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Whether a mystery is intriguing or not depends a lot on how you tell it. “Abstract ideas, when combined with the correct medium, give rise to captivating artworks” says illustrator Saloni Sinha. She shares some secrets on how to attain the idea-medium sync.

Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

It’s a no chicken or egg analogy.

The idea comes first. Period. The medium gives a vent to portray the context like in ‘Skating Glory’, an installation made for NID Bangalore’s annual fest. For this artwork, illustrations using poster paints were made on corrugated sheets which were later cut into skateboard shape so as to give it a fun and raw college-like look.

Skating Glory
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story
Saptan Stories, Illustrative Story

At times, the medium participates in the idea as in the case of the glass etched illustration ‘Evolve’. The creature that is depicted is embedded rather than staying in its free form, implying the translucency of the creature’s existence.

Evolve
Cornucopia, Event Poster

Mix it up to sort it out.

Mixed media works best when it comes to abstraction of ideas. The traditional style of inking, when later coloured digitally, helps give the artwork a modern philosophical look. The idea in ‘Escapism’ is all about observing, guarding and the dilation of these when observed from a different perspective. And the digital aspect, like the hazy boundaries and the surreal surroundings, help dramatise the theme.

Escapism
Amogh Symphony - IV, Album cover art
YSP - Chaos // Despair, Album cover

A mix is also noticeable in ‘Droid in Process’ that has an illustration against a digitally created futuristic background, giving it a unique appeal.

Silver Tears - Ensnared, Album cover

While working with mixed media, it’s important to not let the medium disrupt your idea. The medium should enhance the thought. Like in ‘Profanity’, digital tones of light and dark are used to showcase the power of the illustrated dark lord.

Profanity
Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society, Branding and Educational Posters

Colour code the thoughts.

Though colour patterns vary from medium to medium, the basic fact remains that colours are selected keeping in mind the mood of the context. The saturated ones suggest vigour and powerful ideas as in ‘Bloom’. The creature’s bright green dress gives a vive of purity and harmonistic perspective of nature. Her bright red hair gives the feeling of passion and joyousness that nature has to offer.

Bloom, depicts the comfort and the bloom of the nature

On the other hand the dull colours talk about the subtleness or the illusive nature of the idea. ‘The Grand Escape’ stays in the grey zone to highlight the underlying theme. The artwork suggests the collision of thoughts in an abstract way which leads to the breakfree of a mind that then spreads into a different zone.

The Grand Escape
Practo, UI/UX

Symbolisms, metaphors and analogies are also mediums.

Abstraction involves disguising plane visions. The illustrated mechanical hand of Frankenstein in ‘Bring Me to Life’ depicts the conscious idea of destruction by our own. But the twist in observation here is that the posture of the hand is not threatening in any sense, rather it is playful. The ugly mechanical hand tries to explore the beauty of the butterfly in a way he isn’t aware of, as he was never taught the love behind his creation. The underlying thought, is that the ugliness we are born with doesn’t traverse if the love and care doesn’t.

Bring Me to Life

In ‘Tangles of Insanity’, the creature, its lustrous outgrowths and the dark background can be compared to the mind and mood of the artist who spreads the brushes rhythmically on to the canvas, creating a dilemma for itself and plunging into the dark corners of the mind in order to deviate from the general consciousness.

‘Not Just Another Pill’ uses the analogy of the effects of drugs. The random outburst of mixed feelings out of the node and the hand symbolises, it’s about how you take the pill and adapt it in your life. Metaphorically, it’s the feel good factor of a thought or an idea incepted in the human mind.

Not Just Another Pill
Jeepers Creepers - In Constant State of Crisis, EP cover

Published in Issue 14

Digital Art Special! We dedicated this issue to Digital Art where we explored the connection between our dreams and imagination and how the flexibility of technology can be used to document that. In his exclusive article, Android Jones explains the broader perspective of digital art. Featuring Ankur Singh Patar, Archan Nair, Harshvardhan Kadam and Aamina Shazi Arora, every article discusses how each of them has an individual way of working and yet they all look at life beyond the obvious to appreciate it’s beauty.

 

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User experience is embracing a widespread implementation of trending technologies like voice user interface, smart home devices, and much more. The basics of designing these experiences might have remained unchanged, but the birth of these technologies have definitely brought changes in user behavioral patterns. Thus, it demands new user experiences and solutions.

2018 has been a year when UX has been at the inside stage. Despite the fact that this sign will proceed in 2019, there are sure-shot trends that are probably going to rule the scene. Along these lines, we have listed 3 most important UX design trends that are going to redefine this domain.

01
The Paradigm Shift from Flat to Material Design

The ‘Flat Design’ focuses mostly upon minimalism — open, clean, and crisp edges, usability, and the addition of bright colors with the help of 2D illustrations. When compared to flat design, ‘Material Design’ took birth in the year 2014 and since then the UX design has drifted more towards grid-based layouts, engaging responsive animations, light and shading features, 3D icons, and much more.

UX Design
Source: https://appinventiv.com/blog/flat-design-or-material-design-which-one-to-prefer

In the year 2019, it’s time to say goodbye to bland minimalism of flat design — it doesn’t work perfectly anymore. Embrace the increased liveliness, interactivity, and detailing that comes along with the material design – the need of the hour.


02
Voice-Command will Continue to Evolve

The revolution of voice-command technology has paved the way for various voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Home, Echo, and much more. Its bombardment has caused ripples in the UX design industry, which will continue to be caused even in the year 2019. It is expected that this industry is going to be worth the US $21.5 billion by 2024.

UX Design
Source: www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/speech-voice-recognition-market-202401714

In the year 2019, designers will have to invest their focus on coming up with the designs, focused on voice-command technology. Designs for multimodal interfaces — a perfect amalgamation of voice and visuals may also rule in the year 2019.


03
Content-Focused Experiences

No doubt in the fact that content is king, but remember, the design is the queen and together they can attract user base across any genre or segment. In today’s fast-paced, highly digitized society, the attention span of a human has dropped down to 8 seconds from 12 seconds.

Thus, the designer’s role has expanded from understanding a user’s customer journey to telling compelling stories around digital experience in a limited time span. And this trend will completely rule in the year 2019.

UX Design
Source: www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/speech-voice-recognition-market-202401714

Design, in 2019, will be much more informed and will revolve around customer wants, user data, their preferences, and journeys. This will be the year of live videos and increased personalization.

UX Design and Success goes hand-in-hand

Whether it is 2018 or 2019, the basic rule of UX design is that it has to deliver a flawless digital experience on all devices and interfaces. Planning in light of user experience will keep on being a top priority in 2019 as we continue to deliver cutting edge and consistent products to customers through the UX industry.

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When it comes to design, the first impression is always the last impression. Your users may like your website, but how do you make them fall in love with it?

All roads to this question leads to the human centered design approach where designs are created keeping the user in mind. Every designer worth his salt knows that appealing and practical interfaces helps their client reel in the users. Ideally an interface should be like a personal guide answering questions that users are looking for instantly without confusing them and thereby enhancing their experience.

And this is where Microinteractions come into play. They acknowledge the users and give them the necessary feedback in real-time by making them understand the current process, thereby making the interface more interactive. They are sort of omnipresent, they are everywhere, from turning off your mobile to loading a video. Maybe they can go unnoticed at times but one thing’s for sure: their proper use (or misuse) can make or break a product.

In the UX/UI world, although tiny, microinteractions are touted as the powerhouse when it comes with communicating with the user. Below are top seven microinteractions and their impact on user experience by Shiv Shankar, UI Designer, Lollypop Studio:

1. Swipe

The Swipe action eliminates tapping and is much more interactive and smooth. It helps the user quickly switch between the tabs and acquire more information about the product. Furthermore swiping is a very common gesture and guides the users subconsciously without making them think; just like we have been reading ‘Don’t make your users think’. What more? It’s insanely fun and addictive.


2. Data Input

All of us know the frustrations of setting up a password or creating an account. This action can easily raise hackles. While proactive suggestions on password strength and usage make it easy for the user to proceed ahead, some interactive interactions at the time of data input also keep users engaged with the process and help accomplish the goal.


3. Animations

Animation simply enables and improves micro-interactions. They personify good design; their presence might not be noticed but absence takes a toll on everyone. They act like a glue that helps designers make the simplest of processes interesting and addictive. But be very careful as they are meant to engage the users and not distract or frustrate them; delayed processing or introducing new style in the website might cause confusion.


4. Current System Status

It is essential to keep the user informed about the current status happening on a site or app. If the users are not informed chances are that they will get annoyed and close the site or app. Microinteractions lets the user know exactly what is going on, how long it will take the process to complete etc. Even failure messages can be humorous yet effective to retain the trust of a user.


5. Make Tutorials Interesting

Everybody is constantly seeking information, all of us. Tutorials with the help of microinteraction, guides the users about working of an application by simplifying and highlighting the basic features and important controls for easy understanding. that are important in function and required for further usage with fluidity.


6. Call to Action

Microinteractions essentially nudges the user to interact with an application or website. Call to action instils a feeling of achievement and also empathy factor in user behaviour and the best way to make your user interact with CTA is to make it engaging to entice the interest of the user.

Microinteractions

7. Animated Buttons

They play the role of information manager by letting the user know their way through your app or site. We need to pay attention to colour, shape, special effects, animations, placement and texture to make the user experience seamless.

We humans are hardwired to seek instant gratification. And it is a common tendency to overlook microinteractions in the greater scheme of things, but these are very important to get your users hooked.

Devil is in the detail- as everyone says. Small experiences and design features, like toggling between screens or highlighting a feature or popping off a new notification can make a huge difference in enhancing the user’s experience.

Every day at Lollypop we strive to improve the UX by making the UI less machine and more human. And Microinteractions definitely help us achieve this goal as they are after all designed with empathy and
users in mind!

– article by Shiv Shankar, UI Designer, Lollypop Studio

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