No products in the cart!
Please make your choice.View all catalog
Designing applications can be called a multidisciplinary task, and it includes:
I want to consider the question — Why should we build an application architecture? I will ask 4 additional questions, which will hopefully answer the main one:
The question “Why divide” arises? It will allow us to:
Once we set goals for the application architecture, we can start preparing Sequence Diagrams. Sequence Diagrams are great for translating business requirements into a distinct set of operations between various application components. Also, given Sequence Diagrams of the app, we could refactor architecture & planned functionality to reduce complexity & increase the app’s effectiveness even before writing a single line of code!
Initial Sequence Diagram
Sequence Diagram after refactoring
After defining the application’s tasks and functions, we turn to a Component Diagram with a description of the components themselves and their relationships.
I mentioned polymorphism and design patterns. And on these topics, I would like to elaborate because entering abstractions into the code allows distinguishing components and their roles in the application more clearly.
Among the design patterns, I would like to highlight the following:
It is a structural design pattern that provides a simple interface to a complex system of components (classes, libraries, etc.)
This behavioral design pattern defines a family of similar algorithms and places each of them in its own class, after which the algorithms can be interchanged right at runtime.
This is an architectural principle where the framework controls the program control flow, and the custom code is embedded at specific execution points. ReactJS is a good example of IoC principle usage. Much of the application logic is implemented and controlled by the framework itself, so the software developer’s sole responsibility is to alter the framework’s behavior at provided points (useState, useEffect, etc.)
With the architectural schemes and TOR in place, you can already begin to plan tasks for implementation and provide for future changes. Here, I used the word “provide” intentionally. Of course, architects are not visionaries, but as they get more experience, they learn to see and predict the vector of the application. In practice, few tasks require a fundamental redevelopment of the application or the business model — unless, of course, we are talking about an MVP or some unique features that need to be implemented.
Also, by applying a certain abstraction, we already have predictable tools to implement most ideas, and this allows us to keep time-to-market on a certain level.
And this is one of the key questions that the architect and architectural schemes are trying to answer. The cost of software development itself depends on many factors, but the main one is the programmer’s time needed to write a working application with which the end-user can already interact. The architect’s task is to define — together with the business and project managers — a minimum sufficient set of functions for each stage of project development. The next task is to proceed to develop the schemes of each of the parts (modules) without losing focus on the entire application as a whole and the features implemented in the late stages of development. It is possible because you can create a super tricked-out application on paper but fail to implement it within a reasonable timeframe.Mad Devs Case Study: GoDee – Convenient Shuttle Bus ServiceGoDee is a transportation app and management panel to commute in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Users can find routes, select the time, book seats and pay for the ride online.
All this time, I’ve been mentioning the architect, and you may have the question — Who is the architect? In my understanding, an architect is a person with a lot of development experience at different levels and with analytical skills. And no matter how controversial it sounds, every member of the team can be an architect at different stages of making architectural diagrams.
For example, flow diagrams should reflect a specific implementation of logic, but if you have a multi-component application, preparing only flow diagrams for the whole logic can take an indecent amount of time. So it is important to delegate this work to the developers of this very logic. It will allow both parallelizing the work and identifying the pitfalls. After all, the developers have expertise in their subject areas and can identify controversial points in the whole architecture.
However, when delegating authority, it is important to give one person or group of people the right to make or reject changes in architecture because only architects have the fullness of the picture.
To summarize, maintaining architecture is a team effort, and the more involved the developers are, the more predictable the development itself becomes.
Of course not! Development requires creativity at every moment, and it is not uncommon to have to change the plan and the code on the fly. Still, at this point, it is crucial to calculate the change in the architectural plans and, if all is well, start the development.
The architecture of the application is a living organism, and we should support it all the time.
Therefore, the architectural plans are developing all the time as the application itself is developing.
That’s all I have. Thank you for your attention.
People ask us one question over and over: What is a digital product? And why should an entrepreneur focus on digital products instead of just their physical counterparts?
We live in an increasingly diverse marketplace. People are earning money from a variety of endeavors, whether they hang out a shingle online or start a brick-and-mortar business.
Maybe we’re biased given our industry, but we believe that digital products offer the easiest and least expensive point of entry for any aspiring entrepreneur. Our Knowledge Commerce customers — entrepreneurs who earn great money teaching what they know — prove our hypothesis.
Today, we’re going to guide you through the process of understanding digital products and figuring out what you might want to sell. Even if you’re already part of the digital economy, you might discover a new revenue stream to add to your burgeoning business.
We’ll start by defining a few terms, then we’ll get into our 17 suggestions for the most profitable digital products to sell online.
A product is any item that you can sell to someone else in exchange for cash or barter. It could be a piece of produce, an electronic gadget, or a comfy couch.
Until the Internet altered commerce for the better, a product was always a physical object or item — something to distinguish it from a service. It was something you could pick up, see, smell, hear, or even taste.
That’s changed now that many entrepreneurs start businesses online. The virtual world has opened up a new category of products (which will get into later).
The point, however, is that a product is something you sell. Most often, you ask for money in exchange for the product. That’s how you earn a living.
Products differ from services in that there’s no obligation beyond the transaction. The product already exists, so there’s no further work for the seller to perform.
A digital product is any product you sell online that doesn’t have physical form or substance. You can’t hold a website theme in your hand, smell an e-book, or taste a software program — Uber eats does come close though ; ).
You can turn digital products into physical products. For instance, many people buy e-books in PDF format, then print them on their computers. The product becomes physical, but it started out in digital format.
Some online entrepreneurs try to take shortcuts. They create poorly constructed digital products and assume they’ll make a living from them.
More often than not, those entrepreneurs fail. Why? Because customer retention matters more than customer acquisition.
In other words, your goal as an entrepreneur who sells digital products should be to create more products and convince your existing customer base to buy them. That’s how true wealth becomes possible.
You might wonder why you would offer digital products instead of creating your own physical product. After all, physical products dominated commerce for hundreds of thousands of years.
Digital products have many advantages over their physical counterparts, especially for the entrepreneur who sells them.
This isn’t to say that you can slap together any digital product and generate a fortune. The product still needs to offer incredible value if you want your customers to return.
You can funnel the time and money you save on creating digital products into making new products available to your customers. Spend your money and time on marketing and advertising as well as branding.
Marketing digital products isn’t much different from marketing physical ones. You have to define your audience, target them with brand-appropriate messages, and keep the lines of communication open.
The main difference is that explaining the need for a digital product sometimes proves more difficult than illustrating the benefits of a physical product.
If you need laundry detergent, for instance, you go to the supermarket or a big box store. You scan the shelves, find your favorite brand, and take the detergent to the checkout counter.
That’s something you need if you want to wear clean clothes.
Explaining the need for a mobile app or online course can present more challenges. That’s why Knowledge Commerce professionals must focus on educating their audience — through blog posts, webinars, landing pages, and other marketing assets.
Now that we’ve covered some of the definitions and obstacles, let’s jump into the opportunities. After all, you probably want to generate as much cash as possible from your online business, so you’ll want to sell the most profitable digital products.
We’ve identified 17 options, many of which you can create and sell directly from the Kajabi platform.
Resist the urge to try to create them all. It’s tempting, but it will spread you too thin. Start with a single product — one that will resonate with your target audience and provide them with maximum value.
Once you’ve established your flagship product, you can branch out. At some point, you might be able to hire staff members to help handle administrative work while you focus exclusively on the creative process.
Without further ado, let’s look at this list of digital products and explore how they might be able to help you grow your business.
We’re obviously big fans of online courses here at Kajabi. In fact, courses are the primary way by which our Kajai Heroes generate income.
An online course is just like an in-classroom course except that you teach online via text, video, and audio assets. Your customers learn via distinctive modules based on the name of the course and the material you want to convey.
Customers can take your course in their own time without having to worry about meeting deadlines or stressing themselves out. Plus, you can create courses of different sizes and at different price points.
Some of our customers have created dozens of courses, while others stick to one flagship course. It’s entirely up to you. Plus, down the line, you can create other digital products that complement your courses.
E-books are growing in popularity month over month. In 2015, more than 220 e-books flew off virtual shelves, and experts predict that e-books will eventually take over physical books in terms of sales.
You can write an e-book on any topic you like. The best news is that, once you complete the product, you don’t have to do any further work — other than marketing, of course. It allows you to earn passive income over months and years.
As the entrepreneur, you decide on the e-book’s length and content. You can either self-publish it on your Kajabi website or seek a traditional publisher.
If you already have customers who have bought your online courses and other digital products, you can introduce them to your e-book. You have a built-in pipeline of potential customers.
Since millions of people publish content on the web every day, there’s a constant demand for unique photography. Stock photo sites, such as Fotalia and iStockphoto, buy images from creators just like you.
Alternatively, you might want to sell your photographs from your own websites. Many fine art photographers take this route so they don’t have to share their profits with established marketplaces.
A great way to get people excited about your photography is to post your images on sites like Flickr and Instagram. These platforms allow you to retain all rights to your photos, which protects your intellectual property while exposing you to potential customers.
Keep in mind that you can sell photographs in many different ways:
The sky’s the limit if you’re a shutterbug.
Major labels no longer control what music makes it into the headphones of your average consumer. Indie musicians can make excellent livings by selling their creations by themselves.
Musician and singer Amanda Palmer, for example, launched what was, at the time, the most successful crowdsourcing campaign in history to fund her next album. Since then, she has relied only on grassroots marketing to sell her band’s music.
You can record your own music, then make it for sale anywhere you wish. The freedom to explore your own musical talent and to retain creative control over your output can be freeing as a creative.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about dealing with bureaucratic red tape. Instead, you can focus exclusively on your music.
Since you no longer need to produce a physical product, such a CD, you can make your music available exclusively as digital files. People can then listen to them on MP3 players, their computers, and other devices.
There’s a huge demand for web elements in today’s economy. For instance, many people earn six or seven figures by selling WordPress themes.
Premium web design templates create passive income because you only have to create the theme once. You might have to update it from time to time because of changes to the content management system (CMS), but that’s far less work than creating a whole new product from scratch.
Additionally, you can create as many web themes as you want. The more you provide, the more customers you can potentially convert.
Other web elements can also prove popular in the marketplace. You might sell thematic elements for a web design, such as navigational buttons, header images, font combination suggestions, social sharing buttons, and more. If you’re creative and artistic, there’s no limit to what you can create and sell.
Conducting one’s own research and data can absorb considerable time. Some people don’t want to expend that energy to gather data in one convenient place.
That’s where you come in. Selling data — such as information about your industry or the results of your own studies — can prove massively popular. People who buy that data can then use it to inform their own businesses.
It’s true that many people post free tutorials and guides online. However, if you can create one that’s longer, more in-depth, and of higher quality, go ahead and sell it as a digital product.
We live in a DIY culture. People want to learn how to do things themselves. They’d rather save their cash than pay somebody else.
Plus, consumers want to learn everything they can about subjects that interest them. Documentaries and similar forms of television remain extremely popular for their educational value.
In terms of format, you can create a tutorial or guide however you wish. Some Knowledge Commerce professionals prefer to create videos, while others are better with text or audio. You decide.
If you’re a computer whiz, creating a new piece of software might launch you into the stratosphere in terms of potential revenue. People love software because it inevitably cures a pain point.
From productivity and web insights to designing and drawing, lots of software programs have stood the test of time. They remain popular because their core audiences are loyal fans.
These days, many software programs are sold as subscriptions instead of licenses. In other words, your customers pay a nominal monthly fee to use your software. As long as they pay, they retain access.
In many ways, the subscription model offers better revenue potential than licensing. If you sell licenses, you get paid just once. The customer never has to give you another dime. However, you can decide what payment model makes the most sense for your business and wallet.
Cookbooks are among the best-selling books of all time. People are always looking for fresh takes on their favorite recipes, and many consumers want to explore cuisine from around the world.
Sure, you can find recipes for free online, but there’s a reason people pay for actual cookbooks. It’s assumed that a paid product offers better quality and higher value.
If you’re a chef — amateur or professional — you could put together a cookbook with your best recipes. Consider grouping them based on a specific theme, such as comfort food or recipes from a specific country or city.
A theme makes the book more marketable and therefore more likely to gain traction in the market.
Of course, cookbooks aren’t the only way to release recipes. You could create an app or subscription service that delivers recipes to subscribers. Think outside the box to create a unique digital product that will get everyone talking.
Speaking of apps, it’s possible that mobile applications have become even more popular than software packages. However, they’re essentially the same thing — just one a different platform.
For instance, people used to play games installed via CD-ROM on their computers. Today, they can play similar games on their phones or tablets via an app.
Some apps involve a small charge, while others are so-called “freemium” releases, which means that you can include in-app purchases for people who want more features, benefits, or information.
You don’t even need technical skills to develop an app. You can hire a freelance developer to help execute your idea and pay a flat fee. Many entrepreneurs take this route.
There are also software program that make creating a simple app fairly easy. However, if the app doesn’t offer much in the way of features, it will become a hard sell for savvy consumers.
Most podcasts are free. Entrepreneurs and creatives use them to promote their brands, products, or services.
However, you can also create a subscription-based podcast that offers more features, in-depth guidance, and more. There are numerous ways to do this.
For instance, you could create a subscription-based podcast for which people pay you directly. It would work just like a traditional membership site except that the content is exclusively audio.
You could also take the freemium route. People can listen for free, but if they pay, they get bonus features, extra audio, and other incentives. For example, many creatives use services like Patreon to fund their podcasts and other creations.
As mentioned above, digital products don’t always have to remain virtual. Printables have become a popular commodity for crafters and for people who like to stay organized.
You might create printable agendas, schedules, planners, artwork, scrapbooking assets, or something else entirely. You just need an idea for which someone would be willing to pay.
Just package the printables like you would any other digital product. You deliver the package when the customer pays.
A swipe file is a document that contains valuable assets for a particular goal, hobby, or job. For instance, writers often keep swipe files filled with examples of good copy they might want to emulate in the future.
However, swipe files can contain anything you want. If you’re an artist, you could create a swipe file full of icons and other graphics your customers might use on their websites, marketing assets, or other deliverables.
You could also create a swipe file filled with research, data points, checklists, and more. Crafty professionals might sell swipe files with DIY projects, while parenting experts could sell swipe files with indoor activities for children of various ages.
The possibilities are limitless. The important thing is to make sure the information in your swipe file is truly premium. In other words, it should be regurgitated content from your blog or contain information people could find freely on the web.
Similar to tutorials and guides, templates and calculators have become increasingly popular. People want the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B.
Templates could be for anything from interior design to music composition, while calculators might help people determine the ideal interest rate for a mortgage or the best combinations of investments.
You can get creative with these types of assets, but make sure they offer more than the free examples available on the Internet. Your template or calculator should be so sophisticated that you wouldn’t dare give it away for free.
If you’re the crafty sort, creating your own patterns for cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, watercoloring, and more can help you assemble a salable digital product. People are always looking for fresh, new patterns with which to create and decorate their homes.
Most people don’t know how to create their own graphics, icons, and other graphic assets. They rely on free or premium products for those needs.
The DIY and commercial market converge in this case. Entrepreneurs like you want to build their own websites, but they need attractive assets with which to populate their designs.
Of course, it’s not all just about web design. A creative might use someone else’s graphic assets to design T-shirts and other consumer products. They don’t know how to create the actual art, but they can arrange a pleasing design for sale.
Companies like DesignCuts offer bundles at a significant discount and from multiple creatives. People can buy lots of premium products at a low rate, which benefits both the consumer and the seller.
You can also sell graphic arts bundles on your own. You might do a mix of different types of graphics or create a bundle for each type. Potential assets could include the following:
The list goes on.
We mentioned before that the commercial marketplace has changed over the last few years. Products and services aren’t as carefully delineated as they were 20 years ago.
You might have noticed that you can now order clothing, sunglasses, and even razors as a service. You subscribe to the service and you receive your deliveries at set intervals.
However, you can also sell services as a package deal. As part of your Knowledge Commerce business, you could offer coaching packages to supplement your income and to create more intimate relationships with your customers.
For instance, let’s say that you teach people how to be better leaders. You’ve created online courses, e-books, and other digital products, but many of your customers would like one-on-one tutoring.
To respond to that need, you create a coaching package. For $300, you’ll spend 30 minutes on the phone with your customers once a week for one month. Of course, you’d adjust the numbers to your liking.
It’s a digital product because you’re selling it as a bundle. It’s also a service because you’re working with your customers one-on-one.
You don’t have to live near one another. You could set up email, telephone, or Skype consultations with your customers. It’s never been easier to accrue customers from the other side of the world.
Once you have a product to sell, you have to find a place to sell it. This can depend on what kind of product you make. For example, you’ll likely want to sell a digital book or audiobook on a platform geared for that like Amazon or Audible.
We always recommend having your own site to sell digital products in addition to third-party marketplaces. That way, you have more direct control over the relationship with your customers. You can also often avoid the hefty service fee that many platforms solve.
Sure, you could set up a website on your own and create the backend needed to offer online courses, membership sites, and other digital products. Creating such a setup would take hundreds of hours of work — and that’s if you have the skills necessary to do it. You can also lean on an all-in-one business platform like Kajabi, as it makes it simple to have a business around digital products.
User experience design is an extremely vast, multidisciplinary and fascinating field. It shapes the products and services we use on a daily basis, and can make or break the success of a business or brand.
A career in UX design is fast-paced and challenging, requiring a highly diverse skillset. If you want to break into this field, there’s plenty to learn!
In this guide, we’ll provide the ultimate introduction to UX design and tell you everything you need to know about getting started in this exciting industry, including:
Let’s get started!
User experience (UX) refers to any interaction a user has with a product or service. UX design considers each and every element that shapes this experience, how it makes the user feel, and how easy it is for the user to accomplish their desired tasks. This could be anything from how a physical product feels in your hand, to how straightforward the checkout process is when buying something online. The goal of UX design is to create easy, efficient, relevant and all-round pleasant experiences for the user.
“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
— Don Norman, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect
UX designers combine market research, product development, strategy and design to create seamless user experiences for products, services and processes. They build a bridge to the customer, helping the company to better understand — and fulfil — their needs and expectations.
When talking about UX, the term user interface (UI) design will inevitably crop up. However, it’s important to recognize that, despite often being used interchangeably, UX and UI are two different things.
“UX is focused on the user’s journey to solve a problem; UI is focused on how a product’s surfaces look and function.”
— Ken Norton, Partner at Google Ventures, Ex-Product Manager at Google
User interface design is not the same as UX. UI refers to the actual interface of a product; the visual design of the screens a user navigates through when using a mobile app, or the buttons they click when browsing a website. UI design is concerned with all the visual and interactive elements of a product interface, covering everything from typography and color palettes to animations and navigational touch points (such as buttons and scrollbars). You can read more about the work of UI designers here.
UX and UI go hand-in-hand, and the design of the product interface has a huge impact on the overall user experience. Learn more about the difference between UX and UI design in this guide.
UX design is everywhere: the layout of a supermarket, the ergonomics of a vehicle, the usability of a mobile app. While the term “user experience” was first coined by Don Norman in the 90s, the concept of UX has been around for much longer.
To understand the principles of UX design, it helps to explore the history behind it.
Some of the most basic tenets of UX can be traced as far back as 4000 BC to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, which focuses on arranging your surroundings in the most optimal, harmonious or user-friendly way. There is also evidence to suggest that, as early as the 5th century BC, Ancient Greek civilizations designed their tools and workplaces based on ergonomic principles.
In the late 19th century, great thinkers and industrialists like Frederick Winslow Taylor and Henry Ford began integrating basic experience design principles into their production processes. On a mission to make human labor more efficient, Taylor conducted extensive research into the interactions between workers and their tools — just like UX designers today investigate how users interact with products and services.
Another key figure in the history of UX is industrial engineer Henry Dreyfuss. In his book Designing for People (1955), Dreyfuss provides a very accurate description of what we now know as UX design:
“When the point of contact between the product and the people becomes a point of friction, then the [designer] has failed. On the other hand, if people are made safer, more comfortable, more eager to purchase, more efficient — or just plain happier — by contact with the product, then the designer has succeeded.”
— Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Engineer
In the early 90s, cognitive scientist Don Norman joined the team at Apple as their User Experience Architect, making him the first person to have UX in his job title. He came up with the term “user experience design” because he wanted to “cover all aspects of the person’s experience with a system, including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.” Since then, each of these areas have expanded into specializations of their own. These days, there’s a growing tendency for companies to hire for very specific roles, such as UX researcher or interaction designer, to cover all of the different aspects of user experience.
For centuries, humans have been seeking to optimize their surroundings for maximum user comfort. These days, the term UX design has strong digital connotations, often referring to apps, websites, software, gadgets and technology.
UX is a broad umbrella term that can be divided up into four main disciplines: Experience Strategy (ExS), Interaction Design (IxD), User Research (UR) and Information Architecture (IA).
UX Design Disciplines: The Quadrant Model
UX design is not just about the end user; it also brings huge value to the business providing the product or service. Experience strategy is all about devising a holistic business strategy, incorporating both the customer’s needs and those of the company.
Interaction design looks at how the user interacts with a system, considering all interactive elements such as buttons, page transitions and animations. Interaction designers seek to create intuitive designs that allow the user to effortlessly complete core tasks and actions.Learn more: What are UX, UI and Interaction Design?
UX design is all about identifying a problem and designing the solution. This requires extensive research and feedback from existing or potential customers. During the research phase, UX designers will launch surveys, conduct interviews and usability testing, and create user personas in order to understand the end user’s needs and objectives. They gather both qualitative and quantitative data and use this to make good design decisions. Learn how to conduct user experience research here.
Information architecture is the practice of organizing information and content in a meaningful and accessible way. This is crucial in helping the user to navigate their way around a product. To determine the IA of any given product, information architects consider the relationship between different sets of content. They also pay close attention to the language used and ensure that it is both convincing and consistent.
Within these four areas, there is a whole host of sub-disciplines. As you can see in the graphic below, user experience design is so much more than just a case of sketching and wireframing. It’s a multidisciplinary field, drawing upon elements of cognitive science and psychology, computer science, communication design, usability engineering and more.
Now let’s take a look at how these disciplines translate into the day-to-day work of a UX designer.
“How do I explain what I do at a party? The short version is that I say I humanize technology.”
— Fred Beecher, Director of UX, The Nerdery
UX designers seek to make everyday products, services and technology as user-friendly and accessible as possible. They employ design thinking to reconcile the user’s desires with technical feasibility and business viability. The diagram below shows the Design Thinking Process, adapted from the d.school. The Design Thinking Process can be broken down into four different stages: inspiration, conceptualization, iteration and exposition.
During the inspiration stage, the UX designer seeks to understand and observe. To do this, they conduct extensive research and competitor analysis in order to fully grasp the problem or challenge they are setting out to solve. This involves interviewing those who are, or will be, directly engaged with the product.https://www.youtube.com/embed/FrsQSplB_Cg
The designer then uses this feedback to identify the user’s goals, emotions, pain-points and behaviors. All of this information helps to form user personas. The next step is to consider what these personas are trying to accomplish when using a particular product, and the journey they will take to do so. The designer considers information architecture and uses various techniques, such as card sorting, to map out user flows.
Once the user flows have been determined, the designer knows what steps the user needs to take to complete their desired tasks. They will visually brainstorm solutions for each of these steps, creating wireframes and prototypes of what the final product might look like.
With prototypes to hand, the UX designer will then conduct usability tests to see how users interact with the product. This shows whether or not the user is able to complete their desired tasks, or if changes need to be made.
UX designers not only come up with solutions to user problems; they also need to present their ideas and designs to key stakeholders as part of their day-to-day work.
This is just a broad overview of the UX design process. In reality, tasks will vary depending on both the size and the specific needs of the company. Larger companies might employ a team of designers, with each focusing on a specific aspect of the process such as research or visual design. In smaller companies and startups, it’s not unusual for the UX designer to wear many different hats and take on the whole spectrum of tasks.
No matter what product or service they are designing, or what stage of the process they are at, UX designers will ask themselves the following questions:
Learn more: What Does a UX Designer Actually Do?
UX designers rely on a number of different tools as they go about their work. At the research and inspiration stage, they will use survey and polling tools as well as video chat software to interview users and gather as much information as possible. There are also specific programs for wireframing, prototyping and usability testing, with Balsamiq, InVision and UsabilityHub among the most popular in the industry. In addition to design-specific programs, designers also use communication and project management tools to keep track of their work at all times. You can learn more about UX design tools here.Learn more: A Day in the Life of a Remote UX Designer
As the tech industry grows, the field of UX design is becoming increasingly varied. UX designers can find themselves working on a wide range of projects within various contexts. Here are just some applications for UX design.
In the age of the internet and smartphones, the usability of a website, mobile app or piece of software will largely determine its success on the market. Together with UI designers, UX designers are responsible for ensuring a smooth online experience for the user. From ecommerce websites to dating apps, from CRM software to web-based email clients, each and every online journey you take has been carefully designed by a UX professional.
Voice user interfaces are revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. In the U.S., around 50% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, and ComScore estimates that, in the early 2020s, 50% of all searches will be voice-based. UX designers have a huge role to play in the rise of voice, as products like Amazon Alexa can only be successful if they are user-friendly and accessible for the masses. Designing for voice requires a slightly different approach to that of websites and apps: learn more in this beginner’s guide to VUI design.
With the global VR market expected to be worth around $27 billion by 2022, UX designers will increasingly be required to design immersive experiences. Likewise, since the Pokemon Go craze hit, augmented reality has also been working its way into the mainstream. More and more, UX designers will have to adapt their approach to ensure the latest technologies are accessible and user-friendly.
UX design doesn’t only apply to tangible objects and digital products; experiences need to be designed, too. This is where service design comes in. As explained on Wikipedia: “Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. Service design may function as a way to inform changes to an existing service or create a new service entirely.”
Whenever you buy a coffee, stay in a hotel or use public transport, your experience is the result of service design, and service design methodology is very similar to that of classic UX design.
The value of UX design is immense; not only for the end user, but also for the business or brand behind the user experience.
From a user perspective, good UX design ultimately enables us to go about our daily lives as effortlessly as possible. From setting an alarm to chatting with friends online, listening to music or using a calendar app, the ease with which we complete these actions is the result of good design.
When designing these experiences, UX designers must consider how they can bring value to all kinds of users. They do this by practicing inclusive design—otherwise known as universal or accessible design.
As motivational speaker Molly Burke explains, universal design is the practice of “designing and building everything to be accessed, enjoyed and understood to its fullest extent, by everyone, regardless of their size, their age, their ability, or their perceived ability.”
Universal design follows seven key principles:
From a business perspective, designing first-class user experiences is absolutely key to ensuring customer satisfaction and building brand loyalty. Only if a product or service is hassle-free and enjoyable will the user want to return.
“Good design is good business.”
— Thomas Watson Jr., CEO, IBM
According to a study conducted by the Design Management Institute, design-driven companies consistently outperformed the S&P 500 by 219% over a 10-year period. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Adobe found that design thinking in business creates a measurable competitive advantage. Design-led companies reported 41% higher market share, 50% more loyal customers, and 46% competitive advantage overall.
User-friendly, universal design is beneficial to everyone, and UX designers are in a position to truly shape the world around us.
As we have seen, UX design is an extremely multifaceted field. Working in UX requires a highly diverse skillset coupled with a passion for user-centric design. A career in UX can be very varied, challenging and financially rewarding; according to Glassdoor, the average salary for a User Experience Designer in the United States is $97,460.
There is no standard background or path that leads to a career in UX. However, the best UX designers typically share certain qualities and attributes, including:
Learn more: Are you a good fit for a career in UX?
UX designers come from all walks of life, and you don’t necessarily need a university degree to break into the field. Employers tend to look for a mixture of design skills, business acumen and soft skills. Some requirements you will often see in UX designer job descriptions include:
What counts as essential or desirable will vary depending on both the company and on the nature of the role. You can learn more about key UX design skills here.
Many people switch to UX design after gaining experience in another field — like psychology, computer science, marketing or customer service. To get started in UX design, it’s important to do plenty of reading and research, to get to know the UX workflow, familiarize yourself with industry tools and build up a solid design portfolio. The most effective way to prepare for a career in UX is by taking a structured course and working on practical projects. Find out what exactly you should learn in a UX design course here – and feel free to check out these free UX design tutorials.
The only thing is that you’ve never formulated a social media strategy for your company before. Sure, your business has a Facebook and Twitter account that it occasionally posts on with an interesting industry article or to get the word out about a promotion, but that’s about the extent of it.
You hear how your company needs to be present on social media, but you aren’t seeing the results that are everyone keeps claiming are yours for the taking.
Effectively posting on social media requires a well-thought-out strategy that must be continually tweaked and re-implemented. The occasional posting about company news or promotions will no longer cut it.
How do you start a social media strategy? There are so many social media channels out there, which ones should you post on? What kind of content should you post to get the most engagement? Should you pay to promote your posts? Do you know where to look to see how well everything is performing?
Before you get overwhelmed, here is a guide to get you started on the right path of a successful social media strategy for your business:
Before you start a campaign in any business, you need to have goals and objectives in place to assess progress and know whether you’ve achieved success. A social media strategy is no different. If you don’t have any goals or objectives written out, you won’t know how your campaign is performing. These provide the foundation of your blueprint for your strategy.
Every subsequent course of action within the strategy is aimed at meeting or exceeding these goals and objectives.
With goals and objectives, you can quickly see when and where your social media campaign is going awry and make immediate changes to put it back on course.
When creating goals and objectives, it the S.M.A.R.T method is a good starting point. According to this method, the goals and objectives are to be specific (S), measurable (M), attainable (A), relevant (R) and time-bound (T).
After creating the goals and objectives for your campaign, you should look at where your current strategy stands.
What social media platforms is your company currently posting on? What kind of material is being posted? How much or little engagement is there? When do you post? How often do you post?
It helps to create a spreadsheet to document your answers to the above questions. Use this spreadsheet and compare it against your strategy’s goals and objectives. Are there things you’re already doing well? What needs changing in order for your goals and objectives need to be met?
Besides looking at the health of your current social media channels, be sure to completely fill out your company’s social media profiles, with a clear, identifiable picture and keywords. Completed social media profiles make your brand easier to find by consumers and it adds to your brand’s credibility and authority.
Maybe your company is posting on the wrong social media channels, or posting the wrong type of content, or is currently not on another social network it could leverage for increased attention. Maybe your posts are going out at the wrong time.
It can be tempting to be on as many social media networks as possible. The downside of this is that you will wear yourself out, waste valuable time, and produce hurried, boring bulk postings.
Social Media Strategy 2.jpgYou need to do some research on your industry, your desired audience, and even your competitors. Where are your ideal audience members most active? When are they most likely to engage? What interests them and what messaging catches their attention?
There are multiple social networks that allow you to gain insights into these questions. Facebook, for example, allows users to target specific audiences, see the interactions on their posts, the best and worst time for post engagement as well as demographics of those that interact with the posts.
In terms of scheduling posts, there are automation tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite that allow you to sync and schedule posts on multiple social networks in one place.
Observing what your competitors are doing and how well they’re faring on social media can give you tips and tricks on what to try out and what to avoid when formulating and implementing your social media campaign.
You can be on every social media network and still not get the engagement and conversions you’re looking for because your content is bland, sales, useless and impersonal.
You won’t know what to write without first identifying your ideal audience and social media networks. When coming up with content, you want to not only catch people’s attention, but you want to make your brand stand out as an authoritative and trustworthy source of information in your industry.
As you do this, it’s important to design your content to take advantage of each individual platform. Twitter, for instance, only allows for 140 characters and utilizes hashtags. Instagram, and Pinterest utilize images. Facebook utilizes text, images and videos. YouTube utilizes videos.
Your content needs to match the format of the platform, be interesting, and be useful. It should not come off as impersonal or condescending. Have your content make your brand appear as a person, not an organization.
Like putting together a social media audit spreadsheet, and using scheduling tools for posts, creating an editorial calendar can help guide you as to what you write. With an editorial calendar, you’ll know what you’re going to write about and have details
Once you research your audience, craft your content and schedule the posts on the appropriate social networks, you may be tempted to sit back and relax.
If you put a lot of time, resources and energy into a social media strategy, you want to make sure the ROI is worth it. Otherwise y, u’ll remain stuck and stagnant in your efforts.
As with any aspects of internet marketing, things in social media change constantly.
If you post a Facebook post at 2 pm one week and get a lot of engagement can turn into an ignored post the next week. Consumers also get bored seeing the same content all the time.
Just doing the occasional posting on a few social media channels will not result in a successful social strategy.
A well-performing social strategy begins with goals and objectives. You need to see where your current strategy is, research the best social media channels and your target customers and create high-quality, useful and interesting content.