The Top 10 Golden Rules for Digital Icons

Iconography has gained immense significance in digital designing and development. The increasing efficiency in human-computer interactivity is the result of consistently improving modes of interaction, such as icons. However, creating effective icons demands certain degree of expertise and the golden rules for digital icons is compilation of advices of those who have mastered the art.

1. Appropriate Size

Size and scalability of icons are essential for visually appealing interface. The best approach is to design iteratively for different OS and expected displays – from Smartphones to smart TVs. Icons are expected to be consistent on the smallest display as well as on the largest display.

2. Familiarity with Formats

PNG is the most common image format especially for multi-OS design. However, one of the popular golden rules for digital icons is to know about all the image formats so that their feasibility can be assessed according to the requirement of the project.

3. Forms & Functions

The debate over form and function is futile. Best icons can be created only when equal importance is given to both and balance is maintained.

Golden Rules for Digital Icons

4. Knowing Audience

It is an obvious necessity to know who are the users, what services they use and when, where, why and how they use it. The golden rules for digital icons say there is no room for assumptions. In case of global presence, use of unambiguous icons or localisation is recommended.

5. Managing Convention and Innovation

Uniqueness is good but should not be overdone. Especially for small projects, readymade of-the-shelf icons are as good as bespoke ones. However, personal touch of creativity can be added to the design it has to meet brand guidelines.

6. Originality

Many developers manipulate icons of other websites to make them suitable for theirs. It only shows lack of skill and tendency of piracy. Icons should be designed exclusively for specific projects.

7. Placement

Defining the position of icons precisely is very important. Popping-up icons have become a trend but not convention. The liveliness of icons should never take the centre-stage as it can divert focus from the brand.

8. Planning

Perhaps, the most important among golden rules for digital icons is planning. Before icons are created, their location on the interface, probable frequency of use and their ability to fit on the page has to be determined. Texts are recommended wherever they suffice.

9. Purposeful Design

Digital world is overcrowded with attractive visuals and even the most beautiful icon can fadeout without a purpose. Creating icons only when there is reasonable need of it is very understandable aspect for designing icons.

10. Single Icon Family

Icons are used for different purposes. It is a golden rule for digital icon to use one family of icons for one purpose and another for others so that clear distinction is maintained. For example, set of icons for navigation, search, social media, etc. should appear different from each other.

4 Head-Smacking Design Tips to Increase E-Commerce Sales

From fonts to photos, there’s a lot more to a successful e-commerce website than meets the eye. Small changes – often changes that affect just a few pixels on each page – can have an incredible effect on sales, click-through rates, and profit.

These four head-smacking design tips, courtesy of Custard Online Marketing, may seem simple, but they’re often all that’s required to take an otherwise unsuccessful e-commerce website and turn it into a lucrative online market leader.

UntitledSmall design tweaks are often enough to massively boost conversions.

1. Keep key information above the fold

Many e-commerce websites try to fit as much unique content onto their product pages as possible, largely to maximise SEO performance. This is a great tactic for maximising traffic, but it can have some side effects when it comes to sales.

The average customer is rarely interested in reading a 500-word description of a product, despite Google’s algorithmic interest. Instead, they want to read the key information – benefits, features, pricing, and other important information.

Split your on-page content into two sections – a short, snappy description that’s focused on benefits and key features for the top of the page, and a long product description that’s below the fold for search engines and enthusiasts to focus on.

2. Simplify your sales and checkout process

A complicated checkout is an unsuccessful checkout. The fewer forms, fields, and dropdown boxes you have on your checkout page, the smoother the process will be for your customers.

Spend some time going over your shopping cart and checkout pages to make sure they’re easy to use. Simple things like auto-populating certain boxes using known customer data can save time and, in many cases, increase conversion rates.

3. Develop a detailed, specific, and powerful search

Does your e-commerce website have hundreds of products for sale? If so, you need to have a search engine that’s powerful enough to find what customers want, when they need it.

Add extra features to your search engine to make it as easy as possible for users to find what they’re looking for. For example, if you sell shoes online, adding a search feature that allows users to search by size makes it easier to find suitable products.

4. Use high resolution images and product videos

Images and video are the keys to a successful e-commerce website. High resolution, detailed images are often the difference between an average e-commerce store and an industry leader.

Try to use the highest possible quality images for your website, preferably a variety of images showing your product from several angles. HD video, especially a product demonstration video, can also have a positive impact on your conversion rate.

Top 10 Steps to E-Commerce Website Development

The competition continues to grow in the ecommerce market due to increase in people’s preference towards online shopping. There are numerous shopping websites and slight negligence towards efficiency of a website can take away respectable number of customers. Here are top 10 steps to ecommerce website development that can increase the productivity of the website.

1. Search & Filter functions

Large shopping websites that offer diversified ranges of products must have search and filter functions. Visitors are more likely to become customers if they can find the desired product quickly and easily.

2. Suggestions for related products

When a visitor enters into certain niche, the website should make rest of the related-products easily and quickly accessible.

e-commerce

3. Call-to-action buttons

‘Add-to-cart’, ‘Sign-up’, ‘Download’ and other call-to-action buttons should be carefully incorporated. Their size, font, color and position have to be suitable and contrasting to the background so that they are always visible.

4. Visibility of cart/basket

The virtual shopping cart or basket must be always accessible and visible to the customers.

5. Navigation Information

Navigation breadcrumbs are an important feature to incorporate into a shopping website. Customers remain aware of their proceedings and can even skip to previous step, if required.

6. Explicit cost

Hidden or conditional charges give sense of illegitimacy of the website to customers. Therefore, whatever a customer is going to pay must be explicitly displayed with explanations, wherever possible.

7. Registration-free shopping

Website should allow visitors to purchase without registration, which often repels potential customers. Once purchase has been made, visitors can be provided with the option to register to save time during their next visit.

8. Safety & Security

Indeed, credit card numbers are among the most crucial information that people possess. Therefore, every measure must be taken to assure visitors of the security of their information.

9. Confirmation

Once visitors have followed all the steps, a confirmation page that summarises the entire process should be presented to them. There should be an easy method to cancel or rectify purchase-order, which visitors require when they find their mistake. When they confirm the order, a downloadable or printable copy of the same should be presented to customers and emailed to them too.

10. Simple Sign-up

One of the top 10 steps to E-Commerce website development is simplicity in registration forms. Visitors should be asked for the least of information required for the business. Generally, basic contact information is all that e-commerce websites require.

The fundamental principle in development of e-commerce websites is user-friendliness. The navigation, search and purchase-order should be simple and quick to be made. There are no hard-lined rules in this field. Developers can incorporate to their websites any feature that they expect to better visitors’ experience.

Top 5 Free Logo Creator Websites

If you are looking to create logo for your website, some of these free logo creator websites will definitely come in handy for you in completing the task. Logo acts as a trademark for an organization with which one can relate quite easily. It helps in creating a different identity while resolving any form of identity-crisis over a similar sounding name. The name of the company, an image or a slogan can act as the company’s own unique logo with which one can distinguish it. But it is widely seen that many doesn’t believe in outsourcing their logo because of various financial terms related to it. Some of the handy logo creator websites have been listed below.

Online Logo Maker

A familiar name in this category and has been considered by many to be the best in the business right now. The flash-based application in it is quite easy for anyone to design great looking logos online. The template collection is quite rich and one can easily add symbols on their logo too. One can use some awesome looking fonts to customize their texts too. Users may even easily save their project or download them directly to a pc from their account.

Logo Ease

This is another great feature-loaded web application for online logo designing. One only needs to follow just three steps in making a great looking logo. Image and symbol can easily be added to the logo from a great collection of designs. One can also add some hand touches before saving it in their account. After that, it can be easily downloaded in a pc anytime at the convenience of the user. This website easily finds an entry to the top 5 free logo creator websites list.

Free Logo Creator Websites

Logo Maker

This website offers a huge library with the thousands of logos created by their team of designers which are simply amazing and brilliant. Logos can be created in minutes, with the option of choosing icons, adding text and changing their color. The customer service is quite exceptional and operates with a highly experienced workforce. It gives the option of creating up to 6 different kinds of logos. It won’t be charging anything for the logos, but one might donate something to help them carry out this free service.

Logo Snap

Apart from creating logos for a business, this amazing website gives the option of creating business cards, envelopes, flyers and much more. Everything is great with this website, including their downloading feature, but the sad part is that it’ll continuously ask the user to donate something, even as minute as possible, for the development of the website.

Web 2.0 Free Logo Generator

One of the simplest logo creating websites ever, this one allows even the not-so-well-accustomed Internet user to create a logo for their website or business. The user only needs to provide some information in related fields and their logo will be generated automatically. This is a must in the list of top 5 free logo creator websites.

10 Creative Logo Design Tips for a Creative Logo

Whether it is a business, product or service having a logo is critical towards building an identity and getting recognized by people. It is the logo that helps people to recognize a brand and the products associated with it quite easily. But it is vital to make sure that the logo is unique and catches the attention of people. Provided below are 10 creative logo design tips which can help in the creation of sophisticated and unique logos.

1. Maintaining Simplicity

Complicated logos are not only hard to produce and maintain but fail to engage the audience. Maintaining simplicity is the key factor when it comes to designing logos and it is always better not to make the logos too much conservative or boring.

2. Engaging Audience

The basic purpose of any logo is to engage and entertain the audience. The logo should be designed in such a way that the audience can discover the intention and meaning of the logo within reasonable period of time.

3. Longevity of Logo

While designing the logo it is worth giving a thought to the longevity and durability. Looking into the future is no doubt difficult but depending on the future services or products the logo can be designed.

4. Adaptability

The design of logo needs to be flexible enough for adapting to different business situations. The best idea is to have logo and icon type available at same time which can be used for different purposes.

5. Relevance

Apart from being memorable, a logo should represent the services or products that are offered by a company which is undoubtedly an important tip among creative logo design tips. While designing the logo one thing which should be kept in mind is that it should relate to the business in some form or shape.

Creative Logo Design Tips

6. Making It Memorable

A logo with good design always embeds itself into people’s sub-consciousness. For making a logo memorable, simple lines should always be used which are easy to recall.

7. Vector is Preferable

Even though complex 3D effects can make logo look good, they are not that effective like logos with limited colours and crisp lines. Vector based logos offer the right balance and contrast which is always preferable.

8. Choosing Colours Wisely

The colour of logo should be chosen keeping in mind the target market. The colour selection should be kept to minimum as inclusion of too many colours increases production cost and makes understanding the production difficult.

9. Versatility

Versatility is an important attribute of logos and basically an integral part of creative logo design tips. The selection of the logo should be such that it can be illustrated easily on any material and work well with black and white colour.

10. Uniqueness

In order to make a company identifiable among industry competitors, it is advisable to use straightforward and unique logo. Care should be taken to make sure that the logo design does not match with any other competitor in the market.

Learn How to Protect Your Digital Images

Every photograph has a story to tell. And the very next thing that one does is to share them so that his/her story gets reached to the target audience. They do it by sharing them over the internet or using social media sites. On the other hand, many preserve them as memories to be cherished by the future in their digital forms. In both cases, the inevitable is bound to happen, where it might get stolen through the Internet, or the hard disk might crash. As content sharing on the web is evolving every day, photographers face the problems of protecting and promoting their hardwork.

Listed below are some techniques in which one can solve the mystery regarding how to protect your digital images:

Visible Watermark

The main and important technique is to put a watermark on the pictures, which one wants to share online with their friends and family, so as to make it visible for the viewer. It discourages the viewer for stealing, but the thing is that it can be re-edited to remove the watermark. So one should be extra cautious in putting them in those areas in the picture, where a chance of re-editing can spoil the picture for the stealer. Also the opacity should be bit lower so that it doesn’t mess with the original photo uploaded by the user, but should be visible enough to prohibit anyone from downloading and using it as their own.

How to Protect Your Digital Images

Editing exif data

There exist a number of software programs that lets the user to change the exif (exchangeable image file format) data of the pictures. It generates a Copyright notice which gets embedded to the photos’ metadata that does not affect the appearance of the picture in any way. It is a very simple method of putting their Copyright information on the file, and one of the best possible techniques out there. Microsoft’s Photo Tool is one such example.

Keeping pace with the ever-changing technology

Technologies in digital storage are always changing and evolving and one should try to keep pace with them. Even the popular storage formats such as the CDs/DVDs might become unreadable over due course of time because of wear and tear. One should keep an eye for the latest in the world of technology and how one can keep their files in the current prevailing standard.

Backup plan

Keeping a backup of all the important photos is important. One should try to maintain separate external HDD’s (hard disk drive) so that even if the PC or laptop gets crashed or damaged, one doesn’t lose their collection of photos in such an un-appropriate manner.

10 Tips to a Great Web Page to Make a Well-Tuned Website

Web pages constitute websites. Developers should implement these 10 tips to a great web page and ensure its better performance on the web.

1. Color

Websites have virtual presence and can be accessed by anyone from anywhere irrespective of the intended region for which it might have been developed. Colours have their own language and may mean different in different places. Developers should choose colours carefully for each webpage as colours can annoy or impress visitors.

2. Contact Details

Certain percentage of visitors do contact administrators of website for different reasons. Provision of contact details is an undeniable sign of authenticity of the website and the enterprise.

3. Content

Since websites are accessible by all, its contents should be as global as possible. Quantities, such as currencies, date, measurements, time, etc., should be expressed in standard terms that are globally accepted and understood.

4. Image Size

Larger images tend to slow down load-speed of web pages. Developers must ensure that images are resized and optimised for the website. CSS Sprites or similar tools can be implemented in case of several images across several web pages.

5. Language

Grammatical and spelling mistakes annoy many users. Too many such mistakes are sheer expression of carelessness of business owners. But, some visitors are offended by even few mistakes. Besides, the quality of language does express standard of business.

Great Web Page tips

6. Link Annotation

Instead of ambiguous terms or ‘click here’, short sentences or phrases can be used that explain the contents of the link. However, ‘click here’ may precede a link to denote that the following underlined and differently coloured phrase is a link to another page or website.

7. Links

Invalid or expired links are clear indication of deceit. Expired links, at least, indicate irresponsibility of administrators. Sufficient time should be spent to ensure that each web page bears only valid links. Link checkers can be used to verify the validity of links.

8. Navigation

Visitors spend more time at a website and surf through its various products or services when it is designed with obvious navigation features. Poor understandability of links may not even lead several visitors to all provisions of the enterprise.

9. Page Weight

Visitors of websites have the tendency to skim contents and follow what they require. Therefore, key information, links, etc. should be properly emphasised on each webpage. Details corresponding to those key words, phrases and links should be provided in segregation.

10. Speed

Time spent by visitors at a website is directly proportional to the speed of page-loading. The design of the website should be such that its pages load relatively quickly irrespective of the speed of the connection. Visitors are less likely to visit other sources that are slower.