Digital Experiences that amaze and delight
Anyone who brushes up against the tech sector is familiar with the terms UI and UX.
These words are thrown around tech discussions even more than “gamification”. Most people have a rudimentary understanding of the terms as they relate to a digital world, but there’s still a great deal of conjecture. How does the interface relate to the experience? Are the terms interchangeable? Can they exist independently?
Nipping Conjecture in the Bud
A user interface is a system that allows a person to control a machine.
That’s it. Push button, get treat.
User experience is a bit harder to nail down. It’s something like push button, get treat, pull lever, let carrier pigeon loose, pray to the gods, sacrifice a millennial, subscribe to a newsletter, book a trip to Bangkok, all the while appreciating the savory treat…or was it umami?
In the world of Behancies and Dribbblers, UX is simply the user’s opinion of a specific digital interaction, a definition that’s too limited to a single use case.
User-centered design guru Don Norman explains UX by saying, “It encompasses all aspects of the end user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products”, that’s probably too broad to be of much use.
Another standard characterizes UX somewhere in the middle by taking the broadness of Norman’s definition and applying it to the use of a single product or service, in that: user experience encompasses all aspects of an end user’s interaction with a product.
UI allows you to use a thing. UX is the way you feel about using that thing.
Beyond the Black Mirror
So, to help illustrate the concept, let’s step away our phones and pads and find an analogue in the real world. Relax, basement and cubicle dwellers, you don’t have to actually go outside. No, that would be cruel.
Instead, simply imagine a machine so common, such a part of our everyday existence that it’s valued more than our phones.
This machine, much like digital devices and their apps, is the product of research, design, engineering, and production; it’s centered around human interaction; it’s sold on perception and feeling.
I give you…the automobile.
Remember, UI is a system for a user to control a machine, so…how do you control a car?
Forget the sat-nav and infotainment system. Think about how you control the machine itself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a minivan or a supercar, there’s a wheel to control direction, pedals to determine speed, a cluster of gauges for feedback, and a host of levers, knobs, and buttons to choose modes and manipulate vital accessories.
Every motor vehicle has a user interface. This UI is so common that the majority of drivers can jump in almost any car and start driving without a second thought.
So Close, Yet So Far
The UI of the automobile has been relatively standard for almost a century. Regardless, the car companies live and die by the sword of customer experience and impression, ultimately, UX. Some of them even have specific tenants of user experience that permeate through design, engineering, and marketing. Mazda, for example, guides design and engineering by the hallmark “Jinba Ittai” – the feeling of oneness between the driver and car. In the same vein, Volkswagen outwardly promoted “Fahrvergnügen”, a desire for “driving enjoyment”.
Bearing UX in mind, the minivan and the supercar (with their nearly identical UIs) become separated by a vast gulf of user perception; each with its merits. The experience of a trip to Costco in a Ferrari would be amazing for some (especially if that trip included lots of winding bits) but the trip back would be miserable with a month’s worth of toiletries and frozen foods strapped to the roof and hood.
The supercar’s experience appeals to individual enjoyment through adrenaline-pumping white-knuckled narcissism, while the minivan gives users a sense of altruistic fulfillment: providing a safe, comfortable and practical transport for loved ones.
Two disparate experiences, essentially the same interface.
How’d I Get on a Car Blog?
Yes, we’re still on UI and UX.
The car is an example of a user-centric machine with a standard UI. While the interface is basically the same from one car to the next, the UX can be vastly different.
UX is not always defined by or dependent upon the UI. The interface is just a component of the overall user experience, joined in its efforts by usability, design, engineering, and marketing to a specific purpose:
To evoke a positive, pleasurable, and valuable journey for the user.
In the digital world, designers, developers, and stakeholders could benefit by limiting their idea of what the UI is and expanding their concept of the UX.
All too often, UI is a catchall for the entirety of the Design, and UX is reduced to the Information Architecture.
The next time you’re contemplating or discussing UI and UX, think about your last drive.
By Kat Korwes
My name is Kat; I am an illustrator and designer for Haneke Design. That’s not me in the pic. It’s Kyle, one of our brilliant developers. Kyle is bald. I like long hair, so every now and then I create a deliberately poor photoshop job of Kyle in a wig.
Things went a bit too far once I got my hands on three graphics tablet devices and started sketching:
I’ve been working with graphics tablets for at least a decade, and I’ve been fortunate enough to own one and work on the other two market-leading devices described in this article.
Device performance is affected mostly by hardware, so that’s always my focus when choosing a new one, however, I try to not neglect judging software optimization in the process.
The iPad Pro is the very first Apple product that managed to catch my attention and even make me entertain the idea of buying one. It is a well-crafted device with a very inviting first-time user experience, like most Apple products. Its shortcomings are, in my opinion, overshadowed by ease of use and good optimization. However, it is still meant for casual use only, mainly because of overly-complicated external display support, no real multitasking, and no mouse support, which renders it useless as a computer per se, especially in a dual or triple-display setup. It is effectively a tablet, not a PC, so why is it contending against a Wacom & a Microsoft tablet PC in my mind? Because of this bold statement taken from the Apple website: “Super. Computer.”
Super? Maybe. Computer? Sure. Super computer? Not so much. Maybe that is why the period is there.
- Great first-time experience.
- Excellent calibration and ‘feel’ of the Pencil as an art tool.
- Plenty of art-ready available apps are well optimized, thought out and perform without a glitch.
- Pencil has both pressure and tilt and is overall a good first-time device for Apple.
- Hardware supports the available features effortlessly.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Comes in 2 sizes.
- Pencil is sold separately.
- Pencil requires charging.
- No mouse support.
- No expandable storage.
- No multi-screen support.
- Only 4GB of RAM, hence no real multitasking.
- No reverse-side button/eraser on the Pencil, something that seems counter-intuitive, since it’s well… a pencil, and the competition has supported it for many years.
- Glass surface of the iPad Pro lacks a paper-like texture feeling and makes the pencil slide too much.
WACOM MOBILE STUDIO PRO
The Mobile Studio Pro is a brand new addition to the Wacom family and it represents everything Wacom stands for: very good build quality (but not without flaws), incomparable pen accuracy and bad driver support, along with a high price tag. It is undoubtedly the most precise and the most powerful device of all 3 listed in this article. It can fully replace any design and art desktop computer and then some. I would go as far as saying that one could use the top model as a gaming device. It tested well with most of my games on Medium/Ultra settings.
How is it for art, though? Let’s see the pro/con breakdown:
- Unmatched pen precision, doubled since the last model, which leaves competitors in the dust.
- Pen is still the only one that is battery-less with this amount of accuracy.
- Good ‘pen-on-paper’ like feedback from the screen surface.
- Fully programmable hardware Express Keys.
- High-end model packs some impressive processing power, can easily replace a desktop, and even act as a gaming computer for a couple of years.
- Certain models have a camera ready to capture 3D objects and come with 1 year of free Software to edit the 3D data
- Expandable storage.
- Only USB-C ports available (for those who like future-proof solutions).
- Up to 16GB of RAM available.
- Comes in 2 sizes, 13 & 16” both of which are geared more towards professionals.
- Experiences glitches from time to time, even with software like Photoshop.
- 16” model is quite heavy.
- No ‘hand-holding’, new users need to discover all the new features and settings by themselves.
- Laggy multi-touch support.
- Device seems overpriced roughly by 10-15%, based on its specs.
- Only USB-C ports available (for those who like value backwards-compatibility).
- No HDMI-out (supported by USB-C instead).
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4
The Surface has been a great success for Microsoft recently. The victory was big enough to prompt the emergence and a warm welcome of the Surface Studio later. This is however, an overview of mobile art devices. Microsoft has been successfully iterating on its hardware and software to release this well- optimized Surface Pro 4 that combines extreme mobility & usefulness with very decent user experience.
The Surface Pro 4 is very much a good blend of compromises (and both pros, and cons) between the Wacom Studio Pro and the iPad Pro.
- Very light and mobile for the specs.
- High-end models come with Intel i7 quad core processors and a decent graphics card.
- Compatible with Surface Dial, an intriguing, yet unexplored new addition to the graphics tablet accessories family.
- Full-size USB ports.
- Mini DisplayPort.
- Expandable storage.
- Customizable models with a lot of storage size options.
- Up to 16GB of RAM available.
- Slightly rubbery feel of the screen surface is surprisingly pleasant and offers just enough friction to feel right while operating the pen.
- Only one size.
- Graphics card could be so much better for the price tag of the high-end models.
- No tilt recognition.
- Battery-operated pen.
- Pen does not feel as precise as the Wacom’s or the iPad’s.
- It will not be able to replace any desktop computer in the long run.
- Worst overall user experience as a mobile device when compared to the iPad Pro.
For professionals who need lots of raw processing power, but still want mobility out of their art or design studio:
Wacom Studio Pro ($1,799 – $2,999)
For professionals or casual users who treasure mobility and exceptional user experience over usefulness (and are on a tighter budget):
iPad Pro ($599 – $1,129)
For those who just cannot decide on what to compromise on:
Microsoft Surface Pro ($749 – $2,699)
Sources for confirming spec/device range:
What do you think? Share your opinion with us below in the comments section:
Senior Designer at Haneke Design in Tampa, FL
New responsive web site makes it easier to browse for the latest BMX news and gear on mobile devices
Profile Racing has transformed the way its customers can examine Profile BMX parts and gear, follow their favorite pro and amateur team riders, and get the latest news on all things BMX with the launch of their new responsive web site. The manufacturer of BMX, freestyle, race and mountain bike components tapped Haneke Design to upgrade their web site with a fresh and consistent new design. Developed with the needs of mobile device users in mind, Profile Racing’s new web site caters to customers and fans who want easy, intuitive access to products and content by simply scrolling or swiping on their screen.
“Working with the Haneke Design team was a perfect collaboration for us,” said Charlie Fernandez, Marketing Director, Profile Racing. “They understood our needs, offered excellent solutions for delivering a better online experience for our customers, and created a new responsive web site that conveys the excitement and energy of the BMX lifestyle. We’re extremely pleased with the results.”
The largest manufacturer of BMX in the United States, Profile Racing has been designing and fabricating state of the art components for over 35 years. All Profile Racing products are proudly made in America at the company’s 20,000 square foot facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. Profile Racing is also a sponsor of numerous professional BMX riders who use their products in competition events for the brand.
Haneke Design built Profile Racing’s new web site in WordPress and integrated web posts, videos and social media feeds into the display for a total digital media experience.
“Our goal was to give Profile Racing’s community of BMX riders and fans a comprehensive catalog of products they could browse and evaluate online, together with the latest updates on team and pro activities and BMX scenes,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “This new site delivers on all of those fronts, and was great fun for us to design and build.”
Haneke Design creates the animated features to review differences in and benefits of LotVantage’s digital products for dealers and resellers
Business is brisk at LotVantage, a fast-growing provider of classified ad posting software for car, boat, and RV dealers. But the company found that its sales team was spending a great deal of time answering basic questions about the differences in LotVantage’s product offerings. To help LotVantage’s customers better understand those differences and make informed purchase decisions quickly, Haneke Design has created two new animated videos that clearly explain the benefits of the customer and reseller program options in under a minute.
“The first series of videos that Haneke Design produced for us were highly successful at communicating the value of our solutions to our customers,” said Matthew Brown, president & CEO of LotVantage. “These new videos accomplish two important goals: First, they quickly guide our prospects through the different options available across our marketing suite. Second, they provide digital collateral for our business partners.”
The first of the two videos provides an overview of LotVantage’s three flexible integration options that offer customers increased revenue opportunities.
The second video explains in more detail the differences between those three options for resellers: from a simple web login option to a hybrid pop out model to the more robust full API integration.
“It’s been a great experience working with the LotVantage team and understanding the steps on their customers’ journey from curiosity about their products, to purchase, to full optimization of the software and increased profitability,” said said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “We’re confident that these new videos will help to accelerate revenue gains for both LotVantage and their customers.”
Check out LotVantage’s latest videos http://motors.lotvantage.com/reseller-program
LotVantage’s core focus on free and classified marketplaces for dealerships has put us ahead of the competition when it comes to funneling traffic, collecting leads, and – what really matters – converting shoppers into customers. To learn more, visit motors.lotvantage.com.
The app, created by Haneke Design, streamlines coaching, meal planning, and progress tracking.
Since opening its doors in 2011, Fitlife Foods, has helped to transform the bodies and health of people in Florida by providing pre-packaged nutritious, great-tasting and fresh meals for people on the go. The company also offers a wellness program that allows participating customers to receive one-on-one training sessions with Wellness Coaches, who can also schedule an entire week or month’s meals based on the client’s preferences.
As FitLife grew and customers flocked to take advantage of the wellness program, challenges began popping up in managing the information flow. Coaches were onboarding and keeping track of customers using paper forms, customers were using third party tools to manage their own progress, and no simple, integrated solutions yet existed for online ordering of the scheduled meal plans through the FitLife web site.
Those issues are a thing of the past now that Fitlife Foods’ new responsive My Fitlife web application, developed by Haneke Design, has launched.
With the My Fitlife application, customers are able to:
- Create their own profile, enter their weight and nutritional data for each day, and track their calories, energy levels, and weight
- Plan meals for themselves – or have a coach do it for them
- Chat directly with their coaches through the web application.
Coaches can more easily manage their clients, using the new app to onboard new customers and record their preferences, dislikes, allergies, and goals; send required documentation directly to their clients; manage and track their users’ performance and nutrition and plan their meals.
Fitlife Foods currently operates 13 locations in Florida and offers dozens of prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner meals as well as a line of FitSnacks. The full list of ingredients and calorie count of each item are visible on all Fitlife Foods packages – to help customers plan their total daily calorie consumption. Fitlife’s menu includes favorites such as Chicken Enchiladas, BBQ Beef with Mac n’ Cheese, Miso Salmon, Bayou Shrimp & ‘Grits’ and more.
“It’s been a privilege to be a part of Fitlife Foods’ incredible journey and to play a role in this company’s tremendous success,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “The Fitlife team’s desire for this application reflects the customer-first mentality they live and breathe every day. We are happy to have created something that will help their customers achieve their health and fitness goals.”
Haneke Design’s latest app for client Atticus helps users hire an attorney on demand to fight traffic tickets; avoid points and other pain.
Traffic tickets can be a minor inconvenience or wreak havoc on a consumers’ life. Just a few traffic violations can really add up in terms of time spent fighting a traffic ticket, the points added to a driving record, and the increase in insurance premiums that will result from them. To help take some of the pain out of the experience, attorney Michael LaScala thought up a new way to connect criminal defense attorneys with clients in immediate need of assistance with low-level traffic citations, such as speeding or reckless driving violations. And snap, just like that, the Atticus mobile app was born.
For a $249 fee, the Atticus mobile app gives users the power to take pictures of their traffic citations, input basic information like court dates, personal information, and payment, and send the information to a database of qualified and vetted local criminal defense attorneys who can offer assistance.
“Haneke Design was the perfect agency for us to rely on to realize our vision for this application,” said Jabari Moore, CEO of Atticus. “Their track record of success in mobile application development, and their focus on making apps that have real utility and therefore have better adoption and profitability sold us. Collaborating with them was a tremendously positive experience.”
Once the client and attorney connect via the Atticus mobile app and the case has been accepted, clients are notified regarding the times that their attorney checks in and out of court. After the hearing, the attorney enters the final fine amount and submits a photo of the final disposition. If a fine is required, the app provides the option for clients to allow the attorneys to pay the fine for them at the courthouse and then extracts the funds from the client’s account so that the attorney can be reimbursed immediately.
“The utility of this application and the number of people it is positioned to help really resonated with us,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “Most of us can relate to getting a traffic ticket and the expense and challenges that can result from them. The Atticus mobile app offers drivers a helpful, easy and efficient way to challenge a citation. We greatly enjoyed developing this app for Atticus and expect it will perform very well.”
Haneke Design’s update for BluePearl Veterinary Partners helps pet parents find emergency care, information fast.
What a terrifying situation: It’s the weekend, and things are going fine until you discover that your furry best friend is suddenly desperately ill. Your vet is closed, and you need to find help, stat. Googling emergency veterinary hospitals, you’re likely to find BluePearl. The national specialty and emergency pet hospital has redesigned its web site to address the needs of pet parents who find themselves in these stressful situations. The new responsive web site, designed and developed by Haneke Design, serves up critical information like the nearest hospital based on your location and directions for getting there in just one click.
“Haneke Design helped us to further refine the way we deliver information to our primary audiences – pet parents and primary care veterinarians,” said Jessica Camara, Digital Marketing Manager at BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “Their team understands our business goals as well as the priorities of our customers, and has taken great care to deliver an optimal user experience.”
In addition to listing the closest emergency hospital right on the home page, the new BluePearl Veterinary Partners responsive web site includes content-rich sections devoted to patient information, a pet library, the history, latest news, leadership, and career opportunities offered at BluePearl, and even information about clinical trials. For veterinarians, the web site offers information about referrals, continuing education, and a portal for accessing patient records.
“Our team’s approach was to work closely with the BluePearl team to understand how we could improve upon an online presence that was already quite good, and make it even better,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “This new web site more explicitly highlights BluePearl’s competitive advantages, anticipates the questions of frantic pet owners dealing with a very sick or injured animal, and helps them figure out what to do next.”
Agency continues tradition of support for local creative community with sponsorship of sixth annual event at the Cuban Club.
Haneke Design, a leading interactive design and development firm focused on delivering user-centered solutions for desktop, mobile and tablet devices, closed out another exciting quarter on June 30 by sponsoring Ignite Tampa Bay, a fun, fast-paced, evening of presentations where local speakers gathered to share their knowledge and passion.
“We’re proud to continue supporting this outstanding Tampa Bay tradition and encourage a culture of creativity in our community,” said Jody Haneke, president ofHaneke Design. “For the past six years, Ignite Tampa Bay has provided a venue for thinkers from various disciplines to share ideas that range from quirky to intensely challenging and thought provoking. It’s an evening of great nutrition for the brain and spirit.”
Ignite Tampa Bay’s format gives 20 speakers exactly five minutes to teach, enlighten, or inspire the crowd, backed up by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. This year’s sold-out event featured talks that covered diverse topics ranging from gaining superpowers to the next wave of open source development to Cuba.
Ignite Tampa Bay kicked off at 6:00 pm at the historic Cuban Club Theater in Ybor City. Guests enjoyed local beer and cocktails while mingling with other guests and speakers and celebrated at an after-party hosted by Cigar City Cider & Mead.
To see photos and highlights from the 2016 Ignite Tampa Bay event, visit theirFacebook page.
Latest version of popular grocery calculator app features direct access to voice-to-text option
Earlier this year, Haneke Design launched Black Rabbit Trading LLC’s Sumit Easy Grocery Calculator mobile application, available for free download on Apple’s iTunes Store. Today, the agency announced the debut of the Android version of the app, which can be found on Google Play.
“As we built awareness for the iOS version of the Sumit app, we received plenty of excellent feedback and enthusiastic responses from users and forums,” said Christopher Padula, co-founder of Black Rabbit Trading LLC. “But we kept getting requests for an Android version. It made sense for us to make the app available to this community of users as soon as possible, and share the benefits of Sumit with as many consumers as possible.”
Christopher and his wife, Maira, came up with the idea for the Sumit app after they finally had enough with exceeding their weekly grocery budget every time they left the checkout line. They tried various calculator apps, but none offered the simplicity and ease of use they sought. After collaborating with Haneke Design, they were finally able to develop an app that helped them stay on track: the Sumit Easy Grocery Calculator.
Haneke Design created an easy-to-use app that allows shoppers to keep a running total of the items in their grocery cart, create shopping lists with voice, text, or keyboard; add prices quickly and keep track of spending as you go. The app will also let users save grocery lists for future shopping trips.
The Sumit Easy Grocery Calculator for Android has all of the same features as the iOS version, but also includes a microphone icon on the “Add item” screen that allows a user to directly access and use the voice-to-text option on the Android keyboard to add items to a list. In the iOS version, a user can still use voice-to-text by tapping the microphone icon on the iOS keyboard.
“Google Android has the largest market share among smartphone users, so the potential for greater adoption of the Sumit mobile app goes up dramatically with this release,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “We are excited to be a partner in Black Rabbit Trading’s success.”
AIVA acknowledges agency’s creative excellence in mobile app and web site design
The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts has awarded Haneke Design with three new Silver Awards of Distinction for mobile application and web site projects in its 22ndannual Communicator Awards program.
“We’re honored to once again have our work and the vision of our clients recognized by the distinguished panel of judges for this year’s Communicator Awards,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “This recognition motivates our team to devise increasingly creative, strategic approaches to mobile app and web site design and to achieve even more successful outcomes for our clients.”
The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. Founded two decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world.
The Gotox mobile app, created for client Anthony Loren Technologies, was developed in response to the needs of over 10 million people getting Botox® and dermal fillers in the US, many of whom need a single solution for recording, tracking, and visualizing their progress. Gotox offers a new and simple way to take the guess work out of injectable procedures. Gotox is available for $1.99 exclusively on the Apple App Store and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iWatch.
To showcase the award- winning sets that Colorado-based Devlin Design Group (DDG) designs for America’s most watched news, sports, and lifestyle broadcasts, Haneke Design built the company a new responsive web site that brings the scenic design leader’s work to life online. The new WordPress web site’s winning design is easy to use, flexible, and incorporates photos of DDG’s stunning set designs, compelling video, case studies, and a newsroom.
Haneke Design refreshed client BST Global’s online presence with a crisp, responsive WordPress site that allows effortless navigation for the business software solutions provider’s architect and engineer clients. The site features case studies of projects across the globe and a rich library of ideas, best practices, and discussions of emerging trends and issues in a dedicated collaborative space.
The Communicator Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. AIVA members include executives from organizations such as Airtype Studio, Big Spaceship, Conde Nast, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, Fry Hammond Barr, Lockheed Martin, MTV Networks, Pitney Bowes, rabble+rouser, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Time, Inc, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, and Yahoo!