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Many firms’ design and development decisions are increasingly oriented toward human-centered innovation. Instead of rushing goods to market, these firms are using a user-centered design approach.

Design and development teams build high-performing digital products or websites that uniquely meet customers’ demands by concentrating on the user experience. After all, a good web design is helpful in boosting the business reputation or user experience.

This post will define user-centered design, discuss its fundamental principles, and describe the user-centered design process.

What Is User-Centered Design?

To create an enjoyable solution to a problem, user-centered design is a collection of iterative design processes concentrating on the user’s needs at each step. In UCD, the expectations, objectives, and preferences of the user significantly impact design decisions.

Additionally, users are actively involved in the entire process from start to finish. User-centered design principles encourage designers to create products with users rather than just for them. This strategy typically includes user research, interviews, usability testing, and a massive amount of feedback gathering.

UCD Requires Four Fundamental Components:

  • Visibility: Can people see what your website is about and how to utilize it the moment they land on your page?
  • Availability: Is your website user-friendly? Can they swiftly locate information? They should be able to find call-to-action buttons, menus, filters, and search choices with ease.
  • Legibility: Is the text simple to read for users?
  • Language: Is the language simple to grasp for users? Do you avoid using industry jargon in your UX authoring, which might lead to confusion and hesitation?

What Is The Significance Of UCD?

User experience is important in product design, especially in digital products such as app design, web and interface design, and marketing. Customers want their lives to be simplified. A website, app, or product exists to fulfill a consumer. Hence its success is determined by their interaction with it.

The following are some of the advantages of a user-centered design strategy for a business:

  • Customers keep coming back for more
  • There would be an increase in sales
  • Creating polished, efficient, and widely available goods
  • Understanding challenges thoroughly to provide suitable solutions
  • Customers and teams working together
  • Avoiding typical blunders
  • Enhancing Competitiveness
  • Assisting them in comprehending their market

It offers consumers the following advantages:

  • Making their life easier
  • Fulfilling their desires
  • Companies making them feel heard and understood
  • Making them feel important in the creation of things they use
  • Providing answers to challenges they were unaware they had or could not imagine solutions to

Let’s dig in to learn more about the advantages of UCD.

Businesses can benefit from using the user-centered design approach in various ways. As you incorporate this into your web development, you can enjoy the following four main advantages.

1. Prevent Project Failure

Your company might find it simpler to incorporate improvements and ensure your product is in line with actual user needs if you have a continuous feedback process assessing how customers react to your product, like a website.

Customers feel like their needs are better represented in the finished product, which can increase engagement and strengthen the bond with the company.

2. Improve ROI

This method produces products that more accurately reflect user expectations. The procedure also lessens mistakes made by website users, for instance. When combined, these factors motivate users to convert from leads to paying clients, boosting return on investment.

3. Increase Development Efficiency

In user-centered design, the objectives of the various team members are aligned. This can help clarify the best course of action for all parties involved. A more targeted, goal-oriented development process may be encouraged by the regular evaluation process.

Additionally, businesses can engage stakeholders and explain how their efforts and methodologies will improve customer interactions by using an iterative life cycle during product development.

4. Up The Level Of Competition

Customers will more fully appreciate what you offer, improve their engagement with your product or website, and be more likely to purchase from you if your product is created with their needs and expectations in mind.

As a result, this may increase your ability to compete in your sector.

5. KPIs Are Included

Given your user needs and business objectives, how do you move from the first to the second? You can measure key performance indicators with this in mind once you know what user needs are essential for the overall goals.

For instance, productivity may be the focus of office software, shopper activity may be the focus of sales tools, and retention rates may be the focus of other apps. All of these are necessary steps toward achieving business values like profit and revenue.

Human-Centered Design Versus User-Centered Design

There is a significant difference between humans and users. Simply put, all users are humans; however, not all humans will use your product. Therefore, you must thoroughly understand your target market to produce a successful user-centered design.

Detailed research should be done on the problems and goals of your users. Then, talk to them and give them several chances to offer feedback. By doing this, you’ll create a user persona that is complete and that you can use to determine the priorities for your design.

It’s critical to understand that different user groups may have additional requirements, levels of technical expertise, and expectations for using products like the one you’ve made.

What crucial guidelines or principles should designers consider when adopting a user-centric design?

The Process Of User-Centered Design

Certain fundamental principles underpin user-centered design. While the development process is always iterative, no explicit methods for implementation are specified. The approach can be implemented in either a waterfall or an agile environment.

1. Contextualization

The first step is to analyze the environment in which users will use the product. What are the intended applications of the product for future users? Teams working on projects can get answers by watching and talking to potential users.

2. Outlining The Prerequisites

Specifying the requirements for the new product is the second step. In this step, user requirements are described while considering corporate needs.

3. Design

Once the requirements are established, the actual design process can begin. Designers typically start by producing a straightforward prototype, like one made of paper, then move on to digital wireframes and a finished prototype.

4. Analysis

The project team solicits feedback from potential users after creating a prototype. This is typically done for digital applications through in-depth user testing and qualitative research.

Do surveys and tests evaluate user satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency? With the new information, the project team goes back to step 2 or step 3 of the design process to improve the product. Once the user feedback is satisfied, these iterations continue while taking into account corporate frameworks (time and costs).

Top 10 User-Centered Design Principles

Principles of user-centered design attempt to guarantee that usability is the primary priority throughout the development process. These principles, if successfully followed, will ensure that user experience is fulfilled not just during the initial introduction of a product but also during its use.

Furthermore, each of the following principles may be tailored to match the specific requirements and interaction demands of any product.

1. Use Simple Language

Professional Web Designer strives to provide the most readable discourse for the user while creating a product. This involves clarifying vocabulary, eliminating jargon, and simply providing information pertinent to the work.

Presenting users with irrelevant information throughout their use of the product taints its usefulness. Furthermore, basic language helps the user finish the work without being overwhelmed or confused.

2. Feedback

Users expect a reaction to all of their actions. This might involve modifying the look of the screen after completing an activity. If the job is finished after some time, it should display a loading page to notify the user that the task is in process.

Keeping the user informed throughout the process reassures them and keeps them on track with their job.

3. Maintaining Consistency

Keeping the product consistent is essential in ensuring an ideal user experience. Consistency affects how customers approach a product, and the time it takes to learn how to use it.

From the start of the project until its completion, the consistent philosophy underpinning the UCD process should be maintained. If the interface design needs to be updated, it is critical to maintaining consistency across new features to stay beneficial to the user.

4. Give The Complete User Control

Consumers are already aware of their requirements. They should be able to use a product with minimal effort and depend on the product’s help to accomplish the rest.

By removing the effort from the job, the user can do it quickly while keeping control of their activities.

5. Describe The Situation

Before developing a product, the designer must first investigate the ideal user and their wants. The designers can gain a comprehensive sense of some of the issues these people experience by studying their lifestyles.

Many of these observations are conducted through interviews. These interviews provide the designer with information on the exact goals that users want to attain and how they want to achieve them.

6. Examine the Design

Designers undertake usability testing with actual users of their product at this stage in the UCD process. This stage provides designers with insight into how consumers will interact with the product and how to modify it to suit them better.

It is advised that this stage be completed as quickly as feasible. The sooner customers provide input, the faster designers can comprehend their product from the user’s perspective.

7. Create Designs That Are Specific To The Needs Of The User

The design team must examine the distinctive features of their intended demographic as well as frequent real-world activities while beginning the design process. Furthermore, the product should be appropriate for the environment in which it will be utilized the most.

Making a product that needs a lot of work from the user reduces its usability and usefulness, ultimately defeating the objective of UCD.

8. The Design Process Is Iterative

Because user-centered design is based on putting the user first, the product team should constantly be working to improve the user experience. By introducing changes gradually, you will gain a better understanding of your target audience.

9. Adequate Navigational Tools

An essential component of the user experience is the capability to navigate between pages of your website and return to the previous one. Make sure users know where they are on your website and how to leave any pages they don’t want to see.

Customers can better understand how to navigate your page by giving them features like a navigation map, for instance. Make it simple for customers to change their order without leaving the current page if they buy clothing and discover they need a different size once they reach the checkout page.

10. Unflawed System

Customers should find it easy to navigate between your website’s pages and accomplish their goals. If they make a mistake, be there to help them fix it so they can achieve their goal.

The form may ask for specific, essential fields, such as the square footage, and may also include a gentle reminder or an alert that appears if the user accidentally leaves a required field blank.

Customers may feel more comfortable responding to your prompts and participating in a conversation if you ask questions one at a time and offer automated responses for each response.

Wrapping Up

User-centered design is more than just making a good product. It goes further than that. You demonstrate your motivations and intentions by putting your users in the spotlight. You’re demonstrating that it’s not all about meeting deadlines or turning a profit. Instead, you’re telling your users that you understand what they want and prioritize their needs.

It should come as no surprise that the most effective teams are user-centric. Knowing your customer is essential for success in any industry, including design. Create products that put the user first, and you will create products that people will love.

You can build a more robust, user-friendly website that is better equipped to respond to user needs and expectations by incorporating the User Centered Design process into your product design. However, it’s crucial to collaborate with a specialist who can apply these techniques and produce the result you’ve envisioned.

 

Featured image by pch.vector on Freepik

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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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Each month we publish this roundup of the best new fonts for designers to help you find new ways of packing personality into your designs.

In October’s edition, you’ll find a number of revivals and a ton of vintage inspiration, all wrapped up with a modern twist. After years of geometric sans-serifs, a few decorative flourishes are more than welcome. Enjoy!

The Future

The Future and its accompanying monospace The Future Mono is a homage to the classic Futura. The Future is a great revision of classic forms, and The Future Mono is a blend of Western Modernism and Japanese typographic styles.

Rapidissima

Rapida and Rapidissima began as part of a master’s course at the Royal Academy of Art in Den Haag. While Rapida is a careful, usable serif with lots of thoughtful details, Rapidissima is a visually exciting exploration of speed.

Aiglon

Aiglon is a pseudo-geometrics sans-serif with beautiful proportions. It draws inspiration from 20th-century architectural lettering. It’s a tremendous alternative to Gotham for those looking for a more European aesthetic.

Raskal Oner Write

Raskal Oner Write is a script font for designers that don’t want a script font. All of the classic feel of handwritten letters is here, but the construction is entirely original. Contextual alternatives combine to create the visual look of lettering.

Grostino

Grostino is an elegant display typeface. The enormous contrast in width between its rounded glyphs and its square glyphs adds enormous personality. It’s ideal for branding projects that need to evoke classicism.

Figtree

Figtree is a highly usable sans-serif packed with practical features, including fractions, monospaced numbers, and scientific inferiors. It’s both minimal and friendly, making it an ideal choice for corporate design systems. It’s free to download.

Gills & Co

Gills & Co is a modern serif that draws inspiration from Art Nouveau to create beautiful finials and ligatures. It works really well as a logotype and for packaging.

Catalog

Catalog is a sturdy, easy-to-use serif with thick slab serifs. It has a simplified shape and is easily readable on lower-resolution screens. It features an unusual lowercase g, which adds visual interest to passages of text.

Kreol Display

Kreol Display is a didone typeface with some interesting details that raise it above similar designs. The lowercase ‘a’ and the uppercase ‘R’ are particularly pleasing.

Gwen

Gwen is a typeface family that includes a highly characteristic display face and a more subtle text face. There are seven different weights, and it is available as a variable font.

Benogi

Benogi is a display font run through with wave-like forms. The ’70s aesthetic is continued in the proportion of the glyphs. It’s a great option for health and beauty product branding.

Marcin Antique

Marcin Antique is inspired by early French grotesque typefaces. It has just been reissued with new widths, additional weights, and redrawn italics, making it an even more usable sans-serif.

VVDS The Dickens Tale

It’s horrifying to say it, but yes, the holiday season is just weeks away. If you’re preparing marketing material with a heritage feel, then check out The Dickens Tale, it’s as classic as candy canes and Peanuts reruns.

Povetarac Sans

Povetarac Sans is a workhorse of a sans-serif that performs well as both display and running text. Inspired by vintage designs, it comes with six weights and supports fractions.

Blothe

Blothe is a fabulously chunky display face that is drawn wide, thick, and rounded. Use it at huge sizes to make the most of its weighty presence.

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The purpose of a website is to reach new customers and keep current ones engaged. Therefore, customer-first should be at the top of your list for design features. After all, without your clients, your business won’t grow or succeed.

Customer-first has been a buzzword for a few years now. In a nutshell, it’s easy to imagine what customer-first design means. The needs of consumers come before anything else. However, the concept isn’t quite as simple in practice. A lot of nuances enter the equation.

Just what does it mean to have a customer-first web design? What are the must-haves to reach users on their level and keep their attention for the long haul?

Embracing quality customer experiences has driven loyalty for as long as anyone can remember. However, we now live in a time of uncertainty, and when people leave companies on a dime if they’re dissatisfied with any aspect. So you must hit the high notes on every song – your website is your purest online persona and must engage users and keep them entertained.

Whether you embrace causes that matter to your customers and share information on them or tweak your design to meet accessibility guidelines, many factors come into play with a customer-centric design.

In a recent report, researchers found that about 88% of company leaders feel customer engagement impacts revenue. You can’t control every variable, but you can ensure your website hits all the strong points for a customer-first web design that grabs them and keeps them on your page.

Here are our favorite tips to create a customer-first approach. You may already be doing some of these things. Pick and choose what makes the most sense for your business model. Even small changes can have a big impact.

1. Know Your Customers

Before creating a website centered around your customers’ needs, you must know who they are. What are the demographics of your typical clients? Survey them and find out what their needs and expectations are. How can you best help them?

You may also want to survey them about your website. What’s missing that might help them? Is there anything they love? What do they hate? The more you know, the better your design can match their expectations. Create buyer personas based on their preferences.

At the same time, buyers will sometimes say one thing but actually feel another way. No one is quite sure why people do this when being surveyed. One way around that issue is to do some A/B testing to see how they actually feel about various changes. Do they respond the way you thought? What other adjustments need to be made?

2. Find the Right Color Palette

Different industries trend toward various hues. For example, businesses in the banking industry trend toward blues and occasionally reds. Blue elicits trust from users and has a calming effect. On the other hand, the fashion industry might tap into brighter shades, such as lime green. Think about what colors people expect in your industry, and then find your color palette.

Each hue has its emotional impact. For example, red is a color of power and can elicit excitement in the viewer. Choose your shades accordingly to get the most emotional punch possible.

3. Accept Feedback

One of the best ways to improve your site over time to match the needs and preferences of your audience is by allowing feedback. Add reviews, place a feedback form in your footer, and even send out requests for feedback to your mailing list.

It’s also a good idea to find a mentor who has been successful at running a business. Ask them to look at your site and give you advice. You might also enlist the help of a marketing professional.

4. Stick With the Familiar

Have you heard of Jakob’s Law? The rule of thumb states that people prefer common design patterns they’re most familiar with. So when they see a pattern they know, such as a navigation bar layout, it boosts their mood and improves their memory of the site.

When making edits, don’t make significant changes. Instead, implement minor adjustments over time to give your followers a chance to acclimate to the shift.

5. Cut the Clutter

If you want users to feel wowed by your page and engage, you have to limit their choices. Add in too many options, and they may not know where to go first.

Start by choosing an objective for the page. Cut anything that doesn’t point the user toward the goal. Ideally, you’d have a little info, an image, and a call to action (CTA) button. However, this may vary, depending on where your buyer is in the sales funnel and how much information they need to decide to go from browser to customer.

6. Choose Mobile Friendliness

Recent reports indicate about 90% of people use mobile devices to go online at times. With phones gaining greater capabilities and 5G bringing faster speeds to communities, expect people to use their mobile devices even more frequently for internet browsing.

Making sure your site translates well on smaller screens makes sense for your company and for your customers. Be sure to test everything. Click through all links. Fill in forms. Ensure images and text auto-adjust to the correct size, so people don’t have to scroll endlessly.

7. Make Multiple Landing Pages

Like most businesses, you probably have several buyer personas as you segment your audience. Don’t just create a single home page and expect it to fulfill the purpose of every reader. Instead, create unique pages for each persona to best meet their needs.

Make sure each landing page speaks in the natural language patterns of your specific audience. Think about the unique needs of each group. How do their pain points differ? How can you best meet their needs?

8. Keep Important Info Above the Fold

People are busy. They work, have families, and might visit your site on the 15-minute break they get in the afternoon. Most consumers want the information they need to decide and don’t want to dilly-dally around with other things.

Place the essential headlines and info they need above the fold, so they see it first. Make it as readable as possible by using headings and subheadings. Add in a few bullet points. People also absorb information easier in video format, so add a video highlighting your product’s or service’s main benefits.

You should also place a CTA button above the fold if it makes sense for your overall design. Keep in mind people may have visited and already read some of the information. Some users return just to sign up and want to find the CTA quickly.

Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes

Look at your site through the eyes of your audience. What works well? What needs to be adjusted? Over time, you’ll develop a customer-first web design that speaks to those most likely to buy from you. Then, keep making changes and tweaking your site until it hits the perfect balance for your customers.

 

Featured image via Freepik.

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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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Whether you are a CSS expert or a front-end beginner, using the right CSS framework is crucial for your daily tasks. There are numerous frameworks whose ultimate goal is the same: helping developers target multiple screens, in the simplest possible way.

This is why Bootstrap is by far the most popular framework on the market. All developers have heard of Bootstrap, and more than 80% of them say they are happy using it.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great alternatives if you’re willing to shop around. Bootstrap won’t be top dog forever, and there are numerous new lightweight and powerful CSS frameworks.

If you are bored of coding with Bootstrap and Foundation and tired of using complex CSS rules, this list is for you. 

From frameworks that take a pure CSS approach to minimalist frameworks with fully customizable themes, nothing is left out. Let’s get started…

1. Bulma

Bulma is one of the most popular alternatives to Bootstrap and Foundation. It is an entirely free, open-source CSS framework that does not have a steep learning curve. No prior CSS knowledge is required to use Bulma.

When you add the variety of colors, responsiveness, and clean flexbox-based grid it offers, it’s no wonder Bulma is becoming more popular every day. Bulma is a well-documented framework that you should definitely try out.

2. UIkit

If you’re looking for a lightweight yet powerful CSS framework that can be wired with HTML and JS, Ulkit is for you. It fully supports right to left languages and has one of the best icon libraries out there.

Keep in mind that Ulkit is also easy to use. All in all, Ulkit is an excellent Bootstrap alternative that is perfect for designing web layouts for desktop and mobile screens.

3. HTML5 Boilerplate

Even though Bootstrap is relatively easy to learn, it is much more than just a front-end template. So what if you need a fully compatible JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5 template? In this case, HTML5 Boilerplate is a good choice.

Of course, since it’s a template, this framework does not include layouts and component modules. However, if you need a reliable CSS template that offers extensive documentation, HTML5 Boilerplate is a great solution.

4. Metro UI

Metro UI is one of the most flexible CSS frameworks on the market. This front-end framework can be easily combined with JavaScript-based frameworks like Angular, React, etc.

We found Metro UI to be an excellent open-source CSS framework and a great alternative to Foundation during our testing.

5. Skeleton

As a two-in-one solution, Skeleton quickly made it on our list. This is both a boilerplate and a comprehensive CSS framework. We enjoyed customizing its 12-column grid during our testing, and we found out that it has virtually no learning curve. 

The automatic width resizing works like a charm, and the syntax is fully responsive. This is why we consider Skeleton to be an excellent Bootstrap alternative.

6. Bootflat

If you are looking for a quick way to create a web app, Bootflat is the framework you need. Bootflat’s components are built with CSS3 and HTML5, and the framework offers a comprehensive panel of color schemes for you to choose from. 

Bootflat looks and acts like a simplified version of Bootstrap. However, that doesn’t mean that this CSS framework isn’t scalable and robust. On the contrary, you can fully manipulate the size and performance of the web designs you create. 

7. Semantic UI

If you exclude the fact that Semantic UI doesn’t have the utility classes Bootstrap offers, it is a comprehensive CSS framework that you should try. The best Semantic feature allows you to write HTML code without using BEM methodologies. 

So, if you need a framework that will help you write readable codes in minutes, Semantic is the one for you. 

8. Susy

We know that most developers nowadays use flexbox and native CSS grids. Still, there’s nothing better than Susy if you need a grid system that supports legacy browsers. Although Susy is no longer maintained, it is one of the most flexible old-school grid systems. 

9. Materialize

Like most CSS frameworks on this list, Materialize is built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

It’s specifically designed to help you develop faster using a standard template and customizable components. As the name suggests, Materialize is based on the basic principles of Material Design.

10. Kickstart

If you need a lightweight alternative to Bootstrap, Kickstart is the CSS library for you. A great thing about Kickstart is that it doesn’t require jQuery which makes it very small. 

Of course, like a pruned version of Bootstrap, this CSS framework isn’t as robust. Still, this is an excellent choice for those who need a UI framework and a comprehensive boilerplate library. 

11. Tailwind CSS

With a fast styling process and the ultimate freedom it provides, Tailwind is extremely popular among some developers. This is a utility-first, front-end framework that is fully responsive and stable. 

Unfortunately, Tailwind CSS requires some time to learn, and it is not the most flexible choice when it comes to revising CSS rules.

12. Pure CSS

Yahoo specially developed Pure CSS to help developers create fully responsive web pages. 

We consider Pure a minimalist alternative to Bootstrap that offers every module a beginner needs (navigation menu, grid, tables, etc.).

13. PowertoCSS

PowertoCSS is on this list for a good reason. This is an ultimately responsive CSS framework that you can use to create grids and scale web apps on any platform. 

PowertoCSS is based on Modular Architecture and Scalable when it comes to design.

Unlike other CSS frameworks, PowertoCSS is very lightweight, beginner-friendly, and comes with detailed documentation. 

The coding process is simple, and we found the learning curve to be shallow.

14. Spectre

Spectre is one of the most flexible and lightweight CSS frameworks we tested for this article. 

It has a modern (flexbox) layout system; it is fully customizable and allows you to get quick, attractive results. 

15. Primer

Our last suggestion is Primer, a great open-source CSS framework. 

To be precise, Primer is more of a design system that lets you use a BEM CSS framework and create your projects quickly and efficiently.

So, even though Primer is not a CSS framework in the strict sense, it will help you use React and Figma components, icons, and advanced documentation to unify all of that.

Wrap Up

Choosing the right CSS framework is not easy. It all depends on your personal needs and preferences as a front-end developer. 

Although Bootstrap and Foundation are still the most popular frameworks, many of the alternatives presented above will continue to gain popularity for good reasons.

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The central principle of cloud engineering is adopting software engineering practices. Refactoring is a technique for making changes to code that improve maintainability, enhance performance, scalability, and security without changing its external behavior. In DevOps, refactoring often occurs with modern applications; however, we can apply those same techniques to cloud infrastructure with infrastructure as code.

Refactoring results in many advantages. First and foremost, the code is more readable and easier to understand for other team members –this aids in maintainability and well-organized code, providing a solid foundation for future releases. Overall, if done well, refactoring reduces complexity which makes future changes more efficient.

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User Experience (UX) design and User Interface (UI) design are two terms people sometimes mistakenly use interchangeably. While aspects of each are interconnected, there are distinct differences between UI/UX design.

According to Internet Live Stats, there are over 1.9 billion websites, but not all are active at the same time. No matter how you slice it, there’s a lot of competition to grab and keep user attention. Good UX is just part of the equation. For a genuinely stellar site, you must also offer an excellent interface.

Learning the ins and outs of good UI and UX requires a bit of knowledge of how the two differ and what works. Although they weave in and out of the same design, they are different.

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Good UX and UI?

UI is the functionality of the design and what users see. How do they interact with various elements? UX is more the way things come together — both visual and interactive features — to create a feel for the user. You can certainly see why people confuse the two as they both apply to interacting with a website or app.

Top design firms often have team members specializing in each discipline. However, UX designers are also aware of UI, and UI designers are also mindful of UX. How can you ensure you’re offering excellent UI/UX design while covering the full spectrum of requirements for each?

Ensuring Effective UX Design

Good UX design increases conversion rates by 400% or more. The site visitor walks away feeling understood and not frustrated. What are some of the most important aspects of good UX design?

1. Create a Good Structure

What is the hierarchy of your site? What is the first thing the user sees when they pull it up? How do they navigate from one page to the next? A well-designed website classifies different aspects of the page, and new content naturally falls into the appropriate category as it grows.

When creating a structure for your site, think about how it might expand in the next five years. You want the hierarchy to work from day one, but you also want to think through significant shifts in the content you might see down the road.

Even your navigational hierarchy should accommodate new areas easily. Plan for the unexpected, so you know how to work it into the overall design when you must.

2. Choose Beautiful Aesthetics

You have a few seconds to make an excellent impression on your site visitors. Take the time to make sure your design functions and is visually appealing. Your color palette should work, images should be crisp and relevant, and typography should be readable and engaging.

Step back from your computer and look at your design from a distance. Does anything stand out that isn’t pleasing to the eye? Get feedback from visitors about what they like and dislike. Since the focus is on user experience, your best source of constructive criticism is from your target audience. Listen to their concerns and ideas.

3. Communicate With Site Visitors

Most experts agree that users want an element of interactivity on sites and apps. People want to know you hear them and get a response. Some ideas include adding a live chat option to your site or engaging in SMS customer support.

Put yourself in their shoes. A customer may visit your site for the first time, having never heard of your brand. They have no reason to trust you or that you’ll follow through on your promises. Potential leads may have a few questions before parting with their hard-earned dollars.

Adding various ways to communicate shows them you’ll be there should they have a problem. It’s much easier to trust a company when you know you can phone, engage in live chat or shoot off an email and get an almost immediate response.

4. Add Clear Direction

Excellent UX is intuitive. You should add calls to action (CTAs) and images pointing the user where they should go next. You can use graphics of arrows, people looking or pointing toward the next step, words, or CTA buttons.

Get feedback on how clear the directions are and tweak them as needed. The user should never have to stop and ponder what to do next. Everything on the page should guide them toward the ultimate goal.

5. Break Down Complex Data

Every industry has complicated data that is difficult for non-experts to understand. Part of good UX is breaking down complex information and sharing it in a simplified way.

One example might be the registration process. Instead of just showing text, a good UX designer would number the steps. Visualizations help add to understanding.

Embracing Effective UI Design

User Interface impacts UX and involves how the design works. The UI designer thinks through visitor expectations and then creates an interface that isn’t frustrating. UI works within the framework of a website to develop functional features. User experience isn’t the complete focus of UI, but it does tie into the planning phases. What are some elements of good UI design?

1. Set Standards

For a design to have good UI, it must perform as expected. Have you ever clicked on a button, and nothing happened? Determine how you want things to work and the minimum acceptable standards for your site.

For example, what happens when someone clicks on a link or button? How does the user know their action created the expected result? Consistency is crucial to how a site performs.

2. Choose the Right Colors

While UX designers look at the emotional impact of various colors, UI designers look at whether the shades match branding and how well the different ones contrast for readability and usability. UI/UX design often bridges a single designer’s work, so the employee ensures everything works as intended, both emotionally and functionally.

You may work with another designer to make the site aesthetically pleasing while also tapping into the emotions driving users. For example, some people love blue, so a blue button can have positive results.

UX and UI designers utilize split testing to see which users respond best to. Then, make adjustments as indicated by how site visitors respond.

3. Focus on Cognitive Matters

According to the Interaction Design Foundation, people can only retain around five things in their short-term memory. Designers should work with recognition instead, as users tend to rely on cues to find what they need.

UI designers may develop an intuitive navigation system and then use the same cues on every page, such as placement, color, and language. Users can then recognize the system without having to memorize it.

4. Prevent Errors

Your job is to ensure errors are kept to a minimum when designing a website or app. One of the most significant parts of a designer’s job is testing and retesting.

Think about all the potential problems a user might run into, such as broken links, images not showing, or incomplete actions. How can you keep those problems from occurring in the first place?

Error prevention is particularly vital when designing software as a service (SaaS) or apps. Users grow frustrated quickly and will find another solution rather than troubleshooting an issue. You’re much better off avoiding the error in the first place.

How Do UX and UI Work Together?

You’ve likely already figured out how closely UX and UI entwine to create a usable experience. The UX designer pays attention to function and interactivity, and the UI designer thinks through how the interface looks.

UX pays attention to the flow of the website and where users start, go next and end up. On the other end, UI figures out how the elements look to the viewer and where everything is placed.

The UX team may decide to add an extra button to the page. The UI team must determine where to place it, if any sizing needs must occur, and how it impacts usability on desktop and mobile devices.

Although each has a different function, user experience and user interface must work together to create a usable site the target audience responds to. You can’t have excellent UX without excellent UI, and vice versa. The best designers consider both and implement them to their fullest potential.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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