networking friends

15 books to help you become a skilled networker

We are in a generation of social networking which for some has fueled their business or freelance career but for the majority, face-to-face networking is still the best way to build relationships and get potential clients.

For so many of us, the idea of small talk is very daunting and more often than not its the reason why we don't go to networking events. Take comfort in the fact it's not unusual to feel nervous at the thought of introducing yourself to a complete stranger – but we're all in the same boat.

Below we have gathered 15 books which all offer useful advice to help you overcome those nerves and learn practical tips to make the most of meeting people and creating opportunities to boost your career.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is number one on the list for a reason, it is absolutely ace irrespective of what field you're in. This should be on your reading list whether you are a designer, developer, entrepreneur or teacher —any profession —it can dramatically change your relationships with people.

"Be a good listener, give the person your full attention."

Dale Carnegie is a legend in psychology and self-help, his book will undoubtedly educate you on communication but also help you understand yourself and the behaviour of others which is ideal for UX designers.

Priced at £6.94Buy Now

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey’s self-improvement book has sold 25+ million copies worldwide. Many people who have achieved a high level of visible success still find themselves fighting with an internal need for developing personal effectiveness and growing healthy relationships with other people. If this is you, this book will be a perfect match.

"Without a doubt, you have to leave the comfort zone of base camp and confront an entirely new and unknown wilderness." -Stephen Covey

Throughout this book, Covey helps you establish one path to success by identifying the habits that can help you on your journey, build relationships and bring value to your network.

Priced at £11.55Buy now

 

The Pocket Guide for Nervous Networkers by Ash Mashhadi

If you’re nervous about networking and have a sense of dread about attending events, this book is for you – it's aimed for introverts who have worries about interacting with people for the first time. The pocket guide full of helpful advice on how to begin a conversation, prepare for network events and creating new connections.

Priced at £11.99Buy now

 

I Love Networking: A Story About Finding Your Inner Networker by Ivan Misner and C. G. Cooper

If you hate networking you've got to read "I Love Networking." This book is actually a short novel about a man called Ken and his transformation from bypassing network events to making it a base of his business. It's a great book to read and you can experience the lessons yourself with the practice sessions at the end of every chapter.

Priced at £5.73Buy now

 

Winning with people: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time by John C Maxwell

The most important trait needed for success in leadership professions is 'the ability to work with people'. Some people are blessed with great relationship skills, but those who are not can learn to improve them. In Winning with People, Maxwell has interpreted decades of experience into 25 People Principles that anyone can learn.

Willingness: Are we prepared for relationships? Connection: Are we prepared to focus on others? Trust: Can we build trust? Investment: Are we ready to invest in others? Synergy: Can we build a win-win relationship?

Priced at £9.09Buy now

 

Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Good Job by Orville Pierson

Orville Pierson, a specialist in job hunting, reveals how to succeed by effectively utilizing your current circle of contacts. He explains how to use a small network to reach hundreds of insiders and decision makers; get the right information to the right people; and create a project plan to organise your networking endeavours. This book cuts through the myths and misinterpretations to show you how thousands of job hunters have networked their way to impressive new jobs.

 £11.99Buy now

 

Click: Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships by George Fraser

In this book, you will discover the ten truths for 'clicking' with people and unveil a proven path to success and happiness. Networking opens numerous opportunities but George Fraser doesn't stop there. He shows you how to take these opportunities and build powerful and enriching business relationships.

 £19.99Buy now

 

Networking like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections by Ivan Misner

Networking leader and New York Times bestselling author Dr Ivan Misner educates entrepreneurs how to champion the art of networking. This book is a timeless guide which unveils effective networking techniques for building, restoring, and transforming your current outreach efforts.

Priced at £12.18Buy now

 

The Networking Survival Guide: Get the Success you want by tapping into the People you Know by Diane Darling

If you are looking for a job or building a career this book is perfect for you. Diane Darling reveals how to cultivate a rich network of professional contacts and use them to find success.

She says people who rely on ads succeed about 5 percent of the time. But those who have mastered the skill of networking find new positions nearly 66 percent of the time – "it's not what you know, its who you know".

Priced at £30.54Buy now

 

The Fine Art Of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation in Any Situation by Debra Fine

In this book, communication expert Debra Fine shares a range of achievable methods and strategies that anyone can use to make small talk. With practical advice and communication 'cheat sheets', you’ll discover how to start a conversation even when you think you have nothing to say. It will help you avoid uncomfortable pauses, awkward silences and adopt listening skills that will make you a skilled conversationalist.

Priced at £7.67Buy now 

 

The Network Effect by Tony Newton and Judith Perle

Whether you're an entrepreneur, a consultant, a job seeker or looking to progress in your career, this book guides you through everything you need to know about connecting with other people.

'The Network Effect' offers quality, proven and practical advice. If you understand 'why' something works as well as 'how', you have a better chance of making it work for you.

Priced at £9.90Buy now

 

Make your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success by Anne Baber & Lynne Waymon

Make Your Contacts Count is a useful, step-by-step guide for creating, developing, and capitalising on networking relationships and opportunities. Bound with valuable tools, readers will discover how to cultivate contacts, compose a networking plan, bypass the top ten networking turn-offs, and much more.

Priced at £11.99Buy now

 

Savvy Networking: 118 Fast & Effective Tips for Business Success by Andrea Nierenberg

Do you hate the thought of standing in a room full of strangers? This book will help you build social skills to form strong connections and develop a reliable network of business relationships and long-term customers.

The Wall Street Journal called Andrea Nierenberg a 'networking success story'. Her tips highlight the kind of people who can be helpful to you professionally, improve your communication skills and keep track of your contacts.

Priced at £14.42Buy now

 

The Skinny on Networking: Maximising the Power of Numbers by Jim Randel

For someone looking for a new job, or to better connect with people in life, this is a great book. This quick but informative read teaches the basics of networking for a career using a real-life situation with advice collected from successful business people. Storyboards make the content of the book more memorable which help to get the author’s points across quickly and effectively.

Priced at £10.67Buy now

 

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

We all admire and envy those people who can walk into a room and captivate the attention of everyone. Do you wish that could be you instead of a robot?

In The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane makes a credible argument that you can have that ability because charisma is the result of a certain mindset. If you read this book, practice and apply its techniques, you too could be the person everyone wants to be around.

Priced at £7.64Buy now

 

This article is written with Amazon Affiliates


design-thinking

Design-Thinking: Designers have become too reliant on surface-level visuals

The rapid increase of ‘inspirational’ websites has produced an environment where design can be too reliant on surface-level visuals and not enough on the concept and design-thinking behind the work.

"Inspirational websites are showcasing a solution to another company's problem, it most likely won't apply to your website"

 

awwwards_website
Awwwards

For many years, designers have considered 'inspirational' websites as their background research and using elements of other competitor websites to shape their own (awwwards and siteinspire). This lack of design-thinking makes it difficult to effectively communicate and innovate.

 

siteinspire_website
Siteinspire

 

Lately, the proliferation of 'design-thinking' has developed a fundamental strategic role in decision-making. It uses the approach of creating ideas to ideate and analyse which in return improves the user experience and delivery to all stakeholders.

"Without the knowledge of customer needs, most organisations will stop being competitive in their marketplace."

To ensure organisations produce timeless work that effectively communicates, designers must include accurate research and experimentation into their process. As designers, we must accept we are problem solvers and it is our duty to build a solid conceptual framework, not just decorate the surfaces of an existing structure.

Design-thinking enables people, teams, and organisations to have a human-centred view, and yet a systematic approach towards problem-solving. As we all understand design doesn’t happen overnight, we need time to create solutions, test them, hypothesize successful outcomes, evaluate performance, and deliver end goals.

 

What is Design-Thinking?

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions for clients.

The process is focused on collaboration between designers and users. It is iterative and adaptable based on how real users think, feel and behave.

 

There are 5 stages to the design thinking process:

1. Emphasise: Obtain empathetic knowledge of the problem you are solving. This is carried out through observation and engagement with real people to understand their experience and behaviours. Empathy allows you to set aside assumptions and gain insight into users and their needs.

2. Define (the problem): Analyse your observations and define the problems in human-centric ways. This will create requirements whereby your team can establish features, functions and other elements to solve the problems.

3. Ideate: Start to generate ideas based on the problems you have established. There are several techniques you can do such as; brainstorming, braindump and crazy 8's – It is important to get as many ideas as possible.

4. Prototype: The design team will now create a basic version of the product based on all of the above research. This is an experimental phase and the prototype should be shared and tested within the team itself and a small group of people outside the design team.

5. Test: Developing a solution to the problem which has been thoroughly tested throughout the prototyping phase.

 

Design thinking is very much part of UX which is about applying a specific way of thinking to a situation. Design Thinking is not about solving a particular problem, but about finding the right problem to solve (conceptual thinking).

 

Other related articles:

Photography is a powerful tool to help you communicate and differentiate your product

Yesi on creating better experiences and collaborating with amazing people

The word 're-design' – If something isn’t broke, why fix it?

 


eric_miller_uxkits

Eric Miller on how UX became a studio focus and the story behind his UX Kits

If you haven't heard of Eric Miller, you will most definitely have seen his work with UX kits on social media? Eric has over 20 years experience under his belt including working with large organisation, BMI.

Eric continues to share his own projects – like his recent website decks at UX Kits. We have been able to speak with Eric about how the UX industry has influenced his studio and the story behind the launch of UX Kits.

 

eric_miller_uxkits

 

1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Eric Miller and I am the Founder of and designer for our studio and shop, UX Kits (Shop now). I’ve been working on web projects since the late 90’s and started professionally as a designer for BMI and as the writer of the graphic design section of about.com. Our 2-person studio was launched as a full-time venture in 2008 and UX Kits followed in 2013.

 

2. We know you started out as a designer/developer for Broadcast Music Inc, but how did your career develop into UX?

While user experience design was a practice during my time at BMI, I’ll admit it is not something I was familiar with and “UX” was not such a common phrase as it is now. In theory, I was practising some elements of the UX process without knowing it, but it wasn’t until I launched our studio that I truly educated myself on that process. Over time, our work shifted from designing only traditional websites to more complex, web-based applications. That work naturally required us to be more involved in the entire process including discovery, research, information architecture, journeys, wireframes, prototypes and visual design. As we took on more of that type of work, we included UX as one of our studio’s main focus areas.

 

3. How do you put your ideas together? What are your tools to create?


Our initial ideas for a product generally start with notes and lists. Before anything visual, I just jot down anything I can think of, which might be done alone or with a client. I use a thick MUJI notebook for these notes (I love MUJI). From there, I usually move to rough sketches of concepts. My current favourite notebook is the Behance Dot Grid Book though like many designers I have many sketchbooks in all shapes and sizes. My pencil of choice is the Pentel GraphGear 1000. When designing a physical product, like our UX Kits Wireframe Deck, I’ll make physical prototypes from post-its or just cut paper to the card size.

Once a concept has been proven on paper, I’ll create documents such as flowcharts and wireframes (if a website or app), usually in OmniGraffle or Sketch. Finally, Photoshop and Sketch are my go-to apps for polished design, and we create prototypes in InVision. I also use a Wacom tablet and an iPad with Paper and Pencil by FiftyThree for digital drawings. That’s doesn’t cover our full UX or design process, but those are our favourite tools for getting the job done.

 

4. So, tell us a little more about the story behind UX Kits? Where did this idea come from?

The first products for UX Kits came from documents we were creating for clients over and over. If our process was benefited from pre-built templates for documents like user flows, then it would help others too. In 2013 we launched our Website Flows. I saw that product quickly being incorporated into the workflow of many designers on places like Dribbble, and being shared on social (in the case of Pinterest, over 100,000 times). It was immediately clear that we could build a brand around this, not just a product.

 

eric_miller_website_flow

 

We continued to build a small, thoughtful collection of digital products, along with our first physical product, the Website Deck. The Website Deck came from the idea that teams and clients benefit from physical, hands-on exercises, and most recently we continued that idea with the Wireframe Deck.

 

eric_miller_web_decks

 

5. How did you test your ideas for this, were you using the Lean UX methodology?

Our ideas were really tested through real-world use with clients. Seeing how clients related to more visual products was our proof-of-concept. Lean and Agile methods certainly apply to our client work, but less so with UX Kits. We do interview some designers and share product concepts and revise those concepts based on that.

 

6. Can you share some examples or a video of how people are using the UX kits?

This Dribbble gallery has great examples of how designers use our digital UX Kits in their projects.

 

eric_miller_dribbble

 

 

Thank you, Eric, for sharing your story with our audience at Together Incredible. Follow UX Kits on Instagram to keep up to date with Eric’s journey.

 

 

If you would like to become an influencer and share your story, drop us an email info@togetherincredible.com 

 

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You may also like to read:

Neil Westwood created a dream UX workshop product – Magic Whiteboard®

The word 're-design' – If something isn’t broke, why fix it?


10 books that will boost your creative knowledge

Today’s lifestyle is so heavily based on digital technology and in reflection neglects the traditional education of reading books. Reading about creativity is one of the best ways to inspire yourself, learn from people’s success or mistakes and develop your own knowledge base.

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~ Confucius

We could not recommend more buying a physical book – not only to build on your knowledge but it keeps your brain healthy! It is so easy to read a blog post, article or passing comments online, however, the distractions take away the ability to digest everything we have just read. There are so many incredible books out there about creativity, Amazon has a whole library full – we have curated 10 of our favourite books to help get you started on your journey.

 

1. Personal Creative Branding, by Jurgen Salenbacher

Jurgen Salenbacher explains how our success in exploring change relies on our ability to think creatively.

 

2. Steal like an Artist: 10 Things nobody told you about being creative, by Austin Kleon

Don't reinvent the wheel – everything has been done before but learn how to give it your personal touch through creativity

 

3. Jack’s Notebook, by Gregg Fraley

Gregg Fraley is an innovation consultant for some big names. This book is about how he teaches problems solving skills and how to turn ideas into actions.

 

4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

"The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful change." New York Times Book Review

 

5. The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to help you achieve success, confidence and happiness, by Prof Steve Peters

An incredible book to help you understand your and others behaviours and actions to life. This is an excellent book for UX designers, it will help you to understand how people may think and how environments can affect the way you think.

 

6. Think Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

An international bestseller that will change the way you make decisions

 

7. Creative Confidence by Tom Kelly & David Kelly

This is an award-winning book about unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

 

8. Start with Why, By Simon Sinek

In business, it doesn't matter what you do, it matters WHY you do it.

 

9. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Well, let us be honest! He is a legend

 

10. It’s Not How Good You Are, its How Good You Want to be, By Paul Arden

This is a designers bible for the talented and timid alike to help make the unthinkable thinkable

 

 

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4 tips to build customer trust

10 twitter accounts that will help land your dream job


Custom illustrations are important in UX

Custom illustrations

Web trends 2018, suggest custom illustrations will become increasingly popular in the digital industry, not just as art but as visual information. So many of us are familiar with the phrase – 'a picture is worth a thousand words'

High bounce rates and low customer engagement have proposed an opportunity to use illustrations for not only, catching the users eye, but also as a form of communication.

Did you know, the most recognised meanings of the verb to “illustrate” is:

  • ‘clarity’
  • ’to provide with visual features intended to explain or decorate’
  • ‘to make clear by giving or by serving as an example or instance.

This clearly shows the diverse potential of illustration in UI/UX projects. No matter where the illustrations appear, the basics remain the same:

 

“The aim of illustration is to enlighten, clarify and deliver a message via visual elements.”

 

 

The Details Matter

Highly detailed illustrations are incredible when executed properly. They should be aesthetically pleasing, captivating for the majority of viewers and a functional element within the UI.

The theory behind illustration on websites or apps is to provide the user with a piece of information faster and easier than it could happen with text. If the user does not understand the illustration, there is no reason to have it. The aim is to engage the user and allow strong messages to be translated faster through imagery.

Using illustration in UI can fulfil multiple user needs, that is why it is so popular in UX. We have listed 5 tips to consider when the illustration is applied in the user interface:

  1. Meaningful
  2. Unambiguous
  3. Clarifying
  4. Not overloading the screen
  5. Improve usability

 

Below are some more great examples of custom illustrations on the web.

 

"Going for a spin"

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Latham Arnott

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Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Norde

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A call is like a text message but with a voice.

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Justin Mezzell

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"I'm Home"

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Justin Mezzell

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Late night fire

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Mikael Gustafsson

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"Illustration created for the essensys.tech web site"

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Vera Voishvilo

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"City at sunset"

Featured on: Dribbble
Designer: Guillaume Kurkdijan

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You may also like to read:

Innovation & Tech: The Focus of UI/UX

Should ‘Ghost Buttons’ be busted

 


tesla ui ux

Innovation & Tech: The Focus of UI/UX

When we think about innovation, most of us think about technology. However, across the web there are hundreds of articles about radical innovation pushed by technology. Block chain, computer generated voice, machine learning and AI are just a few.  

Technology is the stimulant for new possibilities, but as UX designers we must analyse how new possibilities can add value to a users’ experience, not draw away from it. With so many business’ practising the the Agile methodology, now is a great time to learn the latest techniques and tools to develop your skillset. 

 

The users’ needs are not only satisfied by form and function, but through experience 

 

In order to get a seamless experience alongside futuristic products the user interface needs to strive for two things; simplicity and clarity. A user should be able to perform a desired task with little effort and distraction as possible. 

Below are a few examples of how UI/UX trends are breaking barriers and expanding on new technology.

 

Project: Innovation
Author: EVS

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tesla_UIUX

Project: Tesla Model 3 | User Interface
Author: Michael Cherkashin 

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sony_headphones

Project: SOUND
Author: Dennis Schafer

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nike_UI

Project: Nike Store
Author: Anton Skvortsov

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dimensional UI

Project: Daily Renders: Dimensional UI
Author: Fyn Ng

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Summary

Innovation and Technology are constantly moving, it is almost impossible to keep up with every product on the market.

As shown above, a combination of great technology with quality UI helps towards a great all round user experience. Where is the future in technology going? Leave your comments...

 

“The best products don’t focus on features, they focus on clarity.” — Jon Bolt

 

 

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You may also like to read:

Navigation UI- 5 Common mistakes designers need to avoid

Should 'Ghost Buttons' be busted?


Interview with design influence – Miguel Casais

Miguel is a founder and designer of Reign Supreme, London – where he aims to champion the helm of creativity. Here is a glimpse of Miguel's work and involvement in the UX design community.

 

1. Can you introduce yourself to our audience?

My name is Miguel and I help create awesome work for awesome people, but for the purpose of this interview: Founder of marketing agency Reign Supreme.

 

2. You have recently set up a business – Can you tell us a little more about it?

In short, we’re a Japanese inspired, purpose-driven agency that helps brands build loyal followings and start their own movements.

I launched the agency mid-2017 out of a frustration for a lack of game-changing creativity and a conformity for mediocre client service.

We’ve since gone from strength to strength supporting brands in a variety of industries, from beer to technology, and we’re aiming to truly make our mark in the industry this year.

 

3. So, what is your definition of UX?

UX is the intersection between functionality and design. It’s what makes the experience of using technology pleasurable and most importantly practical.

You may have the world’s most useful and ingenious software, but without a great UX design, no one will use it.

It is also far more than just a pretty looking layout, it’s the architecture behind the front panel.

 

4. How do you include UX in your design process?

That’s a tough one, I like to think I have an eye for design so I go by my own intuitions, but I imagine that wouldn’t be the case for most people.

We have a rule here at Reign Supreme regarding design, and that’s that everything that comes out of here has to be badass & beautiful. And what that really means is that UX is taken seriously, we want it to be pleasurable for people to look at and functional to use our work.

A good rule of thumb for those without an eye for design might be to ask for other, non-bias, opinions on how enjoyable the use of the design is.

 

5. What is your favourite research method and how has this helped you make business decisions?

As with all good research methods, we start with Google. However, we also run a discovery meeting that fully dissects the heart of the problem and what we’re here to solve. Our solution is only as good as this initial meeting, so it helps profoundly.

 

6. How do you get feedback from your users? How do you conduct your user research?

Be straight-forward and ask, their feedback helps you improve and in-turn provide better value to them in future. Also, it’s important to separate your ego from the equation. Always be open to criticism and take external points of view on board.

We don’t conduct too much user research, but we’d use focus groups on behalf of our clients.

 

7. How do you put your ideas together? What tools do you use to create?

We express our ideas visually using a magical platform called Powerpoint, but other than that, we use Illustrator and a good old-fashioned notepad.

 

Below are Miguel's go-to products for design

LEUCHTTURM1917 Notebook – Dotted Pages

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

 

Sony MDR-EX110AP Deep Bass Earphones

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

 

Apple MacBook Pro

Buy from Amazon UK
Buy from Amazon US

 

Thank you, Miguel, for sharing your story with our audience at Together Incredible. Follow Reign Supreme on Instagram to keep up to date with Miguel's journey.

 

If you would like to become an influencer and share your story, drop us an email info@togetherincredible.com 

 

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You may also like to read:

6 UX principles that will guide you to create killer content 

10 Books that will boost your creative knowledge


Our need to communicate is paramount, even Banksy gets this wrong

Banksy Exhibition in the Moco Museum, Amsterdam was eye-opening ...

Read the text in the image below

How can Banksy allow typographical errors posted alongside his world-famous art? Ok, this may be due to the translation, however, it is outrageous (but funny to an extent)

 

Designs are unforgiving when it comes to human error – especially coming from a world-class phenomenon. It’s the designer’s role to make the user feel confident and in control at all times, not make them feel stupid.

 

banksy_error

 

Take pride in the content you create because the content is UX.

We have all been creators of content at some point – our diary, text messages, work emails and social posts. We have also been consumers of content too – news articles, blogs, website content and textbooks.

Content is a huge part of our lives and our need to communicate is paramount.

 

 Content is at the heart of design. Without content, design will have no meaning.

 

If the primary purpose of websites, art exhibitions or services is to deliver valuable content to an audience, we should be designing content-first for the best possible UX.

We often miss the opportunity to validate our UX designs with content insights, instead of waiting until the final stages – which is too late.

 

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You may also like to read:

6 UX principles that will guide you to create killer content 

10 Books that will boost your creative knowledge


Pros and cons of ‘Ghost Buttons’ - should they be busted?

What are ghost buttons?

Ghost buttons are buttons with a coloured border but no colour fill – they have become very common on websites. They have inherited the name ‘ghost’ to describe their transparent image as they often take the background’s appearance.

 

 

There is an argument whether or not ghost buttons should be busted.

There are two main advantages of using them:

Style purposes

They work well on minimal or flat designed websites as they give an elegant, subtle feel to the design. Sometimes it’s the best way to add a cutting-edge look to a new or existing website.

Visual hierarchy

Their subtle appearance can give emphasis to other elements on the page. When used well they can help with the visual hierarchy of the design by giving the order of importance when there is more than one ‘Call to action’ (CTA) on a page.

 

However, there are several disadvantages of using ghost buttons

 

Ghost buttons have ghost conversion

 

Decreased click-through rate

Ghost buttons are popular amongst web designers who love the minimalist look – nice design doesn’t mean good design.

CTA’s need to have a strong visual presence that attracts the user’s attention. The purpose of the button is to guide users to proceed with the desired task flow – so, why make this button subtle?

It has been proven through many tests that ghost buttons are overlooked and therefore have a lower click rate. Several A/B tests have found that users recognise solid buttons a lot quicker and easier than ghost buttons.

ConversionXL carried out an A/B test and found a 20% decrease in clicks, based on 10,000 visits when testing the following options:


Ghost Button


Solid Button

 

It is very important to follow best practices rather than follow design trends that don’t help users easily reach their end goal. The call to actions need to encourage user engagement and in return lead to a higher conversion rate.

 

Legibility and Contrast

Ghost buttons come with usability issues. If the button is placed over a busy image without sufficient contrast, it can be difficult for users to read the CTA. If the ghost buttons and typography are both white, placed over an image, there is often a lack of visual hierarchy to engage users which can impact conversion.

 

Clarity

Animation can often help ghost buttons to stand out a little more on hover however, it still may not be clear that it is a button. Take into consideration your audience and their age because ghost buttons can lead to some unwanted confusion.

The above issue may not seem too drastic but the potential impact on conversions is one that can cost the business a lot of money. Be aware of the possible implications and do not create designs that rely heavily on ghost buttons – it may not be the desired design aesthetics but we equally want to make the same mistakes others have already faced. It is important to test these styles and get real results for your audience.

 

Here are a few things to consider next time you think about ghost buttons:

  1. Use ghost buttons as a secondary CTA
  2. Consider Contrast
  3. Be consistent
  4. A/B test the ghost button vs solid button

 

You may also like to read:

Navigation UI- 5 Common mistakes designers need to avoid

6 UX principles that will guide you to create killer content

 


navigation ui

Navigation UI – 5 common mistakes designers need to avoid

Have you been tasked to design the Navigation bar? We have shared some common mistakes to avoid!

We would consider the navigation as one of the most important features on a website, users depend on it to find their required information.

Studies by Forrester Research suggest that 50% (more or less) of possible sales are lost because users cannot find what they’re looking for and 40% of users don’t return when their first visit had a negative impact.

We have listed 5 common mistakes to avoid when designing the navigation:

 

1. No Highlight indication on an active button

There are still so many websites that fail to highlight the active button on the navigation, don’t be guilty of this! It is essential as a designer to indicate how the UI would look for this on your original designs. Users need visual feedback when interacting with your website or they will have no clue where they are in their task flow.

nike navigation image

For example, Nike use colour contrast and a shape (line) to indicate the active button. This shape is equally important as it takes into consideration accessibility for colour blind users.

 

2. Opacity on selected buttons

Designers often add styles to buttons which are not user friendly, regardless of how good they may look. Some websites use low contrast or decrease opacity to make selected buttons stand out but, this simply confuses the users from recognising where they are in the site hierarchy. Avoid these small mistakes as these could have big effects.

apple navigation image

Can you tell which page the user is on based on the navigation? We are on the ‘support’ page which on apple.com is displayed by dimming the white text to a darker grey. The Navigation is a risky place to use low contrast or opacity, as user may perceive their options to be limited, or waste time trying to work out where they are on the site.

You can use a contrast check software to get the right contrast between button and background. 

 

3. Low Contrast on inactive buttons

We agree that inactive buttons should have a lower contrast however, not so low that the labels are hard to read. Users often refer to low contrast buttons as disabled or ‘not clickable’ so be vigilant when applying this UI to your website.

github navigation image

For example, the search bar text on GitHub looks in active. We would consider this a crucial element on their website and would avoid the low contrast text on this feature.

 

4. The area surrounding the navigation label 

There is white space surrounding a label or navigation button which separates it from other buttons. One mistake designers bypass is making the whole target area clickable; this will help user navigate quicker.

tacobell navigation image

 

5. No hover effects on buttons

It’s a simple win yet, so many websites are without it. Applying a hover effect to your navigation buttons makes them easier to click and lets the users know when their cursor is in a clickable area. Without the hover effect, the users assume they need to hit the actual label to activate the link therefore makes the target area smaller and requires more precision from the user – this is too much effort.

footlocker navigation image

 

In Conclusion

The navigation bar is often the first thing that the users look for to help them reach their end goal. We advise you make your buttons intuitive by taking these common mistakes into consideration.

 

You may also like to read:

6 UX principles that will guide you to create killer content 

50 terms you need to know as a UX designer