Clever UI/UX Design trends for 2019

Websites have always been getting revamped by the makers to ensure they stay up to date and continue meeting the standards of the users. Because of this reason, websites today come nowhere near the websites that existed even a few years ago. Back in the day, when a website was created – the primary incentive was to get as much information on there as possible. The user and their needs were never taken into consideration. However, now; when a website is created the attention span and interest of the user are the driving forces behind content and design.

Website makers and business owners now spend months researching the psyche of the customer before they put out a final product to ensure maximized results. If you have to design a website, then here are some clever design trends for 2019 you should keep in mind to.

Credible Design

A well designed website never grows old. It plays a pivotal role when controlling and modifying the emotions of the user. It can persuade users to respond to the website in a certain way. This means the ease with which users can find their way within the website and how engaging it is in terms of content and display of information.

A good example to look at would be Amazon. Their use of patterns and the display of products on their webpage is what keeps urging and persuading users to click the “purchase” button. They simplify it even more by offering their customers the ability to purchase an item with just a single click. This kind of ease on a website has long lasting impacts on the users and becomes the primary reason why they keep returning to the website.

Recent psychology has proven to be a very useful tool in order to enhance the use of website design. Implementing this as a core of your design can help you validate the use of certain features once they’ve been proven to be popular amongst customers.

It can also help develop new theories and serve as a form of research to make up for deficits.

The Illusion of Control

It is the primary job of a good designer to translate his day to day interactions with people into the design they create and that is accomplished through control. This is how they can ensure a positive response from the people; by observing their response to the environment. A good designer is one that enables a sense of control through the design of their website. As human beings, the innate desire is to feel control in all circumstances. Through this illusion of control, a sense of mobility through motivation can be triggered within the users.

When designers take over the control and drive the user motivation they can gain the kind of responses they are looking for. This targeted motivation forces users to engage with the provided content in front of them.

Conclusion

There are a lot of stats that can help designers and website makers identify where they stand in the eyes of their customers.

However, it is only the use of clever design hacks driven out of human psychology that can truly maximize the results.

UX for Online Business – A Short Series

Series 2: Essential UX Aspects for Ecommerce

There is a reason why people prefer walking into a physical store as opposed to ordering online. Primarily, this is because they enjoy touching the products they intend to purchase and experience them physically before having to decide. Online shopping has this one drawback – the inability for people to experience the product before buying it.

However, with properly implemented UX elements you can easily fill in these gaps and ensure increased purchases. A very basic example to accomplish this is to avoid putting in a lot of information all at once, avoid using complicated language and make things look simple and approachable. Following are a few other elements that must be kept in mind:

Making the First Impression

If a customer is not impressed with your home page and if you’ve struggled to leave a strong first impression, then don’t be surprised if they prefer a different retailer within the first couple of minutes. Not only does it need to be compelling, it must also focus and help the user focus. The easiest way to do this is to provide a captivating story to the customer telling them why you as a retailer are a better option as opposed to several others that exist. This does not mean you complicate it. Keep it simple and focused.

Have a Diverse Collection

It always helps to have a diverse collection. This can be displayed in a grid system with the most popular items appearing first. You can also recommend products that have received better reviews in the past. Don’t force your users to make purchases of items you are unable to sell. Instead, allow easy filtering and comparisons for them so that they are able to choose based on their interest. Using a grid allows more collection items to displayed all at once.

Marketing Scheme

Research and statistics in the past have recorded that almost 70% of the users abandon their cart post an online shopping spree. It is very important to treat the customers differently. It is important to ensure that if someone has added certain items in the cart, they purchase them and do not abandon them. Here are some ways good UX experience can be accomplished:

  • Use a marketing software for emails.
  • Make New offers
  • Use promotions on Social media actively
  • Hold Contests to intrigue users
  • Announce Sales with timers and
  • Offer Free shipping for a certain amount spent on purchase.

Plausibility

An online store can only build its plausibility and credibility as a retailer through demonstration of testimonials. You can have page ratings and reviews and even product reviews so that users can see what people have to say about the brand and the services.

Always Have Customer Service Strips

It is very important to sustain a well-made first impression all the way through to the future. Customers will evidently have questions that cannot and should not be ignored by the retailer. This is why it is imperative that your website offer tabs where they can leave their grievances for you to cater to. This can also be done through live chat boxes or customer service strips at the top or the bottom of the page.

Make Checking Out Simple and Secure

A secure checkout should be a priority for all retailers. Build a sturdy platform and follow it up with speed and security. A single click for checkout works best so this should always be the aim for the retailer.

UX Experience

A decent UX experience is what will guarantee that a user returns to your store. In order to do this, it is essential that the retailer thinks about how their user feels when clicking the cross. Whether you feel that your products lack some sort of a zeal, or even if the business is about bed sheets and herbal teas; photos make all the difference. Get creative to leave the user with a feel.

To Sum it Up!

From the first impression on a visitor to the last on a consistent user, A UX experience for an e-commerce business if very important.

Social Media Mistakes Marketers Often Make

When it comes to establishing new businesses, it is very important to be wary of possible mistakes in all avenues. One such avenue is social media marketing. In order to grow and reach maximum number of people, it is important for businesses to hire professional and trained marketers who hold the potential to develop rich, client centered and evocative approaches to maximize productivity. A flawed strategy can cost one a lot, so here are some social media mistakes marketers should avoid:

  1. Poor Choice of Social Media Platforms

It is very important to identify the social media platform being used before it is used – this enables the marketers to come up with a solid strategy. This identification comes through research and the assurance that the chosen platform adds to the business value. If a social media platform does not promise longevity of profit and increased opportunities, then you may need to think twice.

Facebook usually works in all cases – it allows effective communication and enables marketers to promote their product or services well. Platforms like Twitter allow connection in a very interesting and creative fashion – this biggest plus is the direct interaction with followers. If networking and branding is your desired results, Twitter is the way to go. Other platforms must be look at through a similar lens so you can decide how you can benefit from each in the best possible way. It is always better to use more than one platform, however, the two should be picked out after some strategic thought.

  1. Inconsistent Updates

It is imperative that your social media platforms be updated on a regular basis. Inconsistent updates not only make a bad impression but they also fail to accomplish the desired impact minimizing your reach to the audience. Not only should you stay consistent but also boost strong posts so that you reach a maximum number of people. Consistency tells your users that you are concerned with the frequency with which your business is putting information out there. This does not mean you post one thing or another without an end result in mind. Come up with a solid strategy that keeps reminding your users of your services without becoming spam.

  1. Develop a strong strategy

The newness or oldness of a business does not define the use of social media strategy. Whether you’ve been in the business for a while or are just starting out, it is imperative that you develop a strong strategy. It is this approach that will allow you to establish a certain kind of connection with the audience. If you continue to use social media based on whims, then you may continue struggling to establish any connection with the people on the other end. This can only begin once you’ve identified your target audience. It is imperative that the content being released resonates with the audience, it should also have a touch of personalization while being engaging as well.

  1. Observe and Analyze Page Performance

A website is continuously under observation and that is what allows marketers to ensure it is up to date and its performance is being analyzed. If you wish to be at par with the response of your audience, then you must observe their rate of response and analyze the performance of each post on the page. Analysis is what ensures that you care about your customer and are willing to modify your stance based on the response rate. It allows you to:

  • Calculate achievement levels
  • Identify strengths and laggings

These will allow you to maneuver future posts to the best of your company’s abilities.

  1. Altering Approach

Social media is constantly being evolved. Because of this reason an approach that was very effective yesterday, may not be operative today. You can easily build your own brand and understanding with clients. Several companies build their individual brand and then empower that idea amongst their users. You can do this through modification in the mobile landscape of your application, simplicity and ease with which customers can find their way. It is important to stay on top of trends and analyze what it is that the consumers are most receptive to.

  1. Live chats and streaming

If you’re wondering how you can benefit from live chats and streaming online, then here are a few:

  1. Allows consumers to make quick decisions.
  2. Allows ease in access to products.
  3. Expedites response time to questions put forth by consumers.
  4. Allows personalization in user experience.

Any company or business without their customers is a fundamentally failing one anyways. It is imperative that your marketers are prioritizing the customers and keeping their requirements in mind. Everything a marketer does must have a vision and a strategy. This can only be done through assessment and analysis of what is already done in the past and how it must be amended to continue gaining positive and effective responses from consumers, both old and new.

Developing a Start-up Business Plan

A business plan is as important for start-ups as a game plan is for a sport. All the information needs to be gathered before anything can be put into execution. A start-up’s business plan identifies its formation, operations and potential success. More so, it provides insight into its major strengths and loopholes. It helps founders estimate how they can cash in on the strengths and reduce the loopholes for more success. In a nutshell it is the skeleton on which the body of the business stands.

Because of the above, it is imperative that a business plan be given enough time and thought. It enables founders to be ready and better prepared to step into the competitive market of the business world. There is no doubt that this task sounds rather daunting, but proper preparation can minimize the trouble. Research and preparation allows founders to develop a strong sense of understanding of their own business and their competitors. It also equips them to foresee possible risks and be better prepared to handle them.

Things to Consider

Before you even begin establishing a business plan, there are many basic questions that need to be answered. Some of these questions are:

  • Are you ready to go into business?
  • Do you have your basic concept ready?
  • Are you ready with a prototype of the product or service?
  • Is your location ready for access?
  • Is your basic team in place? And
  • Do you fully understand the monetary requirements?

Even if the structure was ready before developing a business plan, it is important that the following features be looked into again once the plan is underway. These elements include assigning, business goals, mission statement, KPI’s, analysis of the industry, competitors and market, strategies, marketing and management plan, structure of the organization, operations, analysis of breaking-even and the basic financial requirement.

Giving A Proficient Demonstration

It is surprising that a singular format often works for all businesses given the nature of the start-up is the same. It is imperative that the plan be divided and approached logically. Following are some of the basic features of a business plan to get you going:

  1. Provide an execute summary of your business covering all of its elements.
  2. Describe your company.
  3. Demonstrate your understanding of the industry with an analysis.
  4. Get an analysis of the market and the competition that exists.
  5. identify where your strategy fits in response to the target market and set goals accordingly.
  6. In line with your goals and strategies, describe your product or services.
  7. What is your marketing strategy going to be given your products and your evident goal?
  8. Distinctly mention who the team will include when considering operations and management.
  9. How will the business be operated?
  10. What is the financial expectation?
  11. What are the finances that will be needed to execute and accomplish the plan?
  12. Any supporting material to demonstrate the work.

These are later taken further while presenting them to the decision makers or investors.

Making a Lasting Impression

It is important that the document you submit is properly structured not just grammatically but aesthetically as well. Following is a quick list of features you must keep in mind when submitting your business plan:

  • Format.
  • Page layout.
  • Tabs and titles.
  • Color and charts.
  • Printing
  • Proofreading and copy-editing.

There is never any harm but only a list of benefits going into an incubation center to utilize their facilities with a business plan intact. It also shows the level of seriousness with which you intend to pursue your idea to execution and evidently success. With NIC’s next incubation cycle right around the corner, this is the perfect time for founders to start developing their business plan and get prepared to submit their application.

When to Boost Posts on Social Media – A Guide Startups

If you have a startup or a full-functioning business with a social media profile, then you are probably aware of the “Boost Post” button. The purpose why this button is made available is to help businesses increase their overall reach. However, when it comes to boosting a post, selecting which to boost is a predicament. More so, the amount that should be spent is also a question.

So, if you wish to boost your post on Facebook and Twitter here are answers to some of your questions.

Boosting Facebook Posts

Managing a Facebook page means you’ve often come across the system telling you that a certain post is performing better than the rest. This automatically also states that Facebook is suggesting for you to boost it. Where several people tend to ignore these notifications; they are there for a reason.

The in-built assessment feature of Facebook posts allows it to keep you informed. It keeps track of the quality of the posts and their performance on an average basis. It also often recommends how much you should be spending on boosting the post.

Facebook posting it not limited and allows the leeway to ensure a strong post is being viewed by a wider audience. Here are three ways you can boost a Facebook post:

  1. To Followers: Unfortunately, often the organic reach of certain posts is not as far reached as one would hope. For this very reason, the marketing strategies for all social media platforms keep altering. So, if you wish to boost a post to increase its reach to people who already follow you then the best options are features, updates, or events. These are elements that create hype amongst those who already know what you’re doing.
  2. To friends of followers: If you wish to increase your number of followers then this type of boosting needs to be considered. Pick your best post and boost it so that it appears on a non-follower’s page and is intriguing enough to get them to follow you.
  3. To selective group of people: If your post is getting a lot of shares, boost with a wider audience based on select criteria.

Important Boosting Hacks

It is always a bad idea to boost a post right after you’ve posted it. It is always a smart idea to wait for at least 3 days before pressing that button. Oftentimes, people decide to not boost a post if it did not organically manage to get any notifications. Just because Facebook did not inform of that a certain post is doing well, it does not mean you shouldn’t boost it. Keeping track of the insights can help learn which post is reaching how many people.

It is always a smart idea to boost videos mainly because it is the most engaging kind of content one produces. Text only posts are often limited to a certain type of audience. However, posts that are videoed or have graphics automatically intrigue more people just because they are visual.

However, this does not mean that you don’t put out any text whatsoever. The credibility of a page often relies on the content that is being produced whether you choose to boost it. It is always a smart idea to boost those posts that are original. Where sharing posts by other pages isn’t a bad idea, it does not have the desired impact. It is always smarter and more effective to boost a post that is exclusive to your page.

The goal of boosting a post is to get your brand in front of more eyes; therefore, what you’ve created wholly should meet more eyes.

Budgeting your Boosts

Boosting costs of a post are not as high as one would expect. You can set a daily budget for yourself and ensure you’re meeting that benchmark. Boosting a post is often better than ads because of the time allowed to use the former. Ads limit you to a certain sum monthly limiting your overall budget. So, for startups who do not wish to invest a great deal, boosting a post is a great way to go about marketing your product or service.

Boost with A Resolve

It is important to have a proper marketing strategy regardless of the platform where you choose to market. Knowing when to spend the money and where to spend it, is a big plus especially for startups who already have a limited budget to begin with. It is irrelevant and will be lost in vain if you boost posts without a final resolve in mind. Set an objective or a goal for yourself; it can be as simple as gaining 100 more followers after boosting a post.

There are many ways one can gain traffic in an organic way. However, where investment is needed it should be made but with a clear head and with an objective in mind. If you can witness the strength in one of your social media posts, make the smart call and boost it.

8 Legal Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

The life of a startup is often quite precarious. This is why even a single wrong turn can lead to disastrous outcomes. If you are a founder setting up the groundwork for your business idea, there are various elements that need to be considered. Where creativity is imperative on one hand, the legalities that come along with stepping into the professional world as a service provider should never be overlooked.

Here are 10 legal mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid:

  1. Ignorance towards early Incorporation

Often in a startup, one founder consequently abandons the idea. However, all things considered, when the idea picks up and receives funding and financing, the partner often returns demanding parity. This is often followed by a string of contributions made by them on their end. To cater to this problem founders should be given incorporated shares early on. As a result of this, each founder should then be prerequisite to dispense to the new corporation.

  1. Shares without Conferring

Conferring allows founders to protect the founding members of a startup. This way, as long as someone stays on board and is working towards a common goal, the shares are vested. Upon leaving the shares can be retrieved and reassigned to their replacement.

  1. Hiring an inexperienced lawyer

Several investors often judge the worth of a startup based on their legal choices. This is why it is imperative to ensure one hires a lawyer who has experience dealing with startups. This is because experienced attorneys are able to look for loopholes others might consider insignificant or ignore. Hiring someone who knows the tricks of the trade and understands the mode of negotiations goes a long way for the future of a new idea.

  1. Negotiating investment based on estimation.

It is important to go beyond the basic estimation when it conversation with a potential investor. There are many ways in which compensation can be demanded if they pay a high price. Therefore, apart from basic evaluation other aspects of the capitalist must also be taken into consideration. These include their reputation, their relationship with entrepreneurs in the past and their response to roadblocks. A capitalist’s reputation within the industry also makes a lot of difference.

  1. Unveiling ideas without a nondisclosure agreement

It is very important for entrepreneurs to not get carried away when revealing new ideas. For a startup experimenting; any idea can work and therefore must not be disclosed in passing especially if a nondisclosure agreement has not been signed. The only protection available is to ensure required steps have been taken to protect the secrets from competitors in the market.

  1. Hiring or getting hired by possible opponents in the market

Often entrepreneurs come up with interesting ideas while working for a firm. Though the venture begins while still being employed, it is very unsuitable to do so if the employer is a possible competitor. Doing so can lead to a lawsuit and therefore jeopardize the future of a business before it is even launched. Therefore, they should either formally leave the job or ensure their employer is aware and raises no concerns regarding their entrepreneurial idea.

  1. Overselling and failing to deliver

It is understandable when entrepreneurs come up with an idea and dream for it to make it big. However, overselling an idea on the basis of just that can backfire in the ugliest ways. Promising something without a certainty to deliver falls into fraud and can be detrimental for your startup. It is important to make realistic claims when selling an idea to avoid being sued. When a business flourishes, investors pour in automatically, conducting the activity the other way around may bring your startups journey to one that is short lived and not pretty.

  1. Ignoring legal concerns

Entrepreneurs often overlook the legal concerns and postpone them for later. To run a successful business one has to be farsighted and make the right calls at the right time. Hiring a competent attorney who takes care of the legal matters is a smart way to go about the business. You can stay focused on investors while they ensure your company meets legal benchmarks.

So if you have a business idea you’re willing to take into the professional world, be sure to handle all the legal matters beforehand.

5 Things you learn at a Design Thinking Workshop

Design Thinking is a revolutionary process that has taken over the business world. It allows creative solutions to complex problems, allows collaborative innovation and ensures the results are humane. To instill all of the above and more in our incubated startups, NIC has organized a 5 day design thinking workshop for the entrepreneurs.

Here are 5 things you can expect to learn at a design thinking workshop:

  1. Prepare for the Unknown!

During a design thinking workshop, your learning is more hands-on thus reducing reliance on gadgets. It is an experiential learning environment that allows and enables more hands-on work that moves at a quicker than usual pace. Therefore, be prepared to be taken by surprise because this is a learning process that will provide profound insights within a short span. The unexpected is a vital element in such a workshop because to break the mold, the entrepreneurs need to be taught how to unlearn and learn through a design thinkers mind.

  1. Take Steps Collectively

Though in the grand scheme of things, the 5 day workshop teaches design thinking but there are several more minute aspects that go with it. More than anything else a driven and passionate entrepreneur learns about their team members allowing empathy. Empathy is key in enabling the creative side of the brain. This understanding is pivotal in pushing ingenious boundaries that are invigorating and overwhelming all the same.

  1. Breaking the Mold

In order to learn something new one must always unlearn a facet of the old. Such a workshop provides a refined culture for the attendees. Thus, it allows them to be more confident in their own creativity and allows them to break the mold they believe they need to fit into otherwise. It teaches listening, analysis, synthesis, testing, resolution and a plethora of other useful skills that work as enabling forces in the future of the entrepreneur. However, as the mold breaks don’t be overwhelmed by the ambiguity of the learning process.

  1. Be Open to the Likelihood of failure

The whole idea behind a successful business it to make the user feel they need the product as opposed to vice versa. This is why it is often difficult for entrepreneurs to welcome and realize that the possibility of failure is high. The product is designed on the basis of user needs that are often undiscovered; even by themselves. A design thinking workshop welcomes failure as a learning curve. It makes the entrepreneurs less afraid to fail and more likely to come up with effective solutions.

  1. Prepare to face the Music

It is very important to challenge ourselves as we step into the professional world. A design thinking workshop will challenge you to understand the process itself. So be prepared to face the music and learn, to welcome challenges and be in the moment of not knowing the solution to something only to figure out the most creative way to do it.

NIC understands the significance and relevance of equipping its startups to the very brim. So if you’ve had the opportunity to be incubated with NIC, don’t miss out on the chance to attend Shahid Khan’s 5 day design thinking workshop in September.

The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship

Thinking of starting your own venture?

Join the club. There are about 40% of people out there who want to do the same or have already started out!

With technological advancements and the innumerable tools available online, it has become very easy for just about anyone to start their own website or an eCommerce store. Bootstrapping or crowd-sourcing funds, these entrepreneurs are also able to get a small team in place to get things going!

There are a lot many people out there who will talk about how and why you should take your dreams forward and build something of your own. Being your own boss, getting recognition in the industry for making a difference or introducing something that the world hasn’t seen before – there are endless things that can get listed to encourage you enough to take the leap.

But what most people avoid talking about, is the dark side of entrepreneurship.

So before you set foot in the big bad world of business with your idea, here’s taking a look at the not-so-rosy picture of starting up.

1. Not every idea works

About 90% of startups fail when they actually hit the market. For that matter, more than half the startups in industries like finance, health, education, agriculture, services, wholesale and mining don’t work for too long either! It’s either because the concept wasn’t planned end-to-end, or the market needs changed by the time they launched.

The market is unpredictable and the speed at which technological advancements are taking shape, the consumer needs are bound to change.

Tip: Execute a thorough survey of market needs and how long would they stay considering the developments in the industry, before working on an idea.

2. No time for socializing

Most entrepreneurs have a hard time keeping up with their social lives. Being the one responsible for the growth of an idea, leaves them with absolutely no room to be involved in someone else’s life. Phone calls become more demanding and work hours extend way beyond the regular 9 to 5! Technically, they end up working all the time.

Tip: To avoid going about apologizing to people for skipping socials, surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.

3. Addiction to work

With absolutely no socializing and extended hours of work for days together, leaves them addicted to work. So much so that even when they do step out to take a break, all they can think about are the things they need to get done once they reach back. Work becomes life, while life starts to take a backseat.

Tip: Even though the drive is understandable, take some time off every now and then to go out. It will only refresh your brain and help you work better.

4. Your health becomes secondary

Since work takes over everything else in their lives, even health takes a backseat. Staying up late in the night and indulging in midnight cravings to keep themselves fueled, sleep disorders and bad food habits become a part of their lives.

Tip: Streamline your work hours, set sufficient time aside to rest and eat well. It is necessary to take care of your health to last longer in the race.

5. Frequent self doubts

Even though entrepreneurs start their venture with a 100% faith in their idea, the level tends to drop every now and then. Be it because of a new competition in the market, not being able to come up with something new frequently or the lack of team’s performance – everything just adds to their stress. This often leads to self worth issues.

Tip: Stay focused, plan your moves and improvise on the go. And if you fail, learn from it only to start again.

While all this might sound relatable, how do you ensure that you stay afloat in this dark sea?

By not letting your business define you!

Being driven about your concept is one thing, but losing your identity for it just not acceptable. Most entrepreneurs give up their hobbies and social lives to make things work for their business. Their profession becomes their world.

Don’t let that happen! Don’t let the market stocks define your mood or let someone’s ideas push yours aside and never let someone’s opinion bother you beyond a second. Have an identity of your own and never let your business overshadow it.

Trust your gut and stay passionate about your job. Make a difference in the world, but not yourself. Stay the same or you’ll block all the ideas that might come to you every now and then – after all, who knows what your next venture would be?

‘You’ are the brain behind a venture, not the other way around – don’t ever forget that!

Article submitted by: Pakwired

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