Most travellers make last-minute decisions, even though they spend significant time researching things to do before embarking on their trip. Finding a hotel and flight is relatively easy, but when it comes to tours and activities, the problem is that late or last-minute bookings are not always available.
And if they are available, the process of making a purchase online is often hard. The mobile experience can also be limited because many websites are slow or their booking process is long and complex.
Being a designer at the moment is great because a wealth of modern design applications are available that let you easily bring your ideas to the screen: Sketch, Affinity Designer, Adobe XD (beta) and Figma, to name just a few (not to mention the classics, Photoshop and Illustrator).
One app that is quite new, though — and perhaps a bit overlooked — is the free Gravit Designer app. Gravit gives you all of the tools needed to create functional and elegant screen designs. It can also be used to make icons, designs for print, presentations and much more.
If great design can imbue customers with trust, why are designers so removed from product management and the larger business strategy? As a VP of UX with an MBA, I strive to bring both worlds together to create a new model in which user experience and design align with overall business strategy and company vision to drive increased revenue and customer engagement.
As the Internet became commercially viable, “first to market” generally prevailed as a dominant corporate strategy. However, as technology has become more open and reusable, product differentiation is now a proven strategic blueprint. This tectonic shift has been a boon for the design discipline. Consequently, design has gotten the proverbial “seat at the table” and is now expected to be a driving, strategic function.
UX design hasn't been the same since Sketch arrived on the scene. The app has delivered a robust design platform with a refreshing, simple user interface. A good product on its own, it achieved critical success by being extended with community plugins.
The open nature of the Sketch plugin system means that anyone can identify a need, write a plugin and share it with the community. A major barrier is stopping those eager to take part: Designers and front-end developers must learn how to write a plugin. Unfortunately, Objective-C is difficult to learn!
You might have noticed it already: in the past few weeks you might have missed Anselm's Web Development Reading List issues here on SmashingMag. No worries, from now on, we’ll switch to collecting the most important news of each month in one handy, monthly summary for you. If you'd like to continue reading Anselm's weekly reading list (and we encourage you to!), you can still do so via email, on wdrl.info or via RSS. — Editorial Team
Developers and organizations alike are looking for a way to have more agility with mobile solutions. There is a desire to decrease the time from idea to test. As a developer, I often run up against one hurdle that can slow down the initial build of a mobile hypothesis: user management.
Over the years, I have built at least three user management systems from scratch. Much of the approach can be based on a boilerplate, but there are always a few key items that need to be customized for a particular client. This is enough of a concern that an entire category of user management, authentication and authorization services have sprung up to meet this need. Services like Auth0 have entire solutions based on user and identity management that developers can integrate with.
Not all products are created equal. While we repeatedly buy some products almost mindlessly, for others, we take a lot of time to make a purchasing decision. For a price tag that meets a certain threshold or if we are particularly invested in the quality of a product, we want to be absolutely certain that we are making the right choice and are getting a good product for a good price. That's where a feature comparison table makes all the difference.
Feature comparison tables are helpful not only in their primary function, though. When designed properly, they can aid in decision-making way beyond placing product specifications side by side. They can also add meaning to an otherwise too technical product specification sheet, explaining why a certain feature is relevant to the customer or how a certain product is better than the others.
Recently, I was leading a training session for one of our clients on best practices for implementing designs using HTML and CSS. Part of our time included a discussion of processes such as style-guide-driven development, approaches such as OOCSS and SMACSS, and modular design. Near the end of the last day, someone asked, “But how will we know if we’ve done it right?”
At first, I was confused. I had just spent hours telling them everything they need to “do it right.” But after thinking about it, I realized the question was rooted in a deeper need to guide and evaluate what is often a set of subjective choices — choices that are sometimes made by a lot of different people at different times.
Editor's Note:This article is targeted at readers experienced in using Google Analytics. If you're new to Analytics, the following guide might be challenging.
Many websites use internal advertising in the form of banners or personalized product recommendations to bring additional products and services to the attention of visitors and to increase conversions and leads.
Naturally, the performance and effectiveness of internal marketing campaigns should be assessed, too, as this is one of the most powerful instruments for generating more leads, more conversions and more revenue on your website. In many cases, web analysts use Google Analytics' UTM campaign parameters to track internal advertising.
Creating good user experiences for apps inside messaging platforms poses a relatively new design challenge. When moving from desktop web to mobile interfaces, developers have had to rethink interaction design to work around a constrained screen size, a new set of input gestures and unreliable network connections.
Like our tiny touchscreens, messaging platforms also shake up the types of input that apps can accept, change designers’ canvas size, and demand a different set of assumptions about how users communicate.
Have you ever read a post that has left you feeling wholly inadequate because you know you can't live up to the high standards they layout? Well, that is how I feel when I read posts about how much to charge my clients.
When Smashing Magazine asked me to write an article sharing my thoughts on pricing my services, I agreed without much thought. But now I sit down to write it, and I'm faced with a conundrum. Do I write about how you should price projects or do I tell you the truth about the unorthodox approach I take?
Using voice commands has become pretty ubiquitous nowadays, as more mobile phone users use voice assistants such as Siri and Cortana, and as devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home have been invading our living rooms.
These systems are built with speech recognition software that allows their users to issue voice commands. Now, our web browsers will become familiar with to Web Speech API, which allows users to integrate voice data in web apps.