You’ll know exactly what MVP is, how to do it and what tools to use.

Topics: mvp, lean startup, product management
Read time: 7 mins

The Most Important Rule in UX Design that Everyone Breaks

The psychological phenomenon discussed in this article is known as Miller’s Law.

Topics: ux,design
Read time: 5 mins

How to promote a blog post: the ultimate guide

you’ve written an awesome blog post that provides lots of value…now what? How do you get it in front of the right eyes, and as many pairs of eyes as possible? Promoting your blog posts the right way is just as important as writing amazing content.

Topics: blogging, content marketing
Read time: 10 mins

The non-techie’s guide to machine learning

So, machine learning. Is that like… AI? Dive in to the fundamentals of Machine Learning

Topics: machine learning, tech
Read time: 5 mins

Design Systems Handbook – DesignBetter.Co

A design system unites product teams around a common visual language. It reduces design debt, accelerates the design process, and builds bridges between teams – Check out this 7 step guide

Topics: invision, design, design systems
Read time: 7 mins

Running in Circles

Why Agile Isn’t working and what we can do differently

Topics: waterfall, agile
Read time: 6 mins

Certbot

Automatically enable HTTPS on your website with EFF’s Certbot, deploying Let’s Encrypt certificates

Topics:web development, https, ssl
Read time: 2 mins

Artwork Personalization at Netflix

Given the enormous diversity in taste and preferences, wouldn’t it be better if we could find the best artwork for each of our members to highlight the aspects of a title that are specifically relevant to them?

Topics: netflix, recommendations, personalisation
Read time: 11 mins

Design Principles

This site is an open source resource created to help us understand and write Design Principles.

Topics: design, principles, design systems
Read time: 5 mins

How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the news business

Reuters is scooping its rivals using intelligent machines that mine Twitter for news stories.

Topics: artificial intelligence, news, trust
Read time: 6 mins

A brief guide to psychology principles in UX design

Discussing various psychology principles and their relevance in UX design

Topics: artificial intelligence, news, trust
Read time: 2 mins

Machine Learning for Marketers

A comprehensive guide to Machine Learning

Topics: marketing, startups, artificial intelligence
Read time: 7 mins

What is Blockchain Technology?

Few people understand what it is, but Wall Street banks, IT organizations, and consultants are buzzing about blockchain technology.

Topics: blockchain, bitcoin, beginners
Read time: 7 mins

Wireframes, flows, personas and beautifully crafted UX deliverables for your inspiration

Here are a few examples of UX deliverables that are well polished, legible and simple to understand

Topics: ux, deliverables, wireframes
Read time: 11 mins

The Font-end Checklist

The Front-End Checklist Application is perfect for modern websites and meticulous developers!

Topics: front-End, checklist, website design
Read time: 11 mins

Six Steps to Superior Product Prototyping: Lessons from an Apple and Oculus Engineer

Tips and advice to make your product prototyping strategy better

Topics: prototyping, product management, product
Read time: 15 mins

An Introduction to Scrollama.js

Scrollytelling can be complicated to implement and difficult to make performant. The goal of this library is to provide a simple interface for creating scroll-driven interactives and improve user experience by reducing scroll jank.

Topics: javascript, scrollytelling, waypoints
Read time: 3 mins

First Round Search

The best tactical advice in tech

Topics: startups, advice, news
Read time: 3 mins

20 Product Prioritization Techniques: A Map and Guided Tour

Although it’s not what we are hired to do, it’s something that we have to do to achieve our real goal: creating successful products that bring value to our customers and to the business.

Topics: product management, prioritization
Read time: 4 mins

How to Stop UX Research being a Blocker

Fitting research into agile teams

Topics: ux, research, agile
Read time: 7 mins

Fontjoy – Get smart font pairings in one click

Generate font combinations with deep learning

Topics: fonts, typography, design
Read time: 2 mins

The 8pt Grid: Consistent Spacing in UI Design with Sketch

Spacing is everything in UI design.Forget colour, forget typography. Nail the spacing and you’re half way there. Why?

Topics: grid, sketch, 8pt grid
Read time: 4 mins

Another Lens – News Deeply x Airbnb.Design

A research tool for conscientious creatives

Topics: design, design thinking, research
Read time: 6 mins

Haiku – design meets production

Craft imaginative UI components that snap into any app.
Code optional.

Topics: animations, sketch, ui
Read time: 3 mins

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide

If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search, this guide is meant for you.

Topics: seo, google, basics
Read time: 10 mins

A/B tests that do more than validate – Inside Intercom

A/B tests provide more than statistical validation of one execution over another. They can and should impact how your team prioritizes projects.

Topics: a/b testing, best practices
Read time: 2 mins

Material Design and the Mystery Meat Navigation Problem

In March 2016, Google updated Material Design to add bottom navigation bars to its UI library. This new bar is positioned at the bottom of an app, and contains 3 to 5 icons that allow users to navigate between top-level views in an app.

Topics:navigation, web design, android
Read time: 9 mins

UXmas – Wishing you a great experience through the festive season!

An advent calendar for UX folk

Topics:ux, articles
Read time: 5 mins

How to Build a Successful Team

Building a successful team is about more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills.

Topics:management, team
Read time: 11 mins

1000 different people, the same words

What hiring language from 25,000 recent job descriptions tells us about corporate cultural norms

Topics:hiring language, job descriptions, corporate culture
Read time: 2 mins

The Role of the Founder/CEO: You Have One Job

Most people have a certain image in their minds when they think of a founder/CEO.

Topics:startups, expertise, leadership
Read time: 5 mins

8 simple rules for a robust, scalable CSS architecture

This is the manifest of things I’ve learned about managing CSS in large, complex web projects during my many years of professional web development.

Topics:css, architecture, scalable”
Read time: 15 mins

Intro to Framer

Design and code animations with Framer

Topics:prototyping, design, animation
Read time: 7 mins

Action vs indecision – Inside Intercom

One of the most expensive parts of running a startup isn’t the new feature you shipped that nobody used or the marketing experiment you ran that failed. It’s indecision.

Topics:principles, management
Read time: 1 mins

12 Things Product Managers Should Do in Their First 30 Days

Here are some tips for how to approach that first month. Emphasize these three areas: People, Product, and Personal:

Topics:product management, product
Read time: 4 mins

A Primer on Android navigation

Before digging into common navigation patterns, it’s worth stepping back and finding a starting point for thinking about navigation in your app.

Topics:navigation, android navigation, android
Read time: 11 mins

The Guide to Mobile App Design: Best Practices for 2018 and Beyond

So what exactly can be considered as “good experience”? Let’s explore the six fundamentals of mobile app design.

Topics:mobile, app, design
Read time: 6 mins

How to Create Influencer Roundups: Tips and Tools for Bloggers

n this article, you’ll discover a four-step plan to create effective influencer roundups.

Topics:outreach, content, blogging, influence
Read time: 7 mins

The Role Of Storyboarding In UX Design

In order to create better products, designers must understand what’s going on in the user’s world and understand how their products can make the user’s life better. And that’s where storyboards come in.

Topics:ux, research, storyboard
Read time: 11 mins

Best Tools for Web Designers to Use in 2018

The design world moves fast and there’s always new tools coming out. To stay ahead of the game requires an ear to the ground at all times.

Topics:tools, ux, ui
Read time: 7 mins

Looking to Horizon: Why We Built A Design System

Feather’s mission was to provide consistent and thoughtful experiences at scale. As the number of Feather’s components, patterns, and internal customers grew, this once-Hackathon passion project evolved into a well-supported team.

Topics:design system, twitter
Read time: 3 mins

Jobs-to-Be-Done in Your UX Toolbox

People want a quarter-inch hole, not a quarter inch drill

Topics:jtbd
Read time: 12 mins

Motion design for the web, iOS & Android with Haiku

JTBD provides a different way to think about solutions that compete for the same job:

Topics: android, animation
Read time: 3 mins

Lottie without After Effects

We designed Haiku from the ground up for animating UI components. Like Sketch, it is a simple tool with a specific purpose, and like AE, it is compatible with Lottie.

Topics: animation
Read time: 3 mins

I don’t care if you love red: how to work with your UX team, not against them

As a designer, I’m passionate about creating the right user experience. A great product should take you on a journey. It should feel seamless, clear, and fun.

Topics: ux, research, product
Read time: 7 mins

Team Alignment Map

An agile template to boost alignment in cross-functional teams: concrete discussions that bring concrete results.

Topics: collaboration, tool
Read time: 1 mins

8 Customer Discovery Questions to Validate Product Market Fit for Your Startup

During a typical diligence process, we will interview customers and might ask them questions like these…

Topics:product market fit, validation
Read time: 1 mins

Where Do We Put The UX Tasks?

I’ve seen teams try these three options to remedy the situation

Topics: ux, agile development
Read time: 3 mins

Where should designers sit? Making cross-functional design teams work

Traditionally design teams have been centralized, such that all designers worked on the same team and would take on projects together.

Topics: design, cross-functional, teams
Read time: 5 mins

Why Design Systems Fail

I’d like to go over a few considerations to ensure design system success and what could hinder that success.

Topics: design system
Read time: 10 mins