Tabular data is one of the best sources of data on the web. They can store a massive amount of useful information without losing its easy-to-read format, making it gold mines for data-related projects.
Jakob Nielsen’s How Users Read on the Web is 25 years old this week, and one glance at an eye-tracking study will tell you its key observations are still relevant today.
Simply put, users don’t read a web page; they scan it for individual words and sentences.
A typical pattern shown in eye-tracking reports is that users will rapidly scan a page, scrolling down to do so. Then either hit the back button and pump your bounce rate, or scroll to the top and re-engage with the content.
Even when content, volume, and quality tick all the user’s boxes, and they choose to stay on your site, they still don’t read; they scan; a slightly deeper scan, but still a scan.
As a result, it’s vital to design websites to be easily scannable, both in a split-second scan to decide if your page is worth the reader’s time and on a second or third pass.
Clarify the Page’s Purpose Immediately
Every page should have a primary goal. The majority of the time, that goal is embodied in a CTA (Call to Action).
The good news is, if your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has gone to plan, your goal (i.e., to sell something) and your user’s goal (i.e., to buy something) will align. By clarifying the page’s purpose, you can show the user that your goals align.
You can be experimental if you’re an established company and the user knows what to expect. But if you’re new to the market or have a lower profile, you need to conform to established design patterns. This means that a SaaS should look like a SaaS, a store should look like a store, and a blog should look like a blog.
Including your CTA above the fold — which in the context of the web, means the user doesn’t have to interact to see it. Doing so makes it easier for the user to progress and clearly tells the user what you are offering.
The landing page for next month’s Webflow Conf 2022 clarifies the page’s content, with a clear CTA above the fold.
Employ a Visual Hierarchy
The Von Restorff effect states that the more something stands out, the more likely we are to notice and remember it.
Visual hierarchies are excellent for guiding a user through content. HTML has the h1–h7 heading levels — although, in reality, only h1–h4 are much use — which gives you several levels of heading that can be scanned by different readers scanning at different rates.
For example, we know that subheadings have little impact if a user diligently reads the page from top to bottom, but they are excellent for catching the eye of skim readers.
Amnesty uses very a very simple hierarchy, the only change for its subheading being increased weight. But it is enough to catch the user’s eye.
You can also create visual hierarchies with other forms of contrast; weight and color are often employed in addition to size. For accessibility and inclusive design, it’s wise to combine visual indicators when creating a hierarchy; for example, headings are usually larger, bolder, and colored.
Use Negative Space
Imagine a person standing in a crowd. Let’s say they’re wearing a red and white striped jumper and a red and white bobble hat — pretty distinctive. But if there are hundreds of other characters around them, they might be hard to spot.
Now imagine the same person dressed the same, standing on their own. How long will it take you to spot them? Even without the stripy outfit, it’s not much of a challenge.
Elements in isolation are not only easier to spot, but they pull the eye because the negative space (sometimes referred to as white space) around them creates contrast.
When using negative space, the key is to give elements enough room to breathe and attract the eye without giving them so much room that they are disassociated from the rest of your content.
Across its site, Moheim uses negative space to highlight UI elements while grouping associated content.
Use F Patterns
Users scan a page using either an F-pattern or a Z-pattern.
Because users scan your page in predictable ways, we can employ layouts that cater to this tendency.
Designers have been aware of F and Z patterns for some time, and because they’ve been used for so long, they may be self-fulfilling, with users being trained to scan a page in this fashion. However, both patterns are similar to how eyes travel from line to line in horizontal writing systems.
Whatever the cause, by placing key content along these paths, you increase the chance of capturing a user’s attention.
Kamil Barczentewicz uses a beautiful, natural layout that also conforms to a classic F pattern.
Include Images with Faces
Images are a great way of conveying brand values and making a site engaging. But when it comes to catching the eye of a user scanning your design, the best images include faces.
For example, a testimonial with an image of the customer will catch the eye more than a text-only testimonial.
The Awwwards Conference uses an animated computer with a face to capture attention. And large images of speakers making eye contact.
This is almost certainly due to social conditioning; we see a face, and we engage with it to see if it is a threat or not. Most of us naturally look to expressions of emotion to understand situations, and the distinction between a real-life person and an image hasn’t made its way into our mental programming yet.
You don’t need to use photos. Illustrations are fine. The key is to ensure there is a face in the image. That’s why illustrations of characters perform so well.
Copy Print Design
Print design is centuries older than the web, and many print applications, from newspapers to advertising, developed design elements to catch the eye of readers scanning the design.
Subheadings, lists, blockquotes, and pull quotes all catch the eye. Introductory paragraphs in a larger size or even italics draw users into the text. Shorter paragraphs encourage users to keep reading.
Horizontal rules used to delineate sections of text act as a break on eyes traveling over content with momentum. They are a good way of catching a scan-reader who is losing interest.
You can use a horizontal rule or break up your layout with bands of color that divide content sections.
Omono uses horizontal bands to highlight different sections of content.
Mass, Not Weight
We often discuss design elements as having weight; font-weight is the thickness of strokes.
But it is more helpful to think of design elements as having mass; mass creates gravity, pulling a user’s eye towards them.
The trick is to design elements with enough mass to attract the user‘s eye when scanning at speed without forcing the user to change how they engage with your content.
Featured image via Pexels.
The post How To Make Your Designs Scannable (And Why You Should) first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.
Apple has released an OS update. Packaged in with it is the latest version of Safari, 16.
Expected to be released ahead of next month’s macOS 13, Safari 16 is packed with updates, making it one of the most capable browsers available.
Some of this was announced in June in the Safari 16 beta. But a lot has been added in the last couple of months. So here’s what’s new in Safari 16 today.
CSS Container Queries
The most exciting addition to Safari 16 is CSS Container Queries.
It is hard to understate how in-demand this feature has been; if you imagine an edit button on Twitter that gifted you crypto every time you corrected a typo, you’d be getting close to how popular this feature is.
Until now, media queries have detected the whole viewport. And so, if you have an element like a card, for example, that needs to change at smaller viewports, you need to calculate the available space and adapt the element’s design accordingly. Unfortunately, this frequently gets out of sync with edge cases causing more than a few headaches for front-end developers.
Media queries are severely restrictive to modern layout methods like Grid that wrap elements automatically because there is no way to detect how the elements are laid out.
Container Queries solve this by allowing you to define styles based on the size of the actual containing element; if a div is 300px wide, the contents can have one design, and if it’s 400px wide, they can have a different design—all without caring what size the whole viewport is.
This is dangerously close to OOP (Object Orientated Programming) principles and almost elevates CSS to an actual programming language. (All we need is conditional logic, and we’re there.)
The latest versions of Chrome, Edge, and now Safari (including mobile) support CSS Grid. Even discounting the rapid decline of Twitter, this is way more exciting than any edit button.
Speaking of Grid, if you’ve built a site with it (and if you haven’t, where have you been?), you’ll know that matching elements in complex HTML structures often results in nesting grids. Matching those grids requires careful management, CSS variables, or both. With CSS Subgrid, grids can inherit grid definitions from a grid defined higher up the hierarchy.
CSS Subgrid has been supported by Firefox for a while but is not yet part of Chrome or Edge. Until there’s wider support, it’s not a practical solution, and using a fallback negates any benefit of using Subgrid. However, its introduction in Safari will surely herald rapid adoption by Google and Microsoft and moves the web forward considerably.
CSS Subgrid is likely to be a practical solution within 18 months.
AVIF is an exceptionally compact image format that beats even WebP in many instances. It even allows for sequences, creating what is essentially an animated GIF but smaller, and for bitmaps.
AVIF is already supported by Chrome, with partial support in Firefox. Safari now joins them.
AVIF support is one of the more valuable additions to Safari 16 because you’re probably already serving different images inside a picture element. If so, your Safari 16 users will begin receiving a smaller payload automatically, speeding up your site and boosting UX and SEO.
Safari 16 introduces some significant improvements in animation, but the one that catches the eye is that you can now animate CSS Grid.
Yes, let that sink in. Combine Container Queries and animation. The possibilities for hover states on elements are tantalizing.
Chrome, Edge, and Firefox all support CSS Offset Path; the addition of Safari means it’s now a practical solution that can be deployed in the wild.
Web Inspector Extensions
Announced as part of the beta release, Web Inspector Extensions allow web developers to create extensions for Safari, just as they would for Chrome.
Web Inspector Extensions — or Safari Extensions as they’re destined to be known — can be built in HTML, CSS, and JS, so the learning curve is shallow. It’s a good route into app development for web designers.
Because the underlying technology is the same as other browser extensions, anyone who has made a Chrome, Edge, or Firefox extension will be able to port it to Safari 16+ relatively easily. As a result, there should be a rapid expansion of the available extensions.
Accessibility is key to an effective and inclusive web. Be like Bosch: everybody counts, or nobody counts.
When testing a design for accessibility, emulators don’t cut it. In my experience, Safari has some of the most reliable accessibility settings, especially when it comes to Media Queries like prefers-reduced-movement.
Further gains in this field mean that Safari continues to be an essential tool for QA tests.
Finally, I want to throw up my hands to celebrate the reduced number of non-standard CSS appearance settings.
For years we’ve been prefacing our style sheets with elaborate resets like Normalize, designed to undo all the assumptions browser developers make about design and the UI preferences of their engineers.
Safari 16 has reportedly “Removed most non-standard CSS appearance values.” How effective this is and how much we can rely on it given the other browsers on the market remains to be seen. However, like many of Safari 16’s changes, it’s a step towards a browser that’s on the developers’ side instead of an obstacle to overcome.
Currently, there are 1.9 billion active websites with 4.6 Google searches per day and more than 5.4 billion unique Internet users. To date, the market size of the Web Design Services industry is equal to $11 billion, with the total number of web developers and designers in the US expected to increase to 205,000 in 2030 from 178,900 in 2020.
The revenue in the application development software industry is expected to reach $149.7 billion in 2022 and grow to $218.80 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 7.89%. The top 5 countries expected to generate the most revenues over the 2022-2027 period include:
For the past few years, business systems have been generating large amounts of data and need tools to manage the data. One of the business requirements was to copy the primary data to secondary databases. Several popular tools are available in the market to replicate the data from master DB to secondary DB. This article will discuss various open-source tools for DB replication and stream-based replication for real-time.
Replication is the process of sharing/storing information in multiple places to ensure reliability, fault tolerance, and accessibility. The replication options are described as follows:
Cybersecurity protects internet-connected devices such as hardware, software, and data from various online threats. Cybersecurity ensures that the public relies on public services and government organizations. Business requires cyber security to safeguard their data, intellectual property, and money. Cybersecurity has risen to the top priority list for businesses worldwide in recent years. Privacy legislation such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act will play a larger role in CIOs’ data handling and privacy decision-making.
The global cybersecurity market in 2021 was $216.10 billion, and by 2030 it will reach $478.68 billion at a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period 2021–2030.
According to Adobe, design-led companies reported 50% more loyal customers and 41% greater market share when the design is implemented in a top-priority and high-quality manner. It plays a multi-level role in helping not only to guide product development but also in establishing a connection with the customer by providing a well-differentiated experience.
Principles of Design Thinking
Learning how to design an MVP webpage or website could be one of the best things you can do as a site creator in today’s digital world.
In a fast-paced landscape, where customer preferences and technology are constantly changing, most companies don’t have time to dedicate months or years to each web project. The longer you take to complete your website, the more likely your creation will be outdated by the time you hit “publish.” That’s why countless creators are beginning to take a different approach.
To avoid wasting time, money, and effort on something that doesn’t deliver a significant return on investment, designers are now building “Minimum Viable Products,” or “MVPs.”
Here’s what you need to know about creating your MVP webpage.
What is MVP Web Design?
Typically, the “MVP” development process is most common in the app or software creation world. It refers to when a developer builds the simplest version of a technology capable of achieving specific goals. For instance, if a company wanted to create an ecommerce app, they would design a simple tool capable of listing products, enabling payments, and tracking orders.
After launching the MVP product, the company or developer would check to ensure it had the right impact on the target market and generated positive results. Using feedback and analytics, the developer would then begin to add new features one at a time.
MVP design aims to ensure you’re developing the best, most valuable product for your audience while getting your solution to market as quickly as possible.
The same strategy in MVP app and software design can also apply to website creation. Rather than building a highly complicated website with multiple features straightaway, the designer would focus on creating a single page equipped with the essential elements.
For instance, instead of building an entire site for your online course, you may develop a single-page website where customers can learn about the system, sign up, and pay for their membership. The great thing about an MVP web page is it allows companies to start advertising their solution, product, or service quickly, with the minimum initial investment.
How to Create an MVP Web Page
Creating an MVP web page is similar to designing any Minimum Viable Product. Throughout the project, the focus will be on keeping the development process simple while collecting as much feedback as possible.
Here’s how you’d get started with an MVP web page.
Step 1: Planning
Planning is an important stage in any web design project. It’s particularly crucial in the MVP landscape, where you need to define the most critical features of your webpage or website to ensure it’s “viable” for your needs. The initial planning stage can sometimes be the lengthiest part of the process, depending on the amount of research you need to do.
For the most part, web designers and companies will begin by conducting market research. This means examining crucial concepts intended to drive your strategy, such as:
- Your target audience: Who are you trying to target with this web page, and what will they need from your site? A user persona can be helpful if you don’t already have one.
- Competitors: Who are your main competitors in this space, and what do their web pages offer? Which features do you need to replicate or avoid?
- Goal setting: What is the main objective of this web page? What do you need it to do, and what might it need to accomplish in the future?
The key to MVP web page planning is ensuring you look holistically at your project without thinking too far ahead. The site you create should be capable of scaling and expanding in the future, but it shouldn’t have too many features from day one.
Step 2: Creating Your Feature List
Once you’ve done your research and formed the foundations of your plan, it’s time to list all the features your MVP web page needs to have. Unfortunately, this is where the process can get a little complicated. It’s easy to start adding capabilities and components that aren’t necessary to make your site more exciting or competitive.
As worrying as it can feel to release a very basic web page, remember your focus is on rapid growth and development. With this in mind, concentrate on narrowing your feature lists down into:
- Initial must-have capabilities: First, decide what your web page can’t thrive without. If the primary goal of your page is to sell software subscriptions, then you’ll need to implement tools for collecting member information and payments.
- Next stage functionality: Consider the features you might add once you’ve confirmed your webpage is effective. This will allow you to ensure you’re creating a platform that can expand to suit future needs.
- Possible future requirements: You can also list features that might be helpful in the future but don’t necessarily need to be implemented immediately. For instance, if you’re selling an online course, you might create a separate page where people can sign up to learn about future lessons.
Step 3: Finding the Right Software
Next, you’ll need to decide how to build your web page. There are several options available to today’s designers. An open-source solution is usually the best route for designers who need to create something specific from scratch. However, if the factor that makes your solution “viable” is unique, you may need access to code to bring your idea to life.
Alternatively, if you’re building a basic webpage capable of something like collecting customer email addresses or facilitating transactions, you might be able to use an off-the-shelf tool. CMS services for web designers can reduce the work and expense involved in creating a minimum viable product.
For instance, you might use a tool like Wix or Squarespace to edit a pre-existing template and simply drag-and-drop the features you need into the right places. On the other hand, if you’re planning on adding more functionality to your site down the line, it’s worth checking if any builder you will use has the right level of flexibility. Many tools will allow you access to code, advanced features, and essential module-based building functions.
Step 4: Implement Your Analytics
One of the essential parts of an MVP workflow is feedback. When you roll out your MVP, you’ll be looking for insights, guidance, and analytics to help you decide what your next steps are going to be. As a result, MVP workflows are based heavily on experimentation.
This means you’re going to need the right analytical tools in place to track crucial information. You can implement tools for collecting customer feedback directly. It’s also worth having a system in place for tracking metrics like:
- Conversion rate;
- Traffic numbers;
- User behavior;
- Most used/least used features;
- Technical site performance;
- Bounce rate;
- Average time spent on the page.
While Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools for collecting insights in the MVP website design world, various other options are available. You can even find tools with in-built heatmaps to see how people navigate your site more effectively.
It’s also worth having A/B testing components in place. This will allow you to test the different “new” features you add to your web pages over time and examine how they influence your conversions and support your goals. For example, you can use A/B testing to explore the impact of everything from CTA button colors to webpage copy and offers.
Creating Your MVP Web Page
In the fast-paced web development and design world, the old-fashioned and slow approach to designing web pages is growing increasingly less common. Instead, an MVP strategy may be the best bet for companies looking to go to market faster, collect insights from their target audience, and accelerate growth.
Though getting used to this design strategy initially can be challenging, it can save you significant time, resources, and money in the long term.
There are several software products on the market that are used for their varied applications. This software makes the different tasks easier and allows for increased efficiency and performance. Development of any software is a tedious and long process, and it undergoes a series of quality and performance tests before its release and use. With the development in technology, the software gets upgraded with the latest updates.
As the technological world evolves, so do user expectations for handling applications; it is essential to test the performance of the applications before deploying them on a large scale.
The introduction of the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) process has strengthened the software release mechanism, helping products go to market faster than ever before and allowing application development teams to deliver code changes more frequently and reliably. Regression testing ensures no new mistakes have been introduced to a software application by testing newly modified code as well as any parts of the software that could potentially be affected. The software testing market size is projected to reach $40 billion in 2020 with a 7% growth rate by 2027. Regression testing accounted for more than 8.5% of market share and is expected to rise at an annual pace of over 8% through 2027, as per reports from the Global Market Insights group.
The Importance of Regression Testing
Regression testing is a must for large-sized software development teams following an agile model. When many developers are making multiple commits frequently, regression testing is required to identify any unexpected outcome in overall functionality caused by each commit. The CI/CD setup identifies that and notifies the developers as soon as the failure occurs and makes sure the faulty commit doesn’t get shipped into the deployment.