Archive for the ‘UI UX Design’ Category

Importance of User Research

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

User Research, the term brings to mind a complex looking image with stacks of paper, graphs and diagrams, computers, figures, and whatnot. If this is true for you too, then you are not wrong. It does in-fact consist of an infinitely straining series of events, each more complex than the other.

Then why do so many companies today invest so much in terms of money and manpower in setting up programs all based on one objective- user research?

The answer to this question is simple — it is impossible to launch a successful product or design without going through this tedious process, for it is nothing but this that gives the creators an idea of what the audience wants, how will it perceive whatever they have to offer and most importantly how much are they willing to pay in order to have it. It seems like a fair bargain, doesn’t it?

So let us begin by understanding what is this “user research”. If very loosely defined, it can be considered as observation techniques, task analyses and other methods of feedback aimed to procure an understanding of the user’s needs, problems, and behavior. It is carried out using various methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative and over the years has evolved into a near scientific method of analysis.

User research can be considered as an exploration mission sent right to the hearts of consumers. These become essential because every UX or UI designer needs the data provided by this to be empathetic towards the user’s needs. Many experts in the field unanimously stress on the need for empathy in design. They opine that without understanding the feelings, sight, and experience of others it is pointless to design anything. This makes perfect sense, after all, UX or user experience is all about satisfying the user, making him comfortable while using that given piece of technology and that can only happen once you know what makes that consumer happy, what makes him twitch, what annoys him and what relaxes him, User research gives you all of these things and more.

User research brings in data through ethnographic studies, usability tests, interviews, surveys, statistical analyses and serves it to the designer, it provides him a window to the user’s mind and finally gives him an inspiration so as to “what to create.” The first and foremost outcome is exactly that, it provides the designers with inspiration and paints them a clear picture of whether their idea is relevant or not. This goes a long way. The data and its analysis are used to demonstrate to the companies the importance of these designs and to attract investors, capital and everything else that the designer needs to carry on. It even guides these big companies in the direction they should invest more in R&D. A classic example of the fact is Samsung TV. Before their embankment in the journey of user research, the global TV market was dominated by ostentatious boasting of their screen’s resolution, sound quality, etc. But Samsung’s research sung a different tale, it indicated that the audience cared much more about the looks and overall design of their television as compared to the technical feats it offered. People thought of the TV more like a piece of furniture than anything else and wanted it to fit in inside their rooms along with other things and not glare around looking out of place. As a result, Samsung radically altered its designs and the televisions they produced were more sleek, better looking and capable of merging in with its surroundings. Samsung’s share of the global TV market nearly doubled because of this endeavor. This and many more examples including those of Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo all giants in their respective fields had an epiphany that changed their profit sacks allowing their advancements in the field of User Research.

Another bright spot that this field highlights along with return on investment, relevance, etc. is in the arena of sales and advertisement. Advertising a product without knowing the user is the same as shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping it hits the bull’s eye. User research describes the demographics of the consumer in a way that enables the sellers to isolate the needs, necessities, likes, dislikes of a large number of consumers and finally isolate their own target customer. The 21stCentury is scattered with examples of companies providing fewer benefits to the consumer as compared to a rival company and yet showing more in sales. All of this hinges upon one thing- understanding the user, and accomplishing that is next to impossible without a good quality, comprehensive user research.

Thus, on the importance of user research, we may simply conclude that, for a designer to get inspiration for a product he needs user research, for a company to understand the return on investment and the relevance of a product it needs user research and finally for a seller to fix the price and finally sell the product he needs user research. Every step of the journey a lot of things change, but what remains constant is the need for quality user research.

UI Android vs iOS UI

Friday, January 24th, 2020

User Interface (UI) as dynamic as it is, individually takes yet another turn in the diversity section when we come to comparing Android and IOS.

You must have heard sagas of the differences between the android and iOS users each pleading a case of how their operating system is better than the other. But what you may not know is that this isn’t new, it has been the case for ages now. And, on no account can you term it as superficial. Android users do have a very tough time adjusting to iOS and vice versa. The “why” to this problem has a lot of little aspects and one major aspect. The major one is the differences in the UI of the two. Think about it, for instance, a layman while comparing two devices with these two operating systems may ignore for once, the differences in the complex configurations behind the processors in the two, but what he will always keep in mind is “how does is screen look?” “which icon goes where?” “how do you navigate through different pages?” and all of these have only one thing in common- UI.

Thus, it becomes essential for us to understand the differences between the UI in the two operating systems so that if need be we can make an informed choice and in a more competent fashion.

Now that we have started, we need to know where all will we be able to spot these differences. The best answer to this is — “If you scrutinize the subtle, then everywhere.” These differences are present everywhere — in the navigation bars, toolbars, types of control, buttons, and whatnot.

Out of these hundreds our focus first, obviously goes to navigation. Android is based on the material design guidelines, which is something widely accepted and followed globally even google uses them while developing its own applications. iOS, on the other hand, is based on the human interface design. One of the most noticeable differences in navigation is how android uses a “universal navigation bar” present at the bottom of the screen but iOS uses a combination of gestures and the home button. It also presents itself with an inbuilt “back button” in almost every one of its apps to help with the simple retracing of steps. Now you may be able to see how even a simple action as “going back” becomes so different with a change of UI.

Similar to navigation is another aspect — Menu. In Android, they generally have it in the form of a sidebar where you just tap and pull and voilà — you will have five to six apps ready to access. iOS, on the contrary, prefers a tab bar, which is placed at the bottom of the screen. These tab bars though according to various consumer analysis reports are easier to use, provide a lesser array of apps to be at the user’s disposal at one point of time.

The search field too is not left behind in this gabble of differences. In fact, the amount of comfort drawn from a device has a huge dependence on the accessibility of the search field and its placing and presentation in the two operating systems play a pivotal role in materializing the differences between the two. One of the most distinguishing in this arena is the placement. iOS demonstrates a certain amount of rigidity as the full search bar is placed at the top of the screen. Whereas Android provides its users with a little bit of flexibility on the matter. It gives the users an option to place the search bar on the top, which is majorly different from what was provided by iOS because this one only expands into a full search bar upon tapping the search icon. The second option enables the search bar to gain much-deserved mobility as Android presents the users with an option to access the search field in the form of a widget that can be placed according to the user’s whim.

Pages on the second or lower level of hierarchy use segmented control in iOS and a tab on the Android. Furthermore, all text tabs in Android are present in uppercase and in iOS as a title case. This coupled with a fact that Android UI comes with a “text-only” policy for these tabs, which allows no icons and texts to be present simultaneously on the tabs and that iOS has no such policy, gives another important point of distinction to the two operating systems.

Another fundamental difference between the UI of the two can be observed in the color and size of the apps provided, Android usually has a more multi-color approach, with icons which are big in size and have reasonable spacing in between, on the other hand, iOS prefers a black and white pallet with a more compressed outlook.

A large difference further exists in the form of buttons, dialogues, alerts, etc. But as we explore these and many more, we must also understand the fact that these are all very temporary. The general trend today shows enough cases that indicate that we are moving towards a more converging user interface present in Android and iOS. The addition of the “switch” option to Android from the exclusive domain of iOS being one of the many examples of the same.

So, after understanding the differences in the two UIs and analysing the various trends associated to it, one may also draw a parallel conclusion that with the passage of time as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable and demands for more and more freedom in mobility, structure and outlook, the products will begin to have more and more fluid user interfaces and thus skipping the boundaries drawn by the differences in the operating systems and ultimately being a junction of the two categories we see today!

Significance of Iconography

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words” you must have come across these words more than you can recall, but when it comes to the market for the companies this picture can be worth much more than a thousand dollars too.

Iconography is the art of developing and using icons to capture audiences, remove ambiguity from concepts and make the data provided easy to handle and more presentable. That must have sounded like too much for a picture, but believe me, all of these things and more do hinge upon the types of icons a company uses. Iconography today is playing a pivotal role in defining the good user experience and it is a testimony of just how germane this tool is that billions of dollars are spent annually by companies like Google, Facebook, Walmart, Samsung, etc. in this field.

The significance of iconography can be easily understood — just think of a brand, any brand. What are the first five things that come to mind? Several pieces of research conducted by experts in human behavior unanimously point out that it is the brand’s standard icon. For example, if I think of Gmail, one of the first things that pop into my head is that red M in an envelope. So, it is needless to say that the first and most primary importance of iconography is- assigning an identity to a company. The icons register in the brains of the users much easily as compared to any other feature and they have a higher chance of being identified when coming across randomly. The best example to demonstrate my last analysis would be the simple fact that how on any random web page when we see a little blue bird we know its twitter, even when no prior context is provided, same happens with the white f in a blue box or the white camera with a pink background.

Next on the list is — the implicit use of iconography. Icon does not just operate as an ID card for companies, they are also the tool which companies use to help navigate the users through the various pages present on their websites, etc. Suppose you want to read an article on sports and you open a news website then instead of scrolling through until you reach the desired section you can just click on the sports icon and directly reach it. Or suppose you just want to take a print out of the page, the print icon will be easily available and identifiable from the beginning and thus much easier to access if instead the word “print” were scribbled somewhere in the corner. Going back or forward on web pages, skipping pages icons make all these tasks much easy to perform owing to their easy to spot and convenient to access nature.

In a page full of text an icon provides perspective to the user. It draws attention to products, services, menu and features. You would not have to comb through tons and tons of words to finally reach the place you actually wanted to see. The amount of energy and time wasted otherwise would be much more than what anybody can afford to waste in today’s day and time. Moreover, icons provide a compact display of information in a more attractive and user-friendly manner. For example, my task bar is currently displaying a few icons — word, google chrome, files, music. Now just imagine if instead of showing these as icons my task bar would have just have these same written down in words, or on your smartphone instead of the bright little pictures of all those apps you would just have the said names typed in normal Arial, font size 10. How dull would all that be? Our speed of using these devices would reduce considerably and we would not want to spend as much time on these devices as we do, for the simple reason that they won’t be as attractive or comfortable to use. But with icons we have an inherent escape from these mundane problems. Moreover, with money flowing in from every crevice the R&D in iconography is so developed that all the colours, angles, edges, figures everything you come across in these icons are scientifically designed to provide you with an aesthetically pleasing sensation. So they are not just helping you in all these other tasks they are also making your subconscious happier just by being there- how great is that?

Started since the 18th century iconography has become an irreplaceable part of user-company interaction. It defines the user experience and plays a pivotal role in marketing and advertisement of products. Aside from conveying a tremendous amount of information in a compact yet the comprehensive way it makes navigation faster by multiple folds. Adding to the attractiveness, comfort accessibility iconography provides an identity to a company. It is a burning ground in both electronic and paper operated industries and has reached to a point where both the biggest giants in the industries as well as the feeble infants are pouring in large sums of money in developing icons and pursuing more and more dynamic and developed standards of iconography. A result of which can be seen all around on your desktops, mobile phones, billboards, etc. Where from every nook and corner there is one bright little icon peering over, grabbing your attention and holding your hand and taking you to wherever you want to go.

A facelift to the business world — Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of arenas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

Important Reasons to Redesign Enterprise Apps

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

It is a very well said proverb from Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, that “If you think good design is costly; you should look at the cost of bad design.”

With the help of user research, a well-designed enterprise app solves the actual problems of actual users. It very well understands the behavior of the user, its requirements and preferences, and the pain points that existing software is not able to address. Employees, organizations, and users are benefitted at large by a well-designed solution.

Here are some of the primary reasons why redesigning an enterprise application is essential.

  1. Advantage in competition

To outperform the competition that deploys the legacy application, agile enterprise applications give organizations a competitive edge. A lightweight application that is well included in the different business departments is a better tool for revenue optimization than the legacy application that slows down the work pace.

2. Improves efficiency

Enterprise apps are designed not on how employees work, but it is based on how the organization wants the employees to work. The employment of a user-centric approach to design is done to bridge this gap. UX designs improve the efficiency of the task they perform by resulting in faster and better workflows that are easy on the users.

3. Forecasting and data optimization

To unlock the actionable opportunities and business insights, new age enterprise application utilizes significant data capabilities. Big data analytics is provided by most modern-day companies to build services and products closest to their needs and to understand the customer better.

4. Cost-effective solution

Employees need little to no training for easy to use intuitive interface. Even a flexible or design-driven system considers the technological aspects and scalability, ensuring that the maintenance cost and set-up are optimized to a great extent.

5. Reduces cognitive load

Many users struggle to find the information with ease as most enterprise apps have an excessive amount of data or information on the same screen. We can ensure that there are fewer errors, and critical data is accessed faster by designing the interface keeping in mind the ability of human beings to process and perceive the information.

6. Higher employee satisfaction

The systems are built and sold to make the life of users productive and more accessible. The simplified interface must be a part of the human-computer interaction. Users are willing to use a digital tool when it is assistive rather than being burdening.

7. Empowers field workers

Enterprises that initiate the use of smart devices, especially tablets, allow the workers to know the real-time insights into the process of which they are a part of. It also gives them the ability to enter first-hand data from the ground back to the enterprise. It is a recurring cycle that results in the data being analyzed continuously and then re-fed in the form of business intelligence to the device of the workers.

Conclusion

Designing an enterprise application sounds easy, but in practice, it is an extremely tiresome process. Designers that are willing to be a part of the enterprise app designing process should understand the patience, commitment, and endless hours it requires.

Tips on Designing PWAs to Boost User Experience

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Businesses want to make their services and products accessible to a large number of people possible. To achieve a high level of accessibility, technological capabilities, and bandwidth reliability have stood continuously as a hurdle. This scenario is where PWAs come to the fore. These are nothing but a website that looks and behaves exactly like mobile apps.

Companies like Forbes have used PWAs to great success. They saw 2x increase in average user session length and 20% more impressions. However, to get such exceptional numbers, it is important to focus on UI/UX of the PWAs:

Below are some of the tips on designing PWA to get a much better UX.

  1. Focus on loading time

Search giant Google recommends some tips to ensure that users enjoy rich, fast, reactive web experiences

  • PRPL pattern — This pattern optimizes minimum time interaction and makes sure it acquires maximum efficiency in caching.
  • Service worker caching — Even if the pages are not open, service worker caching is a script that runs in the background of your browser. As they are excellent in caching, it allows PWA to serve the instant response on slow networks.
  • Server-side rendering — when the JavaScript fails or is disabled, users can get faster content with server-side rendering. It even allows the search engine to index it quickly.

2. Makes it User-centric

Making the PWA user-friendly is the ultimate goal that too fast and efficient as possible. For instance, ensure that the progress of the user is shown for every significant interaction. Also, ensure every item in your PWA has a purpose. Less and useful things usually make better UX.

3. Make it seamless

The things, instant loading, and providing smooth experience are both different. Ensure there are quiet and seamless transitions without any downtime, especially when users are processing payment and submitting forms. Users often bounce at clunky changes during these types of instances. So always keep this in mind when it regards your design.

4. Make it shareable.

PWAs do not provide easily accessible URLs. Therefore you need to ensure that users could still share whatever page they are looking at easily. To apply this on PWA, you can have a share button that allows the users to copy the URL on the clipboard. Make sure the loading of the third-party JavaScript is delayed when sharing social buttons until the primary content of the page is loaded.

5. Ensure flawless touch interactions

As a thumb rule, communications must be implemented flawlessly or not at all. It is because it is disgracefully difficult to implement advanced touch interactions like swipe to dismiss and pull to refresh. You can instead use a bottom navigation bar that does not suggest the possibility of advanced touch interactions.

6. Be iconic

When the PWA is added to the home screen of the user, you will want it to blend well with the native apps. Along with making it a natural fit, you will also want to ensure that it is flexible to the requirement of different platforms like IOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

When considering the low cost of building a single PWA for multiple devices and platforms, it makes a lot of sense for businesses. It is evident why PWA is the only one to replace traditional native apps in the upcoming future.

UI vs UX — The Yin & Yang of Product Design

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

If you are reading this, I assume you are a budding designer or developer who wants to understand the basics of this field or you might be a tech enthusiast who wants to learn more about design. In any case, you will find this article useful and it will be worthwhile of your valuable time.

What is UX and UI?

Even though you most likely know the full forms, I’m still going to mention it to keep things complete.

UX stands for User Experience.

UI stands for User Interface.

Now the definitions,

The term UX, in its current form, was introduced by Don Norman of Nielsen Norman Group in 1990. His main takeaway was this:

“User Experience” encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. It must be designed keeping the user in mind.

UI design stands for User Interface design. There is no such handy and clear definition of it, I’m afraid. Basically, the only consensus we’ve reached here is the definition at Wikipedia:

User interface design (UI) is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers […]. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals.

Okay, so yeah, all that Greek and Latin was for the nerds. What we need is a deeper and more useful understanding of these terms, terms which look short and sweet, but as we all know — looks can be deceiving.

A Better Understanding

Before going into their applications in the virtual world, let’s take a real-world example

Next time you’re in a car, pay closer attention to the button/switch that controls the hazard lights. Traditionally, in most cars, it’s the most central, best visible switch on the dashboard. The placement of that switch is a result of a UX decision. While the look itself is a UI decision.

Here’s what I mean; the moment when you actually need this switch, you’re probably in a high-stress situation and the last thing you want is to wonder where that cursed switch is. It has to be visible immediately, and for that, it needs to be in the most central location possible.

That switch is good UX.

Now coming back. What was the last application you downloaded or the last website you visited? Now they have to be the ones you saw and used for the first time and not the ones you are familiar with. Are you still using that application because of its usefulness or did you delete it from your phone after using it for a few days? Did that website make you want to read more of its content or made you surf more for a better website which does the same job?

If a number of apps and websites do the same job, then what makes a few of them more popular than the rest? This is where the UI and UX come in.

Basically, The UI is the series of screens, pages, buttons, visual elements and icons that we use to interact with a device.

And the UX is how the application responds to our commands and gives results to our clicks and queries. It is how well the application functions and responds to the consumers’ needs.

It would now almost be obvious that for an application or website to succeed, it’s UI and UX should be designed keeping the user in mind and should work hand in hand.

Take Google for example, the most popular and one of the simplest UI’s to ever touch the internet. Google.com only has a logo, search bar, and two buttons. Very simplistic, very easy to use and figure out, very appealing to the eyes and the mind. With a simple string typed in, you’ll get every relevant page of the digitized internet with just a click. That’s where this UI becomes one of the heavyweights. Designed keeping the user in mind. Any person who knows how to read can do a Google search and receive desired results. And the UX? It provides what the user was looking for. And also related searches if the user does not exactly know what he wants. At the end of the day, it leaves the user satisfied.

Elements of UI and UX Design

Customer and Competitor Analysis

The crucial first step to any creative job is knowing your audience. UX designers collect and analyze data to figure out what their users want. They also look at what other companies are doing to determine which web design features are most effective at converting potential leads.

Wireframing and Prototyping

UX designers provide prototypes for UI designers to build upon. This process always involves a lot of testing and iterations.

Performance Optimization

Apart from the structure of an application, the performance of an application is also important when discussing user experience. Implementing strategies to improve the perceived performance, as well as actual performance, are both necessary. Otherwise, many users may not even be able to get to navigate through the application or website due to slow load times which leads to bounces.

UI

The job of a UI designer is to take all of the market research and prototypes provided by UX designers to create attractive visual layouts that are responsive and guiding. The following tasks fall under the realm of UI design:

Guiding Users Through Visual Storytelling

Good UI understand how the human brain responds to visual cues. For example, how do you indicate to users that a graphic is a button they should click on rather than a random image? A UI designer’s job is to teach users how to use an app using as few words as possible. Like everything else in the development process, this step requires repeated prototyping and user testing.

Graphic and Animation Development

It should go without saying that UI designers need to be comfortable working with a range of animation and graphic design software. In addition to building graphical interfaces, UI designers also need to create logos and other marketing material.

Responsive Software Design

With the ever-expanding variety of mobile devices available, optimizing software for different screen sizes has become an art and science in itself. UI designers are at the forefront of the ongoing battle to make apps look their best on every device.

The Benefits of a Great Integration

Powerful user interfaces like Google.com can translate into more than just millions of page visits a day, it will translate into great user experience and in the long run more revenue, simply because you have a positive disposition about your user experience with the Google brand. So when they release new software like their own browser or their own smartphones, you’re more inclined to indulge and support those products and service just off the strength that you feel you can rely on them to give you great user experience. And this trust from your customers can turn you into the biggest and richest organization of this generation which can be profitable for years to come.

Conclusion

So is one of them more important than the other? If you’ve read the above paragraphs you already know the answer. But in case you’re unsure, remember this, something that looks great but is difficult to use is exemplary of great UI and poor UX. While something very usable that looks terrible is exemplary of great UX and poor UI.

So you see, they are both crucial, and while there are millions of examples of great products with one and not the other, imagine how much more successful they might have been when strong in both fields. Ending the post by quoting the man who revolutionized the tech industry and pioneered efficient and beautiful design his devices…

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works”
-Steve Jobs

What is the Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Meta-description: With Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Accelerated Computing, users can experience a faster and smoother running of applications, compared to a CPU.

Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing or GPU computing is the use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) as a co-processor for accelerating CPUs. This enhanced performance is utilized by the best graphic design companies for engineering and general-purpose scientific computing.

GPU was developed by NVIDIA in 2007, and since then, has aided in providing far superior application performance. It achieves this by removing process-intensive application sections. Today, GPU-accelerated computing can be employed in an array of rapidly-developing fields such as artificial intelligence, robots, drones, and autonomic cars.

How does GPU work?

The GPU enhances application performance on the CPU by offloading some of the portions of the code which are time-consuming and require plenty of computing, while the rest of the application still runs on the CPU. So, for the user, this means that the application runs much faster and smoother as it uses the massively parallel processing power of the GPU to boost performance. This is referred to as heterogeneous or hybrid computing.

GPU-accelerated computing has plenty of uses in all kinds of areas, including video editing, fluid simulations, medical imaging, and color grading, by the best graphic design companies and top UX design firms.

GPU vs. CPU

While a CPU is used for carrying out general-purpose work, GPUs are used for carrying out massively parallel operations. So, CPUs are commonly used in common devices we use today, such as smartphones, laptops, and washing machines. GPUs may be used for quickly taking the square root of all values in a region of memory. This makes them much faster in graphics-related and massively parallel jobs.

Another difference is that the CPU is made up of four to eight CPU cores, but on the other hand, the GPU is made up of hundreds of much smaller cores. The CPU and GPU then operate together to crunch through the data that they find in the application. Thanks to this massively parallel architecture, the GPU can carry out its high compute performance. As such, various GPU-accelerated applications are capable of providing an easy way to access HPC or high-performance computing.

Moreover, the CPU contains cores which have been designed for sequential serial processing, but the GPU’s parallel architecture contains smaller, but more efficient and powerful cores that can handle multiple tasks easily in parallel without any issues. As a result, GPU-accelerated computing performs sequential calculations in the CPU, while the GPU computes highly complicated calculations in parallel.

Adobe Photoshop Launched on iPad

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Last October, Adobe announced that it would soon be bringing its extremely popular photo-editing software Photoshop to iPads. Roughly a year later, the company has followed through and has released Photoshop on iPads. Adobe Photoshop is used heavily by the best graphic design companies and the top UX design firms.

Users of Apple’s tablets can download Adobe Photoshop on their device for free, and the download comes with a 30-day free trial. After the free trial period is over, users are required to pay $9.99 per month via in-app purchase if they want to continue using the app. They also have the option of including the app as part of a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

What can Photoshop on iPad do?

The tablet version of the Adobe’s software works just like the desktop version, and is compatible with any tablet that supports iPad iOS, including iPad Air, iPad Mini, the latest iPad, as well any iPad Pro model.

Even though it works the same way, Adobe has announced that the iPad version will not have all the features that the desktop version has. However, Photoshop for iPad Pro and the more recent models does support Apple Pencil and also allows users to edit PSD files.

According to Adobe, the iPad version will have a subset of the features found in the main application on desktops on initial release. The plan is to add more features over time. There is also a possibility that certain features may never be added on the iPad version of the software since, over the many years of its development, Adobe Photoshop has acquired different techniques to get the same results.

Adobe has said that for the first release, it has focused on features that will make the most of touch and the input from Apple Pencil. These features include retouching and core compositing tools, as well as improvements such as brush and mask support. Other features like smart selection, will be installed later.

In other words, to give users the best experience possible on the iPad screen, the interface of the software has been designed to be as similar as possible to the desktop application. However, Adobe has also considered features that will benefit most from touch and Pencil rather than keyboard and mouse control.

Thanks to its same PSD file format that is used in the desktop version as well, both the versions can share documents with each other. This means that the versions are kept in sync through the online Libraries storage of Creative Cloud.

The new release will definitely make the software more accessible, and will likely be used extensively by enterprises such as a creative graphic design agency.

Meta description: With the launch of Adobe Photoshop for iPad, users can now employ the popular photo editing software on their Apple tablets.

RCS Messaging

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Promising Successor to SMS.

Rich Communication Services Messaging, or RCS Messaging, is a protocol that is designed to enhance and succeed what we know today as SMS or Short Message Service. As a protocol between phone manufacturers and mobile operators, the goal is to eventually replace SMS and MMS so users can have a more enhanced texting experience designed by the best UI UX design services.

First formed in 2007, the GSM Association (GSMA) took over RCS, and in 2016, the members of GSMA, which are several mobile operators across the globe, agreed on a Universal Profile. This was a set of standards that every mobile operator, phone manufacturer, and software providers can follow to help implement rich communication services messaging on mobile devices.

What is the need for RCS messaging?

Despite its shortcomings compared to popular messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, SMS is still very popular today. Many users, both individuals, and businesses continue to use it even though it lacks features like group messaging features, read receipts, and fun, animated stickers.

Text messages can only be 160 characters in length and not a character more, which means that you have to keep them short and concise. On top of this, if you don’t have a mobile signal, or if you are on roaming, you cannot send a text message since the service depends on a cellular connection.

Ever since SMS was first proposed in 1982 and developed in the 90s, they haven’t been improved much since today. Especially when you compare them to advanced and user-friendly messaging apps today that support all kinds of features, SMS seem to be a thing of the past. Yet, it remains the most commonly used feature on a smartphone since 97 percent of smartphone users still communicate using text messages.

This is where Rich Communication Services messaging comes in. It combines all the best features of popular messaging apps today such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage to give users a platform that will be the successor of SMS.

As a result of the work of top UX design firms, RCS will look very similar to iMessage and other popular messaging platforms we use today. It is more interactive than SMS, allowing users to form group chats, send high-resolution images, as well as audio and video messages. It will also have features like reading receipts and will show you in real-time when someone is replying to your message.

RCS messaging is championed heavily by the GSMA, as well as the biggest names in tech such as Google and Android, Samsung, along with many other mobile phone manufacturers and carriers.

Google Bert Update

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Almost five years ago, Google introduced a development known as RankBrain to its search system. Now, it has rolled out a new change known as BERT, and the company calls it “the biggest change of the last five years”. This means that BERT is the biggest change to hit Google’s search system since RankBrain came out, and we can only expect a huge impact on searches.

BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a neural network-based technique for language processing. It is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) that has been pre-trained in the Wikipedia corpus and is capable of helping Google gain a better understanding of language, content, and queries so that it can serve better results to users, including enterprises such as top UX design firms and individual users.

Google said BERT helps better understand the nuances and context of words in searches and better match those queries with more relevant results. It is also used for featured snippets. What makes BERT unique is that it can use the context and relations of every word that is found in a sentence, as opposed to one by one in order. This means that simply by looking at the words that come before and after a particular word, BERT is capable of figuring out and understanding the full context of that word.

Understanding BERT better

With this new technology, Google can gain a better understanding of the full list of a query that a user has. To better explain this, Google even gave a very simple example that is easy to understand. If a user searches for “2019 brazil traveller to USA need a visa”, the word “to” and how it relates to the other words used in the query is very important if Google is to give relevant and useful results for the users.

Google Bert simulation

Initially, Google did not have the technology to understand the context of the word “to” and so, it would provide results related to U.S citizens who are travelling to Brazil, rather than a Brazilian travelling to the U.S. In other words, it was not capable of returning accurate, relevant results which the user was looking for.

However, with BERT, the search engine will be able to understand these words in queries a little more like humans do, meaning that it is able to understand the importance of the word “to” in this particular query. Thus, with BERT, Google is able to provide enhanced user experience by returning highly relevant results.

Meta description: Google Bert is a new algorithm from the tech giant that can help in improving search results by a better understanding of language.

How to Design an Amazing UI for a Web Design Project

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Website design UI is an intricate discipline that dictates how users interact with your website and your brand. A good website should always focus on the user while they are on the site so that they can deliver a smooth and seamless user interface.

Below, we take a look at how you can deliver such an experience for a web design project.

Everything users need should be easily accessible

One of the most important rules to follow is to make everything easily accessible for the users. When people visit your website, they should be able to find everything they need quickly so that navigating through the site becomes easy. Otherwise, they will likely get frustrated and leave your site, thereby increasing your bounce rate.

This means that you should organize your tools using tabs, hover tooltips, shortcuts, etc. every option or button should be clearly labelled so as to avoid confusion.

Be smart about element placement and design

All the elements of your website should be well designed and strategically placed so that it supports a smooth UI. A common rule is that the most important functions should be placed at the top of the page so users don’t have to struggle to find them. They should also be larger and generally more prominent. When users scan a page, they usually go from left to right, and top to bottom, so make use of this when it comes to element placement.

Color and contrast, and whitespace are also important elements that can help guide users through your page.

Help users understand what is going on by giving feedback

By providing your users with feedback while they are on your site, you help them understand what is going on. For example, if they press a button that downloads something, you can notify them that the button was successfully clicked on by making the button appear to sink into the page. You can also let them know that the download is in progress by adding an icon that shows the download progress. The idea here is to assure your users by acknowledging that an action has been taken.

Follow design standards

This may sound simple and silly but it is something that many designers need to be reminded of. If design standards work well, there is no need to try something completely different. Visitors to your site are already used to certain design standards such as certain icons standing for something or element placements, and it’s best to carry over these standards to your site as well.

Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In this increasingly digital world we live in today, thousands of mobile apps are released every single day. Our reliance on our smartphones has made mobile app development one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and businesses are investing heavily in it.

To reap maximum benefits from this investment, cross-platform app development is the way to go for businesses. Here are a few reasons why:

Reduced development costs and time

Any app design agency knows that cross-platform app development means quicker turnaround since there is only one app to be developed for all platforms. Rather than having to build multiple apps for each platform, which would take a lot of time, you just have to develop a single app that can function across platforms. Not only does this reduce development time, but it also reduces the cost.

Easier maintenance with reduced costs

The fact that there is only one app to focus on for all platforms is what makes maintenance and updates so easy. You can sync updates across all platforms, thus saving a lot of time and money. Besides, cross-platform apps can be updated automatically for each user since they are accessed using the internet. This means that users can have the latest version of the app at all times.

Ability to effectively reach the target audience

If you want maximum exposure to your target audience, then a cross-platform app is one of the best ways to go about it. This allows top UX design firms to make use of various platforms, whether Android or iOS, or even the web, with just a single app that is capable of running smoothly and efficiently on these platforms.

Reusable code

Cross-platform app development is a lot more efficient in all ways because you can use reusable code. There is no need for app design agency developers to write new and unique code for every platform. Instead, you can use a single code, again and again, thereby saving time and resources. For instance, Xamarin allows easy code sharing across platforms, making the entire development process a whole lot easier.

Simple cloud integration

Another reason why cross-platform apps are great for your business is that they can be easily integrated with the cloud for hosting services. This means that the app is more functional and scalable as the single code source can be coordinated with different extensions and plug-ins. For example, with nodeJS, you can build a cloud-native app very easily. In other words, a top UI UX design agency can give you an almost universally-compatible app.

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