Archive for the ‘UI UX Design’ Category

Guide to build Natural User Interface

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Interface in layman terms is interaction with a computer. As the name suggests, the natural user interface attaches a natural color to it. Computers are known to work within a sphere of set codes and procedures. However, the natural user interface, as believed by Bill Gates, will aid computers to become accustomed to humans’ wants. 

So, what exactly is a natural user interface? It is a mechanism for interaction between humans and computers. This system operates through communication-based on everyday human activities. You might be liking your new mobile because of the feature commonly called a touch screen. It is because it makes your usage of the mobile more natural and more comfortable. It is the advantage of a logical user interface. iPhone and iPad gained popularity due to their right or left swipe features. Consumers felt connected with the actions they were performing on their respective devices. 

But there remains a grey area with the concept of the natural user interface. It is based on human usage. But all human actions are not equally natural for everyone. For instance, voice-over interfaces in cars or Siri in iPhones demand quiet surroundings to function correctly. 

Thus, the first task is to create a natural user interface that is natural to the consumer. Several factors have to be kept in mind while doing so.

Existing skills

It is better to learn about the abilities of potential consumers. You would then be able to design an interface based on their existing skills. Consumers will immediately feel comfortable with a system that won’t demand knowledge of new expertise. You can pick up the most general of social skills. This way, you would end up creating a mechanism that would fulfill the needs of almost everyone.

Try designing a touch user interface

This is the most accepted form of the natural user interface. People of every age have a basic understanding of handling this form of interface. You can become creative in designing new models of the same. For instance, it is well-known that people prefer using one hand to manage their mobile phones. Thus, avoiding unnecessary swiping features requiring the involvement of both sides can be helpful

Step by step feature

Take the example of the famous game Candy Crush. The difficulty increases as and when the level increases. It allows the player to understand the procedure systematically, and he enjoys the game. Design a natural user interface keeping this in mind. People tend to remember things if complex activities are broken down into smaller ones. Hence, an interface allowing them to learn one step at a time would be revolutionary.

Do not include unintentional human gestures

Meeting someone is ordinary for everyday life. But replicating the same on a computer or mobile would lead to ambiguity for different users. Hence, the inclusion of such things in a natural user interface should be avoided. 

The natural user interface is an innovative idea paving the way to future utilities. However, it should be carefully planned and designed. If not, the logical part of the interface would wither, and people won’t be able to connect. Thus, the simple steps mentioned above should be kept in mind while generating a natural user interface.


Importance of User Research

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

User Research, the term brings to mind a complex looking image with stacks of paper, graphs and diagrams, computers, figures, and whatnot. If this is true for you too, then you are not wrong. It does in-fact consist of an infinitely straining series of events, each more complex than the other.

Then why do so many companies today invest so much in terms of money and manpower in setting up programs all based on one objective- user research?

The answer to this question is simple — it is impossible to launch a successful product or design without going through this tedious process, for it is nothing but this that gives the creators an idea of what the audience wants, how will it perceive whatever they have to offer and most importantly how much are they willing to pay in order to have it. It seems like a fair bargain, doesn’t it?

So let us begin by understanding what is this “user research”. If very loosely defined, it can be considered as observation techniques, task analyses and other methods of feedback aimed to procure an understanding of the user’s needs, problems, and behavior. It is carried out using various methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative and over the years has evolved into a near scientific method of analysis.

User research can be considered as an exploration mission sent right to the hearts of consumers. These become essential because every UX or UI designer needs the data provided by this to be empathetic towards the user’s needs. Many experts in the field unanimously stress on the need for empathy in design. They opine that without understanding the feelings, sight, and experience of others it is pointless to design anything. This makes perfect sense, after all, UX or user experience is all about satisfying the user, making him comfortable while using that given piece of technology and that can only happen once you know what makes that consumer happy, what makes him twitch, what annoys him and what relaxes him, User research gives you all of these things and more.

User research brings in data through ethnographic studies, usability tests, interviews, surveys, statistical analyses and serves it to the designer, it provides him a window to the user’s mind and finally gives him an inspiration so as to “what to create.” The first and foremost outcome is exactly that, it provides the designers with inspiration and paints them a clear picture of whether their idea is relevant or not. This goes a long way. The data and its analysis are used to demonstrate to the companies the importance of these designs and to attract investors, capital, and everything else that the designer needs to carry on. It even guides these big companies in the direction they should invest more in R&D. A classic example of the fact is Samsung TV. Before their embankment in the journey of user research, the global TV market was dominated by ostentatious boasting of their screen’s resolution, sound quality, etc. But Samsung’s research sung a different tale, it indicated that the audience cared much more about the looks and overall design of their television as compared to the technical feats it offered.

People thought of the TV more like a piece of furniture than anything else and wanted it to fit in inside their rooms along with other things and not glare around looking out of place. As a result, Samsung radically altered its designs and the televisions they produced were sleeker, better looking, and capable of merging in with its surroundings. Samsung’s share of the global TV market nearly doubled because of this endeavor. This and many more examples including those of Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo all giants in their respective fields had an epiphany that changed their profit sacks allowing their advancements in the field of User Research.

Another bright spot that this field highlights along with return on investment, relevance, etc. is in the arena of sales and advertisement. Advertising a product without knowing the user is the same as shooting an arrow in the dark and hoping it hits the bull’s eye. User research describes the demographics of the consumer in a way that enables the sellers to isolate the needs, necessities, likes, dislikes of a large number of consumers, and finally isolate their own target customer. The 21stCentury is scattered with examples of companies providing fewer benefits to the consumer as compared to a rival company and yet showing more in sales. All of this hinges upon one thing- understanding the user, and accomplishing that is next to impossible without a good quality, comprehensive user research.

Thus, on the importance of user research, we may simply conclude that, for a designer to get inspiration for a product he needs user research, for a company to understand the return on investment and the relevance of a product it needs user research and finally for a seller to fix the price and finally sell the product he needs user research. Every step of the journey a lot of things change, but what remains constant is the need for quality user research.

UI Android vs iOS UI

Friday, January 24th, 2020

User Interface (UI) as dynamic as it is, individually takes yet another turn in the diversity section when we come to Android vs IOS.

You must have heard sagas of the differences between the android and iOS users each pleading a case of how their operating system is better than the other. But what you may not know is that this isn’t new, it has been the case for ages now. And, on no account can you term it as superficial. Android users do have a very tough time adjusting to iOS and vice versa. The “why” to this problem has a lot of little aspects and one major aspect. The major one is the differences in the UI of the two. Think about it, for instance, a layman while comparing two devices with these two operating systems may ignore for once, the differences in the complex configurations behind the processors in the two, but what he will always keep in mind is “how does is screen look?” “which icon goes where?” “how do you navigate through different pages?” and all of these have only one thing in common- UI.

Thus, it becomes essential for us to understand the differences between the UI in the two operating systems so that if need be we can make an informed choice and in a more competent fashion.

Now that we have started, we need to know where all will we be able to spot these differences. The best answer to this is — “If you scrutinize the subtle, then everywhere.” These differences are present everywhere — in the navigation bars, toolbars, types of control, buttons, and whatnot.

Out of these hundreds our focus first, obviously goes to navigation. Android is based on the material design guidelines, which is something widely accepted and followed globally even google uses them while developing its own applications. iOS, on the other hand, is based on the human interface design. One of the most noticeable differences in navigation is how android uses a “universal navigation bar” present at the bottom of the screen but iOS uses a combination of gestures and the home button. It also presents itself with an inbuilt “back button” in almost every one of its apps to help with the simple retracing of steps. Now you may be able to see how even a simple action as “going back” becomes so different with a change of UI.

Similar to navigation is another aspect — Menu. In Android, they generally have it in the form of a sidebar where you just tap and pull and voilà — you will have five to six apps ready to access. iOS, on the contrary, prefers a tab bar, which is placed at the bottom of the screen. These tab bars though according to various consumer analysis reports are easier to use, provide a lesser array of apps to be at the user’s disposal at one point of time.

The search field too is not left behind in this gabble of differences. In fact, the amount of comfort drawn from a device has a huge dependence on the accessibility of the search field, and its placing and presentation in the two operating systems play a pivotal role in materializing the differences between the two. One of the most distinguishing in this arena is the placement. iOS demonstrates a certain amount of rigidity as the full search bar is placed at the top of the screen. Whereas Android provides its users with a little bit of flexibility on the matter. It gives the users an option to place the search bar on the top, which is majorly different from what was provided by iOS because this one only expands into a full search bar upon tapping the search icon. The second option enables the search bar to gain much-deserved mobility as Android presents the users with an option to access the search field in the form of a widget that can be placed according to the user’s whim.

Pages on the second or lower level of hierarchy use segmented control in iOS and a tab on the Android. Furthermore, all text tabs in Android are present in uppercase and in iOS as a title case. This coupled with a fact that Android UI comes with a “text-only” policy for these tabs, which allows no icons and texts to be present simultaneously on the tabs and that iOS has no such policy, gives another important point of distinction to the two operating systems.

Another fundamental difference between the UI of the two can be observed in the color and size of the apps provided, Android usually has a more multi-color approach, with icons which are big in size and have reasonable spacing in between, on the other hand, iOS prefers a black and white pallet with a more compressed outlook.

A large difference further exists in the form of buttons, dialogues, alerts, etc. But as we explore these and many more, we must also understand the fact that these are all very temporary. The general trend today shows enough cases that indicate that we are moving towards a more converging user interface present in Android and iOS. The addition of the “switch” option to Android from the exclusive domain of iOS being one of the many examples of the same.

So, after understanding the differences in the two UIs and analyzing the various trends associated to it, one may also draw a parallel conclusion that with the passage of time as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable and demands for more and more freedom in mobility, structure, and outlook, the products will begin to have more and more fluid user interfaces and thus skipping the boundaries drawn by the differences in the operating systems and ultimately being a junction of the two categories we see today!

Significance of Iconography

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words” you must have come across these words more than you can recall, but when it comes to the market for the companies this picture can be worth much more than a thousand dollars too.

Iconography is the art of developing and using icons to capture audiences, remove ambiguity from concepts, and make the data provided easy to handle and more presentable. That must have sounded like too much for a picture, but believe me, all of these things and more do hinge upon the types of icons a company uses. Iconography today is playing a pivotal role in defining the good user experience and it is a testimony of just how germane this tool is that billions of dollars are spent annually by companies like Google, Facebook, Walmart, Samsung, etc. in this field.

The significance of iconography can be easily understood — just think of a brand, any brand. What are the first five things that come to mind? Several pieces of research conducted by experts in human behavior unanimously point out that it is the brand’s standard icon. For example, if I think of Gmail, one of the first things that pop into my head is that red M in an envelope. So, it is needless to say that the first and most primary importance of iconography is- assigning an identity to a company. The icons register in the brains of the users much easily as compared to any other feature and they have a higher chance of being identified when coming across randomly. The best example to demonstrate my last analysis would be the simple fact that how on any random web page when we see a little blue bird we know its twitter, even when no prior context is provided, same happens with the white f in a blue box or the white camera with a pink background.

Next on the list is — the implicit use of iconography. An icon does not just operate as an ID card for companies, they are also the tool that companies use to help navigate the users through the various pages present on their websites, etc. Suppose you want to read an article on sports and you open a news website then instead of scrolling through until you reach the desired section you can just click on the sports icon and directly reach it. Or suppose you just want to take a print out of the page, the print icon will be easily available and identifiable from the beginning and thus much easier to access if instead the word “print” was scribbled somewhere in the corner. Going back or forward on web pages, skipping pages icons make all these tasks much easy to perform owing to their easy to spot and convenient to access nature.

In a page full of text an icon provides perspective to the user. It draws attention to products, services, menu, and features. You would not have to comb through tons and tons of words to finally reach the place you actually wanted to see. The amount of energy and time wasted otherwise would be much more than what anybody can afford to waste in today’s day and time. Moreover, icons provide a compact display of information in a more attractive and user-friendly manner. For example, my taskbar is currently displaying a few icons — word, google chrome, files, music. Now just imagine if instead of showing these as icons my taskbar would have just had these same written down in words, or on your smartphone instead of the bright little pictures of all those apps, you would just have the said names typed in normal Arial, font size 10. How dull would all that be?

Our speed of using these devices would reduce considerably and we would not want to spend as much time on these devices as we do, for the simple reason that they won’t be as attractive or comfortable to use. But with icons, we have an inherent escape from these mundane problems. Moreover, with money flowing in from every crevice the R&D in iconography is so developed that all the colors, angles, edges, figures everything you come across in these icons are scientifically designed to provide you with aesthetically pleasing sensation. So they are not just helping you in all these other tasks they are also making your subconscious happier just by being there- how great is that?

It started since the 18th-century iconography has become an irreplaceable part of user-company interaction. It defines the user experience and plays a pivotal role in marketing and advertisement of products. Aside from conveying a tremendous amount of information in a compact yet comprehensive way it makes navigation faster by multiple folds. Adding to the attractiveness, comfort accessibility iconography provides an identity to a company. It is a burning ground in both electronic and paper operated industries and has reached a point where both the biggest giants in the industries as well as the feeble infants are pouring in large sums of money in developing icons and pursuing more and more dynamic and developed standards of iconography. A result of which can be seen all around on your desktops, mobile phones, billboards, etc. Where from every nook and corner there is one bright little icon peering over, grabbing your attention and holding your hand and taking you to wherever you want to go.

A Facelift to the Business World - Digital Transformation

Friday, January 24th, 2020

How is digital transformation reshaping businesses?

There is a fixed pattern or way in which businesses operate. When that changes its course from its traditional fons et origo due to modernization and technology, it is referred to as digital transformation.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” — Benjamin Disraeli

Hence, digital transformation has made its mark in a wide range of areas like hospitality, automation, information technology, finance, and even medicine. It has carved a niche for itself in all kinds of businesses — be it small, medium or large. However, it’s being ubiquitous comes at a price. It needs to prove itself worthy to the customers and the employees and this can be achieved only by employing voguish business applications. Organizations should be able to churn these out at lightning bolt speed because it is the only way they can survive in the extant cut-throat competition.

The essence

The pith of digital transformation is a reduction in operational costs and enhanced customer experience. It does not just circumscribe around new innovative technologies but also revolves around a change in mindset and work culture. Thus, enterprises ought to cater to fluctuations in the business environment and business demands by inventing appropriate strategies.

“…the key to digital transformation in re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates. That’s a management and people challenge, not just a technology one.” — Capgemini Consulting

The factors

It is hence, pivotal for the management to join hands with IT teams and cater to business needs, motor innovation and head towards continuous development. These form the core of digital transformation — progress in business activities, reduction in costs, improvement in marketing time and so on. Influenced by major factors like technological innovations, customer expectations and demands, market scenario and environmental changes, digital transformation is a force to be reckoned with.

Advancements in technology lead to disruptions. Those operating on obsolete and outdated computer systems are shunned for latest and more modern versions of the same technology. Cloud computing, big data, internet of things, machine learning and others have taken the limelight and if harnessed, are done throughout the organization for better results, higher efficiency, and lower costs.

In the case of customer behavior, it refers to the desires and expectations that they have from the business and from the technology being employed. Consumers want sophisticated and latest technologies but also want them to be handy and easy-to-use. They must be satisfied with the service and should be willing to speak highly of your organization to others. Hence, it is extremely important that these expectations of the customer and technology changes catering to business demand must be in sync with one another. Digital transformation, therefore, helps in the evolution of organizations towards being more customer-centric.

The aftermath

Now, let’s move to different aspects of a business model that digital transformation influences or is capable of influencing. It can affect the normal functioning of the business across different departments ranging from human resources to administration. It can also streamline business models, increase the efficiency of underlying processes and balance business ecosystems. Dealing with customers and information, the two main intangible assets of any business, also become much easier.

Back to the essence

Profitability, customer care and faster market time are key components of digital transformation. Large amounts of data can also be analyzed easily using the latest tech to make decision-making more efficient and improve overall performance. Due to its camaraderie with the business world, digital transformation is often also referred to as business transformation.

“Digital transformation is a journey for the entire company. It’s no longer just about marketing transformation. We’re entering a new phase where all internal stakeholders are involved.” — digitaltransformationbook.com

It is indeed reshaping the business world to transform not just operations management but also organization at all hierarchies. Taking the world by the storm, it is no surprise that a significant number of Global 2000 companies deem it a priority in their corporate strategy. So, watch out for this one!

Also, feel free to reach out to us in case of any query regarding the digital transformation of if you just feel like having a construction discussion regarding the same. We will be more than happy to help out. Thanks for reading!

Extended Reality (XR)  How It is Different from AR and VR

Friday, January 24th, 2020

Extended Reality is an umbrella term that encapsulates various immersive technologies that have the ability to merge the physical world we live in with computer-created virtual worlds. This means that top UX design firms combine various components of computer-altered reality including but not limited to Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) to develop XR.

Also referred to as XR, the X in Extended Reality is a variable that can stand for any letter of the alphabet since the components of XR are not clearly established. It includes any technology that combines real and virtual environments, including future realities that we still have not developed yet.

In order to fully understand what Extended Reality is and what it can do, you need to understand the three main components, which are Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). We explain these below:

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality or AR is when computer-generated content is overlaid on the real world we live in, thus enhancing reality using digital content like text, images, as well as animation. This experience can be accessed using either AR glasses or using smartphones, tablets, etc. The key feature of AR is that it is not completely immersive as the augment content does not merge with physical reality, which means that users can still be aware of what is going on around them and interact with reality.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality or VR is a technology that fully immerses users in a simulated digital environment. For this, A special VR headset or a head-mount display is required so that the user can have a 360-degree view of the virtual world created.

Mixed Reality (MR)

Mixed Reality or MR has elements of both VR and AR. While digital content is overlaid on the real world like in AR, this overlaid content is immersive and interactive, as is the case in VR. So, digital and real worlds are blended in real time.

Future Scope of Extended Reality

Recent research has revealed that more than a whopping 60 percent of the respondents believe that Extended Reality will become mainstream in the just the next five years. This shows just how rapidly this technology is being developed, and how willingly the public is ready to adopt it once it is ready and available in the market.

Indeed, Extended Reality has plenty of uses and could be employed in all kinds of fields such as retail, real estate, marketing, training, entertainment, and more. It can also be used by the best UI UX design services. The technology has the potential to completely change the way we live our everyday lives, as it will alter our very perception of reality.

Important Reasons to Redesign Enterprise Apps

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

It is a very well said proverb from Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, that “If you think good design is costly; you should look at the cost of bad design.”

With the help of user research, a well-designed enterprise app solves the actual problems of actual users. It very well understands the behavior of the user, its requirements and preferences, and the pain points that existing software is not able to address. Employees, organizations, and users are benefitted at large by a well-designed solution.

Here are some of the primary reasons why redesigning an enterprise application is essential.

1. Advantage in competition

To outperform the competition that deploys the legacy application, agile enterprise applications give organizations a competitive edge. A lightweight application that is well included in the different business departments is a better tool for revenue optimization than the legacy application that slows down the work pace.

2. Improves efficiency

Enterprise apps are designed not on how employees work, but it is based on how the organization wants the employees to work. The employment of a user-centric approach to design is done to bridge this gap. UX designs improve the efficiency of the task they perform by resulting in faster and better workflows that are easy on the users.

3. Forecasting and data optimization

To unlock the actionable opportunities and business insights, new age enterprise application utilizes significant data capabilities. Big data analytics is provided by most modern-day companies to build services and products closest to their needs and to understand the customer better.

4. Cost-effective solution

Employees need little to no training for easy to use intuitive interface. Even a flexible or design-driven system considers the technological aspects and scalability, ensuring that the maintenance cost and set-up are optimized to a great extent.

5. Reduces cognitive load

Many users struggle to find the information with ease as most enterprise apps have an excessive amount of data or information on the same screen. We can ensure that there are fewer errors, and critical data is accessed faster by designing the interface keeping in mind the ability of human beings to process and perceive the information.

6. Higher employee satisfaction

The systems are built and sold to make the life of users productive and more accessible. The simplified interface must be a part of the human-computer interaction. Users are willing to use a digital tool when it is assistive rather than being burdening.

7. Empowers field workers

Enterprises that initiate the use of smart devices, especially tablets, allow the workers to know the real-time insights into the process of which they are a part of. It also gives them the ability to enter first-hand data from the ground back to the enterprise. It is a recurring cycle that results in the data being analyzed continuously and then re-fed in the form of business intelligence to the device of the workers.

Conclusion

Designing an enterprise application sounds easy, but in practice, it is an extremely tiresome process. Designers that are willing to be a part of the enterprise app designing process should understand the patience, commitment, and endless hours it requires.

Tips on Designing PWAs to Boost User Experience

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Businesses want to make their services and products accessible to a large number of people possible. To achieve a high level of accessibility, technological capabilities, and bandwidth reliability have stood continuously as a hurdle. This scenario is where PWAs come to the fore. These are nothing but a website that looks and behaves exactly like mobile apps.

Companies like Forbes have used PWAs to great success. They saw 2x increase in average user session length and 20% more impressions. However, to get such exceptional numbers, it is important to focus on UI/UX of the PWAs to boost user experience:

Below are some of the tips on designing PWA to get a much better User Experience (UX).

Search giant Google recommends some tips to ensure that users enjoy rich, fast, reactive web experiences

1. Focus on loading time

  • PRPL pattern — This pattern optimizes minimum time interaction and makes sure it acquires maximum efficiency in caching.
  • Service worker caching — Even if the pages are not open, service worker caching is a script that runs in the background of your browser. As they are excellent in caching, it allows PWA to serve the instant response on slow networks.
  • Server-side rendering — when the JavaScript fails or is disabled, users can get faster content with server-side rendering. It even allows the search engine to index it quickly.

2. Makes it User-centric

Making the PWA user-friendly is the ultimate goal that too fast and efficient as possible. For instance, ensure that the progress of the user is shown for every significant interaction. Also, ensure every item in your PWA has a purpose. Less and useful things usually make better User Experience (UX).

3. Make it seamless

The things, instant loading, and providing smooth experience are both different. Ensure there are quiet and seamless transitions without any downtime, especially when users are processing payment and submitting forms. Users often bounce at clunky changes during these types of instances. So always keep this in mind when it regards your design.

4. Make it shareable

PWAs do not provide easily accessible URLs. Therefore you need to ensure that users could still share whatever page they are looking at easily. To apply this on PWA, you can have a share button that allows the users to copy the URL on the clipboard. Make sure the loading of the third-party JavaScript is delayed when sharing social buttons until the primary content of the page is loaded.

5. Ensure flawless touch interactions

As a thumb rule, communications must be implemented flawlessly or not at all. It is because it is disgracefully difficult to implement advanced touch interactions like swipe to dismiss and pull to refresh. You can instead use a bottom navigation bar that does not suggest the possibility of advanced touch interactions.

6. Be iconic

When the PWA is added to the home screen of the user, you will want it to blend well with the native apps. Along with making it a natural fit, you will also want to ensure that it is flexible to the requirement of different platforms like IOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

When considering the low cost of building a single PWA for multiple devices and platforms, it makes a lot of sense for businesses. It is evident why PWA is the only one to replace traditional native apps in the upcoming future.

Don’t vex. Focus on UX!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Even if you aren’t a technology junkie or a design major, there is one term that has been used so many times that it has carved a niche for itself in the back of your mind, much like a constantly buzzing bee — ‘user experience (UX).’ It may seem like a voguish trend but has in fact, been around for quite some time. With an increasing dependence on mobile phones and other devices, it has gained immense popularity in the last few years.

Aimed at increasing customers’ satisfaction towards a product by making it easier to use and access, UX Design has become an inseparable part of technology. All design and engineering must be carried out keeping in mind that at the end of the day, the product has to be used by the customer. As Steve Jobs says — start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.

UX engineering encompasses better navigation, findability, usefulness, and credibility. Not just this, it focuses on content strategy, information architecture, interactive design, typography and much more. From small-scale benefits to vast influences, it also has a wide range of applications in business. Stay with us to know more about these!

1. Be the puppeteer

With more and more entrepreneurs and startups popping on the landscape, the business world is becoming fiercer by the day. Hence, one of the main motives of each enterprise is to rise above its competitors. For achieving this, it is essential to have user experience engineering skills in the arsenal as they can have a huge impact in mobilisation of prospective customers.

This is evaluated with the help of conversion rates (defined by Wikipedia as the proportion of visitors to a website who take action to go beyond a casual content view or website visit, as a result of subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators). A case study by Masha Kokovina from Vintage Web Production highlights how they were able to improve conversion rates by 75% by just fixing minor UX problems. These can include placing the call to action button at the right position, having a video on the landing page, increasing the font size of the text, etc. Analysing why customers are leaving or being retained is pivotal to enhance the user experience and consequently, improve the conversion rate.

2. Smaller hole in your pocket

It is rightly said that a stitch in time saves nine. Instead of resolving an issue much after it has already caused damage, it is better to enhance usability and fix the problem during the design phase itself. UX engineering helps achieve this by incorporating the right set of features at the grassroots level through different usability testing tactics. Feedback obtained from customers at an early stage can be used to rectify errors using user-centered design processes. This leads to formation of an apt product and circumvents large expenditures.

3. Do you exist?

The first thing that entrepreneurs do when they have a light-bulb moment for a startup is go to GoDaddy.com and register the domain name for the respective website. From the biggest multinational companies to the smallest restaurants, official websites have pretty much become the existential proof of any organisation. They help businesses interact with customers by making information easily accessible to them at any hour of the day. However, since this has become a requisite now, just having a website does not suffice. It must be accompanied with an amazing user experience which hence, boosts businesses as explained above.

4. Oh, won’t you stay with me?

At the end of the day, what really matters is how content your customers are with your product or service. The success of your mobile or web app is interlinked with its ability to satisfy its users. Just because an application is built doesn’t guarantee that it will experience a surge of utilisation. With immense competition in the digital world these days, users are more than willing to switch to a different product or app if they are dissatisfied with the former.

Statistics have also revealed that organisations that focus on user experience tend to retain customers much more than those that don’t. The question ‘do i like using this product/service/app?’ bears much more weight than ‘what is its worth?’ or ‘is it even useful?’ Enhancing user experience is key. Happy customers also tend to spread a good word about your product and this helps in popularising businesses.

..

“User experience is everything. It always has been but it’s still undervalued and under-invested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.” — Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter

My team and I are avid seekers of technology. We would be delighted to know what you’ve been doing to contribute to this evolving madness. Feel free to strike conversation with us!

Psychology and UX

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

You probably come across various billboards, hoardings, posters, notices, messages, letters or even just images and text on paper every day. Some of these may be important and would require your attention, and others would be just be something you saw while traveling to work, scrolling through your feed or going through a magazine/ newspaper casually. All these are just images for our brain to analyze, sort through and dispose of eventually. But some of these are a bit more interesting to our brain even though they don’t need to be. There is a reason to why particular designs or layouts catch your eye or get your heart pumping.

Enter Neuroscience.

Wait, did you just mention Neuroscience in a UX blog?

Let me explain. Cognition is complex, and many factors play into gut reactions or any instant and random impression. When you ask someone, “Why’d you do that?” there’s a high chance they won’t be able to answer or that you’ll misinterpret their response for a bias. The thing is, our human brain is lazy, repetitive and prone to shortcuts

While research methods like observation and interviewing often require the UX researcher and participant to make guesses, modern technology like eye tracking allows researchers to study nearly imperceptible reactions and preferences.

In the case of products with substantial traffic, seemingly tiny details like the width of a button or the color contrast of text can make millions of dollars of difference. That’s why tech giants like Facebook and Google are beginning to employ neuroscience-based techniques to study how people use their products.

Let’s start with a few design principles which harness the knowledge of neuroscience and psychology and can help designers by understanding the mind of the user.

1. Spoilt For Choice

psychological study was done at a gourmet market, in which people could choose from 24 different jam flavors at one stand, and only six jams at another. While 60% of customers were drawn to the stand with a bigger number of choices, only 3% of them actually made a purchase.

On the flipside, 30% of those who had only six jam options bought themselves a jar.

This is related to Hick’s Law, which states that people take more time to choose if there is a greater number of choices in front of them. UX design is about helping users get what they need — quickly. The best approach for your design is to present a limited number of options, rolled out at optimal points while they are browsing through your interface.

Avoid overwhelming your audience. Even though many people think they are great at managing multiple things at the same time, most aren’t truly adept multitaskers. And those are the people for whom you need to design.

2. Hack Into The User’s Mind

It is no secret that much of what drives human behavior is subconscious. In the milliseconds after a person encounters a new app or website, millions of neurons fire and the brain makes hundreds of subconscious decisions.

Am I in the “right” place? Should I trust this site?

A 2012 study found that people form aesthetic reactions to a web page in the first 17 to 50 milliseconds after exposure.

To put that into perspective, it takes the eye 300–400 milliseconds to blink. Your product may receive its trial, judgment, and sentence all in less than the blink of an eye.

For example, if a site loads slowly and the brain reads the first items that load as “off-topic” the user may navigate away immediately rather than wait for the site to load.

Companies like Facebook invest significant resources into studying load order of elements. If someone logs into Facebook and doesn’t see any notification badges, they may navigate away instantly. If the badges load first, they may wait while the content-heavy News Feed loads.

Human brain’s decision making can be classified into 2 simple categories

System 1: fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious.

System 1 thinking is reactive — responsible for complex but instinctive cognition like determining the distance between objects or determining emotional responses.

System 2: slow, effortful, logical, calculating, conscious, infrequent.

System 2: thinking is analytical and is applied to more complex scenarios, like determining appropriate social behavior or comparing two products with different prices and characteristics.

Since the brain doesn’t want to re-process information or make novel decisions every time it is faced with a new scenario, much of human decision-making falls into System 1, or “fast thinking.”

When making decisions quickly the brain can over-rely upon schemas or mental models — familiar patterns of information and interaction. When System 1 thinking is engaged, System 2 never kicks into effect. People may not be aware of their brain’s decision-making, but it strongly impacts their behaviors and perception of the product

3. Make It Standout

Everyone arrives at a website or an app with some expectation of what it should look like. Staying close to that expectation helps designers benefit from instant subconscious decision making.

The person who opens your app or website wants to know a) does this have what I am looking for; and b) is this high quality? Keeping designs simple and keeping brand, services, and products front and center help people orient themselves.

Putting some information front and center means keeping other information from crowding it out. Decluttering a design is just as important as re-arranging components.

These minimalist designs outperform more complex designs in task completion and visual clarity is shown to impact purchasing decisions on and offline.

It’s been scientifically proven that visually simple and clean designs perform better. The lazy brain can grasp the site’s purpose instantly and understand what action to take.

4. Organize and Profit

Eye tracking studies are able to follow a person’s gaze as they interact with a product. They can produce heat maps that show the length of time spent focused on one part of the screen, or maps of how the eye jumps around the page.

We know that, across industries and app types, the brain commonly scans for information in an F-pattern (or E-pattern). The person looks at the information at the top, reading to the right, and then scanning down the page for relevant information or icons.

Breaking the F-pattern — for example, putting important information in the bottom-right corner — will make it harder to find.

5. Go Easy On The Text

According to a study, people read only about 20% of the text on a page. Worse, on sites with more content, people dedicated only about 4 extra seconds for each additional 100 words of text.

In a world where people don’t read word-for-word, Nielsen Norman employs the following guidelines for scannable text.Highlighted keywords

Meaningful subheadings

Bulleted lists

One idea per paragraph

The inverted pyramid style — start with the conclusion

Half the word count (or less) of conventional writing

Color theory, weights, and contrast can be used to direct user attention. NASA’s cockpit design team uses luminance to help manage the pilot’s attention in an area crowded with competing for information. The cockpit design team uses color and contrast to give visual prominence to the most important elements.

Contrast and luminance are just a first step. Color theory suggests balancing your product’s colors by using the dominant color 60% of the time, secondary 30%, and accent 10%. This breakdown is consistent with the neuroscience behind what draws the eye. Because the accent color is used the least, it draws the eye the most.

Just as the use of bright color can draw the eye, use of more muted colors can help a user determine which information is secondary or less important. For example, most websites use footer areas with a more neutral color to show separation from the rest of the information on the page.

Your User’s Memory Is Complex, But Their Recall Is Limited

In order to remember something, the human mind reconstructs memories. This explains why you could get four different versions of the same event from four different people.

Translating this knowledge into UX design, you mustn’t force users to remember too many steps when they use your product. If there are too many steps to recall, they are bound to forget a few.

It’s essential that your designs respect the restrictions of the brain’s cognitive load. If a user is forced to think too much in order to complete a task, they’re likely to avoid it in the future or to forget steps and become frustrated if they do try it again. Frustration does not create an optimal user experience.

A common web design best practice is to provide no more than three or four steps in any given user task. If you over-complicate your tasks, you run the risk of unpleasant user experience. This leads to lower quality website signals, lower search rankings, and of course, abandoned carts and lead generation forms.

A good solution is serial positioning, or the human brain’s tendency to best recall the first and last steps in a process. This is why many popular apps position “home” and “profile” either to the far left or the far right.

Wrapping Up

Your task as a designer is to come up with an efficient design that will help your users solve problems. Psychology is an essential factor in delivering on that objective in user experience. You need to understand the human psyche: how people come up with different thoughts and ideas to solve an issue. This way, you can create designs with true meaning and exceptional usability.

How Automation Tools Can Help in Digital Marketing?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Today, digital marketing is quickly growing at an unprecedented scale as more and more consumers regularly interact with internet-connected digital devices. As this field grows, the need for automation increases too, to keep up with the growing demand.

Productivity and efficiency are increased by automating certain repetitive tasks that marketers have to carry out, such as posting social media content, email marketing, and so on. Clearly, automation tools developed by the best developers and the best UI UX design services provide plenty of benefits for digital marketers, which are explained below:

Improved productivity and efficiency

Digital marketing automation tools allow you to automate repetitive manual tasks, thus giving your marketing team more time to focus on other creative processes. For example, instead of having to worry about posting on various social media platforms and manually monitoring post performances, automation allows you to access and manage your social media campaigns from a single dashboard. You can even schedule campaigns and posts ahead of time.

Improved scalability

When you invest in automation for your digital marketing efforts, you are essentially investing in solutions that can support your business’ short-term and long-term growth. Marketers do not need to be reminded of how valuable a marketing tech stack that can support your long-term vision is. For instance, HubSpot’s marketing automation tool is a popular tool that can automate emails and other tasks. It enhances workflows using a simple yet powerful interface.

Improved collaboration and accountability between marketing and sales teams

Another great benefit of marketing automation is that it can strengthen the relationship between the marketing and sales team, thus encouraging collaboration and improving accountability. The more prospects the marketing team can reach, the more pipeline they create, which means that the sales team has more opportunities to close. Marketing will be happy with the reduction in costs and the increase in productivity, while sales will be happy with the increase in the number of closed deals. All this is made possible because of the right marketing automation solution.

Helps to target leads across multiple channels

With marketing automation tools, you can reach leads and customers in personalized manners across multiple online and offline channels. Depending on the stage where your lead or customer is on the customer journey, you can choose your channels wisely. Whether you use a tweet, a phone call, an email, a text message, or a postcard to reach them, you can be confident that it is the most effective channel for that particular lead/customer.

What is the Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Graphics Processing Unit Accelerated Computing or GPU computing is the use of a graphics processing unit (GPU) as a co-processor for accelerating CPUs. This enhanced performance is utilized by the best graphic design companies for engineering and general-purpose scientific computing.

GPU was developed by NVIDIA in 2007, and since then, has aided in providing far superior application performance. It achieves this by removing process-intensive application sections. Today, GPU-accelerated computing can be employed in an array of rapidly-developing fields such as artificial intelligence, robots, drones, and autonomic cars.

How does GPU work?

The GPU enhances application performance on the CPU by offloading some of the portions of the code which are time-consuming and require plenty of computing, while the rest of the application still runs on the CPU. So, for the user, this means that the application runs much faster and smoother as it uses the massively parallel processing power of the GPU to boost performance. This is referred to as heterogeneous or hybrid computing.

GPU-accelerated computing has plenty of uses in all kinds of areas, including video editing, fluid simulations, medical imaging, and color grading, by the best graphic design companies and top UX design firms.

GPU vs. CPU

While a CPU is used for carrying out general-purpose work, GPUs are used for carrying out massively parallel operations. So, CPUs are commonly used in common devices we use today, such as smartphones, laptops, and washing machines. GPUs may be used for quickly taking the square root of all values in a region of memory. This makes them much faster in graphics-related and massively parallel jobs.

Another difference is that the CPU is made up of four to eight CPU cores, but on the other hand, the GPU is made up of hundreds of much smaller cores. The CPU and GPU then operate together to crunch through the data that they find in the application. Thanks to this massively parallel architecture, the GPU can carry out its high computing performance. As such, various GPU-accelerated applications are capable of providing an easy way to access HPC or high-performance computing.

Moreover, the CPU contains cores which have been designed for sequential serial processing, but the GPU’s parallel architecture contains smaller, but more efficient and powerful cores that can handle multiple tasks easily in parallel without any issues. As a result, GPU-accelerated computing performs sequential calculations in the CPU, while the GPU computes highly complicated calculations in parallel.

Adobe Photoshop Launched on iPad

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Last October, Adobe announced that it would soon be bringing its extremely popular photo-editing software Photoshop to iPads. Roughly a year later, the company has followed through and has released Photoshop on iPads. Adobe Photoshop is used heavily by the best graphic design companies and the top UX design firms.

Users of Apple’s tablets can download Adobe Photoshop on their device for free, and the download comes with a 30-day free trial. After the free trial period is over, users are required to pay $9.99 per month via in-app purchases if they want to continue using the app. They also have the option of including the app as part of a full Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

What can Photoshop on an iPad do?

The tablet version of the Adobe’s software works just like the desktop version and is compatible with any tablet that supports iPad iOS, including iPad Air, iPad Mini, the latest iPad, as well any iPad Pro model.

Even though it works the same way, Adobe has announced that the iPad version will not have all the features that the desktop version has. However, Photoshop for iPad Pro and the more recent models do support Apple Pencil and also allows users to edit PSD files.

According to Adobe, the iPad version will have a subset of the features found in the main application on desktops on the initial release. The plan is to add more features over time. There is also a possibility that certain features may never be added on the iPad version of the software since, over the many years of its development, Adobe Photoshop has acquired different techniques to get the same results.

Adobe has said that for the first release, it has focused on features that will make the most of touch and the input from Apple Pencil. These features include retouching and core compositing tools, as well as improvements such as brush and mask support. Other features like smart selection, will be installed later.

In other words, to give users the best experience possible on the iPad screen, the interface of the software has been designed to be as similar as possible to the desktop application. However, Adobe has also considered features that will benefit most from touch and Pencil rather than keyboard and mouse control.

Thanks to its same PSD file format that is used in the desktop version as well, both the versions can share documents with each other. This means that the versions are kept in sync through the online Library storage of Creative Cloud.

The new release will definitely make the software more accessible, and will likely be used extensively by enterprises such as a creative graphic design agency.

RCS Messaging

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

The Promising Successor to SMS.

Rich Communication Services Messaging, or RCS Messaging, is a protocol that is designed to enhance and succeed what we know today as SMS or Short Message Service. As a protocol between phone manufacturers and mobile operators, the goal is to eventually replace SMS and MMS so users can have a more enhanced texting experience designed by the best UI UX design services.

First formed in 2007, the GSM Association (GSMA) took over RCS, and in 2016, the members of GSMA, which are several mobile operators across the globe, agreed on a Universal Profile. This was a set of standards that every mobile operator, phone manufacturer, and software providers can follow to help implement rich communication services messaging on mobile devices.

What is the need for RCS messaging?

Despite its shortcomings compared to popular messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, SMS is still very popular today. Many users, both individuals, and businesses continue to use it even though it lacks features like group messaging features, read receipts, and fun, animated stickers.

Text messages can only be 160 characters in length and not a character more, which means that you have to keep them short and concise. On top of this, if you don’t have a mobile signal, or if you are on roaming, you cannot send a text message since the service depends on a cellular connection.

Ever since SMS was first proposed in 1982 and developed in the 90s, they haven’t been improved much since today. Especially when you compare them to advanced and user-friendly messaging apps today that support all kinds of features, SMS seem to be a thing of the past. Yet, it remains the most commonly used feature on a smartphone since 97 percent of smartphone users still communicate using text messages.

This is where Rich Communication Services messaging comes in. It combines all the best features of popular messaging apps today such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage to give users a platform that will be the successor of SMS.

As a result of the work of top UX design firms, RCS will look very similar to iMessage and other popular messaging platforms we use today. It is more interactive than SMS, allowing users to form group chats, send high-resolution images, as well as audio and video messages. It will also have features like reading receipts and will show you in real-time when someone is replying to your message.

RCS messaging is championed heavily by the GSMA, as well as the biggest names in tech such as Google and Android, Samsung, along with many other mobile phone manufacturers and carriers.

How to Design Great UI for Your Website

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Website design UI is an intricate discipline that dictates how users interact with your website and your brand. A good website should always focus on the user while they are on the site so that they can deliver a smooth and seamless user interface.

Below, we take a look at how you can deliver such an experience for a web design project.

Everything users need should be easily accessible

One of the most important rules to follow is to make everything easily accessible for the users. When people visit your website, they should be able to find everything they need quickly so that navigating through the site becomes easy. Otherwise, they will likely get frustrated and leave your site, thereby increasing your bounce rate.

This means that you should organize your tools using tabs, hover tooltips, shortcuts, etc. every option or button should be clearly labelled so as to avoid confusion.

Be smart about element placement and design

All the elements of your website should be well designed and strategically placed so that it supports a smooth UI. A common rule is that the most important functions should be placed at the top of the page so users don’t have to struggle to find them. They should also be larger and generally more prominent. When users scan a page, they usually go from left to right, and top to bottom, so make use of this when it comes to element placement.

Color and contrast, and whitespace are also important elements that can help guide users through your page.

Help users understand what is going on by giving feedback

By providing your users with feedback while they are on your site, you help them understand what is going on. For example, if they press a button that downloads something, you can notify them that the button was successfully clicked on by making the button appear to sink into the page. You can also let them know that the download is in progress by adding an icon that shows the download progress. The idea here is to assure your users by acknowledging that an action has been taken.

Follow design standards

This may sound simple and silly but it is something that many designers need to be reminded of. If design standards work well, there is no need to try something completely different. Visitors to your site are already used to certain design standards such as certain icons standing for something or element placements, and it’s best to carry over these standards to your site as well.

Benefits of Cross-Platform Development

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

In this increasingly digital world we live in today, thousands of mobile apps are released every single day. Our reliance on our smartphones has made mobile app development one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and businesses are investing heavily in it.

To reap maximum benefits from this investment, cross-platform app development is the way to go for businesses. Here are a few reasons why:

Reduced development costs and time

Any app design agency knows that cross-platform app development means quicker turnaround since there is only one app to be developed for all platforms. Rather than having to build multiple apps for each platform, which would take a lot of time, you just have to develop a single app that can function across platforms. Not only does this reduce development time, but it also reduces the cost.

Easier maintenance with reduced costs

The fact that there is only one app to focus on for all platforms is what makes maintenance and updates so easy. You can sync updates across all platforms, thus saving a lot of time and money. Besides, cross-platform apps can be updated automatically for each user since they are accessed using the internet. This means that users can have the latest version of the app at all times.

Ability to effectively reach the target audience

If you want maximum exposure to your target audience, then a cross-platform app is one of the best ways to go about it. This allows top UX design firms to make use of various platforms, whether Android or iOS, or even the web, with just a single app that is capable of running smoothly and efficiently on these platforms.

Reusable code

Cross-platform app development is a lot more efficient in all ways because you can use reusable code. There is no need for app design agency developers to write new and unique code for every platform. Instead, you can use a single code, again and again, thereby saving time and resources. For instance, Xamarin allows easy code sharing across platforms, making the entire development process a whole lot easier.

Simple cloud integration

Another reason why cross-platform apps are great for your business is that they can be easily integrated with the cloud for hosting services. This means that the app is more functional and scalable as the single code source can be coordinated with different extensions and plug-ins. For example, with nodeJS, you can build a cloud-native app very easily. In other words, a top UI UX design agency can give you an almost universally-compatible app.

Out-for-sure-cing! Outsource to Save Time & Resources

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

Let’s go back to the old adage — ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ We could argue that maybe self-sufficiency is a more important thing to learn and one must try to hone his or her skills until overall proficiency is achieved. But it is no surprise that this is better said than done and it is no surprise that indeed, there is power in joining hands.

You cannot be the best at everything but if you do know others who are masters in their domains, collaborating with them can lead to a successful and invincible association. That is how educational institutes work. Instead of hiring one professor who can teach both science and math pretty well, they hire a different teacher for each subject; such that their mastery cannot be challenged and to ensure that students learn from the best.

In business, similarly, outsourcing is the way or agreement through which one company entrusts its own internal activities to an external vendor or company. This involves any functions that can be carried out from an offshore location. They can be operational or non-core functions like manufacturing, accounting, call-center support, etc. or business functions like inventory management, transaction and payroll processing.

The concept, though seemingly absurd, has gained popularity due to the wide array of advantages it poses.

1. Cost and time zone advantages

One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing is cost savings. Many times, it is not cost-effective to expand operations internally due to inefficient equipment or inappropriate location. It may be possible that your business has grown to such an extent that you require a bigger office. In such a situation, you could either outsource basic operations to reduce the need for space or expand or relocate your base to a different place. The latter can prove to be much more cost-efficient and less troublesome.

“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” — Lee Kuan Yew

When outsourced, a job can be done in a satisfactory manner and at a much lower cost. A major reason for this is the difference in wages between western and many Asian countries. Outsourcing to India reduces costs by almost 60% due to lower labor operation costs and lower overhead costs. Another important aspect is round-the-clock efficiency due to different time zones across countries.

Suppose an American firm outsources to a Malaysian company. The firm manager might be done for the day but will wake the next morning with tasks completed by the Malaysian employees. This is how outsourcing keeps things running throughout the day.

2. Access to skilled resources and increased efficiency

When the functions of your back office are complex and difficult to achieve given the current size of your company, outsourcing can be a breath of fresh air since overhead costs pertaining to a particular back-office function can be extremely high. When you outsource your business needs, the partner brings to the table immense experience, tactful business practices, and expertise.

They can handle a complicated project with much more prowess and understanding of the subject area. Basically, outsourcing gives businesses the ability to develop new competencies and skill-sets that can be used as a competitive advantage. This boom in productivity and efficiency would make businesses more successful, more equipped to tackle challenges and helps them streamline cash flow.

“The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles.” — Azim Premji

3. Better services and focus on core areas

Outsourcing certain non-core business processes like administration and back-office operations, that tend to expand during rapid growth periods, helps you focus on other important aspects by saving time and energy. This is because the expansion might start to sabotage those core activities that form the foundation of your company.

“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” — Peter Drucker

Moreover, in case of certain cost-incurring operations that are going haywire or are poorly managed, outsourcing helps to overcome such difficulties by bringing better management skills to the table. It allows you to focalize your in-house resources on building the brand, providing higher value-added services, research and development.

In case a firm receives a contract that would multiply its purchasing volume by a number of times in a short span, it should outsource this function so that its personnel can concentrate on the contract itself. Outsourcing helps companies provide better and faster services in this way leading to high-quality deliverables and lesser time for products to reach the marketplace.

4. Save on Infrastructure and technology

Outsourcing eliminates the need for investments in technology, infrastructure, and people. These form a major section of the capital expenditure that is incurred in back end processes. This is because the outsourcing partner is given the responsibility of handling the business process and is hence, solely responsible for developing the required infrastructure as well.

If a business has outsourced its creative design department, it is not their concern if the latest software is being used or not or how many UX/UI designers are working on a particular project. Their only concern is to see if tasks are being completed on time and accurately. Everything else will be taken care of by the outsourcing partner. Similarly, if a tech company has outsourced its catering, it does not need to worry about whether the stove is working or not or if there is enough ice in the refrigerator. This will be handled by the caterers now since it falls under their domain.

5. Staffing Flexibility

Through outsourcing, you can pick the best people to deal with your core activities, manage your manpower and have flexibility in staffing. A large project might require expertise or skills that your internal staff does not possess. In such a case, it is a good option to bring in contractors who know the requisite workers or people with the required skill set. Your internal staff, in the meanwhile, can imbibe knowledge and skills by working with them to increase their proficiency.

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.” — Red Adair

Moreover, certain functions in the company have seasonal or cyclical demands. Thus, external or additional resources can be employed when things are at a good pace and let go when not needed. This also helps save costs. As an example, an event management company might have a wedding department that is shorthanded for certain months of the year. Outsourcing a few of its responsibilities can help you with services during these few months at a fixed cost.

6. Continuity and Risk Management

Many times, due to one reason or another, the employee churn rate in some companies is quite high. This can cause instability and uncertainty. Outsourcing in such situations is a blessing since it helps maintain consistency and strike a balance because a substandard level of operation can jeopardize the overall functioning of the business.

As an example, if your account manager is on leave due to a family obligation for the next month and there is no one to take his place, it is wise to outsource this job since it will help manage the risk situation effectively for the time being. In this way, outsourcing helps your business sail through tough times.

Now, you know there really aren’t too many reasons against diving into this culture. Save time. Save money. Save energy. Increase your efficiency. Gain access to skilled resources. Cut down on your costs. Steer through sticky situations. Outsourcing has its set of disadvantages but as long as the advantages overpower them, it is a win-win. So, the next time you have a problem you think you cannot handle, outsource; finding it tough to keep the ball rolling, outsource; have too much on your plate, outsource…Getting the drift?

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