UX Designers Tool Kit: Crazy Egg

March 28, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

There are many tools in a UX designer’s tool kit, and Crazy Egg is one of our favorites. Crazy Egg is a website that allows designers to track various types of data on their designs. Two of their most prominent features are their heat mapping and A.B. testing tool. Today, we’re discussing why it’s important to use these critical insights in UX design. 

Mapping Designs is Essential

There are various types of maps that UX designers use to strengthen their designs. Scroll maps, for example, show where the user is scrolling and where they tend to stop. Confetti maps show which areas of the site are getting the most clicks and which are not. Heat mapping shows where users have clicked the most on a website, what pages they’re visiting, and what designs they’re responding to. This data is also broken down by where the traffic is coming from and browsers used. Whether we’re using heat mapping, confetti mapping, or scroll mapping, these insights help us interpret how users are behaving and allow us to design accordingly. 

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An example of heat mapping. Where the saturation increases, the level of user engagement is high.
Data Reveals Crucial Insights 

In a world that’s saturated with data, it’s important to understand the crucial insights and how to know which numbers to pay attention to. Understanding data from the mapping is one thing, it doesn’t take an analyst to understand that where the most saturation is on a heat map is where the user is visiting most frequently, but it does take technical and creative skills to implement data into a design that converts.

“Crazy egg provides additional levels of data for the savvy UX designer. Breaking down traffic through heat and confetti maps allow the designer to ascertain real data regarding user activity,” comments our CEO Alessandro Fard.

 

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Increased Certainty

The maps on Crazy Egg give us more certainty. Because we do projects from a variety of different verticals, there’s no certainty that one business user will respond like others. This gives the design a far stronger chance of survival. Think about it like genetics. If we keep tracking the things that are working and making improvements to the designs’ DNA, it’s survival of the fittest. This gives our designs a competitive edge and gains traction with customers. When you stumble upon insights that make a huge difference in how responsive your design is, we clutch them tight and never want to let them go.

The great thing about mapping is that it offers insights that allow designers to make changes that aren’t a shot in the dark. There are no longer ambiguous insights and it doesn’t feel like playing Russian Roulette with your designs.

Gone are the days of trial and error to see what actually works. We no longer need to conduct dozens of tests to see what’s working and what’s the most impactful. Don’t get us wrong, testing designs is essential and one of the most important aspects of UX, but it’s no longer just based on luck. We see this with A.B. testing.

A.B Testing

Crazy Egg is one of our go-to user research tools. We use it with most strategic redesigns and pivots. Not only does if offer heat mapping to see where we need to make changes as designers, but we get to test the capability and impact of our designs with A.B. testing.

A.B. testing is when you test designs to see which one the user responds to the most. This could be small changes like testing the responsiveness of the color of a button, or more complicated designs like an entirely different landing page.

We see this a lot with how personalized websites are becoming. There are now various landing pages that are designed to be used on different types of people or personas. A.B. testing allows the designer to see which landing pages are the most impactful for a certain demographic. 

Alessandro comments, “Using the crazy egg A.B. testing feature, you can observe the impacts of testing variations to a page such as button placement, color, wording, etc. The crazy egg tool is also fairly simple and powerful and has been built to not overwhelm users.”

A.B. testing can clue us into small changes that translate into bigger metrics. For example, one thing we constantly see are people clicking on the feature images when they aren’t clickable elements. People were clicking them anyway and it gave us a tip as to what users found valuable on the page. These small insights allow us to change things like copywriting and placement that ultimately results in boosting conversion rates.

The Tool Kit

After all, UX is a blend of art and science. It takes a skilled designer to know how to implement both aspects of UX in a way that is meaningful and responsive. Thanks to Crazy Egg, we can continue to deliver products to our clients that are supported by data and show clear results. The simplicity of their product combined with the immensely impactful insights Crazy Egg offers is essential for any UX designers tool kit. 

 

The Psychology Of UX

March 21, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

When I first started as an intern at CreateApe, I was new to the UX/UI space. While I was familiar with some components of it, but understanding wasn’t fully developed. Now in my academic and professional career, I interact with the psychology of User Experience and User Interface design non-stop in daily life. As Cristina (our Director of Communications) and I were browsing blog topics for the month, one of the things we found really interesting were the blog topics on UX Magazine.

Why These Categories?

UX Magazines featured topics are under the categories: Accessibility, Data Visualization, Emotion, Empathy, Personas, and Storytelling. UX designers are familiar with all these categories, but I found some of them surprising. Why are things like emotion and empathy critical when talking about design?

Understanding UX/UI has changed the way I look at communication. At UC Berkeley, I’m seeing so many things I haven’t seen before, especially when connecting UX/UI to consumer behavior and human emotions. Upon deeper exploration, I’ve concluded that UX design goes beyond just the aesthetics, it’s the psychology behind the design in our lives.

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Data Visualization:

At Berkeley, it’s incredible the amount of emphasis that is put on numbers. “Big data” and “data analytics” are buzzwords that float through classrooms. It seems as if everyone is in a number crunch race, but for what reason? Numbers tell a story. Number’s tell stories, sometimes even better than words.

For example, in UX/UI, we use heat mapping to let the user tell us a story. We utilize reports on what users have been clicking on the most, where their eyes first land when browsing a landing page and more. This data helps interpret a path the user takes through a series of clicks. From the amount of time someone stays on a landing page, to what part of the website they frequently visit- all aid in the quest of understanding our actions and why we act in certain ways. When we see a perfume ad, our first instinct may be to look at the people in the ads. Why is that? It all boils down to psychology and it’s the UX designer and marketers job to explore and understand why.

Qualitative vs. Quantitive

Data can tell us where the future is moving. Both qualitative and quantitative data gives us valuable information about consumers and how they approach design. Although there is an emphasis on numbers, qualitative data is just as important.

This Ted Talk by Tricia Wang reveals why human insights in data are so crucial. Nokia had been conducting surveys about smartphones in rural Asia and receiving the data back. While the data stated that the demographics of the area had no interest or need for smartphones, Wang’s ethnography findings found just the opposite. She had talked to and observed those in rural Asia and found, in fact, that there was an increasing desire for smartphones within the community. Nokia refuted the data simply because it wasn’t rooted in the numbers and has been trying to catch up in the smartphone industry since.

The UX/UI designer is in many ways an ethnographer. They have to observe a user base, understand how they use their current tools and design accordingly. Like a 5-year-old, they must ask many ‘why’ questions and never stop re-evaluating, why? Both qualitative and quantitative data are essential in allowing designers to bring a human insight approach to design. Quantitative data can tell us about a demographic but qualitative data can extensively show us how the user is interacting with designs (like user testing).

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Story Telling

There’s no doubt that storytelling is crucial in the way designs are presented. Storytelling is a form of communication that’s designed to connect with the user. We tell stories to connect with others. It’s the same with UX. We create pathways and stories through designs that are impactful and connect with users on a personal level.

Good design limits choice. In consumer behavior, we talk a lot about decision fatigue. If a user is overwhelmed by a decision in which they have too many choices, they end up making no decisions at all or make a rash or spontaneous decision. This is why storytelling is so crucial. Users don’t want to make decisions 100% of the time, and if they do they want them to be easy. In order to create an impactful story, we must use anticipatory design.

Anticipatory Design

Anticipatory design eliminates choices for the user. We think we want a lot of choices, but psychology has proven we actually don’t. This is evident just within the In n’ Out menu. Its simplicity and limited choice have allowed the brand to flourish. There is a freedom in limited choices, like having your credit card information already on file rather than choosing which one to use and re-input every time you shop. There’s a reason why designers like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wore the same thing every day.

When we have choices omitted from us, it’s easier to follow a path or a story. That’s what UX aims to do for the user. Designing simple and impactful illustrations is what makes using products and browsing interfaces that much more enjoyable. Good UX is supposed to anticipate our next move before we do, and it works. Designing stories and a path for users to take utilizes anticipatory design.

Accessibility:

When scrolling through UX Mag’s website, their articles about accessibility focus on availability. It’s about designing for everyone. UX/UI isn’t just about design, it’s about breakthroughs. It’s about that ah-ha moment that makes life just that much easier. It’s no surprise that great designs can change the world, but they can only change it if they’re accessible. A great example of this is the Apple Watch. Their interface is designed for an athlete, stay at home mom, student, chef, or virtually anyone. It’s designed for the everyday user and pushed the boundaries of design. The creators of the Apple Watch anticipated wearable tech that now has opened many possibilities for design and made it accessible and friendly for each user.

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Emotion:

Emotion in design is impactful. We see, think, and feel emotions every day. We make choices and design our life based on emotions. The world around us has the ability to influence user experience and design. Going back to the Apple watch example, it was designed to be worn on the wrist because of it’s psychological placement on the body. The design was made with emotions in mind, our wrist being associated with being delicate, often intimate and right on the pulse. We can now send our heartbeat to a loved one via our Apple watch and our Spotify recommends playlists are based on our moods. Emotions shape design.

Amanda O’Grady, the Design Strategist at Intuit says, “True emotional connections come from experiences that feel magical and meaningful.”

Even the actual design of emoji was made for us to convey emotion. Each emoji is based on a feeling, an emotion that is designed based on movements in facial features. Dr. Ekman, ranked among the most influential psychologists of the 21st century, is world-renowned for his research on facial expressions, emotion, deception, and compassion. His research has aided to furthering emotions in design and worked on movies like Inside Out. This inherently shows that we gravitate towards designs that help us convey or relate to emotions. This trait is crucial in UX/UI as the first step of design is understanding the emotions behind it.

Empathy:

I thought it was amusing that UX Mag’s image used for this topic was a man changing one foot into a heeled shoe. We see empathy in design everywhere. In the design world, and the real world, there aren’t any empathy filters. Designers aren’t going to wake up one day and think to start designing with empathy. But empathy allows us to consider how people are thinking and feeling. Being empathetic in design is to put yourself in the user’s shoes.

Most designers designed something because they have empathized with themselves. For example, the person who invented the bike probably hated the fact they had to walk miles and miles every day. Empathizing with users allows designers to gain a genuine understanding of how to solve users problems and build better products. Designing with empathy is human design. It’s not an algorithm made from a device, that’s why UX/UI is so crucial, it’s personalized designed built from human nature.  

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”- Theodore Roosevelt
Personas:

A persona is a group of users who all exhibit similar types of behavior. This is the ideal customer or user, the one who is going to have the most impact. In consumer behavior, personas are often used in targeting a certain demographic and usually require some research. Personas allow for perspective. Like empathy, personas put you in the user’s shoes and allow the designer to ask the crucial questions on how the user will perform while using their products. Understanding who you’re designing for is the first step to any design success.

Personas help teams find the answer of who they are designing for. Not only is this helpful for segmentation, but it’s helpful in understanding empathy. Creating personas makes designers understand that users have varying needs and expectations. A persona puts into perspective how a person interacts with a product, their patterns, and puts behaviors into context.

Psychology of UX: 

At the root of UX/UI is a question of why. UX is supposed to provoke questions. It’s supposed to ask why humans do things, why we do them the way we do. These blog categories encapsulate the core of UX design. UX is about combining data, regular human emotions, using empathy and accessibility to connect that to impactful storytelling. As a design field based on human nature, it has deep roots in psychology.

Additionally, there is a historical aspect to this type of design. It’s an example of who we are as a society at any given time and a peek into how we live our lives. Historically, you can look at UX/UI designs and know what society was like at any given time because designers were building for that society.

What’s ultimately successful in UX Mag’s blog titles is their ability to provoke questions. The purpose of UX design is to ask the questions. Why do we do this? Why is it purposeful? Could we function without it? The average person wouldn’t know what UX/UI design even was, so why is it so important?  UX marries both design and psychology, and in the end develops as a sort of sociological report on who we are, what we believe in and what we want. That’s why it’s important.

How A Retainer Transformed Renovation Angel

March 11, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

Over the years we’ve worked with some great companies and amazing individuals. We love the work we do (or we wouldn’t do it). But more importantly, we love and value the relationships we create with our clients. This is the story of one of those relationships.

Six years ago, we met Steve Feldman, founder of Renovation Angel. In addition to what was at the time two subsets of their company, Green Demolitions, and Kitchen Trader. Since 2005, Steve and his super talented team have conducted thousands of projects for members of the Forbes 400, professional athletes, and everybody else in-between. With a long term retainer in place, Renovation Angel, America’s premier recycler of luxury pre-owned kitchens and renovation items, allowed CreateApe to lead them on a digital rebrand.

What Are The Benefits of a Retainer?

First, let’s discuss the parameters of a retainer. Retainers are beneficial for several reasons. One of the most obvious is that the client receives a discounted rate in exchange for a long-term commitment. In the bigger scheme of things, however, the best benefit of a retainer is the freedom of collaboration. Both the client and the design team know there is a wealth of hours to allow room for excellent products to be created. Neither side is worried about pinching hours to stay within a certain budget. All the work being done is already included!

It isn’t just the security, trust, and speed; it’s the collaboration and the teamwork. As an agency, we’re able to fully enmesh ourselves into the brand. We learn the nuances which help us deliver consistent success. Working with Renovation Angel, we knew the brand inside and out. We knew the stakeholders and what they were expecting and the best way to approach success. This kind of investment from both the vendor and client is priceless.

 

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An example of social media imagery designed for Renovation Angel.
How A Retainer Transformed Renovation Angel

When Steve initially contacted us it was to revitalize their website’s User Experience design. Since then, we’ve helped them kick off and improve their entire digital footprint from Renovation Angel to Green Demolitions. Now that they have let go of their other two brands: Kitchen Trader & Green Demolitions.

What had begun as an initial “UX-friendly” revamp turned into a full-blown site re-launch. At the time, not only were we just working on Renovation Angel, but also Green Demolitions, the e-commerce portal of their company. With our help, their website traffic increased by 40%, and their overall sales increased by 15%. Brand engagement almost doubled, and the sleek modern feel we helped to create was being mentioned by consumers and industry professionals alike.

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On a retainer with Renovation Angel, we were able to collaborate on this idea for a step and repeat.
Increased Flexibility

There are many moments when both the client and us, as the vendor, benefit from the flexibility of being on a retainer. On a retainer, the client can pivot from idea to idea. Because they have a clear outline of the scope of work possible, (the actual tasks we can do), without worrying too much about budgets. Our dedication to transparency keeps expectations manageable and deliverables on schedule.

For example, every month Renovation Angel had a monthly sale that required a lot of soft and hard collateral to be created. Several different web banners of various sizes, an email design, and a price tag design (for use on the showroom floor) were created. Being on a retainer allowed the entire team the flexibility of trying different things over a period of time. That eventually served as the foundation of our well-oiled design process.

Design Processes

Flexibility and agile design processes are definitely important parts of our long-term client success. When redesigning their site to be an e-commerce website, it made it easy to spec out the scope of the project together. Even while decisions were being made, we were able to maintain the status quo of business as usual while putting our best foot forward. We had accumulated knowledge over the span of several years on their target client demographic. This allowed us to come up with impactful conversion-centric designs in much less time.

“That was a really big win for the retainer because we were able to work even at times when they weren’t available to provide guidance and ultimately help move the needle forward. Having the opportunity to work within the boundaries of a retainer proved to be advantageous for the business in more ways than one,” said CEO Alessandro Fard.

 

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One of the many sale banners that we created for Renovation Angel.
Efficiency of Operations

Renovation Angel took many risks over the years, especially when it came to brand architecture. While Renovation Angel focused on the donations side of their company, both Green Demolitions and Kitchen Trader were e-commerce based sister-brands. Each sold luxury kitchens and home renovation items. Fast forward to 2019, the brand organization is has undergone another transformation. All three brands have merged under the Renovation Angel umbrella, bringing its own set of challenges and opportunities.

Our new job was to capture the attention of many verticals. The new website, one that merged all three aspects of the brand so far, had to be luxurious, modern, edgy and welcoming. It’s part non-profit, part recycling, part luxury, and interior design. We had to create a fully immersive online space that customers could easily shop and understand.

The feedback from their team was, “Oh my gosh, this makes it so much easier to not only upload information and keep the information up to date for the users to see, but also for our team to manage information.” Now, when Renovation Angel would receive phone calls asking questions about their products, they were able to reference a fully robust website. They now had up to date information that was not only easy to engage with, but impactful. Not only did they see an increase in sales, but in their daily efficiency of overall operations.

 

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BEFORE: The Renovation Angel website before e-commerce transformation.

 

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AFTER: The updated Renovation Angel website.
A synergistic win.

One of our favorite aspects of collaborating with a client within a retainer framework is the opportunity to work on exciting new projects all the time. As Renovation Angel took off, we had the privilege to work with an organization that had undergone many iterations for continued quality improvement. We ultimately saw improved success markers across the board.

Not only were we working on keeping their websites up to date and ensuring things continued to convert, but we also got to develop social media channels, and direct marketing campaigns. The work that we did went from just a one-off project to become a six-year collaboration that we’re very lucky to be a part of.

In the end, the most important aspect of a retainer is the ongoing relationship between the agency and the client. Risks, opportunities, and great ideas don’t exist in a vacuum. Our retainer with Renovation Angel allowed us to bring those ideas to life in the best way possible. We feel so lucky and grateful to have worked with such an amazing team at Renovation Angel over the years and can’t for what lies ahead in the future!

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.

 

5 Valentine’s Day Landing Pages We Go Banana’s For

February 14, 2019 - Posted By: CreateApe

At CreateApe, we speak the language of love. Not only are we here to help you traverse the jungles of UX/UI, but also the groves of the heart. We love holidays around here, so it’s no surprise we want to spoil our significant others on Valentine’s Day. Depending on your significant other’s tastes, the bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate from the grocery store might make the cut. For most of our team, it’s impossible not to fall into a trap.

First, it starts with flowers, but then comes the contemplation of adding a nice piece of jewelry, maybe a candlelit dinner, or the gadget they’ve been casually slipping into a conversation for the past two weeks…

For the average American on Valentine’s day, we found that the classic roses and chocolates aren’t cutting it anymore. According to USA Today, 55% of Americans who plan to celebrate Valentine’s day are estimated to spend $143.56, reaching total spending of 19.6 billion. That’s 1.4 billion up from last year.

As our team searched around for gifts this year, we couldn’t help but notice some of the amazing Valentine’s Day landing pages that excel in their UX that made us open up our wallets (and our hearts of course). We’re a sucker for a good landing page, especially one made for the holidays. After all, they’re one of e-commerce’s biggest tricks and of course, fun for everyone.

So whether you’re shopping for a gift to surprise your Valentine or getting something nice for yourself, it’s okay we all do it, here are five landing pages that have a special place in our heart.

1. Amazon
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Amazon is like Disneyland for procrastinators. Their prime shipping appeals to the masses and they know that it’s their strong suit during the holidays. On their homepage, they immediately show categories for all of Valentines Day’s most popular gifts. They include a concise section of gift choices, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and gift cards. Not only making life easy for the user but also giving them a place to start.

To make life even easier, they include gift categories for certain demographics (yes, even your pets) and organize their site based on your Valentine’s Day plans. Date night in? No problem. Galentine’s Day? They already have pre-selected items and showcase the easy to shop possibilities. UX is about not having to make the user think, and Amazon does the thinking for you with their landing page.

Not only is each option presented for optimal use, but each option they promote is also visually separated by shades of pink, red, and purple accompanied by compelling photography. This allows users to segment each alternative without risking information overload.

2. AT&T
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There’s something to be said about the power of a strong hero image. AT&T decided to pass on the various shades of pink and red in its design but instead went with a bold and captivating hero image that reflects AT&T’s brand identity of connecting people through their services.

The image speaks for itself, but text placed in the hero evokes tone and romance. Besides the image, the header and the call to action carry the heaviest weight on the page. The user’s eye immediately goes to the image of the couple and then to “Shop Gifts.” The clean and simple design is alluring and clearly paves out the users desired path.

Even when scrolling down the homepage, AT&T excels at directing the user to options. The packaged deals that indicate what phone plan are the best for you and your Valentine are mapped out and showcased in boxes with clever copy such as, “One for you. One for your valentine.”

3. Chanel
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Chanel’s landing page features their most popular product during Valentine’s season, perfumes. Again, they use a powerful hero image to convey the emotions attributed to the holiday. Using light pink contrasted with the masculine black perfume bottle evokes desire, confidence, and love.

The most powerful part of Chanel’s landing page is within simplicity. They do an excellent job at straying from the overwhelming and kitschy Valentines Day ad’s that can appear too sales-y. They stay true to their brand heritage as a sleek timeless brand while giving the user an easy way to shop their products. The user is left wanting to seek the same emotions the landing page emits and explore Chanel’s other products.

4. Kenneth Cole
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In 2019, standing out among the crowd can be a challenge. Kenneth Cole hit the mark this Valentines Day with their provocative and clever landing page. Instead of leading users to follow the desired path, they encourage the user to simply stay on their site with their attention-grabbing header “This Valentine’s Day Get Some For Date Night.”

Kenneth Cole does a great job of utilizing white space. Immediately the eye is drawn to the text in the middle of the page and there’s a purposeful weight assigned to “Get Some for Date Night.” The contrast between black and white makes it impossible to escape from their bold and playful design and piques interest in what Valentine’s Day items you can find on their site. If you’re looking for direction, we personally love their jeans.

5. Lancome
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Lancome’s page showcases makeup how-to’s and three different looks you can try on Valentines Day. The best part of Lancome’s landing page is their storytelling element. They have the user imagining themselves in every different scenario wondering what their Valentine’s Day possibilities hold.

Each photo is linked to the product’s that are used in each look. This makes it easy to shop and pick out items based on the user’s needs. The emotional appeal is strong throughout the page, as you’re left wanting to emanate the same emotion Lancome has captured and explore their products.

Even cards and lipstick kissed letters are in the background of the makeup photos, adding to the allusion and asking the question what’s in the cards for your Valentines Day?

One of our biggest motto’s is UX/UI inspiration comes from everywhere. Whatever your plans are on Valentines Day, we hope you’re inspired and surrounded by the ones you love! And in the spirit of user experience, get some for date night.

Are There Benefits of Being a Google Partner for a UX/UI Designer?

October 4, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

SEO. It’s another one of those acronyms and buzzwords people in the tech space love to throw out. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the reason why certain keywords show up first when using search engines.

SEO can be vital for organic growth

Studies will show if you’re not on the first page of a search engine, it doesn’t matter where you are. In fact, if you’re running a small business or an entrepreneur, you’ve probably received a phone call from companies claiming to be Google and promising your company top placement on the first page. Chances are, they’re probably not Google. As much as we’d love to believe those in charge of ranking and indexing at Google have our personal cell phones, that’s not the case.

The Google SEO Game

This is important because in my opinion, if you want to play the Google indexing and ranking game, you probably want to look in to PPC campaigns. PPC stands for pay per click and is usually the single specialty of an agency. If you’re going to pay Google, actually pay Google and pay for the clicks. That way you know every dollar you spend is going towards a click that could be a future client. Essentially, you’re paying for eyeballs on your content. The cost per click might be pretty high, but is probably a wiser choice than paying an arbitrary company who claims to have the “secret sauce” to changing the SEO game.

WTF Is A Google Partner?

I’ve also noticed the new “Google Partner” badge on some company websites. First off, if I’m a UX/UI designer what does being a Google Partner have to do with anything? Google partner has to do with search, PPC, and SEO. If you’re an agency and you’re a Google partner… good for you I guess. If all you focus on is SEO and PPC it makes some sense, but you’re essentially paying a ton of money to have a fancy badge on your website.

As a UX/UI vendor, putting that you’re a Google partner is nonsensical. It holds no bearing on your design chops, user testing procedures, or any other capabilities in your wheelhouse. Even if you’re doing development all the way to design, being a “Google Partner” still doesn’t have any benefit.

What to Actually Invest In:

When creating a website, there’s still basic semantic SEO, meta tags, and keywords. Then there’s actually implementing campaigns around high ranking metrics, organic SEO, or a PPC campaign. I would argue if you are looking to do a PPC campaign, you should go to an agency where PPC is all they do day in and day out. If they offer UX/UI, development, social media, branding, SEO, and PPC, they may be able to do it really well, but typically in my experience it’s better to go with people who specialize. Do you want somebody who does a little bit of everything kinda okay, or do you want somebody who does one thing extremely well?

If you’re looking for great UX/UI, go to a great UX/UI agency. If you’re looking for a PPC campaign, go to an agency where that’s all they’re known for. Although there are some benefits for being a Google Partner if you’re in the space of PPC or SEO, it really is a badge that validates how much money you put into Google. SEO results don’t happen overnight and neither does Google indexing.

And remember, no company has a magic bullet. They cannot guarantee specific metrics overnight. Do your research and let an expert team guide you towards achieving your goals.

Designing a Call-To-Action That Converts Every Time

September 18, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

If you’re in the design space, you’ve probably heard the acronym CTA. While it sounds like a disease, CTA stands for “Call To Action.” It’s a button or a link that users can interact with in order to inform or convert them to make a buying decision. Marketers love to throw out phrases like “We need a strong CTA” and we’re here to discuss what that even means.

A typical call to action you see on eCommerce websites are the “Buy Now” and “Click Here” boxes. Although it depends what your goal, product, and demographic you’re targeting is, there are some common denominators every CTA should have. Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re maximizing conversion every time.

1. Placement

First, a strong CTA should be easy to see and should have a prominent placement. Although some may think size and color are the most important factor of a CTA, it’s about what’s happening around the space that you need to be conscious about. Think about the button in context with the page. If you have a CTA with pictures all around it it’s going to be hard for the human mind to see it. A CTA with clean boundaries is going to get more clicks.

2. Color

General rule of thumb is to make sure the color is vibrant. Websites with a black box and white text may not perform as well. A colorful button that stands out in the design will attract more clicks. Be wary of going overboard. If you have a website that has colorful text, design, links, and you have a colorful CTA, it’s going to get lost in the composition.

This Madewell CTA could have been more impactful with color differentiation. Due to the black and white, the user has to stop and read both buttons to make a decision instead of making a subconscious choice. For example, a “yes” button being green and a “no” button being red.

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In this example, the designer uses green and grey to differentiate. As a result, the user gravitates towards the green “Yes” intended to capture the greatest conversion.

CreateApe-CTA-Example

 

3. Size

Your main CTA should be fairly large. Not large enough to be be obnoxious, but it should be larger than most of the items on the page. For example, on your typical landing page you’ll have title, subtitle, some text and two CTA’s. Typically, those CTA’s like “buy now” or “learn more” have a greater emphasis on them then the rest of the items on the page. The main CTA like “buy now,” should have a heavier weight due to it being the button that will lead to greater conversion and monetization.

Additionally, having a sub-CTA like “learn more” is important for those who aren’t ready to buy in the moment, but maybe want to buy in the future. In the context of this example, your main CTA “buy now” should be stronger than the sub-CTA intentionally. If they’re both the same weight then the mind will have to differentiate between the two. If the “buy now” is stronger, it will get more clicks.

Why CTA’s are Essential:

Most importantly, designing an effective CTA is the difference between converting a customer or generating a lead that will become a customer later on. It’s an integral part of digital marketing and user interface design. With the these tips, you’ll be able to design a CTA that’s effective and engaging.

Are you a business owner or entrepreneur that needs help deciding on which applications are best for your business? Let us help get you get #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.

Clutch.co Ranks CreateApe Top Design Agency in Orange County

September 6, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

CreateApe is now featured on Clutch.co and has already received two stellar reviews for outstanding service. Clutch is a Washington DC based research, ratings and reviews firm that covers thousands of business to business firms from over 500 different industries. Each company on Clutch is evaluated on multiple criteria such as; market presence, client base, and industry experience. Clutch’s platform allows firms to compare similar services and choose the one that best compliments their future business plans.

Additionally, CreateApe’s talented team of experts are not only capable of implementing the newest technologies on the market, but also excel at providing the highest customer service possible to all our clients. No matter the level of complexity of the project, CreateApe is eager to develop modern, visually appealing products that not only look good, but are functional and intuitive. In addition to UX and UI design, our team can also help with web development and over all digital services. For any business inquiries or questions, please contact us here.

A recent client of ours has given feedback on a project with us on Clutch.co and rated us a 5- star service. The project was to create a real estate management platform that was easy to use for all parties. The reviewer was incredibly impressed with our turnaround. They said,

“We can give them a skeleton model and they come back with an incredible representation of what we’re seeking.”

 

 

Another reviewer of CreateApe on Clutch’s platform really appreciated our refreshing approach compared to other businesses they’ve worked with. They said,


“What was refreshing about CreateApe is that they took the time to understand the technology we’re using.”

 

This reviewer goes on to talk about the results of the web design we created for them. They also said,


“It’s getting positive feedback on the look and feel, a major improvement from the previous site.”

 

All this positive feedback on Clutch has already made us a leader on their Orange County UX Designers page. Furthermore, Clutch just announced that on September 5th, they’ll be releasing a press release of the top business service companies in California. Even with two reviews, we’ll be included in this press release because of our hard work and commitment to clients.

We look forward to collecting more Clutch reviews on our profile to rank even higher as a UX and Digital agency. Thank you to our clients for spending the time supporting us and leaving us feedback through Clutch’s platform!

Why Go On A Retainer?

September 13, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

If you’re a client that’s been working with a company on a month to month basis for a while now- you might want to start thinking about going on a retainer. It’s a win-win for both the client and the business.

CreateApe-Client-Retainer
Why Get a Retainer: 

One of the biggest benefits of working on a retainer is the security and predictability for both the client and the business. You know the resource will be available for your needs when you need them, and the resource provider knows they will secure that work. A retainer can solidify and strengthen your working relationship.  

CreateApe-Retainer-Client

 

1. Things get done fast. Like really fast.

Retainer clients are often put first because of the predetermined agreement to a monthly workload. Like we said, retainer clients become family. If the offices are closed on 5 p.m. on a Friday, we’ll still be there to put out fires that would normally be pushed to Monday. When your business gets busy, there’s already a solid resource available.

CreateApe-Retainer-Client

 

2. You’ve found a vendor you already trust!

In the end, you’ll be spending money to have someone do the work anyway, and it might as well be with a designer you already trust. If you’ve been working with them for a while not only do you know how they work, but how you work together. 

CreateApe-Retainer-Client
3. Stability and security is hard to come by.

Every month a predetermined amount of work and income allow both parties to plan for the future. Retainers take the guest work out of quarterly estimates and budgets. Both parties can budget and determine hiring based on the stability of a retainer.

CreateApe-Retainer-Client

 

What’s Included:
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Retainers are different for everybody and usually vary from client to client. There’s no one size fits all for a retainer and it varies from the service provided and project needs. At CreateApe, we cover everything. From high fidelity mockups, new conversion centric websites, responsive mobile designs, or even seasonal marketing designs, we offer it all.

Usually a big project that starts off the relationship is the beginning of an ongoing retainer. For example, if there’s a huge eCommerce redesign, we’re going to be focusing on the redesign but also little things might emerge out of the project. Landing pages, marketing banners, print design, things that are needed for basic maintenance of an eCommerce website are a great fit for a retainer.

A monthly retainer service allows businesses to develop a cohesive and long term plan while tracking results, permitting for more return from funds you’d be investing elsewhere. However, in the end, the most important aspect of a retainer agreement is the relationship between the agency and clients commitment to achieving overall business goals.

CreateApe-Retainer-Client
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.

Difference between UX/UI Designer & Developer

August 8, 2018 - Posted by: CreateApe

There are many things in the tech space that can get taken for granted. Like a general understanding of common terms. In the UX/UI design space, we throw around a lot of terms we expect people to know. Whether it be CTA, above the fold, or even UX design itself, we assume that people know what these terms we’ve been throwing around mean. But boy is the tech space a bubble!

 

 

While some of this may be hitting some of you over the head, some of you may be sitting there like…

 

 

So it’s time to get #learnt. You might be asking yourself “What is a UX Designer?” “What do they do?”  “What’s a Developer?” and to conclude, “WTF even is the difference?” Well pull up a chair.

 

 

The distinction between a UX/UI designer and a developer is huge.

To make it simple, a UX designer creates the layout and general aesthetic of an application, and a developer makes these things work.

UX design is the infrastructure, layout, and placement of content and copy for a specific composition.

A good example of that is wireframing. Wireframing, one of the most utilized tools in a UX designers toolbelt, is a rough sketch or layout of what the application will look like before adding the details.

Whether wire framing is done on a whiteboard or an application like Sketch, UX/UI designers work closely with stakeholders to translate their ideas into a visual with an intelligent layout and design. At this point in the process, a rough sketch of what the application will look like exists but it’s not fully flushed out, resembling a coloring book before a 12 pack of Crayola.

The UX/UI design process is similar to building a home.

To build a home you’re going to need an architect, someone who will plan the general layout and composition of your space. Somebody that hopefully creates an environment for maximum enjoyment of what you want out of your home. That’s the UX designers job.

The builder, the one who actually brings the home to life, putting in finishing details such as window finishes, painting, and the function of appliances would fall under the UI designers job.

A UI designer will take what a UX designer has produced, color it in, and implement the style guide and branding of the application. These are all things a developer who is coding the front end (what the site looks like) of the application will want to know so that they can do their part.

Find yourself a proper villain:

More often than not a UX designer will also specialize in UI and have a little bit of front end experience just from encounters with other developers. This way when the designer hands the project off to the developer it’s neatly packaged and the developer doesn’t have to dig around to understand the needs and wants. Which in the end, is better for someone who’s paying the developer because costs will be lower and everything will run smoothly.

 

So what does a web developer do?

Once the handoff happens from the designer to the developer, the developer makes the application come to life. Good development starts in the planning phases, even beginning when the designers wireframe. Doing this ensures an understanding of how the application should respond and look like. Now developer will know what the site is, what the flow will be and be prepared for any challenges that may arise.

When it comes to web development, you can have developers that specialize in certain aspects, or full stack developers.

Meaning, they do everything from front end development, what you actually see in your browser, to back-end development, what the application is built on like WordPress and Magento.

Once the UI elements are made from the design the developers should start thinking about the backend.

What database should they use?

What do they need to use?

All those different questions, and planning it out from the design phase helps in the long run. You’ll have less technical debt, code that’s maintainable, and getting to the finished product will be much easier.

The relationship between the UX/UI designer and developer is integral to the success of the project. Although very different roles, the two have to work closely together so small details aren’t over looked. If you give a developer instructions to create a website without a design, you’ll most likely end up with a website that looks like it was made in the early 90s and vice versa. Like most specialities, it’s safe to say the job of a developer and a UX/UI designer adheres to the age old motto: #stayinyolane.

Are you a business owner or entrepreneur that needs help deciding on which application is  best for your business? 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.

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.