Posts in "Graphic design"

Types of Icons and How to Use Them to Improve User Experience

Well-designed icons can improve device user-friendliness by saving screen space as they substitute text labels, they make it easy for users to identify apps, they can be easily understood and do not require translation for international users, and they are good targets for mouse or finger. A good icon design does all, so here is how to develop a good icon.

Icon Types

The first step is identifying the three types of icons.

Universal icons

First are universal icons, which are conveniently named as they are represented by universally understood pictograms. If there is a music app, it is represented by a musical note, making it a universal icon. It goes without saying that your icons need to be represented by something simple that can be universally understood.

Conflicting icons

The second type is a conflicting icon. These are icons represented by ambiguous pictograms. For example, a star or heart as the choice of your icon will be confusing as they both can be taken to represent liking a post, so if both are used, users might be tempted to confuse the two and dread the experience of having to learn the difference, therefore avoid this practice.

Unique icons

The third type is a unique icon. These are icons that represent products of unique functionality, out of the scope of universally understood pictograms. If you find yourself in this situation, avoid creating icons that will require the user to learn. Although a unique product, design a simple icon but provide a suitable label that can be easily understood; for example, Facebook’s icon is just an “f,” but the label is “Facebook.”

Using labels to enhance icon usability

This brings us to the next step, which is using labels to improve icon usability. It was found by a UserTesting study that icons with labels had an 88% predictability success rate by first-time users, compared to 60% for icons without labels. This data indicates that having a text label that supplements a well-designed icon makes it easier for users to identify icons, thus improving user experience. Take this into consideration when designing icons for your user interface. This is also powerful in avoiding the pitfalls of conflicting and unique icons.

These tips will aid you on your journey of developing a great user interface. Always remember to keep your icon design simple and focus on the functionality of the object. You do not want to keep users in suspense over the icon design but rather want it to be easily identifiable by any user, thus making a seamless user experience, and unless your product falls under the bracket of being represented by a universal icon, it is best to provide text labels. You also need to test your icons out on people to identify whether all objectives have been achieved. Can users identify the icon, and can they remember it?

It is important to take the user experience into account when developing any product and user interfaces are no different. Our devices are the most important things in our lives, and it is important that they are easy to use. Use these tips on how to improve user experience through icon design.

What You Need to Know about Graphic Design Types

The goal of graphic design is to solve problems and communicate ideas visually through typography, imagery, color, and form. Many designers specialize in one type, while others are more likely to concentrate on a set of related and similar types. Due to the constant changes in the industry, designers need to be flexible and lifelong learners to be able to add specializations to their resumes.

Graphic design can be divided into eight basic types:

  1. Graphic design for brand identity

Businesses and organizations establish relationships with their audiences through brands. Brand identities communicate the personality, essence, memories, emotions, and experiences of an organization. This is what graphic design for visual identity is about: developing the visual elements of brand identity that communicate the intangible qualities of a brand visually.

Creating elements suitable for all visual media requires an understanding of all forms of graphic design. A good communicator, creative and conceptual thinker, avid researcher, and interested in trends and industries is also a must for a designer.

  • Graphic design for marketing and advertising

Companies hire marketing designers to create assets for their marketing strategies. Designers can create collateral for print, digital, and other media types or specialize in a particular form of media (vehicle wraps, for example). Digital assets are increasingly used in content marketing and digital advertising in addition to print materials.

Examples of marketing graphic materials are flyers, posters, banners, brochures, website images and blogs, billboards, magazine and journal ads, etc.

Positions in this area at the entry-level are great for learning processes and gaining valuable skills and experiences. An understanding of print and online production is required, as well as proficiency with graphic design, layout, and presentation apps.

  • UI graphic design

Designing user interfaces for ease of use and user-friendliness is what UI design is all about. Screens, keyboards, and mice all form part of a UI. UI designers work on desktop apps, mobile apps, web apps, and games. UI developers write code to make the app work, while UX designers determine how it works.

  • Graphic design for publications

Book design, newspaper design, magazine design, and catalog design are all examples of publication design. Publication graphic designers create carefully selected typography and accompanying artwork in collaboration with editors and publishers. Publishers hire publication designers as freelancers, agency members, or in-house employees. An excellent ability to communicate, layout, and organizing is required.

  • Graphic design for packaging

Concepts are developed, mockups are created, and print-ready files are created by packaging designers. As well as strong print and industrial design skills, they require excellent conceptual and problem-solving skills. To meet the needs of clients, marketers, and manufacturers, they must be flexible.

  • Graphic designs in motion

Graphics in motion are called motion graphics. In online media, television, and film, these effects can include animation, audio, typography, imagery, video, and other methods. Technology and video content have made the medium more popular than ever. Storyboards provide designers with a starting point for their concepts, which then become a reality.

  • Graphic designs for the environment

By creating memorable, interesting, educational, and easier-to-navigate spaces, environmental graphic design connects people with places. A broad category of design is environmental design. Murals, signage, museum exhibitions, office branding, retail store interiors, and conference and event spaces are some examples.

Designing the environment involves graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial disciplines. There is a common tendency for designers to have both architectural and graphic design training and experience. As a way to create a more engaging experience, digital interactive displays continue to grow in popularity.

  • Graphic designs for art and illustrations

There is often a misconception that graphic design and graphic art are the same. But that is not true. The purpose of design is to communicate and solve problems, and the purpose of graphic arts and illustration is to create original art.  In creating their work, graphic artists use a wide variety of media and techniques. Many graphic designers also work as illustrators and graphic artists (and vice versa) thanks to overlapping skills and apps.

For the right type of graphic design, use the right tools

It is a rapidly growing field that requires skilled and specialized designers. Identifying the right graphic designer for your project will be easier if you know the types of graphic design.