User Experience Design, Useful Web Design Tips and Color Palettes

 

Hi Everyone,

Well, we made it through one of the worst typhoons in history here last weekend. Recovery efforts are still underway. Luckily, we all have our electricity back—a very good thing. 🙂

Brand Insight: User Experience Design

In the past year I have been delving deeper into the field of User Experience Design. As a Brand Identity Strategist and Designer this has been a very organic progression in my professional development. I wrote a post about it a few months ago: see it here.

In this post I talk about the following topics:

  • What is Usability anyway?
  • It’s Common Sense; Design to Your Visitors’ Habits and Preferences
  • Maximize Prime Real-Estate
  • Cut the Junk
  • Always Ask the Ultimate Question

I’ve learned so much since I stepped into this continually evolving field and have implemented many of the insights that I’ve picked up. I’ve seen dramatic transformations take place for existing brands that has lead me to adopt several of the core practices of User Experience Design.

That is why I chose to revive this former post in this week’s Brand Insight. Enjoy.

Don’t Forget These Other Useful Tips

Site Planning 101

  • Research the Competition: Competitive Analysis- national, regional and local levels
  • Define Site Goals
  • Gather Content

Color Tip

For this week’s color tip, I’d like to share more about color palettes, as I did in my last blog post. This week we’ll focus on monochromatic color palettes.

Monochromatic color schemes use variations in lightness and saturation of a single color.

This creates a scheme that looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors fit well together as they are soothing.

Monochromatic palettes are easy on the eyes, especially when built with blues or greens. They can be used to establish an overall mood. For flexibility, the primary color can be integrated with neutral colors such as black, white, or gray. However, due to the lack of contrast, highlighting the most important elements of an artwork can be a challenge.

Tips For Use:

  1. Use tints, shades, and tones of the key color to enhance the scheme.
  2. Try the analogous scheme; it offers more nuances while retaining the simplicity and elegance of the monochromatic scheme.

Source: Color Wheel Pro

Pinterest is a great resource for exploring color palettes of all varieties. Start a board on there and then share it with your designer when you are working on your next project. Below are a few palettes that I have used in the past and that I have tucked away in my virtual briefcase.

Image of a Green Color PaletteImage of a Pink Color PaletteImage of a Purple Color Palette

Thank you so much everyone and enjoy your weekend!

Jennifer

 

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Designer’s Intuition: Knowing What Web Design Approach is Best for The Client

Hi Everyone!Pure Designs Logo

I apologize for missing you last week. I’ve been busy on a big project (golden pains) and needed to give it my full attention. Things are going well so, I made some time to write about something that is on my mind. Read on…

As I mentioned in a previous post, Content Management Systems (or CMSs) are very powerful web design tools that allow designers to build custom blogs, websites, landing pages and newsletters for their clients quickly and efficiently. While they are a great option, and often my preferred option, there are certain situations where they might not be my first design choice. In this post I’ll list instances where I feel that a CMS solution is best and, conversely, where a hard-coded option would be a better choice. This is by no means an exhaustive list; these are merely the instances that I work with most.

What I’ll talk about:

  • Blogs/Photo Galleries
  • Long-Term Maintenance: Client as Maintainer
  • More Than One Content Creator
  • Speed to Launch

Plus More…Read On

Continue reading

The Color of You: Color Theory in Brand Identity and Event Planning

by Jennifer Beatty

When you are choosing color for your own unique identity, whether it be for your business, your personal brand/image or for your wedding or special event, you need to be mindful of your choices and select a palette that is an authentic representation of you. It should represent your core values, goals and true self so that when clients/customers/guests approach your business or attend your event, they get what they anticipated. Their expectations are met.

That’s right, this goes pretty deep. If you think about it, the palette that you choose represents you visually, a critical piece to your identity. This palette will also be present throughout your entire brand identity, from your logo to your business cards to your website to your store signage (both physical and online storefronts) and apparel. The list goes on and on.

When I’m designing for a client, I always start with color. Whether it be a logo, website, invitation or event collateral, I construct a color palette at the start of the project. How do I do this? By working with the client and getting to know them and their business and then drawing on my knowledge of color theory and design. I learn what their values and passions are as well as their short and long term goals. From there I start building color palettes and then present a Mood Board to the client (by the way, mood boards are excellent tools in the design process. They are a collection of colors, fabrics, images and anything else I can think of that helps me to communicate the vision I have for a project). Once we solidify the color, the rest of the design begins (but that’s another post or more!)

What I’d like to share with you in this post is a snippet of the world of color. There is so much to share, I wish I had all day! However, there are, like all things in design, fundamentals that, when utilized, will bring a brand identity together.

Below is a quick history on how color is made along with descriptions of two basic color combinations along with examples of where you can find them. These will give you some insight to what I mean about the importance of color and how it works.

It all starts with the color wheel. Here, we start with the purest forms of color, the primary colors; red, yellow and blue (check out the colors in the Burger King and McDonald’s logos for use of the primary colors; very dynamic and even kid-friendly) and build out from there, creating thousands of palettes. You can mix them and then mix again, tweaking hue, value and intensity to create custom color combinations.

Analogous colors are next to each other on the wheel. They are similar in hue and flow well with each other. Analogous colors create strong moods and can be very powerful, like warm reds and oranges for romance or cool greens to elegantly display healthy food (many spreads in Martha Stewart’s magazine feature great use of analogous color).

On the other hand, complimentary colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange or violet and yellow. Complimentary colors are complete opposites yet they play off of each other well. Take a look at the world around you (school and sports team colors for example), especially when something colorful catches your eye. Chances are, those colors are complimentary. Take red and green, used extensively during the holiday season. These two colors are compliments and have served to brand this time of year well.

So what does this mean for you and your brand?

Color affects us emotionally and physically. It creates perceptions about things, people, businesses and anything else it is a part of. It also has cultural meaning throughout the world. These are all things that you should have as a part of your research when developing your identity or planning events that you are hosting, especially if you have a global business and, with the rapid advances in technology, reaching markets worldwide is very possible. Work with your designer on what color palette is best for you, your business, or event.

Have fun with this and get out there and color the world!

Check out a page of color palettes that I put together on my website, complete with graphics for better visual clarity.

To contact me, click here.