Tips for Web Development in 2016

Over the years, the way web development has changed drastically. Looking towards the future, we can expect for this trend to continue. For this reason, developing new tactics for the new year is the best way to ensure your website will be effective throughout the year and into the future.

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Tip 1: Focus on Mobile

The need for mobility has been on the rise for several years now. But, during 2016, this is expected to become even more important. When looking at your web development tools for the coming year, make sure you make sure your site is mobile ready and accessible. Spend time developing the mobile aspect of your website. Many sites are built with different options for their visitors so that everything is easily readable regardless of the device the site is being pulled up on.

Tip 2: Look at Search Engine Changes

 

One trend that is interesting is the fact that many search engines are developing ways to answer direct questions. When asked a question, the search engine will answer the question without actually pulling up a specific website. Instead, it will pull up the question among the results of the search, which helps searchers avoid the need to visit a specific website to search for the answer. What this means for web developers is that if you have a great amount of content on your site that is designated for answering questions, you may need to rethink your approach. Creating content that cannot be answered quickly is the best option to go with when you are creating your content.

Tip 3: Consider a Flat Design

Your visitors should enjoy staying on your site because it is easy to navigate and read. The content should be valuable and correlate with the products and services you have to offer. To help with this, make sure you are avoiding a lot of clutter on your pages. Instead, keep a simple design that won’t distract from what you are offering.

One item that has been shown to improve this issue is a flat design. This is something that is becoming more and more popular each day. While it was not created by Microsoft, it was definitely made more popular by the design of Windows 8, which is built around a flat design concept. With this idea, focus is placed on making the site easier to use. It has been shown that this design helps readers to find what they need faster than ever before.

Tip 4: Increased use of Video

The constant need to be on the move has decreased the amount of attention span that we have. Because of this, customers are looking for content that is easy and fast to digest. One way many web developers are creating this type of content is through the use of video. Video is something that helps put faces behind the services and products that are being offered, which can make the message even more powerful.

While developing your videos, keep in mind that there will also be some pretty significant changes to the screens that people are viewing them on. You should expect them to grow and shrink at the same time. This is because of the decreased prices of technology, which allows businesses and home-users to purchase bigger screens for their computers and for the increased popularity of smaller devices, like the Apple Watch. Producing quality videos that can easily be viewed, regardless of the device, is now more important than ever for these reasons.

These are some of the biggest trends you can expect to see surface during 2016. While some of them have already been on the rise, you can expect them all to become even more popular in the coming year. Putting these tips into action during 2016 is a great way to make sure your website stays strong and powerful now and in the future.

19 of the Most Eye Catching Brochure Mockups You’ll Want to Use in 2016

Brochures are a phenomenal marketing tool – not only are they a standard in print materials for nearly every concierge and assistant’s desk, but anytime your company is present at a festival, conference, or workshop, a brochure is the second most important piece of paper after a business card.

Mockups, regardless of the end product, are the best way for you to connect with your client and say, “Here’s what you wanted, and here’s how I made it happen.” A mockup not only lets you easily and efficiently plug your designs and vision into something smooth and beautiful, but it lets your client easily connect with what you’re trying to do.

Here are 19 brochure mockups you won’t want to miss trying out!

1. Three Page Brochure

A great option for designers who clients are looking to put out more than just a tidbit of information. Large booklet-style brochures let you really expand on designs and information, allowing you to show off all of what your client needs. This mockup offers a great balance of white space and design real-estate, letting you showcase both the client’s information and also their more visually interesting attributes.

2. A4 Brochure / Magazine Mockup

Another great large-format brochure, this time with A4 dimensions. This mockup includes a number of smart objects, shadows, and easily moved items so you can truly customize the mockup you’re presenting your client with. An extra background texture adds even more customization to this mockup, making it a great option for those looking for a diverse mockup package.

3. Green Brochure Template with Circles

A bright and contemporary mockup that follows the more traditional 3-panel layout of a brochure, this mockup is a great option for those who are looking to bring a little life to their marketing media.

4. Tri-Fold Brochure Mockup

A gorgeously simple mockup that leaves a lot of room for a design that speaks for itself. This layout is nice and straightforward, a flat and minimal design that won’t overpower the art you add to it. A great option for designers looking for something that will complement and work with their own work, not against it.

5. Bi-Fold Brochure Mockup

Want the traditional tri-fold but are still looking to stand out a bit? A bifold is a great way to go. This mockup is bright and enticing, offering a stylish layout that leaves room for additional work that will wow any client in any industry. Offering an entire back panel to contact and social media information, you’re also sure to show your client that you want them to be the focus of the brochure, and nothing else.

6. A4/A5 Tri-Fold Mockup

Another option that stands out from the crowd. This oversized tri-fold will work wonders in wowing your clients and laying out the work you’ve put into their design initiatives. Offering an attractive and straightforward layout, this mockup gives you lots of wiggle room to create a design that will give your clients an easy time envisioning their final product.

7. A4 Brochure Mockups Vol. 1

This mockup is a beautiful choice for those who want to highlight function over form. If your client isn’t as focused on bright colors, flashy designs, and snappy logos, then seriously consider using a mockup that will highlight the text your client wants to put forward. There’s still room for the important visual aids and beautiful graphic design work, but with this mockup, the typography comes first.

8. Infographic Brochure Template

Infographics are a great way to transfer large amounts of statistical data in easy-to-digest methods. Using those tools in the form of a brochure is even better – clients get to easily put their knowledge and background into the hands of their own customers, all in a neat package. This mockup gives you the ability to easily weave together multiple graphic and statistic choices, making an eye-catching brochure that won’t disappoint.

9. Tri-Fold Brochure

A gorgeous layout that combines popping colors with elegant layouts, this mockup is a simple and easy one to put together for any client. A great option for those looking for something they can quickly and efficiently put together, this classic tri-fold takes the brochure world up a notch by incorporating sharp design elements and stellar color choices.

10. Brochure Mockup with Cover and Back Cover

Looking for a more comprehensive brochure mockup that allows for lots of text, but also plenty of filler space for images? Look no further than this mashup of a magazine and brochure. The stunning edge-to-edge layout reads like a magazine but lets clients present information like a brochure, allowing for a professional and visually stunning presentation of their information.

11. Bi-Fold Mockup Template Vol. 6

Another venture into the world of Bi-Folds, this mockup is heavy on the fine details. Leaving lots of room for all your client’s custom content, this mockup doesn’t skimp on making sure every inch of page space looks great.

12. A4 Bi-Fold Brochure Mock-up V1.0

A clean cut and contemporary layout that’s the perfect example of “less is more.” This mockup provides designers with plenty of room to implement their clients needs, all without cluttering the virtual page. Clients who are looking for something simple and not “overdone” will like the minimal feel of this mockup; designers will love the clean and simple lines it provides in maintaining an elegant overall look.

13. Tri-Fold Brochure

A visually complex and bright brochure that works well to liven up any client’s most basic company information. This mockup offers the classic tri-fold design, with more contemporary design choices added on top – geometric layers, brilliant blues and purples, and sharp clean white text. If your client is looking for simple modernity that will wow a crowd, this is the choice.

14. Creative Tri-Fold Brochure Template

This mockup offers a great balance between design elements, textual information, and photo opportunities. Designers can easily implement their own work to the available space, and clients will have plenty of room to showcase the important information they need to share with their customers. Designers can easily manipulate the text layers and design shapes to create a fully-customizable mockup experience, making this a powerful tool in any designers arsenal.

15. Flyer Mockup Templates

Looking for a mockup that gives you a completely blank canvas? This is the option for you. Giving designers a choice of five different views of a tri-fold brochure, this completely blank mockup lets you implement whatever design elements you have on deck. Based on an A4 design, the mockup can be easily manipulated to fit any layout scheme, making it a wonderfully versatile mockup to have.

16. Professional PSD Mockup of Two Bi-Fold Flyers

A great method of showing off designs, this stack of brochures shows how your designs will look in the real world. Offering one mockup closed with the other open gives your client a more tangible feel for their overall design in a wholly intangible format.

17. Z Fold Brochure

This Z-fold (or tri-fold) is another great example of not allowing a classic piece of marketing material be boring. Smart layers give you a stellar amount of control as the designer, while changing the mockups colors is an overall breeze. You can easily make this mockup a piece for any client you’re working with, and stun them all.

18. Tri-Fold Brochure Template

A tri-fold to end all tri-folds. Equipped with gorgeous design elements that catch the eye and lay out vital information in a clear and visually stunning way, this mockup is a contemporary take on the classic brochure. Offering nicely expanded views as well as dramatic close-ups, you can offer your client a fully immersed view of exactly what their final product will look like.

19. Fold Brochure Mockup

Offering designers 4 pages and 8 sides of prime mockup real estate, this brochure mockup is an eye-catching layout of digital mockups. Giving clients a plethora of views, you’ll have the ability to present all your design objectives in a clean and comprehensive space that won’t limit your over-all vision.

Regardless of the mockup choice you make, you can rest assured knowing that your client will enjoy seeing a digitized “real life” version of the high-quality final rendering of the designs you’re giving them.

Find more irreplacable components for your design toolkit at our website.

How to turn that budget web design client into a real money maker

Web designer working on client website

“I really don’t think I need more than a banner, a few links on the side, and any other font than comic sans.” We’ve all had those clients; the ones who feel that merely having something other than a 404 show up when you go to theirbusiness.com is enough to generate sales, and I’m sure from time to time we’ve just taken the work, hoped no one would know it was us, and counted pittance you feel you can charge for their site without feeling greedy for giving them something that even the most basic WordPress cookie-cutter design could beat.

But really, sites like that don’t benefit you, and they certainly don’t benefit the client. Instead of risking an argument and losing their business completely, though, sometimes it’s possible to walk them slowly through the benefits of quality web design and demonstrate to them how the extras like JavaScript and CSS instead of just HTML aren’t an extra expense, but rather an investment that will help them see a return.

While it’s a challenge, convincing a client that investing in a quality design rather than a budget one allows them the opportunity to see increases in business

The Site is a Reflection of You

Introducing the client to the concept of how important a digital first impression is can often help them on their journey to seeing the benefits of good web development. To accomplish this, pull a screen shot from the homepage of a few major companies, and one from your own portfolio.

Lay the images out for the client and ask them to tell you which one isn’t a major national company and odds are they’ll pick one other than your design. That gives you an opportunity to engage with them about how quality can put their company in the big leagues and helps lend them credibility with potential customers.

Selling with Analytics

Almost every company, big and small, is interested in analytics, whether it’s merely on customer interaction in their store or how people react on their website.

Being able to demonstrate how a well designed website can improve the analytic’s on their website and provide a marked increase in sales and conversions is how you can really speak to a client in a way they’ll understand. It’s important to remember that even if they aren’t intimately familiar with the internet, every business person understands potential profit or they wouldn’t be in business.

“I really don’t think I need more than a banner, a few links on the side, and any other font than comic sans.”

Evidence Through Science

While this may not be your personal forté, there certainly is a big science behind web design elements, beyond just looking good. This can really help some clients understand a design’s potential, as it gets more into the specific reasons why design choices make such a big impact in conversion rates and can help increase web profits tremendously.

One of the topics to delve into in the science end is color psychology; the idea that colors in design evokes specific, predictable emotional responses, such as security from blue (which is why so many banks integrate it into their web design scheme).

Another important topic under science that drives home the importance of quality design is reliability. If a customer sees a website that looks well made, it suggests to them that the product and service is equally good, with the opposite right as well, and they come to that decision in just 50 milliseconds. The customer wants to eat inside a nice, clean-looking restaurant, not an egg salad sandwich laying on the ground down an ally.

While it’s a challenge, convincing a client that investing in a quality design rather than a budget one allows them the opportunity to see increases in business, and helps you further your portfolio. It really makes what could be a sad project into one where everyone wins, and that’s the best result one can hope for.

For more tips, tricks, and an engaging web design community to help you become an even better designer, be sure to keep checking back regularly for more articles, tutorials, and stunning design examples.

8 Essential Mobile App Development Trends For 2015

From tablets to smartphones and now wearable smart devices to the Internet of Things, mobile apps are becoming woven into the center of people’s lives.

PewResearch Internet Project says that “In 2020… There will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web is less important and useful than in the past and apps are the dominant factor in people’s lives.”

Last year was revolutionary as far as mobile app development goes. But 2015 will be the year mobile apps dominant the market. Here are 8 essential mobile app development trends for 2015

App Security

Gartner predicts that 75% of today’s mobile apps will fail in 2015. It’s not because of marketing, design, or function, but because of security.

Security threats are becoming the most discussed issue as mobile the dominant platform, and now developers have to become more conscious of the risks posed by the amount of personal and sensitive business data streaming through devices.

As the mobile becomes essential in the digital fabric of people’s lives, security gaps in mobile applications are becoming a central issue developers better address in 2015.

The Rise of Android

According to some industry experts, consumers have had enough of iOS. Usage is on its way down, while Android is skyrocketing to the top.

In 2013, Android’s market share rose from 78% in 2014 to 80.2% by the end of 2014. In 2015, it’s expected to peak and steal a substantial share of tablet users from Apple.  This means more user adoption for the droid and more competition amongst app developers.

Micro-location Technologies

Consumers and app users are becoming more involved with the lives of their brands, especially as geofencing, beacon targeting, and location-based WiFi services are coming more prevalent.

As the technology grows in function and popularity, app developers will know when and where to reach out to their users. They’ll start to utilize micro-location technologies to target users on a direct and personal level. those that succeed, will provide better user experience and customer engagement.

Wearables

Without apps, there’s little reason to buy wearables. The Apple Watch will launch soon, inspiring a new breed of app developers to create apps that work on wearables.

So far, most wearable apps are in the health or fitness niche. But as enterprises start using these wearable devices, there will be a new trend in development towards apps and tools that help companies enhance their productivity and efficiency.

ClickSoftware‘s ShiftExpert is one example of a wearable app for corporations that allows field employees to virtually fill out information and worksheets. The app has a sensor that records the distance traveled by employees, then summarizes the information. Managers can also use the app to plan and publish schedules as a way to optimize their workforce.

App Analytics

Analytics are nothing new, but app developers will start taking them more seriously. Tools for tracking and analyzing app performance will grow both in demand and need, especially for corporations.

App developers will start focusing on new ways to easily collect and manage data, and enterprises will use these insightful tips and  invaluable information to make improve their productivity, efficiency, and decision-making.

In-app Purchasing and Advertising

By 2015, in-app advertising spending will reach $7.1 billion, according to research from the Juniper Research. Mobile ads are expected to replace banners and be well-integrated into the app environment as a way to keep in-app purchases and advertisements the primary source of monetization in the mobile app market.

Developers will experiment with various ad formats to find the best way to integrate these ads into mobile apps, but few believe the paid download model will becoming popular in 2015.

Rapid Mobile App Development

App demand is growing. Both consumers and enterprises want apps, especially apps that improve their lives or their business.

This demand will force developers to deliver their products faster than before. This means a huge emphasis on shortening the development cycle, including reducing the time-frame from storyboard to launch. To make this possible, rapid mobile app development tools are accelerating the app development process making it easier to build business apps.

The Bottom Line

Tomi Ahonen, a 3G consultant and business expert, says “Mobile is the enabling centerpiece of digital convergence. Mobile is the glue for all other digital industries to use when approaching convergence, but mobile is also the digital gateway for the real world to join in this global metamorphosis of human behavior.”

As mobile apps are growing in popularity and demand across every industry, developers are finding new and better ways to glue these industries together. The ones that do it the fastest, will be the ones that succeed.

4 Common Pitfalls Of App Development and How To Avoid Them

Saying mobile apps are popular at the moment is an understatement. They’re literally dominating the global market and may one day be as big as the Internet itself.

But as app technology continues to find new and more innovating features, this rapid pace comes with many risks. App developers are not faced with huge mistakes that could potentially jeopardize their app and even their business.

“I think that you can screw up five times before you get up in the morning, in ways that you never even thought of,” says Josh Koppel, CCO and co-founder of ScrollMotion. “It’s a dicey business sometimes to try something new, but the truth is, it’s the mistakes that help you actually learn stuff. ”

Therefore, to navigate the murky waters of app development safely, here are 4 common pitfalls to app development and how to avoid them.

iOS, Android, or Windows?

Every app developer will find themselves in this platform predicament, but not every developer will thoroughly consider the options available. Many people even choose a platform based on stereotype or the revenue they think they can earn.

For instance, it’s common for people to develop apps for iOS because they believe monetization on the APP store is easier. Even if it is true, it’s certainly not universal. While iOS may be extremely popular in the U.S., Android is the global king.

“I would never say you have to launch on iOS, but you need to think about what the app needs to do and which platform is going to help you deliver on the value prop that you want to give consumers,” says Kevin Nakao, president and COO at White Pages, Inc.

If you’re looking to tap into the global market, Android is the better choice. On the other hand, many developers feel that the Android market is fragmented, and because it has too many versions of its operating system, deciding which version to build for is troublesome.

Thus, before you make any platform decisions, make sure you consider every possibility and all their alternatives, otherwise you risk severely limiting your audience.

Apps Are Just Miniature Website

Mobile apps are fundamentally different from their desktop cousins. They’re different in design, functionality, size and scope, and it’s these differences that make apps so valuable. They can be accessed on the go, they can be customized and personalized, and their intuitive interface is unprecedented.

Some people miss the point of apps and assume their apps should do everything that their website does. But this makes your app less valuable in the public eye. In fact, with responsive web design making the desktop browser more user-friendly than ever, apps need to do more than justify their existence. They need to be unique and actually provide something of value to users.

Before you hop onto the trend, do your research and laser in on what makes your app unique and better in regards to solving consumer problems.

Apps Sell Themselves

Even if your app makes a pretty big wave at launch, it’s swimming in a sea with thousands of competitors. Without a comprehensive marketing plan that increases awareness and visibility, you run the risk of disappearing altogether.

So before you start any marketing, you need to define and frame your audience. Are you targeting a small niche, or do you want a piece of the broader market? Regardless of what you choose, ensure you app identifies the actual issues affecting the market, and then solves them.

Tools like Google Trends and Xyologic will help you identify the major trends and consumer demands in the current market.  There is also Mobiledevvhq, which provides tools for app store optimization and data-driven analysis to help you find the right keywords for the category you place your app in.

Beta Testing Your App Yourself

If you’ve ever questioned the value of beta testers, stop and go no further. While you may think you can test your app yourself, beta testers offer valuable perspectives that will find issues with your app that you might have missed.

And it’s not just the bugs. Your app needs to be incredibly user-friendly. For instance, maybe your in-app advertisements are making the experience a bit annoying, or perhaps the interface is not as friendly as you thought. But because you built and designed the app yourself, you may not find these critical flaws. Thus, the more people you have beta test your app, the better.

“Test your app outside of your office. If your app has anything to do with receiving information remotely, test it in different places around the city: in subways, in a lot of different conditions. Just make sure your developers get outside of their offices,” says Koppel.

You can use app analytics tools such as Flurry and Google’s Universal Analytics to get a good picture as to how your testers are using your app.

With that said, a great app doesn’t just come down to the data. You just need one great idea marketed in the right way, before your app skyrockets to the top.