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How to Get Dark Mode Design Right

Dark themes are everywhere these days. 

As human beings continue to spend more of their time interacting with technology, dark themes provide a more relaxing way to engage with the digital world. More often than not, these themes are easier on the eyes, more attractive, and perfect for the dedicated user

Throughout 2020, countless leading brands have debuted their own version of the dark theme. Google has a solution for your Drive, while Apple and Android have built dark theme performance right into their operating systems. 

If you haven’t learned how to make the most out of dark mode yet, then you could be missing out on an excellent opportunity to differentiate your design skills, and earn more clients going forward. 

Why Dark Mode?

Before we dive too deeply into the possibilities of creating your own dark theme, let’s examine what dark mode is, and why it’s so effective. 

Ultimately, dark themes are created to reduce the amount of luminance emitted by everything from your desktop and laptop, to your smartphone and smartwatch. Dark themes help to improve the visual ergonomics of design, by reducing eye strain, adjusting brightness to suit current lighting conditions, and more. Additionally, many dark mode offerings are also fantastic at conserving battery life. 

Here are some of the main benefits of adding dark themes to your design portfolio

  • Better user experience: A focus on user experience is one of the most important trends of the digital age. You need to be willing to deliver incredible experiences to everyone who visits your website if you want to stand out today. Dark mode reduces everything from eye strain, to battery power consumption. This helps to keep customers on a website for longer.
  • Innovation and cutting edge appeal: Most companies want to prove that they can stay on the cutting edge of their industry. The ability to offer an opt-in dark mode version of a website theme or appearance can help your clients to stand out from the crowd. As the environment becomes more mobile-focused, more companies will be looking for designers that can provide the best mobile experiences. 
  • Support for universal design: Dark mode isn’t just great for people who have light sensitivity at night. This solution could be more comfortable for visually-impaired users who would struggle with eye strain when visiting your websites otherwise. If you want your content to be more inclusive for a wider range of viewers, then learning how to design for dark mode is a good way to start.

Best Practices When Designing for Dark Mode

Designing for dark mode is easier than you’d think. Most of the time, it involves simply thinking about how you can replace some of the brighter, more overwhelming aspects of your site, with something deeper and darker. 

Here are some useful tips that will get you moving in the right direction. 

1. Experiment with Colors

A big issue for a lot of web designers when it comes to developing a dark mode solution is that they get too caught up with things like pure white text against pure black backgrounds. However, this high-contrast option can be a little much after a while. 

It’s often much easier to use a dark grey as your primary surface color, instead of a true black. Additionally, rather than using bright white, think about slightly off-white alternatives that will be warmer to the eye.

Experiment with surfaces and color combinations that are unlikely to cause too much eye strain. Dark grey foundations often offer a wider range of depth, too, because you can demonstrate shadows on grey. 

Additionally, when you are experimenting with colors, remember that saturated colors often vibrate painfully against very dark surfaces, making them harder to read. Desaturating your colors will help to reduce the contrast and make your websites more welcoming. 

Lighter tones in the 200-50 range will have better readability on dark themes. However, you can always experiment with your choices. Google Material Design recommends using a contrast level of around 15:8:1 between your background and text. 

2. Consider the Emotional Impact

Much of the effort involved with dark mode design is figuring out how certain colors work together. It’s easy to get carried away with stark contrasts, particularly when you’re used to working with a white background. However, you need to remember that you’re designing for a user that’s primarily looking for an easier and more subdued browsing experience.

While you’re working, remember to consider the emotional aspect of the design too. The emotion in colors can make or break a buyer’s journey in any environment. However, an often overlooked-aspect of color psychology, is that people perceive shades differently when they’re on a black background

For instance, think of the color green. On a light background, it conveys nature and even financial wealth. However, on a dark background, the same green could come across as something venomous, toxic, or even sickly. It’s important to think about the kind of impressions end users are going to get when they arrive on your site.

3. Give Users the Freedom to Choose

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you begin designing for dark mode, is thinking that you should focus entirely on your dark themes, and nothing else. This lines you up for a problem if you interact with users who want the best of both worlds. If you’re designing for apps in particular, you’re going to need web pages that can switch naturally between light and dark themes. 

Learning how to implement both a dark mode and a light mode option into the desks you create will help you to reach a wider selection of customers. Remember, you’ll need to test the performance and impact of your designs in both themes, to check that they deliver the same kind of experience, no matter how your user chooses to browse. 

Although dark mode should offer a different experience to end-users, it still needs to feel as though they’re browsing on the same website. That means that you’re going to need to experiment with the most natural combination of light and dark mode options.

4. Remember the Basics

Remember, although the three tips above will help you to get on the right path for dark mode design, you’ll also need to consider the opportunities and limitations of the platforms that you’re designing for. The kind of dark mode experience you can deliver for Google Chrome websites is going to be very different to what you can create for something running on iOS.

Examining the documentation provided by the system that you’re designing for will help you to develop something with a close insight into what’s actually possible. 

Other top tips for dark mode design include:

  • Focus on your content: Make sure that your content stands out on the page, without being too overwhelming. 
  • Test your design: In both light and dark appearances, you need to make sure everything is working as it should be.
  • Adopt vibrancy for your interfaces: Vibrancy helps to improve the contrast between your background and foreground. 
  • Use semantic colors: Semantic colors adapt to the current appearance of a website automatically. Hard-coded color values that don’t adapt can seem more aggressive. 
  • Desktop tinting: Try experiment with things like transparency and filters to give your websites and apps a slightly warmer tint – ideal for late-night browsing
  • Icons: Use individual glyphs and icons for dark and light modes if necessary. 

Ready to Design for Dark Mode?

Preparing your web development and design portfolio for an era addicted to dark mode can be a complex experience. You need to think carefully about how people are going to browse through your websites and apps when they’re searching for something more subtle, and less visually overwhelming than the websites that we’re used to making. 

The most important thing to remember is that everything on your website or application should look just as beautifully tailor-made in dark mode as it does in light mode. Simply adding a dynamic black background when people want to switch settings in an app isn’t enough. You need to go in-depth with your designs and examine how different fonts, colors, and images work together.

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The Low-Code and No-Code Movement Can Transform Your Startup Into Category Leaders

No-code and low-code technologies have been making inroads for years but have never quite delivered on their promise as reliable alternatives to traditional software development for complex, business-critical applications. Then COVID-19 forced a new, expedited timeline for moving analog in-person processes to semi- or fully-automated online ones. At the same time, IT and engineering roadmaps have been thrown out the window as technical teams scramble to adjust to new distributed working conditions while juggling multiple "hair on fire" problems. As a result, operations and business teams have been left with urgent needs for new business applications and scant developer resources, creating the perfect storm for no- or low-code solutions to emerge as the savior of productivity. But decision-makers should be wary of treating these platforms as a panacea to avoid costly failures and lost time.

What Are No-Code and Low-Code Technologies?

To understand how no- and low-code solutions fill the gap between business demand for development and supply of technical resources, it is helpful to understand what those terms mean exactly. No-code platforms allow people with no technical knowledge to stand up complex, cloud-based business applications using simple, drag-and-drop tooling. Relatedly, low-code platforms are also based on the concept of abstraction through pre-built software building blocks oriented towards accelerating time to development by reducing the amount of “original” code that needs to be written in any given application. Perhaps because of their shared DNA, there is a trend towards convergence; as no-code platforms become more powerful and versatile with add-ons and application marketplaces, and low-code platforms build features to require less coding. Given this trend, we can collectively refer to these platforms as Low-code Development Platforms.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Editors’ Picks: Summer 2020


Agile 

AI

Big Data

Cloud

Database

DevOps

Integration

  • Mulesoft 4: Continuous Delivery/Deployment With Maven by Ashok S — This article is a great example of what we want every tutorial to look like on DZone. The main aim of this article is to provide a standard mechanism to release project artifacts and deploy to Anypoint Platform, from the local machine or configure in continuous delivery pipelines.
  • Integration With Social Media Platforms Series (Part 1) by Sravan Lingam — This article helps you to build a RESTful API through MuleSoft that integrates with LinkedIn and shares a post on behalf of one’s personal account. I like this article because, in the age of social media, it’s so important for businesses to be connected and integrated!

IoT

Java

Microservices

Open Source

Performance

  • What Is Big O Notation? by Huyen Pham — Aside from a silly name, this article is an example of an in-depth analysis on a little-spoken-about concept. In this article, take a look at a short guide to get to know Big O Notation and its usages.
  • Is Python the Future of Programming? by Shormisthsa Chatterjee — Where is programming going? This article attempts to answer this question in a well-rounded way. The author writes, "Python will be the language of the future. Testers will have to upgrade their skills and learn these languages to tame the AI and ML tools".

Security

Web Dev

  • A Better Way to Learn Python by Manas Dash: There’s so many resources available for learning Python — so many that it’s difficult to find a good and flexible place to start. Check out Manas’ curated list of courses, articles, projects, etc. to get your Python journey started today. 
  • Discovering Rust by Joaquin Caro: I’m a sucker for good Rust content, as there’s still so many gaps in what’s available. Joaquin does a great job of giving readers his perspective of the language’s features in a way that traditional docs just 

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Neutral Quality metrics for your code

Disclaimer – I am not in any ways affiliated with Sonar Source, I just happen to be using their product(s), and the stuff I’ve seen so far, is simply amazing as far as I am concerned!

As software developers, we are non-stop fighting the never ending recurring battle against "code rot". Code rot often implies that our Program Manager asks us for a feature, and we sneak in an additional "if" statement in one method, and a couple of "while" statements in another method, and our program manager is pleased with the effect. Slowly over time of course, the effect this approach has on our code, is less cohesion, clarity, and readability, in our classes, methods, and modules – And our code slowly mutates over time to become "a big ball of mud", until it reaches that point where it’s no longer possible to maintain.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

The Latest Research for Web Designers, September 2020

In today’s look at the latest research for web designers, we’re going to look at studies and reports from Payoneer, Robert Half, Hootsuite, and Contentsquare to see what they have to say about things like:

  • Current freelancer demand
  • Web designer earning potential
  • A change in ecommerce shopping trends
  • Unseen content rates

1. There’s Light At the End of the COVID-19 Tunnel for Freelancers

Payoneer’s The State of Freelancing During COVID-19 had to take a different approach to reporting on the freelancer workforce than in years passed.

Here’s why:

When 1000+ freelancers around the globe were asked how demand for their services changed during COVID-19, this was the response:

Less than 17% of freelancers experienced an increase in demand for their services and less than 23% saw demand remain the same.

An overwhelming majority of freelancers experienced a shrink in demand, with nearly 29% saying it slightly decreased while almost 32% said it greatly decreased.

However, the data collected wasn’t just assessed on a global scale. Payoneer also looked at freelancing demand trends in various parts of the world:

Notice the differences between Asia and Australia (who were hit with COVID-19 earlier) and North America and Europe (where the pandemic arrived a little later).

It appears as though Asian and Australian freelancers are, economically speaking, already starting to feel the effects of recovery from the pandemic with demand working in their favor.

So, if you’re feeling like there’s no end to the hardships you’ve faced during COVID-19, and were considering dropping your prices, hold on for just a little bit longer. Freelancers are starting to feel optimistic about demand for their services increasing. If you go devaluing yourself now, it’ll be hard to return to where you were before COVID-19 when things get back to normal.

2. Robert Half’s Salary Guide Breaks Down the Earning Potential for Web Designers

On a related note, let’s talk about demand from the employer’s point of view.

According to Robert Half’s 2020 Salary Guide for creative marketing professionals, there’s big demand for digital talent:

So, that’s number one. We know that almost 50% of hiring managers feel as though their digital teams are inadequately staffed. That’s good news for web designers.

However, these same managers complain about creative marketing professionals’ lack of up-to-date skills as the biggest barrier to hiring or retaining them. Although the report doesn’t say so, I’m going to assume this refers both to employees as well as contractors.

This should be a no-brainer. By keeping up with the latest web design trends and techniques, you can make top-dollar for your services — and hold onto those valuable client relationships for a long time.

According to the report, this is how much you stand to earn working in web design (in the U.S.) today:

If you’re eyeballing those salaries in the 95th percentile, then you know what you need to do. Hiring managers have spoken up about what’s holding them back from hiring.

For those of you who feel as though you’ve gone as far as you can as a web designer, it might be worth exploring a new specialty. Like one of the following:

As you can see, designers in the UI, UX, and interactive space (along with web developers) have the opportunity to make more money, even earlier on in their careers. You may also find that more job opportunities are available as you move into these niches (because of less competition), which might cut down on any demand issues you’ve been experiencing because of COVID-19.

3. Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 Report Reveals an Interesting Trend in Ecommerce

Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 report is always a great resource for learning about social media marketing trends. That said, that’s not why I read it.

It’s for hidden gems like these:

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing changes in retail and ecommerce during COVID-19. What is a surprise, however, is how consumers’ online shopping habits have changed.

Here’s what we’re seeing when we compare 2020 ecommerce data with the pre-COVID benchmarks:

Site visits are 1.7% lower than expected. That would make sense considering how budget-conscious consumers are right now. It likely keeps them from going on unnecessary shopping sprees.

Session durations are 3.3% lower. This could be related to fewer site visits. It might also indicate greater consumer confidence. If they come to a website with a plan for what they need to buy, they’re going to take a straight line to conversion instead of spending time window shopping that prolongs their session.

The number of transactions is 19.1% higher and the conversion rate is 21.6% higher. Considering shoppers aren’t spending as much time with ecommerce websites, this point suggests that there’s a massive shift happening from in-store shopping to online shopping.

If that’s the case (even if consumers are currently spending less money), that means web designers need to set their sights on the ecommerce space. With the holiday shopping season expected to start sooner rather than later this year, now is the time to get in there and make sure these sites provide as streamlined an experience as possible.

4. Contentsquare Studies the Unseen Content Rates By Industry

Contentsquare analyzed more than 7 billion user sessions globally to create the 2020 Digital Experience Benchmarks report.

There’s some interesting data in here about website traffic and conversion trends, but what I find the most valuable is the breakdown by industry.

It was this chart, in particular, that really caught my eye:

According to Contentsquare’s data, between 60% and 75% of a website’s content is unseen. Some industries fare better than others, like home supplies and luxury retailer websites, but the numbers still aren’t flattering.

For example, what does it mean when consumers miss 75% of a financial service provider’s content?

Does this mean that the financial advisory content — which I’m assuming comprises the bulk of the pages on the site — is useless or irrelevant? Or perhaps it’s an issue of discoverability since blog content and other resources often take a backseat to service and product promotion?

What about ecommerce brands in the apparel or beauty space?

If two-thirds of their pages are unseen, does that mean their websites are overrun with obsolete inventory? Or, again, is it an issue of navigability and discoverability around the store?

As a web designer, I’d suggest performing your own unseen content analysis on the websites you’ve built. If over 60% of your pages never get any views, you’re going to have to decide what to do with them:

Option 1: Fix the navigation or search function so people can actually find these unseen pages.

Option 2: Remove them from the site and make room for content your visitors actually find valuable.

Wrap-Up

As you encounter research and reports online — whether it’s written specifically for web designers or other creative professionals — spend some time looking for hidden gems.

As you can see above, there’s a ton of relevant research for web designers out there, even if it’s hiding behind the mask of a larger issue or matter. And it’s this data that will help you get a leg up on the competition since it’ll get you thinking about your business and your approach to design in different ways.

Source


Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

8 Easy Ways To Ruin Your User Onboarding

To understand why user onboarding is such an indispensable tool, we need to empathize with the people using our products; we all come from different backgrounds and cultures, we make different assumptions, and we see the world differently.

User onboarding helps mitigate these differences by making your product’s learning curve less steep.

However, companies often make unfortunate mistakes that hinder user experience and cause frustration. In today’s article, we’ll take a look at eight ways companies ruin their products’ onboarding process.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1. No User Onboarding at all

As a part of the team that created a product, you’ve probably spent hundreds of hours going over its features and the most minute detail. Naturally, you know the product like the back of your hand. The user does not.

Naturally, you know the product like the back of your hand. The user does not

We may believe that the app we’ve worked on is straightforward and that user onboarding is probably overkill — but that’s almost never the case. Guiding our users through a product will help with retention, conversion, and their overall satisfaction.

However, there are very rare cases when you can do without user onboarding, here are a few:

  • Your product is too straightforward to cause any confusion;
  • Your product has a formulaic structure, similar to that of other products’ in your category, i.e., social media or e-commerce;
  • Your product relies heavily on Google or iOS design guidelines with common design patterns;
  • Your product is too complex (enterprise or business-oriented) — in such cases, users need special training, rather than just an onboarding;

2. Assuming That Users “Get It”

 One of the vital UX mottos we should always be mindful of is that “we are not our users.” When onboarding them, we always need to assume that they’re at square one. We should communicate with them as if they have no prior knowledge of our product, its terminology, and the way it works.

Providing freshly-registered users with highly contextual information will most likely confuse them. As a result, this will render your attempts to create a helpful onboarding process useless.  

3. Onboarding Users on a Single Touchpoint

it’s tempting to brainstorm which features should make it into the onboarding, then design and code them; that’s a very bad idea

The main problem with the previous point is that it’s too contextual for new users. However, providing no context altogether can be problematic as well. This is commonly found in onboarding processes that focus on a single touchpoint while leaving out the rest of the product.

By choosing to inform users of our product’s features, we force them to detour from their “normal” course of action. This comes at the cost of the user’s frustration.

Since we’re asking people to pay this price, it’s best to provide them with information that will also help them navigate the entire product. As a result, this will decrease the number of times we’ll have to distract them from their ordinary flow.

4. Forcing Users Through Onboarding

We’ve previously mentioned that we mustn’t assume that users have any background knowledge about our products.

The opposite argument can be made — experienced users don’t need a basic onboarding process. It will most likely frustrate them, and it won’t provide them with any real value. Also, forcing users through this process will most likely take the onboarding frustration to a whole other level.

This is why it’s essential that we allow them to skip the parts they don’t find useful. This way, we’ll address the knowledge gaps of the people who really want it and need it.

5. Onboarding Based Purely on Assumptions

This is yet another point that’s implicit in “we are not our users”. Oftentimes, it’s tempting to brainstorm which features should make it into the onboarding, then design and code them; that’s a very bad idea.

Here’s what every designer should do instead:

  • Do user interviews: You should conduct these before having anything designed; user interviews will help you shortlist and prioritize features in terms of their significance, so that the onboarding is focused around the features that matter most.
  • Do usability testing: Once you have a good idea of what features your users consider most important, design onboarding that reflects that; having completed your design, make sure to conduct at least 5 usability testing sessions with users, so that you can make sure that your design works.

6. Just Letting Users Quit

While we shouldn’t force people to go through onboarding, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t nudge them in the right direction.

find that sweet spot between being front of mind and annoying

People choose not to onboard for many reasons, but showing them around will benefit both parties. Therefore, it’s never wrong to remind them that they can always resume onboarding via email or push notifications (unless you’re too pushy). Make sure to find that sweet spot between being front of mind and annoying. 

Similarly, these two mediums are a great way to deliver valuable information as well.

Here’s a great example of an onboarding email from InVision:

And here’s a clever notification from TripPlanner:

Source: clevertap.com

7. Asking For Too Much Information

We need to always be mindful of the fact that the product’s spokesperson should act as a guide during onboarding. Its goal at the very beginning is to build trust.

We can ask for small favors when we’ve built a solid and lasting relationship

Not only is asking for too much information from the get-go unproductive, but it will also undermine the trust that the user already gave us.

It’s best to abstain from asking freshly-registered users for their credit card information. Nearly 100% of businesses care about profits — and there’s no shame in it. However, today’s most successful companies make money by providing users with value. So it’s best to stimulate users to share their financial data in subtler ways while focusing on customer experience.

The same can be said about subjecting the people using your service to extensive questionnaires. At the first steps of our interaction, it’s all about giving and gaining trust. We can ask for small favors when we’ve built a solid and lasting relationship.

8. Onboarding for the Sake of Onboarding

While there are dozens of reasons why you should guide your users through your product, it needs to be done well. A pointless onboarding process that doesn’t provide users with value is more frustrating than the lack thereof.

Onboarding can be a bit frustrating at times. Pointless onboarding will just raise eyebrows. It will slow users down and disengage them, which is exactly the opposite of what we want.

Conclusion

The process of introducing your users to your product is one of the factors that will define its success.

A critical aspect of user onboarding that we need to always take into account is value. Is this detour from our user’s ordinary course of action valuable to them? Will this improve their experience with the product?

Onboarding demands careful and continuous tailoring. Once perfected, this process will help you win new users’ hearts and help you build brand loyalty.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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12 Best Google Design & Development Tools

Google resembles an iceberg: there’s the part above the water we can see and use everyday; there’s also the part beneath the water, that we don’t see and know little about.

While many of us are concerned about the aspects of Google we don’t see — the parts that threaten our privacy, or monopolize the web — there’s no denying that Google offers some amazing products and tools, many of them free, all from the convenience of a single login.

Today we’re going to take a look at 12 tools from Google that really do bring something positive to the table.

1. Polymer

Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library from Google for building web applications using Web Components. The platform comes with a ton of libraries and tools to help designers and developers unlock the web’s potential by taking advantage of features like HTTP/2, Web Components, and Service Workers. 

The main feature of Polymer is Web Components. With Web Components, you can share custom elements to any site, work seamlessly with any browser’s built-in elements, and effectively use frameworks of all kinds. Products like LitElement (a simple base class for creating fast, lightweight web components) and PWA Starter Kit make Polymer easy to use. If you like, you can build your app entirely out of Web Components.

2. Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. The software allows you to audit web pages for performance, SEO, accessibility, and more. You can run Lighthouse using ChromeDevTools, directly from the command line, or as a Node module. 

To use Lighthouse in Google Chrome, just go to the URL you want to audit (you can audit any URL on the web), open ChromeDevTools, and click the Audits tab. After you have run the audit, Lighthouse will give you an in-depth report on the web page. 

With these reports, you will see which parts of your web page you need to optimize. Each report has a reference doc that explains why that audit is important and also shows you the steps you can take to fix it. 

You can also use Lighthouse CL to prevent regression on your sites. Using Lighthouse Viewer, you can view and share reports online. You can also share reports as JSON or GitHub Gists. 

Lighthouse also comes with a feature called Stack Packs that allows Lighthouse to detect what platform a site is built on. It also displays specific stack-based recommendations.

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the gold standard of analytics services. Google analytics can be installed on your site for free with a small amount of JavaScript and allows you to see all kinds of details about your site visitors, like what browser they’re using, and where they’re from.

By using Google Analytics you can make decisions about your site based on science, and therefore be somewhat confident that the decisions you make will result in the outcome you are expecting.

4. Flutter

Flutter is Google’s UI toolkit for building natively compiled applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. The toolkit is open source and free to use. The best part of Flutter is that it works with existing code. 

The toolkit has a layered architecture that allows for full customization, which results in fast rendering and flexible designs. It also comes with fully-customizable widgets that allow you to build native interfaces in minutes. With these widgets, you will be able to add platform features such as scrolling, navigation, icons, and fonts to provide a full native performance on both iOS and Android.

Flutter also has a feature called hot reload that allows you to easily build UIs, add new features, and fix bugs faster. You can also compile Flutter code to native ARM machine code using Dart native compilers. 

5. Google API Explorer

Google has a huge library of APIs that are available to developers but finding these APIs can be difficult. Google API Explorer makes it easy for developers to locate any API. On the Google API Explorer web page, you will see a complete list of the entire API library. You can easily scroll through the list or use the search box to filter through the API list. 

The best part of Google API Explorer is that each link to a reference page comes with more details on how to use the API. API Explorer is an excellent way to try out methods in the Monitoring API without having to write any code.

6. Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a project from the Google Chrome team. The platform enables web developers to control a Chrome (or any other Chrome DevTools Protocol based browser) and execute common actions, much like in a real browser. Puppeteer is also a Node library and it provides a high-level API for working with headless Chrome. It is also a useful tool for scraping, testing, and automating web pages. 

Here are some things you can do with Puppeteer: generate screenshots and PDFs of pages, UI testing, test Chrome Extensions, automate form submission, generate pre-rendered content, and crawl Single-Page Applications. 

7. Codelabs

Google Developer Codelabs is a handy tool for beginner developers and even advanced developers who want to improve their knowledge. Codelabs provide a guided, tutorial, hands-on coding experience. Codelabs’ site is broken down into several tutorial sessions on different topics. 

With the tutorials on Codelabs, you can learn how to build applications from scratch. Some of the tutorial categories include Augmented reality, TensorFlow, Analytics, Virtual Analytics, G Suite, Search, Google Compute Engine, and Google APIs on iOS. 

8. Color Tool

Color Tool makes it easy for web designers to create, share, and apply colors to their UI. It also measures the accessibility level for any color combination before exporting to the palette. The tool comes with 6 user interfaces and offers over 250 colors to choose from. 

The tool is also very easy to use. All you need to do is pick a color and apply it to the primary color scheme; switch to the secondary color scheme, and pick another color. You can also switch to Custom to pick your own colors. After you have selected all your colors, use the Accessibility feature to check if all is good before exporting it to your palette. 

9. Workbox

Workbox is a set of JavaScript libraries and Node modules. The JavaScript libraries make it easy to add offline support to web apps. The Node modules make it easy to cache assets and offer other features to help users build Progressive Web Apps. Some of these features include pre-caching, runtime caching, request routing, background sync, debugging, and greater flexibility than sw-precache and sw-toolbox. 

With Workbox, you can add a quick rule that enables you to cache Google fonts, images, JavaScript, and CSS files. Caching these files will make your web page to run faster and also consume less storage. You can also pre-cache your files in your web app using their CLI, Node module, or webpack plugin. 

10. PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a handy tool from Google Developers that analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions on how to make the page faster. It gives reports on the performance of a web page on both desktop and mobile devices. At the top of the report, PageSpeed Insights provides a score that summarizes the page’s performance. 

11. AMP on Google

AMP pages load faster and also look better than standard HTML pages on mobile devices. AMP on Google allows you to enhance your AMP pages across Google. It is a web component framework that allows you to create user-first websites, ads, emails, and stories. One benefit of AMP is that it allows your web pages to load almost instantly across all devices and platforms hence improving the user’s experience. 

12. Window Resizer

When creating websites, it is important that developers test them for responsive design – this is where Window Resizer comes in. Window Resizer is a Chrome extension that resizes the browser window so that you can test your responsive design on different screen resolutions. The common screen sizes offered are desktop, laptop, and mobile, but you can also add custom screen sizes. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Source de l’article sur Webdesignerdepot

Web Design for Seniors: UX From a Mature Perspective

It’s no secret that the senior population is growing. By 2030, people over the age of 65 are predicted to make up 20.6% of the population of the US. 

Around the world, people are living longer and remaining more active in the later years of their lives. What’s more, despite what you might have heard in the past, seniors aren’t as wary of the internet as they used to be. In 2019, the Pew Research institute revealed that 73% of people over the age of 65 were connected to the web. 

So, what does that mean for web designers?

your main focus needs to be on ability…people age differently

Well, first of all, it’s time for all of us to start thinking about user experience from different perspectives. We need to stop expecting our audiences to be made up entirely of iPhone-using millennials and start thinking about the needs of seniors too. After all, designing websites for seniors opens you up to a wide selection of potential visitors in the future.

What’s more, according to the US Census Bureau, people over the age of 65 generally have the highest household wealth figures of any age group. That’s a big deal. 

So, how do you adapt UX for seniors?

Creating Senior-Friendly Web Designs

When it comes to designing websites and applications for seniors, your main focus needs to be on ability. Age is just a number, and people age differently. 

That means that one person in their 70s might have no problem browsing through Netflix to watch the latest shows, while someone else wouldn’t be able to tell you what ‘streaming’ means. 

Rather than worrying specifically about age, think about how different people in older age groups might have different requirements when it comes to things like movement control, hearing, vision, and even device bias. 

Get the Visual Elements Right

Vision loss is by far the most common disability reported by elderly individuals in the US. Around one in six people over the age of 70 have some manner of visual impairment. That’s why UI designers need to think carefully about visual accessibility when creating the right websites. 

For instance, text and button sizes should always be kept large. Anything that needs to be read or clicked needs to be scaled up, to ensure that everyone can see the information clearly. For instance, on the Sandinmysuitcase.com website, you’ll find clear typography, combined with big buttons that tell you to “Start Here” so you know exactly what to do next.

Remember to stick to icons that are clearly labelled wherever possible. Stay away from anything that your customers might not understand. “Start Here” is easier to read and understand than “Submit”. 

It’s also worth sticking to the color and contrast guidelines laid out by basic UX design when you’re creating something for optimal visibility.  Colors that are too close together might create a nice pastel or gradient effect on a website – but they’ll also make things difficult to read. 

Concentrate on Usability

Over the age of 55, motor skills and coordination can begin to decline for some people. These changes make it harder for people to interact with complex UIs. The mouse on a computer can be a particular problem for people with diminishing motor skills – as can the touchscreen of a tablet or smartphone. 

When you’re working on the perfect UX, think about how you can make things as easy to click as possible for people who have a hard time hitting their targets. For instance, in this website for people traveling over the age of 50, you’ll see not only fantastic large font choices but big buttons that are descriptive and easy to understand too: “Click here to start planning your trip”:

The scrollbar can also be a bit of a problem for people with impaired motor skills. Because of this, it’s best to keep your focus on designing above the fold. Make sure that users don’t need to scroll far to find the information that they need and keep scrollbars simple in terms of their look and feel.

While you’re working on usability, remember that it will be important to keep interactions to a minimum wherever possible. Where you can engage younger audiences with double-taps, swiping and scrolling, it’s much easier to connect with seniors through simple one-tap interactions. The less actions your user needs to take to reach their goals, the better. 

Deliver Smooth Navigation 

Navigating from point A to B on your website needs to be as simple as seamless as possible. Remember, crowded pages on your websites and apps are often overwhelming – even for younger browsers. Seniors are generally just searching for “must know” information, so they don’t want anything to get in their way as they navigate through their website. 

As you work on your site or app design, ask yourself if every element on the page absolutely has to be there. If it doesn’t deliver value, then get rid of it. 

Additionally, remember that seniors don’t always have the best memories and concentration levels. That means that they need your navigation experience to be as simple as possible. Basic horizontal menu bars that show everything at once are often a good idea – even if they’re not very exciting.

Look at this helpful navigation experience from RetireMove.com, for instance. Everything you need is located at the top of the page, and you can even just enter your postcode to get started:

Cognitive decline happens regularly with age. Although not all older adults will have issues with their memory and concentration, it’s important to be prepared for an audience that might process information a little more slowly. It’s worth double-checking that your viewer’s attention isn’t being diverted to multiple parts of the page at once.

Get to the Point Quickly

While younger generations have quickly implemented technology into every aspect of their lives, older consumers use tech a little differently. These people don’t want to spend forever fiddling around with different parts of your website. They want to get the answers to their questions as quickly and easily as possible. 

Applications that are complicated or difficult to access are usually instantly rejected by seniors. Even if you’ve offered everything that we’ve covered above, from seamless navigation to minimalist design, you still won’t get the interactions you’re looking for if older adults don’t consider your design to be useful. 

Because of this, you need to highlight the point of a website or application to your seniors as quickly as possible. Avoid worrying about things like gifs, animations and gamification. Instead, focus on making sure that your designs are useful and simple. 

For instance, from the moment your senior user arrives on a web page, they should have instant access to clear instructions on how to use the application or service, and what they need to do next. Keep in mind that this is particularly important when you’re creating mobile apps, as apps are still a relatively new concept to older generations. 

On the “When They Get Older” website, you can instantly find the information you need in a well-organized navigation bar that’s labelled clearly:

A clear interface like this, combined with simple, step-by-step guidance that shows elderly individuals how to get the information that they want is the key to keeping these users coming back for more. 

Bringing a Mature Perspective to Web Design

These days, most designers focus heavily on younger audiences when creating websites and apps. After all, it’s these users that allow us to experiment more with the latest tools and concepts, like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and robust animations. 

However, there’s still a market out there for the seniors of the world that want more opportunities to get online. This audience often goes ignored and under-served. However, as the value of older consumers grows, and their ability to interact online increases, you’ll find that more businesses begin to search for web designers who can provide immersive experiences for a more mature audience. 

The steps above will give you an excellent insight into how you can start designing for a different kind of customer base. However, remember that the best way to make sure that you’re delivering the right solution for any customer, is to test. User testing will provide you with the exclusive insights that you need to determine whether your senior UX is really working, or whether you’re still struggling to get into the shoes of an older user. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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