Setting up Photoshop like a Pro UXer

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Photoshop, the designers ‘must-have’ is such a flexible tool that there are many ways to set up your workflow.

After some 20 years I have found these two to be the most efficient, most transferable within a team, and most manageable i.e. avoiding the dreaded spinning-wheel-of-death

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Layer comps

Fickle as clients can be, I’ve come to realise that there will always be amendments. Version after version, where the client/stakeholder/CEO wanna-be-designer suggests colours or positioning changes. Simply switching on/off layers and groups and saving as a state was an ingenious ideas by Adobe. Big pat on the back.

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Posted in Comms, Experience Design, IT, UX

iOS Casino App for the iphone – UX Design

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Brief

Next to essentials like food and water, one of the only other industries not effected by the world financial situation is gambling. In fact the industry is booming. There are many UX challenges in designing the perfect game play experience, catering for the green fingered punter all the way through to the seasoned veteran is a difficult balancing act.
Plus, as mentioned, in these more straighten times, to be conscious of not forcing the gambling experience on to the more vulnerable.

Splash screen

Modern smartphone don’t need 2-3 seconds to start up, so the original notion of the start-up or splash screen is now redundant. But brands love to position their logo ‘front of stall’ so for this reason, this screen is important. Keep it simple and remember, if you can’t get your brand message over in 2-3 seconds, think about a re-design.
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Home

This is the heart of the application, the place to show off what you have to offer – the ‘showcase‘ if you like. So make it impressive, make it big and try your best to impress.
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Posted in Brand Design, Corporate ID, Graphic Design, IT, Mobile, UX

Branding an iPad Casino App

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1.0 Aims and Objectives

To produce the best-in-class iPad and iPhone App for playing slots and table games.

Recently I was involved in conceptualise and leading the UI for a iOS casino App for both iPhone and iPad.  I’m not going to detail all design decisions here but walk you through my perspective on why branding for this product is so important and why the decisions made differentiate it enough to stand-out in what is already a fiercely competitive and crowded marketplace.

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Posted in Brand Design, Brand ID, Comms, Experience Design, Graphic Design, IT, Logo Design, Strategy, UX, Web design

Wireframing an iPad Casino App

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Focusing on planning functionality and layout without design is the most efficient way of concentrating decision markers (especially business or product-owners) to agree on functionality without distraction. Think: function over form.

Personally I love to use traditional pen and paper for wireframing. How about you?

First launch feature areas

This is the main ‘shop window’ to the experience. On first launch, the user to launched in the gambling casino world. Pre-selected games adopt the ‘parallax scrolling’ technique and occupy the prime real estate. There is also functionality to drill down via category types. Account Management and Help are all ‘front-of-store’, as is the ability to push sign up and login promotions.

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Posted in Experience Design, Graphic Design, Mobile, New Media, Strategy, UX

Low fidelity prototypes

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Why is this basic process, still the best?

I’ve made a few assumptions here, first… you work in UX. Second, you’re familiar with Agile and third, you haven’t much time so I’ll keep this brief. Straight to it, here is a couple of the main advantages of low fidelity prototyping:

  • Get better and more honest feedback
  • More involved collaboration
  • Make the cost of mistakes cheap, not expensive
  • Refine the page flow, not the pages
  • Figure out the interaction design rather than the visual design

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Posted in Graphic Design, Mobile, Strategy, Typography, UX

Mobile best practice for registration – Put the users needs before technology

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User Registration on Mobile

Watch the videoWatch the animated version here

I have recently been involved in both high-level concept generation through to territory specific text changes in the exiting world of User Registration. These are my top 5 tips to help you streamline your process or find some inspiration.

1. Do not turn-off your client

Very early on you begin to realise that you, as a UX designer answering to Business and shakeholders alike, should avoid providing a dry and labour-intensive solution to what is a tedious process. This will inevitable put off, or turn off, potential new customers from the start. So, as they walk through your virtual door, try to present a broken-down and achievable process where they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget : Break your offer into bite-sized chunks

Regulations possibly dictate that your customers will need to supply certain information. If so, have them supply that information up-front. That way you, as a caring and customer-centric company can temporally capture that info and call them back should they drop-off. Then you can ask ‘Is everything allright? Can we help you further with your registration?”

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Posted in Freebies, New Media, Strategy, Typography, UX, Web design

What’s your favourite wire-framing style?

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Pick your battles, know your styles

Whether for desktops, on a tablet or the this mythical idea of a mobile internet (there is only one web to experience – but that a different post!) the modern UX-er should be skilled in the art of wire-framing. The style you use should come from the answers to these three things:

  • Process – From low-fidelity through to fully functioning prototypes is the sure-fire route to excellence. In reality, how often does this really happen. If you have enforce a process, I would insist on the sketching and on the final design stages.
  • Resources – I have sat in top-level boardroom meetings in the most stylish settings in the capital, tea and coffee from all over the world. Clearly, resources were not a factor here – so you would be expected to know Azure inside out and be expected to roll-out full functioning Fireworks prototypes. You may even get some business heads thinking your protoypes were so good , it’s a done job!
  • Quick turnaround – Picture the scenario, your stakeholder is looking for a quick – fix. You have fought your corner but there are no requirements, no analysis, no nothing. Always try to push for more than a few scribbles on the back of napkin but sometimes it is more productive just to get on with it.

Depending on the answers to these issues will depend on the wireframing style you deploy

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Posted in Brand Design, Experience Design, Mobile, UX, Web design

Unique Lowest Bid Site – UX Redesign

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Watch the videoWatch the video here

icanhaveit.com – Site redesign

Taking an existing but tired site, refresh and rebrand it up to modern day standards.

icanhaveit.com - Redesign Complete Site

Logo refresh

With a focus on readability and execution, the logo has be refined and simplified. This is only an online print so RGB was the primary driver.

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Posted in Brand Design, IT, Logo Design, New Media, UX, Web design

iOS Splash Pages – What’s the deal?

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Every app needs an app icon and a launch image. This presentation concentrates on the all important Splash Screen

Sometimes you have to just stick on the headphones, crank up the tunes and grind through the dullest part of your iOS project. And that’s slavishly grind out the assets for all the iOS family, particularly the Splash Pages.

Here, for the splash screens I have broken down as follows:

  • Size for iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation)
  • Size for high-resolution iPhone and iPod touch
  • Size for iPhone and iPod touch
  • Size for high-resolution iPad
  • Size for iPad

For your iPhone

There is basically three sizes for portrait mode, for the most recent iPhone 5 or iPod Touch 5th Generation (as of present 2013), for the iPhone 4 and 4S users out there and for you laggards, the iPhone 3 users.

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Posted in Brand Design, Comms, Graphic Design, Mobile, New Media, UX

Adult Dating Brand – Can you choose the right look n’ feel?

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Watch the video Watch the video here

Low Key Dating

Brief: Tale an existing site, still young and yet to launch fully, and refresh the look n’ feel with new brand mark and ‘sexy and sassy’ imagery.

Branding

What should this brand look like, and how should it segment  This brand has focussed down on three zones:

  • Singles
  • Adults
  • Matures

This part of the process looks at how best to promote these three distinct sections.

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Posted in Brand Design, Brand ID, Graphic Design, New Media, Web design

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spindlelegs.co.uk is a creative design service specialising in branding with an expertise in retail, online, mobile and print with over ten years design and managerial experience. Developing brand ID, successful integrated campaigns and design for online experiences across many industries including financial, petroleum, home entertainments, telecoms, FMCG and retail.

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