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Looking to save big and make your web design job easier at the same?

This carefully picked list includes top-tier quality items that have already been used by hundreds of thousands of people like you.

From WordPress themes, plugins, web apps, website builders, and illustrations, this list has everything for everyone.

Check all these 10 excellent deals for designers below:

1. Amelia

Amelia is a WordPress booking plugin that saves businesses time and money from the beginning by replacing their manual or semi-automated appointment and event booking operations with a fully automated one.

Amelia is easy to set up and use. Fitness centers, consulting organizations, training institutions, beauty salons and spas, photographers, medical centers, and other businesses that rely heavily on client and customer appointment or event bookings will profit from using it.

  • Clients can go online to make appointments 24/7, change or cancel appointments, and make payments. They can also purchase tickets for events and add special requirements.
  • Amelia automatically sends notifications, reminders, and follow-ups by SMS, WhatsApp, and email (reducing no-shows while keeping clients aware of upcoming special sessions or events).
  • Amelia also manages group appointments, packages of appointments, employees’ schedules, special days, and days offs.
  • All the above can be managed at one or multiple locations from a single dashboard.

Amelia integrates with Google Calendar, Google Meet, Zoom, and Outlook Calendar. Click on the banner to learn more about what this amazing application could do for your business.

2. wpDataTables

Creating an informative table or chart for your website can be pretty labor-intensive.

  • You may have to work with and organize copious amounts of data.
  • You need to avoid compromising your website’s design at the expense of getting the tables or charts you want.
  • Your tables and charts may need to be responsive, editable, informative, and readable.

wpDataTables plugin does all the above for you and more. It is packed with powerful table and chart-building features that include –

  • 4 chart-building engines: Google Charts, Chart.js, Apex Charts, and Highcharts
  • The ability to accept data from multiple database sources and in numerous standard formats
  • The ability to highlight critical data, or color code data using Conditional Formatting
  • A wealth of powerful data filtering and sorting features
  • Live data from Google spreadsheets or JSON API

wpDataTables integrates seamlessly with Avada, Divi, Elementor, Gutenberg, and WPBakery. Click on the banner to learn even more about this popular WordPress plugin.

3. Trafft

To automate a booking operation, you might need one tool to book appointments, one to accept payments, another to manage employee schedules, and so on. Of course, if your business provides services at multiple locations, then you would multiply the number of tools times the number of locations, and you’ll be good to go.

Or, you could go with Trafft, a single tool with which you can manage all of the above, at multiple locations, all from a single platform.

  • Clients can book appointments online 24/7.
  • They can make payments online using PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, or Authorize .net.
  • Trafft sends reminders and notifications automatically via email or SMS.
  • Trafft integrates smoothly with Google Calendar, Google Meet, Outlook, and Zoom.

Click on the banner to learn about all of Trafft’s booking capabilities. You’ll be impressed.

4. WordLift

WordLift helps your website speak the language of Google. This way, your content will be discovered by users, giving you more organic traffic and helping your business website achieve excellent rankings.

  • WordLift uses AI to transform unstructured content into structured data that search engines can understand.
  • WordLift creates a knowledge graph, automates SEO tasks, and analyzes search intent.

Other features include automatic schema markup, content recommendation widgets, WooCommerce, and Image SEO, all designed to improve user engagement.

5. Total WordPress Theme

Three words summarize Total: flexible, easy, and complete. This aptly named WordPress theme is WooCommerce compatible and has everything you need to create one-of-a-kind sites.

  • Total puts excellent selections of demos, templates, and postcards at your fingertips.
  • The popular Slider Revolution plugin is included, as is Total’s flexible drag-and-drop page builder.

The 50% Black Friday discount is automatically applied when you order.

6. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose & WooCommerce Theme

TheGem – the versatile WordPress website builder – offers unlimited customizations, plenty of design & marketing focused features, an extended library of pre-built designs, and the fastest loading times: 

  • You have ready access to a rich selection of 400+ pre-built websites in outstanding design quality 
  • It enables you to build every part of your website right away in Elementor or WPBakery: headers & footers, WooCommerce pages, blogs, mega menus, popups, and much more.
  • You’ll love the 5-star user support, just as have 60,000 others.

TheGem can be yours at a 40% Black Friday discount.

7. Mobirise Website Builder Software

The best offline website builder for 2022 is free to use. That is in itself a great bargain. Mobirise’s team has sweetened the pot by offering a 33% Black Friday discount for their All-in-One Kit with its 175 premium themes and extensions.

  • Mobirise is strictly drag-and-drop and features huge selections of blocks, templates, icons, and images.
  • Your site is yours to host anywhere you want

More than 2 million sites have already been created using Mobirise.

8. Embed Instagram Feed

Instagram offers a terrific way to promote your business’s products or services. Its focus on visual communication makes it an extremely effective marketing tool.

  • It takes but three simple steps to embed Instagram into your website.
  • A variety of display options are available.
  • Your feed will be fully responsive and compatible with mobile devices.

An Instagram feed is yours at a 33% Black Friday discount.

9. Getillustrations Web and App Illustrations Bundle

 

Getillustrations is loaded with trendy illustrations you can pick and choose from, download once, and use forever.

  • Selecting one or more of the 13,000 different illustrations in over 100 categories can definitely add spice to your web designs.
  • Illustrations come in PNG, SVG, Ai, Figma, and Sketch formats and Getillustrations adds new ones every week.

Use the EliteDesigners25 code to get your 25% Black Friday discount.

10. Rey Theme

Rey is an innovative WooCommerce theme that is loaded with WooCommerce-friendly features and is easy to set up and use.

  • Key WooCommerce features include filtering, search, templating, and navigation.
  • Rey’s smart search helps site visitors find exactly what they want
  • Quickview and Ajax search is also available

Headers are customized for eCommerce, and visitors will appreciate Rey’s helpful cart, wish list, and checkout features.

Black Friday is not far off. Before you know it, many producers of WordPress themes, tools, and services will be offering tempting discounts.

Even if you come across a deal that appeals to you, it doesn’t hurt to look around to see if you can find a better one.

Keep in mind that the quality of a product or service is more important than its reduced price. It’s always best to pick and choose carefully. So, we’ve put together this list of the best Black Friday deals for 2022 to help you do just that.

 

[- This is a sponsored post on behalf of BAW media -]

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The post They’Re Live! 10 Great Black Friday 2022 Deals for Designers and Agencies first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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An unreliable, semi-broken and unresponsive website is an excellent way to lose leads and visitors — regardless of how aesthetically pleasing or well-designed, the visual elements are.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen more initiative to deliver faster internet to regions of the world that were previously devoid of it. With online communities expanding and more people becoming receptive to online shopping, ensuring your site’s dependability is now more important than ever. 

One way to achieve this is by employing uptime and downtime monitoring tools. This guide will examine the best ways to get alerts when something goes wrong and your website falters.

Why Is Website Uptime Monitoring Important?

Downtime is bound to occur occasionally. Nonetheless, the goal is to minimize it. The longer the downtime occurs, the more traffic and potential clients you lose. A dysfunctional website is also detrimental to your credibility and reputation. People may associate your website’s unreliability with your real-world products or services.

With web developers charging an average of $200 per hour, high-quality websites can be expensive to build and maintain. Nevertheless, it’s often worth the investment. However, an unreliable website can backfire on you. Instead of attracting more customers, it could potentially repel them. This can result in lost revenue.

An uptime monitoring solution can help you prevent or reduce these losses. It verifies if your website is up and functional and notifies you if it’s not. This allows you to troubleshoot the issue and get your website back up and running as soon as you’re alerted. The most common issues behind your website’s downtime include: 

  • Server faults;
  • Network outages;
  • Power outage;
  • Traffic spikes;
  • Cyberattacks;
  • Domain name issues;
  • An erroneous web application deployment;
  • Increased server loads;
  • DNS Resolve issues;
  • Human error.

Thus, you must employ a dependable tool that detects downtime or any interruptions related to your website as soon as they occur. They are must-have tools for web designers, developers, and network administrators. However, not all of them are built the same. So how do you identify the best uptime monitoring tools?

Essential Features of Uptime Monitoring Tools

Uptime monitoring tools typically detect interruptions by running network tests such as pings and trace routes. You could practically monitor your website’s uptime by constantly running these tests yourself. 

However, this isn’t an efficient way to monitor your website’s uptime. A comprehensive uptime monitoring tool will automatically monitor your website’s uptime in the background. It will then alert you through various channels as soon as it senses that your website may be down. 

Furthermore, high-quality uptime monitoring solutions tend to offer additional information regarding your website’s uptime/downtime and its performance. These tools commonly feature dashboards, status pages, badges, exportable records, etc., to help you keep track of your site’s overall health.

9 Best Features of an Uptime Monitoring Solution

The ideal uptime monitoring tool or service should feature: 

  1. Website security features that notify of and repel potential cyber attacks;
  2. 24/7 uninterrupted background website monitoring;
  3. Multi-channel alerts (email, SMS, push notifications, instant messages, social media, etc.);
  4. Report generation;
  5. 24/7 customer support available through different channels (email, phone, chat, etc.);
  6. Be capable of monitoring multiple websites and proxies at the same time;
  7. Offer insights and suggestions to improve your website’s performance;
  8. Be affordable;
  9. High customizability should allow you to choose which features to enable and disable.

Another optional feature to look out for is public status pages that your clients can access to determine if all your services are up and running. GetWeave is an excellent example of this. The website features a well-organized systems status page where customers can check if all of Weave’s services are functional. 

Nevertheless, you can use the above information as a buying guide when assessing potential uptime monitoring tools. The rest of this guide will supply a few suggestions as to which tools you should use for your website.

3 Best Website Uptime Monitoring Tools 

Some of the best uptime monitoring tools for website downtime alerts include:

1. Uptrends

Uptrends isn’t just a downtime detection tool; it’s a complete web performance monitoring solution. It will notify you as soon as it detects any disturbance in your website’s performance. It features highly customizable checks. For instance, you can set performance check limits for load times. Uptrends will notify you instantly if your website takes too long to load.

You can also configure from which locations you want it to monitor your website. Uptrends will then point you to where your website usually suffers performance dips in the real world. 

The service uses multiple communication channels to send users notifications: email, phone calls, and SMS. Alternatively, you can download one of Uptrend’s mobile applications and receive push notifications. Additionally, you can integrate Uptrends with messaging and communication applications such as PagerDuty, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.   

Another impressive Uptrend feature is its ability to emulate your website’s performance on different browsers. It runs Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge on its servers. Thus, you can compare how your website runs on these web browsers without installing them on your servers or computer. 

Uptrends supplies users with various charts, reports, and graphs to help identify sudden spikes or dips. Waterfall reports display the complete page-load from the initial request to the last download. This allows you to compare the history of your website’s performance element by element. It comes with three price plans whose costs depend on the number of monitors you would like. Starting at $16.21 (at the time of writing) the Starter Plan is the most affordable.

2. Oh Dear

Oh Dear is a slightly cheaper option than Uptrends, with the most affordable plan starting at $12 per month (at the time of writing). However, while Uptrends offers a 30-day free trial, Oh Dear only provides a 12-day trial period. Nevertheless, Oh Dear’s interface is a lot cleaner and more minimal. 

Since Oh Dear runs servers in different locations across the globe, it can track how your website performs in various regions. Oh Dear will scan through your website and index all the pages. If it detects any issues, it will alert you immediately. 

Oh Dear also features a continuous certificate monitoring function. Site owners who are concerned with their website’s security may find this feature to be especially useful. It will verify your SSL certificate expiration dates and alert you of any changes.  

Oh Dear’s public status page enables your clients to keep track of your website’s availability.

Oh Dear uses email and SMS text messages to alert site owners of any issues. It also features integrations with communications and social media applications such as Telegram, Discord, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. Oh Dear ensures that messages are as detailed and user-friendly. This makes it easier to troubleshoot and find the origin of your problem. Oh Dear is more than a worthy alternative to Uptrends. 

3. WP Umbrella

WP Umbrella is a little different from the previous entries. It’s intended to help users manage and monitor multiple WordPress sites. Thus, it is far more particularized in its approach to website uptime monitoring. Again, as is the primary function of the uptime monitoring tool, it offers a real-time alert system that will contact you through email, SMS, Slack, etc. 

WP Umbrella employs a simple minimal UI. Its main screen consists of a dashboard that allows you to view all your WordPress websites. By default, this dashboard features four columns: Site, Uptime, Speed, and Issues.

WP Umbrella will alert you of any outdated or erroneous plugins or themes. While it doesn’t offer dedicated public status pages, it does have a client report generation feature. You can automatically send these reports to your various subscribers or clients when your website is down. 

WP Umbrella is the most affordable option on this list. Users are charged $1.99 per month (at the time of writing) for each website monitored. In addition, WP Umbrella offers a 14-day trial and does not require your credit card details. It’s an excellent option for anyone running a WordPress website or two.

Conclusion

This guide has only explored three possible uptime monitoring solutions. They won’t only assist you in detecting downtimes, they can also help you find the reason your site may be slow.

These solutions are an excellent place to start. But there are many other options coming to market all the time. You may find that this is the first step to converting more leads and reducing your bounce rate. 

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was big news for companies when it came into effect in 2018. It aimed to put more controls on how organizations manage the personal data of their EU-based users. Since the law’s enactment in 2018, some US states, such as California and Virginia, followed suit and passed their own data privacy laws for their respective residents. Companies that do business in those regions now have to ensure they comply with these legal requirements.

This post is the third in a series about what developers need to keep in mind when sorting out security and compliance for their application. The first article in this series covered how to build security for user communications, the second was about compliance certifications and regulations for SaaS apps, and this one is all about GDPR and customer communications. GDPR and similar regulations cover all communications from a company to its customers and prospects, including marketing and transactional notifications. If you are considering sending notifications to the users of your SaaS application, whether via email, push, or a Slack bot, you need to keep GDPR in mind when building your service.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Having the right WordPress plugins on hand can do wonders for your business or online presence. WordPress offers a vast collection to choose from.

There are so many of them. However, finding those that get the best reviews and can do the most for you can be a challenge.

A plugin can give you additional functionality. It could otherwise be difficult or overly expensive to realize with your website by itself. A glance at the 10 top WordPress plugins described below can provide a powerful case in point.

Your website’s purpose or niche will usually dictate the types of essential WordPress plugins you would do well to invest in. The right ones can make your website a genuine powerhouse and, by extension, your business as well.

1. Amelia

Amelia is an excellent choice for beauty, healthcare, fitness, consulting, and businesses that might be saddled down with a manual or semi-manual booking system by saving them and their clients time while eliminating booking mistakes that often occur in those manual systems.

  • Clients can book appointments online 24/7, change or cancel their appointments, and receive reminders of upcoming appointments and other notifications via SMS or email.
  • Amelia enables business owners or department managers to track and manage employee schedules and time off.
  • Amelia can manage bookings for appointments, book tickets for events, and manage group bookings, all at multiple locations. There are no limits on the number of appointments that can be managed.
  • Booking forms can be customized to best serve a business’s needs and match its brand.

Amelia fully supports WooCommerce with PayPal, Stripe, Mollie, and RazorPay payments. Click on the banner to learn more about this time and money-saving plugin.

2. wpDataTables

wpDataTables is a premier WordPress table and chart building plugin that features virtually everything you are apt to need to build any table or chart you want.

Creating a table that is by any definition complex often requires tools that may not necessarily be easy to come by. wpDataTables uses four chart-building engines, one or more of which should suit you perfectly.

They are:

  • Google Charts
  • Highcharts
  • Charts.js
  • Apex Charts

For both table and chart building, wpDataTables can connect you to multiple database sources, including –

  • MySQL
  • MS SQL
  • PostgreSQL

wpDataTables can process data that exists in the commonly used formats and features various sorting and filtering options that allow you to create a host of different table types.

Both tables and charts are editable and responsive and, thanks to the wpDataTables conditional formatting feature, can highlight and color-code critical information.

Click to learn more.

3. Site Kit by Google

While your website’s performance might exceed your wildest dreams, it is more likely that there are areas that need improvement before your wishes can be met. 

Determining those areas can be a challenge, but Site Kit offers a one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make your site a success by making those critical tools available to WordPress.

They provide:

  • stats displayed on your WordPress dashboard from multiple Google tools
  • quick Google tool setup without your having to edit your site’s source code  
  • key metrics and insights for your entire site and individual posts, and
  • easy-to-manage, granular permissions across WordPress and different Google products

Site Kit shows you how many people have found your site, how users navigate it, etc.

Click on the banner to learn more about what Site Kit could do for you.

4. Tablesome –  WordPress Table Plugin With Form Automation

Tablesome is a WordPress form database and form automation plugin that you can use to store entries from WordPress forms to a database. It can be integrated with popular forms – Contact Form 7 DB, WPForms entries, Forminator database, Elementor Form submissions, etc.

After saving, you can:

  • Edit, auto-delete, and export entries to tools such as MailChimp, Google Sheets, Salesforce, etc.,
  • Display WordPress form entries on frontend pages
  • Automatically export contact data using the Mailchimp WordPress Integration

5. TheDock

TheDock eliminates the need to search for just the right WordPress theme by enabling you to create your own – which can be more fun anyway.

Among TheDock’s many features, a few key ones include –

  • A comprehensive, option-rich Design System
  • A responsive design system that ensures your site looks great on all screens.
  • Designer, developer, and editing collaboration support. 
  • Clean, readable code.

6. Slider Revolution

Beginners and mid-level designers can sometimes have difficulty finding ways to WOW their clients with professional-level visuals.

Slider Revolution changes all that by bridging the gap between what clients want and what you can provide with its –

  • 200 designed-to-impress website and slider templates
  • 25+ powerful addons and brand new WebGL slide animations
  • ability to import dynamic content from WooCommerce and social media outlets.

7. LayerSlider

More than a simple slider-builder, LayerSlider is an animation and website-building tool you can use to improve any website’s look and feel through eye-catching animations, contemporary graphics, and interactive features.

This is made possible in part through the use of –

  • 160+ website, slider, and popup templates
  • LayerSlider’s modern and intuitive editing interface

Plus, you can count on professional one-on-one customer support.

8. Download Monitor

The Download Monitor plugin helps you sell your digital products by offering a ready solution for tracking file downloads, gating content to generate leads, build your audience, and ask users for personal information in exchange for valuable content.

Download Monitor lets you –

  • add any type of file you need to your website
  • link a page to all your channels and promote your social media networks
  • place ads – and more.

9. Ads Pro – Multi-Purpose WordPress Ad Manager

The biggest ad manager for WordPress, Ads Pro gives you everything necessary to manage and sell ads.

Ads Pro’s admin panel makes managing ads straightforward for you and your users.

  • Key ad features include 25+ ad templates and 20+ ad display options.
  • CPC, CPM, CPD billing and PayPal, Stripe, and bank transfer payment methods are built-in.
  • Geo-Targeting lets you show/hide ad spaces based on countries, provinces, cities, and Zip Codes.

10. Ultimate Membership Pro

If selling content is your objective, Ultimate Membership Pro is the tool you’ll want to take your website and convert it into a powerful content selling platform.

The Ultimate Membership Pro plugin enables you to –

  • Create unlimited subscription levels, including free, trial, and paid member subscriptions
  • Control customer access to content based on their subscriptions
  • Send emails to welcome new members and send notifications and reminders to regular subscribers.

The WordPress plugin directory is already stuffed with almost 60,000 plugins. This guide has been published to narrow things down to 10 top WordPress plugins for your use.

We consulted with experts to create this list of excellent plugins for WordPress. It can help you with content strategy, SEO, site security, and even social media marketing.

Installing plugins and getting the functionality they provide can add immense value to your use of WordPress.

 

[- This is a sponsored post on behalf of BAW Media -]

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The post 10 Terrific WordPress Plugins You Should Be Using in 2022 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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Whether you’re new to the job or are an experienced designer, the anxiety of a new project can sometimes – often unexpectedly – cause us to freeze in our tracks. This creative paralysis sees us staring at a blank page, unable to come up with ideas, and the knowledge that time is slowly ticking away.

We’ve all been there. So we thought it would be helpful to share our tips and tricks for overcoming the tyranny of the blank page and help you get back to doing great work.

The first thing to know is that you are not alone; blank page syndrome has a basis in science, with a clearly identifiable set of symptoms that consistently occur together. 

The first thing to know is that you are not alone; blank page syndrome has a basis in science

It starts when you become stressed. Stress causes your brain to produce hormones that slow down neural functions, which only serves to increase the feelings of inadequacy over a lack of creative spark – and fuel anxiety. Understandably, this causes a spiral as your mind seems to get emptier and the blank page more threatening.

But don’t fear! Because there are ways to move past blank page paralysis and get back to productivity. 

Just Relax

Once you’re in a negative spiral, it’s notoriously difficult to get out of. The best solution is to avoid the spiral entirely – by starting in the right frame of mind. This means setting up a calm work environment before you even sit down. 

Do your best to avoid major distractions – such as young children who need your attention or colleagues who like to play music that vexes your soul. We’re not saying that you need a sound-proofed home office – the kitchen table might be fine – but schedule your work time for when the kids are at school or with a minder, or work from home if the office is likely to be noisy. A pair of noise-canceling headphones can be handy, too.

Avoid Distractions

Seemingly small things can also get in the way of your work. Chat and email notifications are the digital equivalents of a person calling your name from across a room. Try to avoid or silence anything that stops you getting into the creative mindset, even if you just mute things for a few hours. It’ll help you mentally separate your creative workspace from everything else.

all of those notifications will still be there when you resurface

Ultimately, you need to create a mood that you subconsciously associate with being productive. But even when the space around you is perfect, it can still take a while to get into the zone. Brains don’t just flip into creativity at the flick of a switch, so be kind to yourself. And remember – all of those notifications will still be there when you resurface later in the day. 

Do a Warm-Up

Studies have shown that a blank page is particularly stressful because it makes the task in front of you feel bigger than it really is. Gazing at an empty page is like seeing the whole project stretching out before you. The stress comes from the feeling of having to fill the whole journey, all the way from A to Z.

So don’t start with A! Instead, begin with a warm-up. Just as dancers always start with a series of exercises to warm up their muscles, creative designers can benefit from something similar. You could start by talking things through with colleagues or sketch some ideas using pen and paper, before opening your design app. 

Alternatively, you could start by planning your content hierarchy. You don’t need all the final words – but it can be helpful to work out how many headings you’re going to have, where images will sit, and whether your copy will be in paragraphs or lists. 

By doing this, you’ll have elements to place and a rough idea of their relative importance. It’s easy to get overawed by the importance of actual content – so start by getting a grip on the type, density, and length of content. 

Take Inspiration

The world around us is filled with inspiration and according to an icon designer Yannick Lung:

It helps to observe things in the real world and play around with them.

It can also help to borrow an idea. Obviously, we never condone copying someone’s work, but using existing work as a reference or jumping-off-point can help. Think of it as putting your own twist on an existing idea.

“I sometimes find it useful to reverse engineer a good example of the sort of thing I’m trying to write (and this works for design too). I usually break down a successful example into its constituent parts and swap them out for things more relevant to the project at hand, then refine from there,” says Harvey, one of Sketch’s brand storytellers.

Let Templates Take the Strain

Instead of putting pressure on yourself to instantly start designing, begin by creating templates or wireframes. This isn’t an avoidance tactic. Spending time creating an outline template saves time in the long run – plus, doing practical work that doesn’t need lots of detail will act as a warm-up. It might even help you catch potential issues in your designs earlier. 

Be Collaborative and Welcome Early Feedback

In general, people don’t work well in isolation – so collaborating with colleagues is a great way to get design ideas flowing. At the start of a project, reach out to your colleagues to let them know what you’re going to be working on and set up a session to collaborate on ideas and ask for direct input.

Never wait until the end of a project to ask for feedback. Involving your colleagues in the process early helps counter blank page paralysis and involving stakeholders can help you manage expectations. Aim to get regular and consistent feedback rather than waiting for it – which could cause a delay in your project. 

And of course, you should always choose a design software that enables real-time collaboration so that everyone working on a project can avoid version conflicts.

Avoid Burnout

When work isn’t physical, it can be hard to judge how much it takes out of us

When work isn’t physical, it can be hard to judge how much it takes out of us. If you’re suffering from blank page paralysis, it’s probably a sign that you’re starting to get burnt out. Try setting an alarm on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off regularly – or just scheduling some time into your day to take a break, stretch, or even take a walk. Stepping away from your screen is good for your brain and your body.

In the end, the most important thing to remember when it comes to blank page syndrome is that you have to be kind to yourself. Nobody can be productive 100% of the time – we’re only human, after all. What matters is that you do whatever you need to get your creativity flowing.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Micro-interactions effectively communicate brand identity and ethos while strengthening ties with the customer. These habit-forming tools make for a fun and seamless user experience. Facebook’s ‘likes’ and Tinder’s ‘swipes’ are two classic examples. 

Micro-interactions originated with the need to guide customers who had hit a snag while using a service or a product. The goal was to ease customers into being more product-savvy via subtle reassurance and feedback. Micro-interactions are now employed by everything from washing machines, to coffee makers.

Along with feedback, prompts, and recommendations, they can also present customers with an appealing visual reward upon finishing a task. When used optimally, micro-interactions drastically enhance the navigation and simplify how users interact with sites and apps.

How Micro-Interactions Work

Here are the four structural elements to a simple micro-interaction: triggers, rules, feedback, and loops. Every micro-interaction has a significant component to organize the operational cycle. It lets you control feedback and runs, so the users understand the consequences of their performance and feel motivated to follow through.

Triggers

This feature begins micro-interactions of both the user-initiated (prompted by user) and system-initiated (driven by the system) kind. For example, a click, scroll, swipe, tap, and pull are common triggers that users carry out. So making a payment, booking a cab, and clicking or tapping on the hamburger menu all fall under this category. On the flip side, the user’s alert prompt upon entering a wrong password is a classic system-generated trigger. 

Rules

This element determines what happens after the user sets a prompt into motion via tapping, clicking, scrolling, or swiping. Rules refer to the fact that apps decide the triggers that users employ — Tinder’s ‘swipe’ feature illustrates this point. These rules gradually become a habit-forming action that users get accustomed to while regularly engaging with an app.

Feedback

During this process stage, the system informs the user via auditory, visual, or haptic cues. It engages the users and encourages them to proceed further in their process. For example, the progress bar of a download, the visual representation of steps cleared in a circle, or the visual, aural, and tactile indication upon the success or failure of payment are all a part of the feedback mechanism.

Loop/Modes

This final stage entails tiny meta-rules of the process and determines the frequency and duration. A classic example from an ecommerce app is the ‘Buy Now’ transformed to ‘Buy Another’ Before the user loses interest in the app, the app typically uses such a loop to get them to re-engage with the app. 

How to Use Micro-Interactions

We’ve established that micro-interactions are fabulous, but not every UX interaction on your app or site needs one throughout the wireframe. Overusing this tool could saturate the overall creative experience your design may want to offer. Worse, it might even end up confusing the information hierarchy. It undermines the design and unbalances the user experience of discomfort and irritability. So it’s crucial to know when exactly to use them.

Let’s find out how few quick tips on micro-interactions can elevate and humanize your mobile user experience:

  • Swipe right or left: A signature move made entirely on swiping micro-interaction featured in the famous Tinder app. Swiping is an easier action than clicking or tapping.
  • Call-to-action:  As part of the last step during payment or order, place a ‘Confirm Order’ or ‘Book Now’ prompt, which gives the task a sense of urgency. As a result, having acted on it feels like a minor achievement. 
  • System status: Your app user wants to know what’s happening. System status lets them know they are moving in the right direction and helps avoid confusion. Sometimes, users even run out of patience while uploading a picture, downloading a file, or filling up the registration form.
  • Classic notifications: Users need a quick reminder of products selected/wishlist in their abandoned cart with a reduced attention span. A simple notification can nudge them toward finalizing the purchase. 
  • Button animation: Animated buttons are not only cute, but they also help users navigate the mobile app swiftly. Try out attractive colors, fonts, sizes, shapes, and clipart elements corresponding to the animation and create that cool button to pop up when tapped or hovered on. 
  • Animated text inputs:  A simple process of a likable element like zooming in while entering data into a form or filling up card details for payment can enhance the user experience.
  • Reward an achievement:  Especially true for educational and health apps, micro-interactions celebrating big and small milestones with a badge or a compliment of encouragement can strengthen a user’s engagement with the app. 

Benefits of Micro-Interactions

  • Brand communication: A successful brand ensures that the transmission to the buyer is engaging, positive, and hassle-free. When micro-interactions show a process status clearly, it creates and reinforces a positive image for your brand.
  • Higher user engagement: Experts say micro-interactions engage users better. These tiny elements subconsciously create the urge to keep interacting with your app. For example, each push or nudge notification acts toward redirecting your customers back to your app.
  • Enhanced user experience: From shopping to banking to traveling to learning to staying healthy, there’s an app for everything. A wide range of activities elevates the overall user experience and stays ahead in the game. Micro-interactions can work that magic for your brand. 
  • Prompt feedback: It’s frustrating not to know what’s happening behind the blank screen, especially during a purchase. Instant feedback via visual, sound, or vibrating notifications makes for a pleasant user experience. 
  • Visual harmony: Micro-interactions initiated even with a tap, swipe, typing, or scrolling are all a part of the UX design’s overall appeal. The trick is to keep all the interface elements in perfect sync with the app’s visual features.

Micro-Interaction Best Practices

Here are a few basic principles you should follow when you introduce a micro-interaction to the user experience.

1. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)

KISS is a famous design principle that becomes even more important in the case of micro-interactions. The goal is to make the user journey delightful and not be a distraction.

2. Keep it Short

It has ‘micro’ in the name itself. But, again, micro-interactions aren’t supposed to be show stars, and a lengthy micro-interaction only distracts the user. 

3. Pick the Right Place

You should always consider the options carefully before choosing the spot for any micro-interaction. The widely used user-interaction designs are popular for a reason. Many people have already approved them, so you can safely continue with them. The use of micro-interaction should also sit well with your brand image. 

See also if the placement of a micro-interaction is reaching your ideal customer or not. And even consider whether you need a micro-interaction to begin with. 

And That’s a Wrap!

As UX designers, we can profoundly impact the overall design of sites and apps, the user’s journey, their interactions with our product/service, their connection with the brand, and the ease of doing a transaction.

We want customers to connect to our brand, love our products, and experience our exceptional customer service. But most of all, we want to earn their trust and loyalty.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

Source

The post Using Micro-Interactions to Drive UX first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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