The Importance of Web Design Companies

Your website is the foundation of your digital footprint. Leave it up to the pros at design companies to set you up for success!

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store or not, you need a website. But your online presence is a delicate matter. A glance at the facts below will underline why.

The average visitor on your website is strict. A minor design slip-up or functionality issue, and they’ll be gone before you know it. Poor layout choices, slow loading pages, the list goes on and on. To say there is a lot of pressure on web design is an understatement.

Quality web design

The complex world of web design can quickly become overwhelming. We’ve composed a list of the 7 golden rules of web design to keep you on the right track. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or about to embark on your first web design venture, these are the rules you should stick to.

  • Keep it simple – Instead of cramming every single detail about your company on hundreds of pages, keep it short and sweet.
  • Apply visual hierarchy – This will guide your audience through your content, allowing them to scan information faster.
  • Plan out navigation – Instead of adding elements and pages as you go, consciously make design decisions based on a navigation plan.
  • Be consistent – Use similar design elements throughout your website, like the same style for all call-to-action buttons and the menu in the same spot on each page.
  • Go for responsive design – Your visitors use all sorts of devices and browsers to visit your page; make sure your design is responsive and adapts to these differences.
  • Put your user first – Instead of designing for yourself, make sure you design for your user. There’s only one way to find out what they want: by testing (and testing again!).
  • Mind your content – Jam-packing your website with random content just for the sake of having content is a bad idea. Consider your content wisely and make sure it adds value.

The web design process

  • A visually stunning online presence is one thing, but getting everything to work properly is another. As you may have guessed by now, the web design process encompasses much more than making a page look pretty. Web designers have their work cut out for them and are usually responsible for an extensive scope of service.

    Let’s review the web design process to see in-depth what designing a website means.

    Identify the goal

    First things first, a goal needs to be set. An aimless website can get confusing fast. Of course, a website can have multiple functions. You can add in an e-commerce shop, a contact form, etc. Still, the aim is the same; the growth of your business.

    By identifying a clear and measurable goal, you can start planning your design and navigation around it.

    Define the scope

    Do you want a single static page or multiple pages, including a blog or an e-commerce shop? You should consider all of these things before you even start to think about the design of your website.

    Pre-planning will avoid a lot of hiccups throughout the design process. It’s much easier to create a cohesive whole if you know what the entire scope of the website entails.

    Research

    With your goal and the scope defined, it’s time for the next step. Spy on your competitors, browse through platforms like Pinterest and Behance, go on a deep dive online and do your research.

    If you don’t have a solid brand identity established yet, this step also entails customer research. Make sure you know everything there is to know about your audience and your brand before thinking of designing your digital space.

  • Wireframing

    See wireframing as the blueprint of your website. No actual visual design choices are made yet, but the structure of your pages are drawn out. This critical step ensures that anyone who lands on one of your pages will immediately know the goal of your website.

    Content creation

    Although this step will be continuous, since you need to keep your website up-to-date, it’s wise to start thinking about how you want to fill your pages at this point in the process. This will help plan the information structure, ensuring everything is tied together internally.

    Design

    All research and gathered information from the previous stages considered, now is the time to create. Each visual element is designed separately and, once done, delivered to a developer.

    Development

    With your visuals in the pocket, it’s now time for development. A developer will use coding language to make sure the visuals of the website are shown in the intended manner.

    Testing

    Once the development has resulted in a tangible website, you’re not just there yet. It’s time to test everything to filter out any issues.

    With a large project such as web design, it’s prevalent that minor slip-ups get overlooked during the initial designing and developing process. That’s why you always want to ensure your website has gone through an excessive test run.

    Launch

    Applied all the feedback that popped up during your testing phase? Got a shiny website that is functional, user-friendly, and above all, stunning? Then it’s finally time to pop the champagne and launch your digital presence with a bang!

Outsourcing vs. DIY

  • After reading what a lengthy process web design is, your bubble may burst. Although there are still options to DIY your web design, chances are it’s most likely not going to cut it.

    Now what? You still need a website. If DIY isn’t going to cut it, should you just scrap having a website altogether?

    You have to keep up with your competitors and run a business at the same time. Sure, you could hire an in-house designer, but a quick search will learn this costs you over $50,000 annually.

    Save yourself the hassle and outsource web design. A web design company is worth the investment to take advantage of their expertise, professionalism, and skill set.

Handing over the massive task of designing your website to someone else may sound daunting, but in reality, it’s quite straightforward. And if you do your research, you’re bound to find a web design company that fits your needs and wishes. Let’s look at some steps to consider and design companies to choose from.

How to choose a web design company

There are many design companies, from top-notch design agencies with a jaw-dropping portfolio to single entrepreneurs running a side gig from their attic. And everything in between!

These three steps will help you outsource web design in the best way for you. Here’s how to choose a web design company:

1. Specify what you need

If you need a single landing page, the process will look vastly different than when you need a full-blown international e-commerce shop. This may go without saying, but it’s important to specify exactly what you want.

Not every design firm can whip up an e-commerce platform or complex motion graphics, for example. If you want a design with interactive elements, you’ll need a designer with the skills to create those.

2. Set your budget

How much are you willing to spend on your website? Good design doesn’t come cheap, and should be seen as an investment. However, we’re fully aware that spending your entire budget on a website is not viable.

Outsourcing comes in many forms, from very affordable options to ones with a hefty price tag. Although you don’t want to skimp out on an important task such as web design, you also want to pick an option that’s viable long-term. After all, you need to keep your website tested and updated regularly.

3. Search and review

If you know what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it, it’s time to go out there and look for the best option to outsource web design. If you prefer a personal approach, a simple Google search “web design company + your location” will most likely yield enough results to get you going.

It can be nice to go with a firm close by for personal contact. But they may not be specialized in the design you need. Additionally, because of efficiency, most communication will likely take place online anyway. Luckily, there are infinite options to outsource web design with plenty of experience, from famous big agencies to modern budget-friendly options.

Outsourcing options

We’ve broken the options down into big design firms and budget-friendly design companies. Hiring a freelancer is an outsourcing option that we’ve consciously left out. Considering the scope of a web design project, freelancers tend to be expensive.

Big web design companies

If you run a big brand with a sizable marketing budget, top design agencies can transform your website and get you even more hits. Remember that a premium price tag is involved with premium services like this. Most of these agencies charge between $100 to $150 an hour and have minimum project prices starting at $25,000.

These top dogs are still worth a glance, even if they’re beyond your budget. You may find inspiration for your website. We’ll go over the more affordable options in a bit.

1. EIGHT25MEDIA

EIGHT25MEDIA is an award-winning web design company based in San Jose, California. With over 750 clients, they sure know what they are doing when it comes to web design. This full-service bureau will deliver the entire digital experience and is trusted by numerous big brands.

If you can afford it, EIGHT25MEDIA is one of the best design firms to craft compelling websites that offer your audience an immersive experience.

2. Dotlogics

Dotlogics is a web design company based in New York with over 20 years of experience. They partner with the best technology platforms to accelerate your digital commerce.

This top-notch design firm is a fantastic option if you require a successful e-commerce platform to sell your products or services.

3. 500 Designs

The slogan of 500 Designs is “Where data meets imagination.” They consider themselves partners in your digital presence rather than suppliers and have a tight-knit team of designers, developers, and collaborators to ensure strategy and creativity work together.

If you want to be sure of impeccable web design that is both aesthetically pleasing and works smooth like butter, 500 Designs is the firm to go with.

Budget-friendly web design companies

Working with top design firms may be far out of reach for startups and small businesses. But that’s no excuse to settle for poor design. There are lots of affordable options to choose from.

1. Wix

Wix is a straightforward platform filled with templates to choose from. If you want to give your website a personal touch, a simple drag-and-drop system is available to start from scratch.

This affordable option is great if you don’t want to spend a fortune but still want a professional look. Or if you quickly want to create a landing page with Wix. Most designers know their way around platforms like Wix, so you can still leave the design up to professionals.

A website with Wix (including hosting services) will set you back from $8,50 to $49 per month, depending on the plan you pick.

2. Squarespace

Squarespace may be slightly less intuitive than Wix, but it’s still an affordable option and has plenty of stylish templates to choose from. Additionally, they have a library full of resources to set you off on the right foot.

Squarespace’s pricing starts from $16 per month if you pay annually and $23 if you prefer to pay monthly.

Remember that this is a widely used platform, so you’ll risk having a web design that looks much like a competitor’s website.

3. ManyPixels

You may think adding our name to the list is a bit of a boast, but hear us out. The truth is that many people do not consider an unlimited graphic design company like ManyPixels when it comes to web design, even though it’s one of the better options looking at price versus quality.

Although we don’t provide a web design from scratch, we can work with wireframes and existing web design. Additionally, we can create landing pages from scratch.

 

Affordable and hassle-free web design

With a subscription at ManyPixels, you have unlimited access to top-notch design. Our skilled designers work on your projects day-to-day, ensuring an infinite stream of stunning visuals.

A website needs a lot of upkeep. As you know, design is a crucial element in keeping your audience happy. With top design firms raising costs and platforms such as Wix and Squarespace not offering enough customizable options, ManyPixels is the happy medium.

Endless options with unlimited design

Let’s have a look at the options to get a stunning web design up and running:

  • Hire only a developer – Cut back on costs by allowing the designers at ManyPixels to take care of all visual aspects of your web design. You’ll only have to hire a web developer to get everything up and running.
  • Use a drag-and-drop builder – An even more affordable option is to get your visuals through our unlimited design subscription and put them into a drag-and-drop builder such as Wix. This will eliminate the risk of having a similar look as your competitors while remaining low-cost.
  • Use a discounted rate at our development partner – To get your website developed and running, you can use discounted rates with our web development partners at PSD2HTML®.

The great thing about unlimited design is that it is truly unlimited. We’ve got you covered if you need social media graphics that are consistent with your web design. Have an upcoming event that needs banners? Send in a request. And when you have a new line of products, we’ll happily help you display them on your website.

If you’re ready to revamp your web design, have a look at our pricing, or schedule a quick demo to see how the ManyPixels platform works.

Visual Design for Digital Marketers: Everything You Need to Know

What is visual design? And how can you grasp some basics to help you become a better marketer? Make sure to go through this guide before you dive into your next campaign!

Few people inhabiting our green(ish) Earth are as self-centered as writers (🙋‍♀️). Without any doubt, we’re a crucial part of marketing. Yet, many of us, copywriters, content writers, account managers, and the like, forget about the power of visuals.

So, here’s a quick reminder in numbers!

  • Social media posts with images deliver a 650% higher engagement than text-only posts (Red Website Design).
  • People read only about 25% of the content on a web page. (Nielsen)
  • Most marketers (60.8%) claim visuals are imperative for the success of their marketing strategy (Red Website Design).
  • A majority of marketers today use custom graphics over stock photos. Original graphics also outperform stock photos by over 30% (Venngage).

So, not only is design a critical component of marketing, but it also makes it much more effective. And yet, by and large, marketers still have a very limited understanding of this field.

What does visual design entail? What does a visual designer do? Can you or should you design your marketing materials as a digital marketer?

Let’s answer all your budding questions!

What is visual design?

Although we may use the terms visual design and graphic design interchangeably throughout this text, the two are different.

Graphic design is the art of communicating through visual elements and text. This includes anything from prints on t-shirts to social media posts.

On the other hand, visual design is limited to digital media. So, it’s the most important area of graphic design that modern marketers should know about.

When we talk about visual communication design, the focus is usually on the “big picture.” For example, developing a brand’s visual identity that will inform every subsequent piece of design.

Visual design basics

Before diving into the all-important application of visual design, we must cover some basic visual design principles and elements you should know about.

Visual design elements

If you want to be able to tell good design apart from bad, you need to start with the basics. Here are the most basic design elements used in virtually every graphic.

Line

Everything starts from the line. Whether straight or curved, thin or thick, full or dotted, lines are often the foundation of any piece of design. They are used to make connections between different elements or to place focus (e.g., frames).

Color

The study of color is divided into two branches: color theory and color psychology. Color theory is concerned with how colors are paired and mixed. It’s based on the color wheel and makes a distinction between different groups of colors: primary, secondary, tertiary, contrasting, and analogous.

Color psychology is a developing field that studies universal reactions to colors. Although these findings depend on the context, it’s helpful to know them. For example, red is often associated with passion, danger, love, or fear (all powerful emotions). On the other hand, blue is a calming color that often represents mindfulness, trustworthiness, and professionalism (hence, why it’s the most commonly used logo color).

Shape

Shape is the natural extension of the line. Similar to lines, shapes are also used as “building blocks” of a piece of design. Like every other design element, they can prompt different reactions and bring different qualities to the table.

For example, organic, fluid shapes often suggest natural qualities, while sharp rectangular shapes show that something is artificial.

Texture

Although you can’t touch visual design, that doesn’t mean you can’t evoke their tactile sense. This is where texture comes into play. A combination of lines, shapes, and color, texture adds depth and visual interest. It can also be used to bring attention to specific details.

Typography

What does a visual designer do? In a nutshell, visual communication design is all about delivering particular messages. The most straightforward way to do that is through text.

The creation of fonts and typefaces is a critical component of visual designing. The main types of fonts are serifs, sans serifs, and script fonts. Choosing typography carefully is imperative as it can completely alter the look and feel of a piece of design. Just imagine the Coca-Cola logo in a geometric sans serif typeface!

Visual design principles

Now that you know about the essential components of design let’s look at some fundamental principles or rules on how to arrange these elements and achieve the desired effect.

Balance

Out of all the visual design principles, this is the most significant one. The principle of balance suggests that each element should be crucial in a piece of design, and the design shouldn’t work or have the same effect if any element were removed or altered.

Rather than being selected randomly, this principle ensures that each element contributes to the design’s purpose. In marketing, this purpose can be either to strengthen the brand image, prompt an action, evoke a feeling, or all of those.

Pattern

Not to be confused with texture, pattern is the regular repetition of design elements (although texture is sometimes achieved through repetition, it’s not necessarily regular). Patterns are often used to create a more dynamic background. However, it’s advised that non-designers use them sparingly since patterns can easily create overcrowded designs and jeopardize user-friendliness.

Contrast

Contrast is yet another vital principle that you’re probably familiar with. It’s probably the most effective way to place focus on a specific element or add visual interest to a design. Contrast can be achieved by pairing two opposing elements together. For example, cold colors and warm ones, big and small shapes, thick and thin lines, sans serif and script fonts, etc.

Hierarchy

This principle is especially important in visual communication design, as it helps ensure the message is clear. If you think of a web landing page as an example, you can see how hierarchy is vital to ensure a good user experience.

For example, the hero section usually has larger text and big images, while other critical sections will be blocked off. The information and design elements are usually placed in an order that leads to the call to action button.

Negative space

While you may have heard about most of these visual design principles, this is the one you’re most likely to ignore. Non-designers often assume that the absence of design is simply a sign of a designer’s laziness, but in fact, it’s usually a sign of great skill.

Negative space (or white space) is needed to ensure balance and hierarchy. It’s also often used to create contrast and place focus on the most significant elements. In short, it’s the one principle that’s often a prerequisite for every other vital consideration of a piece of design.

Proximity

Humans naturally tend to group things and “fill in” the missing pieces. Placing elements near or far ensures balance and provides an aesthetic appeal to designs. It also helps enforce the message since the items placed nearby are perceived as having the same quality.

How does design impact marketing?

We don’t need to tell you that design is vital to any marketing effort. You’re well aware that every Instagram post needs a visual, and you probably have a hunch that lengthy blog articles need breaking down with a few graphics.

But how important is visual design in marketing? Incredibly. Here are the main reasons why you need to invest time and effort into quality graphics.

Design drives conversions

Words and copywriting give users enough information to complete an action – great design prompts them to do it.

One compelling survey was performed by Hubspot in which a simple change in the color of the CTA button from green to red increased conversions by 21%!

But of course, there’s much more to design than colors. Excellent web design ensures visitors become leads and, later, customers. There are numerous ways and tips to do this, and here are just a few.

  • Create an eye-catching hero section with a clear CTA button.

This is the section where you should include one sentence on your value proposition and a CTA button that prompts visitors to act. Every other design element (color, images, lines, etc.) are used to indirectly communicate to your target audience that they’re in the right place, i.e., that you’re a business targeting them.

  • Don’t forget about white space.

Busy, overcrowded designs will overwhelm people and make them close the tab before they’ve even had a chance to take a decent look at your offer. White space is necessary for a positive user experience and for helping viewers absorb the necessary information.

  • Choose the right colors.

Psychological studies suggest that the choice of color can account for 60% of acceptance/rejection of a product. Since people form impressions of a website in the first 50 milliseconds, you can’t afford to get the color wrong.

Here’s an example. Everyone associates Coca-Cola with the vibrant, red shade used in their logo. But imagine if their website was covered in this color alone? It would be pretty straining to look at. Instead, they make very clever use of colors that pair well with their signature shade, whether green (a contrasting color) or purple and pink (analogous colors). With plenty of white space, of course.

There’s no content marketing without design

When you think about content marketing, what comes to mind? Most likely SEO and blogging strategies.

However, you should know by now that few people will read everything you write. And refined Google algorithms also consider this when ranking your content in search results.

Say you’ve got a long-form piece that’s informative and well-researched with lots of links to relevant content. You’ve also included all the right keywords and ensured your metadata is complete. So, you’ve ticked all the SEO boxes, and your piece is sure to rank high on Google, right?

I’m sorry to say that all your efforts might be in vain without visual design. You probably know from experience that people skim rather than read online. If a visual prompt doesn’t help them grasp the essence of the text quickly, they might leave the page immediately. This impacts your bounce rates and, of course, your search engine ranking.

Moreover, design is vital for repurposing content. Creating a quality piece of written content takes time and effort. Once you have it, you should “milk it” to its total capacity. That means transforming your content into different formats, such as an infographic or engaging social media visuals (graphs, microblogs, quizzes, etc.).

A terrific example to learn from is Hubspot’s Instagram. Everybody knows the company as the “marketer’s Bible” thanks to their high-quality blog, jam-packed with insightful data and findings. They use some of this knowledge to create eye-catching visuals with actionable tips and eye-opening data for their social media. It’s engaging, beautiful, and perfectly aligned with their knowledge-sharing brand mission.

Design helps you deliver your message

Why do corporations spend thousands of dollars paying marketing agencies to develop a short campaign tagline? Because saying “our product is the best” can’t attract modern consumers anymore.

Digital marketing has allowed businesses of all sizes and from all niches to reach exactly the right audience. However, this also goes for their competitors. To market anything online these days, you must ensure that your communication is clear and aimed at the right people.

As a marketer, you must know about certain technicalities that help with this. For example, using detailed targeting with Facebook Ads and setting up the right keywords in Google Ads. On the other hand, as a (copy)writer, you also probably have a pretty good grasp of how to manipulate the tone of voice and style to appeal to a specific target audience.

Still, this isn’t enough. People process images 60,000 times faster than text and remember images much better. In marketing terms, 60% of people are more likely to consider local search results that include images, while 68% of marketers consider visuals a top priority in their marketing strategy.

So, if you want to communicate in a way that helps people understand and remember your message, design is the way to go.

Visual design marketing tips

We’ve promised a comprehensive guide, right? So, now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to give you some actionable tips on how to design marketing materials that perform well. Here are 4 golden rules.

Keep it simple

If you google the word KISS as an acronym, you’ll discover that it stands for “Keep it simple, stupid.” This slightly rude maxim is a crucial principle of design coined by the US Navy in 1960. It’s the most vital design principle for product development, as simplicity and ease of use are vital for a positive user experience.

However, the KISS principle also applies to visual design. We’ve already said it a few times, but here’s another reminder to let the message sink. As a visual designer, your job is to relay a message, not impress people with your superb skills. A design that’s stunning and intricate but fails to deliver the message is not doing its job right.

This ad is basically the cannon of minimalism in ad design. It ticks all the boxes of effective visual design:

  • It’s true to the brand.
  • The message is clear.
  • It grabs attention and appeals to the senses.

Don’t use too many fonts

This is a pitfall numerous digital marketers fall into. With thousands of gorgeous fonts available online, many free, it’s easy to go overboard with funky font combinations.

Too many fonts can often jeopardize readability. Still, even with the most legible fonts, using too many will harm your brand image and dilute your message.

Stick to the brand guidelines

Marketing design can tick every other box and still fall flat for one reason. It doesn’t align with the brand identity.

Searching for new, creative routes, marketers often forget that the ultimate goal is to build a lasting brand image. This can only be achieved through repeated use of the same visual cues and consistent messaging.

Does that mean you have to always use the same colors, typography, and images in every single piece of marketing material? Nope. But remember that visual design is about the “big idea” and how graphics reflect that.

Here’s a superb example. Spotify is known for its funny and (painfully) relatable copy. But the thing that makes their advertising efforts even more compelling is the diversity of design.

They use a range of colors, different layouts, photos, and illustrations. These ads still have consistency and perfectly capture what the brand is all about and who it’s for

Follow visual design principles

The final tip we’ll give you is to apply what you’ve learned today. Observing basic design principles distinguishes a total rookie from someone with at least a bit of a grasp on professional design.

Here’s a quick reminder on the most significant principles to follow and what they bring to the table:

  • Balance: ensures that the design delivers the right message and all the elements work together.
  • Pattern: enforces the presence of a specific element, such as a logo, in branding design.
  • Contrast: helps to bring focus to certain elements and ensures balance or visual interest.
  • Proximity: allows viewers to take in chunks of information, groups elements logically, and adds order to the design.
  • Hierarchy: creates an order in which information is presented to ensure clarity or ease of use.
  • Negative space: allows the design to “breathe” and enables users to focus on key elements and messages.

So, you’re a visual design expert now. Not so fast…

You’ve learned the basics and noted down the tips. This must mean you’re ready to design visuals that are both stunning and effective in your marketing strategy!

Hmmm…

While the basic visual design principles and considerations outlined here are a perfect starting point, that still doesn’t make you a visual designer. There’s a reason why people study to become designers and spend years before they can claim to be experts or seniors in the field.

If you work for a marketing agency or manage one, you want to be able to offer the very best to your clients. I’m sorry to say that this probably won’t be possible with limited knowledge of visual design.

You might be able to design pretty decent marketing campaigns with the help of numerous online tools. Perhaps you’ve even learned the basics of professional design software.

But going the extra mile, delivering truly groundbreaking and original work, requires a little more. Hiring a professional designer for your agency comes with a hefty price tag (around 60k annually). Moreover, there’s a good chance that a single designer won’t be able to cover all the types of design needed for your clients.

Luckily, there’s a terrific alternative waiting at your fingertips!

Boost Your Website with Successful Infographic Design

Infographics entice visitors to engage and retain information – we’re visual beings, after all! Nail your infographic design and reel in your audience’s attention with our guide on infographics for websites.

Selecting your web content is a crucial step in developing your online presence. Fluffing up your website will do you no good: you need content that is engaging and meaningful to your audience.

If you’ve tried every trick in the book to decrease bounce rates and reel in customers without much luck, infographics may be the answer you’ve overlooked all this time.

An infographic is a data-heavy collection of imagery and minimal text, giving an easy-to-understand overview of a specific topic.

Just like the complexity of web design, infographic design is no walk in the park either. There are a lot of components to an infographic, which, when thrown together unsuccessfully, will have bad side effects. Your visitors will get confused, also known as the ultimate web design faux pas.

Don’t fret because we’re going to break infographic design down. We’ll provide an answer to the question “What is infographic design?” and delve into the nitty-gritty of how to design infographics.

But first, let’s emphasize why infographics are the perfect component of any website.

Infographic statistics

Many marketing agencies study our behavior towards digital content. With staggering competition, it’s valuable to know what sort of content works and what doesn’t. Infographics often come out of these studies as winners.

  • We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. (3M Corporation)
  • Infographics can increase the traffic on your website by up to 12%. (One Spot)
  • Infographics are liked and shared more than any other type of content on social media. (NN Group)
  • Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read entirely compared to blog posts or news articles. (Digital Information World)

And these statistics barely scratch the surface. Time and time again, research proves that we are, in fact, visual beings. We process visual information not only faster, but remember it much better as well.

The digital world is all about fleeting moments. You compete with many distracting factors as a brand, from flashy reels to pop-up advertisements. Rather than joining in on the shouting contest, you could also choose a different approach.

To grab your visitor’s attention, you must quickly present useful and high-quality information. An infographic is an ultimate way to do this. You can instantly provide informative yet striking visuals. By simplifying complex data, you’ll communicate in a way that speaks to most people.

Examples of content you can transform into an infographic are:

  • Year reports – Instead of presenting your achievements in dull report form, give last year’s statistics some visual appeal by showing them in an infographic. Like the above infographic example for Domuso.
  • Marketing data – Does your business need advertisers or investors? Reel them in by enticingly presenting your marketing data with a clear infographic.
  • Tutorials – Step-by-step content works exceptionally well in an infographic, as it immediately shows what is expected of your audience and contains a storytelling element.
  • Blog topics – Long-form articles are a great tool to provide your audience with informative content. Adding infographics breaks up the text and emphasizes the most important information.
  • Industry trends – What’s going on in your industry? Displaying trends in an infographic is a great way to entice people to share your content.
  • News items – The same goes for news items; if something important has happened, an infographic helps you convey this information clearly and concisely.
  • Upcoming events – Instead of going for the old-school Facebook event, put in a bit more effort and display your upcoming event in an infographic form.
  • Surveys – Perhaps the most utilized way of infographics are those displaying survey results. With a quick overview, you can lift the veil on your results, enticing your audience to read further.

What is infographic design?

Infographics provide an effective way to dissect complicated information and present it in an engaging and simplified manner. Additionally, it’s a great tool to spruce up mundane topics. There is one big but, and that’s the fact that you need stellar design.

A pie chart with randomly placed segments, an information overload, no chronological order: infographics have many culprits.

Case in point: below infographic example by NSW via The Guardian. Four stick figures represent 43,000+ nurses, but an increase of 3,000 nurses is represented by 23 stick figures. Although the numbers may be factually correct, the visuals paint a misleading picture. And if there’s one thing a good infographic shouldn’t be, it’s misleading.

How to design infographics

Designing an infographic involves nailing each element and then putting those elements together in a cohesive overview. Let’s go over each component your infographic should include.

Data

There is no way around it; to design an infographic, you need data first. It’s crucial to gather your data before starting on the design. Going the other way around can cause a confusing layout.

First, you should know who you’re designing your infographic for. What type of information are they searching for? Remember to make your content valuable to your audience. And what level of knowledge do they have about the topic? This will determine how in-depth you can go and how much terminology you can use.

Next up, it’s time to set a goal for your infographic. There are several goals an infographic can have, like visualizing a process, reporting on data, making a comparison, or providing a timeline.

With your infographic’s goal in mind, gather your information. Sometimes you can collect the data directly from your business, and sometimes you need to do external research. In most cases, you need to do both.

Copy

With your research done and dusted, the following step is the copy. Although an infographic is mainly about the graphics, the text will establish the narrative of the story you’re trying to tell and provide adequate context.

There are a few essential qualities the text of your infographic should have:

  • Easy to understand – An infographic is about a quick visual overview, so ensure the copy fits this description rather than adding an extra layer of effort.
  • Compelling – Use verbs to encourage action, like ‘learn’ or ‘jump in.’
  • Enticing – The text should clearly convey the main value proposition.
  • Informational – Use your text to add context to the data that you’re displaying, don’t add text for the sake of filling in your infographic.

Graphics

At this point, you have a pile of information and text that needs to be visualized. That’s where graphics come in.

Graphics of an infographic can roughly be divided into two types: theme graphics and reference graphics. Theme graphics are the underlying representation of the topic, or theme, of the infographic. Reference graphics are the graphics directly visualizing data.

You’ll often see icons and illustrations used in infographics. There are numerous ways to get your hands on flashy visuals, like the ManyPixels royalty-free library filled with over 2000 icons and illustrations.

Design

Time to put all of the elements together and create your infographic. Designing infographics isn’t an easy task, which is why we’ve specifically chosen the above order of elements.

Once you’ve carefully considered each element before starting your design, you’ll have a better idea of how much space you need and which type of infographic fits your data best.

If you are a graphic design novice but don’t have the budget to hire a professional designer, it’s best to go with infographic templates. A simple Google search will lead you to many straightforward platforms filled with various infographic templates, like Canva. They offer an easy drag-and-drop system suitable for most beginners.

Tips & Tricks

Lastly, here are some tips and tricks regarding infographics design.

  • Make it branded – Take the opportunity to add your branding elements to the infographic. You can use your brand’s color palette or add your logo. The infographic example above is an excellent visualization of how to make it branded.
  • Show, don’t tell – Don’t overdo it on the text if you can use an icon or illustration instead. This will help you display your information quickly and effectively.
  • Focus on shareable content – You ideally want your audience to share your infographic. Focus on that by ensuring the information is valuable and adding a call-to-action (if applicable).
  • Keep it simple – Your infographic is all about simplifying the information you want to share. Use universal icons and language to keep your infographic understandable.
  • Be unique – Instead of using one of the first infographic templates you set your eyes on, make sure your content stays unique. Hiring a professional designer is a great way to ensure unique, high-quality design if you have the budget.

Final thoughts

Infographics are fantastic tools to display complex or dull information in an easy-to-understand and enticing way. Your visitors are quick and clever, so instantly hitting them with valuable yet striking information is the way to go. That’s where infographics come in.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof formula for a successful infographic design. One design slip-up could lead to a confusing infographic, the last thing you want on your website. Hiring a professional infographics designer may be worth the initial investment if you’re not too confident yet.

Hopefully, this article has convinced you to spruce up your web design with some attention-grabbing infographics.

Using Motion Graphic Design for a Better User Experience

You must have heard the term motion graphic design thrown around. But what is motion graphic design anyway? Is it just the next big thing in design and marketing, or can it add real value to business? Let’s explore.

Motion graphics are by no means a new thing. However, recently they’ve exploded in the world of digital marketing.

Even if you are reluctant to jump on every bandwagon marketing trendsetters send your way, this is an area of graphic design you should consider. Motion graphics can tremendously improve your user experience, which is a significant concern for any business with an online presence.

But let’s start from the beginning and clear up the terminology first.

What is motion graphic design?

As the name suggests, motion graphic design encompasses three components: motion, graphics, and design – the art of communicating a message through visual means.

It’s a vast field that includes everything from simple GIFs and animated text to complex graphic videos.

Videos, I say? Then what’s the difference between motion graphic design and animation?

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably; however, the difference comes down to complexity. Motion designers add movement to graphics, and animators create longer projects, such as cartoons, longer videos, and claymation (animated plasticine animation, e.g., films like Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline). An easy way to think about animation is that it’s a collection of many motion graphic elements.

However, for digital marketing and user experience design, you’ll likely need to hire a motion graphics designer rather than an experienced animator.

 

What is user experience design?

User experience (UX) is the process of designing relevant experiences for people using a product or service. Since “experiences” come in many shapes and forms, you might already suspect this complex field includes elements of different disciplines: psychology, graphic design, statistics, computer science, etc.

It has its applications in the digital as well as the real world. An example of a good user experience in the real world is traffic lights that change color to signal stop and go. Colors are universally recognizable, unlike words, and lights ensure visibility even at night.

However, these days, UX is most commonly referred to in the context of website or application design In that context, user experience means creating the users’ process of using a website or application. It shouldn’t be confused with user interface design, though, which is the term for designing the look and feel of a website or app.

Here’s a quick rundown of what user interface and experience design entail.

The one thing to remember about user experience is that it’s user-centric. Many marketers and even designers tend to forget, especially when introducing “cool” new features such as motion design.

The ultimate goal of user experience design is always to meet users’ requirements in a specific context. Anything that disregards either of these considerations will likely harm rather than improve UX.

With that in mind, let’s move on to understand how motion graphics design can boost user experience on your website, landing pages, or app.

With that in mind, let’s move on to understand how motion graphics design can boost user experience on your website, landing pages or app.

What is user experience design?

Now that we have the theory out of the way let’s look at 6 creative ideas for improving user experience with motion graphic design.

1. Explainer video

Let’s start with the big one. According to Wyzowl’s 2020 survey, 84% of people say watching an explainer video has convinced them to purchase. According to the same survey, a convincing 85% of businesses already use videos in their marketing strategy, and explainer videos are the most common.

And there’s more. Homepages with videos are 53 times more likely to be discovered by Google. At the same time, your organic search traffic will likely rise by up to 157%! According to Unbounce, a video on your landing page can boost conversions by up to 80%.

But, having to record an explainer video yourself isn’t just tricky; it can be pretty costly. You’d need to have professional recording equipment, a video editor, and, possibly, hire a professional to be in the video if you’re camera shy.

That’s where motion graphics come in! A motion graphics designer can create a fun and engaging explainer video to help you convert website visitors into customers. Here’s an example of how we did it for our unlimited design service ManyPixels.

Although you can add voice narration to your video, remember that most people view videos on mute. So it’s always a good idea to include closed captions or have the main points as text in your animated video.

2. Transitions

People have a notoriously short attention span these days. It takes about 50 milliseconds for us to form an impression of a website. And the average time spent on a website across all industries is a meager 54 seconds.

So, how to keep people around for long enough to get them interested in your offer? One great way are page transitions. Here are some types of transitions you might want to consider.

  • Dolly zoom: Zooming in and out adds depth to the page and visual interest. It’s often used on product pages to give users a closer look.
  • Transformation: It’s possibly the most complex type of transition, which involves one element transforming into another. Your “About Us” page might be an excellent place to include this to showcase your journey.
  • Pan and tilt: This type of animation is a perfect way to create a better sense of space. You’ll often see it with interactive maps or, again, as a way of showcasing the product from different angles.

Mobile traffic currently accounts for about half of the web traffic worldwide. Moreover, mobile commerce has been increasing for years, and in 2021 was 3.5 times greater than just 5 years ago in 2016.

It goes without saying that a stellar mobile UX is a must. It’s also significant to note that people spend 40% more time viewing a page on a desktop versus mobile. So, seamless page transitions are necessary for decreasing bounce rates on mobile.

Here’s a superb example for a flower delivery mobile app. The motion graphics design creates a seamless experience for the user and helps them to quickly complete their order.

A further terrific application of motion graphics design is to depict loading time. If you haven’t heard already, loading time is a major concern in UX design. Website conversion rates drop by 4.42% for each additional second of loading time between 0 and 5 seconds. And around 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

A fun little motion graphic like the one below assures the users there’s a process happening instead of the page being stuck.

3. Graphic cues

One characteristic of a positive user experience is predictability. That means users are always clear on what effect their actions will have.

Text usually provides users with enough information about the result of an action. However, enhancing this message with visual cues is never a bad idea. For example, you could add a fun glow effect on a CTA button to entice users to click.

Or how about this cool shot that suggests you’re about to explore a tasty burger menu without any text necessary.

And here’s another terrific example that demonstrates the power of visual cues in UI/UX design.

4. Animated logo

A perfect user experience is all about meeting the needs of the user. So, what does enforcing your brand image have to do with that?

Well, presumably, the people who find themselves browsing through your interfaces are those who have a vested interest in your brand. In other words, they need your products/services and prefer your vision and values.

So, reminding them about these things is another component of a solid user experience.

If you know even a bit about graphic design and branding, you’ll know that a business logo is much more than just a piece of design. It’s a visual representation of your brand identity: it should communicate what you do, why, and for whom.

An example you’re probably familiar with is Netflix. The animation added to their brand mark is cinematic and meant to draw the viewers in. It’s also a nod to their move from a streaming-only service to more of a production company.

Logo animations also allow you to go a step further from your primary design and add elements that further strengthen your brand image (but might make the logo design too busy in static form). This cute example of a mortgage logo illustrates the point perfectly.

5. Infographics

Infographics are taking the world of digital marketing by storm as one of the top-performing pieces of content. They’re shared more than any other type of content on social media, and an overwhelming majority of marketers claim infographics have been an effective part of their strategy.

Moreover, people find information 70% faster in infographics than in text. And quick access to relevant information = excellent user experience.

And just imagine pairing that kind of potential with motion graphics!

6. Small animations

So far, we’ve discussed how to design motion graphics that actively improve the user experience. For example, making navigation more accessible, providing visual cues and feedback, and making content engaging and understandable.

However, don’t underestimate the power of delighting your users. In UX design, this refers to users’ positive emotions when interacting with an interface or device. It may not always have an outward action, such as clicking a CTA button. However, these positive feelings can impact things like session duration, bounce rates, and overall user experience.

Adding simple motion design elements to your interfaces can be a terrific way to delight users. Just think of all the times you’ve had that “how fun” moment browsing through a website with cute animations.

Not sure what I’m talking about? As before, let’s look at an example to help us. If you’re looking to make a motion graphic, templates and libraries are good places to start, and uMake is one of them.

Of course, to give visitors a taste of what they can come up with, the company decided to add a bit of motion to the 3D design in their hero section. And it works perfectly – it doesn’t overwhelm viewers or slow down the page. Instead, it provides a powerful first impression and helps communicate the value proposition.

Conclusion

Motion design can greatly significantly user experience design. From simple hover animations to seamless page transitions, it’s a way to keep users engaged and help them navigate through the website/interface better.

These are the 5 main ways in which motion graphics design improves the user experience:

  1. It draws users’ attention to a particular task/element.
  2. It prompts users to take action.
  3. It provides feedback on an action.
  4. It improves the structure of information architecture and provides a sense of space or time.
  5. It delights users.

Although it’s unlikely that you can learn how to design motion graphics yourself overnight, it’s easy to find good-quality templates online. Working with a skilled freelance motion graphics designer is also another terrific option.

Of course, don’t forget that motion design starts with graphic design. Our unlimited design service allows you to work with a team of qualified designers and get all your graphic needs covered. Our core offer also includes simple motion graphics design. Alternatively, let our designers work on the basics, which you can later transform into compelling motion graphics for your UI/UX design.

Have some questions? Book a demo call, and we’d be happy to answer them!

InPieces_infographic

9 Infographic Examples Elevating Web Design to a Whole New Level

What is the purpose of an infographic?

Considering the answer to the question “what is the purpose of an infographic?” it becomes clear that infographics and web design are a match made in heaven.

The purpose of an infographic is to give a visual representation of complex information so that an audience can quickly comprehend it.

In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with information, infographics offer a refreshing alternative to this information overload. A good infographic is engaging, accessible, and digestible – which are the ultimate web design characteristics.

Infographics and web design

Infographics are the perfect solution when it comes to web design. Did you know that users form an opinion about your website in a mere 50 milliseconds? Google confirmed this stat in their own research, finding that some visitors are even faster.

If there is one way to quickly present information in a visually appealing way, it’s through infographics.

Infographics can drastically benefit your content strategy. A good infographic can:

  • Improve decision making – Visual information is processed much quicker. If your infographic is well-structured, you can apply a visual hierarchy and instantly show your audience what you want from them.
  • Enhance readability – Infographics convey a primarily visual story, which adds to the readability of a website. As we become an increasingly visual society, content will leave more of an impact if people can quickly understand what it’s all about.
  • Build brand credibility – You can educate your audience via a detailed infographic with high-quality data. By positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, you’ll build credibility amongst your audience.
  • Enhance shareability – If you have a stunning infographic, chances are people want to share it. This leads to backlinks, which in return, is great for SEO purposes.
  • Help tell a story – Using visual aids such as charts and graphs, infographics have a clear structure and can share intriguing stories.

The best infographic examples in web design

Below is an infographic web design galore showcasing nine infographic examples. Ready to be blown away? Then keep scrolling!

1. In Pieces

In Pieces is an interactive exhibition created by award-winning designer Bryan James. It’s an ode to 30 of the world’s most endangered species. Each of them is designed piece by piece, making for an origami-like interactive infographic design that is simply beautiful.

Bryan hopes to educate and inspire visitors to the jaw-dropping website. Doing this through interactive and stunning design is, in our eyes, the exact way to emphasize an uncomfortable yet essential message.

Regarding the design process, Bryan mentions the following:

“Born out of tinkering with a simple property, this project is unabashedly part-digital experiment. The core technology used here is just good old CSS – no Canvas or WebGL witchcraft.”

This is one of those websites on which you keep discovering new things, pulling you in right from the start. Everything is clickable, and even though the project contains a variety of resources, information is presented in an easy-to-digest way.

2. Apple

How do you showcase complex information in a way that it’s visually striking and easy to understand for everyone? Leave that up to Apple. Each release of a new product means a new page to drool over, resulting in a website filled with infographic examples to take inspiration from.

Products, especially when complex, make for good infographic topics. You can break down your product into its most prominent features and help your audience understand everything better.

Apple does this by creating stunning pages that animate while scrolling, revealing a piece of information as you go. An otherwise dull page filled with statistics is now a fun and interactive experience.

The screenshot displays the Mac Pro. If you’re not pressed for time, click on any of their products and plunge into their immersive key features landing pages.

3. Norwest Venture Partners

Ever heard of Norwest Venture Partners? Neither did I, until stumbling across their stunning year-in-review report. Spruce up dull data with an attractive infographic design, just like NVP.

Norwest is a venture capital and growth equity firm that operates in the big league. This means they’re managing incredible amounts of funding and have a wide variety of clients.

Instead of pouring these massive amounts of information into a report, their interactive page highlights achievements. It’s easy to navigate and hands over control to the audience, keeping them in charge of diving deeper into the information.

This year in review also offers some inspiration about which topics to include. Norwest made theirs more personal by allowing investors to share their insights. Rather than boasting about achievements, it’s an informational piece that adds value. Exactly like an infographic should be!

4. Inception Explained

Inception is a complex movie where you have to pay attention full-time. If you secretly still don’t have a clue what went down in that movie, Inception Explained is here to save the day. This infographic breaks down the entire movie, one scroll at a time.

Website creator Matthew Dempsey takes visitors through each level of the movie without using any images or videos. And still, the result is a crystal clear explanation of what happened throughout the film.

Haven’t seen the movie yet? Then you might want to watch it before visiting the website, as it’s full of spoilers.

5. Basement Grotesque

Basement Studio is a boutique studio based in Argentina, focusing on branding, visual design, and development. Naturally, when a studio like this releases something like a typeface, they do it in the most striking way possible.

The landing page for Basement Grotesque typeface is not only very easy on the eye, but also jam-packed with information about the typeface.

This infographic design goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a lot of graphics or colors. Interactivity and animation are sometimes enough to grab your audience’s attention.

6. Studio Ping Pong

Another year in review infographic design, this time by Studio Ping Pong, a small design studio based in India. This refreshing annual overview is filled with trendy design and humorous surprise elements.

Rather than jotting down their results and calling it a day, various statistics are represented by different animated visuals. From their shortest vs. longest projects to an overview of where their money went; everything is displayed in an engaging way that you can’t help but want to know every detail.

Studio Ping Pong’s year-in-review shows how creative you can be when it comes to designing an infographic. Adding moving elements and enticing copy makes even the dullest statistics scroll-stop worthy.

7. They Carry Us With Them: The Great Tree Migration

They Carry Us With Them: The Great Tree Migration is a project by ​​Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder and Jeremy Seifert for Emergence Magazine. This online magazine (with an annual printed edition) features a theme through the innovative use of digital media.

One of their publications is The Great Tree Migration, an immersive digital experience about the cultural and ecological story of tree migration in Maine.

A good infographic reels in its audience and visualizes an assortment of information and data, which is exactly what The Great Tree Migration does.

Through outstanding use of striking visuals paired with charts and maps, the reader is taken on the migration. Add in the element of exceptional storytelling, and it’s clear why this infographic-driven web design deserves a spot on our list!

8. Ocean Seeding

Oceaneos is an organization with revolutionary technology to save global fisheries. The cause is fighting climate change, which harms fisheries worldwide.

There are various factors at play here. Oceaneos needs to explain why the cause is relevant and how their organization will help. They do this with an infographic-driven website that shows all the relevant information in a visually pleasing way.

Ocean Seeding is an infographic example that is more of the classical approach to infographics. It’s filled with illustrations, icons, and charts. The added animation that reveals a piece of information as you scroll makes it much more enticing.

9. MailChimp

MailChimp, who doesn’t know the friendly marketing gorilla? This is the first example of an infographic that does things slightly differently. Rather than scrolling vertically, this infographic design moves along horizontally.

It’s a bold move that, paired with these illustrations, definitely works. Keep scrolling as you digitally walk through MailChimp’s 2020 in numbers (and illustrations). Browse further, and you’ll find a few of their customers’ year-in-review highlighted. A great way to actively involve customers if you ask us!

In MailChimp’s infographic, you can clearly see how storytelling is used as the main component. You step through their year in numbers in one giant horizontal illustration. There are no distractions; besides the navigation and the share button; there are no interactive elements.

Although interactive elements can be great components of your infographic web design, especially if it’s a landing page or a homepage, in this year in review case, it’s not necessary to include clickable items. It shows that your infographic doesn’t have to be very complex to be engaging.

Final thoughts

We live in an increasingly digital world, where everyone competes for attention. Infographics are excellent partners in web design since they can convey information quickly and clearly.

The diversity of the nine infographic examples listed shows endless possibilities. Bear in mind that you don’t have to pull out all the stops and completely transform your whole web design. You can also start smaller by adding one infographic to your next blog article. Or by designing this year’s review into an infographic.

What Makes a Good User Experience and User Interface Design?

Know the saying; customer is king? There is a new king in town, called the user. Your website’s success could stand or fall with user experience and user interface design. Nail both and watch your bounce rates plummet and visitor numbers soar.

The demand for user interface design and user experience design (UI/UX design) grows exponentially. Unsurprisingly so, with the number of digital products and services we use.

From good to plain average and downright bad, how do you make sure your design fits the first category?

For starters, it’s helpful to know the differences between user experience design and user interface design. Additionally, learning about the critical components of both disciplines is a great start.

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered in both aspects. From there, we’ll secure your triumph by looking at the key factors of successful UI/UX design. Let’s dive in!

The differences between UI/UX design

UI and UX design are the most important components when building user-centered products or services. They ensure users will intuitively and easily use something, avoiding frustration and headaches.

But which is precisely responsible for what? Let’s break each topic down so you can easily spot the differences from now on.

What is user interface design?

User interface design is the discipline concerned with aesthetics. This visual side of things is perfected into the tiniest details to ensure an interface and interaction that is intuitive and comfortable.

Remember that design is all about solving problems. Something can look stunning, but if it defeats its purpose, you simply can’t consider it good design.

With interface designing, think of it this way; an interface should look a certain way so you can instantly navigate your way through. A successful user interface boasts confidence in the user, making them feel comfortable and at ease.

What does a user interface designer do?

You may wonder: what does a user interface designer do? Great question, since the answer will give a more in-depth explanation of UI design.

UI designers have a variety of objectives:

  • Create an interface that accurately portrays the brand’s personality, voice, and values.
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing interface that evokes a positive response from its users.
  • Create an interface plus its interactions that maximize conversions.

As you can probably imagine, this comes with an abundance of tasks, such as:

  • Research – With a user-centered approach comes extensive research about users, competitors, and design.
  • Developing a visual identity – Even if a company already has a brand identity, these visuals need to be converted into ones that fit the actual interface.
  • Create a style guide – By creating documents and optionally templates, you can ensure the visual identity design is consistent throughout the interface.
  • Graphic design – From responsive design to call-to-action buttons, a UI designer is responsible for creating the visual side of an interface.
  • Testing – Although the testing is more a job for the UX designer (which we’ll get to shortly), a UI designer should also test their design to ensure everything runs smoothly.

What is user experience design?

User experience design focuses on how well something works when in use. Rather than being about looks, it’s about feeling. How do users feel when visiting a website?

You can see user experience design as a human-first approach to design. And the only way to know your user’s deepest desires is by extensive research and testing (and testing again).

User experience design is an umbrella term for all user-facing aspects of a product, system, or service. Ultimately, it’s about creating something users find helpful, valuable, and usable.

What does a user experience designer do?

As we did with UI design, let’s look at user experience design from a designer’s perspective. User experience designers have two main objectives:

  • Create an experience that is friction-free and puts the user first.
  • Create an experience that helps clients achieve their business objectives.

Since UX design revolves largely around conducting research, testing, and validation, you could refer to UX designers as UX specialists. These are roughly their responsibilities:

  • Research – UX design has a scientific approach, so researching to form working hypotheses is a big part of the gig. They’ll collect data in various ways, such as surveys, industry statistics, etc.
  • User flows – Rather than laying out the blueprint for a website’s layout, UX designers concern themselves with mapping out user flows of all possible scenarios.
  • Information architecture – Grouping information in a way that makes sense is vital in UX design. Keeping all previous research in mind, they design the information hierarchy to promote intuition.
  • Wireframes – Wireframes are like the skeleton of a website or system. They don’t contain any graphic design aspects yet, to avoid distraction while designing the perfect structure, layout, and user flow.
  • Testing – UX design is a closed loop; usability tests will be conducted after a design went live. Designers will then adjust according to feedback and repeat the whole process.

Key factors in user interface design

You now know the differences between user interface design and user experience design. To set you up for success, we’ll review each of the key factors of both disciplines, highlighting the differences even further.

Comfort is key

Above all, you want it to feel comfortable when you’re interacting with an interface. You don’t want any flash or fuss distracting from the goal.

Like this highly comfortable example by one of ManyPixel’s designers. It explains what is expected and reaffirms which action should be performed.

Successful user interfaces are a delight to use since they focus heavily on the user’s comfort. A comfortable user will effortlessly flow throughout your website and quickly perform tasks.

Keep it consistent

A purple call-to-action button that pops when clicked on, and then another on the same page that’s minimalistic white without any animation? Bad idea. Consistency promotes intuition, which is vital to good UI design.

Here are some tips and tricks to add consistency to your design:

  • Avoid using different styles for different elements to maintain visual consistency.
  • Interface designs should show up in a way that is expected, so minimize surprising elements.
  • Most design problems already have a solution; instead of reinventing solutions, it’s better to stick with what is already known.
  • The same goes for terminology; use standard terms and instructions instead of giving your creative copywriter full rein.

Consistency in full force by one of ManyPixel’s designers, with text and visuals displayed in a way for users to easily compare different pricing options.

User control and freedom

By keeping users in control and allowing them a sense of freedom, you keep users comfortable. And you already know; comfort is key!

There are quite a few ways to give your users a sense of being in control, for example:

  • Show the process – Is something happening that requires a bit of patience? Users have little understanding of this, so it’s a good idea to keep them in the loop, like adding a bar that fills up while something is loading.
  • Give them feedback – Instead of leaving users hanging, show them what went wrong. Like a big 404 error page (with navigation to return where they came from, please), or an indication that they’ve submitted something. Ideally, every action needs an affirmative reaction.
  • Accommodate different skill levels – A user interface should work seamlessly for both rookies and pros. Enable shortcuts or add tutorials, and include the freedom of skipping these.

That doesn’t mean visual aids can’t be simultaneously attractive. Check out the stunning 404 error page by multidisciplinary artist Niccolò Miranda.

Easy does it

Although thinking outside the box is perfectly fine, remember that less is more in UI design. Users prefer clarity and simplicity over obnoxiousness and confusion. Honestly, who doesn’t?

Add easy navigation with clear copy, reduce the number of actions required to complete a task, and visual aids to promote recognition.

A great way to add some simplicity to your design is by familiarizing yourself with the gestalt principles.

This theory is based on the idea that humans will always attempt to simplify complex visuals. We automatically do this by organizing multiple elements into a whole rather than various components, aiming to simplify and comprehend what we see.

Key factors in user experience design

Those were the four main factors in UI design. On to the following discipline; user experience design! You’ll notice that many UI and UX design factors overlap, with both fields being closely related.

Users first

The best user experience is one that meets the expectations and desires of the users. As mentioned before, there is only one way to find out what your user wants: by asking them.

UI design puts users first by filling in their desires according to industry standards. UX design does this as well, but on top of that, they continuously research their users throughout the design process to determine what their needs are. Field research paired with data is what will eventually shape their design.

Bear in mind that you are not the user. Nor is your family or your group of close friends. They may eventually use your service, but you must test users with different backgrounds and mindsets to get reliable results. Testing your design with real users is essential for successful UX design.

Accessible design for all

Before thinking of any visual aspects of a design (UI), you should consider its functionality. Think of it this way; would you invest in a stunning paint job for a car you don’t even know will run smoothly yet? Any sensible buyer would start with a test drive.

The second principle of accessible design goes beyond a functional product or service. It’s a reminder that a product or service should be accessible to any user.

Have you considered a part of your user group may be visually impaired, for example? Or from a particular not-so-tech-savvy generation?

Of course, you can’t please everyone. However, good user experience design allows users of all abilities to navigate, understand, and use your product or service.

You can find a lot of information on adapting to international standards on WCAG 2.

Follow the standards

This factor goes hand-in-hand with consistency (UI design). Rather than reinventing the wheel, it’s wise to stick to the solutions that are already out there. You’d be mad not to; someone literally did the work for you, so why wouldn’t you use that to your advantage?

Remember that user experience design is a collaboration between designers, developers, users, and other stakeholders. Next to asking your peers for feedback, it’s a good idea to keep up with trends and developments in UX design.

Some resources to stay on top of the UX game are:

  • UX Magazine – A community forum focused on exploring, discussing, and promoting the realms of experience design.
  • Nielsen Norman Group – This trusted UX research and consulting firm regularly posts articles, holds training, and offers consulting services.
  • Smashing Magazine – Practical and reliable articles for web designers and developers.
  • UX Podcast – Prefer listening to your resources? UX Podcast publishes two podcasts per month in which they share insights about digital design.

Design for different contexts

The context of a product or service is in which circumstances users will interact with it. This is extremely important in UX design: it’s not only about how your product is used but also when and why.

Responsive design plays a big role and is an absolute must nowadays. Consider users viewing your website on all kinds of devices. Mobile UX design will lead to vastly different results than UX design for a website.

On top of different devices, you should consider where your product or service is being used and why.

Spotify provides us with a case study to better understand this best practice of UX design. Many Spotify users use the app in their car, which is controversial since that could lead to dangerous situations on the road.

The music platform is continuously launching, testing, and improving a solution to this problem. They even briefly started production of their first-ever hardware device called Car Thing. Since it relies massively on the user’s phone and has the same value as a (much cheaper) car phone mount, it hasn’t gained the popularity Spotify had hoped.

The solution eventually came in the form of a simplified design in the app itself. Users can manually turn on Car Mode or have their phone switch modes automatically when connecting with Bluetooth in their cars. It’s a simplified user interface with fewer distractions and enabled voice commands.

Spotify’s Car Mode interface, screenshots via 9to5Google

We could go on and on about Spotify’s continuous efforts to make its app safe while maintaining its full experience. It’s an interesting case that shows that even the biggest names in tech need to continuously improve their design to stay relevant in different contexts.

Final thoughts

If you’ve made it this far, you’re destined for successful UI/UX design. The next time anyone asks you, “what is user interface design?” or anything about the key components of user experience design, you know the answers.

Knowledge is power, but it’s not everything. As with all good things in life, designing user interfaces and experiences takes a lot of time and practice.

Not done submerging yourself in design tips? We have plenty of articles on our blog, providing you with the latest UI/UX design tips.

Motion Graphic Design: Areas of Application

What are motion graphics? How are they used in day-to-day modern businesses? What skills do you need to look for in a motion graphics designer? Let’s dive right into some of these questions.

Motion graphic design is an area of graphic design. Simply put, it’s the creation of moving graphics, which can be in the form of text, shapes, illustrations, etc.

So, is motion graphic design the same as animation?

Yes and no. Although the two essentially mean the same thing (creation of moving graphics), they differ in complexity. Animation usually involves a more detailed storyline and is associated with complex art forms such as films, video games, or music videos.

However, motion graphics design has a vast application in the digital marketing world these days. In fact, many businesses are using motion graphics in their marketing efforts.

Here are a few ideas on how to use motion graphics in your marketing efforts.

Where is motion graphic design used?

Let’s get a better understanding of the full scope of motion graphics design by looking at some of its most common uses.

Film & TV titles

One of the first famous examples of motion graphic design is the opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Although this may not seem as impressive to contemporary audiences, it’s still a perfect demonstration of how motion graphics can enhance basic design elements (lines and text).

Not many businesses will need film and TV titles. However, it’s still worth mentioning as one of the most common uses of motion graphic design.

Animated logos

Although animated logos originated on TV, these days, they’re commonly found in the online space.

As you may know, a logo is much more than a piece of graphic design: it’s a visual representation of your brand identity. It should communicate what your brand stands for (what it does, why, and how) and who is the target audience (are they young professionals, kids, or academics).

If done well, logos stay relevant for years, despite trends changing. Just think of logos like Coca-Cola, Apple, or Google, which have been more or less unchanged for decades.

Still, we all know that the key to successful marketing is to keep up with the trends. So what can you do to keep your logo trendy but build your brand image on the solid base a poignant logo design gives you?

Create an animated version of your logo!

Kinetic typography

This area of usage of motion graphics builds on the previous one since kinetic typography is needed to animate wordmark logos.

Still, the application of kinetic typography is much broader than logos alone. We have little patience for reading online: some recent studies claim the average is around 55 seconds across all industries. Other findings are even more disheartening: a 2014 study by Chartbeat suggested that 55% of website visitors read for less than 15 seconds.

So, if you want to send an essential message to your audience, you can’t afford to bury it in a long-form piece of content.

Kinetic typography is a great way to enhance your website, ads, and social media and to make your messages stand out

Advertising

Getting people to read something online is difficult. Getting them to click on your ads is often even worse.

The average click-through rate across all industries is just 1.91% for search ads and a meager 0.35% for display ads. The CTR on social media is no better at 1.3%.

Now compare that to the fact that we see around 4,000 to 10,000 ads daily, and you’ll get a general idea of how difficult it is to get people’s attention with your ads.

Luckily, motion graphic design can significantly improve your advertising efforts. Here’s how:

  • Rich media ads have a much lower number of accidental clicks (13%) compared to static ads (38%) (Fat Finger Report).
  • 86% of marketers say videos have helped them generate more leads (Wyzowl)
  • Video ads drive a 48% higher sales rate than static ads. (VidMob)

Here’s a fantastic example of an ad created for Uber. Adding simple motion to different designs creates fun, memorable ads to target users locally: something that’s a relevant concern for the mobility company.

Explainer videos

Remember all that talk of people’s short attention span and an unwillingness to consume written content? Explainer videos are a superb tactic for overcoming that hurdle.

An impressive 69% of consumers say they’d prefer to watch a video to learn about a service or a product, and 84% of them have made the purchase after watching an explainer video.

This type of motion graphic design is prevalent in B2B and SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses. When you don’t have a physical product, an engaging video can be a perfect way to help customers understand your offer.

Here’s a great example of a graphic video from Ahrefs. The short video hones down the message that this company exists to solve a real problem for its clients. And it shows the service in action, presenting the main value proposition through a series of simple animations.

Infographics

Infographics are informative, easy to understand, and shareable. What’s not to love? Infographics are the fourth most shared type of content, and along with other visuals, they can increase sales by up to 80%!

So how do you harness this potential even better? Motion design.

Interactive, animated infographics do everything any good, static infographic would do: only better. People will be more engaged and more likely to share and remember the information much better. Even if it’s a simple pie or bar chart, adding a motion element could be an excellent way for users to engage with your data.

We have an article on infographic-driven websites that includes several examples of beautifully designed graphic animation for infographics.

User experience design

Stellar UX design is all about meeting the user’s needs and enabling them to solve problems quickly.

Motion graphics design can be a tremendous ally in this process. Instead of writing down instructions on a web page, why not add moving arrows that guide users through the onboarding process? Instead of static images on social media, create animated Instagram stories that tell potential customers about your businesses in a memorable way.

As you might suspect, the possibilities of using motion design to enhance user experience are endless. Of course, make sure you don’t overdo it, especially in web design, as motion graphics can significantly slow down loading speed if they aren’t created properly. Hiring a pro is always advisable rather than resorting to online templates.

However, remember that a little can go a long way with motion graphics. Here’s a pretty mundane example of a download button that’s still a fantastic example of a stellar user experience design.

The animation makes the button and, therefore, CTA more eye-catching. However, the best part of this design is the download process depicted with simple animation.

What skills does a motion graphics designer need?

Now that you know where graphic motion design can be used let’s talk about the skills a motion graphics designer needs to create it.

Graphic design

What are motion graphics, again? Well, as the name implies, they are graphics that move. So, it’s logical that a motion designer must also be a graphic designer.

This is a pretty broad term, though. Graphic design is a vast field with many different types and fields of application: anything from typography to web design.

Does a motion graphics designer need to be a master of all of those? Definitely not. But, they should have a firm grasp on some basic design principles and experience designing graphics, whatever their use may have been.

Animation

You understand that they are closely related, so you must wonder, which is better, animation or graphic design as a skill to look for in a motion designer?

The short answer is animation. Many talented graphic designers could come up with stunning designs but couldn’t create moving images. So, unless you want to hire a graphic designer first and an animator second, you should definitely ask for previous experience in graphic motion design.

3D Modeling

Not all motion graphic design is done in 3D, but this is an extremely useful skill if you’re a motion designer.

As you may have guessed, 3D modeling is the creation of three-dimensional objects in simulation software (such as design software). These days, you’ll see a much smaller number of 2D animations in films. However, it’s dominant in marketing and motion branding processes.

If you’re not interested in 3D animation, then the question of which is better animation or graphic design probably has the latter as the answer. In 2D animation, artists create sets of drawings that are joined to create one second of animation: usually, a single second of 2D animation requires 24 frames!

In 3D animation, there’s an additional step called modeling, which involves creating 3D objects and then adding movement to them, either by creating frames (which is rare) or in a professional software.

Final thoughts

As you can see, graphic motion design has many applications and can be a good tactic to include in your design strategy.

Keep in mind that motion graphic design starts with stellar graphic design. If you don’t have a skilled designer on hand, or want some extra horsepower for your team, be sure to check out our unlimited design service.

The Importance of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance isn’t a new concept, but the topic has been revived while slipping back into our pre-pandemic ways. Despite hard evidence against the harmful effects of working long or stressful hours, it’s still something many professionals can’t grasp. Let’s go over the tips and tricks to get to that holy ground of a healthy balance.

What is work life balance, and why should you get on board as both employer and employee? For starters, you’ll attract millennial workers. You know, the youngsters currently in their prime working years?

Whereas a bean bag and a ping-pong table used to attract the occasional millennial, we suspect even those won’t budge post-pandemic. With Beyoncé’s “You Won’t Break My Soul” as a fresh battle song, skimping out on healthy working conditions is non-negotiable.

And honestly, there is no reason to. Technology makes it more and more achievable to maintain a healthy balance. And we haven’t even mentioned the perks of happy, healthy employees.

According to Dr. Nelson’s “Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy,” firms that appreciate employee value see a return on equity and assets triple as high as those that don’t.

Let’s dive into the definition of a healthy work-life balance, see why it matters and go over tips and tricks to improve your own or your company’s policy on it.

What is work life balance?

Let’s not rush into things and establish a definition first because the exact meaning of work-life balance isn’t set in stone. Ask a boomer and a millennial what it means to them, and you’ll most likely get two vastly different answers.

Work-life balance is not a perfect split, as in fifty percent work, fifty percent personal. It’s a balance between the two in which someone feels most comfortable. And that’s where things get tricky.

A work-life balance can mean something different to everybody, but it’s also fluid over time. What works for you one day may very well not work the next. Single or married, with or without kids, remote or in-office, countless factors are weighing in that contribute to your version of what is a good balance of work and life.

At the core of it, a healthy work-life balance is all about as little stress as possible. Working in a safe environment, under a manageable amount of pressure, and with reasonable responsibilities. Not to mention a normal amount of hours and off-time.

Indicators showing that your balance is off:

  • The overall feeling that you can’t keep up.
  • You struggle to meet important obligations.
  • Small tasks feel like incredible burdens.
  • You’ve become cynical or resentful.
  • You’re exhausted.

Reasons why a healthy work and life balance is important

According to studies from the American Institute of Stress, 83% of American workers suffer from work-related stress. Of those, 19% say it’s due to balancing work and life.

Obviously, none of these indicators previously mentioned sound appealing. But since it sometimes works better to highlight the positives, let’s shed some light on the positive effects that come with a healthy work-life balance.

Carving out time to improve your company’s policy on work-life balance or your own will come with a number of benefits. Here is why a healthy balance between work and life is important.

Mental health

Long hours, unhealthy relationships in the team, and poor communication are just a selection of things that contribute to an unstable work-life balance.

Promoting mental health and supporting people with mental health-related issues will help reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. Both impact your economic gains, but we’ll get to that later.

Physical health

If stress levels get high, it will translate into physical health issues. From exhaustion to muscle tension that could lead to headaches, you can probably see why this isn’t something you want your employees to deal with.

According to the American Institute of Stress, firms spend around 75% of an employee’s annual salary on replacing workers or covering lost productivity. Prioritizing mental and physical health will prevent a workplace from dealing with a lot of absenteeism and a loss of productivity.

Productivity boost

Not much of an empath? Then take a look at the cold facts. According to a study by the World Health Organization, every $1 put into scaled-up treatment for common mental disorders returns $4 in improved health and productivity.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand why a healthy person (both mentally and physically) is more productive. An organization is only as strong as its people, after all. A healthy person is often energized, in a good mood, and has a clear focus. Doesn’t that sound like the dream employee?

Better morale

The morale of your staff is the backbone of your company. Positive morale increases efficiency and high-quality results. But there’s more to it.

Imagine you’re hitting a rough patch. You’ll need to rely on your employees to pull the company through. Or if you need to recruit highly capable people. For example, if there are countless bad reviews on Glassdoor, don’t expect top talent to knock on your door.

How to improve work life balance?

At this point, you might realize this whole work and life balance thing sounds pretty good. Wondering how to improve work life balance? Let’s go over some tips and tools you can utilize to boost balance, whether you’re an employee or an employer.

Work-life balance tips for employees

If you’re currently working for a company but feel like you could use a more healthy balance between work and life, here are some tips.

Take time off

This may sound like kicking in an open door, but taking time off from your daily obligations is crucial to staying happy and healthy. Notice how it says daily obligations rather than work. If you have a bunch of obligations at home, you deserve a break from those, too.

Taking time off can take many shapes or forms. A full week of vacation, half an hour, and everything in between, as long as it’s your time. Think about ways you can destress, by turning off your phone or going into nature, for example.

Prioritize your health

Another obvious but crucial way to boost a healthy balance is by prioritizing your health. A healthy body is much better equipped to deal with stressful situations.

You don’t have to be an athlete on a raw vegan diet; the key is in balance yet again. Finding a happy medium that works for you and is feasible to maintain long-term.

Start by making small changes, like going to bed half an hour earlier or drinking a glass of water when you wake up.

Set boundaries

Feel anxious just looking at your calendar? Learning how to say no and setting clear boundaries will have a positive effect on your mental health.

Although a certain level of flexibility is necessary to power through life, it’s okay to not be flexible for a change and stick to what you think or feel you need.

Work your own way

Perhaps you’ve had a glimpse of life working from home during the lockdowns, and liked what you saw. Or maybe you prefer working four slightly longer days to have a fifth day all to yourself.

Sit down with your boss to see if you can mold your job into something that suits you better. Working Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, and luckily, more and more people have started to see this.

Are you the person running a company or in charge of the health and happiness of employees for a certain company? Good on you for showing interest in boosting your employees’ work and life balance! Let’s go over tips that will lead to a healthy balance.

Better communication

By communicating clearly, you manage expectations and keep everyone on the same page. It also helps create a sense of equality throughout the company. Sharing similar information with everyone in the office will show you respect and trust employees.

Additionally, it helps to plan ahead, give employees feedback and let them know what you expect from them. A lack of communication can cause confusion, leading to frustration, and negatively impacting a work environment.

Check-in with your employees regularly to ask how they’re feeling, what they’re struggling with and if you can help, leading to the next point:

Offer support

Support for a healthy balance between work and life can come in many forms. I once worked for a company where you could pick your own benefits. That way, employees could choose if they wanted more paid days off or get a bonus instead, for example.

Offering flexibility is a great way to show you support your employees individually. You might have an employee that would come into work much happier after a morning workout, delaying his starting time by an hour.

Additionally, you can consider offering professional support services such as coaches and mental health specialists.

Adequate and flexible policies

If you want to improve work and life balance for your employees, now is the time to take a closer look at your policies. Is there anything you can alter to boost a healthy balance?

Here are a few things you could consider:

  • Being more flexible about working at the office versus at home.
  • More flexibility when it comes to starting and ending times.
  • Scheduled check-ins with employees.
  • Making a habit out of rewarding and celebrating good results.
  • Tighten the rules about working over hours.
  • Alter the norms in paid and unpaid time off.

Work smarter, not harder

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to work smarter, not harder. How? By outsourcing!

Deloitte’s outsourcing survey report shows that companies that outsource reduce their costs and boost their efficiency. If you haven’t considered outsourcing yet, let’s go over a few hypothetical scenarios to show you why it may be the best solution yet.

Your graphic designer has an ever-growing pile of tasks on his desk. He’s doing a two-person job, but you can’t afford to hire another full-time designer. Outsourcing your everyday graphic design needs will leave room for your in-house designer to focus on the more important designs.

Ideally, your communication department focuses on boosting your brand. But sending out incredible newsletters, actively sourcing stakeholders, and creating viral content takes time. Meanwhile, your communication employees are busy with client feedback and requests. Outsourcing your customer support to a dedicated company will save your communications team time to focus on boosting your brand.

Tools for a better work-life balance

If you’re currently working for a company but feel like you could use a more healthy balance between work and life, here are some tips.

Take time off

This may sound like kicking in an open door, but taking time off from your daily obligations is crucial to staying happy and healthy. Notice how it says daily obligations rather than work. If you have a bunch of obligations at home, you deserve a break from those, too.

Taking time off can take many shapes or forms. A full week of vacation, half an hour, and everything in between, as long as it’s your time. Think about ways you can destress, by turning off your phone or going into nature, for example.

Prioritize your health

Another obvious but crucial way to boost a healthy balance is by prioritizing your health. A healthy body is much better equipped to deal with stressful situations.

You don’t have to be an athlete on a raw vegan diet; the key is in balance yet again. Finding a happy medium that works for you and is feasible to maintain long-term.

Start by making small changes, like going to bed half an hour earlier or drinking a glass of water when you wake up.

Set boundaries

Feel anxious just looking at your calendar? Learning how to say no and setting clear boundaries will have a positive effect on your mental health.

Although a certain level of flexibility is necessary to power through life, it’s okay to not be flexible for a change and stick to what you think or feel you need.

Work your own way

Perhaps you’ve had a glimpse of life working from home during the lockdowns, and liked what you saw. Or maybe you prefer working four slightly longer days to have a fifth day all to yourself.

Sit down with your boss to see if you can mold your job into something that suits you better. Working Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 is an outdated concept, and luckily, more and more people have started to see this.

Are you the person running a company or in charge of the health and happiness of employees for a certain company? Good on you for showing interest in boosting your employees’ work and life balance! Let’s go over tips that will lead to a healthy balance.

Better communication

By communicating clearly, you manage expectations and keep everyone on the same page. It also helps create a sense of equality throughout the company. Sharing similar information with everyone in the office will show you respect and trust employees.

Additionally, it helps to plan ahead, give employees feedback and let them know what you expect from them. A lack of communication can cause confusion, leading to frustration, and negatively impacting a work environment.

Check-in with your employees regularly to ask how they’re feeling, what they’re struggling with and if you can help, leading to the next point:

Offer support

Support for a healthy balance between work and life can come in many forms. I once worked for a company where you could pick your own benefits. That way, employees could choose if they wanted more paid days off or get a bonus instead, for example.

Offering flexibility is a great way to show you support your employees individually. You might have an employee that would come into work much happier after a morning workout, delaying his starting time by an hour.

Additionally, you can consider offering professional support services such as coaches and mental health specialists.

Adequate and flexible policies

If you want to improve work and life balance for your employees, now is the time to take a closer look at your policies. Is there anything you can alter to boost a healthy balance?

Here are a few things you could consider:

  • Being more flexible about working at the office versus at home.
  • More flexibility when it comes to starting and ending times.
  • Scheduled check-ins with employees.
  • Making a habit out of rewarding and celebrating good results.
  • Tighten the rules about working over hours.
  • Alter the norms in paid and unpaid time off.

Work smarter, not harder

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to work smarter, not harder. How? By outsourcing!

Deloitte’s outsourcing survey report shows that companies that outsource reduce their costs and boost their efficiency. If you haven’t considered outsourcing yet, let’s go over a few hypothetical scenarios to show you why it may be the best solution yet.

Your graphic designer has an ever-growing pile of tasks on his desk. He’s doing a two-person job, but you can’t afford to hire another full-time designer. Outsourcing your everyday graphic design needs will leave room for your in-house designer to focus on the more important designs.

Ideally, your communication department focuses on boosting your brand. But sending out incredible newsletters, actively sourcing stakeholders, and creating viral content takes time. Meanwhile, your communication employees are busy with client feedback and requests. Outsourcing your customer support to a dedicated company will save your communications team time to focus on boosting your brand.

Toggl

Toggl is an all-rounder that could seriously improve efficiency. It consists of three platforms; one to track your time, one to plan your projects, and one to help you hire smarter.

This bundle of productivity paradise works for both single users and companies. It gives great insight into how time is spent, helps with clear planning, and removes the hassle of hiring new people.

Offtime

Offtime is a very straightforward app that helps you unplug and leave your phone for what it is. During usage of the app, no notifications will come in unless a number calls you repeatedly.

With Offtime you can easily hold yourself accountable to take a digital detox.

Headspace

Headspace is an affordable meditation app that works on a subscription basis. If you instantly have bare feet bonfires popping into your head when thinking of meditation, think again. Headspace is as straightforward about meditation as it can be, eliminating all flash and fuss.

The meditations are brief and easy to follow, allowing users to squeeze in a session everywhere, anytime they feel like it.

ManyPixels

We couldn’t help but do a little self-promotion. Did that scenario about your graphic designer resonate with you? Or are you a graphic designer yourself who can’t keep up with growing client demands? Opting for a subscription-based service such as ManyPixels is a hassle-free and affordable way of outsourcing your everyday design.

There are three different plans to choose from, each allowing access to an easy-to-use platform through which you can request unlimited graphic design.

Sprinklr

Are you running a service or product-based company? Then we probably don’t have to tell you how happy customers can make or break your brand. Keeping up with customer service is no joke, but with Sprinklr, it becomes much more manageable.

Sprinklr allows you insight into your customer experience. It collects every message coming in, so if you give access to an agent, they can quickly answer inquiries. Additionally, you can see the overall sentiment and engagement statistics to see what needs improvement.

Final thoughts

You’re now well aware of the importance of a healthy balance between work and life. It takes time and effort to find something that works for you or your employees, but considering the benefits, it’s worth it.

Hopefully, these tips and tools will help you find balance between work and life!

How to Measure Graphic Design Impact

Graphic design is all around us, but few people understand its enormous impact. How does graphic design impact our daily lives? What is the impact of design on business success? How can you measure it and ensure you’re using design to its full potential? Let’s dive into the topic of graphic design impact!

Let’s start off with a famous design quote:

“Good design, when done well, should be invisible.”

Hang on – how can something that’s meant to be visual be invisible as well? Just take a good look at this web page. Each element (text, layout, logo, images, etc.) had to be designed separately. Is this something you’re going to consider while reading a blog post? Probably not. But are these elements significant in allowing you to enjoy the read? Absolutely.

How does graphic design impact our daily lives, then? The list is too long to get into. From this web page to every logo you see on your technology and clothes, to books and magazines you keep beside your bed.

It’s evident that graphic design is everywhere, and businesses simply can’t exist without it. But what kind of an impact does design have on the success of a business, and how can we measure that impact?

What is the impact of design on business success?

Let’s circle back to all the things in your daily life that had to be designed. Did their design prompt you to choose them from a sea of similar products?

Here are just a few of the ways graphic design impacts business success.

It’s the foundation of a brand.

Let’s start with the most obvious way design impacts business success. Every brand needs a logo, which has a considerable impact on the success of a business.

For example, 60% of consumers will avoid brands with unattractive logos, and 75% recognize brands by their logo design.

Of course, there’s more to it than numbers. A logo represents your brand identity (your mission, vision, and values) and is designed to help you connect with your target audience. The entire look of your brand – website, product packaging, t-shirt, business card ideas – all of it stems from the logo design.

Without design, you may have a business, but you won’t have a brand.

It helps businesses stand out.

So, now you’re ready to start building your brand image. Bad news. Many other companies are trying to win over your potential customers.

Yet again, graphic design can help.

Why is it that among dozens of very similar technology companies, Apple still reigns supreme when it comes to customer loyalty? The answer is simple: stellar branding. People don’t buy Apple products because of their functionalities. There are many other products on the market with the same performance, and that often cost less. When buying Apple people also buy the brand.

And incidentally, the thing that makes Apple stand out from its competitors is design. Design is “in Apple’s DNA” and it’s something the company has become known for. From the sleek look of their products, to always-innovative ads, Apple always knocks it competition out of the park

It’s a part of web design and content marketing.

You’ve hired an SEO expert and put a lot of effort into your content marketing strategy, because you know that content marketing is one of the most effective ways to achieve brand awareness and build credibility. But how does web design impact content marketing?

In more ways than you think.

People need just 50 milliseconds to form an impression of a website, and yet 75% will judge a company’s credibility based on it. Website design also has a significant impact on SEO. Good layout and easy navigation means a positive user experience, resulting in lower bounce rates and better ranking in search engines.

Web designers also ensure that all the content is optimized for web use, especially images and videos. And considering 53% of people will leave websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load, you can see how loading speed is of the utmost importance.

So how does web design impact content marketing? In a nutshell, it allows it to reach the right audience. You could create a useful infographic or write a superb blog post. But without a designer to make sure everything looks right, your content efforts will be in vain.

It’s a part of product design.

As you might have realized, design is much more than pure aesthetics.** Design can also impact product effectiveness and usability**.

Perhaps it’s effective product packaging that entices customers to purchase or adds value to the product. This creative packaging for over-the-counter drugs is a terrific example of user-oriented design.

Or in the case of UI/UX design, graphic design is a key feature of the product. Think about a handy app with a terrible interface. A user would get frustrated, and all the fantastic functionalities would go to waste.

How to measure the business impact of design?

Now that we’re clear on the impact of graphic design on any business let’s tackle a much less straightforward topic: how can you measure design impact?

I’m here to tell you off the bat that there is no strict scientific method for measuring design impact. Although its importance has been proven repeatedly through numerous studies, it can be tricky to track the direct relationship between design and business success.

Design is an integral part of business. So, it can be challenging to ascertain whether success/failure results from design or something else (market positioning, messaging, budget spending, etc.)

Moreover, design is often a complex process, which often involves revisions and adjustments. That’s why understanding how you can measure design impact is vital for devising an effective design strategy.

Here are a few simple tactics that will help you measure the impact of graphic design.

Set up KPIs

This is perhaps the most challenging and also vital part of measuring the impact of design. The thing about design KPIs is that on the surface, they might look exactly the same as sales and marketing KPIs. For example, you might want to look at:

  • sales/profit numbers
  • social media metrics
  • clicks on display ads
  • sign-ups to your newsletter
  • website visitors
  • new product purchases

And the list goes on. But, as you might expect, none of these things depend on design alone. So, to use them in refining your design strategy, you should also note the next step.

Match design projects to KPIs

Once you have your performance indicators in place, you must assign specific design chunks to them. This way, you can go deeper into the metrics and customer behavior to properly assess whether the success/failure of certain aspects is design-related or not.

Here are a few ideas on how to match different types of design to KPIs.

Views & brand identity

At face value, it’s the most crucial metric for anything design-related. If people overlook the design, you might need to overhaul your strategy. Perhaps you should go back to your brand guidelines and check if your designs are aligned with your brand image. Alternatively, you may consider rebranding to reach a selected target audience more effectively.

Airbnb was founded in 2007 as co-founders Brian Chesky, and Joe Gebbia looked for a way to secure the much-needed rent money. Only 7 years later, the company was a global brand, and the cheap-looking logo simply didn’t work anymore.

So, the company came up with a trendy new logo and a look to match it. The result? In just 2 years, the company increased its profit by 80%

Click-throughs & CTA buttons

This metric is tied to the previous one. Suppose you’re getting a lot of views, but your CTR is still low. In that case, you may want to revamp the look of your call-to-action buttons or redesign the layout so that information is more straightforward.

For example, Hubspot ran a test where the change in the color of the CTA button from green to red led to a 21% increase in clicks. Although we usually associate green with actions such as “go” and “confirm,” in this case, the green CTA button didn’t provide enough contrast with the rest of the page.

Conversions & landing page layout

So the views and click-through rates are high, but you’re still not getting the desired conversions. What can you do?

Make sure you optimize your e-commerce page: improve the presentation of your products and make the cart easy to navigate and manage.

Here’s a compelling case study from a Polish e-commerce company called Grene. The test in question was run on their mini cart page, and here’s what the page looked like initially.

After collecting some user data, they made what may seem pretty cosmetic changes to the page. They:

  • added a CTA button at the top as well as the bottom of the mini cart.
  • made the main CTA button bigger and more prominent;
  • included a remove button on the side of each item for accidental clicks.

Not complicated, right? Well, these minor design/development changes doubled purchase quantities and boosted conversion rates from 1.83% to 1.96% in just 36 days of running the test design.

Review customer feedback

You might think that customer surveys are a bit dated, but they’re still a valuable source of qualitative data. For example, you can have an email survey or a simple poll on social media.

Of course, you should never take them at face value. Instead, cross-check the feedback you get from customers with the other data you have collected. This doesn’t just help you filter out the genuinely actionable and relevant feedback; it also helps you identify the exact impact designs have on a set of metrics.

Look at your website heatmap

A website heatmap is a visual representation of how people interact with your website. It shows which sections get the most attention/clicks and which areas might be overlooked.

This is an essential tool for assessing the impact of graphic design.

If you notice that people are spending a reasonable amount of time browsing through your website but not making the desired conversion, the issue might be a lot deeper than design alone. On the other hand, if a particular design element, like a menu or CTA button, seems to be overlooked, the issue might be with an unimpressive design.

Run A/B tests

As with many other areas of digital marketing, design can also be optimized. How can you do that? By trying out different variations, of course!

Remember that design is closely tied to user experience. What may seem like a change in color or text size can significantly change the overall customer experience.

The context will always affect the design, so don’t assume that the same strategies apply in all cases (e.g., bigger CTA button = more conversions). Collect feedback and data, and test a few options to see what works.

Final word

As you can see, measuring the impact of graphic design is no easy feat. And yet, you definitely don’t need an MS in design to develop a killer design strategy.

All it takes is a little time, patience, and, naturally, a reliable design team. Testing different options and the ability to alter designs easily are necessary for optimizing your design strategy and improving your business results through the power of design.

But as a small business, you probably don’t have the funds to employ a whole team of designers that would allow you to do that. Never fear! There’s a fantastic solution right at your fingertips: ManyPixels.

We’re an unlimited design service, which means you can get all your designs at a fixed monthly fee. As many revisions or variations as you need, without any extra charge. Plus, you get access to a team of designers with skills to match your needs. Need to revamp a landing page? No problem! Your display ads feel a bit flat? We’ll lift them up!

Ready to give it a go? Sign up today with our 14-days money-back guarantee! Or, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

Nail Your Digital Marketing Tools

What are digital marketing tools

Before throwing all these buzz words your way, let’s answer some questions. Like “what are digital marketing tools” and “why should you use them?”

Digital marketing tools help you think up, set up, launch, and measure your marketing campaigns.

Any brand promotion aiming to connect with an audience using digital communication is considered digital marketing. In short: if a marketing campaign uses digital communication, it’s considered digital marketing.

With technology developing rapidly, the amount of ways to digitally market your product or service follows suit. There are countless useful marketing tools to reach an audience worldwide, from social media to SEO. At the same time, this is the problem. Who has the time to keep up with it all?

Especially if you’re a small business or an entrepreneur without a sizable marketing team, you need all the digital help you can get.

Since this article is about saving you time, we’ve laid the groundwork and found the best digital marketing tools. No endless lists of incredibly similar services, just two platforms for the most popular marketing tools in digital marketing.

Instead of going on a research spree to find out what is the best email marketing tool, the answers are mere scrolls away. Let’s dive in!

Social media

Social media is an integral part of digital marketing. It allows you to publish engaging content to connect with a broad audience. You can reach staggering numbers within seconds of posting, and with the data most platforms show you, you’ll have a nifty overview of your campaign’s results.

Between creating a content strategy, creating the actual content, engaging with your audience, and finding content to repost, that’s a full-time job.

Looking for an affordable solution to effortlessly manage your social media? These platforms will help you nail your content strategies and connect with an even bigger audience without wasting your valuable time!

HootSuite

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok. And that’s just from the top of my head. Are you still bouncing between platforms, typing in your captions manually? HootSuite is here to make your life easier.

This social media management platform allows you to simultaneously schedule all of your posts in one place. HootSuite is packed with handy features, such as a calendar, a real-time effectiveness tracker, and customizable streams to help you stay on top of trends.

You can review what works and more importantly; what doesn’t. This way you’ll be able to strategically plan and post your content to maximize engagement.

HootSuite offers a limited plan for free to get a feeling for the platform and use its basic features. If you want more, you can opt for a paid subscription-based plan, starting at $49 per month.

Quuu

Are you still grinding all day to create stunning and unique content to fill your social media feeds with? Although unique content is incredibly valuable, so is sharing content from others. It will create a more nuanced feed with content for your audience to consume.

Finding high-quality content relevant to your business and your audience is like finding a needle in a haystack. Or is it? Not if you get an ally involved like Quuu, one of the top digital marketing tools to find the best content there is.

Quuu is a hub filled with high-quality content sourced by their A.I. curation genius, Robin. Choose from 500 interest categories for each social media profile, and receive up to 6 suggestions per profile per day.

Instead of endlessly scrolling through Google results, you’ll have a wealth of curated content at your fingertips. The content Quuu picks is share-worthy since it is checked for quality and has a proven track record of engagement. Integrate with a planner like HootSuite, and it’s smooth-sailing ahead!

Quuu has a free plan, a Pro plan ($5 per month), and a Business plan ($15.83 per month).

Email marketing

With a staggering user base of over 4.5 billion, email is a marketing channel you shouldn’t neglect. Especially considering it has the highest ROI of all marketing channelsYou’ll get $36 in return on average for every dollar spent on email marketing.

Instead of pondering whether you should spend time on email campaigns, you should ask yourself, “what is the best email marketing tool” and get to it already. Here are two good marketing tools to send out effective email campaigns in a flash.

MailChimp

MailChimp is a one-stop shop to start sending out striking email campaigns. It’s as straightforward as it can get so that even rookies can get in on the perks of effective email marketing.

MailChimp has a lot to offer, like a drag-and-drop platform to design your newsletter, nitty-gritty statistics, and a sign-up form generator.

Not only is MailChimp easy to use, but it’s also genuinely user-friendly. There are numerous resources for you to use, and every step of the way, you’ll find cues and tips to guide you.

MailGenius

You can have stunning personalized email campaigns, but if they land directly in spam, you will spend all of your efforts in vain. That’s where MailGenius comes in to help.

With MailGenius, you can check whether your emails land in that dreaded spam box for free. Opt for their monitoring plan if you want to pull out all the stops. They will monitor your domains and give you handy reports every week, showing how your emails perform.

Additionally, you can schedule consultancy sessions to have actual human beings help you get your spam rate to 0% and increase opens and clicks.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization, SEO in short, is where it’s at in the digital marketing world. Optimizing your website for search engines is one of the most effective marketing tools to boost your digital growth. It will help you get more visibility, which inevitably leads to more visitors and conversions.

It’s a crucial tool to use but not an easy one. Where you can start your email marketing campaign by simply dragging and dropping away, SEO is a bit more complex than that. Luckily, there are numerous marketing tools out there that can start you off on the right foot.

SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the best digital marketing tools for improving your SEO strategies. It’s an all-in-one platform that offers a deep dive into the world of SEO, whether you want to spy on your competitors, find the best keywords, or run an in-depth website audit.

The platform comes with a staggering list of possibilities, which can be overwhelming when you’re just dipping your toes into the ocean of SEO. That’s where the Semrush Academy comes in. You’ll find endless courses, from an SEO crash course of an hour to a class on performing an advanced competitor analysis.

The Pro plan starts at $99.95 per month if you pay annually, which isn’t cheap. You can also use a free account with limited options or begin with a 7-day free trial.

Screaming Frog

Would you rather spend your time on something else than learning the ropes of SEO? We don’t blame you; outsourcing is often the best solution to save time. Screaming Frog is an agency that has a dedicated team readily available to boost your SEO.

The agency is known worldwide for its crawler, a free-to-download program that does a technical audit of your website.

They also offer a log file analyzer, which you can download for free. This program helps you with invaluable insight into which of your pages search bots can crawl, identify slow pages and broken links, and give an overview to compare data.

Graphic design

Visitors assess the appeal of your website in as little as 50 millisecondsThe only way to wow visitors right off the bat is by using stunning design. The complex world of good graphic design and striking ad campaigns is not something you’ll easily learn yourself, so we highly recommend finding all the help you can get.

Hiring a graphic designer will set you back over $50,000 per year. For many businesses, that isn’t feasible. Don’t fret; there are other ways to get your hands on striking visuals without breaking the bank.

Canva

Canva is a straightforward design platform that lets you create anything you could dream up. Whether you need a new social media post or a banner for your newsletter, Canva has countless templates.

You can use limited options for free, but there’s also a Pro plan available starting from $12.99 per month. This gives you more choice regarding fonts, images, and templates.

Since Canva is pretty straightforward, it’s a widely used platform, which comes with one disadvantage. You risk having similar content as your competitors.

Having unique content comes with numerous benefits. You’ll increase the recognizability of your brand and establish trust with your audience, to name a few.

Canva is a fun platform for creating ordinary designs. However, if you’re looking for custom design to reel in potential customers, it’s better to leave it up to the professionals.

ManyPixels

Do you want to get your hands on unique designs created for your brand without spending top dollar? ManyPixels is an affordable platform where you can request unlimited design.

With ManyPixels, you don’t have to worry about hiring professional designers. It comes with vetted and battle-tested designers who are ready to create.

The straightforward platform allows you to submit your design briefs and upload your brand’s assets. A designer will work on your request every business day, sending you an endless design stream. This way, you can quickly scale up your creative content production.

Communicate directly with your designer through the platform to provide feedback because endless revisions are also part of the deal. Invite your team to collaborate on projects to keep everyone involved.

Plans start from $549 monthly, a flat fee with no additional costs. You can save by paying quarterly (-10%) or yearly (-20%).

Integration

The final step of running your marketing operation smoothly is integration. Using all these different platforms gets much easier if you use a tool connecting them. Like a Swiss army knife for the best digital marketing tools.

Zapier

Zapier is the solution to automate processes from different apps you use. HootSuite, MailChimp, SEMrush; over 5000 apps are automated with Zapier.

Especially if you’re using a variety of different marketing tools across the web, Zapier can help you save a lot of time by connecting them and automating their processes.

There are tons of pre-made workflows you can choose from, like automatically subscribing Facebook Lead Ads to your MailChimp campaign. Zapier also lets you set up your own flows. Just connect all of your apps and start building!

Asana

Asana provides your team with a toolbox to keep track of projects, campaigns, and tasks. It’s like a to-do list but on steroids.

You can seamlessly work together with your team on everything your company is currently handling. Create different dashboards, and integrate your favorite marketing tools such as social media; Asana is full of possibilities.

Keep oversight of all of your marketing campaigns and make sure you never miss a deadline again by efficiently organizing everything in Asana.

The free version is available for teams of up to 15 people and comes with simplified tools. Their premium plan starts at $10.99 per user per month when billed annually.

Final thoughts

The ever-expanding world of digital marketing tools can feel like you’re constantly trying to play catch-up. Luckily, a lot of smart people developed nifty platforms so that it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

It takes a bit of time to set everything up, as well as an initial investment. But if you compare the subscription costs of most platforms with annual salaries, it would only make sense to opt for platforms first. Once they skyrocket your business toward success, you can always think about increasing headcount!