Given the importance of images in making a long-lasting impression on the human mind, companies cannot do without hiring a creative agency.
When it comes to marketing, creative assets are a big part of every campaign or project, especially so for social media marketing and dynamic social ads. Now, with digital marketing as the norm, companies will need the combined expertise of content strategists, advertising specialists as well as a team of creative professionals to bring out the best of what their company has to offer.
Even with a powerhouse sales or inbound marketing team to sell your story, you’ll still require the support of a team of creative designers to bring your ideas to life.
Still not convinced? Well here are some examples which are bound to change your mind after watching them.
Some Great Samples
Introducing Crash Detection for the iPhone 14 Pro by Apple
Apple is a prime example of what it takes to make an effective advertisement.
The video lasts for less than a minute. At that time, it informs the audience all about the highlighted feature – crash detection.
With great visual storytelling, bold fonts, rhythmic beats and a mix of dark and bright colours, the ad is capable of keeping the audience interested.
This is not the first time Apple has used such a style for its ads. Over the years, Apple has successfully acquired an advertising format that is uniquely recognised as Apple. This emphasises the critical role of a creative team which can make or break a brand.
Valentine’s Day Print Campaign for Mcdonald’s (Thailand)
Did you do a double-take when you first saw these images?
Released on Valentine’s Day for McDonald’s (Thailand) a few years ago, these are printed ads which showed pictures of people supposedly leaning in for a kiss…with a burger!
Ditching the usual family-friendly approach with McDonald’s ads, the creative team behind this campaign decided to turn up the heat and bring in some romance. Toying with the idea of two people kissing, the pictures showed individuals leaning towards their favourite burger cleverly shaped like a person’s face.
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, everyone can say “I’m lovin it” to these burgers!
By now, I hope you can see that visual design is a critical factor that can increase the success of any marketing campaign these days. To stand out from the myriad of ads online, a business will need the use of visually impactful designs. This is especially important since a customer’s attention span lasts for a mere 8 seconds today, and online ad formats are getting shorter and shorter. So, before you start your next campaign, remember to hire a creative agency that helps you create designs that can attract and sell!
Work with our diverse team of creatives who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a branding and visual communications expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Originally published: 15 July 2020 Updated: 25 November 2022
It requires one to work with imagination, know the principles of good design and have a flair for creative ideas. A creative designer needs to understand the what and how of effective design, in order to create artworks that can successfully capture anyone’s eye.
But what goes into the daily work of a creative designer? Where does their inspiration come from? How exactly does the job of a creative designer make use of art and science?
Curious to find out more? Let’s dive into the world of creative design with Ventina to learn more about the job of a creative designer!
Hi everyone! My name is Ventina!
I graduated from Institute Technology of Bandung, Indonesia in 2015 and my major was Visual Communication Design. Formerly, I worked as a Creative Designer and 2D artist in Qajoo Game Studio, CERI and Mekanuma clothing apparel for 3 years. I worked on different projects ranging from branding, illustration, pattern designs, game development to animation.
In 2018, I joined 2Stallions digital agency because I wanted to learn more about UI/UX. I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me and I was able to learn many things on top of UI/UX here.
Recently, I’ve been having lots of fun experimenting with different ads and graphic motion videos. I also have great colleagues that ensure I never have a dull day at work. We work collaboratively and consult with each other on design ideas. I find that working in a team is a great way to bounce ideas off each other and create meaningful designs which impact real users.
What made you decide to start a career in creative design
Well, the decision stemmed from my love for drawing. Whenever my friends in middle school and high school asks me to draw for them, I often received compliments from them as well.
The hours spent immersing myself in the world of art was something that I find myself enjoying a lot . That’s when I started to think of illustration and creative design as a viable career path for me.
I always think that design have a greater impact on our lives than we imagine. From our physical surroundings, to the things we wear and buy, everything around us is embedded with design. So I think it would be nice if I can be one of the people that create them.
What is expected of a creative designer?
Building a portfolio and growing your network
A common concern for most creative designers, and for those who are switching their career path to creative design, are worried about the need for a portfolio.
In the creative industry, having a portfolio will help a lot. In a way, your portfolio acts as your resume. A portfolio is used to showcase your best work and helps clients review and determine if your design style is a good fit for their company.
Before you can start making a portfolio, you will first need to have projects. Whether it’s personal or freelance projects, they are useful to help you gain hands on experience.
It’ll be easier if you had pursued a formal study in design. But if you can’t, you can always work on your software skills. You can start creating an online portfolio on Instagram or other social media platform, so people can notice your work!
Consider taking on freelance work and don’t forget to network with fellow designers and build connections with clients. Keeping excellent work standards and delivering excellent customer service will help you obtain customer referrals to spread the word of your designs.
Challenges in the field of creative design
Creative design is an ever changing field, so a creative designer must always research and be updated about the latest industry trends.
There will also be times when you are racking your brain the entire day for ideas and inspirations. Personally, I try to overcome this challenge by getting outside, taking care of my plants, playing with my cat and browsing designs created by other desingers. The important thing is to give yourself time to recharge and refresh your mind in order to think of better ideas.
Recently, the Attonics video which you’ve created has been featured on Bestdesigns.co. Could you tell us more about how you approached the project?
For this particular project, I took inspiration from Apple mainly because it encompasses really good visual elements that makes a good motion video and animation. Some of the UX trends in 2020 includes the use of futuristic colours and dark tones, and that was also the vibe that I was going for in this video.
Visual design process
Step 1: Start with a sketch
A visual design process typically starts with a sketch. Usually, I will create the sketch with pencil, write a match script, note down the parts of VO (voice over) and have a rough idea of the number of images required.
Step 2: Add in details and create an artboard
The second step would be to digitalize the storyboard. I’d usually put the estimated time above each artboard.
Step 3: Obtain approval from the client
When done, show this to the client, and wait for their feedback
Step 4: Get started on the actual design and animation
After the client approve, go to the third step : start to animate them. I really love this part! Since I can always learn many new things such as transition, text animation, etc.
Step 5: Review, feedback and revise
This is when I’ll send the first draft to the client to obtain feedback and work on addressing them. Finalize the video and it’s done!
Advice to aspiring creative designers
It is also useful for creative designers to build on non-design skills. One example from my personal experience is communication.
Other than having the necessary software skills, you’ll also need to work on communication. It is important to be an empathetic designer who takes time to really understand the needs of the client. Remain open minded to the clients’ input and also convey your design approach clearly so that clients can understand your ideas as well.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of critiques. Constructive criticism are what helps you become a better designer. Only by making mistakes will you learn where to improve and how to be better. Never give up, continue practicing and continuously learn from your peers in the industry. Build and learn from your experience. Sometimes, we may find other people’s words getting to us sometimes, but remember not to take it personally and view it as a stepping stone to becoming a better creative designer!
Even with a powerhouse sales or inbound marketing team to sell your story, you’ll still require the support from a team of creative designers tobring your ideas to life.
Discover more works done by our diverse team of creatives who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a branding and visual communications expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Welcome back to another edition of #2S Team stories-a series of short and fun interviews that allows our readers to take a peek into an agency’s life. You get to meet the buzzing minds behind our projects and get up close and personal with members of the #2Sfamily!
This edition, we have a conversation with our Senior UI/UX Designer, Kisy Kumala Sari. She’ll be sharing with us about her journey, of how she started as a freelance creative designer and eventually became a UI/UX designer at our agency. If you’re an aspiring illustrator or creative designer, you’re in a for a treat! Kisy has also shared with us some of her favourite design tools and guides that helped her grow and improve as a designer. Be sure to read on to discover what they are!
1. Hi Kisy! Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
Hello everyone, my name is Kisy, I’m a Senior UI/UX designer at 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Visual Communication Design from Maranatha Christian University back in 2011.
I kick-started my career with a retail company in Indonesia. My job then was to design creative assets, ranging from branding, promotional, marketing materials to creating the design concept for the storefront and retail furniture.
In 2015, I joined 2Stallions. Till this date, I’ve been with the digital agency officially for 4 years & 9 months. Initially I was working with a lean creative team. However, we managed to recruit more talents into our team in the recent years. I absolutely enjoy working alongside my colleagues Gita, Ventina, Fira and Antayra (our Head of Creative Strategy & Accounts)! I am pleased to witness how much the company has grown since then.
2. What made you decide on a creative designer career?
It started simply because of my passion for drawing and illustration. I chose to study design because it had an illustration aspect.
Many people tend to misunderstand that a creative designer’s job is simply about creating posters and brochures. But creative design is much more complex than that. It‘s a job that combines technology, design and psychology to create human centred designs in order to solve problems for real users in the world. The complexity and the freedom to exercise creativity was what made me fall in love with the job! I also love that creative design is something that’s constantly evolving and expanding, so there’s always something new to learn.
I am very blessed to work in a field that I am passionate about. Most of the time, work doesn’t really feel like work to me.
3. How or where do you get inspiration for your projects?
As a start, I’d usually look through the creative brief provided by the client. I would then research and check out what companies in the client’s industry favour in their design approach. This helps me to understand what works and what doesn’t. As for visual references, I have a few go-to websites such as Awwwards, Dribbble, Béhance, Pinterest and Brandnew. After looking through these websites, I would collect a few of my favourite images or visual elements and create a mood board which I think would match the client’s requirement.
4. What are some of your favourite tools/guide books as a UI/UX designer?
These programs are not just tools. As a designer, we need to constantly upgrade our skillset to keep up with technology improvements. I’d recommend creative designers to continuously practice with these tools to become better at the craft of creative design.
Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think is still the best book out there if you are a UI/UX newbie. When I first started my career as a UI/UX designer, I also watched YouTube channel Flux to see what it was like to work as a UI/UX designer. UXpin also has a free e-book about UI/UX and basic UX design principle. For design beginners, I’d also recommend them to read articles from Nielsen Norman Group if they want a deep dive into UI/UX.
For design guides, I like to watch TheFutur YouTube channel. To know about finding inspiration for design work, you can always count on Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. Lately, I’m looking to learn more about the psychology aspect of UI/UX design. I’ll let you guys know when I find something I really like in the future.
5. Can you recommend us 3 Instagram accounts you’re personally a fan of?
Jessica Walsh – for a peek into a designer’s life with vibrant visuals and snippets on mental health
Jessica’s Instagram feed is full of vibrant, playful and sometimes weird visuals that one cannot stop looking at them! I love that she uses her platform to share her life as a designer, as well as advocate her thoughts on social issues and mental health.
Mel Robbins – for bit-sized tips on motivation and personal development
Mel Robbins is a no BS life coach who will tell you everything you need to hear. From self-love, tips on motivation to personal development, she provides bite sized information and simple tools to help people in daily emotional struggles. Her advice has gotten me through some of the difficult periods in my personal and professional life.
Chrisdo and The Futr – to become a better designer with a business mind-set
Both accounts are owned by Chris Do. He provides useful and relevant design tips and teaches his followers how to become a better designer while developing a business mind-set for the creative industry. He used to host these live design critique sessions and uploads the recorded version onto YouTube. By looking at others’ works, it helped me discover my own flaws within my designs and know areas which I can improve on for my next design.
6. What are your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work hours, I like to work on my illustration skills. It has always been my dream to become an illustrator and I’m keeping that dream alive.
These days, I’ve started drawing stylized portraits on a commission basis and I’ve also created my own drawing challenge on Instagram. I’ve also been taking online lessons about figure drawing to improve my illustration skills.
Kisy’s passion for illustration and creative design is truly inspiring. Most importantly, we should learn from her the spirit of perseverance and continuous learning.
We hope you managed to take away some key learning points and learnt more about the world of creative design. If you’re an aspiring illustrator or creative designer, be sure to check out the tools and guide she has recommended!
Discover more works done by our diverse team of creatives who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a branding and visual communications expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.
In an era of digital acceleration, UI/UX are particular sets of design skills that are primed to be one of the fastest-growing careers.
It’s a field that’s quickly expanding across organizations and evolving into the development of new niches. User experience design, user interface design, customer experience, and product design are all part of the larger landscape of building user-friendly digital content. They are responsible for an impeccable user-experience that is intuitive and leads to easy navigation.
Well-designed user experience and user-friendly interface make a website or app more engaging, trustworthy and accessible. That is why an increasing number of companies are looking for UI/UX designers who can transform the digital presence of their business through optimized interfaces and improved usability.
UI/UX designers tend to work as part of a wider product team, and will often find themselves bridging the gap between the user, the development team, and key business stakeholders.
What exactly is UI/UX?
UI vs UX
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are different skillsets. The two roles have distinct differences in the problems they solve, the methodology used and the tools they adopt in their day to day job.
UX: User Experience
As the name suggests, UX designers focus on the user experience and are primarily “user first” in all the work that he or she does. They’re responsible for user-friendly apps and sites that are easy to navigate. This will help the user find information and take action (such as making a purchase or booking an appointment) easily.
The UX designer is concerned with content structure, otherwise known as information architect– a way of arranging information presented to a user as he or she scrolls through an app or website. This means that a UX professional will have to prioritize content and place different information strategically throughout a page, to ensure a user can find the information he or she needs easily.
Through user research, the UX designer will gather the profile of the users, and hence understand their needs and wants. The UX designer will then plan the content and site structure to align with the users’ needs and wants.
This process is also known as user flow, which is to create different ways a user is likely to navigate the site. The next step for the UX designer would be to sketch wireframes and create prototypes based on the wireframes.
Wireframes are the basic skeletal structure of a website or app. They allow a UX designer to outline and map out user flow. A prototype (a mockup of a site or app) is then created and tested with a group of users to collect feedback and fine-tune the product before the actual development.
Even after a product is completed, UX design doesn’t stop there. UX design is a never-ending process. Any app or website has to be refreshed from time to time to account for evolving search trends and ever-changing user behaviour. It’s important for the UX designer to account for the evolving needs of a customer and a business, in order to improve the platform for a better selling and buying process.
Think about the major social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Has your user experience changed and improved drastically over the years?
UI: User interface
UI is a digital space where users see and perceive information. It specifically focuses on the visual design (look and feel) of a product. It is also concerned about the interactive elements such as drop-down menus, form fields, clickable elements, animation, button styling and other critical tools in UI design. These are elements that’ll guide a user’s engagement with a product.
UI designers take the framework and wireframes created by the UX designer and translate them into high fidelity, final visual deliverables before handing them off to a development team for production.
A career that blends tech, psychology and design
UI/UX designers are central to the creation of user-friendly designs. By understanding how different psychology principles influence human behaviour, UI/UX professionals design websites, apps and other products for a hassle-free browsing or shopping experience. Essentially, they’re responsible for creating human-centred designs for real users in the real world.
Although UI and UX have different roles to play, they’re often complementary. No product design (website or mobile apps) can do without either of the roles.
Let us use the example of a cup to illustrate the importance of having both UI and UX in any product design.
UI determines the appearance of the cup, giving it an animal form that is cute and appeals to a consumer who is looking to buy a nice cup for his or her use. The cup has a handle to signal to the person that there is where they hold the cup. However, a lack of good UX design failed to account for the animal ears which could hurt the person using the cup.
UI and UX work hand in hand to ensure a product is useful and engaging, on top of being visually appealing. Good UI and UX design are critical for any product to deliver a delightful user experience.
Example of Good UI/UX – Zalora Mobile Shopping App
Zalora Group is a leading online e-commerce and online fashion retailer with operations in various Southeast markets. As Asia’s leading online fashion destination, ZALORA’s localised sites offer an extensive collection of top international and local brands, as well as in-house labels across apparel, shoes and accessories for men and women. ZALORA aims to provide consumers in Asia seeking a shopping experience focused on their unique styles, trends and fit, hence its tagline ‘With Zalora, you own now”.
A seamless shopping experience on the Zalora shopping app
From the images, one can see that Zalora’s mobile app have multiple interactive buttons which are tailored to a mobile shopping experience. Buttons are placed at convenient touchpoints for those holding their phone with one hand. All the necessary information is also easily accessible on the same page. This prevents a user from having to enter and exit a page to find information.
Before a consumer can purchase from you online, your website or shopping app must first be usable and helpful to encourage a purchase on their end.
Good UI/UX design plays an essential role in achieving this goal.
If a user cannot find helpful information on your site or they face great difficulty navigating, they’ll leave your site within seconds.
Personalised shopping experience
Increasingly, consumers are looking for a personalized shopping experience. They prefer sites and apps which can predict and recommend products they like, so that they will waste less time finding the perfect product themselves.
Including sections such as “you may also like this…” or “related articles…”, a customer is constantly presented with more options that are tailored to their likes and preferences. This increases their dwell time and also increase the chance for them to find a product that is of their preference.
If you’re able to provide information that is easily accessible, the customer will also waste less time finding important information such as shipping and payment options on another page. Interactive elements such as clear call to action buttons (CTAs) helps the consumer to easily save a product to a wish list, share a product and add a product to cart. All these are factors which can motivate a customer to move from the consideration stage to the purchase stage.
Build your customer base and brand loyalty
Whether you’re a start-up or an MNC, good UI and UX design are crucial to form a pleasant and long-lasting impression with customers. A well-designed website speaks credibility and helps with brand recognition, thus improving your business reputation as well.
This is especially important in this digital age when your business is competing with an influx of new competitors. Good UI and UX design is what’ll help your brand stand out and be the best among your peers, thus winning over customers. A helpful and pleasant shopping experience will also keep people coming back.
If the users are surfing your websites or using your applications, it is your UI/UX developers’ responsibility to navigate them to their predetermined target in the most efficient way. Hence, UI and UX Development have become a significant part of today’s web development. Overtime, UI and UX professions will help companies increase sales, retain customers and improve their brand value.
Creating Business Value with Good UI/UX Design
Customers are the ones paying your business and keeps it going. Therefore, designing a pleasant and intuitive user experience should be at the heart of every digital product. Failing to cater to their needs and their desired shopping experience will only lead to a loss of opportunities and conversions for your brand.
90% of users reported they stopped using an app due to poor performance.
86% deleted or uninstalled an app as a result of encountering problems with its functionality or design.
88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
If your business is going digital, it’d be wise to invest time and money into creating and building digital products (websites, mobile apps etc) that provide good user experience, in order to reap the immense benefits it can provide for your business ROIs.
Discover more with 2S Creative Services
We are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Singapore. From strategy to execution, we provide personalised digital solutions, including creative services for over 300+ clients ranging from MNCs, government institutions to local SMEs. Recently, we’ve also been featured as one of the 35 best creative agencies in Singapore.
Discover more works done by our diverse team of creatives who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. If you’re looking for a web design expert, don’t hesitate to contact us.