For the news hungry, there’s been a major transformation in the quality of magazine apps in recent years, with brands tapping into the user need for apps that not only impart the same information they would in a physical magazine, but also in regards to the aesthetics too. In this post we give the rundown… Read more »
Photography plays an important role in site design, especially for businesses. Visitors want to feel engaged when they visit your site, and this is achieved by including a variety of content, with one of the key features being a good set of photographs. Sometimes, it’s hard for site owners to get this right, as Kris… Read more »
Love it, or hate it – the vintage style remains ever popular. E-stores, corporate designs, portfolios, and blogs incorporate vintage styles on both a small and large scale, we guarantee there isn’t a day that goes by when you’re browsing on the web and you don’t stumble across some vintage aesthetics. Its popularity is due… Read more »
There are many irksome and downright headache-inducing additions to contemporary websites, we at Creative Freedom have seen many. With coding becoming a lot simpler and people having greater access to templates which feature wide varieties of add-ons, we’ve seen a rise in site quality over the last 20 years. However, there is a downside to… Read more »
Illustrations on a website are first and foremost an aesthetic enhancer. Many sites today will feature an illustration, besides a logo, at least somewhere. Illustrations are a great tool in giving a rudimentary site a hefty injection of personality. Patrick McNeil of Web Designer Depot explores the uses of illustration as an element of web… Read more »
When it comes to creating an educational site, the same principles apply. With any site, it needs to adhere to those important aesthetic values in order to be a success. The best way to start is to take a look at some of the most visually compelling educational sites out there. Writing in Vandelay Designs,… Read more »
Creative Freedom has been delivering some of the best quality icon designs and web solutions for a good few years now, but, as well as doing the work, we have always been interested in imparting some healthy tips and advice for anyone wishing to delve into the world of web and icon design themselves. Today,… Read more »
A fairly new addition to the pantheon of web design, designing sites for a mobile device doesn’t veer too far away from those essential principles of all web design. You’re going to want your site to look professional, gone are the days when you could get away with having a simplistic layout, you also want… Read more »
In recent years, the use of incorporating animation and stop-motion into web design has been on the increase. Initially taking shape in the early 2000s, with designers using flash extensions, the methods of incorporation have become a lot more simple with time; you can now buy website templates with the ability to use animation with… Read more »
A well designed website is what gets customers interested, not the actual products themselves. Now, stay with us here, you might think that the products you’re offering are what will secure a sale, but the product is only a small part of gaining a sale. Sure, an established brand can have a site where it’s… Read more »
It might seem as if it was released yesterday, but the iPhone has been around for quite a while now, along with one of its key features: apps. If you’re writing or thinking about writing a new app for the iPhone, whether free or commercial, something you need to think about pretty early on is your icon. It’s pretty much the first thing your users will see of your app, whether that’s in the store, thinking about buying it, or using in their day to day routine.
Whether you are designing the icon yourself or having it designed for you, here are a few simple things to bear in mind:
There are now tens of thousands of iPhone apps out there, crowding the store and your potential users’ phones, so yours has to stand out. There are a bunch of ways to do this – a strong, simple metaphor, bright colours or just an elegant design. Not stand out in a bad way though! If your icon looks too inconsistent with the rest of the display, it could jar the senses and look unprofessional. Equally, the anticipation created by a great icon should be met with an equally great application. Make sure that your icon and app match up in terms of branding and expectation.
One specific point to note: Apple gives developers the option to add their standard gloss to app icons. We recommend against this, instead preferring to add our own gloss, customised for the specific icon, if one is required at all. Using the standard gloss can ruin an otherwise great icon or make it sink in to the crowd.
Usability is most often associated with interface design, but it’s also important when thinking about your icon. Does it say what your application does in an obvious way? Or will users have to hunt around or get misdirected every time they try to find your app on their phone? Humans rely on the unconscious mind for almost all our day to day activities, and introducing a strange or poorly associated metaphor into your icon may force the user to switch on their conscious mind to find it, jarring them every time. Even regular habit and learning can’t beat strong association, whether it is negative or positive.
This is a simple one! Make sure your icon is going to work at every size in which it needs to be presented! This means both in terms of technical requirements and design. Small details or 3D aspects may look great at a large size, but fade into a miserable fuzz at smaller resolutions. Think very carefully about how much detail you need to add and why. Ideally, an icon should project a strong association without much detail at all. The same goes for text in icons: it should generally be avoided at all costs, except, perhaps, in the case of well understood acronyms, such as TXT or SMS.