Thursday, 31 May 2018

Mesmerizing Graphics in Video Games

games graphics

Art comes in a variety of mediums, and the graphic elements in video games are no exception. Every year, video game designers create stunning, beautiful scenes and characters that are truly breathtaking. At Webdesignledger, we have quite of few self-proclaimed “gamers” who know the in and outs of spectacular video game graphics and the design elements involved. The graphic details and animations will transport you into another world.

The artistic expertise and technical competence needed to create a successful video game deserve to be acknowledged. We know video games, and we take pride in it. Check out some of these amazing video games with stunning graphics that we play just to stare at.

Hohokum

The breathtaking features of Hohokum can easier be observed than described. Hohokum takes you to a colorful world full of monsters and intricate details. This video game is categorized as an “art” video game. In Hohokum, the player controls a long, worm-like creature to explore whimsical worlds with no real plotline or objective. There is no way to “correctly” play this game, as the object is to enjoy the beautiful worlds and artistic designs. The game was created by developer Honeyslug and was released for the Playstation 3.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn was released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4 by Guerilla Games. This action role-playing game transports you to a post-apocalyptic world where you navigate a world overrun by machines as a female hunter. The visual aesthetics will have you questioning if this a live-action movie as you explore the open world. The transitions between night and day in this game create beautiful, storybook scenes. You will discover mountains, forests, cities, and a variety of weather patterns. Horizon Zero Dawn is a captivating third-person game that will make you call in sick from work to experience.

The Unfinished Swan

The Unfinished Swan is a video game that deserves praise from a design perspective because the player is in charge of creating and designing the world. In the beginning, you start with nothing, a white space. Objects only start to take shape after you have splashed black paint all over the canvas. This creates an elegant soothing aesthetic, where most of the world is in black and white until you are able to add color yourself.

 

The Unfinished Swan is an adventure game with a defined plot and a first-person player. This abstract game is visually stunning, where the player can live their own Van Gogh fantasies. The Unfinished Swan was originally released for the PlayStation 3 by Giant Sparrow, and then remastered and released for the PlayStation 4 in 2014.

Journey

Journey is an indie game published by Sony in 2012 for the Playstation 3, but the amazing graphics and addicting gameplay have stood the test of time. It has won dozens of awards and critical acclaim for its beautiful representation of the desert.  The warm colors and lighting throughout the world are hypnotizing, while the gameplay itself is seamless. Travel through the earth with a hooded figure, communicating with other humans and creatures only through song. The beautiful graphics of Journey won IGN’s Game of the Year in 2012.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus holds a special place in our hearts because it was released almost 12 years ago and then remastered in HD this year. The game is an action-adventure game by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. This gem is regarded in the industry as the first video game to ever consider graphics as an art form. The minimalist landscape designs, emotional journey, and immersive gameplay will immediately win you over.

The expansive landscape, now in HD, is nothing compared to the intricacy of the 16 humongous Colossi the main character must destroy. This game relies on amazing graphics and simple gameplay. There are no dungeons and no other characters other than you, the player. You can play it on the Playstation 4.

Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda Franchise has been gracing us with their brilliant video game designs for over 30 years, and Wind Waker was no exception. Wind Waker is special because it was the first video game to adopt a cartoonish aesthetic. Some people were taken back by the childish graphics, while others marveled at the seamless graphics and beautiful setting. Experience a vast ocean as you travel by a small boat to dozens of islands, each one containing a secret. The game received critical acclaim for the style and format. The action-adventure game was remastered in HD for the WiiU in 2013.

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from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/mesmerizing-graphics-video-games/

Best Books On Website Performance & Page Speed Optimization

web performance books

Optimizing your website for performance is no easy task. But page load time is a huge factor in top Google rankings and ultimately in good user experience. You don’t need to be a master of Linux or a skilled server admin to speed up your site. But you do need to be willing to try […]

The post Best Books On Website Performance & Page Speed Optimization appeared first on Vandelay Design.



from Vandelay Design http://www.vandelaydesign.com/books-on-website-performance/

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

How to Keep Website Visitor Retention High with Uncode

Of the more than 1.8 billion websites on the worldwide web, a few million or more of them could accurately be described as beautiful, awesome, stunning, and of course, responsive. The use of imagery, together with responsiveness is essential; but what about other elements that are necessary to promote and nurture visitor retention?

If a website is to be a success, which implies it is capable of keeping a visitor from moving on after viewing it for approximately 15 seconds, it must be designed with visitor retention in mind. As you are about to see, visual experiences are not only necessary for visitor engagement and retention and building visitor loyalty; they have become mandatory.

And, here is how you can create those experiences.

 

  1. Use a Vibrant Color Palette

Vibrant colors attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and entice them to hang around. Humans react much the same. It isn’t just the colors that do the trick however. It’s how they are used.

Flashing lights soon become irritating, and colors that scream for attention will as well. The secret is to make clever use of color combined with an equally clever use of white space. Done correctly, it’s not difficult to lead a visitor to the text or video content that conveys important information.

Take this Uncode Theme based website for example –

Where bold color and white space combine to create an eye-catching visual experience.

 

  1. Use an Element of Surprise – Animation

When your website constantly surprises your visitors, it’s much more likely to retain their attention. You want them to be pleasantly surprised and looking for more. Just as bombarding them with colors can produce negative results, so can “in-your-face” popups (Act Now!!!) and excessive animation.

Instead:

Animate page elements to slide, zoom, or pop up. Slideshows on the home page can be extremely effective in generating and maintaining interest. Moving backgrounds (parallax) or having blocks of text pop up against a background image as a visitor scrolls down are also worthy of consideration.

Don’t simply animate page elements at random, however. The movement should appear natural and not out of place.

Like in this home page example. Click to see the animation effects.

A slideshow with moving elements is hard to resist.

 

  1. Use Video Above the Fold to Convey Key Information

Don’t make the mistake of placing video too far down the page. It’s most effective by far when placed above the fold. Placing it above the fold is also the best way to keep a visitor from swiftly moving on to another page or website.

Encourage the visitor to click on Play. A video that starts automatically is seldom a good idea and can even serve as a distraction. Not only might a viewer require a few seconds to get “tuned in” to the video, but a self-starting video tends to disrupt the website’s natural feel.

Note how easy it is to find the Play button. Clicking it on this screenshot won’t make anything happen. Instead, visit the website, click on the arrow, and be prepared to be entertained!

Make sure the Play button’s color stands out (in this case, white is an excellent choice). Another tip is to use a frozen-in-action, or scenic thumbnail to attract attention.

 

  1. Presenting Uncode

Get off to a super start in your quest to achieve high visitor attention with Uncode – the WordPress theme created to help you create stunning visual experiences.

To experience where this WordPress theme can take you, visit its impressive demo catalog. These demos illustrate why Uncode is perfect for designers, creatives, shop owners, marketers, and anyone else who wants a website that visitors will refuse to leave until they’ve accomplished what they came for.

You don’t have to create pages from scratch, since everything is done for you. Worried about coding? Don’t be – that’s been done for you as well.

It’s simply a matter of choosing a template, building a site with a few clicks, adding your content, and hitting Publish.

Features:

  • The powerful and popular Visual Composer makes creating extraordinary visuals a snap.
  • Easily mix and match sections, galleries and slides with Slide Scroll and Snap Scroll
  • Online shop? Check out the WooCommerce Single Product feature.

Tip: Before you start on your own, we suggest viewing the Uncode Showcase and see what others have done. Ideas and inspiration abound!

 

Are you ready for the GDPR? Uncode helps you.

 

The new GDPR legislation is enforceable on May 25th, 2018. It upholds the highest standards of data privacy, and applies to any website that collects data from EU citizens. This means if you’re running a website and at least some of your users reside in the EU, the GDPR applies to you. Uncode helps you with new dedicated features.

 

Using Uncode WordPress Theme

 

 

One of the best ways that you can use visuals to achieve high visitor retention is by using Uncode. Uncode is a WordPress theme that takes a dull site and turns it into a stunning and creative experience. This theme comes with an extensive demo catalog. Uncode is for web designers, photographers, video makers, bloggers, marketers, and business owners. Every demo in the catalog is unique. Each features Parallax images, one-click galleries, and elegant designs for eCommerce.

 

Conclusion: How Best to Use Visuals to Ensure High Visitor Retention

Your website doesn’t have to be top dog among billions of websites, but it does have to stand out to gain high visitor retention – and here’s how to make it happen.

Keep your visitors entertained. A constant stream of surprises is an excellent way to do so. This is best accomplished by using stunning visuals, vivid color schemes coupled with a clever use of white space, animated home page elements, and an integrated, above-the-fold home page hero video.

Uncode makes it easy to accomplish all the above with a few clicks, a few drags and drops, and zero coding. A stunning portfolio site, a blog guaranteed to attract a loyal following, or a flawless eCommerce shop can be yours in a few hours.

Read More at How to Keep Website Visitor Retention High with Uncode



from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/how-to-keep-website-visitor-retention-high-with-uncode/

Monday, 28 May 2018

The Hamburger Menu Is Stupid and Worth Killing

If you don’t know what the “hamburger menu” is, it’s a mobile app design icon used to indicate the presence of a hidden menu. The familiar icon includes three horizontal lines of equal length stacked on top of each other, representing an abstracted, flattened hamburger in its most basic elements. Its cutesy name has stuck hard. The hamburger menu is a fixture of mobile app design. Like any iconography, the hamburger menu has taken on a meaning for the user. When folks see that menu, they know to tap here for extra stuff.

It’s Mystery Meat

Veggie Loaf Prison Food

The first time you see the hamburger menu, it’s mystery meat. It’s only by the frequency of use that users came to recognize the hamburger menu and representing “more here.” Nothing about the icon conveys information about what’s inside: only that it contains something additional. If you saw that icon for the first time, you’d be hard-pressed to figure out what it’s for. The three-stacked-lines icon of the hamburger menu is also frequently used to indicate “grab points” for dragging around user interface elements, so it’s pulling double duty and potentially confusing users.

Because the hamburger icon is essentially meaningless, it gives you no indications of what to expect when you tap it. Will it reveal navigation items, app options, account information, or all three? The only way to find out is to tap the menu. While exploration is required to understand the full range of function in your application, “blind stumbling” shouldn’t be part of your user experience design. And that’s exactly what the hamburger menu icon encourages.

Good app and website navigation shares a lot with real-world wayfinding: icons and text need to be clear, obvious, and relevant. Without those indicators, users cannot understand what they’re looking at, and can’t reach their goal or complete their task. This breakdown should represent a major failure of navigation design, and yet the mysterious hamburger menu has endured—despite obvious failing to convey any information about what secrets it holds.

This is a problem beyond the app’s first launch. When information is buried in a hamburger menu, even experienced users can easily forget what’s there. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. This obscures crucial app functionality and limits usability. These problems lead to lower engagement, shorter user sessions, and limited understanding of the app’s scope and capability. Users might never discover functions stuck in a hamburger menu, or they might regularly forget the functionality exists.

It’s Hard to Use

hamburger menu hard to use

The hamburger menu is, most frequently, the junk drawer of an application. It’s like the door to the attic, containing all the occasionally useful items that developers added but weren’t sure where to place. It shares a lot with an attic, in fact: poorly organized, badly lit, partially constructed, and stuffed with old junk.

Typically, the only connection between menu items is that the developer couldn’t figure out where else to put them. That’s a terrible way to organize your interface, and no one would intentionally plan to base a navigation system on that kind of technique. It’s clunky, clumsy, and sub-optimal as a user interface element.

First, users can’t remember what it contains when they want to use that functionality. Is it in the hamburger menu, or do I swipe somewhere, or tap another menu icon? The chaotic collection of otherwise unrelated functions are difficult to recall and wrangle, especially if you don’t use the app that frequently.

Even if you know exactly what’s in the menu, using the menu is still a sub-optimal process. Finding the right item from the menu requires significant hunting, and the “slide over” menu most often use takes a moment to reorient to. This creates friction and hangups in user flow, degrading the user’s experience and encouraging them to ditch your website or app.

What’s Better?

The hamburger menu has stuck around for so long that it just seems like the “right” way to organize an application. But designers have begun to migrate away from that. Take a look at Facebook’s modern app. There’s a ribbon on the bottom that contains icons, which allow you to navigate between different views. These icons include text labels and descriptive imagery. The user immediately knows what they can do with the app. Better still, what they’re supposed to do with the app.

Once upon a time, these functions lived in a hamburger menu. According to Luke Wroblewski’s breakdown in engagement numbers, Facebook saw better engagement, user satisfaction, and user flow with the icon ribbon. It’s clear and obvious, quickly presenting the user with their most important options right up front. While some functionality is still in a “more” menu, this is somewhat unavoidable with the huge array of functionality provided by the Facebook app.

What Should Be Visible?

When designing your app or mobile website, you need to think carefully about what the user’s primary goal will be. Are they looking for stores, pricing information, products, new posts, messages, or updates? Find out what users need and want and include obvious navigation links for those elements. You can aid user navigation by using the terminology the user is most familiar with. Don’t skip usability testing or interviews: this will tell you what you need to have front and center.

You might also like the following user experience posts:

Best Practices for Designing Push Notifications

Building Effective Navigation Menus

Microcopy Tips to Improve Your Site’s UX

The post The Hamburger Menu Is Stupid and Worth Killing appeared first on SpyreStudios.



from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/the-hamburger-menu-is-stupid-and-worth-killing/

Friday, 25 May 2018

Designing A Crypto Website

Cryptocurrencies have amassed a lot of attention around them, and the more banks and tycoons fight them, the more people are intrigued to find out what exactly makes them so threatening to the rich. The truth is, technology is moving faster and soon, very few people will be walking around with hard cash.

Bitcoin broke the record last year by selling at almost $20k and dragged all other crypto coins along with it bulging their cumulative market cap close to $900 billion. Sure, the assets are highly volatile and heavily dependent on many market factors, but one thing remains clear; people are thirsty for more info on cryptocurrencies. For those who are looking to design crypto websites, this guide will help them get started the right way.

Designing a crypto website

The principles of designing a crypto website are not different from the rules applied when creating a website for other ventures. The only difference exists in niche type. Here’s how you can go about creating a cryptocurrency site:

Have a purpose

Obviously, your core goal would be to spread the cryptocurrency gospel and answer any questions your visitors may have. If you intend to make money in future through affiliate programs or click-through rates, then you need to factor that in during the planning process.

Get inspiration from your competitors

It’s ignorant to imagine that other sites don’t have anything to contribute to your project. You need to cruise around the web and check how some of the top crypto sites have been organized. Take a look at this website: aBitGreedy; you’ll realize that it touches on almost every aspect of crypto projects from Bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs, exchanges, mining, and wallets. You need to ensure that your guest can pick an altcoin, buy it and set up a wallet using the tips from your site.

Looks are everything

The power of the first impression should never be undervalued. If you are striving to look or project a professional image and earn your readers’ trust, then your site must look outstanding. A cheap-looking website will make it hard for visitors to stay for long.

Intuitive design

A good design is simple, clear, and easy to navigate. Try to avoid cluttering stuff as this can distract readers from locating what they need. High-quality content, top-notch graphics, videos and other visual content make your site not only look professional but also inform your demography. Your users own mobile phones too so adopt a responsive design to make the content fit on any screen.

SEO is vital

Search engine optimization is the juice that pushes good content to the first pages of search engines. This is a simple game of putting just the right amount of “the most searched terms” aka keywords. For instance, some of the Bitcoin keywords with high traffic include Bitcoin price, how to buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Wallet, etc. Optimization begins with the domain name of your site; so choose wisely.

Testing your website

Running a website right after it’s been designed is like riding a brand new bike that you just bought from the store. Everything will be good for a while, but should anything bad happen, you will need major recalibrations to get it back in good condition. Use tools like DebugMe to check flaws in your site and avoid frequent downtimes at a later time.

These are merely the general principles behind designing appealing websites. However, as a cryptocurrency follower, you need to know what your site should have or cover in order to be at the top of the game. Let’s see some of the possible sections one can have on a cryptocurrency website.

  • Bitcoin
  • There are tons of articles regarding Bitcoin and being the founding father of cryptocurrencies; most people have faith in it. Actually, many newbies have no idea other cryptocurrencies exist too. Therefore, it is essential to have a section of your website dedicated to this almighty asset.

  • Cryptocurrency guide
  • Now, once you have a section for Bitcoin, you may want to create another one for the remaining cryptocurrencies. This area should cover reviews of the remaining altcoins, their prices, predictions and have both brief and comprehensive guides to help novice investors get a good handle on these assets.

  • Wallets
  • Once someone has started reading up on crypto coins, they are bound to encounter the word “wallet” along the way. There is no way one can evade from buying or using a crypto wallet. Therefore, you need to have an entire section dedicated to informing your readers about all the wallet types. Discuss their advantages, disadvantages, warnings, tips and where possible redirect readers to the best alternatives out there.

  • ICOs
  • Initial coin offerings have become not only a favorite way of raising money but to earn some as well. Those who jump onboard a successful ICO from the beginning are bound to rip big when the company’s tokens command higher prices. Take those who invested in Bitcoin ICO in 2008 for instance; the currency now commands more $8000 on the dollar and has paid them off in big numbers.

    The ICO section can review some of the best options out there, their results, upcoming ones, presales and ICO regulation.

  • Mining
  • Miners are essential to any cryptocurrency platform that depends on users to generate new tokens and maintain the blockchain. With great mining content, your website will become a handbook for potential miners as well as the established ones. In this section, you can describe mining in detail, review mining rigs, define complex terms and cover anything else that will help miners become good at their game.

  • Exchanges
  • This is another section of your site that many newbies will visit. It should be full of reviews describing some of the top options for anyone looking to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. It’s imperative that articles in this section be as detailed as possible and feature images and screenshot of every detail.

  • News
  • Last but not the least, you ought to reserve a section for news so you can keep your readers up-to-date with what is happening in the crypto ecosystem.

The bottom line

Cryptocurrencies are still a hot topic and frankly speaking, hardly 30% of the world is informed right now. As more people discover them, anyone with a well-designed cryptocurrency website can be a reliable source of information. With more research, you should be able to create a stunning and value-packed crypto website.

The post Designing A Crypto Website appeared first on SpyreStudios.



from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/designing-a-crypto-website/

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What We Can Learn From Redesigns of Iconic Food Logos

How can you tell if your brand is working for you? And what does “successful branding” even entail?

Branding is tricky in that it’s generally difficult to assess ROI. Done well, and it can breathe life into a struggling company. Done wrong, and it can ruin the perception of even the most well-established brands. While there are many aspects of successful branding, perception often starts with the logo. It’s the face of your brand, appearing everywhere from billboards, business cards, packaging and even the product itself. This is why companies spend a great deal of time and money into creating and often times re-creating the perfect logo.

So what is it about branding that burns itself into a collective memory? In an effort to better understand the most important parts of a logo, this design study of over 8,000 people in the United States gave participants a multiple choice test to see if they could identify the real logo of eight iconic food brands when it was placed in a line-up with imposters. It explores elements like color, font and tagline to see what was remembered most by consumers.

The idea was to gauge which parts of a logo left an impression on individuals and which were fungible. Looking at the survey results, you can see what individuals recognized most about the logos of iconic food brands like Arm & Hammer, Chicken of the Sea and French’s. See how the rebranding efforts and food logo redesign of these major companies have impacted their brand image among consumers.

Arm & Hammer

food logo redesign

food logo redesign

Chicken of the Sea

food logo redesign

food logo redesign

Check out more iconic food logo redesign stats here.

The post What We Can Learn From Redesigns of Iconic Food Logos appeared first on SpyreStudios.



from SpyreStudios http://spyrestudios.com/food-logo-redesign/