Design trends will always be part of the design landscape, and now – thanks to social media – the more successful ones will spread like wildfire across the world (ahem, flat design). It can be all too easy for us designers to jump on these trends and dedicate our energies to them, but as more and more trends emerge, it’s up to us to think critically about each design trend and see whether it actually is something worth spending time on.
We are no longer in the age of the solo designer, heroically working in Photoshop creating pixel-perfect designs that get thrown over the wall to development teams. Us designers need to embrace the plethora of UX tools available to us now that help bridge the gap between design and development, like Sketch and Zeplin.
There are so many hungry designers out there, who have traditionally thought of themselves as web, graphic or UI designers, that are now getting skilled up and educated about UX design. These designers bring tons of skills from other disciplines and are becoming real hybrid designers. So, traditional ‘pure’ UX designers might need to think about skilling up in other areas to remain competitive.
As technology progresses, we are being called upon to consider experiences that are more than just visual. Where you are looking, what you are hearing, how you are touching – all of these are becoming increasingly important for UX designers to think about; it’s not just what our users are seeing on a screen. It’s really important we keep educated about the possibilities of technology and think about how we can design full experiences for all the senses.
Wireframes are traditionally a staple deliverable of UX designers, but how can we level wireframes up to cope with the expectations of today’s design climate, where motion, gestures and interactivity rule? What is the next evolution of the wireframe and how can it best support our teams? Expect to see some exciting iterations pushing the boundaries of what we think a wireframe is.
A growing skill area for UX designers is the ability to creatively facilitate workshops, design sprints and meetings. The aim it to be an effective catalyst to propel teams to ideas, decisions and outcomes that are steps ahead of the pack. Leading teams through games, activities and discussions is a crucial job responsibility that more and more companies are jumping on.
On – 28 Apr, 2017 By Yael Levey
All business website design begins in the same way, regardless of how simple or complicated the final, finished product may be. The planning and visualization process is the same, although individual requirements may differ greatly. Part of that planning includes the use of wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, all different tools that serve individual purposes in the web design process.
The simplest of all planning elements used in web design, a wireframe is a basic drawing of a website’s different pages. It is a static roadmap that includes the different functional elements on the different web pages and the pages that will be required to make the site fully functional. A wireframe, whether made on the computer or using sheets of paper, is made with drawn-in labeled boxes to represent the different elements on the page, with a very brief description of what each element must contain or do. This blueprint of the site provides the needed instruction that developers and designers will work from in the construction of any business website design.
The next step in the process, after a successful wireframe has been built, is to create a mockup. The mockup takes the wireframe and adds a visual aspect. Like the wireframe, the mockup is also a static element; however, it gives a greater appreciation of how the website will look as its design is being developed. Mockups include chosen color palettes, corporate logos, graphic elements, and representative typefaces to build a sample of what the end site will look like.
Its main purpose is to allow clients and designers to work together to make visual decisions. Using a mockup, many visual and even some functional questions can be considered and resolved before actually beginning web design and development work.
A prototype is a pared-down, yet functional version of a website that is produced after both the wireframe and the mockup have been approved. Prototypes include basic functionality and visual elements, though they are not what the the completed business website design will be at the end of the process.
Built to allow website testing and the study of how specific audiences interact with the site, prototypes are one more tool used to ensure the final site can function as required and achieve its many goals. Prototypes are usually released to a limited audience, then evaluated to determine if there are any changes that should be made to either the base wireframe idea or the visual aspect of the site. Once the prototype is finally approved, it is fully developed into the complete website.
Although they do seem very similar in a number of ways, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes are each critical elements in the web design and development process. Each tool offers all parties involved with the project a chance to consider everything from required functionality to fitting in the right colors and visual elements. Used to gradually fine-tune the development plan, these tools are critical for most efficiently creating an effective business website design!
On – 25 Apr, 2017 By