I just went over the best apps for design tools, but what about the best designed apps? Let’s see what there is out there that comes out on top.
First is the Arles Festival App. Clarity is one of the essential elements of a good UI design. It should not confuse your users nor give them a hard time figuring out how to use your interface. And you can find that in this app designed especially for the Arles Festival, which has around a hundred thousand recorded visitors annually since its inception.
Next is the Eda.ua – Food Delivery iPhone App. This mobile design version for an existing website is designed by a group of designers from the Ukraine. The app has both an iOS and Android version with a very friendly UI designed especially for the food delivery business. In order to meet usability standards, the designers conducted intensive market research and took note of various offbeat ideas. Then, they created and tested an interactive prototype with over 100 wireframes to ensure that the app design meets the needs of the client’s business.
Third is the Workout Book App. Unlike other workout apps, the Workout Book easily records your workouts and lets you see all the necessary information at a glance right on the home screen. Create your own workout with just a flick of your fingers and press save. Customize, set the day, and the targeted area you want to work on. Each workout has a color tag so you can easily look over them and monitor what you have missed.
Previously, I talked about the best SquareSpace websites out there. Now I am going to talk about the best weebly websites. I have had experience in designing a weebly site but it has always been difficult to find a design I like and can stick with because of the wide variety of options that it has.
This site is a snowboarding business that sells skiing equipment. They have their logo set at the top of the page, right above the navigation bar (see figure 1).
(figure 1) source: http://www.douksnow.com/#
Although it has a lot of options, the design is simple and easy to read. You can tell the difference between this site and Squarespace’s websites because it has the option to include a parallax feature, something that is trending today in design.
This website also has the parallax on the top part of the homepage. However, what separates this website from the squarespace websites is the use of color. On Squarespace, there is only a select few colors you can choose from, whereas this user has decided to use different colors because of the whimsical theme of events such as circuses and escape artists. I can see why someone would choose weebly over squarespace in terms of what their business is. Clearly, Squarespace is better for portfolio purposes, whereas weebly can provide for all sorts of businesses and people.
There is a website that I found that’s purpose is to inspire web designers and entrepreneurs with web designs and templates all over the internet (webdesign-inspiration.com) It includes fonts, templates, mockups, icons, vectors, textures, graphics, and more. Siteinspire.com serves the same purpose, except they showcase more interactive design and have a directory to find agencies. Thebestdesigns.com is another place to mark as a place to stop and look for people who may experience a creative block. Believe it or not, admiretheweb.com is yet another destination for inspirations on web design and trends that a designer might want to visit for an extra push on a project. And, of course, there is pinterest, filled with pinned templates and website designs that someone could come across to help them make that first step in creating a website. Of these websites, I enjoy the siteinspire.com the most because it has a random generator of websites that anyone can look at. I also keeps the sites organized on variety and not just one specific style that stands out online today. These are all important places to bookmark in case I am in need of inspirational creative design when I become a freelance web designer.
Creativebloq is a great place to find articles and advice on the world of web design. An experienced UI designer gives readers the low-down on what it’s like to be a user interface designer. He breaks down the work into four categories: you communicate with the client, you research, you design and prototype, and you communicate with the developers. Client communication is about understanding the client’s problem, the goal is to have an idea about what the client’s business is. This is a time where we as the designers ask a lot of questions to become an expert on their industry. “A tip for your own happiness here: choose the industries you work for wisely, so you don’t end up being an expert in something you don’t care about or have an interest in.”
The next phase is research, where I will have to do a lot of field studies, workshops with the client as well as analyze the competition. This step is necessary because it informs me on my design choices and can help me in the future when I need to explain why I made certain design choices.
Design and prototyping is when I sketch it out or start to code. This is where he talks about the editing tools he prefers to use, and mentions that everyone has a different place they like to go to for this step. “Being able to use the Adobe Creative Suite and apps like Sketch competently is the equivalent of being able to use a pencil to draw or a brush to paint.”
The final step is developer communication, which is a process of detailed specifications, provided assets, as well as reviewing the design with the client. “The best designers know the challenge isn’t in creating the design, but in communicating it – not only to the stakeholders who have to give their approval, but also to the developers who have to implement it.”
Based on my research, I think it would be a smart idea to have usability testing to get another set of eyes or a perspective on how users will use my site. For example, for the most recent project I created a website without considering people who might look at the site on a mobile device. Usability is necessary because it is proven to decrease support costs, increase user satisfaction, and save on development and redesign efforts (blastam.com).
Another reason I think usability testing is needed for web design is because it measures behavior, not preference. This can help me to understand what best supports the user’s goals and motivations.
Usability testing can make the site successful because it is an extra step that puts the users first. “The biggest challenge a website manager has is to understand how humans work, not how content management software or search engines work” (cmswire.com).
CMS wire refers to usability testing as a dire step for a website’s designed success. A website can be designed beautifully and colorfully, but that’s not the purpose of the site in the end. It all depends on the audience and the user’s experience.
“User behavior can change depending [on] the age, experience and interest of the user.” A great reason for usability testing. If I make a website on Veganism, I have to expect audiences of all types to understand what it is, and without user behavior in mind, I have practically just made a website for myself.