Driving Conversions: Graphic Designer or UX Designer?

July 23, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

There’s a common misconception that a UX designer is just a glorified graphic designer who knows how to design for mobile. I mean, we get it. They both do graphic design work, and it’s a totally valid mistake. But the two couldn’t be anymore different.

Every designer has a niche and a medium, things that they’re very good at and specialize in. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you want to get the best fit service you can to make it happen. That’s where the differences come matter most.

Simply put, a UX/UI designer creates the interface and architecture of a website. UX/UI design  includes copy, content, branding, and translating stakeholder wants with stakeholder needs in a web medium. UX/UI designers make sure that all digital designs created will look good  for mobile and desktop. They pay special attention to where buttons should be placed, where titles must go, and everything in between to help best produce awesome metric-conversions. A good UX designer is going to take the content provided and come up with intelligent suggestions for design in order to create a conversion centric website.

A graphic designer may cover a multitude of things. Are they a print graphic designer, or illustrator designer, or do they make motion graphics? They are most likely  specialized in one area specifically.. If you want an illustration that’s incredibly unique to your brand and not something that’s just tweaked on shutterstock, that’s when you would utilize an illustrator. Regular graphic designers, of the average variety, will often focus on beauty before function.

You might be asking, well can’t a graphic designer just come up with a website? Sometimes we’ll see business owners and stakeholders go to a graphic designer to design their website, and the lucky few will have zero problems there. But a graphic designer that doesn’t specialize in web, and it’s not what they do day in and day out, will no doubt miss critical steps that are incredibly important to the success of your website.  

If you want someone coming to your site, purchasing your product and sharing their experience on Facebook  you’ll need a UX/UI designer (who’s a proper villain). You’ll be in good hands, and what your hoping to create will come to life in the best way possible.

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you #JungleReady. Let our CreateApe expert team be your jungle guide.We will help   you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.

Finding a Proper Villain: Developer Edition

July 18, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

We’ve covered what it takes to be a Proper Villain in the UX/UI space, now we’re going over what it takes to be a proper villain on the developer front. We asked our CreateApe head developer, Tim Abarta, what might make someone a Proper Villain:

COMMUNICATION:

Communication between the designer and developer is key. “I think that for developers and designers, communication is paramount. I’ve worked with a lot of people who can drone on and on, that eats up hours and time, but if someone can get right to the point and get straight into it…that’s huge.”

INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE:

A big part of front end web development is working with responsive frameworks and knowing how the front end works. A plus is knowing key terms, like what the “box mode” is. “As a web developer a large part of the front end is working with certain responsive frameworks and knowing generally what the box model is. Good designers know what that is and they work within it. Bad designers don’t, and honestly it’s a huge headache.”

What is The CSS Box Model?  “All HTML elements can be considered as boxes. In CSS, the term “box model” is used when talking about design and layout. The CSS box model is essentially a box that wraps around every HTML element. It consists of: margins, borders, padding, and the actual content.”

TRENDS:

A “Proper Villain” knows the latest applications that most developers and designers are using. A common tool that UX Designers use is Sketch, which integrates with Zeplin. Zeplin takes your Sketch and starts to breakdown the CSS. Plus, extracting assets is easier with Sketch than Photoshop. “When you don’t have to guess with CSS, you know you have a good starting point.”

NAIL THE 5 MINUTE MEETING:

There is an art to the perfect meeting. You need to think about time, participants, agendas, location, etc. A proper villain thinks about the bottom line, and doesn’t waste your time droning on just to hear their own voice. “I’ve been in an hour long meeting and we didn’t get anything done, and that’s just a huge waste of time. That’s a complaint I hear a lot when working with bad designers.  A good designer in ten minutes can get through what would take a mediocre designer three hour long sessions to do.”

Overall, having an agile approach to your work, refining skills, and keeping tabs on the industry will impress any other proper villain out there. Being an expert in your field means feeling comfortable enough to be warm, concise, and solution-oriented (no matter the problem).

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you situated. It’s a jungle out there, click here so you don’t have to go at it alone! Let our CreateApe experts act as “jungle guides” and help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.

How to Find a Proper Villain

July 13, 2018 - Posted by: Alessandro Fard

If you’ve been following our YouTube channel, we’ve been talking a lot about how to find a proper villain. If you’ve ever watched Oceans 11, I’m referring to the scene when Brad Pitt, playing Rusty Ryan, is walking with Don Cheadle’s character, Basher Tarr, and Tarr declares, “It will be nice working with proper villains again.” In the tech space, you know when you’re working with a proper villain. So what sets apart a standard UX/UI designer from a “proper villain”?

Know the basics of other specialties

A proper villain might be a designer, a developer, or even a copywriter, but they are a proper villain because they know more than just their specialty. If you can speak with authority and understand other disciplines in the tech space, you’re a proper villain.

If a UX/UI designer can speak to front end development, like what bootstrap is and why it can be important, you’ve found yourself a villain.

How do I find a proper villain in the UX/UI space?

The Portfolio

The first thing you’re looking for is a portfolio. If a designer has their own domain showcasing their designs, I can often get a feel of their personality and design work. I want to see they have an understanding of UX architecture, conversion, and mobile design.

Work should be curated and easy to browse. Showcase 3-4 detailed case study project that lead the viewer through a story about the start, difficulties, and outcome of a project. Simply, how did you get from point A to point B.

Keep it simple. The last thing you want is for a potential client or hiring manager to be looking at your portfolio and get overwhelmed by music and too many graphics. If you’re in the UX/UI space you want your portfolio to emulate an optimized, conversion-centric site.

Everything they present should work well, have smooth transitions, and look great. It doesn’t matter if you worked at Google in the past, if your portfolio isn’t up to par, you’re not a proper villain.

A LinkedIn

A proper villain’s LinkedIn should be hefty. There should be skills, recommendations, a decent work history. Be wary of red flags. If you see that someone has 10 different positions in the course of 2 years, ask more questions.

 

When you’re working on many different products from a freelance standpoint, really big, complex, and robust web applications, eCommerce sites, and mobile applications will take a lot of time. If someone’s been working in that area for over 1-2 years if shows they’ve been able to hone their skills from that project and rub shoulders with key players.

Know industry tools/trends

If I ask a designer what they often use to create their designs in and they follow up with whether that is high fidelity design or low fidelity design, I know I’m in the right place.

Knowing the trends that are happening within the space gives you an advantage. Applications like Sketch, which allows you to wireframe and do prototyping, works well with developers. This shows me you keep up with the latest advancements in a tech driven field.

Are they a good fit?

Proper villains need to work well with each other. At the end of the day whether it be a bank robbery, a heist,… or designing a mobile application, it needs to be a good fit! After about 5 minutes into assessing whether they’ve checked all the boxes to be a proper villain, I’ll ask about culture fit. Do they have a sense of humor? Do they play video games? Seriously though. VIDEO. GAMES. It’s a almost a “must” at my company.

So you’ve found your villain…

Truth be told. You’re never going to know how someone really works until you start to work with them. You don’t want to be in the middle of a crime and have your partner screw it up by accidentally stepping on lazer beams. That’s why sample projects are vital.

Sample projects

Sample projects let you know the things you never were going to find out in the interview. Give them a quick project like ideas around the homepage, designing a quick banner or social image. You’re going to see if they are responsive, communicate effectively, and what questions they’re asking. If they’re responsive and asking the right questions, you’ve found your proper villain.

Want to learn more?

Let us help get you situated for the Mobile First changes coming your way. It’s a jungle out there, click here so you don’t have to go at it alone! Let our CreateApe experts act as “jungle guides” and help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.