“Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste. Now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.’’

— John Maeda, Designer and Technologist

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Privacy Policy

This Privacy policy was published on March 1st, 2020.

GDPR compliance

At UX GIRL we are committed to protect and respect your privacy in compliance with EU - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016/679, dated April 27th, 2016. This privacy statement explains when and why we collect personal information, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure. This Privacy Policy applies to the use of our services, products and our sales, but also marketing and client contract fulfilment activities. It also applies to individuals seeking a job at UX GIRL.

About UX GIRL

UX GIRL is a design studio firm that specialises in research, strategy and design and offers clients software design services. Our company is headquartered in Warsaw, Poland and you can get in touch with us by writing to hello@uxgirl.com.

When we collect personal data about you
  • When you interact with us in person – through correspondence, by phone, by social media, or through our uxgirl.com (“Site”).
  • When we get personal information from other legitimate sources, such as third-party data aggregators, UX GIRL marketing partners, public sources or social networks. We only use this data if you have given your consent to them to share your personal data with others.
  • We may collect personal data if it is considered to be of legitimate interest and if this interest is not overridden by your privacy interests. We make sure an assessment is made, with an established mutual interest between you and UX GIRL.
  • When you are using our products.
Why we collect and use personal data

We collect and use personal data mainly to perform direct sales, direct marketing, and customer service. We also collect data about partners and persons seeking a job or working in our company. We may use your information for the following purposes:

  • Send you marketing communications which you have requested. These may include information about our services, products, events, activities, and promotions of our partners. This communication is subscription based and requires your consent.
  • Send you information about the services and products that you have purchased from us.
  • Perform direct sales activities in cases where legitimate and mutual interest is established.
  • Provide you content and venue details on a webinar or event you signed up for.
  • Reply to a ‘Contact me’ or other web forms you have completed on our Site (e.g., to download an ebook).
  • Follow up on incoming requests (client support, emails, chats, or phone calls).
  • Perform contractual obligations such as invoices, reminders, and similar. The contract may be with UX GIRL directly or with a UX GIRL partner.
  • Notify you of any disruptions to our services.
  • Contact you to conduct surveys about your opinion on our services and products.
  • When we do a business deal or negotiate a business deal, involving sale or transfer of all or a part of our business or assets. These deals can include any merger, financing, acquisition, or bankruptcy transaction or proceeding.
  • Process a job application.
  • To comply with laws.
  • To respond to lawful requests and legal process.
  • To protect the rights and property of UX GIRL, our agents, customers, and others. Includes enforcing our agreements, policies, and terms of use.
  • In an emergency. Includes protecting the safety of our employees, our customers, or any person.
Type of personal data collected

We collect your email, full name and company’s name, but in addition, we can also collect phone numbers. We may also collect feedback, comments and questions received from you in service-related communication and activities, such as meetings, phone calls, chats, documents, and emails.

If you apply for a job at UX GIRL, we collect the data you provide during the application process. UX GIRL does not collect or process any particular categories of personal data, such as unique public identifiers or sensitive personal data.

Information we collect automatically

We automatically log information about you and your computer. For example, when visiting uxgirl.com, we log ‎your computer operating system type,‎ browser type,‎ browser language,‎ pages you viewed,‎ how long you spent on a page,‎ access times,‎ internet protocol (IP) address and information about your actions on our Site.

The use of cookies and web beacons

We may log information using "cookies." Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive by a website. Cookies help us make our Site and your visit better.

We may log information using digital images called web beacons on our Site or in our emails.

This information is used to make our Site work more efficiently, as well as to provide business and marketing information to the owners of the Site, and to gather such personal data as browser type and operating system, referring page, path through site, domain of ISP, etc. for the purposes of understanding how visitors use our Site. Cookies and similar technologies help us tailor our Site to your personal needs, as well as to detect and prevent security threats and abuse. If used alone, cookies and web beacons do not personally identify you.

How long we keep your data

We store personal data for as long as we find it necessary to fulfil the purpose for which the personal data was collected, while also considering our need to answer your queries or resolve possible problems. This helps us to comply with legal requirements under applicable laws, to attend to any legal claims/complaints, and for safeguarding purposes.

This means that we may retain your personal data for a reasonable period after your last interaction with us. When the personal data that we have collected is no longer required, we will delete it securely. We may process data for statistical purposes, but in such cases, data will be anonymised.

Your rights to your personal data

You have the following rights concerning your personal data:

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data that UX GIRL holds about you.
  • The right to request that UX GIRL correct your personal data if inaccurate or out of date.
  • The right to request that your personal data is deleted when it is no longer necessary for UX GIRL to retain such data.
  • The right to withdraw any consent to personal data processing at any time. For example, your consent to receive digital marketing messages. If you want to withdraw your consent for digital marketing messages, please make use of the link to manage your subscriptions included in our communication.
  • The right to request that UX GIRL provides you with your personal data.
  • The right to request a restriction on further data processing, in case there is a dispute about the accuracy or processing of your personal data.
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, in case data processing has been based on legitimate interest and/or direct marketing.

Any query about your privacy rights should be sent to hello@uxgirl.com.

Hotjar’s privacy policy

We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimize this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback. Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices (in particular device's IP address (captured and stored only in anonymized form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), preferred language used to display our website). Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user. For further details, please see Hotjar’s privacy policy by clicking on this link.

You can opt-out to the creation of a user profile, Hotjar’s storing of data about your usage of our site and Hotjar’s use of tracking cookies on other websites by following this opt-out link.

Sharethis’s privacy policy

We use Sharethis to enable our users to share our content on social media. Sharethis lets us collects information about the number of shares of our posts. For further details, please see Sharethis’s privacy policy by clicking on this link.

You can opt-out of Sharethis collecting data about you by following this opt-out link.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

UX GIRL reserves the right to amend this privacy policy at any time. The latest version will always be found on our Site. We encourage you to check this page occasionally to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

If we make changes that significantly alter our privacy practices, we will notify you by email or post a notice on our Site before the change takes effect.

Find out what's happening in Design

Design research insights, forecoming trends, tips, opinions and other interesting information for business and tech leaders

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Finalist in the 15th edition of the Businesswoman of the Year “Sukces Pisany Szminką”
5 min

Sukces Pisany Szminką: Exceptional Entrepreneurs in Microbusiness

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Foundation has been supporting women in their professional and personal pursuits for years. Founded by Olga Kozierowska, the Foundation aims to increase women's participation in business, politics, and public life. Sukces Pisany Szminką not only provides inspiration but also offers concrete tools and educational programs that help women develop their skills, gain knowledge, and build networks. One of the Foundation's flagship projects is the Sukces Pisany Szminką Bizneswoman of the Year contest, which recognizes women who run their own businesses.

As a participant in this prestigious contest, we had the opportunity to witness the incredible talent and determination of women in business. It was not only inspiring but also motivating for our own growth and development.

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Bizneswoman of the Year contest consists of several stages. Applications were accepted until the end of the year, after which the selection committee began evaluating the candidates. In the first stage, semifinalists were chosen, followed by finalists in various categories, including microbusiness. Among the finalists of the XV edition of the contest were entrepreneurs who stand out for their creativity, determination, and ability to cope with market challenges.

Our CEO, Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, is one of these exceptional women. As the president of UX GIRL, a boutique design agency specializing in the Fintech, Adtech, and Greentech sectors, Magdalena has shown how small and medium-sized enterprises can offer top-level services, competing with the biggest players in the market.

Collaborating with other finalists, such as Martyna Brzozowska from Zrób mi mamo and Emilia Kojło from Small Art, was incredibly inspiring. Martyna Brzozowska, by organizing workshops and online programs for women to teach them the art of knitting, not only preserves traditional crafts but also empowers women. Similarly, Emilia Kojło, who opened an online store in response to the pandemic, demonstrates how flexibility and creativity can turn a crisis into success.

Final Gala The winners of this year's contest were announced on May 13 during the ceremonial Gala. This special event will brought together not only the finalists and winners but also numerous guests and representatives from the worlds of business, media, and culture. Participating in the Gala was an excellent opportunity for networking and exchanging experiences, which we hope will also lead to new initiatives and collaborations.

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska - Our finalist in the Contest

We are extremely proud that our CEO, Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, is among the finalists of this prestigious contest. This is a tremendous honor that confirms her professionalism, innovation, and determination in developing UX GIRL. Thanks to her hard work and commitment, small and medium-sized enterprises can offer top-level services, competing with the biggest players in the market. This success deserves the highest recognition and proves that it's worth believing in your dreams and striving to achieve them.

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Foundation and its Bizneswoman of the Year contest are incredibly valuable initiatives that support women in business and public life. Entrepreneurs like Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, Martyna Brzozowska, and Emilia Kojło are proof that creativity, determination, and a willingness to take risks bring tangible results. We are certain we will hear more about their achievements in the future!

We are full of optimism for the future and eagerly await the final gala, believing that Magdalena's success will inspire many other women.

In the image, there is a depiction of the subject of the article described below.
5 min

Transitioning from Interest to Profession: The Journey to UX Design

"As the demand for digital products increases, so does the need for UX." - Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska's words encapsulate the dynamic nature of today's IT market. In a conversation with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, the founder and CEO of UX GIRL, we delved into the intricacies of this fascinating field.

The Path to UX: Igniting the Passion

Magdalena reveals that she took her first steps in web design as a child, inspired by her brother. It was during those formative years that her passion for user interface design ignited. Her choice of academic path, studying computer science, and involvement in the "Human-Computer Interaction" research group directed her towards UX Design.

The Evolution of UX in the IT Space

Over the past 10 years, we've witnessed a revolution in how UX is perceived in the IT industry. Magdalena mentions that previously, few emphasized user needs. Today, thanks to methodological advancements and increased understanding, UX plays a pivotal role in the digital product creation process.

Key Competencies of a UX Designer

Magdalena emphasizes that a good UX Designer should possess curiosity, analytical thinking, and interpersonal skills. There isn't a single path to becoming a UX Designer, but practice and gaining experience are crucial.

The Role of UX GIRL in the Market

Magdalena's company, UX GIRL, responds to the growing demand for UX specialists. She notes that the sector is evolving rapidly in tandem with the increasing demand for digital products.

Challenges and Prospects for Women in IT

Most of Magdalena's colleagues are women, reflecting the changing perception of women in IT. Studies show that women are appreciated for their meticulousness and dedication to their work.

Embarking on the UX Adventure

For those looking to enter the world of UX, Magdalena advises making a decision and consistently pursuing it. Practice, volunteering for digital projects, and finding a mentor are key to development in this field.

Through our interview with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, we discover that the world of UX is not just about interfaces; it's also about passion, hard work, and continuous improvement. It's hopeful that inspiring stories like hers will attract more talent to this dynamic field.

For specifics please refer to the full interview.

Title image for this blog post
5 min

Design Trends for 2024

Another crazy year is behind us. Both in the world of politics and the international situation, as well as in the world of technology. We can confidently say that, on the one hand, we need new impulses and impressions after the rather boring and specific period of the pandemic. On the other hand, looking at what is happening in the world in general, we need peace and rest.

Looking at current trends in both graphics and UI/UX design, they perfectly reflect this dualism. We have the color of the year 2024 recently announced by Pantone - a soft, pinkish-orange hue called "Peach Fuzz", reflecting the collective desire for respite and the Bento Grid introducing harmony. But at the same time, we have the bold intrusion of 3D and VR concepts, juicy color combinations, and neubrutalism, which have as much in common with calmness as Java has in common with Javascript (i.e. not much).

And all this is poured with AI sauce. Yes, last year was definitely the year of AI and everything indicates that this year will be no different in this respect.

So sit back and take a look at what design will follow in 2024.

3D

Probably more than once, when reading this article, you will get the impression that this has happened before, this or that trend is nothing new and there is actually nothing to be excited about. However, it is not as obvious as it may seem at first glance. Some time ago we were already dealing with 3D elements on websites, but often they were actually either isometric projections of rather clumsy illustrations, or elements in the skeuomorphic style, which is not actually full-fledged 3D. Alternatively, browser-based gaming experiences. Now we are talking about 3D in all its glory. A complex and engaging experience that we can increasingly observe, e.g. in the form of product presentation on a website or in branding.

macOS Sonoma; Spline; ozero.design; reddit.com; lusion.co; resend.com; Sauce: elegantseagulls.com

Sometimes you can even find statements suggesting that this is the end of the era of flat design. We can't really agree on this here. I think that both approaches, i.e. minimalist and 3D style, coexist and will coexist for a long time. Once in a while, you need simplicity, but other times you need three-dimensional immersion.

The development of 3D is not surprising, because every year we have better and better technologies and hardware capabilities at our disposal. Faster Internet, faster computers, better optimization of tools such as WebGL, creation of new libraries, and improvement of existing ones, e.g. three.js. The creation of tools that allow people who are not specialists in the subject to work with 3D. Recently, the Spline tool has become very popular. It runs in a browser, and the intuitive interface and a bunch of predefined operations allow you to create fantastic 3D objects and interactions with minimal effort. You no longer need to learn how to use Blender - in Spline we can click everything quickly and painlessly 😀

Enriching your website with three-dimensional elements and animations allows you to build a more complete, more attention-grabbing experience. In addition to websites, we can also use 3D in our personal brands. Recently, the popular website Reddit refreshed its brand by creating a new logo in the form of a three-dimensional mascot. In turn, three-dimensional application icons appeared in MacOS. Such companies also (or maybe primarily?) shape the directions in which the industry is developing, and this shows that 3D fashion will not disappear so quickly. So expect an in-depth experience even more!

Heatmapping

Heatmapping is a graciously named style that focuses on the blending of colors, which interlace in various ways to create attention-grabbing backgrounds, shapes, and even fascinating rainbow-like animations. Sometimes, this style simply comes down to working with gradients, which don't always have to be static or cliched. Nowadays, we're witnessing vibrant color combinations, bold unions, and the introduction of animated colors. As a result, we gain a broader and more nuanced experience. Additionally, the Aurora UI or Aurora Borealis style, also involving color blending, has been quite popular in recent years. It's a technique that involves blending colors in a way that mimics the Northern Lights, featuring smooth color transitions within an often muted palette to create a cohesive and soothing experience.

mymind.com; Dribbble: Graphic Assets, Colorful Gradient Backgrounds,Textures; stripe.com; monopo.co.jp; exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art Αthens (ΕΜΣΤ); morrre.dsgn, Hybrid. Identity design by @timtijnk for a music festival; Sleepiest; Behance: Ai кроссы, Elena Kolodub; wope.com

Returning to heatmapping, the style refers to techniques used, for example, in product analytics. Serving as a tool to analyze user behavior data on websites or mobile apps. A heatmap (or heat map) is a graphical representation of data where values are depicted by color, crucial for pinpointing what works or doesn't on a website or page and identifying the areas users interact with the most. Heatmapping allows for identifying the most frequently clicked spots, analyzing scrolling behavior, and investigating which elements attract particular attention. "Hot" areas, indicating high interest, are marked in red, while "cold" areas, showing lesser engagement, are highlighted in blue, with intermediate colors like orange, yellow, green, and purple providing additional insights.

As we can see, all these techniques involve manipulating colors to create more sophisticated experiences. This approach allows designers to infuse UI elements with depth, movement, and emotion, using color psychology to evoke specific feelings or reinforce brand identity. The style is not limited to web design and digital products, but also appears in merchandise, apparel, print media, home furnishings, and more, showcasing its versatility and widespread appeal in enhancing user engagement and visual storytelling.

Bento Grid

Projects are continuously emerging, created by designers who aren't afraid to experiment with how content is arranged within interfaces.  From ultra-minimalist and brutalist, sparing in form concepts, through horizontal scrolling, to completely wild layouts in which everything comes alive.

In the latter half of 2023, the so-called Bento Grid made its appearance on Apple's website and several other popular products, especially in the AI sector. Observing how many companies have adopted this concept on their sites, it's safe to predict that the Bento Grid will be the layout of 2024!

relume.io; schoooool.com; ozero.design; Windows 8; Windows 11; microsoft.com; iconwerk.com; liam.is

Inspired by the compartmentalized design of Japanese bento boxes, this grid system segments the screen into distinct areas, each dedicated to different content types. The Bento Grid isn't just for interface projects; it can be used in various presentations, reports, data visualizations, and branding. It's also currently one of the most popular styles on Linktree. The simple yet interesting division into rectangles of various sizes allows for an unconventional, clear, and hierarchical presentation of content. However, the Bento Grid should be used sparingly to avoid ending up with a layout that could overwhelm users, making the intended hierarchy less visible. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a way to present your data or any content in an interesting and scalable manner, consider using the Bento Grid. Remember, it's merely a concept, a tool, and the clarity and readability of the content you place within it depend entirely on you.

Interestingly, this concept isn't entirely new. For instance, it could be experienced with the tiles introduced by Microsoft in 2012. This perfectly shows that certain ideas and solutions come back after years and can once again experience their glory. Often in other contexts, but with the underlying idea remaining unchanged.

Massive Typography

This trend or style has been around for a few years now, but still it seems to be on top and even more and more websites incorporate it into their interfaces. Besides it’s often elegant or artistic, it has several other advantages.

First of all, it makes the users immediately focused on the specific elements and more involved in the content that we want to exaggerate.

Secondly, if space is limited due to large text sizes, we have to carefully choose what text we want to have on the website. This necessity ensures that only the most relevant and essential information is presented, avoiding the clutter of unnecessary details. We, as creators, are forced to articulate our thoughts in a succinct and effective way.

vanholtz.co; stripesessions.com; ikonliving.gr; gencell.preprodenv.com; homage.se; andagain.uk; ohm.studio

Typically, the use of bold typography is seamlessly integrated with a minimalist design approach, creating a harmonious blend that emphasizes clarity and simplicity. We don’t have to worry too much about additional visual assets, because they are not needed anymore. Website is lighter and it’s a good in terms of the optimization purposes.

Of course, current design can be crazy. We have so many possibilities to play and experiment with, that you can come across massive typography style together with 3D elements, animations, fluffy assets, etc. Actually, sky is the limit. Nonetheless usually, when it comes to this trend, the structure is pretty straightforward and the typography dictates the whole website’s vibe.

Immersive experience

This is very broad and general term, but in short it embraces all the bold and unique solutions that make your project stand out. They often guarantee mesmerizing experiences.

Immersive design frequently incorporates complex or ubiquitous animations that make a profound impact on users, transforming elements from mere decoration into powerful storytelling tools. Leading companies leverage this technique to showcase products or weave compelling narratives, elevating the user experience beyond the conventional.

lusion.co; pendereckisgarden.pl; panicstudio.tv; sarahfatmi.com; flyingpapers.com; gsap.com; sbs.com.au/theboat/; parfaitekuisson.fr

Another category that gives us often an immersive experience is the so-called scrapbook style or mixed media style. It’s essentially a modern twist on collage with playful or vibrant color palettes, untypical interactions, and a bunch of visual combinations that break the UX rules. It’s also eagerly used in graphic design. A mix of images, shapes, colors, and good storytelling creates an opportunity for memorable projects that resonate with the audience.

Lastly, immersive design refers also to AR/VR solutions, but we describe them in more detail below, as a separate trend.

Photo Grids

This UI style might not be as widely discussed as dark mode or brutalism, yet it undoubtedly deserves a special mention on our list. For at least a few years now, we've observed designers experimenting with grid and content layout in fascinating and unique ways, often resulting in even electrifying projects. At first glance, we can see just images scattered across a page. The implemented interactions seem to appear random, merely artistic whims. Indeed, these layouts often contain a significant amount of artistry and visual flair, but as the name suggests, they're grounded in a grid system. There's no rule stating that every website must adhere to a similar layout or that tiles must be of equal size and spaced evenly. Today's layouts and content presentation methods surprise with their form and creativity. However, a closer analysis of how individual images are arranged quickly reveals a pattern, showing they are strategically placed on a grid, everything aligned and thoughtfully considered.

surface.arcticvolume.com; dmitrkutsenko.com; sceners.co; cosmos.so; guillaumetomasi.com; adamho.com/#Industries

The primary goal of utilizing this style is to present one's projects, photographs, products, or simply what one wishes to showcase intriguingly. This style is often seen on design agency websites, e-commerce platforms (like clothing stores), architects' and photographers' websites, as well as for showcasing physical products (such as a ceramics collection).

Beyond unconventional content presentation, this approach often tells a story, builds a brand, and ensures the viewer is enchanted by both the photo grid and its contents.

It's also crucial that all images are visually cohesive and appropriately prepared, as they form the basis of the entire layout.

The style is particularly gracious because the ways to present and arrange content on the grid are nearly endless. Moreover, we can add a bunch of different interactions (like hover, click, or scroll effects) that enhance the whole experience even more. Designing the hero section in this manner can create an excellent first impression. Despite an initial impression of scattered content, everything harmoniously coexists, with nothing feeling visually out of place or uncomfortable. It simply works!

Monochrome Design

For many, "Dark Mode" might be the more familiar term. In essence, it's about designing with a focus on dark color schemes. Nowadays, the background doesn't have to be just dark gray or black. Many designs incorporate various accents, gradients, glows, illuminated interactions, etc.

Dark mode is not a new concept but has recently experienced a true renaissance. There's been a surge in fantastic projects and products with websites that dazzle with their design. Creators play with dark colors, introducing transparency, highlights, subtle micro-interactions, and additional accent colors, proving the popularity of this style is well-founded.

linear.app; feyapp.com; pipe.com; wope.com; evervault.com; satellitor.com; twingate.com; diagram.com

A while ago, Linear made its mark on the market. The company showcased a website that now serves as a benchmark for designing in dark mode. The website looks really good, and many designers are emulating its style, further popularizing the trend.

Besides Linear's website, there have been several other noteworthy projects recently that have made an impact and also become a significant source of UI inspiration. For example, the Twingate website or the Diagram project, which should be recognizable in the design world.

Beyond just looking good and giving the website a professional vibe, dark mode is also easy on the eyes and makes content consumption effortless.

Perhaps your next project will be inspired by this style?

Neubrutalism

Neubrutalism is a fancy term for the trend that is a next stage of the raw and overwhelming brutalism style. It's also a pretty good reflection of the Y2K hype. We are ready to claim that neubrutalism is somewhere in the middle. It's a return to simplicity, functionality, and minimalism but with a bold twist. This style is all about creating impactful layouts using stark colors, sharp lines, and geometric shapes. It's a fusion of old and new, drawing inspiration from the raw, unfinished materials of brutalist architecture and updating it with modern design principles. The core of neubrutalism lies in its uncomplicated layouts, uncluttered spaces, and modern typography, all brought to life with bright, contrasting colors and flat illustrations.

figma.com; gumroad.com; thegreatlake.fun; arc.net; budapestpark.hu/en; cleanwith.plus; adidasarena.com

This trend is more than a nostalgic nod to the architectural brutalism of the 1950s or the colorful vibrancy of pop art. It represents a modern, minimalistic look that emphasizes functionality and user experience (UX) through simple yet bold forms. Neubrutalism has become a popular choice for designers wanting to make their projects stand out. It's particularly effective for showcasing products and services in a distinctive way that captures attention and engages viewers.

The style encourages creativity, offering a unique way to express a brand's identity and spirit. With its emphasis on simplicity and impactful visual elements, neubrutalism can help your project make a lasting impression, whether you're looking to present your work in a new light or tell a captivating story through your website's design.

Spacial Design

This year is the year when Apple releases its Apple Vision Pro device. Of course, the hype started last year when Apple presented its new product at the WWDC23 conference. There was a lot of speculation, discussion, and the Internet was flooded with conceptual designs tailored to Apple's glasses. However, this year we are dealing with the official premiere, so it is easy to guess that the discussions and buzz around spatial design will return with a vengeance.

Apple Vision Pro (apple.com); bezi.com/hq; thespaces.com/airbnb-virtual-reality-hospitality (airbnb)

What exactly are Apple Vision Pro? To put it simply, these are virtual reality (VR) glasses. However, to be more precise, it is actually an advanced device with cameras, sensors, microphones, a powerful M2 processor and the new R1 chip and, above all, two built-in ultra-high resolution displays that, when combined, create one 4K screen with 23 million pixels that can generate an image up to 1200” wide. We can therefore use our favorite applications, serve online, watch movies or make video calls on a screen placed in a physical space.

However, this is not completely new when it comes to the VR market. Similar devices have been appearing for many years, and VR is used, for example, to eliminate cognitive disorders, treat concentration, present real estate projects, in games and a whole host of other things. Nevertheless, this year will certainly be significant, because it is Apple that will make its contribution and do it in its own spectacular style, giving the impression that their glasses are the most advanced and simply the best. Whether this is actually the case, we do not know, but it is almost certain that we will experience more and more VR projects. We are curious whether the premiere from Apple will be the impetus that will finally popularize VR technology among consumers.

Generative AI

This article would certainly be incomplete if we did not mention probably the biggest trend of the last several months, namely the use of AI algorithms.

ChatGPT, Midjourney (currently in version V6), Adobe Firefly and several other popular tools have introduced a new approach to how we work and what our projects ultimately look like. From a visual perspective, it is primarily the generation of images that deserves a lot of attention. The quality and realism offered by Midjourney or DALL-E 3 are really great and we are not surprised that people fell in love with working with prompts, creating visual gems. If you want to learn more about AI tools that are worth testing, please take a look at one of our previous articles: read about AI tools

Adobe Firefly (firefly.adobe.com); Relume (relume.io); otterdev.io; app.leonardo.ai; midjourney.com/showcase; logitech.com/pl-pl/products/keyboards/mx-mechanical-mini-mac.html

However, Generative AI is not only about images, it is also about generating text content, generating diagrams and design concepts (e.g. using the Relume tool), generating reports and summaries based on the entered data, and recently also generating videos or animations using simple text prompts.

Perhaps the first boom in these tools has already passed, but for sure another solution that will attract the attention of creators will soon appear on the market. And even if nothing like this happens, the number of applications and projects using generative AI is so large that it will certainly be a trend both this year and in the next few years.

As you can see, the industry is not idle and a lot is going on. The trends presented above are, in our opinion, only the most interesting, selectively picked ones. In general, there are many more concepts and styles that we can experience in the digital space. In some industries, one style shines through more than another, and that's okay too.

Trends are cool and it's worth keeping an eye on the pulse to know what direction our industry is heading and what's triumphing now, but let's not forget that trends pass and come back. They are often the result of some, as it later turns out, completely insignificant impulse. Therefore, first of all, let us approach it with caution and distance. We should first address our actual needs, which, as it often emerges, are completely different from what is currently on top.

Title image for this blog post
5 min

A Triumph in Design: UX GIRL Ranks 3rd Among Global Top Women-Owned UI/UX Agencies on Clutch.co

We are thrilled to announce a remarkable achievement for UX GIRL, a beacon of innovation and creativity in the UI/UX landscape. Recently, UX GIRL has been honored with the 3rd place ranking among Global top women-owned UI/UX agencies on the prestigious platform, Clutch.co. This recognition is not just a badge of honor but a testament to the hard work, passion, and unique approach that defines UX GIRL.

UX GIRL: Synonymous with Excellence and Innovation

At UX GIRL, our journey has always been about more than just design; it's about creating experiences that resonate and connect. Our holistic approach, combined with unwavering leadership and passion, forms the cornerstone of our success. Despite being a relatively small team, we have consistently upheld these values, allowing us to deliver exceptional work that not only satisfies but delights our customers.

Diverse Perspectives, Unified Vision

Since its inception, UX GIRL has grown with the addition of new talents, each bringing a diverse perspective and rich experience to the table. This diversity has been our strength, enabling us to function as a cohesive unit that not only works together but thrives together. Our ability to amalgamate different ideas and viewpoints has been crucial in crafting designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and user-centric.

Recognition by Clutch.co: A Milestone Achieved

Being recognized by Clutch.co, a platform known for its rigorous and comprehensive ranking process, is an honor we hold in high regard. Clutch.co evaluates agencies on various aspects such as quality, reliability, and market presence, making this recognition all the more significant. For a decade, Clutch.co has been a reliable source for identifying the crème de la crème of the IT service industry, and to be ranked among the best is a milestone that fills us with immense pride.

The success of UX GIRL in Clutch.co's ranking of top women-owned UI/UX agencies is a shining example of what can be achieved with a blend of talent, dedication, and a passion for design. As we celebrate this achievement, we also look forward to continuing our journey of innovation and excellence in the world of UI/UX design.

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5 min

UX GIRL Triumphs: Celebrating Our Clutch Global & Champion Awards in UX/UI Excellence

UX GIRL, Your Premier UX/UI Design Firm, Receives Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards!

We are beyond thrilled to announce that UX GIRL, a leading UX/UI design firm, has been honored with the prestigious Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards! This remarkable achievement solidifies our position as a leader in the industry on a global scale and is a testament to our unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch UX/UI solutions.

At UX GIRL, we believe in the power of exceptional user experiences and innovative design. Receiving these awards is not just a recognition of our company but a celebration of the impactful designs and user-centric solutions that we bring to the table.

A heartfelt thank you to our valued clients and partners for entrusting us on this incredible journey. Your collaboration has been instrumental in our success, and we're honored to have the opportunity to work with visionary partners who appreciate the value of outstanding UX/UI design.

A special shout-out to our exceptional team at UX GIRL! Your creativity, expertise, and dedication to excellence have set the standard in the industry. This recognition as one of the top 10% of global winners on Clutch is a reflection of your hard work and commitment to pushing the boundaries of design innovation.

We are not just a design firm; we are a team passionate about crafting meaningful, user-centric experiences. This award reaffirms our commitment to delivering design solutions that make a lasting impact.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey and contributed to this significant milestone. We couldn't have achieved this without your support!

If you're curious about what sets UX GIRL apart and why we've been recognized as a Clutch Global and Clutch Champion in UX/UI design, explore our Clutch profile here: UX GIRL Clutch Profile

Here's to continued success, innovation, and setting new standards in UX/UI design excellence!

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5 min

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska: Shaping UX GIRL Future in AI and Web3

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, our esteemed CEO, recently engaged in an enlightening interview with BlockyDevs. The conversation delved into the intricacies of the Computer Science industry, our meticulous approach to team building, and our forward-thinking initiatives in web3 and artificial intelligence.

Journey into the Future of Technology:

Magdalena provided a comprehensive view of the operational intricacies propelling UX GIRL forward. From our discerning hiring practices to an unwavering commitment to crafting distinctive UX/UI projects, the interview unveils how UX GIRL aims to be at the forefront of future industry leadership.

Focus on Artificial Intelligence:

A focal point of our endeavours is Artificial Intelligence. Positioned to explore groundbreaking solutions, we are poised to redefine the landscape of technology and the Computer Science industry.

Magdalena extends her gratitude to our dedicated community for their steadfast support. She emphasises our readiness for an exciting journey into the future, aligning with the shared vision of our valued supporters.

Read Magdalena's Full Interview:

For a deeper understanding of Magdalena's journey—from a computer science student to leading the innovative team at UX GIRL—please refer to the full interview. This narrative is characterised by passion, continuous learning, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in user experience.

Adapting to the Future Landscape:

As discussed in the interview, the integration of AI and web3 is fundamentally reshaping the design landscape. Magdalena sheds light on UX GIRL's strategic adaptation, recognizing that this integration is pivotal to shaping future user experiences.

AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach design...

For a more in-depth exploration of this transformative shift and UX GIRL's strategic direction, please refer to the interview.

Collaboration Fuels Innovation:

Magdalena underscores UX GIRL's distinctive approach to pairing senior and junior designers. It extends beyond optimising project outcomes; it's about mutual growth. As articulated in collaboration with BlockyDevs:

We introduce two main methods: pairing a junior or mid-level designer with a senior designer... Alternatively, we assemble teams with a mix of skills and experience levels.

This approach not only optimises project outcomes and budgets but also yields collaboration-fueled results that outperform single-designer projects. For a detailed exploration of this innovative approach, please refer to the interview.

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5 min

From Pixels to Masterpieces: Useful AI Tools for Visual Creativity (Part 2)

We continue our journey through the world of AI tools that, in our opinion, are noteworthy and currently deserve recognition for various reasons. In the first part of the article, we primarily focused on image and vector generation. This time, we're starting with something completely different. Buckle up and let's dive in.

Relume Site Builder

A web application that allows for generating sitemaps and wireframes based on textual prompts. We have tested many similar tools for generating websites, and this one has proven to be the best so far.

We would be lying if we said that the tool generates a website for us from scratch. In reality, the tool is a collection of over 1000 different components compatible with Webflow and Figma, which are arranged and adjusted based on what the user enters as a prompt. Nonetheless, it works well and allows you to quickly create a meaningful website structure.

Main features:

  • Generating a fully editable sitemap based on the provided prompt.
  • Generating fully editable lo-fi wireframes based on the provided prompt. The tool automatically generates wireframes for different breakpoints, allowing you to see how a particular subpage will look on, for example, a phone. Users can freely modify the prompt and the results, such as removing, rearranging, and editing proposed sections. We can also generate an actual copy.
  • Exporting the sitemap and wireframes to Figma, where we can further customize and improve our project, for example, by creating hi-fi wireframes.
  • Exporting wireframes directly to Webflow - for free, we get a fully customizable and responsive website, which only needs to be enriched with colors and strictly visual elements.

Does this mean that with a few clicks, we can now create any website? Of course not. Since the tool is based on a large but still limited number of components, the number of possible layouts and types of pages is also somewhat limited. We probably won't achieve anything exceptionally original here, but we will definitely be able to quickly create an interesting landing page, product page, or blog. Predefined components ensure that the results are not a collection of random shapes and scribbles but a coherent and professionally-looking structure.

At the moment, in our opinion, one of the most interesting solutions of this type on the market.

Cost

From $38 per month for all features and maximally 3 projects. Free for 1 project and limited number of components.

Runway

The next impressive project is a set of tools from Runway. Runway is a company focused on AI research and implementing AI solutions to improve the work of both individual creators and global brands.

As they describe themselves, Runway aims to help tell stories and believes that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

The company has been recognized multiple times and has partnered with other tech giants. As a result, it stands out with the ability to integrate with various tools and platforms, making collaboration and project sharing easier. The number and range of solutions offered are truly impressive, and this directly translates into the fact that almost anyone can find something suitable for their needs.

It's impossible to describe everything that Runway offers here, but below we've described a few of the most interesting tools in our opinion:

  • Erase Things from Videos - remove anyone or anything from any video with a simple brush stroke
  • Slow Mo Any Video - turn any video into super slow-mo footage. Regardless of frame rate
  • Make Images Move - string together a sequence of images into an animated video
  • Generate Videos - generate videos using text, images or video clips
  • Motion Brush - a unique interface that allows you to direct specific movements across your generation with a simple brush stroke
  • Transcript - transcript any video to text
  • Clean Audio - instantly remove unwanted noise
  • 3D Texture - generate 3D textures using text prompts
  • Train Custom Models - train your own custom AI model on specific subjects and styles.

And this is just a glimpse of what Runway is capable of. In addition, they offer all the classics like image generation, background removal, image expansion functions, and more.

Cost

From $15 per user, per month. Free option for individuals - has many limitations.

TinyWow

TinyWow is our recent discovery. In short, it's a website that offers a plethora of various tools to streamline small tasks. Not all functionalities are AI-based, but they can all be quite useful. The tools include various file compressors and editors, background removal, video file transcription, generation of visual and text content, audio file processing, and much more.

What is perhaps the most important and what prompted us to include TinyWOW in this list is its price... everything is completely free and available without any limitations!

TinyWow can serve as your little assistant for special tasks. There have surely been times when you needed something simple like removing a background, converting a file, denoising an audio recording, or editing a PDF. Now, TinyWOW offers all of these features. All we can say is... WOW! 😀

Cost

Free.

Vectorizer.AI

There's not much to say about this next tool. Its functionality is quite straightforward – it converts images into vectors. You can upload a JPEG, PNG, or GIF (bitmap) file, and with a single click, you'll receive an SVG file.

After testing it, we can confidently say that this tool performs its task excellently and can easily compete with Adobe's vectorization option, sometimes even surpassing it by providing better results.

Furthermore, the tool also offers an API.

Currently, the tool is completely free as it's in the Beta version. Later on, the price will depend on the package of credits you purchase, where one credit equals one photo that you can vectorize.

Cost

Free in Beta. Later from $9.99 for 50 credits.

Neurons

Finally, something for marketers. Of course, by saying that this tool is only for marketers, I'm simplifying things significantly. In short, it's about a solution that helps us better understand human behavior and supports us in creating effective ads, marketing campaigns, or product pages.

Neurons offers several interesting features and use cases, but we will focus here on a solution called Predict. It is forecasting using AI algorithms, which allows for the assessment and determination of the effectiveness of our content. By content, we mean, for example, images, web pages, product packaging, social media campaigns, etc.

We can, for example, upload an image, and the algorithm will analyze it in terms of how it will resonate with potential viewers, where their gaze will be directed, the likelihood of them clicking on a specific button, etc. In other words, the tool will allow us to better prepare content and ultimately help ensure that what we create yields the desired results in terms of the number of clicks or simply conversion growth.

Cost

The website does not provide pricing information. You need to schedule a free demo to get access and purchase the specific solution. There is no free version or trial available.

These are all the tools we wanted to present and recommend to you in this part of the article. If you haven't read the first part yet, we highly encourage you to take a look. In total, across both parts, we've covered 10 tools. We are aware that we have not exhausted the topic and there are many more noteworthy AI solutions for working with images or video on the market.

You can easily add Figma plugins to this list (e.g. what Diagram offers) or solutions for creating animations, but what we have chosen at the moment, in our opinion, is already at such a level that we can use it for commercial tasks. The remaining tools are often just interesting toys. However, we don't hide the fact that what is a cool toy today may be the talk of the tech world in a month or two. So stay tuned and remember that these are still just tools. How we use them and whether they actually benefit us depends entirely on us. Fortunately, for now, the most powerful tool is still the human brain.

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5 min

From Pixels to Masterpieces: Useful AI Tools for Visual Creativity (Part 1)

The number of AI tools is growing every week, and this trend is unlikely to change any time soon. Rather, we expect the use of AI algorithms and models to trend even further. The creators of almost every application we know are trying to use AI in their products in one way or another and not be left behind in this crazy technological race.

Today, practically every tool used for editing photos or videos can boast that it allows retouching or background removal with just one click. Almost every text editor allows for content generation based on a typed prompt. We can generate ideas, summarize articles, or write them in full by entering only a simple instruction. Tools from Microsoft or Google use AI models for data analysis, creating summaries, charts, and suggesting various solutions. Browser plugins allow for automatic email responses, or analyzing a page for SEO or conversion purposes. It's easy to create a video where we can speak in any foreign language, and no one will even realize that we don't know that language. People in business, marketing, creative fields, bloggers, artists, writers, data analysts, literally everyone can speed up their work today by taking advantage of AI benefits.

However, because there is so much choice, it's easy to become simply overwhelmed by it all. In the end, instead of speeding up our work and being like all those super-productive people who flood us with posts on LinkedIn or X (formerly Twitter), we don't know where to start and what tool to choose. We don't know what is actually worth attention and what should be avoided. I think it's obvious that if everyone started implementing AI in the solutions they offer, among the quite large number of great tools we will also find those that are still a long way from actually helping us. Many tools available on the Internet are still just cool toys, but when it comes down to it, unfortunately, we wouldn't want to use their results in our business.

Sure, there are a few tools that everyone talks about, tools that are currently enjoying a triumph of popularity, and therefore they must be the best. To a large extent, it's hard to disagree, but even these theoretically best tools have their drawbacks and won't always be suitable for what we specifically want to do. Additionally, there's the issue of cost, or what the entry threshold is to achieve really solid results. Besides, if we dig a little deeper, we'll find a range of products that are really quite good and often allow for quick completion of a specific task for free.

For the purposes of this article, we tested several dozen different AI tools ourselves and chose those that, in our opinion, really do the job or are simply worth keeping an eye on because they are developing in an interesting direction.

We decided to split the article into two parts. Firstly, to examine the recommended tools more closely and discuss, in our opinion, all the essential aspects. Secondly, to avoid boring you and not take up too much of your time. Shorter content will be easier to digest. So, in the first part, which you are reading now, we will present the first 5 tools. The next 5 will be in the second part. We recommend reading both, as it is in the second part that we will describe the less obvious tools.

Additionally, both parts will primarily focus on tools that specialize in working with images and videos. Topics like working with text, music, or enhancements in AI for productivity will be addressed in separate posts.

We will start with 3 well-known and recognizable tools that, in the context of generating and editing images, have recently become what ChatGPT is in the context of generating text. Even though probably everyone knows or is familiar with how they work, we believe that a post about AI tools omitting the most important players would simply be incomplete. Setting aside the various downsides of each tool, this trio really deserves special recognition!

Midjourney

If we talk about generating images using AI, one of the first names that comes to mind is indeed Midjourney. Not without reason, as it is currently one of the best tools for creating images based on a typed prompt.

Currently, the most advanced and latest version is Midjourney V5.2 released in June 2023. However, it's worth keeping your finger on the pulse because it has just been announced that Midjourney V6 will see the light of day before Christmas 2023... we can't wait to see what the creators have prepared for us this time!

Midjourney, in addition to standard image generation, offers a bunch of interesting functionalities that diversify and improve the target results, namely:

  • Additional parameters - we have at our disposal a large number of various parameters that we can add to the prompt, thereby deciding, for example, what proportions the generated image should have, what elements it should not contain, what the image quality should be, or how much we want to deviate from the prompt and rely on the tool's creativity (level of artistry and abstraction).
  • Zoom Out - a feature that allows you to generate content around an existing image without changing the original. We can understand this as a literal zooming out, seeing what is beyond our frame - the tool enlarges the area/canvas of our photo and in a sense 'draws in' what is not visible. It works extremely well. I think many of us have taken a photo where a key part of the frame was accidentally cut off - now we can fix that!
  • Pan - similar to Zoom Out, but this time we can ask to generate a fragment of the image only in a specific direction.
  • Upscaler - the ability to enlarge a photo without losing quality.
  • Vary - the ability to generate new suggestions only for a given part of the image based on our selection. We can, for example, generate a robot and then select only its head and replace it with something else.
  • Video generation - in our opinion, some time is needed to refine this function, perhaps it will work much better in Midjourney V6. At this point, we have many tools that simply do it better.

What distinguishes Midjourney from the competition is primarily realism, refined compositions, attention to detail, and high-quality generated images.

However, Midjourney also has its disadvantages, and we are not talking about the price.

  • Reduced precision - in contrast to, for example, DALL-E 3 (which I'll discuss in a moment), Midjourney does not always adhere to the user's instructions and intentions. Sometimes the generated images significantly deviate from what we entered in the prompt. The tool allows for quite a bit of creative freedom.
  • Problem with generating text in images - this may be a limitation for some users, instead of text we often get some random shapes and smears.
  • Limited availability - the tool operates through Discord, which is not a major issue, but we realize that this may discourage some people. But, according to the latest news, it will change soon. 7 days ago Midjourney has begun testing an “alpha” version of its new website which includes image creation. For now, it’s accessible only for users who have generated 10000+ images.
  • Content Censorship - Midjourney implements content censorship that may be restrictive for users seeking complete creative freedom.
Cost

From $96 to $1152 per year (depending on the chosen subscription plan).

DALL-E 3

A product from OpenAI, which until recently couldn't really compare to what Midjourney offers. However, everything changed with version 3, namely DALL-E 3.

The tool is available as part of a ChatGPT Plus subscription or for free as part of Bing's Copilot service from Microsoft. It can be said that the fact that we can generate images completely free of charge is a huge advantage, but DALLE-3 also deserves recognition for several other reasons:

  • High quality of generated images - it's not yet the realism and attention to detail as seen in Midjourney, but the results are really impressive.
  • Precision - DALLE-3 is great at interpreting user intentions and reproducing entered prompts. Here it fares much better than Midjourney, offering a high degree of accuracy in realizing the users' vision.
  • Ability to generate text on images - unlike the competition, DALL-E 3 easily incorporates text into its graphic creations.
  • Ease of use - unlike traditional image generators that require specific prompts or instructions, DALL-E 3 allows users to interact through conversation, making it more accessible and intuitive.

The main downside of DALL-E 3, in our opinion, remains a certain limitation in generating realistic creations. Images generated using DALLE-3 have a specific style, and despite their excellent quality, it is often easy to notice that a given graphic was generated by AI.

In addition, our editing options are quite limited, i.e. we cannot, for example, correct a fragment of the generated photo. In this case, you need to regenerate the entire image and hope that the model goes in the right direction.As with Midjourney, DALL-E 3 is quite a heavily censored image generator, especially when used inside ChatGPT.

Cost

$20 per month, included in ChatGPT Plus. Free in Bing's Copilot.

Adobe Firefly

Adobe probably needs no introduction and it is also easy to guess that this technological giant has not been left behind in this race.

Adobe Firefly is actually a family of generative artificial intelligence models, offered as a separate product on the website https://firefly.adobe.com or in the form of functionalities integrated into various Adobe applications.

By entering the mentioned website, we currently have the following features available:

  • Text to image - a classic image generator, based on a typed prompt, similar to DALL-E 3 and Midjourney. However, what sets Adobe's approach apart is the remarkable simplicity of the tool. Initially, we get a simple text field to enter our instructions - there are no options for entering parameters, uploading files, etc. After generating images, we do receive an intuitive editing panel, where we can adjust our results. Besides numerous sliders, we get many predefined options that allow for adding specific effects, setting lighting, composition, color scheme, choosing between a more artistic approach and realism. We can also upload an image as a reference, then the algorithm will adjust subsequent results to the style of our reference.
  • Generative fill - this tool allows for modifying images using brushes and selection tools. We can remove objects from an image, generate new elements in the selected area, remove the background, etc. Image editing enters a completely new dimension, namely, for example, in a few seconds we can remove someone who accidentally appeared in the frame, or add sunglasses that we forgot to wear. In our opinion, it is better to use this functionality directly in Adobe Photoshop, where it offers much more.
  • Generative recolor - the tool allows you to automatically recolor vector images based on the entered prompt. Thanks to this, we can adapt the illustration to, for example, match a specific mood or theme.
  • Text effects - allows you to generate text with a specific visual effect, e.g. you can enter "Hello, my name is Stephany" and ask for the letters to be covered with eucalyptus leaves or to look like they are embroidered. In our opinion, it's still just a cool toy and not something we want to use every day.

What is fantastic about Adobe's solutions is that AI functionalities are also available directly in their applications.

In Adobe Photoshop, we have access to the already mentioned Generative fill with some enhancements. Specifically, we can use options like expand. Similar to the zoom-out and pan functions in Midjourney, here we can also generate something beyond the canvas area, allowing us to freely 'expand' our images.

In Adobe Illustrator, the most interesting option is generating vector illustrations using a prompt. This is a revolutionary approach to graphic design. We no longer need to know how to draw to prepare a beautiful illustration for a website or a book.

Additionally, there are also AI enhancements in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Express, but we won't elaborate on that here.

What also deserves attention is the issue of ethics and copyright. Adobe trains its models based on licensed content from Adobe Stock and public domain content, where the copyright has expired. This means that everything we generate is based on data sets collected in a fully ethical manner, and the complete copyright of the produced image belongs to the generator.

In conclusion, Adobe offers its users a lot. After testing all the AI features, we can confidently say that the quality and results are really good, and this is complemented by ease of use and integration within Adobe's flagship applications.

Downsides? At this moment, we can point out three things that may discourage potential users, namely:

  • Although the generated images are really good, they still are not at the level of Midjourney. Adobe is characterized by a certain style, and this is often visible in the generated creations. Often, the results can seem too 'candy-like'.
  • In the case of Midjourney and DALL-E 3 within ChatGPT, we deal with quite strong censorship. However, it seems that Adobe Firefly leads in this regard. The censorship from Adobe is really significant and can often be a limitation. For example, attempts to generate creations using words like 'soldier' or 'bikini' are futile.
  • Adobe Firefly operates on a generative credits system, providing users with a set amount of image generations and edits. This means that users have a limited number of uses. Of course, additional credits can be purchased, but in our opinion, this could ultimately be more expensive than, for example, a Midjourney subscription. If someone is already paying for a Creative Cloud subscription, they are allotted a certain number of credits.
Cost

Varies according to the country. Has a free tier.

Leonardo.Ai

Another fantastic and rapidly developing tool is Leonardo.Ai. It is essentially a web application (along with an API) created by independent creators and based on Stable Diffusion models. Similar to the previous three applications, it allows for image generation and editing.

What characterizes this application is the ability to change the model used to generate our images. At the moment, we have access to dozens of models - some of them simply differ in version (older, newer), but others are models specifically trained for generating images with certain characteristics. For example, we can choose a model tailored for generating photorealistic images or a model that generates isometric views.

At the moment, among the most important functionalities of Leonardo.Ai we can distinguish:

  • Image Generation - generating images based on a textual prompt. Similar to Adobe, we have an intuitive panel with a range of additional options to customize our instructions.
  • Live Canvas - an interesting feature that allows for generating an image in real time based on what we are currently drawing. Of course, we can fully edit everything, determine the level of consistency with our sketch, and so on. At the moment, it's more like a toy, but it's developing in a very good direction.
  • Canvas Editor - an extensive editing environment that allows you to manipulate imported images. Removing unwanted objects from the photo, generating image fragments, adjusting the proportions, etc.
  • 3D Texture Generation - generating and modifying textures based on imported OBJ files. It can help, for example, in preparing game assets.
  • Motion - generating videos based on a textual prompt, the functionality is expected to be available in the near future.

The main drawback is that most of the features is locked in the free version of the tool. However, the tool itself, although heavily limited, remains available without the need to purchase a subscription. Every day, we have access to a total of 150 tokens, which we use to perform various actions in Leonardo.Ai. Not all actions consume the same number of tokens, e.g. high-resolution images cost more.

Cost

From $12 to $60 per month. Has a free tier.

HeyGen

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to speak fluently in dozens or even hundreds of foreign languages? HeyGen is a tool that won't teach you to speak these languages, but it will create the impression that you are using them perfectly.

HeyGen is currently one of the most popular and best-known tools for creating video avatars. We have quite a few interesting features at our disposal, allowing us to create professional videos based on a clip recorded by us, written text, and/or recorded audio. There are several combinations, including:

  • Creating a video avatar based on one of over a hundred available avatars and your own text or audio file.
  • Creating a completely custom avatar based on a provided video clip and your own text or audio file.
  • Translating a provided video into over 40 available foreign languages with lip-sync technology. The final result looks very natural.
  • Changing or improving your voice or generating audio for the entered text.

The tool has incredible potential in the field of marketing, promoting products, preparing offers, or training materials. From now on, you can, for example, put a video on your website where you talk about your product in Korean. The applications are enormous.

Cost

From $29 per month. Free plan for 1-min max duration video per month.

That's all the tools in this part. To read about the remaining 5, please visit the second part.

Besides, stay tuned and remember that these are still just tools. How we use them and whether they benefit us depends entirely on us. Thankfully, as of now, the most powerful tool at our disposal remains the human mind.

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5 min

A Flashback to the Future: Y2K Style and Contemporary Interface Design

There are many trends in user interface design. In this article, we'll delve into the resurgence of Y2K style and how it's shaping the digital landscape today, bridging the past and future in design. Explore the exciting world of Y2K design and its impact on contemporary interfaces.

What is Y2K style?

Y2K style is the aesthetics of user interface design or graphic design. It features a vibrant and bold color palette, with neon greens, electric blues and metallic silvers taking center stage. Geometric shapes dominated Y2K's design, especially those with futuristic edges such as sharp angles and asymmetry. Additionally, elements such as pixelation, glitch effects, and kaleidoscopic patterns frequently appeared, adding a surreal and dreamlike feel to the visuals. The Y2K aesthetic is a combination of optimism and concern that marked the dawn of the digital age and is causing a powerful resurgence in modern interface design.

Y2K in UI Design

The Y2K aesthetic's resurgence has been particularly striking in the field of user interface design. Designers have enthusiastically embraced the Y2K style's vibrant colors and bold shapes, giving digital interfaces a captivating and futuristic edge.

Y2K-inspired UI designs prominently feature audacious color palettes, often including neon shades and metallic tones. These vibrant colors instantly grab users' attention and create a memorable visual experience.

Geometric shapes, asymmetry, and dynamic patterns are fundamental to Y2K-inspired UI design. Sharp angles and futuristic designs can be seen in buttons, icons, and navigation elements, guiding users through digital spaces with a unique visual language.

Pixelation and glitch effects add a touch of nostalgia and a sense of unpredictability to these interfaces, creating a dreamlike quality. These elements not only engage users but also provide a refreshing departure from conventional, minimalistic designs in the digital landscape.

Challenges and opportunities of Y2K aesthetics

The resurgence of Y2K aesthetics in contemporary design presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. One significant challenge lies in finding the right balance between nostalgia and modern functionality. Designers must ensure that Y2K elements enhance the user experience without compromising usability.

Another challenge is avoiding overuse. While Y2K aesthetics can be visually engaging, excessive application can lead to a cluttered and overwhelming interface. Designers need to judiciously incorporate these elements to create a cohesive and user-friendly design.

Opportunities arise from the emotional resonance and nostalgia associated with Y2K aesthetics. Leveraging these elements can create a stronger user-brand connection, evoking positive emotions and memories.

Furthermore, the Y2K resurgence opens doors for experimentation and innovation. Designers can explore new ways to blend Y2K aesthetics with cutting-edge technology, offering users fresh and memorable digital experiences.

Which Users Can Y2K UI Design Target?

The resurgence of Y2K UI design presents an exciting opportunity to engage a diverse range of users. This aesthetic, with its unique blend of nostalgia and modernity, has the potential to resonate with various audiences. Let's explore which users Y2K UI design can effectively target.

Nostalgia Enthusiasts: Y2K UI design naturally appeals to those who have fond memories of the early 2000s. Users who grew up during that era may be drawn to the design style, as it evokes feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality. This group often seeks a connection to their past and enjoys interfaces that transport them back to the turn of the millennium.

Generation Z: While not firsthand witnesses to the Y2K era, Generation Z has shown a remarkable affinity for the aesthetics of the time. Y2K UI design can tap into their interest in retro and vintage styles, offering a fresh take on a period they may have missed but still find intriguing.

Visual and Creative Professionals: Y2K UI design, with its vibrant colors and bold shapes, often resonates with visual and creative professionals. Graphic designers, artists, and those in the creative industries appreciate the design elements that challenge the status quo and inspire creativity. Y2K UI design can be a source of inspiration for this group.

Brands and Marketers: For businesses and marketers, Y2K UI design offers a distinctive way to capture the attention of users. It's an excellent choice for creating memorable digital experiences, enhancing brand recognition, and standing out in a crowded marketplace. The unique visual language can leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Tech Enthusiasts: Tech-savvy users who embrace innovation are often intrigued by the fusion of Y2K aesthetics with modern technology. Y2K UI design can offer a unique, cutting-edge user experience that appeals to those who are eager to explore new design trends and digital frontiers.

Inspiring Websites Made in Y4K Style

While Y2K aesthetics have made a resounding comeback, some designers are already pushing the boundaries into the future, embracing what we can playfully term "Y4K" style. These websites embody the spirit of Y2K design while introducing innovative elements that capture the essence of contemporary design. Let's take a look at a few remarkable examples:

Nexal Studio's website flawlessly blends Y2K aesthetics with futuristic elements. The site features an array of bright, contrasting colors, reminiscent of the early 2000s, combined with smooth animations and modern design techniques.

BC Design celebrates its 10th anniversary with a website that brilliantly incorporates Y2K aesthetics and old game design. The use of gradients and unique layouts adds a futuristic twist, offering an innovative take on the Y2K-inspired design.

The Flow Ventures takes Y2K design to new heights by combining it with glitch effects and pixelation. The result is a visually striking website that encapsulates the retro-futuristic essence while maintaining user-friendliness.

Chloé Digital's website is an exceptional blend of Y2K aesthetics and contemporary web design. It showcases dynamic shapes, bold typography, and vibrant colors, presenting a unique digital experience that appeals to both nostalgia enthusiasts and modern design aficionados.

In conclusion, as the design world continues to evolve, Y2K aesthetics remain a timeless source of inspiration. They bridge generations and offer a fascinating glimpse into the future, where past and present collide to create immersive, visually captivating online experiences.

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5 min

Beyond Boxes: Elevating Design with Bento Grid Patterns

What is Bento Grid?

Bento Grid draws inspiration from the iconic Japanese lunchbox, transforming its neatly divided compartments into a visually appealing and organized layout for websites. This design pattern employs a grid-based structure, slicing the website's content into distinct sections or compartments. Each compartment serves a unique purpose, providing a dedicated space to showcase specific features, thus offering visitors an intuitive and engaging way to navigate through information.

Benefits of Bento Grid

Users engaged with products featuring the Bento Grid layout enjoy numerous benefits. These benefits include:

Structure and Organization: Bento Grid introduces a structured layout, dividing the UI into well-defined compartments. Each compartment serves a unique purpose, housing specific elements such as navigation menus, content sections, or interactive features. This systematic organization enhances the overall clarity of the interface, allowing users to navigate with ease and find information effortlessly.

Visual Hierarchy: The grid-based structure of Bento Grid naturally lends itself to creating a visual hierarchy. By allocating different sections for various content or features, designers can guide users' attention and emphasize key elements. This inherent visual hierarchy contributes to a more intuitive user experience, ensuring that important information stands out.

Seamless Responsiveness: Bento Grid adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions, making it a responsive choice for UI design. Whether viewed on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, the grid-based layout ensures a consistent and user-friendly experience. This adaptability is crucial in an era where users access interfaces across a diverse range of devices.

Storytelling through Design: Much like the compartments of a bento box tell a culinary story, Bento Grid allows designers to weave a narrative through visual elements. Each compartment becomes a chapter in the user's journey, conveying information in a structured and engaging manner. This storytelling approach enhances user engagement and creates a memorable user experience.

Emphasis on User Engagement: Bento Grid is not just about organization; it's about creating an engaging user experience. By presenting information in visually distinct compartments, users are encouraged to explore different facets of the interface. This design pattern promotes interaction, keeping users intrigued and invested in the content or functionality presented.

Challenges Associated with Bento Grid

Every design solution presents its own set of challenges that designers must navigate. Despite its numerous advantages, Bento Grid also encounters several challenges. Here are a few:

Flexibility Constraints

The structured nature of the Bento Grid may introduce certain limitations in design flexibility, making it more challenging to adapt to unconventional design concepts.

Need for Careful Planning

Effectively utilizing the Bento Grid requires meticulous planning and thoughtful allocation of space within individual compartments, which can be time-consuming.

Potential for Monotony

Without proper diversification, Bento Grid runs the risk of inducing monotony in projects, potentially making interfaces appear repetitive or predictable.

While acknowledging these challenges, it's essential to note that their significance can vary based on specific project contexts and applications of the Bento Grid design.

Real-world examples of Bento Grid usage

Apple is a pinnacle in the world of technology, employs the Bento Grid with exceptional finesse. The amalgamation of high-quality graphics and gradients transforms ordinary tiles into a stunning display of aesthetics and functionality.

On the BetterStack website, dedicated to developer tools, the Bento Grid excels in presenting a diverse array of features and services. Compact compartments facilitate a clear presentation of alternatives to popular tools, enabling users to swiftly compare and choose the most suitable solutions.

The WorkOS website, specializing in identity management tools, utilizes the Bento Grid to organize various aspects of the Single Sign-On solution. In this case, the separation of different pieces of information works remarkably well, turning information into visually appealing graphics rather than typical product details.

Bento Grid finds its application in dashboard design, as exemplified by Setproduct. In screens where designers need to present a large amount of data to users, the segregation and proper visualization of information become exceptionally important.

All these examples illustrate that the Bento Grid is not merely a theoretical model but a practical tool that contributes to the effective communication of information and encourages user interaction. The inspiring use of the Bento Grid in real-world projects confirms that it is not just an aesthetic maneuver but a strategy that enhances user experiences, conveying complex information in an accessible and attractive manner.

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5 min

How to find the best design agency? Useful tips

In today's digital landscape, the success of your company largely depends on the user experience (UX) of your website or application. In fact, it can be the make-or-break factor for your business. A well-designed and intuitive interface can keep users engaged and satisfied, while a poorly designed one can drive them away. This might seem obvious, but there's still a surprising number of digital products in the market that fail to fulfill their intended role. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about aligning your offerings with the needs of the users, ensuring that those who start using your product stay with you longer than just during a free trial period. In this article, we will show you how to find the UX design specialists who can help you achieve this goal and how your business can benefit from it all.

If you want to stay in the game, you must focus on delivering solutions that are not only useful and attractive but, above all, tailored to your target audience. Moreover, it's worth considering whether there's even a demand for your product in the market before investing significant time and money in realizing your grand vision. After all, you wouldn't want to channel resources into something destined to fail. It's valuable to have someone who will take care of the entire process, someone who will define our potential audience, plan how what we're creating should work, and be beneficial (both to you as the product owner and to the users, its consumers). We will show you how UX specialists and design agencies can perfectly fulfill this role. You will discover precisely how they can support your business grow and ensure that you reap the intended benefits.

You have 3 possible approaches at your disposal

  • You can create a dedicated department within your team responsible for research, analysis, and design solutions, or hire at least one person to be responsible for this
  • You can hire an external person, a freelancer, who will provide you with the appropriate solution
  • Finally, you can hire a design agency or software house, which will likely take a very comprehensive approach to the matter and propose a tailored solution

The first option generally makes a lot of sense when the solution you're creating is a long-term project, something that will require continuous monitoring, updating, and comprehensive care. Typically, large corporations, banks, or public institutions opt for this approach because they have the budget to permanently maintain an additional department or at least a person responsible for UX/UI. Furthermore, their product keeps growing and requires continuous testing, changes, and supervision. If you're not a corporation but a startup or a company that simply needs project help here and now, creating a UX department may not be the best choice. It's essential to keep in mind that establishing a dedicated department in your company, or even implementing a single individual to fill a UX role, is often a time-consuming process that can stretch over months or even years. Moreover, having a UX department also entails a dedicated career path for specialists, ensuring benefits and keeping their knowledge up to date in a rapidly changing market. As we're aware, competition never rests, and it's in our best interest to ensure we don't fall behind. Not every company has the resources to smoothly establish a new department without encountering obstacles.

A freelancer is often a good choice for a so-called quick task. This is also usually the cheapest option, but you must remember that it's a single individual. If you expect a comprehensive service, value your time, or your product is more than just a simple landing page, relying solely on a freelancer may not be the most suitable route to take.

In most cases, however, the best option will be the third approach, choosing to hire an external design agency. You don't have to immediately change your internal structures and commit to a permanent partnership, but at the same time, you can rely on professional support from not just one, but often many individuals whose knowledge and experience complement each other. An agency often has established internal processes, appropriate software, and resources that you sort of get "out of the box," and unlike a freelancer, they can deliver a complex product in a reasonable time frame.

In this article, we will focus on choosing the right design agency. As you can probably imagine, not all agencies are the same, the number of options can be overwhelming and discouraging, and in the end, you must come to an agreement with one of them. The one that will provide you with a solution that meets the expectations of all stakeholders.

What do you gain by hiring a design agency?

Before we share with you the recipe for finding a design agency that will contribute to the success of your product, you should understand the detailed benefits and services you can expect as part of your collaboration with such an agency.

Depending on your needs, you can choose an agency that specializes in a specific area within the overall design process. For example, you can request only a website audit or preliminary research to define the target audience and the actual needs of potential users. There are also many companies that focus on the visual aspect, i.e., UI (User Interface) design or creating your brand's entire identity.

However, most of these agencies typically offer a comprehensive range of services and provide a holistic design process, from conducting research to defining user journeys, designing both necessary functionalities and visual elements, usability testing, and even KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analysis.

Is a company that offers such a broad range of services trustworthy?

Absolutely, because it's usually not just one person but a team of individuals, each responsible for a different aspect of your project. By choosing a reputable agency, you gain access to a pool of experts and enthusiasts — people who specialize in delivering solutions that simply convert.

UX (User Experience) design firms have an in-depth understanding of your users. They achieve this through methods like analyzing the competition, studying quantitative and qualitative data, engaging with potential users, conducting workshops, and creating user profiles. With a profound understanding of the target audience, they can create user-focused designs and deliver experiences tailored to their needs. Furthermore, they make decisions based on data and ultimately create unique products tailored to your specific business, allowing you to stand out in the market. Your business objectives are equally important to UX designers. They act as a bridge between users, development teams, and stakeholders. On one hand, they know what customers want and expect. On the other hand, they collaborate with developers to achieve these goals while simultaneously improving the company's profitability.

In summary, when partnering with an agency, you can expect the following benefits:

Expertise and experience

A reputable agency boasts an extensive portfolio of successful projects, which serves as a testament to its experience. In general, agencies are well-prepared to handle complex projects right from the start. Their teams consist of multiple specialists who are poised to contribute from various angles to your project.

A well-organized design process

When working with various clients, representatives of project agencies understand what works in individual cases and can propose a process that not only delivers the final solution but also helps alleviate some of your company's resources. Furthermore, what an agency creates is not just mockups for developers to implement the product but also comprehensive documentation that can be utilized by different departments within your company. With well-defined objectives, values, and processes, we can prepare business presentations or even update the entire team's product knowledge. Additionally, along with the mockups, you receive a so-called design system or style guide that defines the individual elements of the product, enabling its easy maintenance and future development.

Save Time and Resources

By entrusting your design work to professionals, you free up your time and resources to focus on your core business activities.

Access to specialized tools

By working with an agency, your company can enjoy the benefits of using industry-specific tools like Figma or Miro without the need to purchase individual licenses. This not only saves your organization the cost of software licenses but also grants you access to the full potential of these powerful tools, enhancing your team's collaborative capabilities and productivity.

Efficient onboarding and swift turnaround

Unlike relying on a single individual where project progress could stall due to their absence, an agency ensures uninterrupted progress. Team members can seamlessly step in to maintain momentum, address any issues, and keep the project moving forward.

Transparent budget and timeline

In most cases, before you start cooperation, you will receive a general cost and estimated completion time. This transparent approach ensures that you possess a clear understanding of the budget and timeframe from the very beginning, enabling you to make well-informed decisions regarding your investment and confirming that the project harmonizes with your financial objectives.

Stay current with design trends

Design agencies are well-versed in the latest design trends and technologies, ensuring your project is up-to-date and competitive.

Defining the Direction

Lastly, if you're not entirely sure about your needs, what would work best for your product, or if you simply want to enhance your existing offerings, a project agency can guide you in the right direction. Drawing upon data and research, they can provide you with insights that shed new light on your product. Armed with a well-structured analysis, you can proceed to implement specific steps in alignment with your priorities.

How to choose the best design agency?

It's easy to imagine that after entering the right query into Google, you'll get dozens, if not hundreds, of matching results.

How do you navigate through it all and select the company that will deliver what you expect?

Of course, it's not straightforward, and in the end, it may depend a little on your luck. However, to significantly boost your chances, you can take the right steps to ensure that the company you choose meets your expectations.

What matters most isn't just the range of services offered or a portfolio filled with recognizable clients – the most crucial factor is the so-called 'match.' Every company is different, with its unique work culture and approach to the solution delivery process. You should find the one that aligns best with your approach and with whom you can communicate effectively.

Effective communication is key here. Of course, we can't downplay the importance of designers' experience and technical skills because the quality of the solutions they create ultimately depends on that. However, before diving into analysis, building flows, or creating prototypes, you should have a clear understanding of your mutual expectations and the way you'll work together. Nothing hampers a project like a lack of good communication!

Below, we present the key steps to consider in selecting the right design agency for your objectives.

Define your needs

Before you start your search, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your project goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your design project? Do you need a comprehensive end-to-end solution or maybe only some updates to your existing project? Do you need brand identity or visual resources? This clarity will help you communicate your requirements effectively and evaluate potential agencies.

Even if you don't have a complete grasp of your expectations, you likely have a vision of what you want to achieve, knowing your goals or priorities. These insights are valuable as they can further pinpoint the areas where you need assistance.

Prepare project brief

Now that you have a clear understanding of your expectations and goals, it's time to create a project brief, an indispensable tool for discussions with potential design agencies and a key component of the project's kick-off meeting. We will delve a bit deeper into this topic in the further part of the article.

Research and Shortlist

Start by conducting thorough research. Look for design agencies online, ask for recommendations from peers, and read reviews. Create a shortlist of agencies that align with your goals, have a strong portfolio, and a good reputation. Here, it's crucial to pay attention to the services a particular agency offers and what they specialize in. It's possible that the agency specializes exclusively in e-commerce solutions, while you may be in need of a mobile application for team management, for example. Often, this scope is directly described on the agency's website or can be inferred from their portfolio. However, if you have any doubts, you can always inquire about their scope and experience during an introductory conversation. Furthermore, it's worth considering the type of collaboration you expect, whether it's long-term or short-term. This information can be valuable for the agency and ultimately help narrow down your search.

Review Portfolios

A design agency's portfolio is like their resume. It showcases their past work and the quality of their designs. Review their portfolio to see if their style and expertise match your project's needs. Pay attention to the diversity of their work and their experience in your industry. And what is important - do not be impressed with their clients, look for what exact work they did and is it a quality one.

Check Client Testimonials

Testimonials and case studies can provide valuable insights into an agency's track record. Reach out to their past clients if possible to get direct feedback on their experience with the agency. Look for reviews on third-party websites like Clutch or DesignRush. You can also check out their LinkedIn profile. It will give you a better understanding of the agency's professionalism, communication, and results.

Meet the Team

A design agency is only as good as its team. Schedule a meeting or consultation with the agency to meet the designers and project managers who will be working on your project. Try to find out how they work and engage in a conversation with their product lead or head of design. Ensure that their expertise and communication style align with your expectations.

Ask about the design process

A good UX/UI design agency should have a clear process for working with clients. Ask about their process, including how they approach research, design, and testing. A well-defined process ensures that your project will be completed on time and to your satisfaction.

Check for Flexibility and Scalability

Consider whether the agency can adapt to your changing needs or future projects. A scalable agency can be a long-term partner for your design requirements, offering a consistent design language across different projects.

Evaluate their communication skills

Effective communication and collaboration are vital for a successful project. Ensure that the agency values open and transparent communication and is willing to collaborate with your team to achieve the best results.

Consider their pricing

Pricing is an important consideration when choosing a UX/UI design agency. Look for an agency that offers transparent pricing and is upfront about any additional costs.

Read the contract carefully

Before signing any agreement, read the contract carefully. Make sure it outlines the project scope, deliverables, timelines, and payment terms clearly. Seek legal advice if necessary to protect your interests.

Pay attention to red flags before hiring an agency...

In the process of hiring designers or design agencies, pay attention to signs that suggest they might not be the best fit. Look beyond their experience and online reviews; consider whether they show a genuine interest in your project by asking for data, research, and the possibility of conducting analyses. This commitment to understanding your project's goals is a positive sign. Conversely, if they rush into creating mockups without thorough inquiry, it could be a red flag.

Also, consider whether they approach each project uniquely or follow a standard pattern. Opting for a company that customizes their approach for each project can be beneficial.

Don't skip the project brief – it's your preparation for the kick-off meeting!

As mentioned earlier, preparing a project brief is one of the key steps to ensuring a successful start when collaborating with a design agency. It's safe to say it's one of the most crucial steps, as the UX designers' understanding of your needs largely depends on what you present to them. You don't have to have all the answers to every possible question, as you and the design team will work together to uncover solutions throughout the project. However, the more information you can provide at the beginning of the project, whether it's for the design team, researchers, auditors, or even branding experts, the better.

Your project brief might and often should include the following:

  • Defining the project's goals and expectations
  • Outlining the scope of work
  • Setting timelines and budget constraints
  • Providing all relevant materials your company possesses in the context of the project, such as brand guidelines, reports, previous work results (if applicable), and analysis findings
  • Clearly expressing any specific methodologies, technologies, or design principles you prefer, along with your questions and expectations.

A well-structured project brief serves as a roadmap for productive collaboration and ensures a successful project launch.

Remember, finding the right UX/UI design agency is not about settling for what's readily available - it's about investing time and effort into finding a partner who can bring your ideas to life in the most impactful way possible. So don't rush this decision; take the time needed to research, compare portfolios, read client testimonials, and have conversations with potential agencies. Your project deserves nothing less than the best fit for success.

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5 min

AI Demystified: Breaking Down the Basics

Welcome to the era of Artificial Intelligence, a revolutionary field that is reshaping the world as we know it. AI, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has now become an integral part of our daily lives, impacting everything from our smartphones to the way we interact with businesses. In this article, we will explore the fundamental concepts of AI, its immense potential, and the exciting opportunities it offers, while also considering its challenges and possible threats.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the science of creating intelligent machines that can mimic human intelligence and perform tasks that typically require human cognitive abilities. These tasks encompass a wide range of activities, from understanding natural language, decision-making, and problem-solving to recognizing patterns in data, and even driving autonomous vehicles. AI systems are designed to learn, reason, and adapt based on the data they receive, allowing them to make predictions and take actions. Thus based on vast amounts of information, algorithms adapt their behavior accordingly, making AI systems invaluable tools for numerous industries.

We can distinguish many different branches in the AI industry, among which the most popular currently include:

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It powers applications like chatbots, language translation, sentiment analysis, and text summarization. Advanced language models, such as GPT-4, have made significant strides in this field, allowing for more sophisticated language understanding and generation.

Computer Vision: Computer vision involves teaching machines to interpret and understand visual information from images and videos. It finds applications in facial recognition, object detection, autonomous vehicles, medical imaging, and augmented reality. Deep learning techniques like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been crucial in advancing computer vision capabilities.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is a broader field that encompasses algorithms and techniques enabling systems to learn and improve from data without explicit programming. Supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning are common paradigms within machine learning. It is the backbone of many AI applications, including recommendation systems, fraud detection, and predictive analytics.

Deep Learning: Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to model and solve complex problems. It excels in handling large amounts of data and is responsible for significant breakthroughs in image and speech recognition, natural language processing, and game playing (e.g., AlphaGo).

Reinforcement Learning: Reinforcement learning is a subset of machine learning that focuses on training agents to make decisions in an environment to achieve specific goals. It is instrumental in developing AI systems capable of playing games, optimizing processes, and controlling robots.

Robotics and Automation: AI-driven robots are becoming more prevalent across various industries, from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and household assistance. These robots use AI algorithms to perceive their environment, plan actions, and perform tasks autonomously.

Generative Models: Generative models, particularly Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), can create new content based on existing data. They have been used for image synthesis, video generation, and even creating realistic AI-generated artwork and music. In recent weeks, popular tools like Midjourney, Photoshop, and Framer AI have been leveraging generative AI to provide their users with features that were once considered abstract just a few months ago. Currently, these are among the fastest-growing algorithms in the industry.

Why should you be interested in AI and start learning it?

The relevance of AI has never been more apparent than in today's fast-paced world. By understanding AI, we unlock the potential to develop cutting-edge solutions to complex problems, leading to technological advancements that can improve our quality of life. As AI permeates various industries, learning about it becomes a strategic advantage for individuals and businesses alike. The recent months have, in many cases, exceeded our expectations. People have seen that the potential of AI tools can be accessible to everyone, and the content being generated is already so realistic and complex that it can mimic (and in many cases, even enhance) human creativity. 

Given how AI is growing quickly and finding new uses, it's clear that AI skills are in high demand today. The increasing number of job opportunities in fields such as data science, robotics, and AI research and more and more interest in AI tools by most of the big companies and start-ups should be the best proof.

Those who are willing to learn, collaborate with AI, and embrace the AI revolution with an open mind will emerge victorious. Those who neglect these opportunities will inevitably fall behind.

The Benefits of AI

The benefits of AI are immense and wide-ranging, promising a transformative impact on society. One of the most significant advantages is enhanced efficiency and productivity. AI-powered systems can handle repetitive tasks at an unprecedented speed and accuracy, liberating human resources for more creative and strategic endeavors.

Additionally, AI has revolutionized various sectors, such as healthcare. With AI-driven diagnostics and personalized treatment plans, medical professionals can make more accurate and timely decisions, potentially saving countless lives. In agriculture, AI helps optimize crop yields and monitor livestock health, contributing to sustainable and efficient food production.

Moreover, AI has vastly improved user experiences across various industries. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have become our helpful companions, providing us with useful information and managing our daily tasks. AI-driven recommendation systems in online shopping platforms, music streaming services, and video content providers cater to our preferences, making our lives more convenient and enjoyable.

Both companies and individuals are now using AI-based tools in their daily lives. From well-known ones like ChatGPT and MidJourney to tools such as Copilot, Jasper, copy.ai, Adobe Firefly, and a variety of specialized plugins and enhancements that enable more effective business management, time management, social media content creation, and much more.

The Threats of AI

While AI presents numerous benefits, we must also be mindful of the potential risks and challenges it brings. One of the most significant concerns is job displacement. As AI automates tasks previously performed by humans, certain jobs might become obsolete, leading to job insecurity for certain professions. However, it is essential to remember that AI also creates new job opportunities in related fields, requiring a skilled workforce to develop and manage AI systems.

Another critical aspect to address is AI ethics. As AI systems become increasingly sophisticated, they may face ethical dilemmas, especially in areas like autonomous vehicles and healthcare. Striking the right balance between AI autonomy and human control is crucial to ensure safety and accountability. 

Furthermore, there are concerns about data privacy and security. AI systems rely heavily on data for training and decision-making, raising the risk of potential data breaches or misuse. It is essential to develop robust data protection mechanisms and ensure responsible AI usage to safeguard individual privacy and prevent unauthorized access.

We must also remember that many publicly available AI tools still face several limitations, such as social biases, hallucinations, and adversarial prompts. It's important to be aware that not everything provided by, for instance, ChatGPT, should be taken as absolute truth. However, companies are continually working to improve and fine-tune their models. The latest language model from OpenAI, known as GPT-4, is claimed to be 82% less likely to respond to requests for prohibited content and 40% more likely to provide fact-based answers compared to GPT-3.5.

Nevertheless, it's essential to remember that these are merely tools in our hands. How we use them still depends entirely on us. Staying informed and aware is valuable, as the revolution doesn't happen overnight; it's a lengthy and error-prone process.

Let's take a moment to dive a little deeper and examine three concepts without which our current AI conversation would be meaningless…

Machine Learning: The Core of AI

At the heart of AI lies Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI that empowers machines to learn from data without explicit programming. ML algorithms use statistical techniques to identify patterns in data, enabling them to make predictions or decisions based on new information. This ability to learn and improve with experience is what sets ML apart and makes it a powerful tool in various applications.

Prompt Engineering: Igniting Creativity in AI

Prompt engineering is a fascinating aspect of AI that involves crafting effective instructions or queries to direct AI models' output. By providing appropriate prompts, developers can influence the content, style, or tone of AI-generated outputs. This technique has been particularly instrumental in the development of Generative AI.

Generative AI: Fostering Creativity

Generative AI is a branch of AI that deals with machines' capability to create new content, such as images, music, text, and more.

In simpler terms, Generative AI is precisely the branch that has recently gained immense popularity thanks to tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, DALL-E, or Jasper. As the name suggests, it's generative, meaning it can generate (or just create) new content based on specific queries, known as prompts.

But how is this even possible? In a nutshell, by learning patterns from a vast amount of data (such as existing articles, research papers, images, and more), the algorithm creates new content based on these patterns. Importantly, even though we "feed" the algorithm with certain content (pre-trained data sets), it doesn't mean we'll get copies or similar replicas of the input. The algorithm, using learned transformations, can iteratively generate genuinely new things. It's all powered by deep neural networks, but the exact workings and why the algorithm produces a specific response are not obvious, even to the creators of these neural networks. You input the data, and run the algorithm, but what happens inside the network remains a puzzle.

ChatGPT - What's All the Buzz About?

Imagine having a super-smart assistant, like a virtual wordsmith, at your fingertips, ready to help you create captivating content and answer your queries. That's precisely what ChatGPT is!

ChatGPT, developed by the American company OpenAI, is a content generator that relies on a large language model called GPT (currently in version 3.5 or, paid GPT-4). It's a bot with which you can communicate using natural language. This tool over 50 different languages, capable of answering questions, translating documents into various languages, conducting proofreading and language editing of texts, summarizing and analyzing scientific papers, suggesting solutions to diverse problems, crafting essays, scripts, debugging programming code, and searching through databases. In the paid version of the tool, you even have the ability to work with images, allowing you to upload an image as input and, for example, expect its analysis.

What's crucial is that the paid version of ChatGPT (GPT-4) now has (or, compared to the competition, is just getting) internet access. This means it can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It's no longer confined to data from before September 2021. Additionally, we can utilize various plugins and integrations, such as speech recognition (Whisper) and complex data calculations and analysis (Wolfram Alpha), making the tool even more powerful. Currently, there are over 900 plugins available!

Recently, ChatGPT also received an update that enables the ability to converse with the chatbot using voice commands. ChatGPT, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4 will be able to comprehend user questions and respond using one of five distinct voices.

Now, you might wonder why you should use ChatGPT. The answer is simple: it saves you time and boosts your productivity. Writing high-quality content can be time-consuming, and not everyone has the expertise to craft captivating texts. ChatGPT eliminates that hurdle, offering instant assistance whenever you need it. Furthermore, it helps overcome writer's block, as it can spark new ideas and inspire creativity. 

In short, ChatGPT can help us with a range of tasks, including:

  • Brainstorming
  • Exploring various options for what we want to do
  • Providing suggestions regarding different approaches, for example, how to do something on iOS or Android
  • Fueling creativity: X ideas for headlines, X ideas for navigation in the design industry, and so on…
  • Writing meeting summaries
  • Preparing transcriptions
  • Making analyses
  • Sprint management
  • Customer service
  • Delivering corporate wiki - uploading documentation to the AI model and using queries to direct to specific places, like where the button component is located
  • And much more!

Here are a few tips on how to effectively "converse" with Chat GPT (or any similar tool) to get the best possible responses:

  • Write simple and uncomplicated sentences
  • Break down sentences into shorter and more precise ones
  • Describe the context of your problem in detail
  • Start with the general idea and ask follow-up questions to refine your queries based on the response you receive
  • Speak as if you were talking to a 5-year-old

What is a noteworthy alternative to Chat GPT?

As you might imagine, the competition is not resting, and the market is flooded with a multitude of tools that utilize GPT models and more.

Currently, the two most popular tools, operating similarly to ChatGPT, are:

  • Bing - Microsoft's chatbot that uses the same GPT model as ChatGPT, but integrates it with the Bing search engine. This means that it can access the internet by default and provide you with relevant information, sources, and suggestions. You can also change the tone of the chatbot to be more creative, more precise, or balanced;
  • Bard - Google's chatbot that uses a combination of two language models: LaMDA and PaLM. LaMDA is designed for dialogue applications and PaLM is good at math and logic. Google Bard can also access the internet by default and display photos in the results. You can also export the results to Gmail or Google Docs, or modify them without typing. Google Bard is free and available for anyone to use.

The best chatbot for you depends on your needs and preferences. You might want to try them all and see which one suits you better. They are all amazing examples of how AI can help us communicate, create, and learn.

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5 min

Clutch Hails UX GIRL as a Certified Women-Owned Digital Design Leader

Here at UX GIRL, we deliver designs with the “wow effect” your brand deserves. Founded in 2020, we are a passionate bunch that loves working on different projects ranging from design strategies to research. We don’t shy away from any type of challenge, and we go the extra mile to deliver what our clients need.

In turn, Clutch is a B2B reviews and ratings website from Washington DC that’s dedicated to helping browsers connect with reliable service providers. The site is known for its extensive collection of data-driven content that aims to guide potential corporate clients to make better business decisions.

Moreover, Clutch offers a prestigious certification program aimed at recognizing businesses from various industries that successfully establish their position and brand while highlighting social, cultural, and economic features. The said program allows service providers to self-identify their minority, veteran, and LGBTQ-owned identities on the platform.

"Women’s voices provide an essential perspective across multiple industries that help foster innovation and growth. We're proud to highlight these businesses for the great work they've done.” said Clutch Senior Revenue Operations Analyst Radha Ray

With that being said, the entire UX GIRL team is extremely excited to share with you all that we’ve been celebrated by Clutch as a leading certified women-owned business!

Leaders Matrix for Top Women Owned User Experience Agencies

In addition to our Clutch certification, UX GIRL was also spotlighted on The Manifest, a business news resource known for its how-to guides and B2B wisdom. According to the site, our team is among the top 100 women-owned digital design agencies this 2023.

Our milestones and wins as a service provider wouldn’t be possible without the gracious trust of our incredible clients. The trust they’ve shown us has pushed us to achieve amazing feats. We’d like to seize this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to each and every one of them. Thank you for believing in UX GIRL!

We look forward to reaching greater heights with you all in the future. Cheers to more exciting adventures and opportunities ahead!

Looking for a team that delivers the “wow effect”? Work with us at UX GIRL. Contact us and don’t hesitate to let us know about the project you have in mind.

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5 min

Hard Work Pays Off: UX GIRL Studio Ranks 13th in The Manifest's Top Design Studios in Poland

At UX GIRL Studio, we strongly believe in the adage that hard work always pays off. It is with great pride and excitement that we announce our achievement of the 13th place in The Manifest's ranking of top design studios in Poland. The Manifest is a trusted B2B research and review platform, and being listed on their ranking is a testament to our team's talent and expertise.

Our studio is committed to providing exceptional design services to our clients, with a focus on creating innovative, user-centric designs that help our clients achieve their business goals. Our dedication to quality and excellence has earned us this recognition on The Manifest.

We are grateful to The Manifest for including us in their ranking and providing a platform for B2B buyers to find the best companies in various industries, including design, marketing, development, and IT services. Our team's hard work and dedication are the driving forces behind this achievement, and we are excited to share it with our clients, colleagues, and friends.

While we celebrate this accomplishment, we recognize that this is just the beginning. Our commitment to continued growth and improvement is unwavering, and we are constantly exploring new design techniques and technologies to provide the best possible solutions to our clients.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our clients for their trust and support, as well as our team members for their hard work and contributions. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of design excellence and provide exceptional services to our clients.

In conclusion, we are proud to be listed among the top design studios in Poland on The Manifest. This recognition validates our team's hard work and dedication to delivering outstanding results to our clients. We will continue to uphold our commitment to quality and excellence as we strive for even greater heights in the future. Let's keep up the hard work!

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5 min

UX GIRL CEO selected as Women in Web3 Ambassador for Next Block Expo

We are thrilled to announce that our founder and CEO Magdalena has been selected as an ambassador for Women in Web3 at the upcoming Next Block Expo in Warsaw, one of the largest blockchain festivals in Europe. This event will take place on May 24-25 and will feature some of the most prominent women speakers in the industry.

As a Women in Web3 ambassador, Magdalena is proud to represent our company and the broader community of women in the blockchain and tech space.

What is the Women in Web3 campaign?

The Women in Web3 campaign is focused on empowering and connecting women in the industry, and we are excited to be a part of it.

If you'll be attending the event, be sure to connect with Magdalena and our team. Magdalena would love to meet other ambassadors, attendees, and women speakers who share her passion for advancing Women in Web3. Don't miss the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas with her!

For more information on Women in Web3 at Next Block Expo, check out their website here: https://nextblockexpo.com/women-in-web3

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5 min

The Evolution of the Blinking Cursor: Navigating the Challenge of Multiple Cursors in Design

The digital environment is constantly changing. Design evolves and adapts to new needs and new users. However, some solutions do not go out of fashion. People from all generations know them and changing them could introduce chaos or at least frustration.

All of you know it very well and see it every day while typing on any of your devices. It helps you by indicating the spot for your future text and does follow new letters as you type. It also specifies the location in the text where you want to paste something that you previously copied. You might have seen it as an underscore or a block but usually, it takes the form of a blinking vertical line. As we found out while researching for this article - it also has a lot of names

  • caret
  • blinking cursor
  • text cursor
  • text insertion point

Where did the blinking cursor even come from?

In the last century, along with technological development, the possibility of creating and editing texts on the first computers appeared. However, writers struggled with the problem of the lack of a quick and intuitive possibility of changing or removing a selected fragment of the text.

Charles Kiesling was one of the engineers interested in advancing the capabilities of computers in the 1950s. He worked on improving the logic circuitry of computers such as the IBM 650. In 1967, Kiesling filed a patent for a new typing solution - a blinking cursor. However, this solution became widely known and used in 1977 with the premiere of Apple II and a year later with the premiere of the first commercially popular word processor WordStar.

Today, anyone who has had a computer in their hands at least once knows what a cursor means. Designers and developers working on products and adding new features can’t disregard  solutions users are already used to.

So what should we do if we need to point two spots at once?

We’ve recently asked ourselves this question for the first time. We came across a case that made us think about it while designing a tool similar to code creator. The user was supposed to add a few elements in the line, which together created a whole code. Each of the elements could have been selected from a code completion list that also had a search function. First caret: the user needed to be able to see the location of a new element added in the "code". Second caret: if the user wanted to search for an element, the caret must have appeared in the active textfield.

What now? Should we delete one cursor? Gray it out? How about leaving both of them and ignoring the problem? We’ve decided to check some popular apps - desktop and mobile and find out how they solve this problem.
Gmail on Mac - Adding emoji to a new email

One caret follows the text entered in the search box. The other indicates the place in the email where the selected emoji will appear. It's worth noticing that they are both blinking and have the same color.

Adding emoji to a new email. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
Google Docs - Searching an element in the doc

In that case, the first cursor follows the text typed in the finder tool. The second one points to the last active text location. Both of the cursors have the same color, but just the one in the finder is blinking. The second cursor starts to blink again after closing the finder.

Searching an element in the google document. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
iOS Notes - Adding emoji to the note

iPhone users can experience a double text cursor creating a new note on their phones. The cursors are very different from each other - they have different colors and only the one in the search box is blinking.

Adding emoji to the iOS note. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
WhatsApp for Android - Adding emoji to the new message

In that case, we can see only one caret and it’s in a search box. The one in the textfield is invisible but the selected emoji appears in the place where a caret was active the last time.

Adding emoji to the new WhatsApp message. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.

Which one is the best?

After testing a few apps, it's time to summarize the pros and cons of each solution.

Visibility of both cursors at once

In our opinion, the user should always be able to see where the result of their action will appear. Making one of the carets invisible takes away some part of the user's control. So we stand for keeping both cursors visible to the user. What is important here is creating a hierarchy for them. So now let's take care of…

Colors

Let's pay attention to a good idea that appeared in one of the inspirations we found: the cursor that is not responsible for the main action on the screen is grayed out. To highlight the importance of the main cursor, we can also choose colors other than black. Blue for example will call attention to the active status of the textfield.

Blinking

Last but not least - blinking of the cursor. It is obvious that this function helps a lot in finding our current location in the text. But aren't two elements blinking on the screen too much? In our opinion, yes. In the case of a double cursor, we would definitely choose to animate only one of them, the main action one.

Conclusions

Adding a blinking cursor to the interfaces was undoubtedly necessary to facilitate many people's daily work. This invention has stood the test of time and is still widely used today. However, sometimes even the most reliable solutions need an adaptation to more complex features. Yet, as designers, we have to remember that if the user already knows the action of a component, we shouldn’t change it.

In our opinion, in this task, we should focus on designing the hierarchy of elements. We have the ability to work on the visibility, color, and movement of elements. This essential UX designer skill will keep the interface transparent and let the user stay in control. 

And you? How would you design a tool that requires two cursors? And as a user, have you noticed this problem in the apps you use?

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5 min

UX GIRL among the best UX Design suppliers - SuperbCompanies rank

The main values of UX GIRL are a holistic approach, leadership and passion. Although the team is not large, we strive to maintain these values fully. Since its inception, UX GIRL has been joined by new people who bring different perspectives and experiences. This allowed us to create a group of people who work as a team to create great designs and have already many satisfied customers.

What does this lead to?

Amazing people and great results provide success for UX GIRL. One of these successes is being included in the ranking of the best UI/UX Design Agencies by SuperbCompanies! It is an honor for us to be among the best, and we are also glad that our hard work has been recognized by SuperbCompanies.

About SuperbCompanies

SuperbCompanies is a platform that includes SEO and IT service providers to help users find the best of the best. When creating the ranking, various aspects such as quality, reliability, and market presence are taken into account.

Each SuperbCompanies ranking includes suppliers of specific categories and since it has existed for 10 years now it makes them a reliable source of information

In addition to feeling joy, we are also motivated and have enormous strength to continue working hard. Although we are already included in this ranking, our aim is to achieve the highest possible position!

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5 min

UX/UI Design Trends for 2022

This post originally appeared on uxgirl medium.

As you may have guessed already, designing digital products is something more than just pampering their visual layer and taking care of the aesthetic experience of end users. Designing is primarily the ability to meet the specific problems of our recipients. It is to propose solutions based on previously acquired information regarding strictly defined needs and goals. Regardless of whether we create a mobile app, website, or a complex system for a specialized target group (e.g. astrophysicists or vascular surgeons), we should always get to know the expectations and needs of the people we design for. In addition to collecting requirements, drawing flows, thinking about, and testing individual user paths, we must remember such aspects as the usability of the solution being created, its availability, or even the necessity to take into account technological limitations.

Does this mean the visual layer should be sidelined or simply ignored? That’s not true, as often it is just as important as all the rest. This importance of aesthetics to us (and our users) is shown by trends in UI design that have been appearing for many years. As with all trends, you shouldn’t get too attached to them, since they are often very fleeting and pass faster than they can appear on our smartphones or in our browsers. Nevertheless, whether we’re talking about clothes, music, art, architecture, or interface design, we can always follow certain trends and track how they shape a given market. Some of them, as we have already mentioned, are temporary and do not find much support among recipients. Others, on the contrary, have been ruling for years and with each subsequent year, they evolve, popularize and penetrate deeper.

Today, we are going to discuss the trends of UI design for the new year, 2022. The majority of them debuted on our monitors and smartphones’ screens some time ago. However, due to the extremely rapidly developing technology, allowing some concepts to evolve, due to popularity or sentiment, many of the above-mentioned trends will stay with us for much longer and will certainly attract attention for the next year.

Even so, we must not forget that we are still talking about trends, a certain fashion or approach that is currently at the forefront. It does not mean, however, that we should follow it blindly from now on. Again, first of all, we should create solutions focused on a given need, solutions that respond to the problem presented to us.

Why bother with trends then? Why follow something that may become a thing of the past in a few or a dozen months? It’s quite simple.

To design better, to understand the market and to keep up with changing standards. In this fast-paced technological world, the way content is presented in apps and on websites keeps changing rapidly. People are constantly attracted by new stimuli and someone (perhaps from our competition) is constantly trying to attract their attention. If we want to relatively easily adapt to the changing world (not only the external, but also the virtual one), and at the same time not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of often unnecessary information — we should wisely and consciously follow the trends. This will allow us to approach design much more confidently and better. Being up to date, the ability to adapt to current standards, and being remembered are very important aspects today. They have a direct impact on how our product will be perceived outside. People buy with their eyes. The first impression is not an overrated slogan, but an actual phenomenon that can decide whether users will love our product.

Below is a brief presentation of a few trends we believe are worth paying attention to today. Some of them have been around for a while and will certainly not disappear any time soon. This is confirmed by, for example, all those fantastic projects that we can see on the Internet.

Use of 3D elements

Screenshot of PhotoVogue Festival website
PhotoVogue Festival website

No one is surprised today that designers are replacing flat illustrations with graphics and even animations in 3D. The development of technology and the emergence of new tools and plugins that allow you to easily create 3D objects is conducive to the development of this increasingly common trend. Both the ease of creating in 3D and much better resources such as stronger computers, faster internet, better optimization, and more front-end libraries allow our applications and websites to come to life.

3D very often means that our project is remembered, that it does not get lost in the multitude of subsequent pages, and thus it may also pay off in sales results. 3D objects make our products more attractive. The effect of depth or “popping out the screen”, although not so new, still attracts attention and enriches the reception among potential users.

Today you don’t have to be a Blender or Maya master — you can just use Figma and plugins such as:

  • Vectary 3D Elements
  • Fig3D
  • 3D shapes

It is also worth looking at Dimension CC from Adobe.

Bold Typography

Beyonity webiste

The fact that many websites and mobile apps have been moving towards minimalism for some time now does not need to be pointed out. Minimalism leads the way and it’s hard to be particularly surprised about it. First of all, we often associate it with professionalism. In addition, fewer elements mean less cognitive overload for users. Minimalism is also a huge plus for optimization — the simpler something is, the faster and smoother it works. It requires less resources (at least theoretically) as well.

A suitable complement to minimalist designs is the use of bold, clear, sometimes even exaggerated typography. It often comes down to placing individual headlines taking up a large part of the page view. In such a way, the user can be more involved in the content presented. The purpose is sometimes purely artistic. It is worth experimenting, breaking patterns, and building a design based on typography — this is what can play the first fiddle.

Dark Mode

TEN.finance website

Another concept worth following is a dark mode theme. Usually available as an option we can turn it on at night to protect our eyesight. Today we can, however, more and more often observe its default presence in web design, where users encounter light or white typography on a dark background. It is worth remembering the basic rules relating to contrast and how human eyesight reacts to certain color combinations. Hence, remember not to use white on a purely black background and vice versa, i.e. if you choose the dark mode, make sure that the background is e.g. dark gray, not 100% black, etc.

Anyway, apart from strictly aesthetic values, the dark mode also allows you to save the battery (less bright pixels have a positive effect on how quickly we have to search for a charging socket).

Protecting eyesight, energy, and aesthetic values are just some of the advantages of using the dark mode in our products. Dark themes with contrasting colors also improve visibility for some groups of visually impaired individuals. When designing a dark version of an app or a website, make sure that your solution is available to a wider audience. Designing in an inclusive manner is an important aspect of any good design. Therefore, if we want to comply with the guidelines or simply respond to the needs of all target groups, we should take it into account. Thus, if you haven’t thought about using dark themes for your apps or websites, it might be time to do so.

Y2K

Vintageria — online shop

One of the biggest UI trends is Retro Design. It is often seen as a way to bring back nostalgic memories and focus on things we already know, repackaging comfort and knowledge of the past and adapting it to the needs of the present.

Research has shown that nostalgia gives our lives a sense of meaning and continuity, leading to a stronger sense of interconnectedness and clear direction. Nostalgia also helps to relieve the uncertainty of the future by letting people feel they belong and have a purpose.

Each decade was characterized by something special and thanks to this, retro design can be understood in various ways. We can talk about the pop art trend or the psychedelic design of the 60s. Memphis Style with art deco elements and bold geometric shapes of the 80s, or abstract shapes and patterns, dorky fonts, kitsch textures, and grunge of the 90s.

What we want to highlight here is the so-called Y2K aesthetics, which officially returns and pops up everywhere from industrial, interior, and graphic design to social media, pop culture, and UI design.

The Y2K concept is described as futuristic with a retro twist. Based largely on cyberculture, Y2K’s aesthetics are known for their shiny textures and holographic metallics that are becoming a big trend on their own right now. Youthful, tacky, plastic, and colorful.

The trend has already started to emerge on social media platforms such as TikTok, where young people are experimenting and trying to get new quality out of thick, chunky fonts, bright colors, and trashy, futuristic style.

With a smile on their face, the older generation observes how subsequent apps and websites utilize the trends of their youth. The younger generation, at the same time, with the child’s fascination, creates crazy combinations, turning kitsch into a fashion of today’s times.

Maybe, for a while, it makes sense to depart from modern, flat, minimalist concepts and delicate colors, to take a step back and see what will never come back in the same form?

Dusty Design

Stacks website

To make buttons stand out, designers are experimenting with ways to make them look like they’re floating above the background. We often use drop shadows and different combinations and variants of gradients to liven them up.

One trend that we predict will be huge in 2022 is dusty buttons. Buttons on glass surfaces will look like they’re behind a thin coating of dust, providing a sense of depth and making the buttons appear more tactile. This trend highly shows that the boring flat buttons era might be way behind us and a completely new future is approaching.

Color of the Year

Very Peri color palette

The Pantone Color Institute, every year for over 20 years, announced the color of 2022. This time they chose a warm and subdued mixture of blue, violet, and a hint of red. Officially called Pantone 17–3938 Very Peri, described as dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet red undertone. In RGB space, it’s exactly 102, 103, 171. And the HEX value is #6667AB.

The color is a response to the current world situation and is intended to suggest the need for change, the search for new opportunities, hope, and creative strength. The inspiration was not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also virtual reality headed by Metaverse and NFT.

Very Peri is meant to encourage people to discover and enter a new reality with optimism and childlike curiosity. It allows us to accept the opportunities and perspectives that surround us. The time of transformation and the need to adapt to a new vision of the world require not only exceptional creativity, but also self-confidence, passion, and energy.

In general, the combination of blue and purple is associated with innovation, creative thinking, and modernity. On the other hand, warm accents add a tinge of optimism and joy.

Does this mean that in 2022 we should design our products based on this color theme? Not necessarily, but it’s worth having it in the back of your head. Color trends set by the Pantone Institute quickly shape fashion in the world around us. Hence, you can almost be sure that shades of purple and blue will storm not only apps and website interfaces, but also fashion shows and interior designs.

Color is still one of the most powerful means to communicate and express emotions. Therefore, let’s not be afraid to follow color trends and experiment with what is currently popular.

These are just a few of the design trends worth following. In addition to the above-mentioned, it is worthwhile to observe concepts such as:

  • motion design & micro animations
  • new european bauhaus
  • immersive design
  • behavioural design
  • blurred, colorful backgrounds
  • claymorphism & glassmorphism,
  • smooth swipe
  • emotional design
  • abstract design
  • animated illustrations

Finally, for dessert, we left two more concepts that have caused a lot of buzz in recent years, namely AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). Well known and widely used, but still not as common as we would like.

Additionally, in the past year, the tech world has turned its eyes to two hot terms, Metaverse and NFT. We won’t go into details right now, but they are definitely things that will change the way we perceive VR today. Watch the development of all mentioned directions, because there are probably a lot of things that can happen in this realm soon. As designers, we should always stay on our toes.

Best Design Conferences moved to Remote Online this year 2020
5 min

Best Design Conferences moved to Remote Online this year 2020

This post originally appeared on uxgirl medium.

This years work leisure times meaning attending conferences might be a little troublesome for most of us to say the least with all the restrictions due to COVID-19 situation. Even though travelling to a distant country to meet new people and talk work matters in a light way while drinking free beverages is not possible, there is another option to learn something new and possibly meet others, meaning online remote conferences.

Many of the yearly happenings have successfully moved to the virtual space this year to accommodate new conditions. While the experience might be slightly different we still think it’s worth it, so grab your favourite beverage and snacks and get ready for some binge keynoting.

UX Healthcare: Frankfurt

July 8, 2020

Better user experience can save lives. With this bold statement UX Healthcare conference presents their mission. At UX GIRL Healthcare is at the forefront of our services sectors and we, as well as UX Healthcare, also see a big need in revolutionising this industry. Healthcare systems need better design and need some talks about it. Frankfurt edition of this conference will be held fully online with later editions to stay in the usual format. It’s a great possibility to catch a glimpse of the healthcare industry progress in terms of technology and experience working products. We particularly recommend attending these sessions: Adventures in Surgical UX from Tim Caynes and UX for AR: Brain Surgery with Augmented Reality.

Gdynia Design Days

July 4–11, 2020

Gdynia Design Days: Attention theme 2020 poster with Akiyoshi Kitaoka optical illusion

This baltic conference is already an established brand in the polish design scene. 2020s’ years theme is Attention! which was announced even before the worldwide epidemic of COVID-19. It was chosen to showcase mindfulness and enhance focusing on values, that we sometimes forget these days. We have our own possibility of adding to the theme, as Magdalena-our founder will be performing design workshops there. If you want to learn more about Blockchain and how to solve sustainability issues with it through design be sure to sing up here.

HCI International

July 19–24, 2020

We were particularly looking forward to visiting this conference, as it was scheduled to be held in a beautiful venue Bella Sky, Copenhagen, but it’s great to know that the conference has been fully moved to the online. HCI International is a very solid science-oriented conference covering all aspects of Human Computer Interaction. If want to see factual research studies being presented-this is something for you. We also highly recommend it for people interested in accessibility.

FinTech Design Summit

July 30, 2020

Financial world is finally catching up with new technology and it’s a very interesting moment for designers to dive deeper into Capital Markets, Corporate and Personal Banking and Brokerage. The conference will feature aspects of Product, Design, UX and Strategy in the Fintech sector. It would be great to listen to Andy Montgomery talk about Square, which was one of the hottest startups in the early fintech days and still stays strong in e-commerce. For people more interested in Blockchain we think listening to Sarah Gregory from Coinbase might just be the best thing to do in your free time.

Enterprise Experience 2020

August 31-September 3, 2020

It’s hard not to notice the organiser of the event Rosenfeld Media, which is responsible for delivering technology and design oriented books to eager reading designers for over a decade. The program of the conference is quite robust with lectures ranging from design for US satellites, through LEGO and giants like Mastercard, Salesforce, ZenDesk. Seems like everyone will find something worthy to listen to.

UXPA 2020 International

September TBA, 2020

Offline conference that was supposed to be cancelled and moved to 2021 decided to run a mini version of it during September. Dates are still TBA, so make sure to write it down a check once in a while. Conference is organized by UXPA association (former UPA) and will be free for all it’s members. Special feature for this conference is a big UX Quiz, which can be completed solo or in team.

Design Thinking: Virtual Experience

September 8–11, 2020

John Maeda @ Design Thinking: Virtual Experience

Biggest highlight of this conference is John Maeda, a designer and technologist that was marked by Wired magazine as to be to design as Warren Buffet is to finance. He will be talking about transformation and going beyond design — we can’t wait. Apart from this talk we think it would be beneficial to attend to some workshops that are being held by people from IDEO U.

Disrupt 2020

September 14–18, 2020

It’s hard not to know this conference if you have been to the startup world once in your lifetime. Techrunch Disrupt offers a glide through this years hottest startups that will certainly be big in years to come. It might be the best place to catch a glimpse at the newest user interface trends to come and see them in action on a live product. The conference is supposed to be held offline, but will feature a Digital Pass, that will allow attendees to listen to select keynotes from their homes.

Design Matters ‘20

September 23–24, 2020

Shot from the Design Matters 90' inspired website

A conference with a rebel flare, we really recommend you visit their 90' inspired website. Design Matters explores new movements in the digital design scene. This year it features Real Fake, Next Gen Design and Scrappy Creative as the conference themes. All sound pretty neat, so we think you should attend just to check them out of curiosity. It will be held onsite in Copenhagen, but live stream tickets are available.

Mobile HCI 2020

October 5–8, 2020

This Mobile conference is organized by ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), a nearly 75-years old organisation directed at technology and computing. We expect a decent dose of research backed information concerning mobile applications and human computer interaction there. The conference has been fully moved to the virtual space, so expect lots of presentations and insights delivered straight to your comfortable sofa.

UXDX

October 6–9, 2020

Last but not least, UXDX offers a fresh view on combining product, design and development topics. Conference is to be held online and will get you the knowledge needed to amp your product development process a level higher.

Either onsite or online we still think conferences do broaden up your horizons. Make sure to save some time for these events and try to network, given our current possibilities.

Have fun!

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5 min

Design Trends for 2024

Another crazy year is behind us. Both in the world of politics and the international situation, as well as in the world of technology. We can confidently say that, on the one hand, we need new impulses and impressions after the rather boring and specific period of the pandemic. On the other hand, looking at what is happening in the world in general, we need peace and rest.

Looking at current trends in both graphics and UI/UX design, they perfectly reflect this dualism. We have the color of the year 2024 recently announced by Pantone - a soft, pinkish-orange hue called "Peach Fuzz", reflecting the collective desire for respite and the Bento Grid introducing harmony. But at the same time, we have the bold intrusion of 3D and VR concepts, juicy color combinations, and neubrutalism, which have as much in common with calmness as Java has in common with Javascript (i.e. not much).

And all this is poured with AI sauce. Yes, last year was definitely the year of AI and everything indicates that this year will be no different in this respect.

So sit back and take a look at what design will follow in 2024.

3D

Probably more than once, when reading this article, you will get the impression that this has happened before, this or that trend is nothing new and there is actually nothing to be excited about. However, it is not as obvious as it may seem at first glance. Some time ago we were already dealing with 3D elements on websites, but often they were actually either isometric projections of rather clumsy illustrations, or elements in the skeuomorphic style, which is not actually full-fledged 3D. Alternatively, browser-based gaming experiences. Now we are talking about 3D in all its glory. A complex and engaging experience that we can increasingly observe, e.g. in the form of product presentation on a website or in branding.

macOS Sonoma; Spline; ozero.design; reddit.com; lusion.co; resend.com; Sauce: elegantseagulls.com

Sometimes you can even find statements suggesting that this is the end of the era of flat design. We can't really agree on this here. I think that both approaches, i.e. minimalist and 3D style, coexist and will coexist for a long time. Once in a while, you need simplicity, but other times you need three-dimensional immersion.

The development of 3D is not surprising, because every year we have better and better technologies and hardware capabilities at our disposal. Faster Internet, faster computers, better optimization of tools such as WebGL, creation of new libraries, and improvement of existing ones, e.g. three.js. The creation of tools that allow people who are not specialists in the subject to work with 3D. Recently, the Spline tool has become very popular. It runs in a browser, and the intuitive interface and a bunch of predefined operations allow you to create fantastic 3D objects and interactions with minimal effort. You no longer need to learn how to use Blender - in Spline we can click everything quickly and painlessly 😀

Enriching your website with three-dimensional elements and animations allows you to build a more complete, more attention-grabbing experience. In addition to websites, we can also use 3D in our personal brands. Recently, the popular website Reddit refreshed its brand by creating a new logo in the form of a three-dimensional mascot. In turn, three-dimensional application icons appeared in MacOS. Such companies also (or maybe primarily?) shape the directions in which the industry is developing, and this shows that 3D fashion will not disappear so quickly. So expect an in-depth experience even more!

Heatmapping

Heatmapping is a graciously named style that focuses on the blending of colors, which interlace in various ways to create attention-grabbing backgrounds, shapes, and even fascinating rainbow-like animations. Sometimes, this style simply comes down to working with gradients, which don't always have to be static or cliched. Nowadays, we're witnessing vibrant color combinations, bold unions, and the introduction of animated colors. As a result, we gain a broader and more nuanced experience. Additionally, the Aurora UI or Aurora Borealis style, also involving color blending, has been quite popular in recent years. It's a technique that involves blending colors in a way that mimics the Northern Lights, featuring smooth color transitions within an often muted palette to create a cohesive and soothing experience.

mymind.com; Dribbble: Graphic Assets, Colorful Gradient Backgrounds,Textures; stripe.com; monopo.co.jp; exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art Αthens (ΕΜΣΤ); morrre.dsgn, Hybrid. Identity design by @timtijnk for a music festival; Sleepiest; Behance: Ai кроссы, Elena Kolodub; wope.com

Returning to heatmapping, the style refers to techniques used, for example, in product analytics. Serving as a tool to analyze user behavior data on websites or mobile apps. A heatmap (or heat map) is a graphical representation of data where values are depicted by color, crucial for pinpointing what works or doesn't on a website or page and identifying the areas users interact with the most. Heatmapping allows for identifying the most frequently clicked spots, analyzing scrolling behavior, and investigating which elements attract particular attention. "Hot" areas, indicating high interest, are marked in red, while "cold" areas, showing lesser engagement, are highlighted in blue, with intermediate colors like orange, yellow, green, and purple providing additional insights.

As we can see, all these techniques involve manipulating colors to create more sophisticated experiences. This approach allows designers to infuse UI elements with depth, movement, and emotion, using color psychology to evoke specific feelings or reinforce brand identity. The style is not limited to web design and digital products, but also appears in merchandise, apparel, print media, home furnishings, and more, showcasing its versatility and widespread appeal in enhancing user engagement and visual storytelling.

Bento Grid

Projects are continuously emerging, created by designers who aren't afraid to experiment with how content is arranged within interfaces.  From ultra-minimalist and brutalist, sparing in form concepts, through horizontal scrolling, to completely wild layouts in which everything comes alive.

In the latter half of 2023, the so-called Bento Grid made its appearance on Apple's website and several other popular products, especially in the AI sector. Observing how many companies have adopted this concept on their sites, it's safe to predict that the Bento Grid will be the layout of 2024!

relume.io; schoooool.com; ozero.design; Windows 8; Windows 11; microsoft.com; iconwerk.com; liam.is

Inspired by the compartmentalized design of Japanese bento boxes, this grid system segments the screen into distinct areas, each dedicated to different content types. The Bento Grid isn't just for interface projects; it can be used in various presentations, reports, data visualizations, and branding. It's also currently one of the most popular styles on Linktree. The simple yet interesting division into rectangles of various sizes allows for an unconventional, clear, and hierarchical presentation of content. However, the Bento Grid should be used sparingly to avoid ending up with a layout that could overwhelm users, making the intended hierarchy less visible. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a way to present your data or any content in an interesting and scalable manner, consider using the Bento Grid. Remember, it's merely a concept, a tool, and the clarity and readability of the content you place within it depend entirely on you.

Interestingly, this concept isn't entirely new. For instance, it could be experienced with the tiles introduced by Microsoft in 2012. This perfectly shows that certain ideas and solutions come back after years and can once again experience their glory. Often in other contexts, but with the underlying idea remaining unchanged.

Massive Typography

This trend or style has been around for a few years now, but still it seems to be on top and even more and more websites incorporate it into their interfaces. Besides it’s often elegant or artistic, it has several other advantages.

First of all, it makes the users immediately focused on the specific elements and more involved in the content that we want to exaggerate.

Secondly, if space is limited due to large text sizes, we have to carefully choose what text we want to have on the website. This necessity ensures that only the most relevant and essential information is presented, avoiding the clutter of unnecessary details. We, as creators, are forced to articulate our thoughts in a succinct and effective way.

vanholtz.co; stripesessions.com; ikonliving.gr; gencell.preprodenv.com; homage.se; andagain.uk; ohm.studio

Typically, the use of bold typography is seamlessly integrated with a minimalist design approach, creating a harmonious blend that emphasizes clarity and simplicity. We don’t have to worry too much about additional visual assets, because they are not needed anymore. Website is lighter and it’s a good in terms of the optimization purposes.

Of course, current design can be crazy. We have so many possibilities to play and experiment with, that you can come across massive typography style together with 3D elements, animations, fluffy assets, etc. Actually, sky is the limit. Nonetheless usually, when it comes to this trend, the structure is pretty straightforward and the typography dictates the whole website’s vibe.

Immersive experience

This is very broad and general term, but in short it embraces all the bold and unique solutions that make your project stand out. They often guarantee mesmerizing experiences.

Immersive design frequently incorporates complex or ubiquitous animations that make a profound impact on users, transforming elements from mere decoration into powerful storytelling tools. Leading companies leverage this technique to showcase products or weave compelling narratives, elevating the user experience beyond the conventional.

lusion.co; pendereckisgarden.pl; panicstudio.tv; sarahfatmi.com; flyingpapers.com; gsap.com; sbs.com.au/theboat/; parfaitekuisson.fr

Another category that gives us often an immersive experience is the so-called scrapbook style or mixed media style. It’s essentially a modern twist on collage with playful or vibrant color palettes, untypical interactions, and a bunch of visual combinations that break the UX rules. It’s also eagerly used in graphic design. A mix of images, shapes, colors, and good storytelling creates an opportunity for memorable projects that resonate with the audience.

Lastly, immersive design refers also to AR/VR solutions, but we describe them in more detail below, as a separate trend.

Photo Grids

This UI style might not be as widely discussed as dark mode or brutalism, yet it undoubtedly deserves a special mention on our list. For at least a few years now, we've observed designers experimenting with grid and content layout in fascinating and unique ways, often resulting in even electrifying projects. At first glance, we can see just images scattered across a page. The implemented interactions seem to appear random, merely artistic whims. Indeed, these layouts often contain a significant amount of artistry and visual flair, but as the name suggests, they're grounded in a grid system. There's no rule stating that every website must adhere to a similar layout or that tiles must be of equal size and spaced evenly. Today's layouts and content presentation methods surprise with their form and creativity. However, a closer analysis of how individual images are arranged quickly reveals a pattern, showing they are strategically placed on a grid, everything aligned and thoughtfully considered.

surface.arcticvolume.com; dmitrkutsenko.com; sceners.co; cosmos.so; guillaumetomasi.com; adamho.com/#Industries

The primary goal of utilizing this style is to present one's projects, photographs, products, or simply what one wishes to showcase intriguingly. This style is often seen on design agency websites, e-commerce platforms (like clothing stores), architects' and photographers' websites, as well as for showcasing physical products (such as a ceramics collection).

Beyond unconventional content presentation, this approach often tells a story, builds a brand, and ensures the viewer is enchanted by both the photo grid and its contents.

It's also crucial that all images are visually cohesive and appropriately prepared, as they form the basis of the entire layout.

The style is particularly gracious because the ways to present and arrange content on the grid are nearly endless. Moreover, we can add a bunch of different interactions (like hover, click, or scroll effects) that enhance the whole experience even more. Designing the hero section in this manner can create an excellent first impression. Despite an initial impression of scattered content, everything harmoniously coexists, with nothing feeling visually out of place or uncomfortable. It simply works!

Monochrome Design

For many, "Dark Mode" might be the more familiar term. In essence, it's about designing with a focus on dark color schemes. Nowadays, the background doesn't have to be just dark gray or black. Many designs incorporate various accents, gradients, glows, illuminated interactions, etc.

Dark mode is not a new concept but has recently experienced a true renaissance. There's been a surge in fantastic projects and products with websites that dazzle with their design. Creators play with dark colors, introducing transparency, highlights, subtle micro-interactions, and additional accent colors, proving the popularity of this style is well-founded.

linear.app; feyapp.com; pipe.com; wope.com; evervault.com; satellitor.com; twingate.com; diagram.com

A while ago, Linear made its mark on the market. The company showcased a website that now serves as a benchmark for designing in dark mode. The website looks really good, and many designers are emulating its style, further popularizing the trend.

Besides Linear's website, there have been several other noteworthy projects recently that have made an impact and also become a significant source of UI inspiration. For example, the Twingate website or the Diagram project, which should be recognizable in the design world.

Beyond just looking good and giving the website a professional vibe, dark mode is also easy on the eyes and makes content consumption effortless.

Perhaps your next project will be inspired by this style?

Neubrutalism

Neubrutalism is a fancy term for the trend that is a next stage of the raw and overwhelming brutalism style. It's also a pretty good reflection of the Y2K hype. We are ready to claim that neubrutalism is somewhere in the middle. It's a return to simplicity, functionality, and minimalism but with a bold twist. This style is all about creating impactful layouts using stark colors, sharp lines, and geometric shapes. It's a fusion of old and new, drawing inspiration from the raw, unfinished materials of brutalist architecture and updating it with modern design principles. The core of neubrutalism lies in its uncomplicated layouts, uncluttered spaces, and modern typography, all brought to life with bright, contrasting colors and flat illustrations.

figma.com; gumroad.com; thegreatlake.fun; arc.net; budapestpark.hu/en; cleanwith.plus; adidasarena.com

This trend is more than a nostalgic nod to the architectural brutalism of the 1950s or the colorful vibrancy of pop art. It represents a modern, minimalistic look that emphasizes functionality and user experience (UX) through simple yet bold forms. Neubrutalism has become a popular choice for designers wanting to make their projects stand out. It's particularly effective for showcasing products and services in a distinctive way that captures attention and engages viewers.

The style encourages creativity, offering a unique way to express a brand's identity and spirit. With its emphasis on simplicity and impactful visual elements, neubrutalism can help your project make a lasting impression, whether you're looking to present your work in a new light or tell a captivating story through your website's design.

Spacial Design

This year is the year when Apple releases its Apple Vision Pro device. Of course, the hype started last year when Apple presented its new product at the WWDC23 conference. There was a lot of speculation, discussion, and the Internet was flooded with conceptual designs tailored to Apple's glasses. However, this year we are dealing with the official premiere, so it is easy to guess that the discussions and buzz around spatial design will return with a vengeance.

Apple Vision Pro (apple.com); bezi.com/hq; thespaces.com/airbnb-virtual-reality-hospitality (airbnb)

What exactly are Apple Vision Pro? To put it simply, these are virtual reality (VR) glasses. However, to be more precise, it is actually an advanced device with cameras, sensors, microphones, a powerful M2 processor and the new R1 chip and, above all, two built-in ultra-high resolution displays that, when combined, create one 4K screen with 23 million pixels that can generate an image up to 1200” wide. We can therefore use our favorite applications, serve online, watch movies or make video calls on a screen placed in a physical space.

However, this is not completely new when it comes to the VR market. Similar devices have been appearing for many years, and VR is used, for example, to eliminate cognitive disorders, treat concentration, present real estate projects, in games and a whole host of other things. Nevertheless, this year will certainly be significant, because it is Apple that will make its contribution and do it in its own spectacular style, giving the impression that their glasses are the most advanced and simply the best. Whether this is actually the case, we do not know, but it is almost certain that we will experience more and more VR projects. We are curious whether the premiere from Apple will be the impetus that will finally popularize VR technology among consumers.

Generative AI

This article would certainly be incomplete if we did not mention probably the biggest trend of the last several months, namely the use of AI algorithms.

ChatGPT, Midjourney (currently in version V6), Adobe Firefly and several other popular tools have introduced a new approach to how we work and what our projects ultimately look like. From a visual perspective, it is primarily the generation of images that deserves a lot of attention. The quality and realism offered by Midjourney or DALL-E 3 are really great and we are not surprised that people fell in love with working with prompts, creating visual gems. If you want to learn more about AI tools that are worth testing, please take a look at one of our previous articles: read about AI tools

Adobe Firefly (firefly.adobe.com); Relume (relume.io); otterdev.io; app.leonardo.ai; midjourney.com/showcase; logitech.com/pl-pl/products/keyboards/mx-mechanical-mini-mac.html

However, Generative AI is not only about images, it is also about generating text content, generating diagrams and design concepts (e.g. using the Relume tool), generating reports and summaries based on the entered data, and recently also generating videos or animations using simple text prompts.

Perhaps the first boom in these tools has already passed, but for sure another solution that will attract the attention of creators will soon appear on the market. And even if nothing like this happens, the number of applications and projects using generative AI is so large that it will certainly be a trend both this year and in the next few years.

As you can see, the industry is not idle and a lot is going on. The trends presented above are, in our opinion, only the most interesting, selectively picked ones. In general, there are many more concepts and styles that we can experience in the digital space. In some industries, one style shines through more than another, and that's okay too.

Trends are cool and it's worth keeping an eye on the pulse to know what direction our industry is heading and what's triumphing now, but let's not forget that trends pass and come back. They are often the result of some, as it later turns out, completely insignificant impulse. Therefore, first of all, let us approach it with caution and distance. We should first address our actual needs, which, as it often emerges, are completely different from what is currently on top.

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5 min

How to find the best design agency? Useful tips

In today's digital landscape, the success of your company largely depends on the user experience (UX) of your website or application. In fact, it can be the make-or-break factor for your business. A well-designed and intuitive interface can keep users engaged and satisfied, while a poorly designed one can drive them away. This might seem obvious, but there's still a surprising number of digital products in the market that fail to fulfill their intended role. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about aligning your offerings with the needs of the users, ensuring that those who start using your product stay with you longer than just during a free trial period. In this article, we will show you how to find the UX design specialists who can help you achieve this goal and how your business can benefit from it all.

If you want to stay in the game, you must focus on delivering solutions that are not only useful and attractive but, above all, tailored to your target audience. Moreover, it's worth considering whether there's even a demand for your product in the market before investing significant time and money in realizing your grand vision. After all, you wouldn't want to channel resources into something destined to fail. It's valuable to have someone who will take care of the entire process, someone who will define our potential audience, plan how what we're creating should work, and be beneficial (both to you as the product owner and to the users, its consumers). We will show you how UX specialists and design agencies can perfectly fulfill this role. You will discover precisely how they can support your business grow and ensure that you reap the intended benefits.

You have 3 possible approaches at your disposal

  • You can create a dedicated department within your team responsible for research, analysis, and design solutions, or hire at least one person to be responsible for this
  • You can hire an external person, a freelancer, who will provide you with the appropriate solution
  • Finally, you can hire a design agency or software house, which will likely take a very comprehensive approach to the matter and propose a tailored solution

The first option generally makes a lot of sense when the solution you're creating is a long-term project, something that will require continuous monitoring, updating, and comprehensive care. Typically, large corporations, banks, or public institutions opt for this approach because they have the budget to permanently maintain an additional department or at least a person responsible for UX/UI. Furthermore, their product keeps growing and requires continuous testing, changes, and supervision. If you're not a corporation but a startup or a company that simply needs project help here and now, creating a UX department may not be the best choice. It's essential to keep in mind that establishing a dedicated department in your company, or even implementing a single individual to fill a UX role, is often a time-consuming process that can stretch over months or even years. Moreover, having a UX department also entails a dedicated career path for specialists, ensuring benefits and keeping their knowledge up to date in a rapidly changing market. As we're aware, competition never rests, and it's in our best interest to ensure we don't fall behind. Not every company has the resources to smoothly establish a new department without encountering obstacles.

A freelancer is often a good choice for a so-called quick task. This is also usually the cheapest option, but you must remember that it's a single individual. If you expect a comprehensive service, value your time, or your product is more than just a simple landing page, relying solely on a freelancer may not be the most suitable route to take.

In most cases, however, the best option will be the third approach, choosing to hire an external design agency. You don't have to immediately change your internal structures and commit to a permanent partnership, but at the same time, you can rely on professional support from not just one, but often many individuals whose knowledge and experience complement each other. An agency often has established internal processes, appropriate software, and resources that you sort of get "out of the box," and unlike a freelancer, they can deliver a complex product in a reasonable time frame.

In this article, we will focus on choosing the right design agency. As you can probably imagine, not all agencies are the same, the number of options can be overwhelming and discouraging, and in the end, you must come to an agreement with one of them. The one that will provide you with a solution that meets the expectations of all stakeholders.

What do you gain by hiring a design agency?

Before we share with you the recipe for finding a design agency that will contribute to the success of your product, you should understand the detailed benefits and services you can expect as part of your collaboration with such an agency.

Depending on your needs, you can choose an agency that specializes in a specific area within the overall design process. For example, you can request only a website audit or preliminary research to define the target audience and the actual needs of potential users. There are also many companies that focus on the visual aspect, i.e., UI (User Interface) design or creating your brand's entire identity.

However, most of these agencies typically offer a comprehensive range of services and provide a holistic design process, from conducting research to defining user journeys, designing both necessary functionalities and visual elements, usability testing, and even KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analysis.

Is a company that offers such a broad range of services trustworthy?

Absolutely, because it's usually not just one person but a team of individuals, each responsible for a different aspect of your project. By choosing a reputable agency, you gain access to a pool of experts and enthusiasts — people who specialize in delivering solutions that simply convert.

UX (User Experience) design firms have an in-depth understanding of your users. They achieve this through methods like analyzing the competition, studying quantitative and qualitative data, engaging with potential users, conducting workshops, and creating user profiles. With a profound understanding of the target audience, they can create user-focused designs and deliver experiences tailored to their needs. Furthermore, they make decisions based on data and ultimately create unique products tailored to your specific business, allowing you to stand out in the market. Your business objectives are equally important to UX designers. They act as a bridge between users, development teams, and stakeholders. On one hand, they know what customers want and expect. On the other hand, they collaborate with developers to achieve these goals while simultaneously improving the company's profitability.

In summary, when partnering with an agency, you can expect the following benefits:

Expertise and experience

A reputable agency boasts an extensive portfolio of successful projects, which serves as a testament to its experience. In general, agencies are well-prepared to handle complex projects right from the start. Their teams consist of multiple specialists who are poised to contribute from various angles to your project.

A well-organized design process

When working with various clients, representatives of project agencies understand what works in individual cases and can propose a process that not only delivers the final solution but also helps alleviate some of your company's resources. Furthermore, what an agency creates is not just mockups for developers to implement the product but also comprehensive documentation that can be utilized by different departments within your company. With well-defined objectives, values, and processes, we can prepare business presentations or even update the entire team's product knowledge. Additionally, along with the mockups, you receive a so-called design system or style guide that defines the individual elements of the product, enabling its easy maintenance and future development.

Save Time and Resources

By entrusting your design work to professionals, you free up your time and resources to focus on your core business activities.

Access to specialized tools

By working with an agency, your company can enjoy the benefits of using industry-specific tools like Figma or Miro without the need to purchase individual licenses. This not only saves your organization the cost of software licenses but also grants you access to the full potential of these powerful tools, enhancing your team's collaborative capabilities and productivity.

Efficient onboarding and swift turnaround

Unlike relying on a single individual where project progress could stall due to their absence, an agency ensures uninterrupted progress. Team members can seamlessly step in to maintain momentum, address any issues, and keep the project moving forward.

Transparent budget and timeline

In most cases, before you start cooperation, you will receive a general cost and estimated completion time. This transparent approach ensures that you possess a clear understanding of the budget and timeframe from the very beginning, enabling you to make well-informed decisions regarding your investment and confirming that the project harmonizes with your financial objectives.

Stay current with design trends

Design agencies are well-versed in the latest design trends and technologies, ensuring your project is up-to-date and competitive.

Defining the Direction

Lastly, if you're not entirely sure about your needs, what would work best for your product, or if you simply want to enhance your existing offerings, a project agency can guide you in the right direction. Drawing upon data and research, they can provide you with insights that shed new light on your product. Armed with a well-structured analysis, you can proceed to implement specific steps in alignment with your priorities.

How to choose the best design agency?

It's easy to imagine that after entering the right query into Google, you'll get dozens, if not hundreds, of matching results.

How do you navigate through it all and select the company that will deliver what you expect?

Of course, it's not straightforward, and in the end, it may depend a little on your luck. However, to significantly boost your chances, you can take the right steps to ensure that the company you choose meets your expectations.

What matters most isn't just the range of services offered or a portfolio filled with recognizable clients – the most crucial factor is the so-called 'match.' Every company is different, with its unique work culture and approach to the solution delivery process. You should find the one that aligns best with your approach and with whom you can communicate effectively.

Effective communication is key here. Of course, we can't downplay the importance of designers' experience and technical skills because the quality of the solutions they create ultimately depends on that. However, before diving into analysis, building flows, or creating prototypes, you should have a clear understanding of your mutual expectations and the way you'll work together. Nothing hampers a project like a lack of good communication!

Below, we present the key steps to consider in selecting the right design agency for your objectives.

Define your needs

Before you start your search, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your project goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your design project? Do you need a comprehensive end-to-end solution or maybe only some updates to your existing project? Do you need brand identity or visual resources? This clarity will help you communicate your requirements effectively and evaluate potential agencies.

Even if you don't have a complete grasp of your expectations, you likely have a vision of what you want to achieve, knowing your goals or priorities. These insights are valuable as they can further pinpoint the areas where you need assistance.

Prepare project brief

Now that you have a clear understanding of your expectations and goals, it's time to create a project brief, an indispensable tool for discussions with potential design agencies and a key component of the project's kick-off meeting. We will delve a bit deeper into this topic in the further part of the article.

Research and Shortlist

Start by conducting thorough research. Look for design agencies online, ask for recommendations from peers, and read reviews. Create a shortlist of agencies that align with your goals, have a strong portfolio, and a good reputation. Here, it's crucial to pay attention to the services a particular agency offers and what they specialize in. It's possible that the agency specializes exclusively in e-commerce solutions, while you may be in need of a mobile application for team management, for example. Often, this scope is directly described on the agency's website or can be inferred from their portfolio. However, if you have any doubts, you can always inquire about their scope and experience during an introductory conversation. Furthermore, it's worth considering the type of collaboration you expect, whether it's long-term or short-term. This information can be valuable for the agency and ultimately help narrow down your search.

Review Portfolios

A design agency's portfolio is like their resume. It showcases their past work and the quality of their designs. Review their portfolio to see if their style and expertise match your project's needs. Pay attention to the diversity of their work and their experience in your industry. And what is important - do not be impressed with their clients, look for what exact work they did and is it a quality one.

Check Client Testimonials

Testimonials and case studies can provide valuable insights into an agency's track record. Reach out to their past clients if possible to get direct feedback on their experience with the agency. Look for reviews on third-party websites like Clutch or DesignRush. You can also check out their LinkedIn profile. It will give you a better understanding of the agency's professionalism, communication, and results.

Meet the Team

A design agency is only as good as its team. Schedule a meeting or consultation with the agency to meet the designers and project managers who will be working on your project. Try to find out how they work and engage in a conversation with their product lead or head of design. Ensure that their expertise and communication style align with your expectations.

Ask about the design process

A good UX/UI design agency should have a clear process for working with clients. Ask about their process, including how they approach research, design, and testing. A well-defined process ensures that your project will be completed on time and to your satisfaction.

Check for Flexibility and Scalability

Consider whether the agency can adapt to your changing needs or future projects. A scalable agency can be a long-term partner for your design requirements, offering a consistent design language across different projects.

Evaluate their communication skills

Effective communication and collaboration are vital for a successful project. Ensure that the agency values open and transparent communication and is willing to collaborate with your team to achieve the best results.

Consider their pricing

Pricing is an important consideration when choosing a UX/UI design agency. Look for an agency that offers transparent pricing and is upfront about any additional costs.

Read the contract carefully

Before signing any agreement, read the contract carefully. Make sure it outlines the project scope, deliverables, timelines, and payment terms clearly. Seek legal advice if necessary to protect your interests.

Pay attention to red flags before hiring an agency...

In the process of hiring designers or design agencies, pay attention to signs that suggest they might not be the best fit. Look beyond their experience and online reviews; consider whether they show a genuine interest in your project by asking for data, research, and the possibility of conducting analyses. This commitment to understanding your project's goals is a positive sign. Conversely, if they rush into creating mockups without thorough inquiry, it could be a red flag.

Also, consider whether they approach each project uniquely or follow a standard pattern. Opting for a company that customizes their approach for each project can be beneficial.

Don't skip the project brief – it's your preparation for the kick-off meeting!

As mentioned earlier, preparing a project brief is one of the key steps to ensuring a successful start when collaborating with a design agency. It's safe to say it's one of the most crucial steps, as the UX designers' understanding of your needs largely depends on what you present to them. You don't have to have all the answers to every possible question, as you and the design team will work together to uncover solutions throughout the project. However, the more information you can provide at the beginning of the project, whether it's for the design team, researchers, auditors, or even branding experts, the better.

Your project brief might and often should include the following:

  • Defining the project's goals and expectations
  • Outlining the scope of work
  • Setting timelines and budget constraints
  • Providing all relevant materials your company possesses in the context of the project, such as brand guidelines, reports, previous work results (if applicable), and analysis findings
  • Clearly expressing any specific methodologies, technologies, or design principles you prefer, along with your questions and expectations.

A well-structured project brief serves as a roadmap for productive collaboration and ensures a successful project launch.

Remember, finding the right UX/UI design agency is not about settling for what's readily available - it's about investing time and effort into finding a partner who can bring your ideas to life in the most impactful way possible. So don't rush this decision; take the time needed to research, compare portfolios, read client testimonials, and have conversations with potential agencies. Your project deserves nothing less than the best fit for success.

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5 min

The Evolution of the Blinking Cursor: Navigating the Challenge of Multiple Cursors in Design

The digital environment is constantly changing. Design evolves and adapts to new needs and new users. However, some solutions do not go out of fashion. People from all generations know them and changing them could introduce chaos or at least frustration.

All of you know it very well and see it every day while typing on any of your devices. It helps you by indicating the spot for your future text and does follow new letters as you type. It also specifies the location in the text where you want to paste something that you previously copied. You might have seen it as an underscore or a block but usually, it takes the form of a blinking vertical line. As we found out while researching for this article - it also has a lot of names

  • caret
  • blinking cursor
  • text cursor
  • text insertion point

Where did the blinking cursor even come from?

In the last century, along with technological development, the possibility of creating and editing texts on the first computers appeared. However, writers struggled with the problem of the lack of a quick and intuitive possibility of changing or removing a selected fragment of the text.

Charles Kiesling was one of the engineers interested in advancing the capabilities of computers in the 1950s. He worked on improving the logic circuitry of computers such as the IBM 650. In 1967, Kiesling filed a patent for a new typing solution - a blinking cursor. However, this solution became widely known and used in 1977 with the premiere of Apple II and a year later with the premiere of the first commercially popular word processor WordStar.

Today, anyone who has had a computer in their hands at least once knows what a cursor means. Designers and developers working on products and adding new features can’t disregard  solutions users are already used to.

So what should we do if we need to point two spots at once?

We’ve recently asked ourselves this question for the first time. We came across a case that made us think about it while designing a tool similar to code creator. The user was supposed to add a few elements in the line, which together created a whole code. Each of the elements could have been selected from a code completion list that also had a search function. First caret: the user needed to be able to see the location of a new element added in the "code". Second caret: if the user wanted to search for an element, the caret must have appeared in the active textfield.

What now? Should we delete one cursor? Gray it out? How about leaving both of them and ignoring the problem? We’ve decided to check some popular apps - desktop and mobile and find out how they solve this problem.
Gmail on Mac - Adding emoji to a new email

One caret follows the text entered in the search box. The other indicates the place in the email where the selected emoji will appear. It's worth noticing that they are both blinking and have the same color.

Adding emoji to a new email. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
Google Docs - Searching an element in the doc

In that case, the first cursor follows the text typed in the finder tool. The second one points to the last active text location. Both of the cursors have the same color, but just the one in the finder is blinking. The second cursor starts to blink again after closing the finder.

Searching an element in the google document. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
iOS Notes - Adding emoji to the note

iPhone users can experience a double text cursor creating a new note on their phones. The cursors are very different from each other - they have different colors and only the one in the search box is blinking.

Adding emoji to the iOS note. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.
WhatsApp for Android - Adding emoji to the new message

In that case, we can see only one caret and it’s in a search box. The one in the textfield is invisible but the selected emoji appears in the place where a caret was active the last time.

Adding emoji to the new WhatsApp message. Illustration of the cursors' behavior.

Which one is the best?

After testing a few apps, it's time to summarize the pros and cons of each solution.

Visibility of both cursors at once

In our opinion, the user should always be able to see where the result of their action will appear. Making one of the carets invisible takes away some part of the user's control. So we stand for keeping both cursors visible to the user. What is important here is creating a hierarchy for them. So now let's take care of…

Colors

Let's pay attention to a good idea that appeared in one of the inspirations we found: the cursor that is not responsible for the main action on the screen is grayed out. To highlight the importance of the main cursor, we can also choose colors other than black. Blue for example will call attention to the active status of the textfield.

Blinking

Last but not least - blinking of the cursor. It is obvious that this function helps a lot in finding our current location in the text. But aren't two elements blinking on the screen too much? In our opinion, yes. In the case of a double cursor, we would definitely choose to animate only one of them, the main action one.

Conclusions

Adding a blinking cursor to the interfaces was undoubtedly necessary to facilitate many people's daily work. This invention has stood the test of time and is still widely used today. However, sometimes even the most reliable solutions need an adaptation to more complex features. Yet, as designers, we have to remember that if the user already knows the action of a component, we shouldn’t change it.

In our opinion, in this task, we should focus on designing the hierarchy of elements. We have the ability to work on the visibility, color, and movement of elements. This essential UX designer skill will keep the interface transparent and let the user stay in control. 

And you? How would you design a tool that requires two cursors? And as a user, have you noticed this problem in the apps you use?

Title image for this blog post
5 min

UX/UI Design Trends for 2022

This post originally appeared on uxgirl medium.

As you may have guessed already, designing digital products is something more than just pampering their visual layer and taking care of the aesthetic experience of end users. Designing is primarily the ability to meet the specific problems of our recipients. It is to propose solutions based on previously acquired information regarding strictly defined needs and goals. Regardless of whether we create a mobile app, website, or a complex system for a specialized target group (e.g. astrophysicists or vascular surgeons), we should always get to know the expectations and needs of the people we design for. In addition to collecting requirements, drawing flows, thinking about, and testing individual user paths, we must remember such aspects as the usability of the solution being created, its availability, or even the necessity to take into account technological limitations.

Does this mean the visual layer should be sidelined or simply ignored? That’s not true, as often it is just as important as all the rest. This importance of aesthetics to us (and our users) is shown by trends in UI design that have been appearing for many years. As with all trends, you shouldn’t get too attached to them, since they are often very fleeting and pass faster than they can appear on our smartphones or in our browsers. Nevertheless, whether we’re talking about clothes, music, art, architecture, or interface design, we can always follow certain trends and track how they shape a given market. Some of them, as we have already mentioned, are temporary and do not find much support among recipients. Others, on the contrary, have been ruling for years and with each subsequent year, they evolve, popularize and penetrate deeper.

Today, we are going to discuss the trends of UI design for the new year, 2022. The majority of them debuted on our monitors and smartphones’ screens some time ago. However, due to the extremely rapidly developing technology, allowing some concepts to evolve, due to popularity or sentiment, many of the above-mentioned trends will stay with us for much longer and will certainly attract attention for the next year.

Even so, we must not forget that we are still talking about trends, a certain fashion or approach that is currently at the forefront. It does not mean, however, that we should follow it blindly from now on. Again, first of all, we should create solutions focused on a given need, solutions that respond to the problem presented to us.

Why bother with trends then? Why follow something that may become a thing of the past in a few or a dozen months? It’s quite simple.

To design better, to understand the market and to keep up with changing standards. In this fast-paced technological world, the way content is presented in apps and on websites keeps changing rapidly. People are constantly attracted by new stimuli and someone (perhaps from our competition) is constantly trying to attract their attention. If we want to relatively easily adapt to the changing world (not only the external, but also the virtual one), and at the same time not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of often unnecessary information — we should wisely and consciously follow the trends. This will allow us to approach design much more confidently and better. Being up to date, the ability to adapt to current standards, and being remembered are very important aspects today. They have a direct impact on how our product will be perceived outside. People buy with their eyes. The first impression is not an overrated slogan, but an actual phenomenon that can decide whether users will love our product.

Below is a brief presentation of a few trends we believe are worth paying attention to today. Some of them have been around for a while and will certainly not disappear any time soon. This is confirmed by, for example, all those fantastic projects that we can see on the Internet.

Use of 3D elements

Screenshot of PhotoVogue Festival website
PhotoVogue Festival website

No one is surprised today that designers are replacing flat illustrations with graphics and even animations in 3D. The development of technology and the emergence of new tools and plugins that allow you to easily create 3D objects is conducive to the development of this increasingly common trend. Both the ease of creating in 3D and much better resources such as stronger computers, faster internet, better optimization, and more front-end libraries allow our applications and websites to come to life.

3D very often means that our project is remembered, that it does not get lost in the multitude of subsequent pages, and thus it may also pay off in sales results. 3D objects make our products more attractive. The effect of depth or “popping out the screen”, although not so new, still attracts attention and enriches the reception among potential users.

Today you don’t have to be a Blender or Maya master — you can just use Figma and plugins such as:

  • Vectary 3D Elements
  • Fig3D
  • 3D shapes

It is also worth looking at Dimension CC from Adobe.

Bold Typography

Beyonity webiste

The fact that many websites and mobile apps have been moving towards minimalism for some time now does not need to be pointed out. Minimalism leads the way and it’s hard to be particularly surprised about it. First of all, we often associate it with professionalism. In addition, fewer elements mean less cognitive overload for users. Minimalism is also a huge plus for optimization — the simpler something is, the faster and smoother it works. It requires less resources (at least theoretically) as well.

A suitable complement to minimalist designs is the use of bold, clear, sometimes even exaggerated typography. It often comes down to placing individual headlines taking up a large part of the page view. In such a way, the user can be more involved in the content presented. The purpose is sometimes purely artistic. It is worth experimenting, breaking patterns, and building a design based on typography — this is what can play the first fiddle.

Dark Mode

TEN.finance website

Another concept worth following is a dark mode theme. Usually available as an option we can turn it on at night to protect our eyesight. Today we can, however, more and more often observe its default presence in web design, where users encounter light or white typography on a dark background. It is worth remembering the basic rules relating to contrast and how human eyesight reacts to certain color combinations. Hence, remember not to use white on a purely black background and vice versa, i.e. if you choose the dark mode, make sure that the background is e.g. dark gray, not 100% black, etc.

Anyway, apart from strictly aesthetic values, the dark mode also allows you to save the battery (less bright pixels have a positive effect on how quickly we have to search for a charging socket).

Protecting eyesight, energy, and aesthetic values are just some of the advantages of using the dark mode in our products. Dark themes with contrasting colors also improve visibility for some groups of visually impaired individuals. When designing a dark version of an app or a website, make sure that your solution is available to a wider audience. Designing in an inclusive manner is an important aspect of any good design. Therefore, if we want to comply with the guidelines or simply respond to the needs of all target groups, we should take it into account. Thus, if you haven’t thought about using dark themes for your apps or websites, it might be time to do so.

Y2K

Vintageria — online shop

One of the biggest UI trends is Retro Design. It is often seen as a way to bring back nostalgic memories and focus on things we already know, repackaging comfort and knowledge of the past and adapting it to the needs of the present.

Research has shown that nostalgia gives our lives a sense of meaning and continuity, leading to a stronger sense of interconnectedness and clear direction. Nostalgia also helps to relieve the uncertainty of the future by letting people feel they belong and have a purpose.

Each decade was characterized by something special and thanks to this, retro design can be understood in various ways. We can talk about the pop art trend or the psychedelic design of the 60s. Memphis Style with art deco elements and bold geometric shapes of the 80s, or abstract shapes and patterns, dorky fonts, kitsch textures, and grunge of the 90s.

What we want to highlight here is the so-called Y2K aesthetics, which officially returns and pops up everywhere from industrial, interior, and graphic design to social media, pop culture, and UI design.

The Y2K concept is described as futuristic with a retro twist. Based largely on cyberculture, Y2K’s aesthetics are known for their shiny textures and holographic metallics that are becoming a big trend on their own right now. Youthful, tacky, plastic, and colorful.

The trend has already started to emerge on social media platforms such as TikTok, where young people are experimenting and trying to get new quality out of thick, chunky fonts, bright colors, and trashy, futuristic style.

With a smile on their face, the older generation observes how subsequent apps and websites utilize the trends of their youth. The younger generation, at the same time, with the child’s fascination, creates crazy combinations, turning kitsch into a fashion of today’s times.

Maybe, for a while, it makes sense to depart from modern, flat, minimalist concepts and delicate colors, to take a step back and see what will never come back in the same form?

Dusty Design

Stacks website

To make buttons stand out, designers are experimenting with ways to make them look like they’re floating above the background. We often use drop shadows and different combinations and variants of gradients to liven them up.

One trend that we predict will be huge in 2022 is dusty buttons. Buttons on glass surfaces will look like they’re behind a thin coating of dust, providing a sense of depth and making the buttons appear more tactile. This trend highly shows that the boring flat buttons era might be way behind us and a completely new future is approaching.

Color of the Year

Very Peri color palette

The Pantone Color Institute, every year for over 20 years, announced the color of 2022. This time they chose a warm and subdued mixture of blue, violet, and a hint of red. Officially called Pantone 17–3938 Very Peri, described as dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet red undertone. In RGB space, it’s exactly 102, 103, 171. And the HEX value is #6667AB.

The color is a response to the current world situation and is intended to suggest the need for change, the search for new opportunities, hope, and creative strength. The inspiration was not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also virtual reality headed by Metaverse and NFT.

Very Peri is meant to encourage people to discover and enter a new reality with optimism and childlike curiosity. It allows us to accept the opportunities and perspectives that surround us. The time of transformation and the need to adapt to a new vision of the world require not only exceptional creativity, but also self-confidence, passion, and energy.

In general, the combination of blue and purple is associated with innovation, creative thinking, and modernity. On the other hand, warm accents add a tinge of optimism and joy.

Does this mean that in 2022 we should design our products based on this color theme? Not necessarily, but it’s worth having it in the back of your head. Color trends set by the Pantone Institute quickly shape fashion in the world around us. Hence, you can almost be sure that shades of purple and blue will storm not only apps and website interfaces, but also fashion shows and interior designs.

Color is still one of the most powerful means to communicate and express emotions. Therefore, let’s not be afraid to follow color trends and experiment with what is currently popular.

These are just a few of the design trends worth following. In addition to the above-mentioned, it is worthwhile to observe concepts such as:

  • motion design & micro animations
  • new european bauhaus
  • immersive design
  • behavioural design
  • blurred, colorful backgrounds
  • claymorphism & glassmorphism,
  • smooth swipe
  • emotional design
  • abstract design
  • animated illustrations

Finally, for dessert, we left two more concepts that have caused a lot of buzz in recent years, namely AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). Well known and widely used, but still not as common as we would like.

Additionally, in the past year, the tech world has turned its eyes to two hot terms, Metaverse and NFT. We won’t go into details right now, but they are definitely things that will change the way we perceive VR today. Watch the development of all mentioned directions, because there are probably a lot of things that can happen in this realm soon. As designers, we should always stay on our toes.

Best Design Conferences moved to Remote Online this year 2020
5 min

Best Design Conferences moved to Remote Online this year 2020

This post originally appeared on uxgirl medium.

This years work leisure times meaning attending conferences might be a little troublesome for most of us to say the least with all the restrictions due to COVID-19 situation. Even though travelling to a distant country to meet new people and talk work matters in a light way while drinking free beverages is not possible, there is another option to learn something new and possibly meet others, meaning online remote conferences.

Many of the yearly happenings have successfully moved to the virtual space this year to accommodate new conditions. While the experience might be slightly different we still think it’s worth it, so grab your favourite beverage and snacks and get ready for some binge keynoting.

UX Healthcare: Frankfurt

July 8, 2020

Better user experience can save lives. With this bold statement UX Healthcare conference presents their mission. At UX GIRL Healthcare is at the forefront of our services sectors and we, as well as UX Healthcare, also see a big need in revolutionising this industry. Healthcare systems need better design and need some talks about it. Frankfurt edition of this conference will be held fully online with later editions to stay in the usual format. It’s a great possibility to catch a glimpse of the healthcare industry progress in terms of technology and experience working products. We particularly recommend attending these sessions: Adventures in Surgical UX from Tim Caynes and UX for AR: Brain Surgery with Augmented Reality.

Gdynia Design Days

July 4–11, 2020

Gdynia Design Days: Attention theme 2020 poster with Akiyoshi Kitaoka optical illusion

This baltic conference is already an established brand in the polish design scene. 2020s’ years theme is Attention! which was announced even before the worldwide epidemic of COVID-19. It was chosen to showcase mindfulness and enhance focusing on values, that we sometimes forget these days. We have our own possibility of adding to the theme, as Magdalena-our founder will be performing design workshops there. If you want to learn more about Blockchain and how to solve sustainability issues with it through design be sure to sing up here.

HCI International

July 19–24, 2020

We were particularly looking forward to visiting this conference, as it was scheduled to be held in a beautiful venue Bella Sky, Copenhagen, but it’s great to know that the conference has been fully moved to the online. HCI International is a very solid science-oriented conference covering all aspects of Human Computer Interaction. If want to see factual research studies being presented-this is something for you. We also highly recommend it for people interested in accessibility.

FinTech Design Summit

July 30, 2020

Financial world is finally catching up with new technology and it’s a very interesting moment for designers to dive deeper into Capital Markets, Corporate and Personal Banking and Brokerage. The conference will feature aspects of Product, Design, UX and Strategy in the Fintech sector. It would be great to listen to Andy Montgomery talk about Square, which was one of the hottest startups in the early fintech days and still stays strong in e-commerce. For people more interested in Blockchain we think listening to Sarah Gregory from Coinbase might just be the best thing to do in your free time.

Enterprise Experience 2020

August 31-September 3, 2020

It’s hard not to notice the organiser of the event Rosenfeld Media, which is responsible for delivering technology and design oriented books to eager reading designers for over a decade. The program of the conference is quite robust with lectures ranging from design for US satellites, through LEGO and giants like Mastercard, Salesforce, ZenDesk. Seems like everyone will find something worthy to listen to.

UXPA 2020 International

September TBA, 2020

Offline conference that was supposed to be cancelled and moved to 2021 decided to run a mini version of it during September. Dates are still TBA, so make sure to write it down a check once in a while. Conference is organized by UXPA association (former UPA) and will be free for all it’s members. Special feature for this conference is a big UX Quiz, which can be completed solo or in team.

Design Thinking: Virtual Experience

September 8–11, 2020

John Maeda @ Design Thinking: Virtual Experience

Biggest highlight of this conference is John Maeda, a designer and technologist that was marked by Wired magazine as to be to design as Warren Buffet is to finance. He will be talking about transformation and going beyond design — we can’t wait. Apart from this talk we think it would be beneficial to attend to some workshops that are being held by people from IDEO U.

Disrupt 2020

September 14–18, 2020

It’s hard not to know this conference if you have been to the startup world once in your lifetime. Techrunch Disrupt offers a glide through this years hottest startups that will certainly be big in years to come. It might be the best place to catch a glimpse at the newest user interface trends to come and see them in action on a live product. The conference is supposed to be held offline, but will feature a Digital Pass, that will allow attendees to listen to select keynotes from their homes.

Design Matters ‘20

September 23–24, 2020

Shot from the Design Matters 90' inspired website

A conference with a rebel flare, we really recommend you visit their 90' inspired website. Design Matters explores new movements in the digital design scene. This year it features Real Fake, Next Gen Design and Scrappy Creative as the conference themes. All sound pretty neat, so we think you should attend just to check them out of curiosity. It will be held onsite in Copenhagen, but live stream tickets are available.

Mobile HCI 2020

October 5–8, 2020

This Mobile conference is organized by ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), a nearly 75-years old organisation directed at technology and computing. We expect a decent dose of research backed information concerning mobile applications and human computer interaction there. The conference has been fully moved to the virtual space, so expect lots of presentations and insights delivered straight to your comfortable sofa.

UXDX

October 6–9, 2020

Last but not least, UXDX offers a fresh view on combining product, design and development topics. Conference is to be held online and will get you the knowledge needed to amp your product development process a level higher.

Either onsite or online we still think conferences do broaden up your horizons. Make sure to save some time for these events and try to network, given our current possibilities.

Have fun!

Finalist in the 15th edition of the Businesswoman of the Year “Sukces Pisany Szminką”
5 min

Sukces Pisany Szminką: Exceptional Entrepreneurs in Microbusiness

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Foundation has been supporting women in their professional and personal pursuits for years. Founded by Olga Kozierowska, the Foundation aims to increase women's participation in business, politics, and public life. Sukces Pisany Szminką not only provides inspiration but also offers concrete tools and educational programs that help women develop their skills, gain knowledge, and build networks. One of the Foundation's flagship projects is the Sukces Pisany Szminką Bizneswoman of the Year contest, which recognizes women who run their own businesses.

As a participant in this prestigious contest, we had the opportunity to witness the incredible talent and determination of women in business. It was not only inspiring but also motivating for our own growth and development.

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Bizneswoman of the Year contest consists of several stages. Applications were accepted until the end of the year, after which the selection committee began evaluating the candidates. In the first stage, semifinalists were chosen, followed by finalists in various categories, including microbusiness. Among the finalists of the XV edition of the contest were entrepreneurs who stand out for their creativity, determination, and ability to cope with market challenges.

Our CEO, Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, is one of these exceptional women. As the president of UX GIRL, a boutique design agency specializing in the Fintech, Adtech, and Greentech sectors, Magdalena has shown how small and medium-sized enterprises can offer top-level services, competing with the biggest players in the market.

Collaborating with other finalists, such as Martyna Brzozowska from Zrób mi mamo and Emilia Kojło from Small Art, was incredibly inspiring. Martyna Brzozowska, by organizing workshops and online programs for women to teach them the art of knitting, not only preserves traditional crafts but also empowers women. Similarly, Emilia Kojło, who opened an online store in response to the pandemic, demonstrates how flexibility and creativity can turn a crisis into success.

Final Gala The winners of this year's contest were announced on May 13 during the ceremonial Gala. This special event will brought together not only the finalists and winners but also numerous guests and representatives from the worlds of business, media, and culture. Participating in the Gala was an excellent opportunity for networking and exchanging experiences, which we hope will also lead to new initiatives and collaborations.

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska - Our finalist in the Contest

We are extremely proud that our CEO, Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, is among the finalists of this prestigious contest. This is a tremendous honor that confirms her professionalism, innovation, and determination in developing UX GIRL. Thanks to her hard work and commitment, small and medium-sized enterprises can offer top-level services, competing with the biggest players in the market. This success deserves the highest recognition and proves that it's worth believing in your dreams and striving to achieve them.

The Sukces Pisany Szminką Foundation and its Bizneswoman of the Year contest are incredibly valuable initiatives that support women in business and public life. Entrepreneurs like Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, Martyna Brzozowska, and Emilia Kojło are proof that creativity, determination, and a willingness to take risks bring tangible results. We are certain we will hear more about their achievements in the future!

We are full of optimism for the future and eagerly await the final gala, believing that Magdalena's success will inspire many other women.

In the image, there is a depiction of the subject of the article described below.
5 min

Transitioning from Interest to Profession: The Journey to UX Design

"As the demand for digital products increases, so does the need for UX." - Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska's words encapsulate the dynamic nature of today's IT market. In a conversation with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, the founder and CEO of UX GIRL, we delved into the intricacies of this fascinating field.

The Path to UX: Igniting the Passion

Magdalena reveals that she took her first steps in web design as a child, inspired by her brother. It was during those formative years that her passion for user interface design ignited. Her choice of academic path, studying computer science, and involvement in the "Human-Computer Interaction" research group directed her towards UX Design.

The Evolution of UX in the IT Space

Over the past 10 years, we've witnessed a revolution in how UX is perceived in the IT industry. Magdalena mentions that previously, few emphasized user needs. Today, thanks to methodological advancements and increased understanding, UX plays a pivotal role in the digital product creation process.

Key Competencies of a UX Designer

Magdalena emphasizes that a good UX Designer should possess curiosity, analytical thinking, and interpersonal skills. There isn't a single path to becoming a UX Designer, but practice and gaining experience are crucial.

The Role of UX GIRL in the Market

Magdalena's company, UX GIRL, responds to the growing demand for UX specialists. She notes that the sector is evolving rapidly in tandem with the increasing demand for digital products.

Challenges and Prospects for Women in IT

Most of Magdalena's colleagues are women, reflecting the changing perception of women in IT. Studies show that women are appreciated for their meticulousness and dedication to their work.

Embarking on the UX Adventure

For those looking to enter the world of UX, Magdalena advises making a decision and consistently pursuing it. Practice, volunteering for digital projects, and finding a mentor are key to development in this field.

Through our interview with Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, we discover that the world of UX is not just about interfaces; it's also about passion, hard work, and continuous improvement. It's hopeful that inspiring stories like hers will attract more talent to this dynamic field.

For specifics please refer to the full interview.

Title image for this blog post
5 min

A Triumph in Design: UX GIRL Ranks 3rd Among Global Top Women-Owned UI/UX Agencies on Clutch.co

We are thrilled to announce a remarkable achievement for UX GIRL, a beacon of innovation and creativity in the UI/UX landscape. Recently, UX GIRL has been honored with the 3rd place ranking among Global top women-owned UI/UX agencies on the prestigious platform, Clutch.co. This recognition is not just a badge of honor but a testament to the hard work, passion, and unique approach that defines UX GIRL.

UX GIRL: Synonymous with Excellence and Innovation

At UX GIRL, our journey has always been about more than just design; it's about creating experiences that resonate and connect. Our holistic approach, combined with unwavering leadership and passion, forms the cornerstone of our success. Despite being a relatively small team, we have consistently upheld these values, allowing us to deliver exceptional work that not only satisfies but delights our customers.

Diverse Perspectives, Unified Vision

Since its inception, UX GIRL has grown with the addition of new talents, each bringing a diverse perspective and rich experience to the table. This diversity has been our strength, enabling us to function as a cohesive unit that not only works together but thrives together. Our ability to amalgamate different ideas and viewpoints has been crucial in crafting designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and user-centric.

Recognition by Clutch.co: A Milestone Achieved

Being recognized by Clutch.co, a platform known for its rigorous and comprehensive ranking process, is an honor we hold in high regard. Clutch.co evaluates agencies on various aspects such as quality, reliability, and market presence, making this recognition all the more significant. For a decade, Clutch.co has been a reliable source for identifying the crème de la crème of the IT service industry, and to be ranked among the best is a milestone that fills us with immense pride.

The success of UX GIRL in Clutch.co's ranking of top women-owned UI/UX agencies is a shining example of what can be achieved with a blend of talent, dedication, and a passion for design. As we celebrate this achievement, we also look forward to continuing our journey of innovation and excellence in the world of UI/UX design.

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5 min

UX GIRL Triumphs: Celebrating Our Clutch Global & Champion Awards in UX/UI Excellence

UX GIRL, Your Premier UX/UI Design Firm, Receives Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards!

We are beyond thrilled to announce that UX GIRL, a leading UX/UI design firm, has been honored with the prestigious Clutch Global and Clutch Champion Awards! This remarkable achievement solidifies our position as a leader in the industry on a global scale and is a testament to our unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch UX/UI solutions.

At UX GIRL, we believe in the power of exceptional user experiences and innovative design. Receiving these awards is not just a recognition of our company but a celebration of the impactful designs and user-centric solutions that we bring to the table.

A heartfelt thank you to our valued clients and partners for entrusting us on this incredible journey. Your collaboration has been instrumental in our success, and we're honored to have the opportunity to work with visionary partners who appreciate the value of outstanding UX/UI design.

A special shout-out to our exceptional team at UX GIRL! Your creativity, expertise, and dedication to excellence have set the standard in the industry. This recognition as one of the top 10% of global winners on Clutch is a reflection of your hard work and commitment to pushing the boundaries of design innovation.

We are not just a design firm; we are a team passionate about crafting meaningful, user-centric experiences. This award reaffirms our commitment to delivering design solutions that make a lasting impact.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey and contributed to this significant milestone. We couldn't have achieved this without your support!

If you're curious about what sets UX GIRL apart and why we've been recognized as a Clutch Global and Clutch Champion in UX/UI design, explore our Clutch profile here: UX GIRL Clutch Profile

Here's to continued success, innovation, and setting new standards in UX/UI design excellence!

Title image for this blog post
5 min

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska: Shaping UX GIRL Future in AI and Web3

Magdalena Ostoja-Chyżyńska, our esteemed CEO, recently engaged in an enlightening interview with BlockyDevs. The conversation delved into the intricacies of the Computer Science industry, our meticulous approach to team building, and our forward-thinking initiatives in web3 and artificial intelligence.

Journey into the Future of Technology:

Magdalena provided a comprehensive view of the operational intricacies propelling UX GIRL forward. From our discerning hiring practices to an unwavering commitment to crafting distinctive UX/UI projects, the interview unveils how UX GIRL aims to be at the forefront of future industry leadership.

Focus on Artificial Intelligence:

A focal point of our endeavours is Artificial Intelligence. Positioned to explore groundbreaking solutions, we are poised to redefine the landscape of technology and the Computer Science industry.

Magdalena extends her gratitude to our dedicated community for their steadfast support. She emphasises our readiness for an exciting journey into the future, aligning with the shared vision of our valued supporters.

Read Magdalena's Full Interview:

For a deeper understanding of Magdalena's journey—from a computer science student to leading the innovative team at UX GIRL—please refer to the full interview. This narrative is characterised by passion, continuous learning, and an unwavering commitment to excellence in user experience.

Adapting to the Future Landscape:

As discussed in the interview, the integration of AI and web3 is fundamentally reshaping the design landscape. Magdalena sheds light on UX GIRL's strategic adaptation, recognizing that this integration is pivotal to shaping future user experiences.

AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach design...

For a more in-depth exploration of this transformative shift and UX GIRL's strategic direction, please refer to the interview.

Collaboration Fuels Innovation:

Magdalena underscores UX GIRL's distinctive approach to pairing senior and junior designers. It extends beyond optimising project outcomes; it's about mutual growth. As articulated in collaboration with BlockyDevs:

We introduce two main methods: pairing a junior or mid-level designer with a senior designer... Alternatively, we assemble teams with a mix of skills and experience levels.

This approach not only optimises project outcomes and budgets but also yields collaboration-fueled results that outperform single-designer projects. For a detailed exploration of this innovative approach, please refer to the interview.

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5 min

Clutch Hails UX GIRL as a Certified Women-Owned Digital Design Leader

Here at UX GIRL, we deliver designs with the “wow effect” your brand deserves. Founded in 2020, we are a passionate bunch that loves working on different projects ranging from design strategies to research. We don’t shy away from any type of challenge, and we go the extra mile to deliver what our clients need.

In turn, Clutch is a B2B reviews and ratings website from Washington DC that’s dedicated to helping browsers connect with reliable service providers. The site is known for its extensive collection of data-driven content that aims to guide potential corporate clients to make better business decisions.

Moreover, Clutch offers a prestigious certification program aimed at recognizing businesses from various industries that successfully establish their position and brand while highlighting social, cultural, and economic features. The said program allows service providers to self-identify their minority, veteran, and LGBTQ-owned identities on the platform.

"Women’s voices provide an essential perspective across multiple industries that help foster innovation and growth. We're proud to highlight these businesses for the great work they've done.” said Clutch Senior Revenue Operations Analyst Radha Ray

With that being said, the entire UX GIRL team is extremely excited to share with you all that we’ve been celebrated by Clutch as a leading certified women-owned business!

Leaders Matrix for Top Women Owned User Experience Agencies

In addition to our Clutch certification, UX GIRL was also spotlighted on The Manifest, a business news resource known for its how-to guides and B2B wisdom. According to the site, our team is among the top 100 women-owned digital design agencies this 2023.

Our milestones and wins as a service provider wouldn’t be possible without the gracious trust of our incredible clients. The trust they’ve shown us has pushed us to achieve amazing feats. We’d like to seize this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to each and every one of them. Thank you for believing in UX GIRL!

We look forward to reaching greater heights with you all in the future. Cheers to more exciting adventures and opportunities ahead!

Looking for a team that delivers the “wow effect”? Work with us at UX GIRL. Contact us and don’t hesitate to let us know about the project you have in mind.

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5 min

Hard Work Pays Off: UX GIRL Studio Ranks 13th in The Manifest's Top Design Studios in Poland

At UX GIRL Studio, we strongly believe in the adage that hard work always pays off. It is with great pride and excitement that we announce our achievement of the 13th place in The Manifest's ranking of top design studios in Poland. The Manifest is a trusted B2B research and review platform, and being listed on their ranking is a testament to our team's talent and expertise.

Our studio is committed to providing exceptional design services to our clients, with a focus on creating innovative, user-centric designs that help our clients achieve their business goals. Our dedication to quality and excellence has earned us this recognition on The Manifest.

We are grateful to The Manifest for including us in their ranking and providing a platform for B2B buyers to find the best companies in various industries, including design, marketing, development, and IT services. Our team's hard work and dedication are the driving forces behind this achievement, and we are excited to share it with our clients, colleagues, and friends.

While we celebrate this accomplishment, we recognize that this is just the beginning. Our commitment to continued growth and improvement is unwavering, and we are constantly exploring new design techniques and technologies to provide the best possible solutions to our clients.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our clients for their trust and support, as well as our team members for their hard work and contributions. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of design excellence and provide exceptional services to our clients.

In conclusion, we are proud to be listed among the top design studios in Poland on The Manifest. This recognition validates our team's hard work and dedication to delivering outstanding results to our clients. We will continue to uphold our commitment to quality and excellence as we strive for even greater heights in the future. Let's keep up the hard work!

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5 min

UX GIRL CEO selected as Women in Web3 Ambassador for Next Block Expo

We are thrilled to announce that our founder and CEO Magdalena has been selected as an ambassador for Women in Web3 at the upcoming Next Block Expo in Warsaw, one of the largest blockchain festivals in Europe. This event will take place on May 24-25 and will feature some of the most prominent women speakers in the industry.

As a Women in Web3 ambassador, Magdalena is proud to represent our company and the broader community of women in the blockchain and tech space.

What is the Women in Web3 campaign?

The Women in Web3 campaign is focused on empowering and connecting women in the industry, and we are excited to be a part of it.

If you'll be attending the event, be sure to connect with Magdalena and our team. Magdalena would love to meet other ambassadors, attendees, and women speakers who share her passion for advancing Women in Web3. Don't miss the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas with her!

For more information on Women in Web3 at Next Block Expo, check out their website here: https://nextblockexpo.com/women-in-web3

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5 min

UX GIRL among the best UX Design suppliers - SuperbCompanies rank

The main values of UX GIRL are a holistic approach, leadership and passion. Although the team is not large, we strive to maintain these values fully. Since its inception, UX GIRL has been joined by new people who bring different perspectives and experiences. This allowed us to create a group of people who work as a team to create great designs and have already many satisfied customers.

What does this lead to?

Amazing people and great results provide success for UX GIRL. One of these successes is being included in the ranking of the best UI/UX Design Agencies by SuperbCompanies! It is an honor for us to be among the best, and we are also glad that our hard work has been recognized by SuperbCompanies.

About SuperbCompanies

SuperbCompanies is a platform that includes SEO and IT service providers to help users find the best of the best. When creating the ranking, various aspects such as quality, reliability, and market presence are taken into account.

Each SuperbCompanies ranking includes suppliers of specific categories and since it has existed for 10 years now it makes them a reliable source of information

In addition to feeling joy, we are also motivated and have enormous strength to continue working hard. Although we are already included in this ranking, our aim is to achieve the highest possible position!

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5 min

From Pixels to Masterpieces: Useful AI Tools for Visual Creativity (Part 2)

We continue our journey through the world of AI tools that, in our opinion, are noteworthy and currently deserve recognition for various reasons. In the first part of the article, we primarily focused on image and vector generation. This time, we're starting with something completely different. Buckle up and let's dive in.

Relume Site Builder

A web application that allows for generating sitemaps and wireframes based on textual prompts. We have tested many similar tools for generating websites, and this one has proven to be the best so far.

We would be lying if we said that the tool generates a website for us from scratch. In reality, the tool is a collection of over 1000 different components compatible with Webflow and Figma, which are arranged and adjusted based on what the user enters as a prompt. Nonetheless, it works well and allows you to quickly create a meaningful website structure.

Main features:

  • Generating a fully editable sitemap based on the provided prompt.
  • Generating fully editable lo-fi wireframes based on the provided prompt. The tool automatically generates wireframes for different breakpoints, allowing you to see how a particular subpage will look on, for example, a phone. Users can freely modify the prompt and the results, such as removing, rearranging, and editing proposed sections. We can also generate an actual copy.
  • Exporting the sitemap and wireframes to Figma, where we can further customize and improve our project, for example, by creating hi-fi wireframes.
  • Exporting wireframes directly to Webflow - for free, we get a fully customizable and responsive website, which only needs to be enriched with colors and strictly visual elements.

Does this mean that with a few clicks, we can now create any website? Of course not. Since the tool is based on a large but still limited number of components, the number of possible layouts and types of pages is also somewhat limited. We probably won't achieve anything exceptionally original here, but we will definitely be able to quickly create an interesting landing page, product page, or blog. Predefined components ensure that the results are not a collection of random shapes and scribbles but a coherent and professionally-looking structure.

At the moment, in our opinion, one of the most interesting solutions of this type on the market.

Cost

From $38 per month for all features and maximally 3 projects. Free for 1 project and limited number of components.

Runway

The next impressive project is a set of tools from Runway. Runway is a company focused on AI research and implementing AI solutions to improve the work of both individual creators and global brands.

As they describe themselves, Runway aims to help tell stories and believes that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

The company has been recognized multiple times and has partnered with other tech giants. As a result, it stands out with the ability to integrate with various tools and platforms, making collaboration and project sharing easier. The number and range of solutions offered are truly impressive, and this directly translates into the fact that almost anyone can find something suitable for their needs.

It's impossible to describe everything that Runway offers here, but below we've described a few of the most interesting tools in our opinion:

  • Erase Things from Videos - remove anyone or anything from any video with a simple brush stroke
  • Slow Mo Any Video - turn any video into super slow-mo footage. Regardless of frame rate
  • Make Images Move - string together a sequence of images into an animated video
  • Generate Videos - generate videos using text, images or video clips
  • Motion Brush - a unique interface that allows you to direct specific movements across your generation with a simple brush stroke
  • Transcript - transcript any video to text
  • Clean Audio - instantly remove unwanted noise
  • 3D Texture - generate 3D textures using text prompts
  • Train Custom Models - train your own custom AI model on specific subjects and styles.

And this is just a glimpse of what Runway is capable of. In addition, they offer all the classics like image generation, background removal, image expansion functions, and more.

Cost

From $15 per user, per month. Free option for individuals - has many limitations.

TinyWow

TinyWow is our recent discovery. In short, it's a website that offers a plethora of various tools to streamline small tasks. Not all functionalities are AI-based, but they can all be quite useful. The tools include various file compressors and editors, background removal, video file transcription, generation of visual and text content, audio file processing, and much more.

What is perhaps the most important and what prompted us to include TinyWOW in this list is its price... everything is completely free and available without any limitations!

TinyWow can serve as your little assistant for special tasks. There have surely been times when you needed something simple like removing a background, converting a file, denoising an audio recording, or editing a PDF. Now, TinyWOW offers all of these features. All we can say is... WOW! 😀

Cost

Free.

Vectorizer.AI

There's not much to say about this next tool. Its functionality is quite straightforward – it converts images into vectors. You can upload a JPEG, PNG, or GIF (bitmap) file, and with a single click, you'll receive an SVG file.

After testing it, we can confidently say that this tool performs its task excellently and can easily compete with Adobe's vectorization option, sometimes even surpassing it by providing better results.

Furthermore, the tool also offers an API.

Currently, the tool is completely free as it's in the Beta version. Later on, the price will depend on the package of credits you purchase, where one credit equals one photo that you can vectorize.

Cost

Free in Beta. Later from $9.99 for 50 credits.

Neurons

Finally, something for marketers. Of course, by saying that this tool is only for marketers, I'm simplifying things significantly. In short, it's about a solution that helps us better understand human behavior and supports us in creating effective ads, marketing campaigns, or product pages.

Neurons offers several interesting features and use cases, but we will focus here on a solution called Predict. It is forecasting using AI algorithms, which allows for the assessment and determination of the effectiveness of our content. By content, we mean, for example, images, web pages, product packaging, social media campaigns, etc.

We can, for example, upload an image, and the algorithm will analyze it in terms of how it will resonate with potential viewers, where their gaze will be directed, the likelihood of them clicking on a specific button, etc. In other words, the tool will allow us to better prepare content and ultimately help ensure that what we create yields the desired results in terms of the number of clicks or simply conversion growth.

Cost

The website does not provide pricing information. You need to schedule a free demo to get access and purchase the specific solution. There is no free version or trial available.

These are all the tools we wanted to present and recommend to you in this part of the article. If you haven't read the first part yet, we highly encourage you to take a look. In total, across both parts, we've covered 10 tools. We are aware that we have not exhausted the topic and there are many more noteworthy AI solutions for working with images or video on the market.

You can easily add Figma plugins to this list (e.g. what Diagram offers) or solutions for creating animations, but what we have chosen at the moment, in our opinion, is already at such a level that we can use it for commercial tasks. The remaining tools are often just interesting toys. However, we don't hide the fact that what is a cool toy today may be the talk of the tech world in a month or two. So stay tuned and remember that these are still just tools. How we use them and whether they actually benefit us depends entirely on us. Fortunately, for now, the most powerful tool is still the human brain.

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5 min

From Pixels to Masterpieces: Useful AI Tools for Visual Creativity (Part 1)

The number of AI tools is growing every week, and this trend is unlikely to change any time soon. Rather, we expect the use of AI algorithms and models to trend even further. The creators of almost every application we know are trying to use AI in their products in one way or another and not be left behind in this crazy technological race.

Today, practically every tool used for editing photos or videos can boast that it allows retouching or background removal with just one click. Almost every text editor allows for content generation based on a typed prompt. We can generate ideas, summarize articles, or write them in full by entering only a simple instruction. Tools from Microsoft or Google use AI models for data analysis, creating summaries, charts, and suggesting various solutions. Browser plugins allow for automatic email responses, or analyzing a page for SEO or conversion purposes. It's easy to create a video where we can speak in any foreign language, and no one will even realize that we don't know that language. People in business, marketing, creative fields, bloggers, artists, writers, data analysts, literally everyone can speed up their work today by taking advantage of AI benefits.

However, because there is so much choice, it's easy to become simply overwhelmed by it all. In the end, instead of speeding up our work and being like all those super-productive people who flood us with posts on LinkedIn or X (formerly Twitter), we don't know where to start and what tool to choose. We don't know what is actually worth attention and what should be avoided. I think it's obvious that if everyone started implementing AI in the solutions they offer, among the quite large number of great tools we will also find those that are still a long way from actually helping us. Many tools available on the Internet are still just cool toys, but when it comes down to it, unfortunately, we wouldn't want to use their results in our business.

Sure, there are a few tools that everyone talks about, tools that are currently enjoying a triumph of popularity, and therefore they must be the best. To a large extent, it's hard to disagree, but even these theoretically best tools have their drawbacks and won't always be suitable for what we specifically want to do. Additionally, there's the issue of cost, or what the entry threshold is to achieve really solid results. Besides, if we dig a little deeper, we'll find a range of products that are really quite good and often allow for quick completion of a specific task for free.

For the purposes of this article, we tested several dozen different AI tools ourselves and chose those that, in our opinion, really do the job or are simply worth keeping an eye on because they are developing in an interesting direction.

We decided to split the article into two parts. Firstly, to examine the recommended tools more closely and discuss, in our opinion, all the essential aspects. Secondly, to avoid boring you and not take up too much of your time. Shorter content will be easier to digest. So, in the first part, which you are reading now, we will present the first 5 tools. The next 5 will be in the second part. We recommend reading both, as it is in the second part that we will describe the less obvious tools.

Additionally, both parts will primarily focus on tools that specialize in working with images and videos. Topics like working with text, music, or enhancements in AI for productivity will be addressed in separate posts.

We will start with 3 well-known and recognizable tools that, in the context of generating and editing images, have recently become what ChatGPT is in the context of generating text. Even though probably everyone knows or is familiar with how they work, we believe that a post about AI tools omitting the most important players would simply be incomplete. Setting aside the various downsides of each tool, this trio really deserves special recognition!

Midjourney

If we talk about generating images using AI, one of the first names that comes to mind is indeed Midjourney. Not without reason, as it is currently one of the best tools for creating images based on a typed prompt.

Currently, the most advanced and latest version is Midjourney V5.2 released in June 2023. However, it's worth keeping your finger on the pulse because it has just been announced that Midjourney V6 will see the light of day before Christmas 2023... we can't wait to see what the creators have prepared for us this time!

Midjourney, in addition to standard image generation, offers a bunch of interesting functionalities that diversify and improve the target results, namely:

  • Additional parameters - we have at our disposal a large number of various parameters that we can add to the prompt, thereby deciding, for example, what proportions the generated image should have, what elements it should not contain, what the image quality should be, or how much we want to deviate from the prompt and rely on the tool's creativity (level of artistry and abstraction).
  • Zoom Out - a feature that allows you to generate content around an existing image without changing the original. We can understand this as a literal zooming out, seeing what is beyond our frame - the tool enlarges the area/canvas of our photo and in a sense 'draws in' what is not visible. It works extremely well. I think many of us have taken a photo where a key part of the frame was accidentally cut off - now we can fix that!
  • Pan - similar to Zoom Out, but this time we can ask to generate a fragment of the image only in a specific direction.
  • Upscaler - the ability to enlarge a photo without losing quality.
  • Vary - the ability to generate new suggestions only for a given part of the image based on our selection. We can, for example, generate a robot and then select only its head and replace it with something else.
  • Video generation - in our opinion, some time is needed to refine this function, perhaps it will work much better in Midjourney V6. At this point, we have many tools that simply do it better.

What distinguishes Midjourney from the competition is primarily realism, refined compositions, attention to detail, and high-quality generated images.

However, Midjourney also has its disadvantages, and we are not talking about the price.

  • Reduced precision - in contrast to, for example, DALL-E 3 (which I'll discuss in a moment), Midjourney does not always adhere to the user's instructions and intentions. Sometimes the generated images significantly deviate from what we entered in the prompt. The tool allows for quite a bit of creative freedom.
  • Problem with generating text in images - this may be a limitation for some users, instead of text we often get some random shapes and smears.
  • Limited availability - the tool operates through Discord, which is not a major issue, but we realize that this may discourage some people. But, according to the latest news, it will change soon. 7 days ago Midjourney has begun testing an “alpha” version of its new website which includes image creation. For now, it’s accessible only for users who have generated 10000+ images.
  • Content Censorship - Midjourney implements content censorship that may be restrictive for users seeking complete creative freedom.
Cost

From $96 to $1152 per year (depending on the chosen subscription plan).

DALL-E 3

A product from OpenAI, which until recently couldn't really compare to what Midjourney offers. However, everything changed with version 3, namely DALL-E 3.

The tool is available as part of a ChatGPT Plus subscription or for free as part of Bing's Copilot service from Microsoft. It can be said that the fact that we can generate images completely free of charge is a huge advantage, but DALLE-3 also deserves recognition for several other reasons:

  • High quality of generated images - it's not yet the realism and attention to detail as seen in Midjourney, but the results are really impressive.
  • Precision - DALLE-3 is great at interpreting user intentions and reproducing entered prompts. Here it fares much better than Midjourney, offering a high degree of accuracy in realizing the users' vision.
  • Ability to generate text on images - unlike the competition, DALL-E 3 easily incorporates text into its graphic creations.
  • Ease of use - unlike traditional image generators that require specific prompts or instructions, DALL-E 3 allows users to interact through conversation, making it more accessible and intuitive.

The main downside of DALL-E 3, in our opinion, remains a certain limitation in generating realistic creations. Images generated using DALLE-3 have a specific style, and despite their excellent quality, it is often easy to notice that a given graphic was generated by AI.

In addition, our editing options are quite limited, i.e. we cannot, for example, correct a fragment of the generated photo. In this case, you need to regenerate the entire image and hope that the model goes in the right direction.As with Midjourney, DALL-E 3 is quite a heavily censored image generator, especially when used inside ChatGPT.

Cost

$20 per month, included in ChatGPT Plus. Free in Bing's Copilot.

Adobe Firefly

Adobe probably needs no introduction and it is also easy to guess that this technological giant has not been left behind in this race.

Adobe Firefly is actually a family of generative artificial intelligence models, offered as a separate product on the website https://firefly.adobe.com or in the form of functionalities integrated into various Adobe applications.

By entering the mentioned website, we currently have the following features available:

  • Text to image - a classic image generator, based on a typed prompt, similar to DALL-E 3 and Midjourney. However, what sets Adobe's approach apart is the remarkable simplicity of the tool. Initially, we get a simple text field to enter our instructions - there are no options for entering parameters, uploading files, etc. After generating images, we do receive an intuitive editing panel, where we can adjust our results. Besides numerous sliders, we get many predefined options that allow for adding specific effects, setting lighting, composition, color scheme, choosing between a more artistic approach and realism. We can also upload an image as a reference, then the algorithm will adjust subsequent results to the style of our reference.
  • Generative fill - this tool allows for modifying images using brushes and selection tools. We can remove objects from an image, generate new elements in the selected area, remove the background, etc. Image editing enters a completely new dimension, namely, for example, in a few seconds we can remove someone who accidentally appeared in the frame, or add sunglasses that we forgot to wear. In our opinion, it is better to use this functionality directly in Adobe Photoshop, where it offers much more.
  • Generative recolor - the tool allows you to automatically recolor vector images based on the entered prompt. Thanks to this, we can adapt the illustration to, for example, match a specific mood or theme.
  • Text effects - allows you to generate text with a specific visual effect, e.g. you can enter "Hello, my name is Stephany" and ask for the letters to be covered with eucalyptus leaves or to look like they are embroidered. In our opinion, it's still just a cool toy and not something we want to use every day.

What is fantastic about Adobe's solutions is that AI functionalities are also available directly in their applications.

In Adobe Photoshop, we have access to the already mentioned Generative fill with some enhancements. Specifically, we can use options like expand. Similar to the zoom-out and pan functions in Midjourney, here we can also generate something beyond the canvas area, allowing us to freely 'expand' our images.

In Adobe Illustrator, the most interesting option is generating vector illustrations using a prompt. This is a revolutionary approach to graphic design. We no longer need to know how to draw to prepare a beautiful illustration for a website or a book.

Additionally, there are also AI enhancements in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Express, but we won't elaborate on that here.

What also deserves attention is the issue of ethics and copyright. Adobe trains its models based on licensed content from Adobe Stock and public domain content, where the copyright has expired. This means that everything we generate is based on data sets collected in a fully ethical manner, and the complete copyright of the produced image belongs to the generator.

In conclusion, Adobe offers its users a lot. After testing all the AI features, we can confidently say that the quality and results are really good, and this is complemented by ease of use and integration within Adobe's flagship applications.

Downsides? At this moment, we can point out three things that may discourage potential users, namely:

  • Although the generated images are really good, they still are not at the level of Midjourney. Adobe is characterized by a certain style, and this is often visible in the generated creations. Often, the results can seem too 'candy-like'.
  • In the case of Midjourney and DALL-E 3 within ChatGPT, we deal with quite strong censorship. However, it seems that Adobe Firefly leads in this regard. The censorship from Adobe is really significant and can often be a limitation. For example, attempts to generate creations using words like 'soldier' or 'bikini' are futile.
  • Adobe Firefly operates on a generative credits system, providing users with a set amount of image generations and edits. This means that users have a limited number of uses. Of course, additional credits can be purchased, but in our opinion, this could ultimately be more expensive than, for example, a Midjourney subscription. If someone is already paying for a Creative Cloud subscription, they are allotted a certain number of credits.
Cost

Varies according to the country. Has a free tier.

Leonardo.Ai

Another fantastic and rapidly developing tool is Leonardo.Ai. It is essentially a web application (along with an API) created by independent creators and based on Stable Diffusion models. Similar to the previous three applications, it allows for image generation and editing.

What characterizes this application is the ability to change the model used to generate our images. At the moment, we have access to dozens of models - some of them simply differ in version (older, newer), but others are models specifically trained for generating images with certain characteristics. For example, we can choose a model tailored for generating photorealistic images or a model that generates isometric views.

At the moment, among the most important functionalities of Leonardo.Ai we can distinguish:

  • Image Generation - generating images based on a textual prompt. Similar to Adobe, we have an intuitive panel with a range of additional options to customize our instructions.
  • Live Canvas - an interesting feature that allows for generating an image in real time based on what we are currently drawing. Of course, we can fully edit everything, determine the level of consistency with our sketch, and so on. At the moment, it's more like a toy, but it's developing in a very good direction.
  • Canvas Editor - an extensive editing environment that allows you to manipulate imported images. Removing unwanted objects from the photo, generating image fragments, adjusting the proportions, etc.
  • 3D Texture Generation - generating and modifying textures based on imported OBJ files. It can help, for example, in preparing game assets.
  • Motion - generating videos based on a textual prompt, the functionality is expected to be available in the near future.

The main drawback is that most of the features is locked in the free version of the tool. However, the tool itself, although heavily limited, remains available without the need to purchase a subscription. Every day, we have access to a total of 150 tokens, which we use to perform various actions in Leonardo.Ai. Not all actions consume the same number of tokens, e.g. high-resolution images cost more.

Cost

From $12 to $60 per month. Has a free tier.

HeyGen

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to speak fluently in dozens or even hundreds of foreign languages? HeyGen is a tool that won't teach you to speak these languages, but it will create the impression that you are using them perfectly.

HeyGen is currently one of the most popular and best-known tools for creating video avatars. We have quite a few interesting features at our disposal, allowing us to create professional videos based on a clip recorded by us, written text, and/or recorded audio. There are several combinations, including:

  • Creating a video avatar based on one of over a hundred available avatars and your own text or audio file.
  • Creating a completely custom avatar based on a provided video clip and your own text or audio file.
  • Translating a provided video into over 40 available foreign languages with lip-sync technology. The final result looks very natural.
  • Changing or improving your voice or generating audio for the entered text.

The tool has incredible potential in the field of marketing, promoting products, preparing offers, or training materials. From now on, you can, for example, put a video on your website where you talk about your product in Korean. The applications are enormous.

Cost

From $29 per month. Free plan for 1-min max duration video per month.

That's all the tools in this part. To read about the remaining 5, please visit the second part.

Besides, stay tuned and remember that these are still just tools. How we use them and whether they benefit us depends entirely on us. Thankfully, as of now, the most powerful tool at our disposal remains the human mind.

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5 min

AI Demystified: Breaking Down the Basics

Welcome to the era of Artificial Intelligence, a revolutionary field that is reshaping the world as we know it. AI, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has now become an integral part of our daily lives, impacting everything from our smartphones to the way we interact with businesses. In this article, we will explore the fundamental concepts of AI, its immense potential, and the exciting opportunities it offers, while also considering its challenges and possible threats.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the science of creating intelligent machines that can mimic human intelligence and perform tasks that typically require human cognitive abilities. These tasks encompass a wide range of activities, from understanding natural language, decision-making, and problem-solving to recognizing patterns in data, and even driving autonomous vehicles. AI systems are designed to learn, reason, and adapt based on the data they receive, allowing them to make predictions and take actions. Thus based on vast amounts of information, algorithms adapt their behavior accordingly, making AI systems invaluable tools for numerous industries.

We can distinguish many different branches in the AI industry, among which the most popular currently include:

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP focuses on enabling machines to understand, interpret, and generate human language. It powers applications like chatbots, language translation, sentiment analysis, and text summarization. Advanced language models, such as GPT-4, have made significant strides in this field, allowing for more sophisticated language understanding and generation.

Computer Vision: Computer vision involves teaching machines to interpret and understand visual information from images and videos. It finds applications in facial recognition, object detection, autonomous vehicles, medical imaging, and augmented reality. Deep learning techniques like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been crucial in advancing computer vision capabilities.

Machine Learning: Machine learning is a broader field that encompasses algorithms and techniques enabling systems to learn and improve from data without explicit programming. Supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning are common paradigms within machine learning. It is the backbone of many AI applications, including recommendation systems, fraud detection, and predictive analytics.

Deep Learning: Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to model and solve complex problems. It excels in handling large amounts of data and is responsible for significant breakthroughs in image and speech recognition, natural language processing, and game playing (e.g., AlphaGo).

Reinforcement Learning: Reinforcement learning is a subset of machine learning that focuses on training agents to make decisions in an environment to achieve specific goals. It is instrumental in developing AI systems capable of playing games, optimizing processes, and controlling robots.

Robotics and Automation: AI-driven robots are becoming more prevalent across various industries, from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and household assistance. These robots use AI algorithms to perceive their environment, plan actions, and perform tasks autonomously.

Generative Models: Generative models, particularly Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), can create new content based on existing data. They have been used for image synthesis, video generation, and even creating realistic AI-generated artwork and music. In recent weeks, popular tools like Midjourney, Photoshop, and Framer AI have been leveraging generative AI to provide their users with features that were once considered abstract just a few months ago. Currently, these are among the fastest-growing algorithms in the industry.

Why should you be interested in AI and start learning it?

The relevance of AI has never been more apparent than in today's fast-paced world. By understanding AI, we unlock the potential to develop cutting-edge solutions to complex problems, leading to technological advancements that can improve our quality of life. As AI permeates various industries, learning about it becomes a strategic advantage for individuals and businesses alike. The recent months have, in many cases, exceeded our expectations. People have seen that the potential of AI tools can be accessible to everyone, and the content being generated is already so realistic and complex that it can mimic (and in many cases, even enhance) human creativity. 

Given how AI is growing quickly and finding new uses, it's clear that AI skills are in high demand today. The increasing number of job opportunities in fields such as data science, robotics, and AI research and more and more interest in AI tools by most of the big companies and start-ups should be the best proof.

Those who are willing to learn, collaborate with AI, and embrace the AI revolution with an open mind will emerge victorious. Those who neglect these opportunities will inevitably fall behind.

The Benefits of AI

The benefits of AI are immense and wide-ranging, promising a transformative impact on society. One of the most significant advantages is enhanced efficiency and productivity. AI-powered systems can handle repetitive tasks at an unprecedented speed and accuracy, liberating human resources for more creative and strategic endeavors.

Additionally, AI has revolutionized various sectors, such as healthcare. With AI-driven diagnostics and personalized treatment plans, medical professionals can make more accurate and timely decisions, potentially saving countless lives. In agriculture, AI helps optimize crop yields and monitor livestock health, contributing to sustainable and efficient food production.

Moreover, AI has vastly improved user experiences across various industries. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have become our helpful companions, providing us with useful information and managing our daily tasks. AI-driven recommendation systems in online shopping platforms, music streaming services, and video content providers cater to our preferences, making our lives more convenient and enjoyable.

Both companies and individuals are now using AI-based tools in their daily lives. From well-known ones like ChatGPT and MidJourney to tools such as Copilot, Jasper, copy.ai, Adobe Firefly, and a variety of specialized plugins and enhancements that enable more effective business management, time management, social media content creation, and much more.

The Threats of AI

While AI presents numerous benefits, we must also be mindful of the potential risks and challenges it brings. One of the most significant concerns is job displacement. As AI automates tasks previously performed by humans, certain jobs might become obsolete, leading to job insecurity for certain professions. However, it is essential to remember that AI also creates new job opportunities in related fields, requiring a skilled workforce to develop and manage AI systems.

Another critical aspect to address is AI ethics. As AI systems become increasingly sophisticated, they may face ethical dilemmas, especially in areas like autonomous vehicles and healthcare. Striking the right balance between AI autonomy and human control is crucial to ensure safety and accountability. 

Furthermore, there are concerns about data privacy and security. AI systems rely heavily on data for training and decision-making, raising the risk of potential data breaches or misuse. It is essential to develop robust data protection mechanisms and ensure responsible AI usage to safeguard individual privacy and prevent unauthorized access.

We must also remember that many publicly available AI tools still face several limitations, such as social biases, hallucinations, and adversarial prompts. It's important to be aware that not everything provided by, for instance, ChatGPT, should be taken as absolute truth. However, companies are continually working to improve and fine-tune their models. The latest language model from OpenAI, known as GPT-4, is claimed to be 82% less likely to respond to requests for prohibited content and 40% more likely to provide fact-based answers compared to GPT-3.5.

Nevertheless, it's essential to remember that these are merely tools in our hands. How we use them still depends entirely on us. Staying informed and aware is valuable, as the revolution doesn't happen overnight; it's a lengthy and error-prone process.

Let's take a moment to dive a little deeper and examine three concepts without which our current AI conversation would be meaningless…

Machine Learning: The Core of AI

At the heart of AI lies Machine Learning (ML), a subset of AI that empowers machines to learn from data without explicit programming. ML algorithms use statistical techniques to identify patterns in data, enabling them to make predictions or decisions based on new information. This ability to learn and improve with experience is what sets ML apart and makes it a powerful tool in various applications.

Prompt Engineering: Igniting Creativity in AI

Prompt engineering is a fascinating aspect of AI that involves crafting effective instructions or queries to direct AI models' output. By providing appropriate prompts, developers can influence the content, style, or tone of AI-generated outputs. This technique has been particularly instrumental in the development of Generative AI.

Generative AI: Fostering Creativity

Generative AI is a branch of AI that deals with machines' capability to create new content, such as images, music, text, and more.

In simpler terms, Generative AI is precisely the branch that has recently gained immense popularity thanks to tools like ChatGPT, MidJourney, DALL-E, or Jasper. As the name suggests, it's generative, meaning it can generate (or just create) new content based on specific queries, known as prompts.

But how is this even possible? In a nutshell, by learning patterns from a vast amount of data (such as existing articles, research papers, images, and more), the algorithm creates new content based on these patterns. Importantly, even though we "feed" the algorithm with certain content (pre-trained data sets), it doesn't mean we'll get copies or similar replicas of the input. The algorithm, using learned transformations, can iteratively generate genuinely new things. It's all powered by deep neural networks, but the exact workings and why the algorithm produces a specific response are not obvious, even to the creators of these neural networks. You input the data, and run the algorithm, but what happens inside the network remains a puzzle.

ChatGPT - What's All the Buzz About?

Imagine having a super-smart assistant, like a virtual wordsmith, at your fingertips, ready to help you create captivating content and answer your queries. That's precisely what ChatGPT is!

ChatGPT, developed by the American company OpenAI, is a content generator that relies on a large language model called GPT (currently in version 3.5 or, paid GPT-4). It's a bot with which you can communicate using natural language. This tool over 50 different languages, capable of answering questions, translating documents into various languages, conducting proofreading and language editing of texts, summarizing and analyzing scientific papers, suggesting solutions to diverse problems, crafting essays, scripts, debugging programming code, and searching through databases. In the paid version of the tool, you even have the ability to work with images, allowing you to upload an image as input and, for example, expect its analysis.

What's crucial is that the paid version of ChatGPT (GPT-4) now has (or, compared to the competition, is just getting) internet access. This means it can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It's no longer confined to data from before September 2021. Additionally, we can utilize various plugins and integrations, such as speech recognition (Whisper) and complex data calculations and analysis (Wolfram Alpha), making the tool even more powerful. Currently, there are over 900 plugins available!

Recently, ChatGPT also received an update that enables the ability to converse with the chatbot using voice commands. ChatGPT, GPT-3.5, and GPT-4 will be able to comprehend user questions and respond using one of five distinct voices.

Now, you might wonder why you should use ChatGPT. The answer is simple: it saves you time and boosts your productivity. Writing high-quality content can be time-consuming, and not everyone has the expertise to craft captivating texts. ChatGPT eliminates that hurdle, offering instant assistance whenever you need it. Furthermore, it helps overcome writer's block, as it can spark new ideas and inspire creativity. 

In short, ChatGPT can help us with a range of tasks, including:

  • Brainstorming
  • Exploring various options for what we want to do
  • Providing suggestions regarding different approaches, for example, how to do something on iOS or Android
  • Fueling creativity: X ideas for headlines, X ideas for navigation in the design industry, and so on…
  • Writing meeting summaries
  • Preparing transcriptions
  • Making analyses
  • Sprint management
  • Customer service
  • Delivering corporate wiki - uploading documentation to the AI model and using queries to direct to specific places, like where the button component is located
  • And much more!

Here are a few tips on how to effectively "converse" with Chat GPT (or any similar tool) to get the best possible responses:

  • Write simple and uncomplicated sentences
  • Break down sentences into shorter and more precise ones
  • Describe the context of your problem in detail
  • Start with the general idea and ask follow-up questions to refine your queries based on the response you receive
  • Speak as if you were talking to a 5-year-old

What is a noteworthy alternative to Chat GPT?

As you might imagine, the competition is not resting, and the market is flooded with a multitude of tools that utilize GPT models and more.

Currently, the two most popular tools, operating similarly to ChatGPT, are:

  • Bing - Microsoft's chatbot that uses the same GPT model as ChatGPT, but integrates it with the Bing search engine. This means that it can access the internet by default and provide you with relevant information, sources, and suggestions. You can also change the tone of the chatbot to be more creative, more precise, or balanced;
  • Bard - Google's chatbot that uses a combination of two language models: LaMDA and PaLM. LaMDA is designed for dialogue applications and PaLM is good at math and logic. Google Bard can also access the internet by default and display photos in the results. You can also export the results to Gmail or Google Docs, or modify them without typing. Google Bard is free and available for anyone to use.

The best chatbot for you depends on your needs and preferences. You might want to try them all and see which one suits you better. They are all amazing examples of how AI can help us communicate, create, and learn.

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5 min

A Flashback to the Future: Y2K Style and Contemporary Interface Design

There are many trends in user interface design. In this article, we'll delve into the resurgence of Y2K style and how it's shaping the digital landscape today, bridging the past and future in design. Explore the exciting world of Y2K design and its impact on contemporary interfaces.

What is Y2K style?

Y2K style is the aesthetics of user interface design or graphic design. It features a vibrant and bold color palette, with neon greens, electric blues and metallic silvers taking center stage. Geometric shapes dominated Y2K's design, especially those with futuristic edges such as sharp angles and asymmetry. Additionally, elements such as pixelation, glitch effects, and kaleidoscopic patterns frequently appeared, adding a surreal and dreamlike feel to the visuals. The Y2K aesthetic is a combination of optimism and concern that marked the dawn of the digital age and is causing a powerful resurgence in modern interface design.

Y2K in UI Design

The Y2K aesthetic's resurgence has been particularly striking in the field of user interface design. Designers have enthusiastically embraced the Y2K style's vibrant colors and bold shapes, giving digital interfaces a captivating and futuristic edge.

Y2K-inspired UI designs prominently feature audacious color palettes, often including neon shades and metallic tones. These vibrant colors instantly grab users' attention and create a memorable visual experience.

Geometric shapes, asymmetry, and dynamic patterns are fundamental to Y2K-inspired UI design. Sharp angles and futuristic designs can be seen in buttons, icons, and navigation elements, guiding users through digital spaces with a unique visual language.

Pixelation and glitch effects add a touch of nostalgia and a sense of unpredictability to these interfaces, creating a dreamlike quality. These elements not only engage users but also provide a refreshing departure from conventional, minimalistic designs in the digital landscape.

Challenges and opportunities of Y2K aesthetics

The resurgence of Y2K aesthetics in contemporary design presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. One significant challenge lies in finding the right balance between nostalgia and modern functionality. Designers must ensure that Y2K elements enhance the user experience without compromising usability.

Another challenge is avoiding overuse. While Y2K aesthetics can be visually engaging, excessive application can lead to a cluttered and overwhelming interface. Designers need to judiciously incorporate these elements to create a cohesive and user-friendly design.

Opportunities arise from the emotional resonance and nostalgia associated with Y2K aesthetics. Leveraging these elements can create a stronger user-brand connection, evoking positive emotions and memories.

Furthermore, the Y2K resurgence opens doors for experimentation and innovation. Designers can explore new ways to blend Y2K aesthetics with cutting-edge technology, offering users fresh and memorable digital experiences.

Which Users Can Y2K UI Design Target?

The resurgence of Y2K UI design presents an exciting opportunity to engage a diverse range of users. This aesthetic, with its unique blend of nostalgia and modernity, has the potential to resonate with various audiences. Let's explore which users Y2K UI design can effectively target.

Nostalgia Enthusiasts: Y2K UI design naturally appeals to those who have fond memories of the early 2000s. Users who grew up during that era may be drawn to the design style, as it evokes feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality. This group often seeks a connection to their past and enjoys interfaces that transport them back to the turn of the millennium.

Generation Z: While not firsthand witnesses to the Y2K era, Generation Z has shown a remarkable affinity for the aesthetics of the time. Y2K UI design can tap into their interest in retro and vintage styles, offering a fresh take on a period they may have missed but still find intriguing.

Visual and Creative Professionals: Y2K UI design, with its vibrant colors and bold shapes, often resonates with visual and creative professionals. Graphic designers, artists, and those in the creative industries appreciate the design elements that challenge the status quo and inspire creativity. Y2K UI design can be a source of inspiration for this group.

Brands and Marketers: For businesses and marketers, Y2K UI design offers a distinctive way to capture the attention of users. It's an excellent choice for creating memorable digital experiences, enhancing brand recognition, and standing out in a crowded marketplace. The unique visual language can leave a lasting impression on potential customers.

Tech Enthusiasts: Tech-savvy users who embrace innovation are often intrigued by the fusion of Y2K aesthetics with modern technology. Y2K UI design can offer a unique, cutting-edge user experience that appeals to those who are eager to explore new design trends and digital frontiers.

Inspiring Websites Made in Y4K Style

While Y2K aesthetics have made a resounding comeback, some designers are already pushing the boundaries into the future, embracing what we can playfully term "Y4K" style. These websites embody the spirit of Y2K design while introducing innovative elements that capture the essence of contemporary design. Let's take a look at a few remarkable examples:

Nexal Studio's website flawlessly blends Y2K aesthetics with futuristic elements. The site features an array of bright, contrasting colors, reminiscent of the early 2000s, combined with smooth animations and modern design techniques.

BC Design celebrates its 10th anniversary with a website that brilliantly incorporates Y2K aesthetics and old game design. The use of gradients and unique layouts adds a futuristic twist, offering an innovative take on the Y2K-inspired design.

The Flow Ventures takes Y2K design to new heights by combining it with glitch effects and pixelation. The result is a visually striking website that encapsulates the retro-futuristic essence while maintaining user-friendliness.

Chloé Digital's website is an exceptional blend of Y2K aesthetics and contemporary web design. It showcases dynamic shapes, bold typography, and vibrant colors, presenting a unique digital experience that appeals to both nostalgia enthusiasts and modern design aficionados.

In conclusion, as the design world continues to evolve, Y2K aesthetics remain a timeless source of inspiration. They bridge generations and offer a fascinating glimpse into the future, where past and present collide to create immersive, visually captivating online experiences.

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5 min

Beyond Boxes: Elevating Design with Bento Grid Patterns

What is Bento Grid?

Bento Grid draws inspiration from the iconic Japanese lunchbox, transforming its neatly divided compartments into a visually appealing and organized layout for websites. This design pattern employs a grid-based structure, slicing the website's content into distinct sections or compartments. Each compartment serves a unique purpose, providing a dedicated space to showcase specific features, thus offering visitors an intuitive and engaging way to navigate through information.

Benefits of Bento Grid

Users engaged with products featuring the Bento Grid layout enjoy numerous benefits. These benefits include:

Structure and Organization: Bento Grid introduces a structured layout, dividing the UI into well-defined compartments. Each compartment serves a unique purpose, housing specific elements such as navigation menus, content sections, or interactive features. This systematic organization enhances the overall clarity of the interface, allowing users to navigate with ease and find information effortlessly.

Visual Hierarchy: The grid-based structure of Bento Grid naturally lends itself to creating a visual hierarchy. By allocating different sections for various content or features, designers can guide users' attention and emphasize key elements. This inherent visual hierarchy contributes to a more intuitive user experience, ensuring that important information stands out.

Seamless Responsiveness: Bento Grid adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions, making it a responsive choice for UI design. Whether viewed on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, the grid-based layout ensures a consistent and user-friendly experience. This adaptability is crucial in an era where users access interfaces across a diverse range of devices.

Storytelling through Design: Much like the compartments of a bento box tell a culinary story, Bento Grid allows designers to weave a narrative through visual elements. Each compartment becomes a chapter in the user's journey, conveying information in a structured and engaging manner. This storytelling approach enhances user engagement and creates a memorable user experience.

Emphasis on User Engagement: Bento Grid is not just about organization; it's about creating an engaging user experience. By presenting information in visually distinct compartments, users are encouraged to explore different facets of the interface. This design pattern promotes interaction, keeping users intrigued and invested in the content or functionality presented.

Challenges Associated with Bento Grid

Every design solution presents its own set of challenges that designers must navigate. Despite its numerous advantages, Bento Grid also encounters several challenges. Here are a few:

Flexibility Constraints

The structured nature of the Bento Grid may introduce certain limitations in design flexibility, making it more challenging to adapt to unconventional design concepts.

Need for Careful Planning

Effectively utilizing the Bento Grid requires meticulous planning and thoughtful allocation of space within individual compartments, which can be time-consuming.

Potential for Monotony

Without proper diversification, Bento Grid runs the risk of inducing monotony in projects, potentially making interfaces appear repetitive or predictable.

While acknowledging these challenges, it's essential to note that their significance can vary based on specific project contexts and applications of the Bento Grid design.

Real-world examples of Bento Grid usage

Apple is a pinnacle in the world of technology, employs the Bento Grid with exceptional finesse. The amalgamation of high-quality graphics and gradients transforms ordinary tiles into a stunning display of aesthetics and functionality.

On the BetterStack website, dedicated to developer tools, the Bento Grid excels in presenting a diverse array of features and services. Compact compartments facilitate a clear presentation of alternatives to popular tools, enabling users to swiftly compare and choose the most suitable solutions.

The WorkOS website, specializing in identity management tools, utilizes the Bento Grid to organize various aspects of the Single Sign-On solution. In this case, the separation of different pieces of information works remarkably well, turning information into visually appealing graphics rather than typical product details.

Bento Grid finds its application in dashboard design, as exemplified by Setproduct. In screens where designers need to present a large amount of data to users, the segregation and proper visualization of information become exceptionally important.

All these examples illustrate that the Bento Grid is not merely a theoretical model but a practical tool that contributes to the effective communication of information and encourages user interaction. The inspiring use of the Bento Grid in real-world projects confirms that it is not just an aesthetic maneuver but a strategy that enhances user experiences, conveying complex information in an accessible and attractive manner.

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