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Month: November 2015

There Are So Many Kinds Of Design!

There is a world of different kinds of designs, there are so many kinds of designs that it is hard to choose from.

Graphic design can be classified as several different fields from learning how to design graphics on a car to drawings on paper. Graphic design is where a person takes several colors or styles and put them together to make their own designs that can be turned into wild, contemporary or modern graphic designs.

Interior design is very popular among budding decorators. Interior design is also offered in some public schools as an elective to teach young students about the art of interior design. Interior design is not limited to just females; males can also enjoy interior design. Interior design is a class where you learn how to decorate the inside of something meaning it can be the inside of a car, business or home.

We all seem to get fascinated with tattoos at one point or another because of the color and intricate detail that can be found with tattoos. Tattoo design is learning how to draw different designs on the skin, learning what looks good and what does not. Learning how to tattoo isn’t just as easy as picking up a tube of ink and a needle and drawing there is a skill that must be learned.

The newer generations are getting really involved with web design and learning all they can about it. Have you ever searched the web for a particular topic and been taken away with the web design of the site itself? Web design is a great class for anyone to get involved with that likes working with computers. This kind of class deals with learning the knowledge behind the computer and different programs so you can design a web page for a school, retail storeComputer Technology Articles, business or any other kind of site that you may find when searching the web.

All girls it seems like at one point of their life want to become a fashion designer. We all strive to look different and unique and by learning fashion design you will learn the styles of clothes as well as what can be worn together and what can not in order to make it in the fashion world. Some of the most popular fashion designers started out doodling and just having a dream. Fashion design isn’t just hot among the girls but the boys are really getting interested in it as well.

No matter what type of design you want to learn there is a world of opportunity out there in all of them. A fashion designer isn’t just limited to just clothes and an interior designer isn’t just limited to a house. Design is opening up in all job fields. I am sure you will find the correct design choice for you.

Divus Design

Divus Design is a graphic design business located in South East Sydney … offering creative services … logo design, … … website design, … design, brochure desi

Divus Design is a graphic design business located in South East Sydney Australia offering creative services including logo design, corporate identity, website design, promotional design, brochure design, documentation & design, business stationery, print design & management and all general graphic design services. We at Divus Design know how important your business identity is and it’s more than just your sales team and the people who answer your telephones that portrayes the image of your business. When not in direct contact with your firm, your customers or potential customers use the impression in their heads or on paper about your business. It is ussually your corporate look that they think of when they think of you. The first impression of your company for a customer will probably be your logo, which they will use to make assumstions about your business. If your an IT company and your logo is sharp swift and technically advanced, thats the exact first impression that your customer will have of you and your business. – You konw what they say, first impressions last!

Our designs are creative and conceptual designs that work well and look good! We design from scratch every time making your corporate identity, logo, covers or advertisments one of a kind, and this is important in a competitive market more so than most would believe. Most of the time buying a product or service the decision is made subconsiously by the creative side of our brains. Our eyes pick up the easiest shapes and objects to recognise and the most asthetically pleasing images talk to us the best. At Divus Design we have few rules and bouderies to our work, however we always structure our creative thinking around these four words – CLEAN – SIMPLE – FRESH – CONCEPTUAL.

A Natural Work in Progress

Catherine Zimmerman’s first day as a TV news camerawoman started with a bang — literally.

Dressed in a skirt and boots, she was standing on an embankment, hoisting a 30-pound camera on her shoulder while filming bike riders when, suddenly, she lost her footing and fell. She quickly picked herself up, brushed herself off — and continued shooting as if nothing had happened.

This was the first challenge in her new career, but certainly not the last.

When Zimmerman started her job back in the mid-1970s at the NBC affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, she was the first camerawoman on staff and one of just a handful of women in the newsroom. She earned about $35 less a week than her male counterparts, even though she was more educated than they were.

“I was definitely a pioneer,” Zimmerman recalls. “And I had to deal with a lot of resistance. The cameramen were really threatened because they didn’t believe that a woman could do their job.”

To prove them wrong, Zimmerman worked harder and longer than anyone else — eventually garnering awards for her film work, as well as the respect of her male colleagues.

Now, 35 years later, Zimmerman is taking on a new challenge: She’s embarking on a career as a sustainable organic landscape designer.

Zimmerman, 57, started thinking about a career in landscaping nearly a decade ago. Though she enjoyed her work as a videographer, she wasn’t sure how much longer she’d be able to lug around such heavy camera equipment. So in 2002, she enrolled in a program at the Graduate School, where she began studying horiticulture and gardening. “Until then, I always thought of myself as a good gardener, but the more I learned, the more I realized how little I knew,” she says.

She developed an interest in organic gardening and decided to pursue that as her speciality. To reach more people, she used her film background to make videos about creating meadows without pesticides. This year, she released a self-published book: Urban & Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping to Big and Small Spaces.

Getting people to garden without chemicals hasn’t been easy. Each year, homeowners use about 78 million pounds of pesticides for lawn care and gardening, according to the National Audubon Society. But the tide seems to be turning.

“People are starting to understand that it doesn’t make sense to put poison where our children play or on what we eat,” says Bill Duesing of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Slowly, Zimmerman is starting to build up her business as an organic gardener. But the single mother of three still does freelance work as a videographer to make ends meet. As for the future, Zimmerman is open to exploring other career possibilities. “Who knows?” she says. “Something else really interesting might come along and I’ll take on that challenge.”

First impressions form quickly on the web eye tracking study shows

When viewing a website, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression, according to recent eye-tracking research conducted at Missouri University of Science and Technology. But it takes a little longer — about 2.6 seconds — for a user’s eyes to land on that area of a website that most influences their first impression.

“We know first impressions are very important,” says Dr. Hong Sheng, assistant professor of business and information technology at Missouri S&T. “As more people use the Internet to search for information, a user’s first impressions of a website can determine whether that user forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization.”

Sheng’s research with Sirjana Dahal, who received her graduate degree from Missouri S&T last December, could also help web designers understand which elements of a website’s design are most important for users.

For their research, Sheng and Dahal enlisted 20 Missouri S&T students to view screenshots, or static images, of the main websites from 25 law schools in the U.S. The researchers chose law schools because that degree is not offered at Missouri S&T, so students would not compare those degree programs with one offered at their own campus.

“We wanted to show them sites that were relevant to them but not familiar to them,” says Sheng, whose research specialty is human-computer interaction.

Using eye-tracking software and an infrared camera in Missouri S&T’s Laboratory for Information Technology Evaluation, the researchers monitored students’ eye movements as they scanned the web pages. The researchers then analyzed the eye-tracking data to determine how long it took for the students to focus on specific sections of a page — such as the menu, logo, images and social media icons — before they moved on to another section.

Sheng and Dahal found that their subjects spent about 2.6 seconds scanning a website before focusing on a particular section. They spent an average of 180 milliseconds focusing, or “fixating,” on one particular section before moving on.

After each viewing of a website, Sheng and Dahal asked students to rate sites based on aesthetics, visual appeal and other design factors.

“The longer the participants stayed on the page, the more favorable their impressions were,” Sheng says. “First impressions are important for keeping people on pages.”

Sixteen of the 25 websites reviewed in the study were considered favorable by the subjects, Sheng says.

Through this research, Sheng and Dahal found that seven sections of the reviewed websites attracted the most interest from users. The participants spent an average of 20 seconds on each website.

The website sections that drew the most interest from viewers were as follows:

  • The institution’s logo. Users spent about 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.
  • The main navigation menu. Almost as popular as the logo, subjects spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing the menu.
  • The search box, where users focused for just over 6 seconds.
  • Social networking links to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users spent about 5.95 seconds viewing these areas.
  • The site’s main image, where users’ eyes fixated for an average of 5.94 seconds.
  • The site’s written content, where users spent about 5.59 seconds.
  • The bottom of a website, where users spent about 5.25 seconds.

Sheng notes that use of social media links may be of particular interest for college students, more so than for the general population.

Although use of color was not part of the eye-tracking study, participants indicated that it did influence their impressions of websites. “Participants recommended the main color and background color be pleasant and attractive, and the contrast of the text color should be such that it is easier to read,” Dahal wrote in her master’s thesis, titled “Eyes Don’t Lie: Understanding Users’ First Impressions on Website Design Using Eye Tracking.”

The use of images was also an important factor in web design, the subjects of the study said. “You must choose your main picture very carefully,” Sheng says. “An inappropriate image can lead to an unfavorable response from viewers.”

The researchers showed students screenshots of the websites, rather than the actual sites, because website download speed, mouse movement and other factors can influence how people interact with websites. In addition, the S&T students were also under no time constraints. The students could view the pages for as long as they wished to form an impression. “Time constraints can affect user behavior,” Sheng says.

A Great Place to Raise a Family

When my husband told me to go to a new launch website that shows all of the new condos in the Singapore area, I was so excited. We had been talking about moving into one of the new developments, but I honestly did not think that we would for a while. We had just found out that I was pregnant with our first child though, and he wanted all of us to live in a better area. I was really happy that this was happening on a faster timetable than I had imagined, and I went to the website he told me about to start looking for our new home.

This site was so great because it really did all of the homework for me. I did not have to go to each individual condo development’s website to get details.

Read More

Magical Micro interactions

You understand and have created an app that looks amazing. It has a cool story and the visual design is impressive. But that’s not enough — it needs more, something that really connects with users and feels alive.

That’s where micro-interactions come in.

Micro-interactions are the secret ingredient  when it comes to creating an addictive app. These design moments keep users engaged, create unexpected delight  and are almost invisible to everyone but the designer.

You come across micro-interactions hundreds of times a day.

Each time you end an alarm, see a text message flash across the screen, are reminded of your turn in a game, skip a song in a music player or even as you change course based on traffic alerts during your morning commute. Every one of these tiny moments  forms a micro-interaction. And it’s likely that you don’t think about any of them, but each one contributes to why you continually use specific apps day after day.

What Are Micro-interactions?

A micro-interaction is any single task-based engagement with a device. Most of these engagements are barely noticeable, provided the flow feels smooth.

As described in Dan Saffer’s excellent book (highly recommended), micro-interactions help fulfill three specific functions:

  • Quickly communicate status or feedback
  • Visualize the result of an action
  • Help the user manipulate something on-screen

Slack, above, is a great  app that does all three of these jobs in one package. The app allows users to communicate in a closed-loop chat, attach documents and tag one another. All the while, the app provides real-time updates (such as marking messages as read) and helps users navigate around. It also uses notifications and other small actions to keep users in sync with what’s being communicated.

Microinteractions impact the user and function of the app in a variety of ways:

  • Turning things off or on
  • Commenting in any digital medium
  • Changing a setting or process
  • Checking a message or a notification
  • Sliding down the “screen” on a mobile device to refresh content
  • Interacting with a data element, such as checking the weather
  • Accomplishing isolated tasks
  • Connecting devices, such as those for multi-player games, or printing from your laptop
  • Sharing or liking a photo or video on a website

Simply put, a micro-interaction is an action from the user that triggers another action on the part of the device. Each of the interactions is based on a human-centered design concept, where the digital tool works and functions mirrors how a person would actually do something. And that’s the secret sauce to usability – interactions that behave as expected and in a “human way.”

In the example above designed with UXPin, we prototyped a website for finding fashion models. A card repesents each model, showing metric measurements and a business card download when you hover over the person’s face. For this particular scenario, the microinteraction reveals information smoothly. The animation adds some discoverability, making the design respond more lifelike to the user’s actions.

What Do Micro-interactions Really Do?

As you can see from the list above – and in no way is it inclusive of every micro-interaction – micro-interactions serve multiple roles. But speaking less specifically, they should always create engagement.

When you are considering how to design a micro-interaction, think not only about the specific action or task at hand but also what it should “do” as part of the overall user experience.

In essence, micro-interactions should make the user feel or do something physically:

  • Touch the screen
  • Smile with delight
  • Learn or understand something
  • Connect to another user

The Elevate app above uses each of these components in the game-style learning interface. Users must touch the screen in order to answer the questions and correct answers while nifty animations serve to delight users. The app allows users to train their brains (the pictured game is designed to help you with grammar and usage). Users can share scores and results with friends and other app users.

It sounds like a lot for a simple game to do, right? But these are the kinds of things users have come to expect from almost every app.

As explained in the guide Mobile Design Trends 2015 & 2016, these actions are at the heart of why micro-interactions work. These tiny, lightweight “digital moments” feel like and are perceived as an emotional linkage. The micro-interaction allows the user to feel something or reach out to another user or object.

Four Elements of a Micro-interaction

At the forefront of micro-interactions is Dan Saffer.

Just Google “micro-interaction” and his name is linked to almost all of the definitive information on the topic in some way. He wrote the book – quite literally – on this topic. Saffer focuses on a four-part structure for micro-interactions and it is truly the best way to understand how to create them.

  • Trigger: Initiates the microinteraction.  For example, I click on a heart icon to favorite a page.
  • Rules: The way the interaction behaves. The user cannot “see” the rules, but only understands them through feedback (the next stage). In this case, clicking the heart icon will add that page to the user’s feed.
  • Feedback: How the design communicates the microinteraction to the user. The heart icon filling with color and bouncing, accompanied by a dissipating “Saved to feed!” message informs users of what happened.
  • Loops and Modes: Determines the length of microinteraction and how it repeats or evolves with time. For example, the micro-interaction we described now evolves to deliver us content from our favorited page, and might even remind us in 6 months when we first liked the page.

Each of these parts is present in every interaction to create a cycle for how things work. As Saffer describes, most users never even notice micro-interactions unless they break down.

Are You Considering Feedback?

Feedback is the most important part of the micro-interaction cycle. This is the stage of the micro-interaction where the user and interface connect. Feedback determines exactly how a micro-interaction will work.

Think about it this way. You need to get up at 7 a.m. and set an alarm on your phone. What happens when that alarm goes off? Do you get up and turn off the alarm? Or do you hit snooze? This simple action tells the app what micro-interaction comes next – reset the alarm for the next cycle or go off again in 9 minutes. The feedback loop between the user and system is now complete.

Without the initial  feedback from the user, the sound of the alarm never stops. It does not reset. The open cycle allows it to work again over and over.

It’s the same when checking off items on a to-do list, like the one above from Wunderlist. By ticking a check mark next to an item, you tell the app to trigger the micro-interaction of striking the item off your to-do list. In an instant, you now know which items are complete and which are pending. The satisfaction of completing a task further encourages you to complete more tasks, thus interacting further with the app.

While this is a really simple example, there is a lot to learn from it. Primarily, it shows us  that users want to engage with a micro-interaction in a way that clearly creates a next step (the loop) and want it to work intuitively enough that it can evolve over time and usage.

Designing Details is at the Heart of Micro-interaction

The way a micro-interaction is designed and how you handle the details will make or break your projects. Interaction is a must-have design element that you can’t ignore.

But how do you design it? What should you think about?

  • Micro-interactions must survive repeated use. Avoid gimmicks or animations purely for the sake of being clever. Remember your microinteractions must have longevity since they can’t feel annoying with long-term use.
  • Simplicity is the key. Straightforward language, clear typography, vibrant colors, structured design. Execute the fundamentals well and don’t add any more detail than you need to.
  • Micro-interaction must feel human. Text should read like people talk. The design should communicate emotion in all its forms.
  • Mind the copy. All copy should match the moment. Apply the correct tone so the text feels respectful, helpful, and as lighthearted as possible.
  • Create some fun with animation, but exercise moderation. Think about how the icons in OSX bounce as new programs load. The animation informs you that the program is responding but it doesn’t burden your current actions. Strive for the same usefulness in your animations since they are much more than just visual delight.
  • Seek harmony. Contrast is your friend, but use it carefully. When you get down to specific moments of a user experience, details like color theory matter more than you think. If your app uses a green color scheme, make sure the colors flow through your micro-interactions. Each moment should feel visually connected to the larger app design.
  • Think about how microinteractions evolve. Does the microinteraction behave exactly the same on the first and thousandth time? Or does it evolve over time? For example, think about how an alarm becomes louder as you keep hitting the snooze. If you want to stand apart from other designs, you must consider these details.
  • However, don’t obsess too much. Overdesign is the death of micro-interactions. Once you’ve communicated the message in a quickly and delightfully, get out of the way and smoothly transition back into the normal flow of tasks.

Takeaways

Micro-interactions are the key component to an app design that people want to use. They help create engagement, contribute to function and delight users. Pull it all together and you need to create tiny moments that users don’t see, but need or want so that your app is a vital part of their daily lives.

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