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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.

Arun Pattnaik has been designing UX & UI with empathy and compassion for the user; employing classic design principles rather than blindly following trends has been helping him build his own fortress of work that he isn’t afraid to show off.

CG. What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have that help you achieve your desired UX & UI?

Arun. I start with the user persona, which is important to understand the users’ needs, behaviour, expectations, and general psyche, and thus build the product around these factors. Once I have a detailed persona set up, I research ways to best match business goals with the persona.

 

During this process, I create workflows, user journeys, and eventually wireframes, keeping the stakeholders in the loop at all times. Many designers tend to skip the wireframe phase due to the time it takes. However, I find that those extra few hours at the beginning stage can potentially save several days of rework.

 

Next, I usually look up to the clients’ competitors, in order to validate my ideas and approaches. Dribble and Behance are also great resources to look for general design inspiration.

CG. How do you narrow down to a specific element and work on making it more important? How does your core thought (the subject of your work or the way it is executed) make its way from initial ideas to the final output?

Arun. There is no magic here. I make sure the user and his experience remain at the core of entire product’s process. As mentioned earlier, starting with user persona helps a lot. A quick hack is to ask yourself questions like, ‘what does the user intend to do?’ ‘What is the user’s expectation here?’ and ‘Is this the best way to do this?’ at every step of the process.

 

While listing down possible features, which could be built-in the product, I usually identify and separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘good-to-haves’. One of the must-haves becomes the USP, which becomes an integral part of everything from initial idea to the final output.

CG. How is your approach different from others around you? What inspires your work and develops your style?

Arun. I don’t think my approach is very different from other designers. But I spend a lot of time researching, a.k.a. sharpening the axe, before actually starting the design. And this has worked very well for me so far.

 

Apart from that, I make sure to put a lot of empathy into each project I work on. I believe empathy towards the user is what makes or breaks a product. A lot of research goes into every successful design you see today.

CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client before you start working with a new product/company?

Arun. I ensure to completely understand the client’s goals of a project. If it’s a new product, I usually start with a basic market research, followed by user interviews. As a UX & UI guy, my priority is to build a bridge between the user’s expectations and the business goals.

 

There are times when the client would ask for more features. While the client can see its benefits, it also adds risks of building too many features your users might not even want. For a successful product, you need to draw a line between what you can build and what you should.

CG. We live in a multi-media world where people want quick information and fast response rates. Creative businesses have wide opportunities but also challenges. How has this affected your style of work?

Arun. This is actually a good problem to have. With more challenges, the product designers are getting increasingly innovative in solving problems. We’re seeing an entirely new level of design thinking across product designs, especially digital products. From iPhone to Hyperloop, innovation is constantly being driven by challenges.

 

This hasn’t really affected my style of work directly. Being a one-man consultancy, the biggest challenge I face is to manage all the non-design tasks which I manage with few auto-responders and the quality of my portfolio.

CG. How important is the UX & UI for the success of any project? And how do you make the client understand the same?

Arun. There is no such thing as ‘no UX’. A product either has a good UX or a bad UX hence it is very crucial to focus on creating a good UX from the beginning. If you use something and don’t feel great about it, then either the UX is badly designed or not designed at all.

 

The business value of UX design is so colossal; one can simply not afford to ignore the importance of a good design in driving your product’s success. It is even more important for young businesses and start-ups, as they usually lack a brand reputation to fall back on. In the last few years, the start-ups have been able to give head on competition to the industry behemoths.

 

I get a lot of clients who either do not know about UX design or have a misconception that it’s just a small part of UI. While onboarding the clients, I usually give them a few examples to explain the importance of investing in good UX.

CG. Your advice to budding UI and UX designers?

Arun. Design with empathy and have compassion for the user. If you want to guarantee a great experience, you need to learn how to fulfil the precise expectations of your users, with the minimum of effort. Focus your attention toward the design problem instead of individual design preferences may help.

 

Paint the back of the fences. Pay close attention to details. Sometimes the difference between your product and your competitors’ is a number of details you put in.

Lastly, if you’re a designer and new to freelancing, brace yourself for a lot of struggle in the beginning. Everyone does it, everyone starts there, including the top designers you keep hearing about. If you don’t get work outside, make sure you work on the inside.

 

When you work hard, it shows. You work doesn’t only need to be a client’s project. Build something on your own, and don’t be afraid to show it off. You will get negative feedback; use it wisely to get better.

Published in Issue 36

Every year brings a lot of hope and promises. With a New Year resolutions list (which might be lost by now) and hope of everything will change for good, we all welcomed 2017. This issue explored, how these changes will affect our businesses and how we can be prepared for the growth predicted by the experts. The Wise Advice section includes pieces of advice on the web, mobile apps, user interface and user experience from well-known industry experts. Arun Pattnaik, a self-learned UX & UI expert also highlighted the importance of user experience in the process of building a strong brand. This issue gives you hint about tends to keep an eye on and how to be ready for it! So not just for the business owners but also for upcoming creative entrepreneurs this one is a must read!

 

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With trends changing at light speed, no one wants to be left behind. With new trends, come new ways of self-promotion and expression, for everyone wants to make their own mark in this huge world of popping talents. So neither should you be left behind in exploring what it takes your portfolio to be noticed and be unique!

Diving into an ocean full of talent across countries and continents is not at all easy. It needs a certain methodology to be followed to remain afloat. The first and the most important step is being easily discoverable across various media and there’s no better tool than creating a portfolio website showcasing ones’ works to achieve this.

 

Creating a portfolio or personal website can be quite cumbersome. But following the tips here can definitely make life simpler!

1. User-Friendly Interface

As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression and so the first look of the website should be able to capture the viewers’ attention for them to explore further. This is easily achieved when the screen looks user-friendly, indicating a simple navigation system through the website.

Portfolio Website

Sweety & Co. is a multidisciplinary team that aims at creating emotional bonds between people, products and brands through design. Their goal is to transform the product into objects of desire through sweetness, vibrancy and joy and this is very easily understandable from the organisation of their website. This indeed transmits signals of easy and direct navigation to what one wants.


2. Simple and Easy Language

Impressing a reader is all about the play of words but sometimes being basic is all it takes to grab the needed attention.

 

The quality of the written content is an important factor when it comes to promoting oneself. Use of simple words at the right places in a smart manner can make all the difference.

Being simple and easy is not just through word usage, but the content arrangement on the main and sub pages also matters. Optimising the content for a desktop and a mobile is needed at present considering the fact browsing is possible from anywhere and everywhere. This is a perfect example of a website with simple and easy language.


3. Graphical Representation

Browsing through a website is usually followed by the website’s graphical content and representation leaving an impact on the reader’s mind. In order to have a positive impact on peoples’ mind, the designer must pay attention to the graphical data put up.

 

Adding small and minute details speak for itself and show the readers the interest that one takes in designing even the not-so-important parts of the personal website. This gives the designer an edge over the others as not everyone focusses on these intricacies.

 

Being monotonous with just visual imagery or long paragraphs of written text is a big no-no as it only drives the readers away. Balancing out between the visual imagery and its written counterpart is a must for a site to have more traffic.

 

Sometimes what works out is following a theme.

Malika Favre, a London-based French graphic artist has used her profession to her advantage in creating her portfolio website. This has a just right balance of graphics, composition, colours and text to make the reader aware of the skill set of the designer!

Not too less and not too much!

 

Nike, as we all know is known to come up with the best of the advertising styles. This part of their website, in particular, focuses on ‘Show of Force’ through words and visuals in equilibrium and is easily comprehended by the reader.


4. Static and Dynamic Elements

As we all know that it’s a human tendency to be attracted to moving objects compared to still objects, so sometimes a small animated element does the magic of seeking attention. These animations are referred to as gifs.

 

Readily available for download and also easy to create in photoshop, gifs surely do make a difference to the overall appearance of a website.

Bleed is an independent design consultancy that helps clients in creating outstanding experiences and identities. Their goal is very visible through their own website design which has a smart mix of moving and still content. The moving content, in particular, keeps the viewer glued to discover what’s next.


5. Conveying and Communicating

In today’s’ times, being successful invariably means standing out from the crowd. This is very easily possible when the designer is able to communicate about who he is, what he does and what he has to offer.

Adam is a creative digital designer and developer specialising in interactive experiences for web, mobile and
tablet devices. His specialisation can be seen and experienced the minute one enters his website. This is a big conveying factor and acts as a guarantor for the client about the quality of work that the designer will deliver. The designer should be aware that the reader is also the business-giver for the designer.

 

Keeping the above-mentioned pointers in mind while designing a personal website, the designer can strike a balance between the written content and the visualisations in order to convey his point to the reader or the business-giver in an interesting way.


6. The Essence

For any piece of work to be lively, communicative and energetic, it needs to have the spirit of its designer, else it is just a piece of work.

Fabio Bergamaschi is an information and visual designer, who has used the skills of his profession to create his personal website. The use of a single colour to highlight certain points is a smart choice. This showcases a perfect balance of text, visuals and positive and negative space.

Magic transpires when designers unleash their true potential. Studio’s website is a platform where designers showcases part of themselves; the culture, the values and most importantly the capabilities. Since constraints are close to none, the thrill is also like none other and experimenting with otherwise distant ideas turn into a reality.

Every designer here is a king; the platform is a home ground where every inch is known and every control in own hands. With power comes responsibility and every designer considers the below mentioned pointers by Lollypop Studio to ensure they set the benchmark:

1. Culture is Design

Culture is beautiful, it adds so many colours to human existence and at the same time provides a uniqueness to a group of people. Similarly, every studio has its own culture, its own way of doing things, its own set of values and ethos. Design can visually communicate the studios vibes with visitors as soon as they get on the platform. Good design embeds culture and it flows in design so seamlessly, so tastefully, that it triggers the emotions within everyone who visit the site and sets that subconscious connection which otherwise is not possible. About us and Career Pages can mirror behind the scenes.


2. Thrive on Design Wizardry

Design unicorns are the most sought after and its true. But, every studio has a niche that they excel in and showing off the core is a great idea. This could probably ease the efforts required in realizing the dream that every studio aspires to such as big brands, kickass ideas and cool designs. Paint the bigger picture, of course; but always hit the right chords.


3. Experiment Leads to Innovation

Being at the forefront of creativity and usability, designers need to experiment with the latest trends and technology that fall in line with the studio. It can be completely crazy and mind-blowing concepts with elements never heard or seen; however, these elements should not confuse users or site visitors. Every element should be meaningful yet novice and should fall together like pieces of an intriguing puzzle. From micro-interactions to illustrations to layout to navigation, everything can be experimented with and mark an era of new design language. Iterating and staying abreast with technological and design change offers an advantage and lends an upper hand when selling to clients.


4. Give Attention to Soul of Studio

If heart stops pumping the blood, everything falls apart. Similarly, if the required attention is not given to the work that has been crafted, everything will go for a toss. Take time to present your designs beautifully; it should centre around the challenges and crafted solutions and not beautiful mock-ups. And, they should open at the landing page itself, keeping the principle of ‘Don’t make users think’ intact. This has to be the selling point and should showcase the competitive advantage that can be shaped by the studio.


5. Don’t Follow – Lead!

World is a funny place as it asks for proofs time and again even after you have set your mark. And, with ever changing digital ecosystem, it becomes all the more important to set the benchmark in the field of design. So, why not be a leader and among the first few adopters who sets the standards and benchmarks for the rest? Design a new website with every changing year or the two bringing in the innovative elements and mirroring the new trends; better, create your own trends! This is also the cleverest move to stay ahead of competition. Constant change can be beautifully moulded into an advantage while creativity stays at
its best.


6. Show-off the Unique Self

A peek into the design process and studio life through pictures and a culture video can pump up an enticing lot of energy into website design. The tiniest of emotional connect matters and move visitors when it hits the right chord. Pictures and videos also drives the trust factor as visitors watch how the words are being lived up to.

Conclusion

There can never be a right or wrong way of designing, it is pervasive and ironically subjective. With billion perceptions and ever-growing technological advancements, it’s easier to strive to deliver to the best of capabilities keeping learning and unlearning at the centre. Happy Designing!

Author: Sathish Natarajan, Lead UI Designer
Image Credit: Preethika Asokan, Illustrator

The barriers have broken and the people unified, all thanks to the World Wide Web. This, for designers is nothing less than a revolution. British freelance graphic designer, Chloe Galea, who now lives in Berlin, has made the most of this invention to provide modern designs for clients situated worldwide. Here, in a conversation with Creative Gaga, she tells us more about how she reaches out to the wider audience with her design and technology.

CG: Your designs seem very systematic, columned and well-organised. Is this your style? How do you and your design sense and techniques change when designing for the web, as compared to other canvases?

Chloë: Order and space are vital components in digital designing. I think it is aesthetics that I appreciate in many aspects of my life. As my flat is certainly bright, airy and decorated in a fairly limited palette. Plus, I think that my continued interest in print and editorial design has meant that I am always working with grids and looking at how best to structure the content I am given. The basics don’t change much when it comes to designing for digital or web either. The style still employs a grid, where careful attention is paid to typography and its hierarchy. At the same time, it is vital to strike a visual balance that makes the design look right. There are obviously different restraints that must be taken into account when working on print or digital design, but other than these technicalities, nothing much changes.

CG: Being European, where art and design are culturally embedded and dates back to memorable artists and evergreen creations; how are brands, clients and audience taking to the present web activity?

Chloë: It’s like homogeneous mixture, where it’s hard to separate both. There are certainly a few established brands I have worked with in London that have struggled to keep up with all the new technological and social developments. But I think everyone knows just how important it is now to have an intelligent curated presence online, to actively engage with the audience and stay up-to-date with the latest digital and web trends. That all said, the print isn’t going anywhere; it is ever evolving and finding new ways to remain relevant.

CG: As a designer, how do you stay abreast of latest design happenings and creations? How do you reach out to the world? How much do you depend on the web and how much does the web depend on you?

Chloë: There is no rocket science involved. Reading is important, spending time online is important. I lose hours to Pinterest as well as get out of the house, walk around the city, meet up with like-minded people and make a point of attending industry talks and events. While it would be a mistake to rely on the internet for all creative inspiration, I think no one would deny just what an amazing resource it is. It’s also a boon for freelancers out there as it facilitates promotion and communication with clients regardless of where they are in the world.

CG: What would be some traits and qualities that you feel should be present in a designer to be ready to create for the times of today? Have you had the opportunity to visit or work with any Indian clients?

Chloë: I went to a talk recently at Betahaus, Berlin and the speaker said there are three things a designer needs to be: talented, punctual and likeable. In terms of Indian clients, no I haven’t worked with any. However, I have spent some time in India and would love the opportunity to go back!

Published in Issue 25

Creative Gaga kicks off the year with an issue that asks the important questions, is it the web that’s leading the brands or the other way around? With 2014 witnessing an increase in brands investing in digital marketing, 2015 will only be bigger. We can say India has accepted the revolution, where more and more people are opening browsers to e-commerce, literally window shopping, and setting up shops online as well. The issue brings together renowned designers with digital experience, who discuss and throw light on the pros and cons of this change and where we possibly are headed with this in the future.

 

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There are two kinds of people in this world, people who love to read and people who don’t. Regardless, in this day and age, content is still the king. However, the great content is meaningless if not presented well. Today so much of web designs compromises of text and hitting the right mark for your typography and fonts is a key factor in the overall success of your site.

Digital is a very dynamic platform and we have to accept that the content keeps changing. Unlike print, web design doesn’t have the freedom to define the space between the letters.

Fonts have a deep psychological impact on your users and here is a list of 6 examples of great typography which are being used to create web designs around the world and are perfect examples that texts can never be boring!

1. Poppins

One of the Geometric sans serif typefaces and have been a popular design tool for building websites. Each letterform is nearly monolinear, with optical corrections applied to stroke joints where necessary to maintain an even typographic colour.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: Modular and minimal websites
Use Case Examples:   www.zipl.pro   |   www.nerval.ch   |   www.theisbothmann.com   |   www.kikk.be
Source: Google Fonts
Font Link:  Download


2. Open Sans

Open sans would be a very good pair for many fonts like Raleway, Brandon Grotesk, Montserrat, Lato etc. It renders beautifully on the browser, with good readability.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: Standard look & feeling, Corporate and Product websites
Use Case Examples:   
www.gravity-theme.site
Source: Google Fonts
Font Link: Download


3. Montserrat

This typeface comes in three variants and evokes the modernist style of the early 20th century, however, it feels less formal than, say, Futura. Montserrat really shines for short pieces of all caps and the geometric simplicity of the letters. In lowercase, Montserrat is still a pretty nice font with a nice large x-height and a lot more character than Arial or Helvetica.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: Fun looking websites, it creates a majestic yet fun look.
Use Case Examples:
www.dangblast.com   |   hansonwu.com
Source:
Google Fonts
Font Link: Download


4. Playfair Display

It is a serif font with beautiful curves and well-rounded corners, which is suitable for both traditional, as well as modern websites. The design is influenced by typefaces from the mid to late eighteenth century, such as Baskerville. It makes an excellent font for titles and headlines (especially the beautiful italic), however, for long stretches of body copy, the delicate, high-contrast strokes might hinder readability, especially when used at smaller sizes.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: It is basically the one that suits all and creates a feeling of trust. It can be used for modular as well as traditional sites.
Use Case Examples:  
wwww.adrien-heury.net   |   www.mondaymusic.es   |   www.craftedbygc.com   |    www.hoodzpahdesign.com
Source: Google Fonts
Font Link: Download


5. Avenir

The name Avenir means “Future” in French, and it is a minimal and modular sans-serif font used in many sites, which gives a futuristic look to the design. Use the bold and extra bold weights of Avenir for emphasis with the light, book, and medium weights.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: Most suited for futuristic feeling. It resembles minimal, futuristic content, and creates clean looking product websites.
Use Case Examples:
  www.playcharms.com
Source: Web
Font Link: Download


6. Bebas Neue

It is a beautiful condensed looking font which looks very standard as well as stylish.

Lollypop - Web fonts

Recommended For: For standard yet solid and stylish layout feeling. It is a beautiful condensed looking font which looks very standard as well as stylish.
Use Case Examples:  
www.craftedbygc.com   |   www.theqcamera.com   |   www.ekpesbookclub.com
Source:
Web
Font Link: Download

Although typography isn’t as flashy as Animation or HD images, they are nonetheless, an integral and powerful part of every design. They can be bold, to draw attention to the messaging, or, subtle, to draw attention to other elements on the screen. In either case, one thing we all can agree on is that typography enhances the design as a whole, one way or another.

– article by Dhilip Kumar G., Lollypop Studio

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

E-commerce websites have become the driving force for businesses these days. With dynamic features like advanced filtering, animation, 360 degree product reviews and super product search, these have taken the web world by storm.

Such is the revolution that shopping is not just limited to women only rather is enjoyed by men through online stores with their extensive range of tech products. Now, there is something for everyone; yes, kids, parents and teenagers are in for some gain too. The main aim of these e-commerce sites is to engage with the web customers and cater to a wide set of target audience.

 

So, how can an ecommerce website emerge from good to best? Is it about looks or functionality? Do products matter or customer service? Or will the dash of extra features do the deed? Okay, that’s quite a thought. What’s sure here is that one thing won’t do; it is a game of parts! To get your conversion rates soaring high, it is important to be relevant and competitive in your elements. Of course there are no universal features or design elements that guarantee immense popularity, but there are general guidelines and also recommended options which shouldn’t be neglected at the time of creating an e-commerce website.

 

Here in this post you will find some very valuable tips for your layout that will surely make your online business flourish. But before we delve deeper let us look at some of the main goals that every e-commerce website plans to fulfill.

1. It’s All About Selling

There are many websites which are sheer wastage of time and effort. Why? The stores are designed just for the heck of it. There is no thought behind the creation. They are funky in looks but pretty useless when it comes to shopping. These websites are satisfied by just bringing the brand online or creating a physical store; for them, in the end, it is all about a big ‘buy’ button in a plain view. It is common for some businessmen, developers and designers to ignore such details, but in fact, these are the areas where they should pay a lot of attention.

e-commerce
shutterstock.com

2. Highlight The Benefits

Displaying a list of product types or a grid can be the best thing for your online store. Highlighting the special deals and ‘what’s new’ categories can allure the web surfers to buy. In fact, there are many online surfers who aren’t even clear what they want and are in just for hanging out. As an online seller, you must poke the market and show the users what they are missing out on.

e-commerce
shutterstock.com

3. Trust Is Must

People want to know what all is in store for them. That is the reason they are eager to know everything about the product they are willing to buy, the purchase procedure, payment methods, warranties and delivery service etc. i.e. all the details that will help them to finalize the decision and lock the transaction. Be particular that the relevant pages are linked well to the home page. Such a vision will prove helpful for the support team and will also lower the amount of pre-sale help requests.

 

Further, here are some features which will aid you in enhancing your web store usability and generating more profitability

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4. Keep It Secure

Online transactions have become quite essential for us now. Because of their popularity, e-commerce websites can be a potential target for the cybercriminals. It is important for the online sellers to hide customer information and maintain necessary steps to ensure privacy. It all depends upon a secure e-commerce platform. With their line of advanced security features, it is no surprise that Magento and WordPress along with WooCommerce have become the big leaders of online sellers.

 

Make sure you have SSL certificate as it looks after safe connectivity between a user and the website. SSL certificate establishes an encrypted connection between the web server and visitor’s web browser. It means all communications or online transactions will be safe. Generally, E-commerce store runs over multiple sub-domains. So, You can secure your unlimited first-level sub-domains with PositiveSSL Wildcard Certificate of Comodo Certificate Authority for some of the cheapest SSL solutions.

 

Even you can also enable two-factor authentication as it certifies security by using username/password and a system-made code sent through email or text. Remember to use a firewall and give the policy link in the footer as it specifies the website’s privacy policies and guarantees the non-sharing of the customer data with third parties.

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5. The Resolution Rule

Earlier e-commerce websites could survive by just posting a single image with some bullet points and a price tag. Shoppers evaluate the product by looking at it from various angles and as per the demands of different environments. The power to zoom gives them better feel of the product.

Technical points of the images should be kept in mind while uploading the same. Images that pose problems while loading or take lot of time to load will lead to drop-off rate of about 39%. Remember it is the images that sell not text. So, keep in mind to show multiple images per product. Let the photos be checked with high resolution and optimization for better page load.


6. Route To Reviews

Shoppers are deeply influenced by reviews. As a matter of fact, 92% of them pay heed to them. The star rating on a product is a major game changer these days. You might be under the impression that negative reviews will ruin your sale but actually, it is the opposite case here. Negative reviews can turn out to be positive. It is the human psyche which feels that products without negative reviews are not worth a shot and thus, think all the positive reviews are fake.

 

Based on the website’s functionality, e-commerce can utilize plugins from the most sought after review platforms like Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare. Futuristic e-commerce sites are making use of reviews as user-generated content to build social proof and increase fan following.

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7. Best Offers

It is seen that majority of the e-commerce sites are resorting to the special offers tactics as a part of their marketing practices through social, email, text etc. People are very quick to pass judgment as to whether they like a website or not. So, making using of this trait you should try to capture their interest in a matter of seconds as soon as they enter the site. A small delay can cause them jumping to some other store with a more impressive home page. The sure shot way to pull your audience is through amazing shopping deals.

Many forward-looking websites make maximum use of the main real estate in the header section to sell special offers. When shoppers know that they are at advantage with a special deal, it inspires them to go ahead and purchase more than they intend to as well as explore more in the product section of the site. It is seen that millions of people get very excited during sales and discounted periods and go on a shopping spree just because the prices are slashed heavily in sale.

If a website wants to make the most from its current promotions, it is advisable to create a spectacular webpage that displays the lists of offers at hand, which will not only enhance sales but will be very useful for SEO as well. Alluring promises and different prices persuade the visitors to spend without giving a practical thought.

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8. The Pleasure of Wish Lists

Wish Lists- The ultimate love of every user. How we love keeping one for fashion, one for books to read, one for holiday gift ideas and the list goes on. Yes, it is all about shopping, saving and sharing! E-commerce sites which are still far from having wish lists are hampering sales and leaving them on the virtual desktop table. Customers can appreciate nothing more than having their favourite items bookmarked and then use them later to buy in the future.

This is actually giving them larger than life! And, of course, executing a fabulous remarketing campaign dream. It is also a good way to share your brand with the potential buyers. When shoppers open up their wish lists with their family and friends, it generates popularity and creates free traffic with built-in social proof to a website.

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9. Social Proof

Brands and online sellers that establish an emotional connection with the buyers score on the parameters of trust and advocacy. The social link is, without a doubt, the best platform to connect with your user these days. Integrating social profiles and user-generated content with an e-commerce site have become the need of the hour as it creates a strong brand character for the online sellers. Shoppers are flooded with a constant ping of ‘buy now’ and ‘get this’.

The brands that interact with the customers on a more social level create more loyal customers for life. Social media gives the e-commerce brands the platform to show their genuineness and establish an emotional link with the products.

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10. The Payment Mode

In this era of Apple Pay and PayPal, quick and easy payment options are an absolute necessity for an e-commerce website. Take, for instance, Amazon, there is nothing more wonderful in this world than getting the option to shop in a single click. Shoppers with registered accounts on Amazon can actually buy by mere one click. Currently, there are many advanced payment methods online. The trick is to understand the target audience and incorporating the most robust solutions. If a website lacks in payment options, be particular in stating the reason for so.

Like an e-commerce site can restrain from offering Bitcoin as a payment option after it discovers that the value isn’t reliable. If buyers are techno freaks who are more inclined towards payment method, it is crucial to be clear as to why that mode isn’t an available option. Being transparent works in favor of the brand as it builds a trust and establishes a stronger relationship with the buyers. Payment options can be accessed at the footer or on the top right corner of sites.

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11. Easy Contact

As we know that in an e-commerce website most of the business happens online and there is nothing more fulfilling than finding a clear-cut and well-designed ‘contact us’ feature. This implies particularly for high-end merchandise or technical products. Don’t make it tough for the buyer to contact for any query or to enable support. Place contact page as one of the prime features of the website. Facilitate multiple ways to reach the customer support via phone, email or through an online form. Some exquisite stores provide online appointment setting by the means of their contact page. Make a note to put in customer service social links and Google maps for locations.

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12. Return Policy

Return policies are a significant attribute of any e-commerce website. Make sure that the return policy is clear and well framed or explained. This is another customer bonding feature for online selling. This will satisfy the buyer that in case they are finding faults in their purchase or need a different size, the brand is open to making changes. The latest survey by Invesp reveals that almost 30% of the products ordered online are returned back. Also, 92% are eager to buy again if the product return policy is not complex and very easy to follow. Even 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase.

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Now you may find some of these tips very obvious and general and might be thinking ‘that’s not a big deal’. But even if the marketers and web designers feel that basic stuff like ease of use, high-resolution photos and contact information are quintessential details, remember these very points are itself the best practices and trademarks of awesome design. If you know most of the tips given in this post already and haven’t used them practically; buck up! It is never too late! The best blend that will make your e-commerce website scalable and robust is by combining the tried-and-tested features along with the unique elements to deliver powerful shopping experiences.

 

Article contribution by Think 360 Studio.