Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. While wireframes sketch out the blueprint and mockups show the feel and texture of the design, it is the prototype that brings to life the “experience” behind “user experience.” That beautiful call-to-action may look great on the screen, but you won’t know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Not only do prototypes help provide proof of concept, they more importantly expose any usability flaws behind the wireframes and mockups.
So how do we actually put into the practice this safeguard against emergency stakeholder meetings, endless revisions, and painful late nights in the development phase? While we previously touched upon proper prototyping in the Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation, let’s dive deeper into how prototyping can make or break a product’s success. In this piece, we’ll begin by looking at the most compelling reasons to prototype and how prototypes improve collaboration, design, and usability testing.
If you are a freelancer or self-employed professional, you are probably always on the lookout for tools that can make life easier. There’s just not enough time to get all your work done and then follow up with paperwork.
17hats, a new cloud software tool, takes a lot of the work out of that paperwork. It integrates contracts, invoices, questionnaires, e-mail, to-do lists, time tracking, bookkeeping, calendars and more into a single login. Here’s a look at the tool, some of the key features, pricing and information on how to try it out.
They’re on hundreds of websites, in advertisements, and fill the airwaves – fictional characters that help you relate to a brand or company. These personas are representations of the type of people who use products or services, and are designed to relate to potential users or buyers.
A persona is more than just a face in the design. It is a well-planned and thought-out part of the design process. Designers have to think about the persona during all aspects of a project so that the personality matches the brand and design. From copy and how the persona “talks” to color, typeface choices and other design elements, creating a persona can be an important part of design projects.
While every project is unique, every project also has a set of things and processes that are always part of your workflow. That’s where having a good design checklist comes in. This guide can help you manage projects and workflow, delegate tasks among team members and ensure that everything is complete before a design project is handed over. A good design checklist can help keep you from going astray during a project.
You may need several types of checklists in your toolkit: project design (print or digital), planning, execution, and printing and delivery. These lists can have overlap or not and can serve as starting points for you to create a checklist tailored to your design work.
If you have a website – and chances are that you manage several – you know and understand the importance of good analytics. Understanding the numbers and use of your site by visitors is key to creating, designing and developing a site that will keep visitors coming back and clicking around.
But with so many analytics options out there, how do you know what to choose? Sometimes the answer goes beyond the basic information you can get from Google Analytics. Today, we are taking a look at one of these services – Ptengine – and how it can work for you.
Many professions have codes of ethics, a common set of guiding principles that help you make fair decisions. Codes often protect both the worker and client from poor business practices.
Designers working in a team or individual environment should be working with a code of ethics. Many designers might even follow multiple codes – one set by an employer, one set by professional organizations and one that is a more personal set of rules and guidelines. One thing is certain: Every designer needs a code of ethics.
It took a while for me to get started, really started, as a freelancer. And I won’t lie; it was not always easy. There are so many obstacles on the path to becoming a freelancer. Whether you are writing, designing or taking photos, the key is not to let doubt sink in. If you want to be successful you have to put your mind to it.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the obstacles freelancers often face in their working life, along with various tips and suggestions for overcoming each one.
Working from home can be one of the greatest perks of doing freelance work. It can also lead to the most distractions and enable procrastination. (How many times have you taken the dog for a walk when a project deadline looms?)
You can create a more conducive home workspace that actually encourages you to get things done. Working from home can be an easy, and enjoyable, part of your freelance life if you set yourself up to be productive, happy and avoid home place distractions. Here are 10 ways you can help yourself when it comes to working from home.
A great About Us page can make — or even break — your website. For many businesses this can be one of the most visited pages on your website and is a chance for visitors to learn about you and your products.
About Us pages need to be written in clear and simple language and should not be put together as an afterthought. Just like any other page on your site, develop a plan for what message this page should communicate and work from there. Most great About Us pages contain many common elements. Here are 10 things your About Us page needs to include (in no particular order!)
One of the toughest things about working as a freelancer can be getting your name out there. How do you connect with the right clients? How can you help those companies find you and your work? And how can you do it without feeling sleazy?
It can be a tough balance. But there are ways to do it. With the right mix of marketing, promotion and word of mouth – and a few design tools – you can find potential clients and feel good about it.
It seems like everyone has an email newsletter these days. From design, to maintaining subscribers, to clicking “send,” it can be expensive. But you can send a great newsletter on a budget.
It just requires a little planning. By doing some of the customizations and legwork yourself, you can create a great email marketing list and send a newsletter with a stellar design without handing over big money.
While some design jargon is fairly new, other terms date hundreds of years. While meanings may not have changed that much, some applications have. In order for designers and clients to communicate effectively everyone needs to understand the lingo.
We are going to break down some of the terminology, by design type, in hopes of making it easier for both designers and clients to communicate more effectively. Here’s a guide to what it all means with 12 terms each in the categories of print design and type design. Go back and read Part 1 for terms related to general design and web design.