Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Live Video Anymore? The Current State of Live

Live video remains a core feature of the top social networks, but have you noticed that the live video buzz may have cooled?

Why isn’t anyone talking about live video anymore?

How should you be thinking about live video and your social media strategy in 2019?

We believe there are still significant opportunities to use live video to your advantage. This week on the Science of Social Media, we hope to give you some fresh perspectives and ideas on what live video could look like for you and your brand in 2019.


The State of Live Video in 2019

If you think back three years ago to 2016, live video was everywhere.

Facebook Live had just debuted, and you had platforms like Periscope and Meerkat making waves as well. Live video seemed destined to be a huge focus for social media and for marketing strategies.

An emarketer study showed that one in every three Internet users had watched a live video in 2016, and that number was double for the much-coveted millennial demographic. Live video was going to be the future of how we interacted on social media.

state of live video 2016 - emarketer study
Live streaming video in 2016 (via emarketer)

What a difference a few years make, right? Live video seems to have gone from front-of-mind to back-of-mind for marketers and for the social networks themselves. Case in point …

And the stats seem to point to a shift as well — or perhaps to a signal that live video never really took off in the way we thought it would. According to the annual State of Social Media report that we conduct at Buffer, 25 percent of brands had posted a live video in 2016, and the number only grew to 30% in 2017. Far from the rocketship growth that people expected.

What’s more, in our latest State of Social study, live video wasn’t even mentioned. Instead, brands seem focused on their overall video strategy … “live” included: 85% of brands posted at least one video last year, and the majority of brands used Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

video-content-frequency
Video stats from the 2019 State of Social Media report

Instead of doubling down on live video in particular, brands now consider live video as one of many different types of video distribution methods. You have live video alongside Stories and video ads and YouTube and so much more.

Video remains one of the most engaging, best converting types of content.

Live video has become one of many tools in your video toolbox.

Almost all of the major social networks have live video in some form. Facebook Live is still going strong, as is Instagram live. Twitter continues to use live video really successfully with its Periscope product.

Plus, you have places like YouTube and Twitch, where livestreaming is huge.

Video game streaming alone has become a major attraction with the rise of e-sports, and beyond video games there are creators and influencers who have amassed giant viewership numbers for their streams.

There’s even talk of Instagram testing out a co-watching feature on the app, which would be a way to live discover Instagram videos together.

So the live video experience continues to be one that is valuable and in-demand for social network users. It might just end up looking a lot different than the live-everything world we predicted a few years back.

3 Strategic Use Cases for Live Video in 2019

It may be the case that fewer people are talking about live video — it may have never reached the critical mass that everyone predicted, or it may be on the backburner compared to newer social network features and strategies — but it is not gone forever, not by any means.

In fact, live video is thriving for particular niches and strategic use cases.

Historically, people watching videos on social media will stick with a live video for 3x longer than other videos, so it’s no surprise that social networks continue to keep this feature going.

Here are three specific strategies you could try in order to take advantage of live video in 2019.

1. Live video is a go-to tool for influencers.

Live video is a very personal medium, which caters perfectly to influencers and individuals who are growing their personal brand. This group has a huge range: from teenage YouTuber stars to marketing personalities to rising politicians. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently livestreamed herself building IKEA furniture, for instance.

alexandria ocasio cortez instagram live ikea video
Screenshot of congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streaming live on Instagram (screenshot courtesy of Elle)

Many networks are even moving to make live video a lucrative choice for influencers by allowing donations and tips during livestreams of things like gaming and AMAs.

2. Use live video for a Q&A with your audience

Because of the personal nature of live video, there is some real power behind the ability to converse directly with someone.

This makes for an ideal outlet for a Q&A. Picture a fireside chat. There’s an intimacy and an immediacy to those chats which live video does a great job of replicating: it makes it feel much more real-time than many other mediums.

Brands can take advantage of this by holding Q&A sessions with company leaders or get-to-know-you sessions with teammates.

Quick tip: When you’re running a live Q&A we’ve found it to be really helpful to have an extra set of hands on set. We will often have an additional teammate looking at the comments to make sure everyone gets a response and to surface questions for the presenter to address on the video.

3. Live video is great for anyone who is just getting started with growing their presence on social media

One of the very best features of live video is its visibility in the interface of all the different social networks.

Take Instagram, for example. When you stream a live video through your Instagram Stories, your Stories avatar gets moved immediately to the front of the line. Typically, the order of avatars is determined by the Instagram algorithm. But with live video, your Story gets immediate access to the first spot.

Instagram live interface profile avatar and feed
Samples of what Instagram Live video looks like and how live videos get prioritized in the Stories interface

Similarly on YouTube, live sessions receive additional promotion with a noticeable, red LIVE badge in the main feed and in recommendations.

Because of this increased visibility, live video can be great if your brand is just getting started on social media. Not only would you be able to get priority placement, but you’d also be harnessing a powerful brand connection with your audience.

Getting started with live video: Where to begin

Now let’s get into the details. For marketers, the main social networks for live video are the ones you’d expect: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

To get started on Instagram, you can follow these steps:

  1. Swiping from left to right in the app, which opens up your camera.
  2. At the bottom of the camera screen, you’ll see a list of options. Scroll to the left and choose “Live” — its the one right next to “Normal.” Instagram will tell you how many of your followers are online, which will give you a good sense of the ideal timing for your livestream.
  3. When you’re ready to start your steam, hit the big white button.

You’ll be able to tell that your stream is running by the little pink “Live” icon in the top left corner.

Bonus tip: Be sure to check your Instagram settings beforehand, too. Once an Instagram Live video ends, it won’t appear on your feed unless you toggle “Save Shared Photos” on. This saves your content to the Stories section of the app, where you can share them with your audience.

On Facebook,

  1. You can click or tap the “Live” button right next to the primary text box on your profile or page.
  2. This will open a new screen with all the live options. You can stream from a computer or from the app.

In the Twitter app,

  1. you can swipe left to right from the home feed to open your camera. Then you’ll scroll right to switch the camera from “Capture” to “Live”. This will give you options to get your livestream started.

And for YouTube,

from your computer, you can click the recording icon at the top right menu. This will present the options to upload a pre-recorded video or go live. The next screen will help you get going with the full dashboard of live options for YouTube streaming.

3 Quick Tips for Live Video Streaming

  1. Run your live video for at least 10 minutes. Many live videos go for 30 minutes-plus.
  2. Promote your live video beforehand. You can do this with posts on Twitter or Facebook, or use the new countdown sticker on Instagram Stories to promote the time.
  3. Consider sneaking in giveaways or exclusive info into your live stream as an incentive for people to join and listen in. Be sure to plug these goodies in the promotion you do beforehand.

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Resources https://buffer.com/resources/live-video-2019

Kerning in Typography, everything you need to know

In order for messages to be clearly transmitted, many factors play an important role. Depending on the type of communication, factors such as stuttering, poor grammar, bad alignment of letters, incorrect use of punctuation marks, mumbling, and others set apart unclear and clear messages. In oral speech, diction, proper intonation, a calm tempo of spoken words, the intensity of the voice are all skills that anyone who wants to be a good communicator has to achieve. In written speech, readable caligraphy, correct alignment of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs, will make any text accessible to the reader.

Why are all these important? Designers have a major responsibility to make the latter type of communication possible without any obstacle. There are a few notions any designer should be familiar and able to work with: Kerning, Leading, and Tracking.

What is Kerning?

Kerning: Definition

Kerning is the stylistic process that made you read the first word of this sentence “KERNING” and not “KEMING”. You’ve probably already guessed it. Kerning is the act of adjusting the space between two letters in order to avoid the irregular flow of the words and to improve legibility.

Kerning: Meaning

Back in the good old days, people used to use

Read More at Kerning in Typography, everything you need to know

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/kerning-in-typography-everything-you-need-to-know/

Finding the right multipurpose WP Theme just got easier: here are the top 12 examples

“Multipurpose”, “all-in-one”, and
“universal” tools and products.  You
heard of them before. They have a reputation for doing some things well, and
other things not very well at all.

We bet you also proverbial “Jack of all
trades, master of none” saying applies. it no longer does so in the world of
multipurpose WordPress themes.

There are plenty of good ones out there.
Admittedly, each has its unique strengths and weaknesses. But as you narrow
your search to the best of the bunch, weaknesses are inconsequential.

Select one of these 12 multipurpose themes
for your next project and guess what will happen.

It will nail it!

They’re not only that good, they’re the
best.

1. Be Theme

When you go down the list of features of any premier multipurpose theme, you’ll usually like what you see. It feels good to have a theme that can handle anything you throw at it.

Be Theme’s list of features never seems to
end. Its 40 or so core features make Be Theme the biggest WordPress theme of
all.

The “key” features are naturally those you
have the most use for; but a key feature for every user is Be’s library of more
than 400 responsive, customizable pre-built websites. They cover 30+ different
business sectors, website types, and styles, and just about any business niche
you’re apt to get involved with.

Other features you’ll particularly like are
the new Header Builder, Muffin page builder, Options Panel, Layout Generator,
and Shortcode Generator. You’ll also have shortcodes and other design elements
and options galore to work with.

Download a pre-built website with a single
click, start building, and with Be Theme it’s not at all unusual to turn out a
fully-functioning website in as little as 4 hours.

2. Jupiter

Jupiter X is a total makeover of the popular Jupiter WordPress theme; the creation of Artbees, a member of the Power Elite Envato Hall of Fame. This new version is super-fast, powerful, scalable, and extremely developer friendly. With Jupiter, you can customize design and content elements that are normally difficult or impossible to customize in other themes.

Users can for example totally reinvent
their blog lists and portfolios, and the Shop Customize allows you to customize
online shop elements that in most other themes are simply off limits.

Headers and footers can be built from
scratch and you can customize every inch of your website using Jupiter X’s
powerful visual editor, and creating special forms, popups, and unique menu
styles is no problem at all.

3.
Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress
Theme

Visit the Uncode website and you’ll be introduced to its website-building features. Nothing new here. Virtually every WordPress theme, multipurpose or not, does the same thing.

Where Uncode, one of the ThemeForest’s top
selling themes, is different from the rest is its showcase of user-built
websites. You can actually see what others have been able to accomplish using
Uncode, and you’ll be impressed – and perhaps inspired as well. We highly
recommend visiting the Uncode site for this reason alone.

Uncode’s advanced adaptive grid system,
adaptive images system, and more than 200 option-rich design modules should be
mentioned however, as should the hierarchical options feature that gives you
total control over your layouts and design content.

4. Brook – Creative Multipurpose WordPress Theme

More than 150 exquisite pre-made layouts. More than 35 pre-eminent homepage designs. Blend in a premium responsive drag&drop page builder, a slider creator, and a host of intuitive design elements, we have Brook.

This multi-purpose creative theme features
a WooCommerce shop, numerable custom shortcodes, mega menus, one-page
scrolling, parallax scrolling, and many more to be listed. You’re invited to
pay a visit to their website for a full understanding of what Brook could do.

5. Kalium

This developer-friendly theme offers an impressive array of theme options, blog, header, portfolio types (7 main types with options – 30 in all), shop items, a one-click demo content import and a premium page builders such as WPBakery Page Builder or Elementor. Kalium is extremely easy to use and offers endless possibilities. You should in fact be able to showcase your work as you’ve always wanted to the first time you use this theme.

6. TheGem – Creative
Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

TheGem lays claim to being the ultimate web design toolbox, and everything we’ve seen about it would seem to support that claim.

With its 150+ stunning demos pages, 50+
multi-purpose design concepts, flexible page layouts, and other design aids and
elements, TheGem is a great choice for startups looking for a way to let the
world know what they have to offer, and a great choice for other businesses,
large and small.

7. Bridge

This #1 bestselling ThemeForest creative theme’s open-ended customizability feature, coupled with the premier WP Bakery page builder makes it a great choice for creating a website for virtually any business niche.

Other plugins add to this software tool’s
overall value as does its library of more than 376 pre-made websites that in
themselves guarantee to get any project off to a fast, solid start.

8.
Pofo – Creative
Portfolio, Blog and eCommerce WordPress Theme

Modern, crazy-fast, and search engine optimized pretty much describes Pofo. Its 150+ pre-built websites, ready-to-go home pages and 1-click demo pages give you all the website-building flexibility you need. Pofo really shines in three key areas – portfolios, blogs, and eCommerce applications.

This
multipurpose theme with its more than 200 layouts to work with deserves much
more than a casual glance.

9. KLEO – Pro Community Focused, Multi-Purpose BuddyPress Theme

One way to
describe Kleo would be to simply refer to it as an adventure. This professional
community-focused website gives you everything you need to create a happy
community of shoppers.

Blogs, portfolios, eCommerce, community
forums and eLearning features – you name it. Kleo is also compatible with most
plugins; extending your website-building capabilities even more.

10. Schema

This website theme gives you a little extra for your money. If you’re quite capable of building beautiful websites, but have trouble getting traffic, you can count on Schema to save the day. In addition to its selection of impressive website-building features,

Schema improves your page load times, has
clean code, and guides the search engines through your site element by element.

11. Movedo – We DO MOVE Your World

This 5-star top-rated theme contains a few surprises that you will not want to let pass by; if you feel your websites could profit from an extra dose of sparkle and pizzazz. MOVEDO is the website designer’s answer to a magic wand.

MOVEDO takes ordinary images and makes them
move and takes static images and makes them appear to move. Website users love
it, and you’ll have fun figuring out ways to entertain them.

12. Crocal – Premium WordPress Theme

Crocal is the new kid on the block, having joined the neighborhood last January. It performs like an established pro thanks to an absolutely amazing adaptive grid system.

Created by a #1 rated ThemeForest Elite
author, Crocal is Gutenberg compatible, WordPress and GDPR requirements
compliant, and eager to strut its stuff.

Conclusion

          We’ve
made your search for a better multipurpose WordPress theme a lot faster and
easier. You’re quite not done yet. You still need to find the one that will
best suit your needs. Or, the one that will take a little extra time and some
careful thought.

Don’t worry too much about struggling to
make the right decision. You really can’t make a wrong one with this group.

Read More at Finding the right multipurpose WP Theme just got easier: here are the top 12 examples

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/finding-the-right-multipurpose-wp-theme-just-got-easier-here-are-the-top-12-examples/

Don’t Make These Beginner Designer’s Mistakes

Designer's Mistakes

“The customer only cares about money and earnings, while the designer only cares about being able to publish a good job on Dribble or Behance.”

This is a concept that I saw represented in a viral video, produced by Pixelo showing the differences between the designer and the client. Things like “the customer wants bright colors at random, the designer chooses a well-considered palette”, etc.

As soon as I saw this part about money, though, I said to myself: is that really true?

Are there really so many designers who only think about their image return and not about improving their customers’ business?

Absolutely yes. Full.

And this led me to write this article in which I talk about what I think is the biggest mistake a freelancer designer can make when dealing with a client.

Why the biggest mistake?

Because if you ignore the side of the business in your work as a graphic designer, web designer and designer in general, you are ignoring half of your work.

Let’s start by first understanding what design is:

What is design?

But wait, are you serious? I’m a designer / studio design! Do you expect me not to know what design is?

Of course, we all know what design is.

True, design is planning. But what is missing in this definition is that design is planning… on commission.

Design is not art as an end in itself. Design, as well as graphics and communication, serves to sell! Excuse me if I write it so directly, but it helps those who have a business to make more money. Communicating better and therefore selling better.

I know this can be a “blow” for all those with the romantic idea of ​​design as something artistic, abstract and maybe even a bit poetic.

Design = Business.

Design = Marketing

If you don’t understand this, or pretend you don’t understand it, you’ll always be a half designer. Or rather, you will be a designer who will not be able to help your client 100%.

Design = Business. Why is this so important to understand?

It is important to understand this if you want to succeed as a freelance designer. Because customers are always people or groups of people who relate to their company and only pay for the things that interest them.

The customer doesn’t care if the project comes out cool enough to be published on Behance.

The customer is only interested in how and how much you can help them improve their business. To make more money.

And rightly so.

This is an aspect that many designers do not understand. They don’t understand it when they ask for a €1000 logo for a local non-profit association, they don’t understand it when they create a project that is cool for them but doesn’t consider the client’s business needs and they don’t understand it when they complain because it does relate to the customers.

Want to be one of those freelancers?

If you’re reading this article up to this point, I’d say it’s not what you want to do, is it?

The solution to the problem: change your mentality

The best way to solve this problem of approach with the customer by the freelancer designer is to have a sudden change of mentality.

Such as? Try following these 2 practical tips:

1. Stop considering customers as piggy banks

Stop considering the customer as someone to get as much money as possible and then adios! Start looking at it as a resource. Start thinking long term about how you can extend your working relationship over time to help both.

Start thinking about how you can help your client in every aspect that competes for you in terms of communication or design. Even if they are small consultancies that go slightly beyond the contract you signed.

When I am commissioned to do a job (and accept it) I find myself very often talking to the client about future prospects and ideas that I’ve come up with. Even if they choose not to hire me in the future, at least I’ve shown that I’m willing to continue working with them, and it’s not just about the paycheck. It’s about helping them succeed.

I believe it is part of my job to help my client’s business in every possible way.

And this attitude has led me to have customers who come to me for all the jobs after the first one, creating a constant revenue stream and a solid working relationship.

2. Start thinking of yourself as a company and not as a freelancer

And by this I don’t mean that you go to interviews with customers and pretend to be the head of a company with 50 employees.

But it is certainly true that your freelancer business is not like an employee’s. Your business is actually a business.

You have to think about accounting, income, expenses, taxes, bills to pay and salaries (yours). All aspects that make you a business.

So why not have the same kind of attitude?

Why not develop long-term working relationships that allow your company to support itself? Why not develop products and activities for customers? Why not introduce yourself as the manager of your own company instead of as the freelancer who “you tell me what I have to do and I do it”?

In short: you too are a company, act as such!

Take care of your personal brand, build your bomb-proof portfolio, create your own blog with the most effective case studies you’ve worked on, networking at events and meetings, proposing yourself as the manager and not as the executor.

Conclusion

At the end of this article I hope I made you change your mind at least a little about the kind of attitude with which to approach the world of freelancer work and maybe give you some interesting and useful ideas for your career.

In summary: design is a business, the customer has a business and thinks only of that and how you can help them make more money. You are in business as a freelancer, which means you should take every opportunity to help your customer succeed.

Read More at Don’t Make These Beginner Designer’s Mistakes

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/dont-make-these-beginner-designers-mistakes/

Famous Fonts Used by Powerful Companies

famous fonts

Have you ever wondered what the most used fonts in the most famous logos are? Those logos that happen to be seen hundreds of times, repeated on all the screens, shirts and sheets of paper that surround you.

Well, then this article is made just for you!

In fact, in this article, I want to talk to you about which fonts are used in some of the most famous logos ever.

We’re going to try and understand why these specific fonts were chosen. Because choosing a font is not a simple thing, and behind the choice of a font, there is a very precise message that any brand wants to convey.

In this article, I wanted to analyze 6 fonts in depth.

Ready? Then let’s get started!

A little clarification before starting: many famous brands use private fonts

Almost every major brand opts for a custom font. Of course, these fonts aren’t generally available to the public.

Very often, however, these proprietary fonts are based on already existing and already famous characters. And in a lot of cases, custom fonts that you can purchase or even download for free follow suit shortly after.

Now, let’s really get into it!

What font does YouTube use in its logo?

Bold and tight, the Alternate Gothic was designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1903 for the American Type Founders Company.

It is a font with a long history, designed at the beginning of the 20th century so that it could be perfect to insert titles in narrow columns.

It was the font used in the YouTube logotype until a few years ago (August 2017, to be precise) when YouTube rebranded. Since then, they’ve used a custom font called YouTube Sans.

Famous Fonts

This font was designed from scratch, by the Saffron branding agency, starting right from the shapes and aesthetics of the Alternate Gothic used previously.

Why was this font chosen?

This current one, according to what the Saffron designers write, was chosen to “communicate its brand with only a glance”, that is, to be able to immediately communicate that it is YouTube.

With this, being a reference to the Alternate Gothic that they used previously, the recognition of the brand is strengthened.

But why had the Alternate Gothic been chosen?

Nobody can really say for sure. Most people speculate that it was chosen because of its super easy readability. Being a massive international company, readability in the logo font is a must.

It was designed for editorial use in the minuscule dimensions of column headings but also in the enormous dimensions of the main titles. And so it was readable in every dimension.

What font does Adidas use in its logo?

L’Avant Garde, which in French means cutting-edge, is one of the most influential of the 900 fonts. Created in 1970 by Herb Lubalin (along with Tom Carnase), it was introduced into the font family. Its original intention was to be in the logo of their magazine, which was called “Avant Garde”.

The forms of the Avant-Garde recall very much the natural elegance of the Art Deco of the 1920s and 30s. While transmitting a vintage effect, it is nevertheless able to tell it always in a contemporary way, thanks to its flexibility and naturalness.

In reality, however, the font used in the Adidas logo is not the Avant-Garde.

Here too, it is a proprietary font, AdiHaus. A font inspired, of course, by the Avant-Garde but also by the FF Din (one of my absolute favorites).

Why was the Avant-Garde / AdiHaus chosen?

The Avant Garde was chosen in 1971 by the designers who worked on the first restyling of the Adidas logo.

Famous Fonts

It was chosen both because it was a font very similar to the one originally designed in ’49, and, I believe, because of its qualities: elegance, naturalness, cleanliness.

What font does Nike use in its logo?

The Futura is one of the most important and influential typefaces in the history of graphics.

Designed in 1928 by Paul Renner, it is now considered the geometric font par excellence.

And it is also used, among the multitude of applications, for the Nike logo.

In particular,  in the Bold Condensend Oblique version.

Even more specifically, in the Bold Condensend Oblique version, but with some substantial changes regarding the inclination and kerning (the space between the glyphs).

Why the Futura?

Famous Fonts

Because, like the “whisker” of the logo, the chosen font also transmits a message: strength (the bold version), dynamism (inclination), stability (the geometry of the Futura).

And it tells, along with with the rest of the image, a very clear message: Nike is a strong brand, buy Nike and you will be strong too.

What font does Instagram use in its logo?

Instagram, in its new logo of May 2016, does not use a real font.

Before now, the Instagram logo was made using the Billabong font. This is a 2006 script font, which has nothing special, other than the fact that it is the font of the Instagram logo.

In 2016, however, there was the famous Instagram rebrand (extremely criticized at the beginning, but now most people think it’s amazing) in which the logo has also changed.

The new logo was created without using any files, no fonts. It is simply designed to be the word “Instagram”.

It was designed by Mackey Saturday starting from the Billabong font, so that it was more functional and harmonious than the previous one while maintaining some characteristic elements.

Why this font?

Famous Fonts

Here the answer is simple: because Instagram was born as an application that presented itself as something dynamic, fun, and energetic. That font exactly reflected the kind of message they wanted to convey.

What fonts does Linkedin use in its logo?

Very little is known about the Linkedin brand choices, in reality. There are no real studies of designers or agencies that have worked with them, nor is there any mention in the brand manuals.

What is known is that the font used in the logo is certainly the Avenir (at least from 2012 onwards, before it was the Myriad Pro).

The Avenir is one of the many wonderful fonts designed by the extraordinary Adrian Frutiger, in 1988.

It is undoubtedly one of the typefaces I like most. He is able to combine the geometric shapes of the sans serif of the 1920s (such as the Futura), with the more natural and flexible forms of the grotesk characters of the late 1800s (such as the Akzidenz Grotesk) and the post-World War II period (like the Univers, always by Adrian Frutiger).

Why this font?

Because it inspires respect and professionalism. Exactly what a working network like Linkedin wants to convey.

Famous Fonts

Few other typographical choices would be so suitable.

What font does McDonald’s use in its logo?

McDonald’s has been using for years what is among the most important and today undervalued fonts in the history of graphics: the Akzidenz Grotesk.

It is extremely readable, simple, flexible and of great impact.

It was produced by the German foundry H. Berthold AG in 1896 by an unknown author. The current version available is the one reworked by Günter Gerhard Lange in the 1950s.

Why is it so difficult to recognize it? Well, because it is the base on which some of the most used and known fonts have been built today. Like Helvetica, Univers, Arial, Frutiger, all inspired by the ancestor Akzidenz.

Famous Fonts

Why exactly this font?

First of all, in my opinion, because it is very beautiful.

But then, I believe, also because it represents tradition, history. Which at McDonald’s, at the beginning, was very interesting to tell.

Conclusion

In this article, I wanted to talk about the font choices of some of the most famous brands in order to give you creative ideas for choosing a font for your project.

Analyzing what other designers have done before you is crucial.

But even more fundamental is trying to understand the reason for certain choices. What did they want to communicate? Why that font instead of another?

The choice of a font is, in fact, a crucial aspect in the process of creating a logo but also in any other aspect of graphic design.

Read More at Famous Fonts Used by Powerful Companies

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/__trashed-16/

6 Simple Ways You Can Use Neuroscience to Increase Marketing Productivity

Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science that is concerned with the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. When applied to our professional lives, neuroscience can help us to unlock our greatest potential.

Increasing your meaningful productivity can have a huge impact on your day-to-day work and can greatly influence your professional success over a long period of time.

This week on the Science of Social Media, we’re examining the fascinating field of neuroscience and how it can positively influence our marketing productivity.

Think of today’s show as little tricks for your brain to work smarter, not harder.

6 Simple Ways to Use Neuroscience to Increase Marketing Productivity

What follows is a detailed summary of the episode transcript. Feel free to jump around and explore each of these top marketing lessons from history’s most influential leaders in this week’s Science of Social Media:

Let’s dive in!

Willpower and working smarter, not harder

One of core values here at Buffer is working smarter and not harder.

When we say productivity and working smarter not harder, we mean working on meaningful projects that make a big impact – not necessarily working more.

In the American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” survey, participants were asked to assess their ability to make healthy lifestyle choices, and willpower was the number one reason they cited for not following through with those healthy choices.

Many people believe their lives would improve if they could boost their willpower — more control over what they eat, when they saved for retirement, and how to achieve goals.

Luckily for us, using neuroscience we are able to increase our willpower, and therefore, our meaningful productivity.

Start your day with difficult tasks

First and foremost, start your day with your difficult tasks

There’s been considerable research into willpower and one of the pioneers in this area is Roy Baumeister.

Baumeister discovered that willpower actually operates like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse. Willpower in the brain is fueled by glucose and it needs to replenished in order for it to perform optimally.

Willpower and self-control is at its peak first thing in the morning, so this is the best time to make yourself take on the hardest tasks of the day.

When creating your to-do list (more on that later), make sure that you carve our time in the morning for the most challenging tasks. This will help to ensure you’re starting your day on the right foot.

Add value and meaning to your work

One subject that comes up quite often when looking into the field of neuroscience is dopamine. Dopamine a neurotransmitter, which means it’s a chemical release by your nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells.

There are a couple of different pathways for dopamine, and one of them plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior.

A team of Vanderbilt scientists conducted a study in 2012 analyzing the brain patterns of people they described as “go getters” and that meant they were willing to work hard for their reward, and the other group of people was “slackers” and they were not as motivated to work hard.

To quote the study “The team found that the go-getters had higher levels of dopamine in the reward and motivation part of the brain. The slackers had higher levels of dopamine in the emotion and risk part of the brain.”

Nothing will motivate you to be a go-getter if you don’t truly desire the reward that comes with the work. Tie your performance to something that contains value and meaning for you and you’ll quickly move to the go-getter side of dopamine production.

Avoid multitasking

We all like to believe that we’re master multitaskers.

NPR interviewed neuroscientist professor Earl Miller from MIT and he shared some interesting thoughts about multitasking. In short, the human brain is not engineered to multitask.

Miller is quoted as saying, “People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves, the brain is very good at deluding itself.”

What we can do, however, is shift our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed.

The way to be most productive is to focus your full attention on one task at a time. Give it everything you’ve got. Then, once you’ve completed the task, move onto the next one and give that your full attention.

When you’re creating content for social, close out your email, turn off Slack, put your phone in your bag and focus fully on the content.

Take a deep breath

When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, take a deep breath.

In a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have identified a handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that connect breathing to states of mind.

The study demonstrated that slow breathing induces tranquility to your body. And if you think of it, that makes sense. Because if you were to start breathing really quickly right now you’d feel the state of your body starting to change completely.

We know that as marketers and business owners, tasks can really start to pile up throughout the day. Sometimes we feel like we won’t be able to complete everything, let alone at a high level.

Breathing not only reduces stress and increases focus, but it helps to bring a sense of clarity of what really needs to get done and what can be put off for another time.

When you have a million things to do during the day, that clarity is invaluable.

Create a to-do list

There’s nothing like a good to-do list.

It turns out we are not alone in our love of lists, our brains also love lists. That’s because it’s the most effective way for the brain to receive and organize information. Recent research suggests that the key to a more organized mind and productive brain is to make to-do lists.

Neuroscience tells us that the brain’s working memory stores information on a short-term basis.

According to Dr. Daniel Levitin, most people can hold about four things in their mind at one time. When we ask our brain to store more than is optimal, it causes our performance to decline.

Since our brain has an attention filter, urgent matters will be at the forefront. At the same time, our brain doesn’t forget those less important matters either, and won’t hesitate to remind you of them somewhere around 3:00am. If you have a to-do list, your brain can rest because it knows you’re on it.

Research also suggests that when we process information, we do so spatially.

Lists appeal to our general tendency to categorize things—in fact, it’s hard for us not to categorize something the moment we see it—since our brains chunk information into short, distinct components.

Take a break and move

Research into neurogenesis, the ability of certain areas of the brain to grow new cells, indicates that we can foster new brain cell growth through exercise. Our brain has the amazing ability to rebuild and rewire every day.

The area of the brain linked to learning and memory is called the hippocampus. Research shows that endurance exercise sparks new neuron growth in the hippocampus as a protein (called FNDC5) is released into the bloodstream when we sweat.

There’s also other productivity benefits as well.

Exercise can help boost alertness. When you exercise, you’re increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and make you more ready to tackle your next big project.

According to the University of Cambridge, exercise releases serotonin into your brain that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle.

Daily exercise results in:

  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper memory
  • Faster learning
  • Prolonged mental stamina
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Lower stress

An incredible tool in your neuroscience toolbox.

How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

from Resources https://buffer.com/resources/neuroscience

10 of the best number fonts out there

number font

Although typography is nothing new, it changes all the time, and we love it. It’s always fun to see what kind of cool and unique combination you can come up with to make your brand, logo, and content stand out. But today, while continuing to talk about fonts, let’s focus on some of the characters that are included with them: numbers.

We know that there are several factors to take into account when it comes to the choice of our typography. For example, if you want to write in uppercase and lowercase, if you have a specific style in kind, and so on. It is also very important to know if you have the numbers and the character of the chosen font.

You might think that this need is pretty specific – number fonts. But the truth is, you use numbers more often than you think, so it’s better to have a specific style and have it all uniform throughout all your content. If these are the point of focus, it is very important that the aesthetics of the numbers correspond to the surrounding content correctly.

With all of that said, number fonts are overlooked quite often. It’s very common to see fancy typography and designs paired with simple numbers. Perhaps it’s because they didn’t want a number font, or perhaps they didn’t even know they existed.

For that reason, we’re going to go over 10 of the best number fonts out there today. Fasten your seatbelts everyone, it’s about to get mathematical.

1. Deadhead Scrip

number fonts

Deadhead Scrip is a handwritten style of font that pairs nicely with other handwritten typography. The thickness of the lines varies as the curves go on, giving it the perfect handwritten look.

You can find these numbers in the link for about $20, so go check it out!

2. Dear Prudence

number fonts

Dear Prudence is another good example of a handwritten font. But, just as handwriting styles vary, so should the fonts. This particular font is a much different and unique take on the traditional handwritten font. I like its irregularity but at the same time harmony. It would go great on a calendar or a homegoods shop.

For the versatility that this font provides, it’s a steal at around $4.

3. Have a Great Day

number fonts

Have a Great Day font is yet another handwritten font that you really don’t see every day. The style is like that of a thick marker. The irregularity shines through and gives each and every line a personal touch that simply can’t be duplicated by a standard font.

4. Story

number fonts

Story is perhaps the simplest typeface of this group. The strokes are perfect and remind us of when we first started to learn to write as kids. Its price is quite admirable as well (about $6), and you can do a lot with it.

5. Amatic SC

number fonts

The Amatic SC font is a Google Font that was quite popular a few years ago. It’s not as popular now, but it still looks great. This is definitely the kind of typography that would go well with a variety of different brands. It could even be paired with other fonts to make a unique combination.

As of right now, Amatic SC is free to download and use, so get downloading!

6. Abril Fatface

number fonts

We could talk about an infinite number of serifs with original numbers, but since I decided to shone a light on more “creative” fonts, we chose this one to fill in for serifs. You can find this particular font in a lot of places, but its thickness and style make it absolutely perfect to be the main focus of any project that include numbers.

To top it all off, this one is a freebie.

7. Montserrat

number fonts

As with most cases, I could probably add an infinite amount of serifs to this list, but we won’t. Instead, I’ll chose this one and the one above to highlight their variety. In this case the Montserrat is well known to all. Just like it’s perfect for a lot of titles, it’s also perfect for its numbers.

Since this is another Google Font, you can get your hands on it completely free of charge.

8. Catamaran

number fonts

As with most typographies, the thickness of Catamaran gives us a lot of font to play with. We can combine these giving more hierarchy to a certain element, or just use them to draw attention to a specific number.

Like the previous few, this one is free since it’s a Google Font.

9. Pacifico

number fonts

Pacifico is a very popular Google Font that has made its name through its use. But, the numbers are often overlooked, and it’s such a shame. The curves and swirly-like design of this number font are quite unique, and give lots of flare to any project that they find themselves in.

10. Monoton

number fonts

Last but most certainly not the least, we find Monton. As you can see, this font has quite the unique design, and comes off very retro. As specific as the niche might seem, this font actually goes well with a variety of projects. It draws attention and leaves people curious.

This one is also a Google Font, so you know what that means. That’s right, it’s free!

The conclusion

Hopefully you find at least one of the number fonts above useful, and you use it in the near future. If you didn’t find one that you like, remember to always check in package deals for the number fonts next time you purchase a font. If not, seek out a number font by itself, and combine it with your own typography to make a truly one-of-a-kind project.

Read More at 10 of the best number fonts out there

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/10-of-the-best-number-fonts-out-there/

Brand, branding and brand identity: what does it all mean?

brand identity

Brand, Branding, Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, Brand, Brand, Logo, Visual Identity, Coordinated Image. It is time to shed light on all these terms, which are often confused or used as synonyms (some are), and to explain their meaning.

In this guide, I really want to offer a sort of  “vocabulary” of the main terms used when talking about the identity of a company or a person.

Ready? Ok, let’s do this!

Let’s start with what is perhaps the main term: the brand.

What is a Brand?

“The brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos

The brand is essentially the set of visual, perceptive and emotional elements that are associated with certain companies, organizations, products or people.

One of my favorite examples to understand what a brand is and the importance of a brand is Ferrari.

The moment we think of Ferrari we don’t think of a racing car manufacturing industry. Or rather, not only that! We immediately think of speed, wealth, luxury, and red!

brand identity

“Give a child a sheet of paper, colors and ask him to design a car: it will surely make it red.” – Enzo Ferrari

This is the meaning of the brand: the whole of all that is perceived by a given company. And this is precisely why it is so fundamental.

“A business is only as strong as its brand is strong” – Jim Stengel, from his book “Grow”

A strong brand is also recognized among many others. A strong brand is that of which people fall in love, trust or think it is superior to others.

In fact, how a brand is perceived by the public enormously influences the success of the company it represents.

But one important thing is that the brand is NOT just the logo, and using them as synonyms is profoundly wrong.

Brand, branding, brand identity: their meaning

When it comes to Brand, I like to use the Iceberg metaphor.

In practice, the Icebergs are those masses of floating ice that was once present in large numbers in the Arctic Ocean but are now disappearing due to global warming.

The important (and dangerous) thing about the Icebergs is that most of the ice mass is underwater, not visible. That being said, we will only see a small part of the exposed top floating above the surface.

And the same happens with the Brand.

We perceive only a tiny bit of them. We perceive, in particular, the aesthetic aspects, the image, the logo.

The logo, in fact, is the tip of that Iceberg and is the first thing that people see of a Brand. Precisely for this reason, it must be able to identify all that is hidden underwater, aka – the rest of the Brand.

So a brand is the whole that is seen or perceived by a company. The Logo is instead the symbol that represents and identifies the entire brand of the company.

The difference between Logo and Brand

brand identity

The logo, short for “logography “, is the graphic transposition of the name of a company. Usually, it can be composed of a pictogram (the symbol, the drawing) and/or logotype (the writing).

From a legal point of view, the logo is one of the elements that can be registered as a trademark.

The trademark, in practice, is a legal term that indicates something that can be registered or registered as a single element.

A brand can be a logo (figurative mark and wordmark) but it can also be of various other types. It can be, for example, a product form (shape mark), a texture (a mark with repeated motifs), an image, a sound or a video (multimedia mark), etc.

brand identity

So, the logo can be a brand but a brand is not just a logo.

Don’t use them as two synonyms!

Other terms that are often used

When we talk about Brand, many other terms are often mentioned. Let’s try to give a definition for each of them.

Branding

brand identity

Branding could literally be translated as “marking” or “making a brand” and is basically the process by which a Brand is communicated (and built).

Branding is the process by which a company builds its brand in practice.

Brand identity or brand identity

Brand identity is the tangible part of a brand – what you can see, touch, feel or handle.

It is the logo, the packaging, the TV spot, the color or the product. It is the set of all these things, which constitute the identity and communication apparatus of a brand.

Brand strategy

The strategy is, of course, a brand’s operating action plan.

A good brand strategy is one that provides a central and unified idea around which all the behavior and communication of a company must rotate.

brand identity

Brand Storytelling

This is what the name says – the art of telling the brand correctly, using brand identity and remaining consistent with the brand strategy.

Conclusion

Distinguishing all these terms may seem like something that’s not very useful or superfluous but it is essential if you want to be really professional when working in the world of communication.

Each business sector has its own language. Learning the language of that sector is fundamental to be able to really be part of it.

Read More at Brand, branding and brand identity: what does it all mean?

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/brand-branding-and-brand-identity-what-does-it-all-mean/

When to use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign? And what are they for?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Pretty often people post questions online asking “What is your favorite program: Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign?”

The truth is that, for a graphic designer, all three of them are equally essential and necessary to know and work with.

In fact, each of these 3 tools plays a specific role. Each one is built with well-defined functions that make it more suitable for a certain job than the others. Let’s be honest, too many designers out there believe that they can do everything and anything in Photoshop. There are too many designers who rely on a single tool, rather than exploring their options.

So why is this industry filled to the brim with designers that believe they can do anything and everything in Photoshop? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Why are there people who “create” logos on InDesign?

Quick answer: Because mainly there is a problem of education and knowledge of this software. Precisely for this reason, I decided to write this article. Which, for some, may be trivial and full of obviousness while, for others, it may be what they have been looking for for some time.

So get ready, leave … go!

Photoshop, and Illustrator, and InDesign

As mentioned before, each of these 3 softwares are used to work in different fields and to achieve different goals.

To sum it up broadly:

Photoshop is a digital image editing and editing program;

Illustrator serves instead to work with vector graphics;

Finally, InDesign is a layout program.

You have to learn to consider these softwares (as well as all software in general) as a potential tool that you may need to use.

Think of it like a hairdresser with the razor, the scissors, and the comb. There are 3 different things, which are used according to the different needs of the job and which are often used together.

Just like a hairdresser would never use a razor to cut split ends, so a designer doesn’t use Illustrator to edit photos.

And so you can use scissors and comb together to cut hair more efficiently, so you can use, for example, Illustrator and InDesign together to work on the layout of a catalog.

Let’s see, then, in more detail, what they are for and what can be done with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

What is Photoshop and what is it for?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Photoshop, created in 1990 and often abbreviated as ” Ps “, is probably one of the most famous programs in the world. Not only among those in graphic design, but pretty much the entire planet.

What is Photoshop for? Well, as the name implies (photo), it serves to work with photographs. It is, in fact, the most widely used photo editing program in the world.

Photoshop serves to modify, create and retouch “raster” images, ie those images based on pixels. In this article, I explain well the difference between raster and vector.

Over the years, update after update, it has also become one of the most advanced graphics programs, as well as photography. A program that designers and artists use to draw, sketch and even make digital paintings.

The key aspect of Photoshop (and which guaranteed its initial success) is its layered structure, which allows you to add changes to the overall image without affecting the original image.

When to use Photoshop (photo editing, drawing, mockup, etc.)

Today Photoshop is one of the most widely used software in the world to do anything. In reality, it is good to use it mainly in these situations:

  • When you want to retouch photos.
  • Correct colors, combine multiple images together, remove pimples or red eyes from a photographed person but also many, many extremely advanced techniques. Photoshop is the photo editing program of any kind. Use Photoshop for any type of work that requires editing or manipulating a raster image.
  • To modify and/or create illustrations and digital paintings.
  • Some of the greatest contemporary artists are digital artists and Photoshop is certainly one of the most suitable software for “painting on screen”. Maybe using a graphics tablet.
  • To create images for the web (banners, social media images, etc.).

The mockups are basically those simulations of existing products. They are used, for example, to try to apply a logo to different real elements. The process of creating or customizing a photographic mockup is based precisely on the use of software such as Photoshop.

Here, we say that this is a limit case in which you can use both Photoshop and Illustrator. However, if you need to work with photographs or raster images to create these images, then surely Ps can help you.

When NOT to use Photoshop

DO NOT use Photoshop to create a logo. Use Illustrator. A logo needs to be scalable and used in any size. It must be printed on posters and t-shirts, used on a website and engraved in wood, as needed. Thus, it needs to be vector and to be built into a vector graphics program, like Illustrator.

DO NOT even use it to create things that will need to be printed. That is, obviously raster images and photographs are fine. But don’t use Photoshop to create, for example, a flyer. For those cases use InDesign or, at least, Illustrator.

Finally, DO NOT use Photoshop when you use a lot of text within a file. In those cases, use InDesign again or, at most, Illustrator. This is because Photoshop does not handle long texts well, such as paragraphs or columns of text. While the other two software has advanced text management functions.

What is Adobe Illustrator and what is it for?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

The Illustrator software, often abbreviated as Ai, was initially created in 1986 by PostScript, one of the pioneering companies in the field of digital graphics.

It was born as vector drawing software and today it is by far the vector graphics software, that is the graphic that works with vector images, most used.

The vector images are those images based, precisely, on the carriers (rather than on the pixels) and can, therefore, be scaled indefinitely without suffering any loss of quality or definition.

Being a vector graphics software, Illustrator should be used in all those situations where you are working with vector graphics. Illustrator is then used by designers, artists, illustrators, and graphic designers.

Having a logo in vector format is absolutely necessary, given the many supports on which it must be able to be printed, from letterhead to business card, from posters to advertising on TV.

To create a vector illustration. And that is, in practice, an illustration made entirely on the computer and composed only of vector elements.

When NOT to use Illustrator

DO NOT use Illustrator when you need to edit images (we’ve seen it, that’s what Photoshop is for.) DO NOT use Ai when creating multi-page documents.

Of course, on Illustrator there is the multi-page function but it should not be used to design complex things like books, magazines or catalogs. For that, in fact, there is InDesign.

What is Adobe InDesign and what is it for?

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Adobe InDesign, often abbreviated Id, was created from 1999 by Adobe as a competitor to QuarkXPress. It is the software designed for editorial graphics and, therefore, for the design of magazines, books, newspapers, posters, and brochures.

In practice, any graphics project that requires the use of long texts should be processed and designed with InDesign.

As for the texts, for example, it allows you to create text and paragraph styles, manage margins and columns in an advanced way and work precisely on every single aspect of the text.

In addition, InDesign allows you to create master pages, ie page templates to be applied to each page of the projector to some pages. You can number the pages, customize every single aspect of your document, manage the pages in an advanced and professional way.

A graphic designer who does not know how to use InDesign simply does not have a complete education.

When to use InDesign

In any situation where you deal with multi-page documents and editorial graphics. Catalogs, books, brochures, magazines, newspapers, etc – all these are those types of work that are mainly carried out with InDesign. Of course, maybe the images or graphic elements to be included in these documents can be created with Photoshop or Illustrator, but they must then be “put together” in a single document with InDesign.

When NOT to use InDesign

DO NOT use InDesign when you need to work on smaller files, such as flyers with one or two sides or business cards. Illustrator is very good for that kind of work. Of course, you can also do it with ID, there’s nothing wrong with it, but you will complicate your life.

Conclusion

In most of the Graphic Design jobs that you will face during your career, you will need to use these 3 softwares together, depending on the stages of your work. For example, to create a magazine, you can create the magazine’s logo in Illustrator, edit the photos you want to insert into the document with Photoshop and then lay out everything with InDesign.

The important thing to remember, when dealing with software and learning it, is that the software is just a tool to help you design better. Then learn to use the right tool depending on the type of lens you want to achieve.

Read More at When to use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign? And what are they for?

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/when-to-use-photoshop-illustrator-indesign-and-what-are-they-for/

The 6 Principles of UX

UX

If you are approaching the world of UX or you are already a navigated UX / UI Designer, then this article, in which I am going to talk about 6 principles that every UX Designer should know, is designed for you.

In this article, I want to deepen the discussion on what the founding principles of UX are and cause us all to think a little outside of the box.

The principles of UX: first of all, we need to know the people

Designing the experience of any product (physical or digital), or a service, means putting the user at the center of the project and then applying a user-centric thought.

Before getting in front of a computer, designing UX means knowing the people for whom we have to design and empathize with them through all our senses. It means observing them, listening to them, asking them questions; it even means smelling the smells of the context in which they live: yes, everything becomes fundamental!

Since birth, we have had 5 powerful tools that allow us to interact and retrieve information in the world we live in: the senses. Without them it would be impossible (or very complicated) to move independently in the spaces that surrounds us.

User Experience

Precisely for this reason, understanding how people interact, through the senses, in the area in which we are going to treat their experience as users, is fundamental.

So if we need to know people to make UX, who can help us do it correctly?

The most correct answer is certainly psychology. In particular, some strands that have focused more on the study of human perception and experience.

Obviously this does not mean having the presumption of knowing it all! However, having familiarity with some theories and principles helps the designer to understand (first) and design (after) the most comfortable and rewarding experience for their user.

Here I would like to start with some key principles that govern the interaction between man and the real and / or virtual world. There are not many, but they are sufficient to determine the success or failure of the products with which we relate every day.

The most fascinating thing (for a UX Designer, of course) is that these theories apply to any existing object, and sector, that can come to mind.

To start talking about it – though – it is necessary to reference one of the fathers of this discipline who theorized them, and who presented himself with the title of the first UX designer.

The 6 ” never again without” UX principles.

Donald Arthur Norman, a US psychologist and engineer, along with another guru and his partner Jakob Nielsen, has dedicated himself to the research and study of ergonomics, design, and more generally of the human cognitive process. He based his analysis on anthropocentric design, bringing together two fields that, at the time, did not communicate: technology and psychology.

In the well-known book The Coffee Maker of the Masochist , the “bible” for the true aspiring UX designer, tells the deduction of the principles of usability and ergonomics that govern our world since ancient times. Subsequently, in a second text equally worthy of mention, Emotional design , Norman maintains that a product capable of stimulating positive emotions – through an experience – is perceived as “more beautiful” and “better functioning”.

30 years have passed since the publication of his first text, yet the principles listed are still alive and well, and most definitely put into practice today.

Let’s walk through them together:

1. Affordance

The affordance (which we could translate with “invitation”) is defined as the physical quality of an object that suggests appropriate actions to manipulate it.

As Norman writes,

Perceived affordances help us guess what actions are possible, without the need for signs or instructions.

In interactive design affordance is the first fundamental rule: being intuitive. That is, the interface must be understandable from the first glance, without needing instructions (labels, texts, CTA, and so forth).

User Experience

2. Significance

The signifiers are “elements” that enrich an object, telling the intrinsic meaning of the same. In other words, they signal the possible actions through that object and how to execute them. They have the task of triggering the Feedforward, which means anticipating exactly what will happen.

The signifiers must be perceptible, otherwise they do not work.

User Experience

– Donald Arthur Norman

A classic example is the anti-panic door handle, you don’t need to know it or even accompany it with the word “push”. There is only one correct way to use it.

In interactivity, in order to exploit the concept of signifiers, you have to be careful not to make two serious mistakes :

  1. The signifiers that do not make sense: that is, the use of texts (in call-to-action) that do not clearly tell the action or page that the user is about to visit. To give an example just think of the superfluous Click here, which turns out to be a real tautology. It is obvious that a button needs to be clicked, tell me what happens if I do it! Another similar example of significant error is the Discover more, often inserted too generally in texts, videos or CTAs. As Yvonne Bindi, information architect and expert in language and communication, writes in his “Language design. Guide to the usability of words for communication professionals”:

    ” Discover thus becomes an empty navigation word, all too obviously borrowed from marketing.”

  2. The excess of icons: In visual design, the overabundant use of icons, or icons that are forced where they aren’t necessary, gives rise to what is called visual pollution. The user is overloaded with information and is therefore impaired in the use of the product. The icon is useful when alone it represents something unequivocally, without being accompanied by texts. It is also necessary to pay close attention to cultural conventions.

3. Mapping

How many times have you mistaken the light switch or the cooktop knob?

Here, it means that there was a mapping error in the design phase.

The mapping principle indicates the relationship between two things. For example, between the operation of a key and its effects. A good mapping takes into account the cultural models learned or spatial analogies.

Let’s think about activating the directional arrows of a car.

To indicate the right, move the lever upwards (making a semicircular movement to the right) and vice versa for the left, move the lever downwards.

Norman writes:

When the mapping uses the spatial correspondence between the placement of the commands and that of the commanded devices, it is easy to understand how to use them.

In web design the mapping is extremely linked to the signifiers and is conveyed by the position and behavior of the elements. The most classic example is the vertical scroll on a screen, which indicates where you are compared to the page. As you drag it down (or up) the page moves at the same speed, maintaining the place of positioning in space.

4. Constraints

The limits are divided into physical, cultural, semantic and logical, depending on the context, but define, with the same force, “obligations” that guide the user along a path.

In an interface, the constraints can be obvious, like the physical ones of the screen size, or more refined ones, like the logical ones of a deactivated icon.

They are logical constraints of anticipation, like the images half inside the screen and half outside, which allow us to intuit a slideshow and swipe. Or the visualization of the steps of a process, for example during the checkout of an e-commerce sale, which allow the user to immediately understand the correct path to follow to get to the end.

5.  Feedback

The feedback (which we can translate as a “response”) is a return message from an object that tells us that our action has been implemented.

Norman points out to us that

The feedback must be immediate, even a delay of one tenth of a second can be disconcerting.

User Experience

Every day we receive feedback from the products / services we use: the light on the button of the elevator, or of the pedestrian traffic light, or of the coffee machine. They allow us to have confirmations, without groping in the darkness of uncertainty.

Also and above all, feedback is fundamental on the web. When we select a folder with a mouse click, for example, the folder takes on a different color, which tells us that the system has learned our request. If, on the contrary, this type of feedback does not occur, we would continue to click spasmodically on the folder, in the grip of a sense of frustration (why does it not open?!).

6. Conceptual model

A good example that helps us understand are the icons of files and folders on your computer. In the computer there are really no sheets or folders, but the concept of a “binder” (recovered from the way we organize things in reality) facilitates understanding and interaction.

Interactive design, as we have just understood, makes extensive use of this principle. In association with the signifiers (Home = house, Size = scissors, Funnel = filter), the conceptual models allow us to associate a virtual action with one that we perform in everyday life, and therefore more concrete, for an immediate and simple understanding.

In the design phase it is important to take into account the fact that, as in reality, even in the virtual experience users expect a similar response to that which they experience in everyday life.

Conclusion

Norman’s 6 principles are timeless because they are based on human psychology, and applying them in design is a way to ensure a significantly higher level of usability and clarity.

But I must be honest in telling you that they are not the only ones and it is not enough to know only these. There are other very interesting theories that explain the complex but fascinating way in which people act in front of daily stimuli.

And above all, remember that, although it may seem complicated at first, becoming a UX designer is a journey that must be cultivated day after day. (As with everything).

Pay attention to every experience you go through because each of them pays a small roll in the way a designer, whether they be UX or otherwise, conducts themselves and their work.

Read More at The 6 Principles of UX

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/the-6-principles-of-ux/