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

 

Brand Development, Color Insight, Inspiration and eBooks: This Post Has It All!

Hi,

Disclaimer: This post is packed with fantastic content. It’s a little longer than usual so bear with me. I’m adding a couple of mini-sections that are driven to help you put all of the pieces of your brand together, at least as far as my expertise reaches. Take a look below to learn more and get started!

In this post, you’ll see:

  • Brand Development Insight
  • Color Tip of The Week
  • Purely You- Inspiration just for you!
  • Featured Article- Publishing Your Passions through eBooks, eZines and Digital Newsletters

Brand Development Insight

All of my design work helps my clients build a cohesive brand. The brand is the bigger picture that my design work is a part of. Therefore, I’d like to include a tip or two in my posts that links back to your overarching identity.

This week: Brainstorming Your Brand.Before we can get started on building the visual identity of your brand, it’s important to get clear on your Brand Positioning and Brand Promise. This is something that we can certainly do together- it actually helps me as a designer so that I can get to know you and your business thoroughly. To cut to the chase

Pure Designs Brand Piece

Pure Designs Branding Graphic

on this, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Who Are You?
  2. What Do You Do?
  3. Who is Your Target Market?
  4. How Are You Different?
  5. What is Your Promise?

This is what I did for myself and it works wonders. It really helped me to dig deep and establish focus for my business. From here, developing my brand (selecting color, typography and graphic elements) was so much easier. So, get started with these and have your answers ready when you meet with your designer. They’ll thank you, trust me.

Continue reading

Bringing your Website to Life with Images and Graphics

Hi,

Here we go…

Photos, Graphics, Illustrations, Color Splashes,…Illustration

These are vital components to websites and are so exciting to work with. I can’t wait to share this with you…you’ll see why. Read on.

When building a website, in addition to employing the ‘techie’ side of our skill set, designers access our artistic and graphic design roots in order to create authentic and positive experiences for site visitors. How do we do this? By enriching web pages with colorful, visually compelling images, graphics, photos and typography. This is built around the core content of the site so that it (the content) takes center stage and does its job. We want to build a site that reaches out, draws people in and delivers to visitors what they came to get; be it information, products, etc.

The main goals of a web design project, at least as far as I see it, are that the website is:

  • Authentic- a true representation of the business, individual or event that I am designing and building the site for
  • Functional- i.e. easy to navigate, quick to load, mobile friendly
  • Visually Compelling- graphics and typography that are relevant to the reason the website is being built. Graphics serve to support the central message of the site, they should never be superfluous and disconnected.

In this post I will be going over how artwork (colors, typography, graphics, photos, logos, etc) works as a part of this whole user experience (we’ll touch on typography here- a key element- and I’ll go in-depth about it in another post), as a part of the overall web design and how it supports the goals of the website.

Continue reading

The Vital First Steps You Can’t Miss When Designing Your Website

Hi everyone, Pure Designs Blog

I’d like to change gears in the next couple of posts and bring you into my workspace for a look at what you can expect, and what you should expect when working with any designer, when we work together on a design project. I tend to say that “the perfection is in the process” because when I am working on a design project, there are several steps involved that are vital to its success.

I know that I’ve been talking a lot about color in my recent posts. Definitely a BIG piece to the project and something I’ll get back to in the next post. However, before you build the design and incorporate color profiles, images and graphics, you need to determine the overall structure, layout and functionality of the website so that when visitors arrive they can easily find their way around and get what they are looking for as they admire the visual elements. These beginning steps are quite involved and are so important– that is why I’d like to talk about them with you.

Now, you’ll start to see some of my inner nerd come out here. The first steps in a web design project involve a lot of research, analysis and outlining. I love these steps though for the insight that they deliver as well as the value that they give my designs. I really rely on my research when I design. So, without further ado, I’d like to get started with the first four steps in the process (we’ll discuss the remaining steps, that involve visual elements like color and graphics, in the next post). They are:

  • Initial Consultation
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Site Mapping
  • Wireframing/Prototyping

Continue reading

Colorful Inspiration PLUS Link to a Color Profile Case Study

Hi everyone,

To close out another productive work week– it’s been busy in my neck of the woods, in a good way- I wanted to share some colorful inspiration with you.

I really love this image…I thought of a name and added the text…

Bright Blooms ImageI was so inspired by this that I found similar images and created a webpage for them.

Bright Blooms 2

Bright Blooms 3
Disclaimer, I found these in the Creative Commons section of Flickr, a great place to find photos that you can take and use as you desire, like for Mood Boards as I do. No strings attached! Link to the webpage I built for this HERE. I call it Bright Blooms.

Also, to see more imagery and insight into the Color Profile Process for Design and Advertising, check out this post I wrote for 365 Days of Marketing’s Blog. In the post I take you through the process that I carry out when working with a client on a color profile for their branding efforts. You’ll see an in-depth account of the research, consultation, art and design that takes place as well as the visual pieces that result. Take a look…

Thanks so much,

Jennifer

Pure Designs is a creative company that I launched in order to offer graphic design and web design services to small businesses and individuals. With over ten years of experience in Marketing and Design, I have a wealth of information and inspiration to share. I love what I do and look forward to each and every day that I can design. View my portfolio here, http://jenniferlbeatty.com, to get an idea of what I do. Comment on this post or use the contact form on my website to reach me with any questions or to book a consultation. Talk soon!