5 Essential SaaS Tools Every Developer Should Use in 2021

As a product developer, many tools and software are useful to have available in your technology stack. The benefit of using such tools can help make the development process more efficient and hopefully guide your product to a successful launch.

SaaS tools can be utilized in various ways when it comes to your role as a developer. Without these tools, you may find yourself underperforming and seeing your business operations transcend into chaos. These tools can provide order for the most part but will ultimately make your work as a developer easier and more efficient.

This article will share five essential SaaS tools that every developer should have in their digital toolkit for 2021.

AbstractAPI to Retrieve Important Data

For any team member involved in the product’s production, it’s useful to have access to data and use data analytics for more informed decision-making. When it comes to Application Programming Interfaces, there are three main types; private, partner, and public.

Abstract API-SaaS Tools

The public APIs are the easiest to access, but they can be a little more tricky to access for partner ones. Extracting any data type that might help improve your product’s value and effectiveness on the market is key. According to Harvard Business School, the biggest problem companies face when launching a new product is a lack of preparation.

There are benefits from collecting data to influence the success of the launch and ensure that what you’re putting on the market is something your customer needs.

With that being said, AbstractAPI can provide powerful data that can automate certain tasks and enhance the user experience that your customers will eventually receive. It’s a simple tool to implement and has access to a huge library of APIs. From IP Geolocation to phone and PHP email address validation.

APIs can increase productivity, improve connectivity and collaboration, while more importantly, enhancing your customer’s experience of the product.

See More: What is the Windows API?

Jira for Product Management

Atlassian’s Jira is a great one for product management, and as a developer, you’ll be part of the overall process. Knowing what you need to work on and any changes can be updated through Jira. There are challenges that many projects can face when building a project.

Jira Align provides a collaborative roadmap document that gathers all the information you need in one place. It also helps communicate the strategy aligned with what you and the team are delivering.

As a developer, you need to ensure that everything you do, aligns with the budget, vision, and goals of the project as a whole.

Jira for Product Management

There are some great features with Jira when it comes to product development. Some of these features include:

  • Sprint team analytics – Statistics such as team emotion, spring goals, and velocity.
  • Quality management – provides a visual snapshot of quality for each product line per release, including any defect or test case breakdowns.
  • Retrospectives – Progress reviews to help the team derive ideas and to improve the process.
  • Detailed team progress – With sprint progress metrics, helps the team discover the time used and scope increases that contribute to the delivery of tasks.

The tool helps all team members of the project with end-to-end visibility, which helps deliver more effective communications and maintains any strategy in place.

Zoom for Team Meeting and Development

Communication is key when it comes to any project that involves more than one person working on it. With some product developments, you may have to interact with colleagues from design or marketing, communicate with any outsourced parties, and keep your stakeholders happy.

The product manager may choose to hold regular meetings to oversee what progress is being made from the developers to those marketing the product for launch. PMs spend around 52% of their time on unplanned fire-fighting activities.

Zoom for Team Meeting-SaaS Tools

Having a tool like Zoom can help communicate and help preempt the problems that could occur and do damage control for things that have already happened.

There are plenty of perks for using Zoom as a developer. It’s great for conducting presentations to your product management or other team members or stakeholders. The screens are great for presenting and as software, it’s got plenty of flexible plans and packages to suit what you require.

Parlor for Customer Feedback

As a developer, data is a great way of understanding what the customer needs from the product you’re developing. When you provide your users with more value on what they spend, they’re more likely to buy from you again. Creating that brand loyalty is key to maintaining the success of your products.

Parlor for Customer Feedback

There are lots of ways that Parlor works to collect feedback. It monitors customer accounts, tracks their progress, and reports on any needs that haven’t been met. It can also identify key risk indicators early enough to take action before it’s too late.

Parlor takes charge of the customer lifecycle, whether onboarding them to recognizing what they need from future products. The platform can also integrate with other tools such as Jira, Zendesk, and Slack.

Github for Building Code

The SaaS market is currently growing by 18% each year. That means more and more organizations are utilizing SaaS tools to help build their businesses. For developers, code is an important part of building a product, whether it’s an app, website, or software. Github is one of many SaaS tools that are used for building code.

A million developers and companies use Github as a development platform for building, shipping, and maintaining their software. There are many advantages to using Github as the go-to for coding, and it offers collaborative opportunities if you’re one of many developers working on the product in question.

github for code building-SaaS Tools

The platform also uses automation for everything, whether that’s CI/CD, testing, project management, issue labeling, onboarding, and more. It’s one that also creates and scales best practices as well as keeping everything secure and compliant.

Github does more than just offer a space for creating code; and it helps encourage collaboration and creates a community when building code.

Also, You Can Read 12 Marketing Tools That Will Help to Achieve Business Goals

The Benefits of SaaS Tools

SaaS tools, in general, have many benefits, whether you’re using them as a developer or collectively as a business. Using SaaS across many areas of your business can be helpful for all those who get to use them.

It’s affordable for all organizations

Regardless of your budget, whether it’s a small or large-scale project, SaaS software is a lot more affordable than you think. Most operate on a subscription service, so you don’t need to worry about being contractually tied into software for longer than a month at a time. SaaS subscription models make it a lot more financially viable because there are no up-front costs that price out those smaller businesses or start-ups.

Easy to implement and deploy

Whenever you introduce a new system or way of working, it usually throws off your employees or sends the organization into disarray. With SaaS solutions, they’ve been developed and created for use online via your web browser. There are very few that would need anything other than a web browser and online access. It makes it easier to implement into your business and deploy across all relevant employees who will use it.

Flawless updates and upgrades

As a SaaS, any updates and upgrades are done without you needing to do anything. That means no installing or downloading patches to update the software. It saves you the time of having to wait for these updates or upgrades to install, and you can be assured that when you access the software online, you’ve got the most recent, up-to-date version available.

Great customer service and support

According to Hubspot Research, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. For any business looking to invest in SaaS software, you can rest assured that many SaaS tools will offer the very best in client service and support.

SaaS service providers need to guarantee that their application is accessible and understood by all those who use it. If it isn’t, then there’s a duty of care that these providers need to give to retain those clients and avoid them going elsewhere.

Compatability

Integration is an effective way for a business to streamline a lot of its processes, including product development. A lot of the SaaS tools you’ll come across will have the capability to combine with other SaaS tools. This can help centralize a lot of the work your company is doing and ultimately bring more of the workforce closer together.

Suitable for remote working

Remote working is on the rise, and with many projects that involve product development, not all your staff will be in the same place at the same time. That’s why a SaaS tool is so useful because it can be accessed anywhere and at anytime. There’s no need to have your desktop or laptop to hand, with many having mobile applications for those on the go.

Check Out the Quick Video Review On SaaS Ideas

Source: TK Kader

Conclusion

Every developer can benefit from SaaS tools when it comes to product development. Not only does it help with improving efficiency, but it also brings together the rest of the organization involved in the project.

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12 Most excellent B2B Mobile Apps for Managing Your Business on the Go
How to Automate your Work with Zapier and WPForms
Github: One of the Best Development Platform
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Top 15 Mobile App Marketing Strategies that You Can Implement Easily

Top 15 Mobile App Marketing Strategies that You Can Implement Easily eBuilderz featured image

Introducing a mobile app to an already saturated market is quite a challenge. Google Play store has approximately three million applications on its platform, and the second most popular platform – the Apple App store – hosts two million apps.

Developing an app is only the first step. Your goal is to make it accessible to the users, simultaneously competing with others in the same business.

So, how do you capture the interest of your audience?

The first step is to have a dedicated marketing plan. Chalk out a robust marketing plan for when you launch the app officially. The impression you make during the first few days is crucial, and the following steps will help you strategize the right plan.

1. Pay Attention to the App Interface and Appearance

There are several options available to the user. So, the first impression that your application has on your audience is of paramount importance. The first thing that grabs the attention of your audience is the design and appearance.

For your app to perform well, it has to generate enough interest appearance-wise too. Nobody likes a cluttered and tough-to-navigate interface.

For a start, keep it minimalistic while not making it too drab. Having built-in features such as text to speech or additional customization options is a bonus too.

2. Make Sure to Specify What Your App Stands For

Your target audience needs to know what purpose your app serves. Hence, it is beneficial to state in brisk terms under which category your app belongs. Is it a productivity app or for entertainment?

Mentioning the function in the title space is a good idea; it helps the audience find your app. Also, each time they type the keyword – for example, “productivity”- your app will be auto-suggested by Google’s search engine.

3. Ensure Your App is Getting an Adequate Number of Reviews

Reviews are instrumental in increasing your credibility in the eyes of the customer. As per recent reports, 77% of users consult app reviews before installing them. There are a lot of malicious apps, which when downloaded, can compromise the phone’s security.

app reviews-mobile app marketing

Customer reviews ensure what the user is downloading is legitimate and authentic. Ratings and reviews also decide how your app ranks and Better-rated apps are more easily discoverable.

4. Create a Landing Page for Your App

A landing page differs from a home page because it is more action-focused, has minimal links, and usually ends with a call-to-action. You can even use landing pages for offers or discounts.

Make sure your app’s landing page is sleek and concise. It cannot be too crowded. App landing pages generally highlight the top features of the application. In the end, it provides a direct link to the app stores for download.

See More: 6 Features to Consider for Your Next Mobile App

5. Use SEO for Your App

To reach the maximum number of people, you need to improve your in-app tactics. It is a well-known fact that content optimization influences search engine results, and it works for in-app results.

Add a meta title with the relevant keywords. Make sure you add a brief description as well, in simple and easy terms.

List the features of your app in bullet points, making it easy to read. If you have added new features, mention that under an added features banner. Adding a preview video highlighting the usability of the app, along with screenshots, is also helpful.

6. Create a Social Media Presence

For using your application, your prospective customers need to be aware of it. The easiest way to create awareness is by reaching out to them through social-media forums, and people from all generations have social media account in the present day.

Once you discover your target audience, you can tailor your content according to their needs and present it. Facebook and Twitter are helpful platforms.

social media presence-mobile app marketing

Build an informative and eye-catching business page that enables your audience to connect with you. Update your page regularly and try to take it visually appealing. If you can establish a good rapport, customers will more likely choose your product.

7. Use Social Media Influencers to Build Brand Reputation

Approach reliable influencers to advertise your brand to their followers, and it is a popular way of familiarizing the audience with your product. If your app is something related to productivity or education, approach a book blogger or book-tuber.

In this way, you will get in touch with the right audience who will be more inclined to use your app, says Neil Rollins, Operations Manager at Haitna.

You can provide discount codes to the audience when they use the link provided by the influencer. You can also organize giveaways with your collaborators. It brings us to our next point.

8. Use App-Only Coupons or Promotions

You can offer deals and promotions to the users that they can avail of on downloading the app. It automatically increases the rate of downloads among customers. For instance, you can give first-time users a discount or even give them a free trial.

A lot of apps have a seven-day free run before they start charging the users for their services. You can also keep your services free initially to gauge customer reaction, and you can decide to monetize it later based on user opinion.

9. Run YouTube Advertisements for Your App

Opting for digital marketing methods to promote your mobile app is not only cost-effective but also efficient. People are more likely to come across a YouTube advert than any other traditional means of advertisement.

That is not to say that conventional adverts are ineffective. But it is an era of the smartphone with approximately six billion smartphone users across the globe. Also, there is a lot of flexibility with YouTube.

For instance, you can choose the length of the advert and when to show it. You do not have to pay for it if the user skips over the ad, making it an inexpensive method.

10. Make Use of Traditional Methods of Advertisements for Promoting Your App

Using billboards, newspaper, or magazine advertisements are also a good option. Even though the reach of such advertisements is less compared to digital marketing, they still work.

You have to make them visually appealing so that they grab the attention of prospective customers at once.

traditional method for promoting app-mobile app marketing

Compared to digital modes, they are not very flexible, and there is no way of rectifying them once done. They are also more expensive, and there is no guarantee they will reach the right audience.

11. Use Cross-Promotion to Market Your App

Partnering with other apps is a great way to familiarize your audience with your app. We often come across social-media interactions between two companies, which might be in the form of a casual conversation, which are subtle marketing tactics. There are also direct means of marketing.

For example, if you are a food-delivery app, you can partner with fast-food chains. You can promote their apps on your platform in exchange for the promotion that they do for you.

If done correctly, both parties can increase their exposure and reach a large audience base.

12. Run In-Store Advertisements

Make use of app store advertisements to promote your app. When the user searches for “entertainment” apps, you can ensure your app displays as the first result. So, even if they aren’t looking for your app specifically, they will come across it.

Paid promotion of your app makes it appear in the dashboard as soon as the user logs in. In this way, it makes the app more noticeable for the customers.

Also, You Can Read 12 Marketing Tools That Will Help to Achieve Business Goals

13. Carefully Research Your Competitors to Devise a Marketing Plan

Researching your competitors helps you determine a proper strategy. You have to make sure that you stand out among all the similar app producers. Assess their advertising strategies and how they appeal to customers.

Make sure to pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, consider their pricing plans, market share, and target audience. Based on your research, try and improve your marketing plan.

14. Create Video Content to Reach New Customers

Videos are a trend nowadays and a very effective way to capture new audiences. Make informative videos that are visually appealing. Sites like Biteable allow you to create videos for free and also provide an array of templates that you can choose for your video-making process. It has to be short and to the point, so enlisting all the features is not a good plan.

Focus on how your app is different from the rest, and offer an incentive to urge the audience to act urgently.

15. Always Remember to Monitor Your Mobile App KPIs

Keeping an eye on your KPI metrics helps you improve the performance of your app. The factors that you need to measure are daily and monthly active users in particular. The metrics indicate how many users use your app on a single day and every month.

monitor your mobile app-mobile app marketing

Apart from that, it is necessary to track the customer retention rate. It helps you gauge the customer’s opinion. You can also measure the number of people who return to your app, again and again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is App Marketing?

App marketing refers to the marketing of a mobile app across all internet platforms. It employs a set of tactics that familiarizes your application with users and improves its app store ranking.

There are paid methods of marketing, such as through PPC adverts or social media. Companies can also aim to grow their customer base more organically – for instance, through SEO, blog posts, and others.

App marketing uses several channels for promotion—for example, social media, app stores, etc. There are also more traditional methods such as billboards, newspapers, and magazine advertisements.

2. What Are the Best App Marketing Strategies?

Some of the best app marketing strategies are –

1. Social media marketing – Using channels such as YouTube or Facebook, and other platforms, they prove to be very effective for marketing your app.

2. By collaborating with influencers – Promote your app with the help of influencers since they have an organic base of customers who can be prospective leads.

3. By using online advertisements – Place short advertisements with necessary keywords. When the customer is searching for similar apps, the search engine shows your app as well.

4. By monitoring the KPI metrics – You need to understand the customer’s reaction to your app. Depending on the feedback you receive, you can fix any app drawbacks.

3. What is the Estimated Cost of Mobile App Marketing?

It depends on the channels of advertisement that you use. The average cost of social media advertising can range between $15-$200 a day, and the minimum rate of YouTube marketing is around $50. But it is also a more cost-efficient option since you do not have to pay when the users do not click on your advert.

Press releases cost about $150. Television advertisements do not cost as much; the rate is around $17 per day. However, the reach of digital marketing platforms is wider. Hence, it is a better choice.

4. How Can You Promote Your Mobile App with Digital Marketing?

There are some common channels for promoting your app through digital marketing. They are:

1. Prepare attractive videos and other promotional content. Advertise them across all digital platforms.

2. Find collaborators to promote and advertise your app.

3. Apply cross-promotions with other companies and advertise each other’s apps.

4. Ask for app reviews as they increase the credibility of your app.

Check Out the Quick Video Review On Mobile App Marketing Strategies

Source: Evan Carmichael

Conclusion

As already stated, promoting an app in a digital age with so many options available is quite tricky. You need to capture the audience’s attention and convince them to select your app over the others. However, the channels of promoting your app are several as well. With the correct marketing strategy up your sleeve, you can turn it into a popular venture.

 

Here are few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
12 Most excellent B2B Mobile Apps for Managing Your Business on the Go
6 Features to Consider for Your Next Mobile App
How Mobile Apps Impact Peoples’ Lives in 2021

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How Do You Design A Good Presentation: 5 Top Tips To Follow

How Do You Design A Good Presentation 5 Top Tips To Follow eBuilderz featured image

Presenting your work to higher management is an essential and integral part of a corporate job. They are extremely effective in gathering ideas and gaining personal connections. More often than not, many people fill with immense dread when they are chosen to give a good presentation in front of an audience. Only a handful of them relishes the spotlight on them.

feature image

Also, there is no denying that we have all sat through bad presentations at some point in time in life. Presentations that come with messy PowerPoint designs and long boring speeches completely take away the appeal of visual presentations.

So how to design an amazing presentation that can appeal to your audience simply by the look and feel? The two major pillars that can make or break your presentation are design and content. While you can perfect your speech with practice, the designs and the images on your presentation slides can either greatly convince your audience or simply let them feel disappointed and bored.

Let’s learn how to design a good presentation. Here are some quick and effective tips that you can follow to design a great presentation for your next audience meet.

5 Amazing Tips for Designing a Great Presentation

There are certain basic principles for designing a good presentation. Learning about them and implementing them in your next presentation will add credibility to your profile. Here is a quick presentation design guide that will help you design your next slides and will do you a world of good.

1. Outline a solid framework for your presentation

outline solid frameworks-good presentation

To start a new presentation from scratch, the first thing you need to think, decide and put down on paper is a framework for the presentation. It should have the details about what message you want to present to your audience in your presentation.

Designing a framework helps you make a clear idea about the kind of text you should use in your slides and what visuals would go with those texts. Unless you know the type of information you plan to share; it can be difficult to choose the slide design, fonts, and other elements that can support your presentation well.

A good layout with spaced content makes for an effective presentation that can control the data and the hierarchy of the information flow.

Once the framework is ready, you can start putting your thoughts on placing your text, setting the tone of the presentation, the context, and how the text will hold on to each other on the slides. All these small tasks together will give you a good start towards amazing presentation slides.

2. Ensure the Readability of your Presentation

Often we come across such presentation slides that are filled with loads of information. Most of the time, people do not even make an effort to read through it. Do you know why? Because there is too much information in too little space. It cramps not only the slide but your audience’s minds too. So the audience chooses to skip the text completely.

Unless your audience can read through the message you wish to share with them, there is no point in creating and sharing a presentation. A good-looking presentation, thus, is not enough. You need to ensure that your audience can read through it and digest the information.

Focus on the font

The first thing that you have to focus on in your presentation is the text font. The font should not be large, nor should it be tiny. They must not be painful for the audiences’ eyes. Always put yourself in your audiences’ shoes. How do they see it? Do they find the text too small? Does the text look too large and cramps the slides? Presentations are meant to share information with your audience. So you must give priority to their comfort.

Use fonts that are legible on the big screen and even from a fair distance. Do not use two different fonts on your slides. Stick to a single font style throughout to maintain consistency. The best and the most popular font used for presentation slides is San Serif. The font size ideally should be 30 points.

Add good margins on both sides of the slides.

To make the text of the slides look spaced out, use margins on both sides of the slides. Also, lots of text on a single slide can make it look intimidating. Limit each line to a maximum of 8-10 words for best readability. Long paragraphs are often overlooked by people simply because they cause exhaustion to the eyes.

Follow the 6 X 6 rule.

To make your content spaced out equally, you can follow the 6X6 rule. It simply means add a maximum of 6 sentences on a single slide. Remember what works here is the popular saying- “less is more.”

See More: 5 Best UI/UX Design Tools For The Modern-Day Designer

3. Present your Information Effectively

put information correctly-good presentation

Most corporate employees feel presentation means documents compiled with loads of charts and graphs that are complicated to understand. But on the contrary, a presentation is supposed to ease out the complex data into visually appealing information that is easy to understand and digest.

These days, several presentation design guides are available that offer various ready templates that can be used for presentations. You can also embed videos and use memes and gifs on these ready presentation templates. Nonetheless, these presentation design guides make your life much easier for sure.

Infographics are an excellent way to get the desired attention from your audience. You can add infographics to your presentation to make it look more attractive and interesting.

Organize the information on the slides

The thumb rule is to break any information into three basic parts. Arrange them in order of their importance. This simple task will help you turn a slide full of text into a well-designed, organized visual that is informative and appealing in all aspects.

Emphasize the important points

Highlight the important points in bolder fonts or by using a different colored font. It will emphasize the points and make it easier for your audience to understand the gist of your presentation.

Add visuals only where it is necessary.

Do not add visuals to make your presentation look appealing. It can turn the table down and make your slides look cluttered. Only add visuals when necessary. It is a good idea to add gifs as reaction slides. For instance, if you add data charts in your slides that present shocking data, you can also add funny reaction gifs to those slides. It will add a fun factor to your presentation and give your audience a thing to smile about.

No one wants to read boring presentations that are cluttered with a lot of data. Make the ambiance a little lighter for your audience with infographics, visuals, and even memes that look relevant for your presentations.

4. Choose an Appropriate Theme for your Presentation.

proper theme-good presentation

The best way to choose a good color for your presentation slides is to keep in mind how they will be shared. If you want to show your presentation on a big screen, use high contrasting colors for your slides. For instance, if you choose dark backgrounds, use light-colored fonts and bright accent colors to bring contrast to your design. But don’t forget to choose colors that are soothing to the eyes of your audience.

Your content on the slides will often be judged by your audience for the design elements used in them. So it is important to choose the colors, design, and fonts rather carefully. But what can be the best color to use for your presentation? Well, the simple answer is every color has its space in presentation. Depending on the content of the presentation and the ambiance in which it is presented, you can make your color choice.

Also, You Can Read 12 Marketing Tools That Will Help to Achieve Business Goals

5. Set the tone, Context, and Visual Consistency

Visual consistency is extremely important for a presentation. You might design several slides, and individually they might all look great. But unless they work together to make a cohesive unit, they won’t make sense with your audience.

How to build consistency and keep up with it?

The slide frames and, of course, the slides’ background can help you create certain consistency for your presentation. Keep all the slide backgrounds the same across the presentation. You can also add a top bar to all the slides to maintain consistency.

All these will matter once you have set the right tone and context for your presentation. Depending on your audience, data and context, you must set the tone of the content. The tone should not be light-hearted, neither should it be curt or informal. Maintain a formal and professional tone that makes an impact on the minds of your audience.

Follow a single style on all the slides. You can also choose a readymade template from the presentation style guide. There are hundreds of them available, and all of them look equally amazing. Simply add your brand logo, brand colors, and custom fonts. It makes your task much easier with minimum effort. It is a good way to at least start building your presentation and incorporate various data into it.

The best way to style your slides is to add texts that are either bold or in italics. Only these fonts can stand out on the slides and catch the eyes of your target audience easily. But make sure to use these tricks sparingly, as any over-styling of the slides can make it look cluttered.

The context of your presentation is yet another crucial factor for a good presentation design. Not everything goes well with everything. For instance, you might use bright font colors like fluorescent green and hot pink if you present retailer products. But when it comes to presenting an annual report for a Fortune 500 company, would you use the same colored fonts? Will they go with the context of the data? Of course not. To make it more suitable for the context and the ambiance, you must choose font colors like black and navy blue.

Here is another bonus tip just for you. Do not use bullet points for your slides. You must have come across numerous presentation slides over the years that are covered with bullet points. But if you want your presentation to stand out, stay away from adding bullets to your slides. There are many different ways to create visually appealing and engaging slides, and bullets need not be necessarily in them.

Check Out the Quick Video Review On How Do You Design A Good Presentation

Source: Rule The Room

Conclusion

There is often a misconception that a presentation is meant to deliver information concisely. However, it is not always true. You can call your presentation skills successful when you engage your audience with your speech and the dataset. A great presentation can also be inspirational and motivational for your audience.

Make your presentation an interactive one. Your audience must remember the key takeaways from your presentation once you are done with it. They must be asking questions to you about what they just learned from you. To make an impact in their minds, use high-quality images in your slides.

And finally, “research and rehearse” should be the mantra for your presentation. Research your content well, design them well and rehearse them all before performing in front of your audience.

It might take you some more time and effort to design a great presentation. But with these awesome design tips, you can do it for sure. Also remember, a great design is an integral part of the presentation slide. Presenting it with meaningful and valuable content is also equally important.

Make your audience simply go wow with your presentation. They should talk about your presentation long after you are done with it. Follow the above tips and rock your next presentation.

Here are few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:

5 Basic Principles of Graphic Design You Need to Know
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Best Practices With Dark UI In Web Design

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5 Best UI/UX Design Tools For The Modern-Day Designer

5 Best UI UX Design Tools For The Modern Day Designer eBuilderz featured image

If you are a web experience designer, design tools are an integral part of your life. After all, managing the complex, ever-evolving design process is anything but easy.

UI/UX Design

Design tools ensure that your work landscape is clutter-free and optimized for quality work.

But the problem is with so many design tools being launched into the SaaS market space every day, choosing your ideal option is almost always an overwhelming experience. Moreover, every design tool claims to deliver the same features, performance, and experience.

The million-dollar question is how to solve this challenge.
Fret not. You have help.

Let’s unbox the power of tools that no designer can resist.

In this post, we will reveal the top five design tools that will make your design venture easier in 2021.

Top 5 Tools that a UI/UX Designer should have in their list in 2021

Every high-performance design tool has one core purpose: to streamline the design process. Be it user experience tools or user interface designing tools; if your toolkit is not capable of decluttering your design space, they are not doing their job well.

This means each of the tools that you choose need to be a master of their core activity. Be it driving more functional designs or improving the aesthetics for your end-users for mass adoption of your product, these tools must complement your potential as a designer.

The following section gives you a detailed view of all the top tools you can use to streamline your entire design process while improving the quality of your designs simultaneously. Let’s dive in.

1. Adobe XD

Adobe XD

When it comes to user experience design tools, Adobe XD tops the chart for obvious reasons.

With its gen-next user experience, flexibility, and advanced features creating complex designs and workflows is a cakewalk. For maximum adoption, the software comes in both versions: Mac OS and Windows. The best part is you can now create your best designs only with voice control.

The tool has extended its capability and the process of importing files from other software simple, intuitive, and, more importantly, fast. This makes the development of responsive designs by any means, be it: recreate, alter, mockup, or from scratch is dirt simple.

Adobe XD packages come with different types of plans and pricing. We can say Adobe takes care of its users very well. Here are some of its features.

  • Interoperability – XD It is just so compatible with other tools it auto connects with other tools like slack and Microsoft teams etc. It can move from macOS to windows.
  • Voice Control – Ever thought that with the help of your voice, you could design? With the XD tool anything is possible. You can create your design by simply narrating the look of it. All you need for your best idea to take shape is to lend your voice.

Pros:

It comes with all types of artboards with tutorials to walk you through. Clean and clear designs provide you enough workspace to work and enhance your designs.

Cons:

If you wish to see a demo of the prototype of smartphones in real-time, it only works with macOS. You don’t have the option to customize geometric shapes.

2. Maze

Maze

Maze is all you need to bring your designs to life. It is a great tool for building as well as

Integrating an interactive and intuitive dashboard, the tools offer powerful features to make your design journey easy. No matter what stage of the design you are in, whether it’s wireframing, prototyping, or reiteration, Maze has got you covered. To do this, it uses the following features:

  • User testing: It is critical for the overall success of the design. Without testing your design hypothesis on real users, optimizing user experience is like walking in the dark.
  • Design collaboration: With Maze, you can easily collaborate on designs with your peers and mates and offer everyone the opportunity to access valuable insights that will further optimize the user experience. With this tool, you will be able to test, learn, and take action rapidly.

Pros:

Using Maze is an easy-to-use interface with a faster learning curve. It brings users a wide range of interactions with the internal designer or developer of a team. One more must-have feature that attracts users is its easy integration with the design tool Sketch.

Cons:

It would be great if there is more context in terms of instructional videos and also the fact that a few pieces are not editable, which makes it a little confusing for the tester. Though not a con, it would definitely be helpful if the tool offers branching options, such as a one-line questionnaire to add at least one project for both Android and iOS testers.

See More: Best Practices With Dark UI In Web Design

3. Figma

Figma-design tools

“Nothing great is brainstormed alone

Nothing great is designed alone

Nothing great is built alone

Nothing great is made alone.”

These taglines on the Figma website aptly describe the tool. This increasingly popular UI/UX design tool is used across the globe and gained lots of attention in the last few years. What sets Figma apart from other tools is the fact that it has taken the designers’ collaboration to a whole new level.

This online collaborative tool brings to you the design features that you have always loved, but with a better and more efficient workflow. It has been designed to make the web easy for everyone. With a simple interface and interactive dashboard, you can be up and running in minutes.

Let’s take a look at some of its most prominent features:

  • Live share: Figma offers a platform for designers to collaborate with each other’s ideas and create one masterpiece. Isn’t this cool?
  • Built-in commenting: It’s like your design file is a venue where anyone can come and have discussions about the designs. This helps a lot where many heads are involved in one single design.

Pros

Figma is free, and it’s cloud-based, so you can easily save your work and access it from anywhere around the world. It enables you to collaborate live on the dashboard and saves time that you would otherwise spend on downloading, making changes, and uploading it again.

Cons

As it’s cloud-based and runs in the browser itself, you might face an issue with caches.

4. Sketch

Sketch-design tools

The sketch is the go-to design tool for all levels of designers to collaborate in the design process. From beginners to highly seasoned designers, everyone will find something to love about the software.

In Sketch, you can customize your toolbar based on your needs. Frequently used and hard to remember should get a place in this toolbar.

Sketch weighs around 45 MB, another huge plus when it comes to design tools as they are bulky in general. But that is not all. Don’t underestimate the artboard of Sketch, unlike other tools that save separate files for each screen which results in keeping multiple files open that messes with the designer’s brain.

Artboards come to our rescue, which saves our entire screen design file into one single Sketch file. Help us to easily track down progress and manage design files.

Looking into the list of features helped it to make it in this list.

  • Custom templates: This software offers you a volley of pre-built templates that you can customize according to your design needs. Moreover, there are multifarious plugins that boost your design work. All you need is to install plugins.
  • Easy access: Just like Google Drive, One Drive, in Sketch, you will be provided with storage. They have integrated cloud storage which makes accessing your file super easy from anywhere.

Pros:

You can get multiple results in one click, and that makes it a huge time-saver. Designers love to play with plugins; Sketch comes with over 1000 plugins. It lets you create easy designs with nested objects. It also requires less effort to integrate with other tools.

Cons:

It lacks an important feature which most designers wish to have —animations. Sad to hear this; it provides limited functionality over animations. When you go over 100 plugins, things start to get a little slow.

5. Envision Studio

Invision Studio-design tools

When it comes to screen design, Invision is unbeatable.

With one of the most powerful and feature-rich dashboards, the software makes prototype designing simple, efficient, yet fast. No wonder it is gaining the fast attention of the global community of designers. But that is not all that the tool offers.

All of its power and efficiency come for free. It has a freemium model to get you started in the world of powerful designs. Sure, you can convert to the more powerful, premium features later.

Here are some of the features that you can see in this tool.

  • Easy project management:  This tool comes with some uniquely capable features. You can save, access, and manage all your projects right from the tool. This boosts your productivity by a significant amount.
  • Intuitive design:  The software is built for lean design development and rapid prototyping. With its super-intuitive drag and drop feature, building a custom design is just a few clicks away. What’s more? You can easily import external images from any source folder into your designs for maximum customization. But it goes beyond easy import. The tool provides yet another smart way of adding design, retrieving images from your cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

Pros:

This tool provides a professional environment for both clients and projects that streamlines management. Get URLs for sharing your projects across multiple teams, which speed up your project and decrease misalignment on design changes.

Cons:

There are a few issues with sync. Tools consume a lot of resource of browser resources, and as a result, your efficiency decreases. You need a system with powerful RAM.

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Bonus Tools

The above tools are sure to create the most productive design execution process. But what about the tools that a designer needs to optimize their creations? Processes like audience insights, information architecture design, and more?

The following tools ensure that your complete design process is elevated to produce the desired results. Further, this will provide you with end-to-end design help for your complete venture.

  1. Google Analytics is your go-to tool if you would like to know your audience better. With a super-intuitive dashboard giving you rich insights on how well your designs perform with your designers, this tool cannot be missed from your toolkit. From traffic analysis, content engagement, channel engagement to keyword analysis, there are very skimp insights that this tool does not cover.
  2. Flow Map is your tool if you would like to have a smooth content flow. It is more like a map creation tool that allows the creation of different geometric shapes. It will help the designer to optimize the flow of the content and information architecture for maximum logical cohesion and superior end-user experience.
  3. Survey Monkey is your tool. In a time of feedback currency, collecting responses about your designs from real users is the most powerful asset for improving your designs. Survey Monkey champions this need. Creating surveys and condensing insights from them is a breeze with this tool.
  4. Another tool that you can use to test your designs is Usabilla. Capturing feedback from real-time users, this tool is a powerful way to create a lean design development process. With features like multi-device accessibility and voice reminder, this never lets you down.

Check Out the Quick Video Review On Best UI/UX Design Tools For The Modern-Day Designer

Source: GraphicMama

Conclusion

A UI designer’s toolkit needs to be well-balanced. This is the best way to achieve high-quality designs that are both functional, creative, and easy on the eyes.

The above UI design tools are sure to leverage your design process, realizing your best ideas in record time. However, the core job still stands with you.

At the core of winning designs lies the audience whom you are designing for. This means, even your toolkit can be finalized on the basis of the needs of your audience. This makes audience empathy a core task of every design process. So now that you know every aspect of choosing a design tool, there is just one question left to answer.

What tools from the above list are you planning to integrate into your design toolkit?

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Best Practices With Dark UI In Web Design

Best Practices With Dark UI In Web Design eBuilderz featured image

Dark UI is an elegant, impressive, and striking presentation. It should therefore come as no surprise that it has become vastly popular all over the internet. The growing popularity will tempt many designers to join the trend. Still, before doing so, they need to understand how dark mode should be properly designed and implemented and what attributes should and should not be applied in its use.

Ultimately, for a design to be successful, it must focus on generating the look and feel. Still, the presentation varies based on the website, the audience it aims to reach, and the product or service it is trying to sell. In some cases, a dark mode UI might be just what the website needs, but on the other hand, a certain dark mode could have the opposite of the desired effect.

Whether you’re a self-employed web designer or work in one of the top companies specializing in UI design, it’s crucial to understand modern trends. Dark UI is one of the most popular web design trends today, so if you neglect it, you may be left in the dust of your competitors. Just make sure you understand this one thing: web design agencies and web designers worldwide are taking advantage of this trend because it helps create some novel and exciting user experiences.

Let’s explore some design practices that websites use when implementing a dark mode UI. This should help increase understanding of how to more effectively use dark mode in your upcoming design initiatives.

Use Negative Space

Dark mode intends to exude the feeling of ‘heaviness’ accomplished by using negative space, a term used to define the space around the design’s existing elements. In a typical design, this ‘white space’ may not be thought of as particularly important, but it is pivotal when designing using dark mode UI.

That is because white space’ is the visual tool that defines the layout, organization, and hierarchy of a design, serving as a powerful navigational tool for viewers. It also serves as an essential means of resting one’s eyes. For those reasons, achieving the perfectly balanced ratio between ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ spaces is essential to effective and tidy designs.

Human minds are naturally drawn to elements with ample negative space around them as it triggers the sense of the element’s importance and richness. The element with lots of negative space is subconsciously interpreted as being grouped separately from other elements due to its importance, instinctively drawing eyes to it.

For this reason, the balancing of positive and negative spaces can be the difference between a successful or a failed design. Designers need to consider the relationship between multiple letters or elements on display and how much breathing room’ each one needs. However, while lack of ample negative space will make a design look clunky and crowded, it is vital to remember that using excessive negative space will give the design a look of incompletion.

Enhancing Visual Content

Dark mode best practices are overall tailored around providing emphasis on the visual content. The dark mode is great when used with websites aimed at capturing the viewer’s attention as the heaviness of darker background make the elements present on the page ‘pop,’ helping to pull the viewer’s eyes to visuals of various colors and shapes, graphics, images or videos present on the site set against the high-contrast backdrop.

Color is one of the most effective methods in contrasting the elements present from the rest of the page. Brighter and lighter elements stand out more against dark backgrounds, which controls the design’s visual hierarchy by demanding the viewers focus their eyes on the elements first and foremost. A well-designed site using dark mode should seamlessly guide the viewer’s eyes to the important elements.

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Boost Emotional Branding

Aside from helping the page not look cluttered, a dark mode UI’s use of negative space can also invoke a strong emotional response. One of the reasons has to do with the psychological aspects of color, with each one invoking a different psychological response from viewers. These responses trigger a particular set of feelings, which direct the viewer’s emotions. These emotions will be a significant factor in any decisions that the viewer makes while at the site.

This has been an area of study, with research finding that black color is commonly linked to perceptions of power, authority, stability, and exude strength. Alongside power and control, black is also linked with symbolizing independence, drama, intelligence, sophistication, mystery, and elegance. As its power convention cannot be understated, black is a powerful color used as a background to contrast and encourage large, high-contrast imagery, yielding stunning visual results.

Whether most viewers recognize it or not, this type of strategy is commonly used to set the mood on many entertainment and product selling websites. While the dark mode is a very effective strategy, it is imperative to use it and pair it with those color schemes that evoke the image that the site’s brand wants to be associated with.

Boost the Site’s Usability

Dark mode can also be effectively used in enhancing the user-friendliness of application design. Many apps are designed for heavy nighttime use and therefore operate more effectively with a dark color scheme that helps reduce eye strain and fatigue. This is one of the primary reasons Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other entertainment apps, make heavy use of dark mode UIs. Some apps, like Google Maps, automatically toggle to dark mode during the nighttime hours, while many other apps present users with preference or settings options that include switching to dark mode manually.

Apps and sites that aim to showcase images typically use dark mode more often. For instance, Spotify uses a dark background to accentuate the high-resolution album covers, much like Netflix sets crisp movie and show graphics against a dark palette to make them stand out.

However, nighttime usability is certainly not the only reason for dark mode utilization. Dark mode use is easier on the eyes in terms of strain.

With people spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens and the well-known effects of blue light on health, eye-sight, and sleep, it makes dark modes more useful in mitigating those effects.

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Other Benefits Of Dark Mode

Using dark background to promote lighter color display on sites is just one beneficial aspect of dark mode. Relief of eye strain and limiting blue light emission on a user’s eyes is another. Some other benefits of dark mode use include:

  • Improved focus
  • Enhanced concentration
  • Better contrast

If a site anticipates that viewers will use it for extended periods continuously, leveraging dark mode will help relieve the strain on the eyes, a reason why dark themes are popularly used in financial apps and code editors.

Check Out the Quick Video Review On Practices With Dark UI In Web Design

Source: Flux

Conclusion

Dark mode isn’t anything new. Some sites started to use manual dark themes many years ago by simply adding a tiny control switch to one of the top corners on a page. But this year, big native apps for both desktop and mobile platforms have already started adopting an additional dark theme (or, depending on the default theme, it could be a light one) after all the major platforms have added a dark mode.

Simultaneously, dark themes also fit in perfectly with other major web design trends that involve moody and dark color patterns with glowing neon colors and various futuristic styles.

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Credit Card Debt Relief During the Pandemic

Credit Card Debt Relief During the Pandemic eBuilderz featured image

The credit card bills that were accumulating started to pile up. People turned to a credit card consolidation loan. Before the pandemic, Americans had a 7-year line of credit card delinquencies. So with 26 million Americans applying for new unemployment benefits, this will be even worse when the next round of data starts to pour in.

The government has instructed the credit card companies to give forbearance, which means breathing room. No fees and penalties. And that is causing problems with credit card companies themselves. Nobody feels bad for them. They know that many people won’t be able to pay off for a long period of time. So the banks that have credit cards as their main business are going to take a hit.

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With forbearance, people have a breathing room of 3 months. However, many of these companies are quite tricky. They hold their interest charges but then they are creating a balloon payment at the other end of this.

And they are also shutting down landing facilities. It means that you might have thought your credit card limit was 12,000 dollars, and the issuer might say, “well, you know it’s 5,000 dollars.” And they can do that. It’s perfectly legal. But before you start running your credit card bill, be sure to understand your limit of Indigo Apply credit card and what the rules are surrounding this forbearance period.

If you are on edge, if you are unemployed, if you’ve been negatively impacted financially by this pandemic, it’s all about conserving your cash. So you shouldn’t be in a rush to pay any debt. People want to get rid of that debt. In normal times it’s ok to pay high interest. However, these are not normal times. We are at the extreme. You’ve got to conserve your cash for a rainy day. So the time to pay off debt will be when you understand your financial condition in the next 60 to 90 days.

For now, don’t be in a rush to pay off any of your debts, conserve your cash, do prioritize your bills. There is a great tool that you can use for this. You can find it on the website of the Consumer Financial Bureau. If you google “Bill priority tool CFPB,” you’ll see it there.

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The only highest priority for you that should be right now is feeding you and your family. Everything else is negotiable. This is not the time to worry about pulling yourself out of a credit card debt. Of course, if you have a job, it seems secure, you’ve got the cash flow, and you feel you can pay off that debt, feel free to do so—the same with the student loans. There is no interest being charged on Federal student loans until September 30th.

But if you don’t have 6 to 12 months of living expenses sitting in a safe place, make that the number one priority.

 

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