Rapid Prototyping: What To Do And What To Avoid

What is rapid prototyping, and why would a designer want to use it? What is the difference between traditional UI prototyping and rapid prototyping? Why is this important in the field of research?

As a designer, you might be familiar with traditional UI prototyping. UI prototyping gives a visual representation of an idea.

When designers use traditional prototyping, they create a visual illustration of how a website should look and behave.

Rapid prototyping has followed on from traditional prototyping. Designers now create a prototype and then rework their designs, forming or burying changes according to user interactions. This iterative approach is known as rapid prototyping.

Rapid prototyping involves creating a mock-up or prototype of a website, application or mobile app. And don’t even think of using Illustrator to create a rapid prototype.

This prototype is then sent out for validation from clients, site users, designers and stakeholders. Changes will be made according to any feedback received.

Rapid prototyping creates a quick mock-up of a site design

Designers use rapid prototyping to create a quick mockup of a website or application. Included in this prototype is the way a designer believes the site or app will work.

The designer then explores how each aspect of a design will work in reality. This includes how a site will be navigated and how users will engage with the tasks at hand.

This design is then sent out to be tested by future users. Users offer feedback, explaining how they were (or were not) able to navigate a site, and where the site felt mysterious and difficult to use.

Once this feedback has been received, the designer will incorporate it into the user interface. The prototype is then disposed of.

Gaining feedback

As we see, the prototype provides the opportunity to receive feedback on the design.

By sharing the design with users, other designers, clients and stakeholders, the designer gains insight into how the application will be used. This helps to reduce any blind spots in the design.

A rapid prototype, therefore, allows the designer the opportunity to gain feedback early on in the design process.

This offers up the opportunity to improve on the final design and reduce the need for changes during the final stage of a project.

As the project develops, changes become far more complex to introduce. Early insights are therefore beneficial.

Rapid prototyping, therefore, generates feedback quickly. This can be used to streamline the designs until the prototype feels smooth and users no longer have questions about how to use the site or application.

Once the majority of these questions have been answered, a designer can begin work on the user interface.

Your prototype may still have edge areas

When you create a prototype, this will always lead to questions. Some questions may be general and others are very specific.

Every product has an area which impacts on your user experience and causes unhappiness or frustration. These are not always easy to identify using a rapid prototype.

In cases such as these, it is often easier for developers or engineers to list edge cases and work with them one at a time until these problems are resolved.

Sending your design out for testing

When you use rapid prototyping, you will send out your design for testing. Users will try to follow tasks in order to navigate their way around an application or site.

When you send out your application for testing, try to find users who represent your population as a whole.

These users would include people who are not highly computer literate, people who have visual impairments or people who have intellectual impairments.

By introducing a wide range of users to test an application, a designer will gain insight into any struggles users might have.

A facilitator can be used to show users what is needed from them during the evaluation as well as assess the difficulties users experience.

Once you’ve gained insight into your target users and how they are able to use your app, you can make changes. You will also be able to create user categories in order to understand who will use your application.

Users who are computer literate or who have knowledge in an industry will use your application differently to those who do not. Assess who will be using your application and design accordingly.

Test your prototype as you go along

As a designer, there are so many different ideas to explore and so much you would want to achieve. However, remember to test your designs as you go along.

This will help you to catch any mistakes you are making and resolve them quickly. If you go too far in your design, you may find there are a great many bugs that need to be repaired.

This may take you additional time and effort as each new problem impacts on a different area of your design. Short, rapid bursts which shape an iterative process are much easier to work with.

Refine your prototype

Once you receive feedback, it is time to refine your designs and create new changes. Some of these changes will be effective and will become a part of the new design. Others will be less so, and these are changes which will become buried.

Analyse the information you obtain as this will help you understand how users engage with your designs, what brings value and what causes confusion or frustration.

This will help you understand the themes which are emerging and how severe any design problems are.

The scope of your prototype

When you initially create a prototype keep it small and limit your areas of exploration. You can then expand this prototype if you need to.

Once your prototype has been tested and retested, and you’ve incorporated all the changes you have made, you’ll be ready to work on your final product.

The process of rapid prototyping should be fast. Changes are made quickly and a new product is developed until the user experience is a positive one.

When you create a rapid prototype you aren’t doing so in order to create a fully functioning site. Instead, the prototype is simply there to visually map out your user experience (UX).

Don’t prototype the full product

When you’re working on your prototype, avoid releasing the full designs.

Instead, simply release sections of your work as your ideas and concepts emerge.

This will assist you with gaining insight step by step without worrying about the ongoing hassles which will continually emerge with a larger product.

Don’t make changes at the last moment

Rapid prototyping is about creating small, frequent changes in an iterative process. Many designers leave changes until the last minute.

Very often teams only really ask for feedback as deadlines start to loom and they want to show clients a final product or result.

However, this approach isn’t always a helpful one. There may be a great many changes needed to the User Interface and this will create a ton of work on a tight deadline.

Ask for final feedback before you start building the site. This will enable your team to gain insight before the deadline emerges.

You can then spend your time working on the design for your final product rather than rebuilding your prototype.

Define the scope of your prototype early on

You don’t want to spend a great deal of time working on your rapid prototype. Find out the specs of the prototype you need to release for testing.

This will give you an idea of the work you need to produce in order to receive feedback.

Explore the scope of your design, the size of your screens, aesthetics and how precise your mocks ups need to be.

Map out how precisely you need to develop your user interactions when you create your prototype. Do you need realistic buttons or animated transitions?

What content will you need to place on your site? Will you be using precise imagery and the exact text, or can you use dummy images?

How will you work with code and what levels will you need?

If you agree on these specs early on, both you and your clients will know what you need for your prototype. This can avoid stress or disappointment at a later stage.

Keep your process rapid

Whether you are looking for user insights or client feedback, rapid prototyping will enable you to ensure that your designs are on the right track.

By following the guidelines in this article, you’ll be able to keep your process quick and efficient. Rapid prototyping is an iterative process which produces quick feedback in order to improve the user experience.

It will also save you time and reduce your workload when you follow the process timeously.

Read More at Rapid Prototyping: What To Do And What To Avoid

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/rapid-prototyping-avoid/

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How the Miami Dolphins Generated $4 Million in Sales Using Facebook Video

Too busy to read? Just click the play button below to listen to this post.

http://data.voxsnap.com/player/v1/buffer/voxsnap.js

Lead generation is an important task for any marketing department.

And for most companies lead generation means focusing on creating lead capture forms and driving traffic back to those forms.

But that’s not the only way to generate new leads for your business.

Nowadays, social media content can play an integral role in lead generation for businesses of all sizes.

But how does someone go from viewing a piece of content on Facebook to making a purchase?

Look no further than the NFL’s Miami Dolphins…

How the Miami Dolphins generate leads from Facebook video

In 2017, the Dolphins became the #1 ranked NFL team for video views on Facebook.

Alone, that’s quite an achievement, yet the Dolphins didn’t just use their video content as a way to boost engagement with fans, it was also a key part of their lead generation strategy.

During an off-season marketing campaign to sell season tickets, the Dolphins used data generated from the likes, comments and shares their videos to better target people who they felt were likely to become season ticket holders and results are astonishing:

25 percent of new season ticket memberships during the 2017 season was a direct result of leads generated from engaging with social media content. This brought in more than $4 million in revenue for the team.

The strategy: How to generate leads using social Facebook video

Step 1: Create content

Social media content is the most important part of this strategy. Without content, the Dolphins wouldn’t have been able to target such an engaged, receptive audience.

For this campaign, the Dolphins created a series of videos called ‘The Life’. The Life focused on the Dolphins organization, the Miami community, and the players. The videos featured no mentions of season ticket sales. Instead, they focused on telling stories that might resonate with new and existing fans.

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMiamiDolphins%2Fvideos%2F10155018682004611%2F&show_text=0&width=267

Note: The Life is one of 11 video shows the Dolphins have published directly to Facebook, including:

  • Dolphins DailyA short, daily roundup of news from the Dolphins franchise.
  • The Grind: Behind-the-scenes content from practice sessions.
  • The Audible: A live, interactive podcast show.

Step 2: Create an Engagement Custom Audience

Next, the Dolphins created engagement custom audiences on Facebook. These audiences were made up of fans who had interacted with their chosen pieces of content. This meant that the Dolphins could target people specific ads at people who had interacted with content.

Step 3: Build a relationship using Lead Ads

Instead of trying to make a sale directly on Facebook, the Dolphins instead focused on creating leads.

The Dolphins used Facebook Lead ads to re-connect with fans who engaged with their video content. The lead ads invited each user to sign up for various events at the new stadium or receive more information about ticket packages.

Following the link from these ads would enable the user to share their details with a Dolphins sales rep:

Step 4: Make the sale

Once people had signed up for the events from the Lead ads, the Dolphins were able to start making sales right away. And as we mentioned at the start of this post, 25% of new season ticket memberships during the 2017 season were a direct result of leads generated on Facebook.

Scale your lead generation strategy with social media content

The Miami Dolphins might be one of the most famous and richest sports franchises in the world, but the great thing about their lead generation strategy is that any business can replicate it—all you need is great content to get the ball rolling.

Instead of going right in for the sale, think about how you can create an audience of leads using content and gradually move them down your sales funnel using various ad-types.

This strategy works even if you don’t have a sales team and simply want to move leads through your funnel using Facebook Ads. For example, here’s a simplified look at how a lead-gen campaign might look for a fitness product:

  • Step: 1 First, you might create a video ad showing a simple home workout for people in your audience who are interested in fitness:
  • Step 2: Next, you could create a Facebook carousel ad looking to drive clicks to your website and increase brand awareness amongst people who watched 10 percent of the fitness video you created for step 1:
  • Step 3: Then, you might create a conversion focused ad aiming to get people who clicked the link in the previous ad to become customers of your fitness company:

Content has proven to be a huge success as a way to generate leads for the Miami Dolphins and many other businesses on Facebook — we’ve even experimented with this technique at Buffer as a way to move leads through our funnel.

Have you ever used content as a way to generate leads for your business? I’d love to hear your experiences and any tips you might have.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-lead-generation

Awkward Agency of The Week #1

 

To shed a little light on the importance of agencies, we’re diving into a new series this week. We’ll start with the brightest of the bunch, Awkward.co, an amazing team who creates innovative software for mobile and web.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes. Especially when it comes to big start-ups. Or maybe you just need a little boost on a project that you’ve been working on for what seems like an eternity. Well, lucky for us all, the kind people over at Awkward.co have our backs.

Who are they?

Awkward.co started building relationships with their clients about five years ago. Since then, they haven’t stopped impressing every single one of their clients. With an impressive list of clients under their belt such as SONOS, Sketchapp, Redbullmediahouse, and many more, it’s easy to see why Awkward is such an easy choice for many big names.

However, don’t let that fool you. Awkward prides themselves in their ability to bring the clients creations and ideas to life. From giant tasks all the way down to individual clients’ needs, they’re capable of any project, big or small.

“We’ve developed a variety of disciplines and interests, which let us transform ideas into first class experiences. We help our clients realize ideas from the first sketch, to the launch day and beyond.” This is music to the ears of any client seeking digital design and engineering help.

Why Awkward?

So let’s talk a little about why they’re so impressive. Firstly, you’ll be greeted with a friendly and easily navigable website that allows you to quickly understand and reach out if needed. First impressions mean everything and their website speaks volumes. After displaying your sketches and designs, a team of hardworking engineers, designers, and anyone else you may need get straight to work on the product of your dreams.

With their experienced and dedicated team, Awkward.co is here to help you with all of your design and software engineering needs. It’s always so refreshing to see such a humble and easy to work with agency who consider themselves lucky to work with you. There isn’t much else you can ask for.

Here are a few projects the agency worked on and turned out really well.

Revue

Sketch Mirror

Sketch Cloud

Beam

Pause

 

 

Feel free to follow Awkward on Instagram and contact them for any inquiries.

Also, check out our Designer of the Week series where we interview the best designers in the world in the Inspiration category on our blog.

Read More at Awkward Agency of The Week #1

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/awkward-agency-of-the-week-1/

Tips To Help Designers Work Better With Coders

Designers and coders provide different services in web design. Should designers be able to code? Is an all in one service beneficial?

Skill sets are becoming increasingly specialized. Designers would love to have a wide range of skills. It isn’t just as easy as following typography tutorials online. There’s more to that.

This would enable a full service when it comes to website development. However, if designers spend a great deal of time learning code, they won’t be able to spend that time working on their designs.

In a world of multiple skills, each aspect of web design has become unique. UX specialists use research, testing and analytics.

Coders use HTML and CSS. Visual designers create sites which resonate with the viewer. Great website design requires teamwork and each person focuses on what they love.

When web developers work as specialists, each team member is able to make a contribution. Each is able to offer a great service.

The trick is for designers and coders to collaborate in order to develop a great product.

How do you communicate effectively with your site developer so that you get the end result you want? This article presents some helpful tips.

Learn some basic coding

As a designer, it often helps to learn some basic code. When you design, you use your imagination to bring a new creation to life.

If you are able to visualize this design in basic code, this will enable you to communicate more easily with your site developers.

There’s no need to understand the intricate code. However, a very basic understanding will pave the way to easy communication.

Learning the basics of coding gives you a wider understanding of the building materials which will be used to construct your design.

You don’t have to use them, but it does help you to understand what they might be and how they combine to bring your design into being.

See it from your developer’s perspective

When you understand a basic amount of code, you’ll be able to see your designs from the developer’s perspective. This is because your designs will end up being written in HTML and styled with CSS.

Understanding your developer’s tools will enable you to develop a deeper relationship with the person you’re working with.

When you’re able to view your designs in a different language, and from a different perspective, you can communicate deeply. This will enable you to create an effective end product.

If there are complex aspects of the design that you don’t understand, a developer will be able to engage with you. Sharing complex technical ideas is easier if you understand the basics.

This means that your developer can communicate you and assist you in areas of doubt. Understanding the difference between HTML and CSS creates a stepping stone to effective communications.

Have a plan

When you work with a developer, you want to know that you are going to be on the same page. It is often helpful to share your plans from the very beginning.

Include your developer in your project when your ideas are being conceptualized. By the time you start to design, your developer will already have insight into where you want to go.

By planning a site together, your developer will know from the outset where you plan to go with your designs and the routes you would like to follow.

This roadmap will assist you both while you are working. Knowing the route you want to follow is essential for creating an effective result.

Create a practical path to follow

Once you’ve mapped out your journey, your next step is to create a practical solution in order to bring results.

Designers and developers often think from different angles. If you can map out your ideas in a practical manner, this will help your developer to understand how to work with them.

Simplify each aspect of your design so that your developer can gain insight into how to work with each element.

Your developer will need to know how your users will interact with your designs and what you want your end results to be.

Creating examples will assist your developer to gain insight into your goals. Visual examples such as prototypes help your developer to visualize your goals.

This will create a reference point for your developer to draw upon while coding your site.

When you’re working with two very different viewpoints, it is important to create a bridge between these two worlds.

Remember to be practical. Vague and ambiguous terms or concepts create confusion and misunderstandings.

Tips for designers

Explain what you would like to do with your designs. Show your developer want you would like to achieve with each and every aspect of your design.

Explore how the different aspects of your design work together or interact. Look at your design from a holistic perspective.

Be thorough. Your developer won’t be able to work from an incomplete design. You’ll need to have each aspect of your design ready for your developer to work with.

Ask for insight. Your developer will be able to assist you if you are unsure or have questions. If you don’t know if a font will work, ask your developer’s opinion.

Be efficient, handing over all files in the correct resolution, size and format. This will ensure your developer has the tools needed without the extra work.

Create a style guide as a roadmap

By creating a style guide, you’ll be able to create a clear map for your site. This will help to create a clear communication process between you and your developer. This is because both of you will know what you are doing next.

By using a style guide, the designer will create a consistent site. Each colour, font, shadow or shape will be recorded and repeated.

This creates a sense of harmony for the site design. For the developer, they create a checklist. Your developer will also be able to use the style guide as a reference point for coding.

When you’re creating a style guide, be thorough. Explain the contexts of your design. Share how your user interface works.

When would you like to scroll? How will content be arranged under tabs? Why is your page designed in a specific way? This helps your developer to understand the thought process behind your designs.

Customize your style guide towards your site needs. If your logo is crucial to the site and needs a great deal of attention you may list a great many points.

However, if your site focuses on typography, this might take up a lot of space in your guide.

Style guides focus on the building blocks of a design. Some common areas recorded in the style guide include:

Typography: recording the different typefaces used helps to keep the page consistent.

List the font choices, styles and sizes and how these apply to each aspect of a site. What are the choices for headings, subheadings or body text? How should the copy be displayed?

Layouts: share how your site will be composed. What are the margins? How many columns will you use for your copy? How will your text be aligned? How will your page be composed?

Colour schemes: Be specific. Record the exact Pantone colours you use. Also, include the colour combinations for RGB and CMYK.

Reusable code: This is the space for your developer to create code references for the different sections of your site. By creating code references, your developer will be able to cut and paste the sections they need for each area of a site.

Graphics: This is the space you can use for icons, artworks, images, illustrations, symbols and buttons.

Each area of your site should have guidelines which explain the layout or composition, and how each element of the design should interact. Provide information on where each image is located.

Navigation: Provide information on how to navigate your site. Which buttons will you use? Will your site use sidebars? Which links will you use? What about drop down menus? Share each aspect of navigation as well as the thought processes behind them.

Logos: Create clear rules for logos and designs. Some companies have a style guide simply for logos, but these can be incorporated into the style guide as well.

Share the styles, colours, placement and any typography rules associated with logos. Mascot guidelines can also be placed in this section of your style guide.

Design Philosophies: If your company has a strong brand ethos, share this with the style guide. What message does the company want to create? How can this be put into practice? Which techniques are used to achieve this goal?

This guideline creates a means of communication between you and your team members. The larger your team, the more precise your guideline should be.

Helpful practices for working in teams

When you’re working with a team, you might not communicate regularly. Some members of the team may even be working from different locations. These tips will help you to keep collaborations effective:

Create folders for your resources. This will help your team access images, icons, fonts or illustrations. You could also include codes for colours and backgrounds. This keeps all your designs accessible to your team members.

Use names for your folders. This helps your team to access and format resources easily. A coherent organizing system saves time.

Describe interactions and animations: If you are using animations, their interactions won’t be clearly evident to team members. Describe them by providing notes affixed to your wireframes.

Use storyboards to explain how your links work and where each one will lead.

Check your fonts: ensure you have the correct licenses to use each font on your site. Label each family.

Summary

When working in collaboration, designers and developers approach projects from a different perspective.

By understanding website production from these two different viewpoints, designers can work effectively to ensure a great website will be produced.

Design and development each play a crucial role in creating a site. As web design becomes increasingly specialized, there is an increased need for the various members of the team to work well together.

When specialists work well together, each member adds to the whole, creating a stellar result.

 

For more valuable resources on Web Development, make sure you visit our blog daily!

Read More at Tips To Help Designers Work Better With Coders

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/tips-to-help-designers-work-better-with-coders/

What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers

Up to €20 million…

or four percent of your total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year, whichever higher.

That’s the penalty for failing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU’s new data privacy law.

Okay, sorry to start this post on such a heavy note, but the GDPR is very important to comply with. And not only that, I believe that the new regulation is something we should fully embrace as I can see it bringing around positive changes that could be beneficial to both customers and businesses.

In this post, I’ll share some benefits of the GDPR for your business and your customers. I’ll also cover several key things to note for social media marketing.

Disclaimer: This is my personal understanding of the GDPR based on my research and only covers social media marketing. To ensure that you’re in compliant with all aspects of the GDPR, you should consult your legal advisor.

What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data privacy regulation that aims to give individuals in the EU protection and control over their personal data. This affects how businesses can collect and use personal data.

The regulation will be enforceable from May 25, 2018.

While it is an EU law, it is applicable to any organization with personal data of EU citizens and residents. So if you are a business with customers in the EU, the GDPR will be applicable to you when you are handling personal data of your EU customers.

Why the GDPR is beneficial to your business

If you have read the regulation or started preparing for it, you might notice that it requires some effort to be fully compliant with the regulation. But I think there are several potential wins for your business:

  • Greater trust: Your customers will know what data of theirs is collected and how it will be used.
  • Better email engagement: Only people who are interested in and who choose to opt-in to your email will receive your content.
  • Improved marketing experience: With stricter regulation on the use of personal data for marketing and advertising, consumers will likely have a better experience while surfing the internet (and hopefully become more receptive). This will benefit all businesses that do online marketing.

And these are just from the marketing perspective. For more benefits that being GDPR-compliant can bring to your business, check out this article by Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix, an IT security software company.

How the GDPR will benefit consumers

Besides benefiting your business, the GDPR is also favorable for your customers in many ways.

  • More privacy: Businesses are required to collect and process only personal data that are necessary for each specific purpose and implement measures to protect personal data.
  • More security of their personal data: With stricter rules on collection and processing of personal data, there would likely be fewer data breaches such as the recent incidents.
  • More control over their shopping experiences: Consumers will be able to decide upfront whether they want to receive marketing emails from businesses or whether they want their website behavior to be tracked for analytics and advertising purposes.

For example, visitors on mailchimp.com can now customize their cookie preferences.

MailChimp advertising cookies

Organic social media marketing

Organic social media is probably a big part of your role as a social media marketer. The good news is that I believe organic social media marketing (i.e. excluding social media advertising) is largely unaffected by the new regulation.

This is because most organic social media activities such as posting content and engaging fans do not collect personal data from people who view or engage with it.

But there are several instances you want to be mindful of:

  • You would not want to export or scrape contact details from your social media followers or groups as that is personal data. (I personally don’t think this is right even without the new regulations)
  • If you are sending traffic from social media to your website and you’re using Google Analytics to track visitor behavior, you will likely need to get consent for that.
  • If you run social media ads, especially lead ads, there are several things to be aware of. Let’s quickly go through them.

Paid social media marketing (or social advertising)

Under the GDPR, if you want to use your customers’ data or track their behavior for advertising, you must obtain the legal basis to do so. That is, you have to obtain an explicit opt-in consent from your customers.

Here are a few key points to know:

  • Your customers must be given a free and genuine choice to accept or reject (and be allowed to easily withdraw their consent).
  • You have to state what data will be collected and how it will be used.
  • The request for consent has to be in a clear and plain language.
  • Inactivity also doesn’t constitute consent. Your customers have to take an action. (E.g. Pre-tick boxes for consent are not allowed.)

As there are very stringent requirements for obtaining consent, it’s best to refer to the regulations directly and check with your legal advisor.

Several social media advertising features use customer data that you upload, collect personal data, or track behavior on your site. If you use any of the following features, it’ll be great to look further into the actions you should take before May 25, 2018:

  • Facebook Pixel
  • Facebook Custom Audiences
  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • LinkedIn Matched Audiences
  • LinkedIn Insight Tag
  • LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
  • LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
  • Twitter Pixel
  • Twitter Tailored Audiences
  • Pinterest Tag
  • Pinterest Audiences

For more information about advertising on social media platforms under the GDPR, check out the following resources by the respective platforms:

(I can’t seem to find Pinterest’s information about GDPR. If you know of any, would you mind sharing the link to their page in the comments section below? Thanks!)

Lead form ads on Facebook and LinkedIn

There have also been some changes to lead form ads on Facebook and LinkedIn to help you stay in compliant with the GDPR. As you would be collecting data through lead forms, you’ll need to state how the data will be processed and establish a legal basis (e.g. consent) for processing the data.

Facebook lead ads

Before you can create a lead ad on Facebook, you’ll have to explicitly accept their lead ad terms. You can view and accept their terms here. (Also as a refresher, here are Facebook’s advertising policies.)

Facebook lead ads terms

In addition to your privacy policy, Facebook now allows you to add a custom disclaimer and optional consent checkboxes to your lead form. I believe this is to enable you to include all the necessary legal information for collecting personal data under the GDPR on the form.

Facebook lead ad form

LinkedIn lead gen form

To help you comply with the GDPR, LinkedIn has updated its lead generation form so that you can add a link to your privacy policy and a custom text that states how you’ll be using the collected data.

Linkedin lead gen form

LinkedIn also has some suggestions for the custom text. For example, if you are collecting email addresses for your newsletter, you could use “We’ll use your information to register you to receive our newsletters.”

Further GDPR reading resources

The GDPR is a huge and important topic. Here are some of the resources that I have found helpful:

Do you know of any other helpful resources?

Over to you: How are you preparing for GDPR?

As a quick reminder, GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018. It’ll be best to prepare your business for it before that date.

At Buffer, we are working hard to be compliant with the GDPR before the enforcement date. We’ll be sharing an update soon so keep an eye out for it!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. We’ll try our best to answer them.

Image credit: Joshua Sortino on Unsplash, LinkedIn

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/gdpr-social-media

Facebook Messenger Gets a New Look

Facebook Messanger

It’s no secret that Facebook Messenger can be a little difficult to navigate. The app itself has seen many updates since its beginnings, but there’s always room for improvement. Facebook teased a rework of the very popular messaging app at this year’s F8 conference. This could mean either very good or very bad news for all of its millions of users.

 

The design team behind the ever popular app came forward and announced more of a simplification update rather than adding many additions. They’ve boasted that the new app will allow for easier and quicker access to all of the apps current features. This means that they aren’t necessarily taking away anything from the app, but rather just combining some of the functions. We can also expect a slightly modified look.

 

 

So what exactly are they adding? I have a feeling that facebook didn’t reveal everything they’re releasing, but we did get a sneak peak at a few things. For one, they’re adding a dark mode. Nothing too technologically advanced, but still pretty useful. I’m not quite sure if this means they’ll integrate a new interface with more features, or just add a simple button.

 

Other than that, they’ve revealed new, gradient chat bubbles. Again, mostly just esthetic. From what we know right now, the colors and logo are staying the same.

 

Faster processing was also on the list of new things. How fast, we really don’t know. At this point, can it really get much faster? I mean, sure, there are times when it’s a little laggy, but i’ll be interested to see exactly how much faster we can get. Especially since its enough for them to brag about.

Facebook Messanger

Facebook is definitely taking a step in the right direction on this one. The app itself has been needing a redesign since its creation. It’s always felt a little old and outdated. But, looking at the new designs already makes it feel refreshing and different. Hopefully we’ll get our hands on more information soon.

In order to stay updated with the latest news in design, make sure you visit our Inspiration category every day!

Read More at Facebook Messenger Gets a New Look

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/44086-2/

Instagram’s New Design Account Will Leave You Speechless

 

Instagram first revealed their New Design Account at Milan Design Week. Since then, they have managed to gain thousand of followers with no signs of stopping. Instagram itself has a staggering 800 million active users. Which means that we can  hopefully expect to see some pretty impressive, out-of-the-box type designs.

‘By highlighting creators from across disciplines, we hope to showcase the evolving relationship between technology and traditional design,’ Ian Spalter, head of design explains. ‘We’re just getting started, and we’re looking forward to learning how we can be a useful and supportive part of the community.’

This is great news for designers that share their stuff on the popular photo-sharing social media site. While not everyone will be featured on the New Design Account, it helps shed a lot of much needed light on the world of design. So, get your most creative brain cells pumping and start showing off what you’ve got!

For it’s launch, Instagram decided to ask six designers to show off their view from their desk. Each picture showcases how everyone’s workspace can wildly vary. Here’s what they showed us:

 

 

 

It’s interesting to see the inspiration behind everyone’s desk layout. @design promises more than just desk views and standard stock photos. The team behind it all assure us that we will be seeing anything from architectural design such as this:

to abstract sculptures such as this:

 

Regardless of your taste in design, @design is definitely worth a follow. You never know what might inspire you.

 

We’ll end with one more quote from the head of design at Instagram, Ian Shalpter “By highlighting creators from across disciplines, we hope to showcase the evolving relationship between technology and traditional design.”

 

Check out our Inspiration category for more unique and innovative design related posts. Also, check out our interviews with great designers around the world.

 

 

Read More at Instagram’s New Design Account Will Leave You Speechless

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/instagrams-new-design-account-will-leave-you-speechless/

Is Adidas Really Changing Its Logo?

We’ve all heard the name Adidas before. What you might not know, is that they have several different logos, and are much more than just a shoe company. This brand was created by a man named Adolf Herzogenaurach in Germany in 1924. Before this, Herzogenaurach made simple shoes to sell out of his mother’s wash room. Talk about humble beginnings.

 

The brand hasn’t stopped since then. Recently, however, they’ve gained a lot of popularity by inviting influencers to collaborate with designs. Not even mentioning to ever popular “Boost” branding that a lot of sneaker collectors are after. One could even argue that they are the most recognizable shoe brand on the planet. However, there are many branches of Adidas. Not only do they make some of the most sought after and iconic shoes in the world, they’ve created a clothing and accessory empire as well.

 

So what’s this facelift all about? The designers at Adidas explained that they’re going for a simple and stunning look. One that is easy to place and scale as needed:

But it’s a little more complex than it seems. Comparing the new logo to the old logo, you’ll notice that they only removed the lower half.

Adidas is known as “The brand with the three stripes.” So what direction does this take them? Well, let’s not forget the multiple branches Adidas has to offer. We have the corporate branding above.

 

Adidas Originals:

And Adidas Sport:

As you can see, the only logo that changed was the corporate one. The iconic three stripes still exists within the company and will very likely still be present on many of their apparel and shoes.

 

Adidas approached this new look with one goal in mind. They wanted to make it simple, easy to get, and memorable. They cut out all distractions from the main idea, the name.

 

The brand hit this Logo change right on the mark. It’s sleek, trendy, and easy to remember. They completely removed everything from the logo except for what’s important, the name. Now, for designers and marketers alike that work with Adidas, it’s easier to manage fitting the logo into an advertisement.

 

But it’s about more than that. One of the biggest trends nowadays is to be a low key as possible. To make your name known, but to show it off in a sleek, not so in-your-face way. And, Adidas did that. They managed to not so much create a new logo, but rather build off the old one. They turned the old, clunky baggage of a logo into a streamline yet innovative name. With this re-branding out of their way, who knows what Adidas will come up with next.

Stay up to date with the Design world by visiting us daily on our blog.

Read More at Is Adidas Really Changing Its Logo?

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/is-adidas-really-changing-its-logo/

5 Important Announcements From F8 2018: A Focus on Smaller Communities And The Future of the News Feed

F8 is one of the most important conferences of the year for the social media world.

And over the past couple of days, Facebook has announced a ton of huge updates for its suite of products including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, Oculus, and more.

With so much going on, and so many updates and launches, it can be hard to keep up with. So with F8 2018 in the history books, we thought it’d be useful to recap some of the most important announcements Facebook made during its flagship conference.

Here are five key updates from F8 2018 and some thoughts on what F8 could mean for the social media industry moving forward:

F8 2018: 5 key updates

1. Sharing to Stories

Stories are now an incredibly popular content format, so popular in fact that we may see Stories begin to rival the news feed as the default content consumption and creation method in the not-to-distant future.

As TechCrunch reported, “Nearly a billion accounts across Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messenger now create and watch these vertical, ephemeral slideshows.”

Instagram Stories alone has more than 300 million daily users. And as people are already using Stories share their interests, Facebook announced that it’s making that experience “faster, easier and more creative.”

Users will now be able to share content from third-party apps directly to their Stories. Instagram explained more on their blog:

From a sticker of your new favorite song on Spotify to action shots from GoPro, it’s now easy to share what you’re up to or how you’re feeling by posting directly to Instagram Stories from other apps. More apps will be adding the sharing to Stories feature soon.

Here’s how sharing to Stories from Spotify will look:

2. Groups tab coming to the Facebook app

During his keynote on day one of F8, Mark Zuckerburg shared that 1.4 billion people are now using Facebook Groups every month.

As such, Facebook is looking to make Groups a more prominent feature for app users by introducing a Groups tab, which will help users navigate to your existing Groups more easily and interact with content from all your Groups.

Discovery also seems to be important for Facebook with Zuckerburg sharing that “later this year, you’ll be able to discover and join new groups through the tab.”

3. Video chat on Instagram

More than 100 million Instagrammers watch or share on Live every day. And Facebook announced that video chat will be available in Instagram Direct in a few weeks offering both one-to-one and group conversations.

This update will enable Instagram users to experience real-time video in a smaller group, without having to broadcast publicly.

Video and group chat seemed to be a big focus during F8, with an announcement that Whatsapp will also be adding group calling in the months ahead. These updates follow on hotly on the heels of Facebook’s group chat app, Bonfire, opening up for testing in late 2017.

4. Instagram’s new Explore tab

Instagram will soon be releasing a redesigned and updated Explore tab that makes it easier for users to discover new content related to their favorite topics.

The content within the Explore tab will now be organized into channels enabling users all of their top interests.

Here’s how the new tab will look when it’s rolled out in a couple of weeks:

5. Messenger refresh, M translations, and AR platform

Messenger now has more than 1.3 billion users every month, and over eight billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month on the Messenger platform.

On stage at F8, David Marcus, Head of Messenger, shared some big announcements relating to the platform:

AR for the Messenger Platform: Messenger is testing new functionality that will give brands the ability to create AR effects and brand experiences.

Similar to Snapchat Lenses, these AR experiences will enable Messenger users to overlay 2D and 3D objects and animations on top of their image or video and then save the content to their camera roll, share in a group or one-to-one conversation, or even add it to their Story.

M Translations: In a bid to reduce the language barrier and make conversation on easier, the Messenger team has built an automated translation tool. When people receive a message in a language that is different from the default language they have selected in Messenger, M will ask them if they want to translate the message.

Messenger design update: When Messenger first launched, it was a simple chat app — a space outside of Facebook’s main app for your private messages and group chats. But since it’s launch, a Messenger has grown significantly adding games, bots, a camera, AR features — and even ads. As such, Messenger can, at times, feel a little bloated.

And during his keynote, Mark Zuckerburg announced that Messenger will be getting a complete overhaul in order to make the product much simpler, faster and cleaner.

F8 2018 roundup: A focus on smaller communities and a possible future away from the News Feed

This post only just touches the surface of everything that was announced at Facebook F8. But if I had to pick a couple of key themes from the conference I think they’d be:

  1. Facebook’s seeming focus on helping people to connect with others within close-knit groups or closed, private interactions
  2. Facebook preperation for a future without the News Feed

Through it’s focus on Messenger, live video calls and Groups, it feels like Facebook is beginning to shift away from encouraging users to share publicly with everyone they’re connected to and instead share more personal, meaningful updates with smaller groups of people 0r one-to-one conversations.

It’s no longer going to be about creating a status update and sharing it with the world. Instead, Facebook will be a place for more meaningful interactions and proving ways for friends, family and small communities to spend time together — even when they aren’t actually together.

It also feels like we’re shifting more and more towards Stories becoming the default way to create and consume content across Facebook’s platforms.

Facebook is constantly experimenting with ways to encourage users to share more to Stories and make Stories more prominent in their main Facebook app. And at F8, Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, explained that Facebook is also working to enable small communities of people to be able to share and enjoy Stories togethers. For example, a group of parents sharing Stories about their kids’ soccer game or a group of friends creating a shared story around a concert.

During his keynote, Cox also noted that “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.”

This update from Cox, followed Mark Zuckerburg’s statement, during a recent earnings call, that Facebook is focused on “making sure that ads are as good in Stories as they are in feeds. If we don’t do this well, then as more sharing shifts to Stories, that could hurt our business.”

The News Feed certainly won’t disappear overnight and it’s sure to be a long goodbye. But it could be time to start thinking about what life looks like after the News Feed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook’s F8 2018. What announcements are you most excited about? And what are your key takeaways?

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-f8-2018-recap

How to find your polling station and candidates in the English local election


Today, May 3, is the day of the local elections in England. Local democracy is hugely important, as it pertains to things in your local community, like bin collections, roads, parks, and leisure facilities. Around 150 English councils are up for grabs, and there are some handy online resources that can help you cast your vote. Who Can I Vote For, from Democracy Club, does what it says on the tin. Give it your postcode, and it’ll give you the list of candidates standing in your area, along with the party they represent. If you want more information on the…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/uk/2018/05/03/heres-how-to-find-your-polling-station-and-candidates-in-the-english-local-election/