Minimalism Inspiration in Packaging Design

design

Packaging, of course is created to protect the products inside, it’s there to inform the customer of the product and act as a means of promotion of the brand, but design enthusiasts know that packaging has a secondary dimension: to create a thing of beauty that upholds a brand’s identity and engages the audience their target audience.

Today, we live in a world where we are saturated with information, images and messages. Everything we could ever want to know is right at our fingertips, but with this comes an overwhelming sense of overload. It’s harder than ever to break through the noise and find calm and this has led design to adopt new minimalism. Designers are saying enough is enough and channelling the need for simplicity through distilled packaging design.

Minimalist design does not have to be blunt and cold, but instead can be used to articulate the important aspects of the packaging design, communicating the brand’s message clearly and evoking emotion in the customer. When executed correctly, this emotional connection encourages audiences to buy.

The Unboxing Experience

Today, we live such busy lives it can often seem there is no chance for us to slow down and enjoy the world around us and often we’re purchasing goods in a hurry. Great packaging design connects an emotional part of our psyche and brings increased pleasure from the purchasing experience.

We demand to be entertained today; the packaging we choose does not only have to protect the product inside but must act a way to bring pleasure to the user. Brands are looking to engage with their audience across multiple platforms in order to enjoy success.  This means guiding users to share their packaging experiences on social media and tap into the emotional needs of 21st century buyers. In a recent study, Dotcom found that nearly 4 in 10 consumers would share an image of a delivery via social media if it came in a unique package.

 

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Mandarin Natural Chocolate

In order to communicate with customers the simplicity of Mandarin’s chocolate, a simple design was needed. The brand only product confectionary made with organic cacao and cane sugar. The lettering against the plain background echoes the ethos of the brand by eliminating all that is unnecessary and focusing purely on quality.

Simple design is not the lack of imagination; moreover it is the result of extremely considered choices. Designer Takashi explains this:

“We felt that we wanted a typeface with pointed serif to express the sharpness we feel when we hold high-quality chocolate in our mouths,”

Businesses Adopting Minimalism

The minimalist movement is not slowing down, and for businesses that are looking to adopt these methods and do less with there are some basic steps to follow:

Create Value

Understand why your customers are choosing your products and make this the focal point for the design, whether this is value for money or a health benefit.

Use Colour

In minimal design, you can use colour to speak to your customers instead of words or graphics. This is a great way to signify flavours. Choose colours your customers can instantly recognise as representing a flavour to avoid any confusion.

Use Packaging Tape Effectively

If your e-commerce company is shipping items, the packaging can still enjoy minimal design. Ensure the unboxing experience is upheld using printed packing tape that represents your brand’s identity. The price is very similar to clear tape and you will enhance appeal whilst communicating your chosen message to your customer.

Stand out from the crowd

Minimalism is brave; it steps away from the flashiness of the early noughties and stands out for that reason.  Consumers have come to expect certain things from their packaging and are refreshed when the rules are broken. Why not make a bold claim as Boxed Water did to draw customers to your product?

Trident

The key to successful packaging in 2016 is simplicity of the brand’s message. Trident has succeeded in this by communicating the purpose of their Xtra Care chewing gum product. Its purpose of the product is to protect teeth and gums from acid between meals. The design uses bright graphics as a mouth, the chewing gum visible through a window acting as teeth. This clever strategy removes the need for text and uses humour to connect with prospective customers.

 

trident

New Minimalism in 2016

Once, minimalism was the art of taking away but new minimalism is the art of using just enough. By focusing on the essentials brands are able to cut through the 21st century noise and communicate with a new sense of clarity. Customers are looking for a different experience from their packaging today. The packaging must inspire, entertain and bring joy all whilst conforming to the fundamentals of packaging protection and availability of product information. Brands, both big and small can use new minimalism to add, rather than detract from the packaging experience.

 



9 Features Of Sketch That Can Optimize Your Design Workflow

sketch

 

Positioning itself in the world of web design and development, Sketch is a perfect pick for designers and techies looking to speed up the design workflow. A well-acknowledged name in the web design industry, Sketch is constantly attracting designers with it’s features.

Overview

With the latest released versions, Sketch 2 and 3 which bring along an added simplicity and intuitiveness as compared to Photoshop, more and more designers have been switching to it. Sketch, as a graphic designing application, features a pixel preview which allows designing interfaces and icons with the usage of Multiple Pages, Artboards, Symbols and Shared Styles to quicken and simplify the overall designing process

Designed especially for modern designers, Sketch is being loved because of its multifarious tricks. In order to strengthen the overall process, Sketch is featured with some outstanding features that not only save time but give a real competition and threat to Photoshop. Let’s see how Sketch has dominated the market with its compelling features-

Artboards

The creation of multiple artboards has become a piece of cake with Sketch designing application. If you are planning to design a responsive site, Sketch’s Infinite Canvas. By default, Sketch offers Canvas that is fruitful to take the advantage of Artboard presets. The presets can be chosen directly from the sub-toolbar by clicking on Artboard button. Using these presets, designers can easily organize their work via a predefined dimension. Artboards are perfect for designing views on mobile and can automatically be resized to accommodate the height and width of layers.

Exporting

Exporting is one amongst the appealing features of Sketch, which makes exporting all the files in an easier way. All users need to click the “Export” button situated at the bottom-right corner for exporting the icon buttons in mobile navigation. These icons can further be saved for the web either in SVG or PNG format. This incorporates almost everything in relation to displaying the assets on varied screen sizes.

Pixel Precision

When designing for mobile, Pixel perfection plays a critical role. With Sketch, you automatically get to shape your Pixel edges and prepare assets for different screen sizes and pixel densities. Sketch allows you to easily position the pixels in your design with Pixel Precision functionalities. It is an easy to implement feature which produces sharp outcomes exact to your business needs. It also offers the ability to edit and preview each Pixel.

Sketch-Easy Grids

The grid method is the easiest to design images in a clean, precise and straightforward way. “Create Grid” requires you to click on the four boxes given in the sub-tool bar. Doing so will display a pop-up menu where you can specify the total number of rows and columns you want to arrange the selected objects into. Next step is about selecting “Boxed Option” for defining the areas encompassed with every object and spacing into them. Composing an image in the easiest ways is possible using this approach. Sketch supports- “Regular Grid” and “Layout Grid”.

Templates

Sketch allows users easily creating a new file using the feature “template”.

Here’s how

Go to menu item file and choose new from the template.

The current file can also be saved as a template to start each project from the initial stage.

This process yields beneficial results, especially when designing for iOS. Any file with a status bar and navigation bar can be created easily and saved as a template.

Shortcuts

The advanced Sketch shortcuts will massively help you enhance your UI design process. One can also create their own shortcuts via OS X System Preferences.

Vector-Based

Surviving in the age of Mobilegeddon, it becomes important to have a vector-based design. When coming up with innovative ways to display content on the screen, designers should look forward to high-definition versus normal definition display, narrow screen vs wide screen and many other things. It is equally important to have a design which restyles all the formats; however, coming up with a different picture for each device range is a painstaking process. With Sketch, the problem gets solved easily as it allows you to freely resize objects.

Smart Guides

Smart Guides is one of keyboard shortcuts available with Sketch. They allow you to snap-align all the layers. The “ALT” key can be used to easily see the guides and spacing between objects.

Color Picker

Sketch requires pressing CTRL+C to quickly choose a color of your choice from anywhere. Simple and virtuous. Isn’t it?

To summarize

Sketch is all about offering the power, flexibility, and speed which you would have always dreamt of in an easy-to-use designing package. Made specially for modern graphic designers, Sketch incorporates plenteous workflow, extensions, and features that are focused on producing better results, thereby producing high-quality artwork from the start till the end.



11 Tools That Can Help Empower UX Designers

No doubt user experience (UX) is a soul of a website. It is something that gives reason to online visitors to revisit the website. If a website fails to offer great UX, then you can say that all the efforts behind its creation gone into the vain. A website is beyond look and feel; it should have the power to hold the attention of the visitors for a long time. Therefore, for a UX designer, it is crucial to creating a website that offers fantastic UX.

An effective UX design is one that touches the nerves of online visitors by providing a pleasant web experience, and if your visitors go happy, then greater would be the chances your website attains a good traffic.

pexels-photo-28462

Today, when designers and developers (including novices and experienced) are riding the waves of responsive design, UX designers have a pretty tough task to make those created sites livelier. UX designers can do what others cannot. They put themselves into visitors’ shoes to see a nicely designed website from their perspective so that they could work to make a website more impactful.

Having said this, UX designers need several tools to accomplish what they aim for. Despite the fact that quite a few tools are available online, UX designers do not have familiarity with all of them.

Let’s take a glance at some best tools for UX designers whether they are newbies or an experienced one.

1. Typeform

Empowering websites to provide great UX is the real response to a real problem. Well, without knowing what people are facing, you would never be able to provide a solution. So, it is better to collect the feedback of online users.

To achieve the same task, you will need Typeform. It is great survey tool that lets you create simple and pleasant forms with many options. You can use built forms to analyze the users’ feedback to deliver the same they look for. You can choose the basic plan for free.

Typeform

 

2. Gliffy

If you are a UX designers, Gliffy is a must have and a fantastic tool that allows you to create enticing flowcharts, UML diagrams, sitemaps, and a lot more at a pretty low price. It is an ultimate solution for UX design related problems. Further, it empowers you by fulfilling all your requirements in the best yet simplest manner. It is a paid tool but a worthy one to rely upon.

Gliffy

 

3. Balsamiq

Balsamiq is the best platform for UX designers like you as it gives wings to your creativity. It lets you repeat quickly and create rough drafts of your design ideas that you can compare and pick out the best one. Further, it is wire-framing tools that help you create a balance between different UX choices so that when you design something, you would have the exact idea about the things you are doing.

Balsamiq

4. Visio

Microsoft’s Visio is a paid tool and lets you create diagrams pretty quickly and easily. It is a paid tool and enables you to share your creations with SharePoint or Office 365. This tool is pretty simple to use, easy-to-navigate and offers a plethora of shapes, graphics, and lines that let you create something creative without worrying much about limitations. So, take full control of your mind and creativity with this tool.

Visio

5. Canva

Canva is a pretty simple tool that empowers you to design quickly and modify graphics and typographies as per individual elements of your UX design. With the aid of this tool, you can create captioned images, infographics, button, and a lot more with an easy drag and drop editor.

canva

6. Axure

Axure a paid tool and provides a comprehensive wireframing and prototyping service. It let you create interactive prototypes with simple drag and drop canvas. It is a must have tool as it empowers designer to create enticing web designs with excellent user experience.

Axure

 

7. Pixate

Pixate is a paid tool and the most powerful prototyping platform that empowers designers to test our complex interactions and animations in the simplest manner. Further, with the aid of this tool, designers can make crucial changes in real time to create fascinating user experiences.

Pixate

 

8. Google Fonts

Several elements effects UX of a website and web typography are one of them. With the help of Google Fonts, you can choose the right combination of fonts to make your design intuitive. It provides the most exhaustive collection of fonts in the world that have been used on countless websites.

GoogleFonts

 

9. InVision

InVision is a product design collaboration platform that allows you to build prototypes, gather feedback, and make designing fast and simpler. You can also share your design ideas with your stakeholders to get approval on the creations. Overall, this tool is a must-have for designers as it empowers them to create phenomenal user-centric experiences for web and mobile.

InVision

 

10. Peek by Usertesting

With the aid of Peek by Usertesting, you can work in a collaborative manner with your team and others. It is a perfect tool that allows you to share your perfect creations and get valuable feedback for further improvement.

peek

11. UX Pin

UX Pin is a paid tool and lets you create responsive prototypes on your browser. Further, with the help of this tool you can share prototypes pretty quickly and easily with your teams in real time.

uxpin

 

Do you use any other tools?

I hope the tools mentioned above will prove helpful for you. How many tools have you used? Did I miss to include any essential tool? Don’t forget to share your valuable feedback via Twitter



Key Things To Know About The Role Of Big Data In Validating & Measuring UX

Messy Desk with Big Data Related Notes

 

For companies, the quality user experience is crucial to gain competitive advantage. This is often ensured by monitoring and tracking user interactions. How far the quality of the experience can be delivered to customers remains a challenge for most businesses. The digital signature or traces left by business today tells a lot about their performance. Well, to measure the performance and customer experience in digital interaction, data analytics can offer a mine of resources. Big Data analytics besides offering data-driven insights about customers is helping us a lot in validating and measuring UX.

Big Data is a big scope

Big Data across devices
Big Data across devices

 

Big Data refers to the expansive digital data produced across platforms, devices and interfaces and they represent 5 crucial characteristics, namely, variety, volume, velocity, value, and veracity. The exponential fast paced growth of digital data in volume and variety is taken into account by this emerging field of data analysis. Obviously, data is increasingly becoming a valuable source for gaining business insights that traditional analytics often failed to obtain.

Big Data offers the most formidable scope of rigorous business analytics just because a diverse array of data sets belonging to both structured and unstructured data types from diverse sources now can be put under analytics to obtain deeper and more result driving insights. Big Data thanks to its robust potential in delivering business insights is widely regarded as the most important technology for the decision-making process in businesses.

All data is not insight

While large sources of data are always an asset, but their potential largely depends on upon extracting insights from them. There is a common misconception that all kinds of information contained in the operational process are needed for well-informed business decisions. Actually, understanding customers require more contextual data than dry numbers. When one is buying a product, all data corresponding to his preferences, time, and venue of buying, historical data concerning his buying habits, all these things matter as crucial data for drawing insights about the transaction and the customer. So, while operational data lurks insights, it is up to the integrated analytics to draw insights from them. Bridging the gap between the huge pool of data and insights is a big challenge for enterprises.

UX measurement and validation

Looking at diagram
Measureing UX

 

A web or app designer can feel content with a unique UX design. He may consider it out-of-the-box, engaging, fast-paced and performance driven. But all these claims have no meaning until and unless it is validated in quantifiable terms. To what extent the UX helps the business to drive customer engagement and conversion will be the final determinant factors. The business and outcome of customer’s interaction with the business should be clearly measured in quantified terms and that should be the principal determinant of the effectiveness of a UX.

UX validation and measurement is basically a streamlined approach with a set of measures for tracking business performance against the objectives and strategy. On the other hand, when working with Big Data, you need to start with a huge volume of data set and derive insight from them. But now, various businesses are showing interest in integrating this seemingly vast field of data to obtain insights on the performance of the UX.

The scope of analytics in measuring UX

While analytics tools have always been used for well-informed business decision making and strategy building, their utilization has been mostly restricted within marketers and strategists. With the increasing focus on UX performance for driving business growth in the recent times, it has now become a crucial area of focus for UX professionals as well.

Well, traditional analytics is limited in scope since its focus lies mostly within the operational business data and do not take other unspecified sources of data into account. For example, analytics can deliver insightful data in graphs and charts with the in-store sells, customer interaction, comparative study of various business outputs among stores, etc. But, it can totally miss the external factors related to customer’s mood-swings, buying habit over time and demographic insights on a various group of customers.

 

Measuring UX with Big Data

Now with the Big Data analytics, the overall picture is quite different. You not only have operational business data for immediate insights into customer interaction, but you have huge chunks of data from diverse sources to tell about customers and user interaction with more depth. With new and huge chunks of data assets, available decision-making can be more apt to take each and every influence factors into consideration. From customer intention, their emotional reactions to expectations all contribute to the measurement and validation of user experience now.

Actually, the objective of this multi-sourced analytical measure is tracking the effectiveness of UX measures from which your organization can have a deeper understanding of the customer interactions, engagement and potential loopholes that need to be addressed. Measuring UX against specific business insights help to know the areas that need change and positive focus to deliver business value.

UX and data visualization

 

Dashboard visulisation
Dashboard visualisation

 

User Experience (UX) design and Big data can make valuable interaction in data visualization. Data visualization refers to a type of data-oriented visual communication in which various sets of contextual data are presented in graphics or images. The complex of data in this way can thus be presented in an easily comprehensible way.

The information dashboards in the web, product specifications described in graphics, product shipping and movement described in pictorial graphics in websites, are some of the examples of this intersection between user experience and data visualization. Dashboards convert data into robust data visualizations by presenting them in graphs and charts. This allows easier understanding of the data and the statement that it wants to confer to the audience. When creating such data visualizations UX designers not only need to ensure that the data is presented in a comprehensive and sensible way, but they also need to ensure that the visual data drives business conversion.



An Overview Of How UI & UX Design Are Different Yet Completely Entwined

Whether you are a professional designer or a novice having a keen interest in web designing, you definitely must have heard of the terms UX and UI (viz. User Experience and User Interface). Although they have same starting initials but are very different in aspects and existence.

Both UX and UI are well-known terms in the web industry but are often mistaken for their meanings and scope. Even experienced designers and developers tend to get mistaken most of the times, which ultimately affects their designs and coding. Let us explore UX and UI more and learn about them.

flow-chart

UI (User Interface) refers to the seamless interaction of the user and the system with the help of some input/software devices. It includes a bunch of screens, pages, buttons, icons and some other visual elements that help in establishing an interaction of the user with the device. While UX (User Experience) refers to the extensive process of increasing customer retention and satisfaction by improving its usability. It is the first impression a user gets when s/he interacts with the product or service. Or in simple words, it is the first interaction of a user with the system.

Categorisation Of Each Discipline

UX
UI
Information Hierarchy
Identifying valuable content that appears on website pages including sitemap, and also remaining thoughtful with design elements, links and much more is all that UX designers generally work to render.
Branding Of Products
UI Designers meticulously look after the color patterns, logos, typography, etc. to make a website look more interesting, engaging and interactive.
Wireframes
Wireframes are the most integral part of a design on the basis of which PSD files are built. These wireframes can be used to exhibit the functional component of a web design, despite the presence or absence of the graphics.
Mock-ups
UI designers efficiently monitor the building of mock-ups that are ready to be delivered. These mock-ups contain elements that help in understanding the functionality of the entity/product.

designing-02

Responsibilities

UX
UI
UX designers are mainly concerned with the purpose of exploring and enhancing the feel of a product designed. This is done by addressing the issues of UX in multiple ways. These designers focus on design, content and orientation of the framed product. They crucially evaluate the functioning of these products/services when used by users, to see how it actually works. While UX designers focus on enhancing the feel of the product. On the other hand, UI designers keep a tab on how these products/services are designed. They are the one who make sure that all visual and interactive design elements are efficiently placed in the product. The UI designers are mainly responsible for creating designs that uniformly serve all the users.

How they overlap

wireframing

After knowing the differences of UX and UI, let us know the general features that define the similarity between them.

Despite knowing the major differences between UX and UI, at some point of designing phase, UI overlaps UX. Let us know what are those phases:

  • Both are subject to improve customer satisfaction
  • Focus on leveraging the user’s interaction with service and products
  • Both are essential during product/service development

Continuing the discussion, here are some proven theories commonly followed and accepted by technocrats and designers in the web industry.

  1. UI is mainly focused on the look and function of the product/service whereas UX is primarily associated with the process of enhancing the experience a user gets while interacting with the device or its elements. For an instance, if medicines, equipment, syringes, stretchers and bed are the elements (UI) of any hospital, then everything from the operation, to parking, waiting, announcements, and the food is the user experience (UX).
  1. UX and UI are two different designing aspects that aren’t comparable with each other at all. And asking difference in any of these is exactly like distinguishing a brick from the elements it is made of. Ultimately, the user interface is one of the parts of user experience which, on a whole, is a vast entity containing different elements (including UI too).
  1. UI is limited to the screens, focusing on visual styles, structures and guidelines of the icons/buttons while, on the other hand, UX refers to the journey of users with the product/service.
  1. UI comprises the elements and factors a user will interact with while, on the other hand, UX is the total experience that user gets with the product/service. Both UX and UI are two different things that must run together to give long-lasting digital experience to the user.

Role and Responsibilities of UX designer:

wireframing

A user experience designer must know the value of creating a user experience or providing things that understand the association of a user with the product/service. Getting an idea about the factors that can readily affect the user experience should be the major concern of a UX designer. And s/he should look up for all the possibilities to enhance this experience every now and then. A company, looking to hire a UX designer, must pick the one who understands the need of proffering improved user experience with each of their services/products, thus claiming a long-lasting growth.

Role and Responsibilities of UI designer:

designing

As known, the prime responsibility of the UI designer is mainly concerned with visual and front-end designing. Improving the visibility, alignment, and orientation of the product are the major concerns of UI designers. Complete control on designing of web pages should be meticulously done by a UI designer along with performing other activities like doing research on designs, prototyping, and documentation of UI, etc. From regulating the flow of visual elements to ensuring the graphical consistency website’s user interface, a UI designer must do it all effectually.

Conclusion

Evidently, a large number of people associated with web design and development industry tend to mix both these terms, either for having the same meaning or mixing with their function & serviceability. Many of them often use these terms without having any idea about their meaning, origin, and scope of usage.

If you have some other reasons to differentiate UX and UI that can add up to this content and its credibility, then feel free to add your suggestions in the comment box below.

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