Keeping up with the times

Technology and trends change rapidly so as a designer, it is important to update your skills frequently. New products like smart watches mean designers need to learn new styling techniques and they must learn to work in confined screens.

I used the “Wayback Machine” to compare Samsung’s 1997 website and today’s (US) website.

Samsung (US) 1997

samsung-1997
Samsung,. (1997). Welcome to Samsung. Web.archive.org. Retrieved 25 February 2017, from http://bit.ly/2m4KXpC

 

Samsung (US) 2017

samsung-2017
Samsung US,. (2017). Home. Samsung Electronics America. Retrieved 25 February 2017, from http://bit.ly/2mXeJLR

As you can see, there has been a massive design, layout and structure shift in those 20 years. In 2017, the website uses large images and font, combined with a hierarchy to show the products they want you to see and buy first. In 1997, they had no hierarchy, no products were displayed and the site was covered in blue hyperlinks, giving that classic old website look. The screen ratios have also changed as the screens have changed.

If an app is just a shrunken version of a website, in most cases they do not do well. This is because it does not suit the small scale of mobile devices because touch targets are too close together, and they are not structured for users to quickly get the information they need when on-the-go.

When designing an app, you need to test is on other devices other than your own as screen sizes vary. Make sure you test on IOS, Android and Windows devices. Each operating system has different layouts and designs that users get used to, it is important to use these styles so people don’t get confused. Prototyping tools are very useful to see what the general standards are.

Below are some links to prototyping websites:

IOS and Android:

Windows:

A site that allows you to turn your paper prototypes into digital ones

 

windows-ios-android
Ashley, K. (2014). Creating beatuiful cross-platform apps for iOD, Android and Windows with Visual Studio. Part I.. Kevin Ashley’s Blog at Microsoft. Retrieved 25 February 2017, from http://bit.ly/1t3TwDA

 

Today’s Quick tips:

  • Apps are never finished. Feedback from users help improve and modernise your designs.
  • To keep ahead in the industry, you need to update your skills frequently
  • Learning the terminology of your team is important, this way you can communicate quickly and efficiently without anyone misunderstanding or getting confused.
  • Start with the small screen first. This helps remove the excess clutter; just like packing a small suitcase, you only pack the essentials.
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