All posts tagged “Elements”

Freebie Release: Infographic Elements By Vector Open Stock

If you have come across plenty of infographics online, you may have thought about releasing your own. There are a lot of tools out there to help you do this fairly easily but your design will be far from unique, design-wise. To help you with this, our friends at Vector Open Stock have released a freebie exclusively for hongkiat.com readers.

Vector Open Stock is home to more than 1600 original vector graphics, with 10 free vectors released every day. In this freebie pack, they have included icons, bars, world maps, pie charts and other design elements that would fit perfectly in an infographic.

While the elements are primed for content to do with fashion, mobile preferences, career, work and transportation, you can use them in any other setting that fits with your infographic.

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All elements are available in AI and EPS format. Click here to download.

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We have plenty more free graphic resources you can download for your design projects which you should check out.





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20 Photoshop Elements tutorials to try today

Read more about 20 Photoshop Elements tutorials to try today at CreativeBloq.com


Adobe’s Photoshop Elements is a program containing many of the features of the professional version of Photoshop but sold at a fraction of the cost. Here we’ve rounded up a selection of top Photoshop Elements tutorials, for use in version 7 and up, from around the web. Getting started




Creative Bloq

The Ebove Bike from Activetainment: A virtual reality-compatible indoor mountain bike trainer that blends elements from video games with training

The Ebove Bike from Activetainment

For most adrenaline-seeking mountain-bikers, sitting on a stationary bike is less of a substitute for the real thing and more cruel and unusual punishment. But as technology aids indoor trainers in becoming more engaging, staying bike-fit throughout……

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Elements of Intuitive Mobile User Experience

With million of apps available to download, as well as mobile optimized websites, consumers have a sea of choice and little tolerance towards apps that don’t deliver. The spotlight is not on how to launch apps quickly, rather on how to improve the different elements that create the mobile user experience.

Elements of Intuitive Mobile User Experience

In this brutally competitive market, quality and seamless performance always win against brand loyalty. In the app world, there are no second chances.

Remember, the competitor’s app is only a tap away. Ultimately, everything is about developing a mobile app that not only stands tall in the crowd, but also beats the competition. Consumers are fiercely vocal about an app’s shortcomings; even minor flaws are not spared. It takes a conscious effort throughout the design and development process to get mobile app user experience right.

While spectacular visuals and elegant interfaces can entice customers to hit the download button, a long-lasting relationship depends on the quality of user experience, which is directly proportional to how the app performs. Mobile applications need to focus on core functions, and they need to be fast and reliable in order to create an impact on user’s life.

Good looks alone can’t influence user’s experience with the app.

It is all about right feeling

Mobile user experience primarily takes into account the user’s engagement level with your mobile app before, during and after their interaction. It is all about relevance and effectiveness. You need to focus on how the user perceives and enjoys interaction with the app. It is all about making user’s life easy and providing holistic, easy to use and valuable solutions.

Example: Hulu

Hulu

Hulu is a free vod (video on demand) application. Many popular shows including TV shows, seasonal shows, kids shows, reality shows etc. IT is the most engaging Android app till now which gives right feeling to it’s audience.

Rise above the clutter

Each and every aspect of the user interface design must serve a purpose; any superficial element that doesn’t need to be part of your mobile app should be simply knocked off. Even if you think a feature is critical to the success of your app, reconsider it repeatedly. It’s not a random coincidence that extremely popular mobile apps are the ones that let users do a few tasks very well. Minimalism, ease of use, efficiency and sophistication can act as a differentiator and set you apart from competitors.

Example: FaceTune

FaceTune

FaceTune is a efficiently powerful photo editor with sophistication and easyness with simple interface layout. It’s features makes it outstanding among all other paid apps.

Don’t reinvent just for the sake of innovation

Undoubtedly innovation drives the mobile app world. Users expect robust and cutting-edge features. However, in a bid to innovate don’t deviate from best practices. Reinventing for the sake of innovation could alienate users. Implement simple and clean features that users are already familiar with, as well as adopt Apple and Android rules for mobile user interfaces. Users will engage with familiar interface immediately, instead of navigating through complex navigation.

Example: Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Temple Run, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope

Such apps have made their mark in app history by achieving unbelievable success through launching new inventions and features to their existing game apps.

Rich interface

Just because we suggested not to reinvent the wheel, does not mean that your mobile app interface should lack the look, feel, features and the cool quotient. In fact, creating a dynamic experience that delights and connects with users is one of the most important differentiators in a very saturated and competitive field. Smart and apt use of content delivery, transitions, video, images and audio can help you achieve your goal.

Example: Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine & Nike+ Running

Vine is the best way to upload and share videos free in unlimited manner. Whereas Nike+ Running is for tracking your running progress to reach the goals. Both of these apps have tremendously beautiful interface. The look & fell they give to the user is completely rich.

Rise beyond the obvious

If you are looking to improve user experience, you need to rise above the cliché and traditional analytics tools. Use sophisticated visual mobile analytics tool. This tool provides the insight behind user action by presenting you with key behavioral visual data. It transcends beyond the concept of just working with the numbers that a traditional tool provides you with. This gold mine of information allows you to optimize your app strategy.

Example: Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee etc.

Kony, Flurry, CA Analytics and AppsSee

These are some really helpful visual mobile app analytics tool which can provide more insight on user behavior rather than just providing some statistics of traffic. By using any of these, you can make sure your mobile app strategy is working in perfect direction throughout the design, development and marketing process.

Don’t go overboard with jargon

This is one of the most basic, yet blatantly overlooked guideline in user experience. Well, technical jargons are a way of life for developers; users tend to think the other way. They expect warmth and a simple language that is easy to understand. The ultimate goal should be to empower and enable users to perform tasks effortlessly without making them jump through unnecessary roadblocks.

Optimize content for mobile

Designing for mobile apps requires striking a perfect balance between simplicity and functionality. One needs to take into account several constraints such as limited screen size, bandwidth, speed to ensure optimal performance, as well as factors such as devices or operating systems. While designing one needs to consider the constraints and make every inch count. Simply emulating your desktop site will not work. Remember, mobile is about keeping context and location at the forefront. Ensure that core features and content are optimized for mobile.

Example: Expedia

Expedia

Expedia is the best example of content optimization for mobile.

Usability for both novice and pros

Walking the tight rope. It’s important to keep in mind that while designing a mobile application, you are targeting two groups of users with very distinct capabilities. More than likely, both novices and experts will use it. This effectively means your app interface should deliver an experience that is intuitive for the novice, yet captivating for the experienced user.

Example: Umano

Umano

Functionalities and features Umano carries are truly handy for both novices and mobile experts.

Thumb rules

When it comes to mobile app, consider the user’s thumbs, ability to grip, and motion. Remember these factors play an instrumental role into how responsive an app is and whether it is appealing enough to encourage users to come back. Can users navigate through the app with one hand? Is it easy enough for left-handed users or not?

Staying relevant

Relevance is the most crucial factor which will determine the success of your customer experience. Users need to see a reason to adopt and engage with your mobile offering. Only thorough knowledge of your target knowledge enables you to meet their expectations. Once you understand what users want, you need to map user needs against your core business objectives. Once you determine the connection between these two elements, channelize your efforts towards the area. Successfully align the user’s needs to the device capabilities and offer a personalized and relevant experience. Make optimum use of factors such as location, social network, or time.

Context matters

A smartphone or tablet can be used at anytime, anywhere. The needs of mobile users are different compared to those using a website. They may be walking on a busy street, using tablet for a quick product comparison, or actually purchasing. In such cases, these users can get easily distracted and the mobile context plays an instrumental role. Context is all about circumstances that affect interaction between the mobile user and the interface. It can change constantly and rapidly. Think about enhancing device capabilities to anticipate and support the user’s context of use.

Example: Amazon & Fish Dope

Amazon & Fish Dope

In Amazon app, it shows products and offers based on your location, whereas in ‘Fish Dope’ app, it locates your place with real time GPS and guides you about fishing on particular place and particular time.

Constant evolution

The mobile app industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. Whether it is advances in technology, rapidly changing trends and user preferences, conflicting business requirements and last but not least, feedback from your users. Consumer expectations are higher then ever. You need to be responsive to such changes and take conscious steps to improve your mobile proposition. Listen to your users and respond quickly to their feedback and their needs. Introduce new features as required. Don’t blindly ape your competitors. If your users experience technical glitches, immediately correct them. Constant evolution can help you survive and stay ahead in this competitive world.

Analyze and comprehend: Ultimately iterative process works

It is important to analyze comprehend how users are behaving and interacting within their apps at a contextual level. In-depth study of user behavior will strengthen your app marketing initiatives and enhance the mobile user experience.

Here are few key features of user behavior analytics tool that will help you refine your app marketing efforts.

User recordings

Get deep into every action users are taking; gestures such as pinch, tap, and swipe. This will allow you to fix problem at the root level and help you in converting new users into active.

Touch heatmaps

Visualize user behavior on your app’s screens with a visual aggregated report of all gestures performed on each screen. With this crucial information, you can eliminate and revamp confusing UI elements, ultimately securing high conversion rates.

Realtime in-app analytics

Analyze where users spend the most time and how they navigate through the screens of your app, as well as any glitches they may have experienced. You can take preventive measures.

Notifications: Next big thing

Whether it is wearable, smartphone, tablet, or PC, the goal is to provide a robust user experience, irrespective of device or screen size. There is a noticeable shift towards actionable notifications which is fast replacing opening a full app. Notifications provide user with predictable and a consistent experience. That’s incredibly powerful and future of user experience.

Visit us at InstantShift.com

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Change the colour of multiple elements with Photoshop Smart Objects

Read more about Change the colour of multiple elements with Photoshop Smart Objects at CreativeBloq.com


Whether you’re working on a website, mobile app or even a brochure layout, there is always a period of time before you’ve fully locked down your colour palette. Even when you have, you may not know where each of the colours will be applied or if there will be lighter or darker shades used in certain instances. The subtle differences between #ccc and #aaa are significant enough that you may want to try multiple variations of colours in that range before you find the perfect grey.




Creative Bloq

Key Elements of a Launch Page

12053600_sA launch page can be described as a beta page for an upcoming start-up. This is the “coming soon” page that companies put up before they are ready to launch their services or products. In order to effectively set up a launch page, there are some key elements that the web designer has to keep in mind.

Proposition

The first key element of a launch page is the information about what you are currently doing. With a clear and concise text, you will be able to set the expectations of the users. This information can also be used to spark the interest of the users.

On the other hand, withholding some information can surprisingly be effective in eliciting some level of interest in the start-up. In fact, one of the trends in creating launch pages today is using a stealth strategy. A stealth start-up can somehow manage to grab the attention of many users while deliberately holding back certain information about what the company will be doing. This can keep the audience on their toes.

Interesting Stories

Stories can grab the attention of your audience and make them stay. By sharing some stories in your launch page, you can introduce a bit of character and personality into an otherwise simple page. Moreover, any disjointed facts can be put together in a cohesive way using stories.

Telling stories is also a great way to interact with the users. Interesting techniques such as vertical scrolling and animation can be implemented in order to effectively tell a story.It will be ideal to put a call to action at the very end of the story.

Notification Form

As mentioned previously, another key element of a launch page is an eye-grabbing call to action. After showing the users what they should be watching out for, you can then give them the chance to subscribe to your website in order to learn more about the service or product ahead of the general public.

Viral Loop

With a viral loop already built into the launch page, you can jumpstart a sharing cycle among the target audience. This can be achieved by giving the users some incentives to share the news or the webpage to their friends.

For example, those who will share the web page to at least three of their friends can be given free early access to the new service or product.

Exclusive Subscription

Exclusivity can be a great tool in convincing people to join or subscribe to your website. Exclusivity can make the users feel valued because not everyone can easily join. Facebook, for example, started out as a website exclusive to only one university.

An invite-only sign up page can make the website more appealing to some users. Another way to introduce exclusivity to a launch page is to display the time left for the users to sign up.

Sharable Content

Even without any incentives for sharing and signing up, it is still possible to expand to a greater market with the use of sharable content.Infographics, videos or even toolkits can serve as such sharable content for your launch page. Anything that is interesting or helpful can be used to gain traction before the actual launch of your start-up.


Web Design Fact

The Essential Elements of a Portfolio Website

Professionals in the photography industry are feeling the heat when it comes to demonstrating the value their work can impart. Whether it’s winning an assignment with a top-rate photography magazine, being hired by a client or seeking a photographer’s job role at the daily newspaper – the indispensable role of a photography portfolio cannot be ignored.

The Essential Elements of a Portfolio Website

As personalized, web-based collection of work, the portfolio becomes a platform wherein your diverse talents as a photographer are displayed. For someone on the hiring end, viewable samples of your work can provide a comprehensive idea of your potential.

As a client, they’ll be greatly influenced by your past work, particularly if they’ve come in through a reference. Which brings us to an important point of discussion, and perhaps the first when beginning with a portfolio – is this going to be a personal portfolio or a professional one?

As a work in progress, an online portfolio is always dynamic, never static. It is rarely a finished product. Having said that, the need to constantly update your work and keeping yourself abreast of trends in portfolio setup is a task that demands your constant attention.

“The Medium is the Message – Marshall McLuhan”

The Medium is the Message

Nowadays, majority of the smart lot of photographers have an online portfolio. So understanding the web as very different from a print portfolio is necessary – the latter being much more challenging and offering new dimensions of showcasing work. In such a case, the medium, or the web becomes a potent tool to put your message forward. Electronic portfolios offer numerous advantages over their paper-based counterparts. These include higher interactivity, portability, durability and the fact that it’s technologically scalable.

An inherently vital part of the message is knowing the audience. Who are you making the portfolio for? What is it that they’d like to see on your site? What do you have to offer to them? Why is it that they’ve come to your site, and might choose you over other competitors? As a photographer, do you have a USP? Having answered these questions will give you a clearer picture of how exactly to get started. It’ll help you prioritize and plan your portfolio better.

Below is a checklist you must adhere to for a portfolio that meets your goal best.

Before you begin: Checklist for an e-portfolio

Checklist for an e-portfolio

  1. Visual Content: Decide what you’re going to be putting up. Make a separate folder for all the rich, high-quality, visually attractive images that will be a part of your portfolio. Go slow with this. Choosing your best images might not happen over the coffee table in one night! Take your time in selecting your best work. Sit around with your best critics perhaps – if that works!
  2. Worded Content: Have the content ready for what you wish to share with the world to know about yourself. This should include your skills and accomplishments, the kind of work you’re looking for, the genres that are your forte, etc. Remember, like in every profession, you will have to market yourself. And what you tell the world about yourself, is what they know about you.
  3. Choose a professional Portfolio Website Builder: This can really put it all together for you. Bring pen to paper and begin with listing your requirements. Look up popular portfolio websites and prioritize. See which fits your needs and bills. Don’t compromise on the money aspect, if a site is really worth your investment. Read reviews and see live sites already being hosted by the portfolio builder.
  4. Schedule updates: Keeping your site current and updated is crucial to the ‘life’ of your portfolio. Ensuring that your recent work is well-highlighted, perhaps even follow a timeline basis when uploading your photos.
  5. The Legalities: Decide on what the legalities will be. What kind of rights are you going to give to your clients? Copyrights, credits, disclaimers, etc should ideally be drafted prior to your site goes live.

Essential Elements To Build A Successful Online Portfolio

Essential Elements of Online Portfolio

Here are the essential elements to help you build a successful online portfolio. However, there are some essential elements (in no particular order) that can help you build a successful online portfolio to add to your professional development. These include:

1. A Leaned-out Layout:

Opt for a simple, bold, minimal, dynamic, friendly, visually stimulating, unusual or innovative layout. The person who lands on your site should feels ‘connected’ instantly, as it’s the first thing they will notice about the site. The layout should be compatible with what you’re going to be displaying on the site. So if you’re a sports photographer, a great kick captured should be your primary photograph. Whether it’s a fixed width or a full width layout, nothing works better than a beautiful single page portfolio layout. Accessibility and functionality are key aspects of layout and if these two are met to a certain degree, your site will surely have done have the job well.

2. Use an Intelligent Theme:

Ideally, if you’re a photographer who engages in wedding photography, a site that is all black and white, might fail to appeal. Connect occasions, and spaces to color. Typeface, design and visual elements should not overpower your work, at the same time, the selected theme should be able to balance out all elements well.

3. Be Sure of Your Content:

Content isn’t called king for no reason. When you’re giving taglines and captions, ensure the content is as descriptive as can be. At the same time, photographs are subjective. Allow viewers to draw their own meaning from what they see. Writing captions beyond 2-3 lines takes away from the charm of delving deeper into the picture. Even your tagline should be short and crisp – summing up the who, what, why and where. This tagline can go a long way in encouraging a viewer to go ahead and take a look at your gallery. Perhaps the only section wherein you can, and should write longer is in the ‘about me’ section. Here, you can include your education and experience, along with projects and assignments that you have been a part of. Many photographers choose to put completely different pictures of themselves as compared to what they shoot, perhaps one with their family in a happy moment. And it never fails to touch base with just about everyone. Having a camera in your hand against the setting sun is not always a good idea for the image in the About Me – that’s not all that defines you, or does it?

4. Bet on an Inspirational Blog:

The blog is quite an essential feature quite of your portfolio website. You can write about the stories behind your photographs, and how moment that you were in when clicking it. People tend to connect with the photographs more when they read of the stories behind the frames. The Search for the Afghan Girl is a perfect example of ‘stories from behind the frame’. So if you were on an Alaskan Cruise and had an interesting story to share behind the shot of a grizzly bear, that’s bound to qualify for a great story too! Readers would definitely want to know how, using which equipment and tools did you manage to get a prized shot. Besides inspiration, you can also tell the world about your work in greater detail. If you’ve done an assignment for a major corporate, name the company, put in some details about the project, related essential media etc. Feel free to link your previous websites, old blogs, inspiration galleries and works of artists that have influenced you.

5. Attract with Great Multimedia Content:

Photo galleries, slideshows and videos are a great way to showcase your work. Ascertain the size of the images before you upload, look for any restrictions that the site may offer when it comes to limiting the number of images that may be uploaded and choose which formats suits you best. Conversion from RAW to JPG or JPEG might mean a slight decrease in quality, so choose accordingly. Slideshows can make the site a slow loading one, so figure how you see a slideshow serving your purpose. Eventually, a simple, fast-loading and neat portfolio takes the cake. Moreover, in an ideal situation, the work speaks for itself!

6. Ease of Navigation:

Smooth navigation and resulting accessibility makes for able sites and should be the primary aim when setting up an online portfolio. The core idea behind great navigation is to access the content on the site easily. This can be done by color coding navigation areas, or in a way highlighting them to stand out on the site, and avoiding the use of horizontal scrolling. The process of navigation should successfully merge the concept of usability with aesthetics. Effective navigation is one that is consistent with other design elements of the website and enables click through easily to each page on the website. However, be wary to limit the number of links, clicks and scrolling and other aspects that will lead to poor navigation. Cumbersome navigation often leads to loss in traffic, whereas a pleasant user experience can greatly increase chances of returning visitors.

7. Indispensable Social Media Integration:

An interesting way to keep the site updated is by integrating it with your social media accounts. Updating the site too often might not be feasible, but your updates on social media accounts such as Facebook and twitter, can help you maintain communication with your clients. Besides, it can help you get exposure to new client base as well as help search engines find you better.

8. Put out Those Testimonials:

Everyone loves some good praise! And with the praise garnering more appreciation and work, it couldn’t be better! Including a diverse testimonials section within your website ensure that all reviews about you are found in one place. The client will largely depend on testimonials to know ‘how great’ are your services. Moreover, as a photographer, testimonials can be the most affordable marketing tools. As the online word of mouth, their authenticity gives rise to uncontested credibility. If you have a varied photography portfolio, let a wedding photographer, a sportsman, a local newspaper or your previous employee pen some credentials for you.

9. Dig the Gold Mine:

Contact info on your page is like a gold mine uncovered for your business. It’s quite an important element in the midst of these, yet it’s importance often undervalued. Besides linking to your social media accounts, do also give your mail (a professional mail id), and a contact number – whatever your preference might be. While contact details must be provided, mentions on multiple pages can make you sound a tad bit desperate. The idea is to be as accessible to the client as possible without overdoing it. An inviting tone, with correct contact information acts like a customer support that’s just as vital to your business as to anyone else.

Conclusion

Consider your portfolio your playing field. You’ve got to give your best performance. At the same time, be wary of any information overload you might possibly be indulging in. Be prepared to understand evolving technology, and face challenges in the realms of privacy and copyright. However, a portfolio is a useful and powerful medium – not one to be ignored nowadays. So get one and be ready to embark on a lifelong journey of learning and experience with your portfolio. It’ll be incredibly overwhelming to see how you’ve grown as a photographer, a few years down the line.

Visit us at InstantShift.com

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15 great Photoshop UI elements for your web designs

first image of the post
For any web designers, Photoshop UI elements always act as a boon as it saves their time and effort. They do not have to create each element from scratch. And in this blog post, we are introducing 15 great Photoshop UI elements such as psd buttons, psd icons, psd media players and many more for […]

The post 15 great Photoshop UI elements for your web designs appeared first on Design daily news.

Download the free transport icons package now!


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Freebie Release: “Modern Business” Infographic Elements

The landscape of business is constantly changing and so does the technology and marketing techniques involved. A lot more businesses are using the power of infographics to really reach out to their target market.

If you’re a designer doing some work for businesses in all shapes and sizes, chances are you have probably gotten some free vectors, PSDs and the like from Freepik. After all, Freepik is one of the biggest sites on the web for you to search for free vectors, stocks photos, PSD files and even SVG icons.

Below, we have a special treat that’s been designed by Freepik, exclusively for our Hongkiat.com readers. This “Modern Business Infographic Elements” consists of 3D elements, device graphs, gradients and other cool elements for you to choose from.

Available in AI. and .EPS format, go ahead and take a look for yourself.

Download

Download "Modern Business" Infographic Elements





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WOO Toys from Vrtíška Žák: Decorative toy concept embodies natural elements and draws on simplicity, thoughtfulness and whimsy

WOO Toys from Vrtíška Žák


Created by Czech design and architecture outfit Vrtíška Žák, WOO toys are a boy’s dream come true. “We wanted to design something just for ourselves without any client. So…

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