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What Customer and Buyer Persona Analysis Means for You

Monday - December 23rd, 2013

Written by: Rob Ruscher

What Customer and Buyer Persona Analysis Means for You

At 522 Digital, we offer you the opportunity to better understand your customers through our customer and buyer persona analysis. Through online data and research, we are able to determine the basic personas of most of your online clients. Understanding buyer persona is critical to communicating and developing a professional relationship with them. (more…)

Fall Trends: Understanding Flat Design

Tuesday - October 8th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Fall Trends: Understanding Flat Design

The wider use of smartphones and mobile devices has created a powerful push for flat design throughout all platforms, combining bright colors and exotic typography for what is undoubtedly the largest web design trend this fall. Just like any other brilliant concept, though, there’s plenty of room for creativity – but an equal amount for missteps. After all, you want to figure out how to balance site efficiency with interest, without creating a site that’s too simple.

 

Understanding the Popularity of Flat Design

If you don’t think considering flat design (or at least incorporating a few of its ideas) is important, then it’s time to re-evaluate your understanding of the popularity of flat websites. The reality is that as the internet industry matures, there’s been a greater push toward flat design, according to Forbes. What’s behind this trend? Major giants like Microsoft are aggressively focusing on simplicity by removing complicated textures, patterns, gradients, and other distractive site elements. The recent launch of Apple’s iOS7 has also emphasized the importance and timeliness of flat design.

Because flat design focuses on simplicity, clarity, and efficiency, it also makes it easier to design an experience that is similar on a variety of platforms. This creates a look for your business that is consistent from desktop to mobile devices, ensuring that users experience your brand the same way no matter how they browse your website.

 

How to Avoid Falling Flat

One of the biggest dangers of flat design is falling flat. Yes, you want to be simplistic, but this doesn’t mean that you should be boring as well. The way to avoid this is to remember that there’s still room for creativity. The moment that your website becomes predictable, chances are that it might be too boring. Of course, minimalism will feel familiar from site to site, but there are still many opportunities for branding moments.

Cleaner graphics don’t necessarily translate into boring graphics. In other words, simplicity is not equitable with stripping away the personality of an element. Rather, simplicity is about taking away the extra fluff that doesn’t need to be there by leaving the character intact. It’s a fine line, which is why working with a professional web design team is paramount to achieving the perfect artistic balance.

 

Ways to Make Your Flat Design Interesting and Exciting

So how can you ensure that your new website is compelling with flat design? By ensuring that your site embraces these beautiful elements, you can ensure that your site will boast incredible personality despite the lack of overly flashy material. First and foremost, the typography used throughout your site should be of utmost importance. The beautiful group of letters used to publish your content and showcase your brand will say volumes about your site before a word is even read.

Furthermore, the use of colors throughout your site, especially in large areas of “whitespace,” will create interest throughout the pages of your site. This allows you to champion less visual noise without sacrificing elements of interest. Simplicity will become your greatest asset without compromising the integrity of your site and the depth that your brand has to offer.

Top 5 Apps for Web Design Inspiration

Thursday - October 3rd, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

Top 5 Apps for Web Design Inspiration

As our world continues to go mobile, more and more businesses are relying on apps to grow their brand. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own mobile app or are looking for ideas for your website in general, looking at mobile apps is a great place to start! With so many apps being created and released on a daily basis, there’s plenty of opportunity to follow app design trends and gain inspiration from this growing technology.

 

  1. Bikester.

bikester

This mobile app showcases the growing prevalence of circles in web design. Used for bikers who want to track their mileage and speeds on the road, Bikester is a beautiful app that takes advantage of circular design and even makes it look like a car dashboard – how appropriate!

  1. Camera Genius.

camera-genius

As mobile devices are used more and more to take pictures for a variety of reasons, Camera Genius is an app that takes the photography features just one step further. With this application, it feels like you’re holding a digital camera more than a phone. The features are clearly marked, making it easier and more intuitive to use despite the greater complexity.

  1. ChowNow Tip.

chownow

Not sure how big your tip should be? One of the best features of ChowNow is its resemblance to a calculator. The simplistic design makes the point of the app apparent from the get-go, boasting incredible efficiency and ease of use. There is no second guessing what this app is for the instant you see it.

  1. Mingle.

mingle

This app makes it simple to meet people anywhere at any time. With the options of logging into Mingle with either Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s never been easier to register an app, though an option is available for those who want a separate Mingle account. The “swipe to learn more” option is great because of its utilization of smartphone features and the offer to help consumers learn more about the brand.

  1. RaceSplitter. 

racesplitter

Recording race times on the track can be difficult with a stopwatch, which is why RaceSplitter was invented to allow users to easily time a race or training session. The easy-to-use interface makes it incredibly functional and eliminates any confusion.

 

So what do all of these apps have in common? The underlying theme is that simplicity is what will make or break a featured application in today’s world. Upon opening many of these apps such as ChowNow or RaceSplitter, the purpose of the app is known immediately. This stresses the importance of clarity and removing unnecessary elements that could distract from the purpose of the app. Furthermore, the design can be creative enough to match the industry or the purpose that the app serves. For instance, the fact that Bikester was reminiscent of a dashboard is incredibly appropriate considering the purpose of the app.

 

By focusing on design and usability, your brand will be able to create an app that serves and impresses consumers!