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How Much Should Web Design Cost? (2021 Updated Guide)

How Much Should Web Design Cost? (2021 Updated Guide)

Website Design plays a vital role in attracting visitors because it is the first thing people notice when they visit a website. Whether it is a company’s website or online store Website design needs to be eye-catching and user-friendly, but do you know How Much Should Web Design Cost?

Whether you’re launching a brand new website or looking for revamping your company’s website, there will be some common questions buzzing in your mind: how much does a web design cost?

What services do you need?

I would like to mention here that the average web design cost varies from $1000 to more than $100,000. There are a variety of factors that influence the cost of web design, including the website’s style, size, and functionality features, etc.

So the main question is Are you interested to know all these factors and what you should pay for web design in 2021? If yes, then just go through the complete article.

Factors That Influence Web Design Cost

  • Size of the Company
  • Level of Website Design
  • Other Features that Influence Web Design Price

1. Cost Depends On Size Of The Company

The size of the company is the major factor that influences the Web Design Cost. It is because of the fact that smaller companies require less functionality, on the other hand, the bigger company requires more function, more features, and more effort.

Thus, here is the estimated cost of web design on the basis of the size of the company.

Size of the company

Small Sized Company

Small businesses need a very focused website. Thus, these businesses usually opt-in for a few complex website designs.

Accordingly, the web design costs ranging from $1000 to $10,000 for Small Sized Companies.

Medium-Sized Company

The Choice of Medium-sized enterprises can vary in website needs. These websites need effort and lots of functionality. Sometimes Companies also choose a very complex design to cover more area and that’s why web design prices range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Enterprise Level Company

Larger companies require more advanced websites, they sometimes choose a design that is very unique and complex.

And to convert their idea into a complete website, web designers spend lots of time. And that’s why the web design cost varies from $50,000 to $100,000.

2. Level Of Website Design

Website Design cost also depends on the complexity, functionality, and the platform of the website. There are three Levels of Web designing.

We would like to mention here that Just because you are choosing a basic web design package, however, it doesn’t mean you’re receiving a lower-performing website.

Instead, you’re buying a site that correlates to your size, needs, and goals, avoiding extra investment for features that you don’t need.

Basic Web Designing

If you’re a small business or startup, then basic web design is your cup of tea. It is a cost-effective option that provides your company with a reliable, user-friendly site that can start driving purchases, leads, quote requests, phone calls, and more as per the requirements.

Basic web design provides your business with a simple, focused, yet effective website. Similar to the intermediate and advanced web design, the basic web design creates a website specific to your brand and goals.

The costs of Basic Web Design varies between $1000 to $10,000.

Intermediate Web Designing

Small-to-midsize business (SMB) or enterprise usually chooses an intermediate web design package. The package gives your company the means to advance its other digital marketing strategies.

The Package provides your business with a well-designed, fully functional,  performance-driven website.

The intermediate web design package also includes additional features, such as a Content Management System (CMS) or copywriting, to fulfil all your company’s unique needs. Meanwhile, intermediate web design costs between $10,000 to $50,000.

Advanced Web Designing

Advanced Web Designing

Big player Choose Advanced Web Designing packages. So, If you’re an enterprise or corporation, then advanced web design provides a robust solution that meets your company’s size.

The agency that you hired for your work will also work to maximize your conversion rate and returns on investment (ROI). And If you are aware of them, then you probably know how critical they are in your competitive market.

 

The package will be enough to provide your business with a custom, cutting-edge website along with several add-on services, like database integration, eCommerce functionality, and more.

Due to the complex, time-consuming, and unique work an advanced web design costs between $50,000 to $100,000.

website design-cost

Now, after two major factors, it is quite clear that the size of your company often determines your web design costs.

3. Other Feature That Influences Web Design Costs

There are several other features that affect web design costs some of them are explained below.

Size

The size of your website can play a vital role in web design cost, Bigger websites cost more. Usually, the cost depends on the pages created by the designers.

So 1 to 10 pages costs between $1000 to $2000, 10 to 50 pages costs between $2000 to $3000, 50 to 150 pages costs between $3000 to $6500, and 150 to 250 pages costs between $6500 to $10,000.

Thus, if you want a larger website, you can expect to pay more for web design services.

Copyrighting

Copyrighting is an important part of the website, marketing, and ranking, thus as a business house, you can take it lightly.

The cost of copyrighting varies, but as a part of web design services, many web designing agencies offer copyrights at a reliable rate.

For example, from 10 to 25 pages-$1500 to $3750. The inclusion of a Copywriter depends on the digital marketing strategy, as well as budget thus chooses it wisely.

 

Style

Every website deserves a unique look and styling. These days the style of websites varies a lot, that’s why your preferred site style impacts your web design pricing.

Thus If you’re looking to create a high-end website that conveys not only your brand but also your product or service quality then it can cost between $2000 to $15,000.

SEO

SEO is important nowadays to rank well and get more visitors, thus If you’re collaborating with a full-service digital marketing agency for your web design, then they will also offer SEO services, that can be bundled with web design.

They sometimes also offer SEO Services with a Placement guarantee, however, the SEO Services costs between $2000 to $10,000.

For SEO Services, Visit HereSAGIPL SEO Company

Responsive Design

There are a variety of Electronic Devices, they also have different display sizes, and to reach the maximum people, your website needs to be responsive.

Your website needs to load on each and every device with the same features and functionality.

If it fails, then your company risks losing valuable customers and credibility. Normally a mobile-friendly design costs between $3000 to $25,000.

For Responsive Web Design, Visit Herewebsite designing company in India

Additional Features

A full-service agency can offer a variety of add-on features with its web design services such as CMS, eCommerce functionality, Database integration, etc.

These features impact the overall cost of web designing. Each of these features can cost between $2000 to $25,000.

Maintenance

Some business houses hire a web designer for a one time service, but some others hire them for all the further work and maintenance.

The cost varies from company to company and works to work, but the cost of maintenance is negotiable.

Make sure to choose this option wisely, because it will somehow impact the working and further expenses.

Money-Back Guarantee

Some reputed and well-established companies offer money-back guarantees. With it, your company will receive a refund if you’re not satisfied with your newly designed website.

It doesn’t cost your company a thing, but in most cases, money-back guarantees expire after a set period. So make sure to cross-check everything before hiring an agency for website design.

Above are the factors that influence web design cost, but there are a few more that can cause some serious impact on the overall cost.

Make sure to do good research before hiring a web design agency, check their portfolio, and also check their services.

Wondering Why Mobile Apps get Reject From Apple App Store. Read This!!

Wondering Why Mobile Apps get Reject From Apple App Store. Read This!!

o you know Apple application store is growing by 1000+ apps per day? Shocking right? Also, there are many of apps are on pending for approval or might get rejected from Apple store. If you are developing or Wish to develop IOS app you might wanna know the reason behind rejections. This Ultimate Apple app submission guidelines can help you out!!

Apple App Store ecosystem has been designed in a way to keep users protected from low-quality and malicious applications, and undoubtedly, it works well. But, sometimes an application gets rejected due to some unexpected reasons, and as a result, developers either have to push back launch dates or even have to redevelop key features.

Apple App Submission Guidelines To Prevent IOS Application Rejection

Here we showcase 9 surprising reasons, which should be considered before uploading your application:

  • Use Of The Word “Beta” Or Any Other Identification For Unfinished Application

Google has already made it a mandatory industry practice to introduce the “Beta” version of their every application first. But, Apply seem to be a bit more serious about any indication that the application is incomplete or unfinished. Many applications just get rejected for being labelled “Beta,” “Preview,” and even “Version 0.9.”

  • Long Loading Time

All of the smartphone operating systems including iOS, Android, and even Windows has fixed a maximum limit for their application startup time. For iOS, Apple has fixed a maximum time of 15 seconds, and if your applications don’t start within this time period, then it will be killed by the operating system.

IOS App Rejection Long Loading time

Even if your application takes less time for a startup than the limit during local testing, certain factors like slower network connections, slower hardware, and other differences in the environment can affect the speed of your app during the review process.

So according to Apple store submission guidelines, we suggest you not to have blind faith on the iOS simulator alone, and make sure to test it on actual hardware. Always remember, that your app’s load time is your first opportunity to impress the users.

  • Linking To Outside Payment Schemes

Apple demands to sell all the digital content via its inbuilt iTunes-based in-app purchasing mechanism. This results in digital subscriptions and one-time purchase as well, so, if your application accepts other payment mechanisms for digital content, there is no way to prevent it from getting rejected. This is the only reason that users are not allowed to purchase new e-books in Kindle app.

Notably, this rule is applicable even to the web pages linked from your application. The Dropbox was also rejected by the company because its login screen includes a link to buy additional space.

Dropbox
Source: Dropbox

So, we suggest you make sure that all the purchasing goes through the user’s iTunes account, otherwise, your app will surely be removed from the store. Non-digital services or merchandise can be relaxed, as the rule is not applicable to them.

  • Do Not Mention Other Supported Platforms

This is a common and very obvious rule, as none of the application marketplaces will like when the application mention the rival marketplace by name at their platform.

So, if your app is also available on Android or Windows, you are only allowed to advertise the availability of your application via your website. Any advertisement of it on app or app store description will result in the rejection of it.

  • Localization Glitches

Your application will be available in every corner of the world, not just in the particular city or country, where the development was done. So, even if you have not localized your app for multiple languages, it will be a bit unprofessional if $300 will come out as YEN 300.00 for in-app purchases. You can check out add-ons like Invariant Culture or NSNumberFormatter along with a simulator to test the user experience at different places and to ensure that the dates and other data are relevant to the user’s location.

For example, many European applications were not capable of handling negative values for latitude and longitude, and as a result got rejected in review for Cupertino, which is situated at Longitude -122.03. You have to make sure that your application is running across the whole world and especially ensure that your lat/long math for groups of points span the positive/negative boundaries of the prime meridian and the equator.

  • Improper Use Of Storage And Filesystems

Just after the launching of iOS v5.1, the company rejected an application just because the developers had unscrambled the 2MB database from the app itself into the file system, which resulted in the violation of the iCloud idea of backing up only user-generated content.

Improper Use Of Storage And File systems

Any type of data can be easily regenerated because of being static, can be shipped along with the application or can be easily downloaded again from a remote server, which will then not be able to be backed up. You have to use “do not back up” attribute or choose a cache storage location for non-user data.

  • Crashes From Users Denying Permissions

Along with the iOS 6 launch, Apple announced that user has to allow applications to access their address book, photo gallery, location, calendar, reminders, Bluetooth, Twitter and Facebook accounts. If any user denies giving access to any of these services, then the company demands the app to work properly anyway.

This has to be tested during validation otherwise the app will be automatically rejected if it fails to work properly. The developers have to test all the combinations of “allow” and “deny” for every type of data your application uses.

  • Improper Use Of Icons And Buttons

Apple rejected many applications due to minor UI issues, which nothing had to do with its functionality or performance. You have to ensure that the built-in Apple icons and buttons are uniformly arranged and are working properly with the help of a standard UIButtonBarSystemItem and make yourself comfortable with the company’s Human Interface Guidelines.

 

For example, you will surely not want the “compose” icon to perform any other operation then referring to content creation. Apple is understandably strict about this and wants each and every app to behave in appropriate ways.

  • Misuse Of Trademarks And Logos

You are not authorized to use any kind of trademarked material or Apple logos anywhere in your product images or in your application. We will also suggest you not to use the drawing of an iPhone or any trademarks in the keywords of the application.

Conclusion

So, we recommend you to study the submission guidelines carefully and keep focusing on building a high-quality application. Still, you do not have to panic if your app gets rejected, all you have to do is address the issue and resubmit. Moreover, the silicon valley based organization also offers an expedited review process that can be used for critical bug fixes or security issues.

69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated)

69 Highly Effective Lead Magnet Ideas to Grow Your Email List (Updated)

Lead magnets are one of the best ways to increase subscribers. If you don’t have a lead magnet or you don’t have a good one, then this resource could literally be a game-changer for your business. Here are 69 highly effective lead magnet ideas and examples to grow your email list.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.

Why Every Business Needs a Lead Magnet

If you want to generate leads online, then your business needs a lead magnet. Period.

Why? Because email is a very personal thing. People aren’t simply going to give you their email address without a good incentive, even if they like your brand. As a marketer, it is your job to give them a compelling reason to do so.

For example, let’s say you have a blog post on the top 10 ways you can improve your customer service. At the end of the post, you ask readers to join your email list for “updates”.

Or instead, you could ask readers to join your email list and get a free, downloadable PDF case study, detailing a real-life example of one business who used these 10 strategies to improve their customer service.

Which offer do you think will get the most email signups?

Precisely—the second one!

So, now that you understand the importance of lead magnets, you may be wondering what makes a good lead magnet.

What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?

There are 7 things that your lead magnet should do if you want it to be absolutely irresistible:

  1. Solves a real problem – if your lead magnet doesn’t solve a real problem that your customer avatar has, or if it doesn’t give them something they really want, it won’t work at all.
  2. Promises one quick win – your lead magnet should promise (and deliver) one quick win for your avatar. In other words, it should help them to easily achieve something.
  3. Super specific – don’t create a lead magnet about something general. The more specific you are about the benefit of your lead magnet, the better it will convert leads.
  4. Quick to digest – PDF checklists tend to convert really well because they are so quick and easy to digest. eBooks or lengthy reports may make your prospects feel overwhelmed.
  5. High value – your lead magnet should have both high perceived value and high actual value.
  6. Instantly accessible – your lead magnet will work best if it is something that can be delivered right away. People love instant gratification.
  7. Demonstrates your expertise or UVP – when someone consumes your lead magnet, it should demonstrate your expertise or your unique value proposition. This helps turn leads into customers down the road.

Here on OptinMonster, one of our lead magnets is “12 Proven Ways to Convert Abandoning Visitors into Subscribers” (see screenshot above).

This lead magnet converts really well for us for several reasons:

  1. Solves a real problem our customer avatars have: visitors abandoning their site, never to return.
  2. Promises one quick win: converting those abandoning visitors into subscribers.
  3. Specific: we aren’t teaching you how to convert all your visitors, just your abandoning visitors.
  4. Quick to digest: it’s a PDF checklist.
  5. High value: following these 12 tips can directly translate into a big increase in sales for your business.
  6. Instantly accessible: you can download it at the click of a button immediately after entering your email.
  7. Demonstrates our expertise: we are really awesome at converting visitors into subscribers, and this lead magnet proves that.

OK, now that you know how to create a good lead magnet, let’s dive into the lead magnet ideas and examples…

69 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas

Here are 69 lead magnet ideas, broken down into 5 major types.

Because we have a lot of lead magnet examples to show you, feel free to use the navigation below to jump to a particular type of lead magnet:

  • Useful Lead Magnets
  • Educational Lead Magnets
  • Entertaining Lead Magnets
  • Community-Building Lead Magnets
  • Bottom of Funnel Lead Magnets

Ready to create your lead magnet? Let’s dive into the 69 highly effective lead magnet ideas to increase your subscribers.

Exclusive Bonus: Download the 69 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas to grow your email list.

Useful Lead Magnet Ideas

Useful opt-in bribes help to save your user time, energy, money, and more. This type of lead magnet is the most irresistible of all the types because it’s a “silver bullet”: one specific, actionable solution to a problem.

It’s human nature to want the greatest outcome for the least amount of work, so make sure your lead magnet does all the hard work for them.

Let’s take a look at some useful lead magnet examples…

1. Checklist

Let’s start with our favorite lead magnet of all: the checklist.

Checklists convert the best out of all the lead magnets, probably because they are so easily consumed. They condense everything that the user needs to know into one, actionable list.

They’re also super quick to create. For example, you can summarize your popular blog posts as a checklist, and turn it into a content upgrade. Then combine that content upgrade with a 2-step optin form, and you’ll see a big boost in your conversions.

Here are two examples of checklists we’ve created for our users like you…

Ultimate Optin Form Checklist– this checklist contains a list of all 63 elements that you need to create the ultimate optin form.

Ultimate Optin Form Checklist

On-Page SEO Checklist: How to Fully Optimize Your Posts– you can print this out and consult it every time you search engine optimize a page.

Download the OnPage SEO Checklist

2. Cheatsheet

Cheatsheets are essentially the same thing as checklists, but they give the user a list of guidelines or a process that they can follow over and over again to achieve a specific benefit.

They’re so irresistible to people because they take away the need to think.

 

leadmagnets-2

Bloggers want their blog posts to go viral, so this is a very benefit-driven lead magnet for them. It also removes the need to think: no more racking your brain about how to get your blog posts to go viral when you have this cheat sheet!

3. Template

A template can be anything that provides an outline, or some sort of starting point, so all the user has to do is fill in the blanks.

The Magic Email Template is a great example– it’s something that entrepreneurs and small business owners can simply copy and paste, customize a few words, and then send off to instantly connect with influencers and VIPs in your industry.

leadmagnets-7

To take your lead magnet one step further, create an entire collection of templates, like Digital Marketer’s Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library.

leadmagnets-28

4. Swipe File

Swipe files are arguably even more irresistible than templates because all you have to do is copy them in their entirety.

For example, The Ultimate Social Media Swipe File includes 72 headlines for social media posts that you can simply, well, swipe!

leadmagnets-6

5. Examples

Examples work really well as lead magnets because people are searching for examples all the time, in all different industries.

For instance, Bidsketch (a proposal software) uses a Sample Client Proposal as a lead magnet.

leadmagnets-5

In fact, you could turn one of your popular posts into a lead generating machine by optimizing it for “[your keyword] + examples”, and then adding an example lead magnet as a content upgrade.

6. Script

Scripts are great lead magnets if your buyer persona needs something to help them speak or write.

For instance, if they need help prepping for a job interview, you could offer a script for pitching themselves to a potential employer.

Another great example is this popular lead magnet created by Marcus Krieg: 3 Persuasive Video Scripts You Can Steal.

leadmagnets-63

7. Toolkit

A really popular type of lead magnet is the toolkit. Why? Because everyone wants to know what tools the pros use!

Syed’s Toolkit for Growing Your Online Business is no exception… it’s a huge hit!

 

The best part about toolkits is that you can usually become an affiliate for those products. So not only does the toolkit provide a really useful resource to your visitors, but it can also generate additional revenue for your business.

8. Web App

A web app is a free tool that lives on your site, and which requires a login to use. Of course, users have to sign up by email to get the login.

For example, Bryan Harris created this web app called ListGoal, which is completely free to use. However, when you sign up for it, Bryan gets your permission to email you.

leadmagnets-31

9. Resource List

Lists of resources are really valuable because they are huge time savers. Whenever you pull all of the best stuff together, you’re saving your users a ton of research time.

My Giant Guest Blogging Index has been a huge hit for that very reason. For someone looking to write guest posts, all the tough research has been done for them.

leadmagnets-15

10. Calendar

Calendars can also be extremely useful in a variety of industries.

For example, if you’re in the fitness industry like Blogilates, you could offer a workout calendar. That way, your users don’t have to think about what exercises to do each day, because you’ve already mapped it out for them.

73 AWESOME Types of Blog Posts You Can Write Today

73 AWESOME Types of Blog Posts You Can Write Today

Are you running out of blog post ideas? Not sure what type of blog posts you should write? Don’t worry. In this article, we will cover 73 different types of blog posts that are proven to work, so you will never run out of blog post ideas again.

1. Tutorials and How-to Guides

Tutorials and How-to guides are probably the simplest type of blog post you can work on. They are easy because they involve you talking about things you are already familiar with such as your product or service.

The most important thing when it comes to how-to guides is to break down your tutorial into the smallest steps and into the simplest terms. Don’t assume your readers know what they’re doing — this is a tutorial, remember?

Think about your recent work, and you can probably find some great ideas for you to write a tutorial on. Our co-founder built the largest WordPress resource, WPBeginner, by following this exact same principle.

2. Latest Industry News

You have your morning routine, just like I do. You skim the online news and find the latest trends in your industry. Why not make your morning routine into a blog post?

Wall-Street-Journal

Find a few of the most recent events in your industry and blog about them. You can even link to news articles if you feel it is appropriate.

The important thing is that you add your “flavor” to it (thoughts, criticism, etc). You will have a new blog post in minutes!

3. Current Events

Similar to the point above, this one is even more generic. What do you enjoy reading? What catches your eye? What will you talk to your friends about? Write about THAT!

News is always happening, from the latest Marvel movie to Russia’s latest antics. The brilliance of writing a post on current events is that people are already looking for more information and thoughts about these subjects. Your opinion post on current events could become the next viral sensation!

It’s even better if you can tie the current events with your product or service.

4. Controversial Subjects

This type of blog post can be really fun to write, but remember to be wise. Controversy is always newsworthy — just look at the local news, they’re always reporting on different controversies!

You just need to figure out which controversy interests you, and how you can add to the conversation. Be sure to use the keywords around the controversy too. Mac vs. PC, MailChimp vs AWeber, Gun Control, etc. are just some basic ideas.

Since controversies are highly emotional, you want to be careful and choose your words wisely.

5. Checklists: Do you have all that you need to ____?

Checklist

Checklists are one of the most simple types of content to make. You probably make lists all the time such as your grocery list, supplies lists, to-do lists, etc.

All you have to do is take that same concept and apply it to your industry or blog.

If you are in real estate, come up with a checklist for an open house.

If you are in photography, write down your engagement session checklist to make sure you have all that you need for the perfect engagement session.

To perfect the checklist, take a common task and break it down into short, actionable items.

Next, you can share that checklist to help others get started. Take a look at our content upgrade checklist.

6. Listicles

Who doesn’t love lists right? List articles are always among the most shared on the internet. You can create a list of just about anything.

Perhaps it is a list of your favorite places to eat or your summer reading list, or your favorite web applications. The possibilities are endless.

The best part is, you decide!

7. Infographics

From charts to lists to myths vs. facts, everything you can think of can be made into an infographic. That’s why everyone loves them!

OptinMonster provides customers actionable insights via monitoring of email campaigns
OptinMonster monitoring provides actionable insights

Admittedly, the more professional the graphic, the better it is, but you can still make an incredible post by producing a chart you made in PowerPoint. The key is to win people over with a chart or graph that helps explain things.

Tools like CanvaPiktochart, and Visage are perfect for creating beautiful charts online.

8. Case Studies

People love hearing success stories and learning about what goes on behind the scenes. Case studies are fairly easy to write and are great for social proof.

Look through your customer list and determine which one has been successful in using your product.

Email your best customers, talk through how they have used your product or service to improve their business, and then share the case study on your blog. You’ll be amazed by how a single case study can inspire and attract tons of new customers.

9. Profiles

Much like a case study, you can write a profile post about anybody. You can write a profile post about an industry leader, your customers, or someone who’s up and coming in your industry.

The profile post should give some biographical information about the person and links where users can find more about them.

You can probably guess that you should put information on why you chose to write an article on this person, but also consider adding some facts that aren’t well known so that your post can stand apart from any other resource.

10. Interviews

You can perform an interview in a matter of minutes. Who is an important person in your area of interest that you believe would spark the interest of your readers?

Discuss with this person current events or get their ideas of what’s coming next in your industry. The goal here isn’t just to have an interview but to talk about things that your readers want to know about.

It could be business insights, lessons they’ve learned, sharing their expertise, etc.

One OptinMonster user, John Dumas, has an entire site where all he does is interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

Interview

11. Advice from the Experts

This one is similar to interviews, but it’s a lot easier to compile and are a lot likely to go viral. Why?

Because it’s a combination of Listicles and Interviews. You can message multiple experts with your question (via email, twitter, or another social network).

Since it’s a single question, it’s a lot easier for these busy individuals to answer.

Then you can compile all of the advice into one post.

Looking for an example of an experts list? Here’s an example from RazorSocial and another one from Social Media Examiner.

12. Reviews

We all look for reviews before purchasing. It is what everyone does nowadays. So why not write a review for the latest gadget or service you’ve bought?

Spend a few minutes of your day, write down the pros and cons of your product, and give your recommendation. While it may not seem like a lot of work for you, it can bring in a lot of traffic.

Here’s an example of a good review article.

13. Comparisons

After you do the review post, you can follow it up with a comparison post. Think through a few alternatives that one can work through and present the ideas altogether.

In a similar style to a review, a comparison is like a group review. While you are not going as in-depth as a review, you are able to be more widespread with your thoughts and opinions.

You can combine a comparison and infographic like this article (WordPress.com vs WordPress.org) or you can do a traditional comparison like this: best WordPress Gallery plugins compared.

14. Video Blogs

Video blogs, or “vlogging”, is becoming more and more popular these days. Video blogs give you the luxury of discussing a lot of content with relatively little effort.

Instead of spending time writing out a blog post, using special formatting, adding images, etc, you can just set up a webcam and speak your mind.

Gary Vaynerchuk does a great job of this in his helpful AskGaryVee Show.

15. MP3s

If you want to post more on your website, but don’t like doing videos, then you should consider podcasting. While you can definitely build your podcasting into a full show, you can begin with simple MP3s where you share your thoughts.

Just remember, as you build out your audio presence, you need to make it easier for your subscribers to tune in to your show. They may read your blog and check out your occasional MP3s, but you will likely want to eventually have a page on iTunes, Sticher, etc.

One of OptinMonster’s users, Michael Hyatt has an awesome podcast that I recommend you check out.

Want to start your own podcast? Here’s an awesome guide on how to start a podcast.

16. Resources

Everyone likes to figure out the best way to do something. Your readers are no different, so help them out.

Whether it is toolsets, books, websites, whatever, compile a list of resources and share them with your readers.

Just be sure to give them more than just the name of the resource. It’s important to explain why you are recommending it.

You can even turn your resources page into a call-to-action like our co-founder Thomas Griffin has done with his book Breakthrough Leadership.

17. Problem and Solutions

Have you ever wondered why news stations always talk about something going wrong? Conflicts and problems draw crowds. But in this instance, you can highlight a problem where you have a solution.

Man using ballon to escape a maze

Let’s say you are running a great blog with well over 1,000 subscribers. Consider writing a blog post on how you improved your SEO to build more traffic.

Here’s an example of how we combined problem/solution with a list article: 5 Ways You Ruin Your Lead Generation…and How To Fix Them

18. Share What Others are Saying

Often times people get stuck trying to write brand new content when you can instead write a post that acts as a collection of recent discussions.

Scour a few blogs and listen to a few podcasts. Then write all your favorite quotes, ideas, and topics into a blog post and share your post of quotes for your readers to enjoy.

19. A Glance “Behind the Curtain”

Beginners in any industry or field want to be just like their heroes. If you’re a fan of basketball, you want to be like Michael Jordan or Kobe. If you are in tech, you want to be the next Steve Jobs. We all want to know how they accomplish the great things they did.

For this post, share your daily or weekly routine with people. Let them see “behind the curtain” into the real life of your business. You don’t have to share corporate secrets or anything. The idea is to let people job shadow you via a blog post.

Syed Balkhi’s blog is full of behind the scenes like this one and this one.

20. Inspirational Stories

Although controversy sells, so does inspiration. Share some good news. Share about a major breakthrough your company had that really put you on the map. Talk about how your grandfather inspired you to start your craft.

Inspirational and hopeful stories go viral because it is something people want to experience themselves. So share your story of hope and watch it inspire others to do the same. Your success is a story that needs to be told.

Teamwork-Climbing-Mountain

21. Parody Posts

Parody posts are similar to general funny posts but are focused more on taking something that is commonplace in your industry and making to comedic.

Whether it is Michael Moore’s Guide to Being a Conservative, to a support group for Introverts who love to give speeches, your readers are ready for a post to lighten them up.

22. Funny Posts

Just the other day I read a post about 20 reasons to stay away from North Carolina. Do you know what it contained? 20 reasons, written as negatives, that actually highlighted the beauties of North Carolina. This funny post doesn’t need to be related to your normal blog. This one is purely for fun.

Whether your post is ironic or filled with sarcasm, consider writing a parody post and give people a smile. Who knows, your “20 Reasons Why I Want a Pet Platypus” may just be a hit 😉

23. Quizzes

We all enjoy quizzes, especially if we can compare our results to everyone else. It makes us feel smart. So why don’t you create a fun quiz for your readers?

Don’t forget to add a social share to the bottom of your quiz results for others to see and join in.

24. Surveys and Polls

Surveys and polls are like quizzes, but more for your benefit rather than testing your reader’s knowledge. You can survey and poll your readerships to figure out new features for your products, to get ideas for your blog, and more.

Survey-and-Poll

There are a variety of survey tools and forms that you can use to embed your form on your page.

25. Local News (Non-Business)

Another fun post you should consider writing about is a post about the local news in your area.

This type of post can be especially helpful if you run a business that works in that community. Even if you run a recipe blog, the post can show your readership that you are well-rounded and involved with your community, which can help people relate more to you.

26. Presentations and SlideShare

Like the infographic post, you can create a PowerPoint presentation or a SlideShare about whatever piques your interest.

If you are looking for inspiration, head over to SlideShare and see what others have already done. Remember, you don’t have to share the best presentation. Just focus on providing good content to your readers.

27. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions are fantastic posts because it is likely that your readers have already googled these terms in hopes of an answer. OptinMonster has written posts that answer these common questions and they have performed well.

You can do a couple of things. You could write one long post answering all the frequently asked questions. But it may be more beneficial to create a blog series.

You don’t have to tell your readers it is a series. Just answer a common question once a week, and you will have great content that is likely beneficial for SEO as well.

FAQ Machine

28. Questions You Should be Asking

The “Should Ask Questions” (SAQs) is also a great avenue of inspiration. Where FAQs are questions that your visitors are usually asking, your SAQs are the questions that an informed visitor knows to ask.

Much like new drivers who may be ignorant of the basics of car maintenance (i.e.: average annual maintenance costs), your post can help educate your readers on questions they should be asking and why it is important to ask those questions.

29. Twitter Posts

Scour the Twittersphere and see what’s popular. You can embed popular tweets and provide your commentary on them.

Whether you are embedding tweets from your favorite people, most loyal followers, or random people posting on a certain Twitter campaign, you can develop a blog post in a matter of minutes.

30. Contests

Running a contest doesn’t have to be hard work. Just think of a need for your company or blog and offer a prize for the most favored contestant.

The trick for a successful contest is not spending lots of money, but to know both your needs and what is desirable from your readers.

31. Screencasts

The beauty of screencasts is that they are a 2-for-1 gain for you. A screencast can be a simple recording where you walkthrough a feature or you show a cool and new way to use your product.

You can create a screencast in a matter of minutes, through in maybe 30 minutes of editorial work, and you can use a platform like YouTube to host the video. With the benefit of YouTube, you can even begin to get more YouTube subscribers while entertaining and informing your blog readers.

32. Time-Saving Posts (how to)

No one likes to waste time. “Time is money”. As a result, many people are searching for the next big thing in time management.

time-saving

If you need inspiration, check out Syed Balkhi’s post about saving time by becoming more efficient with planning your meetings. You can follow his lead by finding one area (like he did with meetings), and show how you improved your time management.

33. Find Funny Videos for Blog Posts

We posted about humorous posts, but to take a different spin on it, consider creating a series of posts. Whether you offer a Monday Morning Humor or another day, the point is to find something that you find humorous and to share content regularly.

The best part is that you are not a creator of content, but merely a content curator. You don’t have to worry about writing anything if you don’t want to. And the best part is that funny posts are often shared, which means your website can gain lots of exposure simply because of a comedic YouTube video.

34. Conference Posts

Whenever you attend a conference, consider posting about the major speeches, seminars, etc. Usually, there will be keynote speakers. So write about those people. Give summaries of their speeches and highlight the main points or the questions that were left in your mind after they spoke.

Other people may tweet about the conference, so you can even embed any relevant tweets that you mind find while researching and writing.

35. Event Summaries

Along the same lines as giving updates while at a conference, you can write a post that is a concise summary of the conference.

Event Conference

What were the major takeaways? What did you think about the conference overall? What would you change? Will you go again next year? These are the questions people want to know when they think about attending conferences — is it worth it.

36. Top Take-Aways From Whatever

Have you recently finished a book? Maybe you’ve taken an online course? Write a post about your top 10 takeaways from that resource.

This is like a review, but will be a lot shorter and probably in a list format. Strive to make your take-aways easily readable and shareable.

37. Think Out Loud Posts

If you’re anything like me, you are an extroverted thinker. Instead of trying to figure everything out before you post, just write a post with your unfinished thoughts — think out loud!

Granted, it will help if you have your thoughts at least organized, but don’t feel like you have to have a perfect solution to the problem or the finished plan for an idea. Just write freely and post.

38. Rants

Yes! Go on a rant about something! Speak your mind! Be free to share your frustrations! Just remember that whatever is posted on the internet stays on the internet, and you have the potential to start a firestorm.

So go ahead and rant, but for your own sake, I’d encourage you to do ample research and to have someone else read your post before you publicize it. While rants can easily become viral content, they do have the potential to burn relationships.

39. Pop-Culture Commentary

Share your thoughts on the latest pop-culture news and events. Is there a recent movie that has been released? A new television series that you are hooked on? Talk about it.

Pop-culture events are popular by definition. Your blog post can ride the wave of popularity while at the same time provide you a fun distraction from your normal posts.

40. Beginner’s Guides

Beginner guides are popular because the beginners in any hobby or industry are anxious to learn more and more. You can mentor from a distance by creating a beginner guide that helps meet their needs and provides great content for your website.

Beginner's-Guide

Beginner Guides can be great for SEO purposes too because you should be explaining and defining new terms, while also providing synonyms for common terms. In this regard, you can pack a lot of keywords in a post in a way that is helpful and informative.

41. “Metrics to Measure” Guides

You’re an experienced writer. You know how to run a successful website. But many people just starting out don’t know where to start. What metrics are important? How do you improve those metrics?

A brief post about the important numbers and metrics to watch can be very helpful, and maybe a great recommended post at the end of your beginner’s guide.

42. Recent Tools You Use

Have you tested out and tried any new tools recently to help your business or blog? Are you still figuring out how you like the tool and how effective it is? Talk about it!

This is not a full review, of course, but a glance at what you’re doing to improve your business. Maybe you are trying out a new social media tool, maybe you’ve changed your workflow, maybe you finally came over to using a Mac instead of a PC (About time! Welcome! 🙂 ) Whatever you decide, I encourage you to use some screenshots because images or screenshots are always helpful.

43. Free Giveaways

Maybe this post is related to a contest but it doesn’t have to be. Offer a free giveaway, maybe an e-book, and see how many downloads you can get. If you want this to generate some possibly new subscribers for you, then offer this giveaway in exchange for a name and email.

If you need some ideas, combine some blog posts into a nice ebook or maybe make some photographs you’ve taken and let them be public domain. Everyone wants to make money, but sometimes you can make money by occasionally give a few items away.

44. Guest Bloggers

So you’re frustrated at coming up with ideas? Are you going on vacation and you don’t want to write extra blog posts? Consider having a guest blogger.

Make this invitation only — reach out to bloggers your like and ask if they would be willing to guest blog for you.

45. Debates

Macs are better than PCs! Some of you probably hate me for saying that, and a few are crying out “Linux!” So let’s argue our points!

Mac-vs-PC

Create a debate post, maybe with the help of a guest writer, and dialogue from different sides of a controversial topic. Many times this is done as a blog series. The fun part is that you can play devil’s advocate and even argue for the side you disagree with.

46. Transcript Posts

Have you able to speak at a conference? Have you spoken on a podcast recently? If so, you can share your meeting notes as a blog post.

What’s even better is that you can use some transcribing software to take an audio recording (from your speech or podcast), and have it make your post for you. Just be sure to read through it after it is transcribed to make sure everything translated correctly.

47. Myth vs. Fact

Myth vs. Facts posts are really fun to make. Have you ever gotten frustrated correcting a newbie in your field of interest? And they fall over, and over, and over again for the same false beliefs.

You can do something about it! Create a fun post of the most common myths you hear and correct them with the facts. If you are good with graphics, this can be a great time to combine your expertise.

Email Marketing Myth #1

48. Monthly Updates and Stats

Are you working on new things? Talk about them!! Feel free to share any recent additions to your company, or new office moves, or recollect your recent product updates.

Monthly updates can also be updates with numbers. These statistics can serve to give confidence in your blog or in your product. Have 337 people bought your product this month? Share it! Have you gained 20 subscribers this week? Talk about it!

49. Preview Posts

Give your readership a glimpse of what you are working on. Whether you are releasing a new feature this week, or 6 months from now, give some insight to your subscriber base.

Preview posts actually can help your readers feel more loyal to you because you are trusting them with the knowledge that hasn’t materialized yet. You are opening the door for them to question and keep you honest on future releases. The bright side is that you will likely follow through on those previewed items, so this is especially helpful for those who get distracted easily.

50. Answer “Why?”

So many tech questions answer the “how” question. “How do I do ____?” But you’re smart. You understand your focus area and you can answer more than a “how” question. You can answer the “why?”

Why should someone back up their site regularly? Why is it important to add something to your espresso in less than 8 seconds? How questions give knowledge. Why questions help give wisdom. Share your wisdom and answer the why questions.

51. Search Twitter for Inspiration

We spoke earlier about using Twitter posts for inspiration, but you can also do advanced searches with Twitter.

Twitter Search

Look for the questions people are asking on Twitter. Or see what people are frustrated about. Then write a post answering their post. After you publish, you can then tweet at them with your posts — you’re bound to get at least one read!

52. Cheatsheets

I remember in college that one of my professors would let us have a notecard size cheatsheet to keep key information that would help us in our exam. The goal of the cheatsheet wasn’t to have every answer but to give guidance and help in the hard parts.

We need cheatsheets for life! So write one! If you have a food blog, give a cheatsheet with conversions for common measurements. Unlike a checklist, this isn’t meant to be exhaustive but a post about knowing the main things or the easily overlooked things.

53. Criticisms and Open Letters

You may think this is like the rant, but you would be wrong 🙂 In this situation, you are ranting against a person or organization. Maybe you are against their policies or perhaps they just did something really dumb. Either way, you have some words for them.

You can write an open letter of critique that addresses your concerns. Much like the rant, I would have one or two trusted friends or family read your post before you officially publicize it.

54. Share Recent Travel Experiences

You don’t need a travel blog to talk about your travels! Use your current blog as a random plug for your favorite destination spot. Let others live vicariously through you!

family-vacation

Just remember that no travel blog post is complete without at least one picture!

55. Gallery/Album Posts

Have you been on vacation lately? Do you have any new products to sell? You can create a gallery or even an album of galleries and share them in a blog post.

You don’t have to worry about coming up with a great story, just give them a summary of what the photos are.

56. Talk About Your Successes and Your Failures

Vulnerability is a tricky thing. It is not easy for me or anyone to be honest with failures. But ironically, the vulnerability that is so hard to share can be some of the most helpful and popular content.

Think about writing a post. Where you succeeded. Where you failed. Share it with your readers and you will see just how popular your content can be.

57. Auto-Biographical Post

Everyone loves to talk about themselves, right? And when you’re looking for content to post on your blog, what better content than to talk about yourself?!

You can talk about your education, favorite hobbies, funny stories with your dogs, whatever you want. When you share experiences, you’ll be amazed to find that some people love the same things you do — and you may just get some more subscribers!

58. Share Recipes

There is a reason why recipe posts are so viral — people need to eat! Therefore your post can help attract attention from all across the world.

For SEO purposes, be sure to include any alternate names for your dish or drink, as well as giving very precise measurements and cooking instructions. I love apple desserts, so feel free to share those!

59. Curate or Summarize Someone Else’s Work.

There is a saying that there is no such thing as original work anymore — we all copy ideas from someone else. The difference, however, is when you present information, are you doing so in a new and helpful manner.

So am I telling you the copy someone’s post, word for word? No! Research, compile the information and make a new post. If you use someone else’s work, then be sure to give your sources at the bottom of your post.

60. Holidays

Holidays are always popular and people always google them, whether to find the date of the holiday, to find recipes, game ideas, you name it.

When you write your post, talk about any special sales you’ll be having, share fun holiday traditions, or share pictures from your holiday party. Make your holiday post the viral post of the holiday among your readers!

61. Thankful Posts

Showing gratitude is a simple way to write a blog post. The trick is to be specific. Obviously, be specific of who you are thankful for. But also be specific on what you’re thankful for.

When in doubt, you can always write a post of gratitude for your readers and subscribers. Explain how they’ve motivated you to keep working hard and how they’ve given you inspiration.

62. Show Your Response to an Interesting Customer Question

Have you had any interesting or intriguing customer questions recently? Make a post about it, where you also include your response to the customer. Tell people why you’re sharing it and how you think it can help future readers.

Unless you have expressed permission, be sure to change the names so that you can let them keep their anonymity.

63. Create a Glossary

Glossary posts are incredibly helpful and are fantastic for SEO purposes. And they’re really helpful for users of all levels—beginners to learn new things, and advanced users to refresh their memory on less common terms.

Research current glossaries and figure out the top-searched terms in your industry. Then make your glossary and what it get shared!

64. Share Who is Important to Follow

You’ve written for a while and you’re great at what you do. But there are other major players that are important to follow. So help your readers stay informed.

Syed-Balkhi

Consider writing a post on “Who’s who” in your industry. You can link to their Twitter handles, their websites, etc. Be sure to message those industry leaders as they very well may share your post too.

65. Best Sources of Inspiration

What is your muse? What gives you inspiration for writing, creating new things, developing new products, reaching new markets?

Do you have a favorite playlist? Visit a favorite park bench with a great view? Share what inspires you to create and ask your readers to submit their own sources. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new way to be inspired.

66. Recount the History of Your Blog or Business

How did you make it this far? How has your business grown over the years? Share the story of your business’s history. Let your readers know how your blog has developed over the years.

The cool thing about writing about your history is that you can relive your failures and success and be inspired by new directions for the future.

67. Aspirations for Your Blog/Business

Speaking of looking forward to the future, consider posting about your aspirations for your blog or business. Where would you like to be in 2 years relative to the market as a whole? Is there a niche you desire to break into?

Now, to be clear, I’m not asking you to divulge secrets that would compromise the success of your business. But there is a difference between speaking of reaching out to new markets and sharing the specifics of corporate strategy.

68. Best Mobile Apps for your Industry

Since the world is increasingly going mobile, developers are building better and faster apps for phones. Some of those apps make both your life and mine a whole lot easier.

App-Store-Image

What apps do you use to stay ahead of the game? Traveling apps? Wall Street Journal subscription? Share what mobile apps help you perform better and why you would recommend others download them as well.

69. Roundups

Weekly roundups are becoming more commonplace. You can share your updates from the week, any frustrations you’ve run across, and any hopes for tomorrow.

I personally enjoy weekly roundups as a way of clearing one’s head. You can write what has been going on and get focus for the next week.

70. Get thoughts from Newbies

Consider a post where you purposely reach out to the newbies of your industry. Not the thought leaders but the newcomers to the field. Now, before you say I’m stupid for suggesting such a thing, consider the idea of “group think”. Groupthink is when you are around the same people for so long that you all think of the same pros and cons of things.

Newcomers do not enter the arena with those habitual bias and therefore can provide creative solutions to historical problems. They can give ideas for new ways of doing things that may even help your business.

71. Memes

Everyone loves s good meme. At least I do:). Create a meme post from the meme’s you’ve enjoyed the most or even created yourself.

There are a ton of meme generators out there. Find the inside jokes of your field and pump out some new memes.

72. Charity/Awareness posts

Public service is popular these days. Why not write a post about a cause you believe it. Whether you are bringing awareness to new cancer research or you’re encouraging women to get into the tech industry, find something that you believe in and talk about it.

The cool thing about charity and cause posts is that they serve multiple purposes. They aid the cause while also proving a good opportunity to improve the reputation of your brand.

Fisher-House-Foundation

73. Recycle Old Posts

Last but certainly not least, you can make updates to popular posts with the latest and greatest information.

Use Google Analytics and see which posts have been the most successful. Next, see if there is any way to update it. Maybe there are better resources available, new stats, better images, etc. Since the post already has great success, you are bound to only increase its popularity with your new information.

Empathy – A key UX Design skill that no job description talks about

Empathy – A key UX Design skill that no job description talks about

Today, let’s talk about a vital quality that a UX Designer must have, one that is often not included in UX Design job listings – Empathy. One often associate design projects with aspects like functionality, layout, look and feel, User journey, etc. But in order to truly understand the needs and wants of a user, it is necessary to be an empathetic designer.

We live in times when the focus is shifting from IQ to EQ when it comes to designing Digital Products, and rightfully so. Empathy should be up there on top of the list with technical skills a UX Designer must possess.

Simply put, empathy allows a designer to understand their target user better. Before, we dive in deeper, let’s start with defining what Empathy means in the Context of User Experience.

What is Empathy in UX Design?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines empathy as “The ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation. Basically, when a UX Designer talks about putting oneself in the shoes of a user, they are talking about empathy.

Today, when Hyper-personalisation and tailor-made user journeys are becoming the norm and playing a critical role in the success or failure of digital products, the importance of empathy in design is becoming glaringly obvious.

How to incorporate Empathy in your Design Process?

Empathy is a skill that can be developed and refined over time. Here are a few practices that’ll help one become a more empathetic designer

1. Become a keen observer 

It can be very rewarding to carefully observe body language, action and non-verbal expressions while conducting User Interviews. More, often than not, participants aim to please and might not be able to honestly state pain points about your product. In some cases, even if they want to, they aren’t always able to put the problem clearly into words. Therefore, while they test out the product, it becomes all the more important to observe how they interact with the product.

In cases, where you are unable to conduct a user test where you can talk directly to target users, observing their online behaviour and interactions with the product is key. But how do you do it? Through web analytics tools like Google Analytics, heat mapping tools like Crazy Egg and A/B testing. Google Analytics provides insights into how users behave with every page on your website – where did they enter from, how long did they stay on your site, what specific actions did they take, and finally, at what point did they exit? Heat map tools help identify areas in your digital product that generate most user actions (clicks, hover, etc.) and helps you experiment with layouts, and conduct A/B testing to test what works and what doesn’t. Remember – Test. Iterate. Repeat.

2. Create extensive User Personas 

Based on your target demographic and data acquired through user research, sketch out detailed User personas. User personas are fictional character sketches which represent various user types that will use your product or service. It helps one undertsand and map behaviour, needs and goals of the target user. It is a key step in ‘thinking like a user’. The personas are composed based on the real data collected from user research. It helps you answer the following questions:

  1. What are the needs of the target user and what need is being solved by the product?
  2. How a user behaves in various scenarios?
  3. How does the product or service fit into a user’s daily routine?
  4. What key functionalities should one focus on, that’ll help users the most?

3. Be open to feedback and ask for it often 

Communication is key. Leave your ego at the door, and ask for feedback with an open mind. When it comes to initial brainstorming and feedback, one tends to ask friends, family and colleagues. Although, useful as a starting point, their opinions could be biased or superficial and influenced by their relationship with you. Therefore, it is imperative that you communicate with direct users of the product for helpful, actionable insights. Ask them what they DON’T like.

During user interviews, one needs to ask specific questions to the user, so that their feedback gives you insights about specific functionalities of the product. Give them a task to perform using the product and keenly hear and observe their actions.

The feedback collected will help you identify areas of the product that need improvements. The ‘feedback-analyse-iterate-test’ again loop should become a core part of your design process.

4. Be unbiased about the Digital Product you are designing 

This one is easier said than done, but do not fall so in love with what you have created that you are not able to accept any negative critique on it.

“People ignore design that ignores people.” — Frank Chimero, Designer

Products that do not put the user first have a greater chance of failure.
Being unbiased and open-minded about one’s work is a virtue that Designers need to strive towards. During User interviews, do not influence the user to give you feedback that favours you and avoid leading questions. Remember, the product has been designed to fulfill the need of the user, and not to satisfy one’s ego.

Top 10 soft skills that’ll help you become a UX leader

Top 10 soft skills that’ll help you become a UX leader

A UX design project is never black or white – it comes with a lot of ambiguity and challenges at different phases in the design process. These challenges can only be tackled if a designer has certain soft skills to back one’s technical knowledge. The good news is, most of these skills can be developed and refined with practice and self-motivation.

Here are the top 10 soft-skills that differentiate a ‘great designer’ from a bunch of good ones in the market:

1. Excellent Communication Skills

Design, unlike art, is not just a representation of the designer’s own self or personal ideas. One cannot just get to work as soon as a brief is provided and then submit the design files once the work is done without any communication in between these phases.

A UX Designer has to be vocal right from the beginning –

  • Ask relevant questions to understand the design brief better
  • Communicate with users to conduct user research
  • Coordinate with other departments like the developers and product managers to execute the project successfully
  • To present the thought process behind coming up with the design solution, articulately.
  • Conduct user tests to understand the pain-points of users while using the product

If you expect it to be a desk job, that doesn’t require much communication, then I am afraid, that is very far from the reality of what a design process entails.

2. Passion or hunger for excellence 

And getting to that ‘Wow’ moment takes a considerable amount of time and effort. An innate passion for solving problems is a big plus in the field of UX. You have to be the kind of person that thinks design can change the world. Only that level of enthusiasm will keep you going in the seemingly never-ending Create-Iterate-Test cycles involved in Product design. A UX Designer will have test out multiple solutions to come up with the ‘Winner’ – For example – a landing page that gives you high conversions or sales.

And that leads us to our next soft skill – patience.

3. Patience

Patience is a virtue in any field, but in design, even more so!

Conducting multiple user tests, tweaking the product, constantly communicating with other teams, awaiting feedback from users until you come up with the perfect solution – all need a tremendous amount of patience.

You will, at all times, be thinking about ways to make a product better. And that requires constantly analyzing test results, and keeping an open mind about the fact that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect product’.

Even the best of the products in the market need to be repeatedly modified to make them better and relevant to the changing times.

4. Curiosity or an inquisitive mind

The field of User experience is always evolving. New concepts, ideas are always hitting the market. In order to keep up with these changes and incorporating them into your Design process, you need to have a sense of curiosity, and a hunger to keep learning.

Only a curious mind can constantly ask insightful questions to stakeholders, and engage in a more in-depth manner with various problems that crop up in making your product better.

5. Being a Team player

Product Design can never be a one-man show.

It involves collaboration between multiple stakeholders – designers, developers, product owners, marketing team and the users. You will have to engage with each one of these stakeholders at various points of the design process.

For this, you will have to be a collaborator who engages in respectful, insightful discussions with various teams.

Need to code your product a certain way? Talk to the developer. Require feedback on how your product is making life easier for your users? Engage your user through Users tests.

And these discussions will happen on a daily basis, during the design process, and one needs to be a collaborator, to keep up.

6. Flexibility

A true UX Leader is someone who can adapt to changing times. This involves keeping up with the ever-evolving technology trends, new design tools, changing user behavior and repeated iterations to the product based on analyzing user data.

Every Design project brings with it, new challenges. No two design processes can ever be identical.

The industry the product is based in, the user demographics, user’s interests, needs, aspirations and pain points, etc. are all factors that affect the design process. The UX designer has to be flexible enough to adapt to these changes.

7. Open-Mindedness 

What differentiates a UX Designer from a Marketer or an Artist is that they cannot be added to the left brain or right brain club. It always has to be a combination of the two – creativity accompanied by rationality.

Unlike an artist, a designer cannot only think about self-fulfillment, or like a Marketer – cannot only make decisions based on numbers. There has to be a middle ground – one that involves a lot of ambiguity.

This is because UX, at the end of the day, is human-centered – and designing for humans cannot be a black and white approach. This requires open-mindedness to try out new ideas and perspectives.

8. Assertiveness

This quality is essential for most leadership roles. Assertiveness and standing up for oneself is something everyone could benefit from.

With respect to UX Designers, assertiveness becomes all the more important because of the sheer number of people you are dealing with – Product owners, development teams, marketers, etc. Imagine the amount of feedback and ideas that will be thrown at you to consider.

The UX person is like the advocate of the users and their needs. For a great product to be designed, a Designer has to be heard. And to be heard, they need to have a voice and be assertive.

9. Humility

Humility is a highly underrated virtue for a UX Designer.

It is very easy to fall in love with the product that you designed. It’s not always easy to welcome criticism. In such instances, humility is key.

Being a human-centric discipline, it is important that a Designer doesn’t come across as pushy during User tests. Humility makes users more comfortable to open up and point out problem areas in the product design. And this is vital in improving your product.

10. Empathy

In today’s times, when the focus is shifting from IQ to EQ when it comes to designing Digital Products, empathy in a UX designer has become a skill that is as important as possessing technical skills. To create a product that makes the life of your user easier, you need to first, step into their shoes and think and feel like them. Simply put, empathy allows a designer to understand target users better. And that is the foundation upon which your entire Design process should be based on.

Here is a bonus skill that is a personal favorite –

11. Storytelling

Great User experiences tell great stories. It is an essential part of the design process – especially at the stage when you are creating User Experiences. The more detailed these character sketches and their back-stories are, the better.

Detailed narratives provide that much needed human touch to an otherwise technology-driven field.

Stories help document the needs, motivations and key pain-points or potential design flaws, and make you better equipped to design a solution keeping users at the center of the design process.

Conclusion

The key to being an effective UX Designer is not only about how skilled you are at Adobe XD, Balsamic of Sketch.

It’s about how you interact with various stakeholders, how involved and keen you are at trying out new ideas and concepts, how you react to feedback and how much of a human touch you can bring to an otherwise technical product design process.

What are 5 books that every UX Designer must read in 2019?

What are 5 books that every UX Designer must read in 2019?

“There is no end to education.” — Jiddu Krishnamurthy

What I am constantly asked about in client meetings, or meet-ups with fellow designers is how I stay up to date and keep improving my design skills. I firmly believe that there is always room for improvement and a great way to stay inspired is by reading books. And there are tons of very well written books about UX Design, out there, waiting for you to grab them and discover new techniques, new perspectives and add value to your design process.

Picking only 5 great books was no mean feat, but I managed to shortlist these because of their evergreen nature. These books cover topics such as mapping real life experiences with online behaviour, UX in the things around us, methods and techniques for quicker and efficient design processes in the workplace and last but not the least, the biases and ethical blunders that are a by-product of developing these great technical products.

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability – Steve Krug

If there is one UX book I keep going back to, it has to be this one. Crisp (can be read in a plane ride, like the author says) and laid out with multiple examples and anecdotes, this book is a joy to dive into! A go-to read when it comes to understanding and implementing usability principles, it talks about how users navigate the web, and what their reading pattern is like, online. The parallels drawn between online behaviour and real life behaviour make you realise that you have to design keeping multiple user-personas in mind.

Grab your copy online – Don’t Make Me Think

The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition by Don Norman 

 

If there is a book that changed how people viewed ‘UX Design’, it is this. It teaches you that design is everywhere – from a zip to a revolving door to your favourite E-Commerce website! And that revelation makes you realise how a simple design solution can bring about a big change in the lives of its users. The famous example of the ‘Norman Door’ that every design school teaches us about, comes from this book. To those who are unaware, it is an example of bad design – where you pull a door instead of pushing it. Haven’t most of us experienced that? There are many more real life examples in the book, which will inspire you to be better as a designer – to really observe your surroundings and fellow humans.

Grab your copy online – The Design of Everyday Things

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience – Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden 

 

In this book, the authors have explained in detail about what the term ‘Lean UX’ means and how you can incorporate this approach in your work culture for faster and more efficient results in UX design related tasks. It is inspired theories of Lean and Agile development, which is is based on the approach of iterative cycles – experimenting with design ideas and concepts, validation using real users and iterating the design based on the feedback and learnings. Based on close collaboration with other product team members, it provides insights into building a highly efficient team that follows the motto – Design. Test. Iterate.

Grab your copy online –Lean UX

 

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Brad Kowitz

 

This book talks about a 5 day step by step technique to solve problems and testing out new ideas. It is applicable to all work cultures – startups to large organizations. Penned by three partners at Google Ventures, the Sprint is a unique, five day process that has helped more than a hundred companies till date. The process is designed in a way that you move from concept to prototyping to the final decision within five days, helping you save hours of efforts and funds. This one is a must read for anyone in a fast-growing organization.

Grab your copy online – Sprint

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

 

Today, even the most basic daily activities are performed online – shopping for groceries, paying bills, etc. While it has definitely helped make the lives of people a lot easier, it has also opened up the web and other tech platforms to biases, ethical blunders and blind spots. Examples of these biases include sign up forms not recognising a gender other than male or female, the title ‘Doctor’ being considered as male, racial biases on tracking apps used by law enforcement organisations, Social media platforms showing you ‘happy memories’ of loved ones who are no more, racial and gender biases in the workplace, etc. Sara Wachter-Boettcher grabs the bull by the horns and demystifies this dark reality of the tech industry. A great commentary that is bound to make you think about the design decisions you make while designing tech products, truly keeping humans at the centre.

Grab your copy online – Technically Wrong

Benefits of Learning Fashion Designing

Benefits of Learning Fashion Designing

Benefits of Learning Fashion Designing:

If you have decided to take up fashion designing as a career, you are sure to find the area of designing clothes to be quite competitive and attractive. It can even be a bit stressful, but it has always the joy and fun of working associated with it.

If you find yourself employed by a fashion house as a full-time employee, you are sure to enjoy some advantages in fashion designing like health options. A health insurance package is almost always awaiting your employment, and this may include protection from a lot of disorders and infections. Your employment with the fashion house is quite likely to land you with a vacation with pay, sick leave and a hefty salary.

But the real benefits of fashion designing comes when you own the fashion-house. Almost 25 per cent of fashion designers are found to be self-employed. The clientage alternates between textile mills, whole-sellers and even media outlets. You can adjust your appointments with your lifestyle and nothing can be better than this.

Those employed in the world of fashion designing are bound to go for a lot of travelling. There are events and celebrations in all the different parts of the world like Milan and Paris. Fashion designers often find themselves dealing with clients in different continents. This can be quite a lucrative career option but only for those who are not averse to travelling.

Creating a new trend in fashion and seeing it alive in society gives an immense amount of pleasure and satisfaction not found anywhere else. There is a huge motivation for you to work positively in the same direction.

 

How To Learn Fashion Designing:

As you can see, there’s nothing mysterious or mind-blowing about the skills you need to be a fashion designer, but then there is the question of where and how to learn them. A foundation in the fashion side and a good course will both get you going as you build your knowledge and your career in fashion design. A professional fashion designing course covers all the skills you need to become a fashion designer without leaving the couch.

 

Benefits Of A Fashion Designing Course:

  • Have access to a tutor.
  • You will be able to fast track your career as a fashion stylist consultant.
  • Learn the inside secrets of how to become a fashion stylist pro in months not years.
  • Lastly, one of the best benefits of a fashion designing course is that it not only advances your artistic skills but also lets you know about the varying trends. These are noteworthy skills that help you to get an optimistic outlook in this fashion designing business.

 

Depending on the sector of the industry that one enters into, there are several different types of fashion designers taking care of the activities within the industry. The following are examples of different types of fashion designers:

Clothing Designers – They create and help produce men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, including casual wear, suits, sportswear, evening wear, outerwear, maternity, and intimate apparel.

Footwear Designers – They create and help produce different styles of shoes and boots. As new materials become available, such as lightweight synthetic materials used in shoe soles, footwear designers produce new designs that combine comfort, form, and function.

Accessory Designers – They design and produce items such as handbags, suitcases, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and eye-wear.

Costume Designers – They design costumes for the performing arts and for motion picture and television productions. They research the styles worn during the period in which the performance takes place, or they work with directors to select and create appropriate attire. They also must stay within the costume budget for the particular production.

 

Career Options in Fashion Designing:

Jobs Directly Related to Fashion Designing Degree Include:
Fashion Designer
Retail Buyer
Retail Manager
Retail Merchandiser
Fashion Stylist
Textile Designer
Visual Merchandiser

Jobs Where Fashion Designing Degree Would Be Useful Include:
Clothing/Textile Technologist
Event Manager
Jewellery Designer
Magazine Journalist
Make-up Artist
Public Relations Officer

These are some introductory tips – now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way!

Summing Up:

Fashion designing is an absolute collaboration between science & art. As a designer, it is your responsibility to present innovations and creativity in clothing and other related accessories and meanwhile, you also have to enlist all the technologies that enhance your artworks and ideas.

WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN FASHION DESIGNING & HOW CAN IT BENEFIT YOU

WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN FASHION DESIGNING & HOW CAN IT BENEFIT YOU

Learning fashion designing can lead to an exciting and fascinating career but just the idea of getting started in fashion designing can be overwhelming. Maybe you’re secretly thinking: what do fashion designers do? Or maybe even: what is fashion design?

As you consider whether fashion design is the right career path for you, you need some answers to the big questions: What do you really need to know? What tools do you need to have?

Don’t worry! fashion designing is more easy than you might imagine. Just learn the skills and you’ll soon be on your way. For some who are in a hurry to not just learn but to finish off things as quickly as possible and start earning money, investing a month or two extra in something that is going to be with you lifelong is not a bad investment. Honestly, fashion designing as a career is a great choice but, you need to study the craft of fashion designing & make your basics very clear and thereby build a foundation which is strong.

As fashion is the art of creative details, the field of fashion designing is one of the most glamorous, intriguing and astonishing career options of this generation. If you have a flair for creativity, impeccable personal style and originality, then the captivating world of fashion designing is just the right thing for you. The work of a fashion designer is to design clothing and fashion ranges, but it is not as easy as it seems. The love for designing clothes is just not enough to be a good designer as the competition is highly fierce. One needs the right guidance, expertise and experience to become a successful fashion designer, as your skills can be polished with the right training.

Fashion Designing is undoubtedly an exceptional career choice as it withholds a bright future due to its gaining popularity and steady money. The best part about fashion design is that it is not restricted to only clothes, it also comprises of accessories, jewellery, shoes and many more.

 

How To Make A Career In Fashion Designing in 2020:

 

1. Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Designing
If you plan to not just work in the fashion industry but become the pioneer in it then you need to indulge and gain knowledge about the basics of this glamorous industry. Any fashion enthusiast who aspires to become a successful fashion designer should get admitted to a fashion design college as these colleges help you to become industry-ready. Pursuing a fashion designing course will extensively enable you to understand the working of the fashion industry collaboratively – fashion design history, clothing textiles, sketching and drawing of outfits, fashion events, managing a fashion house etc.

2. Gain Knowledge About the Past, Present & Future of Fashion
Fashion is unfathomably an adorable art. That is why it is utterly important to study and understand the history of fashion. Be it Vera Wang, Oscar De La Renta or Vivenne Westwood, all of these famous fashion designers were once the students of Philosophy of Art, which is a great course to indulge in as it enables you to express your ideas and put them in an appropriate context.

3. Play the ‘Making Contacts’ Game Well
If you make the right contacts early on, it’ll prove to be very beneficial in developing your career as a fashion designer. You should start meeting and communicating with people from the fashion industry as early as possible, preferably while you are still a Fashion Design student. You should also be flexible with paid or unpaid internships as it will help you to develop experience in the field. It is much easier to get a job on a recommendation than trying to convince others that you have what it takes to prove your worth as a designer.

4. Determine Your Area of Expertise

Don’t opt for being a jack of all trades and the master of one. Choose your area of expertise judiciously and pursue it professionally while determining a career in fashion designing. Figure out what your area of interest is, whether it is men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear, sportswear or accessory designing, in order to move progressively towards the business aspect of fashion.

5. Set Up A Business-Oriented Mindset
Fashion is an impressive form of art, but it is also a billion dollars industry. It has been evidently spoken by world-renowned fashion designers that in order for them to succeed, they had to understand and learn the business aspect of the fashion industry as well. It helps you to further understand how to run a successful business as you’ll discover new and engrossing ways to promote your brand and make it stand out from the crowd.

6. Keep An Eye for Detail and Think Out of the Box
If you are a keen observer of detailing, understand the world of colour palettes, textures and impressively well at sketching figures, then don’t let your talent go in vain. An ideal way to brush up your skills is to be a part of a Fashion Design Institute. Design institutes are well equipped with more than enough facilities and experienced faculty to help you become a better designer. On an everyday basis, you get to learn and experience innumerable new things which can further help you in building your fashion career. A lot of the top fashion design colleges in Mumbai are not only beneficial in imparting theoretical knowledge, but also helps the students to gain practical knowledge. Hands-on practical knowledge and exposure to the industry are the primary focuses. Ideations, innovation in fashion and styling cues can be gained from such colleges.

7. Design A Portfolio
In order for you to establish yourself as a fashion designer and to be taken seriously by your fellow industry mates, you need to demonstrate your work in your under-graduation through an impressive portfolio. It is important that you treat every assignment given to you during under-graduation with utmost sincerity as it will help to shape up your future as a fashion designer. A good portfolio allows you to show off a range of skill sets, including sketching, sewing and pattern making abilities.

8. Keeping Up With The Trends
The fashion industry is a rapidly changing industry. The industry has something new to offer with every passing season. That is why it is very important for aspiring fashion designers to keep up with the trends all around the globe. You can be up to date with the trends around by religiously reading industry journals and magazines.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Being A Fashion Designer

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Being A Fashion Designer

Especially people who lean towards artistic careers. Fashion Designing is nothing less than art in itself. You have the ability to make other people look good and that is nothing less than a super-power in its own way.

Fashion Designing is one career which is in a way recession proof and gets you a lot of fame if you are talented & hard working. It’s more or less like getting into Bollywood & working behind the camera (I know, not the perfect analogy but, you understand the point).

Fashion Designing has evolved in many ways from its inception in 1826, So has the designers. Loads of people think that Fashion Designing is all about drawing designs on a sheet of paper & designing clothes — Very Far away from truth. Fashion Designing is also about designing apparels, jewellery, dying colors, understanding the psychology of colors, understanding the style of different cultures and what that means to that particular cultural and a lot more.

I can go on a limb and loosely define Fashion Designing as the process of creation of Fashion itself.

Trust me when I say this, If you do it right in the Fashion Industry; You might get filthy rich & famous for sure. But like everything else in the universe, Even Fashion Designing comes with its share of Advantages and Disadvantages. Sadly, that is how the universe works. Nothing comes without a price.

But, the silver lining is that; being a fashion designer has a lot more advantages than disadvantages. But, before we start looking into the pros and cons lets just briefly answer the question “How To become a fashion designer’ for people who don’t know about it.

Now that you know how to become a Fashion Designer, Lets see what are all the perks and hurdles you will face once you become a Fashion Designer.

First lets cover the ones that counts as both advantage and disadvantage — It depends on your perspective and how you perceive it.

No Fixed Timings: For some — A person like me — This would count as the best perk of being a fashion designer. But, not everyone thinks like me and hence this one can count as either an advantage or a disadvantage. You will be working in a field where there are no set timings, Since, most of the time you will be working independently. As I mentioned earlier, this is a field of art and no one knows how much time one has to put in to complete the artwork he/she is working on. There might be time when you will be burning the midnight oil to complete the design and there will be other days when you will wake up late and have brunch. It depends on the kind of design you are working on.

Unpredictable Income: Again, this is an advantage if your income is higher than your expectations and a disadvantage if your income is lower than what you are expecting.

Most of the time this one occurs when you try to launch your own brand or start a boutique. The income might be inconsistent and even low at the beginning. But if you successfully launch a design that people like, You might become famous.

There might be a chance that you could balance this one out but getting a consistent income like a salaried person is a tough feat to achieve being a fashion designer unless you are working for a Fashion Brand.

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