Where are we seeing the technology in use today, and what does the future of AR look like?
Let’s see what to expect now and in the near future.
From Humble Beginnings
Augmented Reality may have smashed its way into the market in the last decade or so, but it comes from much more humble beginnings. The first head-mounted display system was invented in 1968. Dubbed The Sword of Damocles, it would be the only major advancement in the industry until 1975 and the introduction of Videoplace, Myron Krueger’s artificial reality lab.
In 1990, Thomas P. Caudell, a former Boeing researcher, finally gave it a name — Augmented Reality (AR). From there, the technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. NASA used it in 1998 for field navigation. Companies started adopting AR as a medium for print advertisements.
Microsoft Kinect used AR as a motion sensor in 2010, allowing for interactive gameplay. 2013 saw the rise and subsequent fall of the Google Glass. 2016 brought “Pokemon Go,” which used AR through smartphone cameras to project Pokemon on the real world as players caught them.
AR was introduced as something you used to need specialized equipment for. However, as smartphone cameras became more prevalent, it’s proven to be the perfect venue for gaming, shopping and marketing.
Augmented Reality in Present Tense
Currently, we’re seeing augmented reality pop up nearly everywhere. A few examples include:
NASA using AR and the Microsoft Hololens to aid in spacecraft assembly: Instead of using a massive instruction and assembly manual, engineers can use AR to see the instructions, what parts they need and even the next steps projected right onto the surface where they work. Augmented reality headsets have become a staple on the International Space Station, used for everything from controlling robots to carrying out maintenance and even exercising in space.
Shopping: Have you ever wondered what a piece of furniture or a paint color might look like in your home while you’re shopping online? Wonder no more. All you need is a smartphone camera, and sites like Amazon offer an AR mode that lets you visualize your purchase in your house before you ever click that Buy Now button.
Surgical training: Hands-on experience is best, but the last thing you want is a new surgeon carrying out a delicate and dangerous operation on their first day. AR can give physicians the experience they need so they’re ready to save lives when the need arises.
Property tours and project inspections: The COVID-19 pandemic has made face-to-face interactions a challenge. AR gives people the ability to tour properties without ever leaving the comfort of home.
This isn’t an in-depth list at all – Augmented Reality is beginning to emerge as a valuable tool in nearly every industry, finding new ways of implementation and usage. If you are doubtful about AR, due to the costs it may incur (or you wish to learn AR development), you can try and build an AR app yourself with the help of the available tools on the market.
What Does the Future of Augmented Reality Look Like?
The present is already looking bright for AR as a whole, so what does the future hold? Facebook, in collaboration with Ray-Ban, just released its new smart glasses. Apple is planning to offer its own headset and smart glasses in 2022.
Experts also predict that the expansion of 5G networks will make it easier to support cloud-based AR experiences while also making them more realistic. The high-speed, low-latency internet offered by 5G networks will make it easy to pull programs and interactions from anywhere in the world in a fraction of a second.
Augmented Reality may also become a part of the average office space, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed so many companies into adopting remote work. When Facebook introduced its VR office software Horizon Workrooms earlier this year, a lot of people rolled their eyes. However, this AR technology application could allow people to stay connected as though they’re working in the same space without leaving their homes. An AR meeting could showcase people — either as holographic projections, videos or even avatars — in a room without being in attendance.
The AR market is growing exponentially. By 2030, experts estimate the industry as a whole will be worth more than $76 billion, a massive growth from $26.75 billion in 2021. It will be interesting to see what innovations crop up during that time and how much easier augmented reality can make our lives.
Looking Toward the Future
AR — and more specifically, mixed reality (XR), which combines aspects of virtual and augmented reality — will become a more common part of daily life. While we may never reach OASIS levels of immersion like what you see in “Ready Player One” and other examples of VR in pop culture, we will likely see more instances of this technology every day.
AR has the potential to connect people around the globe in an instant, provide tools for various industries, and change the way we interact with both the virtual world and the real one. The only place to go from here is up, and it appears the sky’s the limit.
What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and how does it work?
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a technical solution helping companies to streamline their warehousing activities – you can manage supply chain operations from a distribution center up to the store shelves and monitor the entire business inventory.
Such systems enable companies to maximize their space utilization by coordinating resource usage and material flow. WMS can be integrated with other software solutions and improve your business operations to be more efficient.
Nowadays, customers’s expectations have changed and consumers want to buy from anywhere – if companies wish to meet such needs, they must be able to respond quickly and that is where WMS comes handy.
Why to Use WMS?
Warehouse management is a process of organizing and monitoring all warehouse operations. It can include these features and more:
Arranging the warehouse space and its inventory,
Managing new and existing stock,
Picking/packing/shipping orders and
Tracking warehouse performance
Improving overall warehouse performance
WMS can help companies to speed up the order fulfillment and to keep track of what is selling well.
Getting insights into which products are sold often, you can find other ways to optimize the way you organize your warehouse. You can also track materials entering your warehouse or re-arrange the goods so that your best selling products can be next to the loading dock and accessed easily.
Types of WMS
Standalone WMS is feature-rich software primarily serving the function of warehouse management. It may have limited functionality for other business aspects (accounting, inventory) as it is usually tailored for warehouse management.
Standalone WMS can lack many functionalities you would expect to find in integrated software solutions, no matter often being the most cost-effective. Standalone solutions are usually installed onto the company’s existing network and utilized for warehouse management only.
Standalone WMS contains only the most essential WMS features and cannot include any additional supply chain operations. Features you get with standalone WMS commonly are: receiving, picking, packing, shipping, barcode scanning, expiration date tracking and some more.
Since such a solution can only be used in warehouse management and no other business areas, it is perfect for smaller companies with a limited budget.
Integrated WMS (with ERP)
ERP system integrates the cross-department systems (HR, supply chain, accounting etc.) and presents a great choice for businesses seeking to improve their systems on a wider scale.
If you want your company to get a competitive advantage and boost your ROI, this is a great choice as those systems provide scalability and reliable execution.
Although WMS is not a basic function of ERP, keep in mind that it is one of the elements of an integrated ERP system. Make sure to check ahead if the system you want to implement has WMS features that will match your business operations.
This type of WMS comes with a higher price because the software can really ‘do everything’ but keep in mind that ERP systems can centralize your operations into a single interface.
If you’re not satisfied with many software solutions you utilize or want to replace the existing one,, this can be a perfect solution.
On-premise WMS is a system for which you are responsible – you’re in charge of hosting and maintaining both the hardware and the software related to your system.
That is why WMS comes with a greater cost, however such a system gives you complete control over your business operations such as security, uptime etc.
Managing the entire system by yourself can be a headache and as on-premise WMS would suit small business more, there are other alternatives.
Cloud-based WMS are generally better solutions since being hosted on a remote server and costs are only on a subscription basis. Basically, it means that any software updates, upgrades or bug fixes are managed by the vendor where you get a guaranteed level of service uptime once subscribed.
When it comes to shipping and order packaging and delivery, customers have high expectations these days and it is important to eliminate turmoil in the warehouse.
As your business grows, you will be able to evaluate the current approach and possibly modify it for a more effective way to manage all your products.
How does WMS work?
WMS has its own way of working and it differs greatly from traditional warehouse operations. Here are some details on how a warehouse management system work and what can it include:
Staff management in warehouses is one of more influencing features affecting costs of managing your warehouse. If you can effectively monitor and manage your staff, you can better understand the performance of your warehouse manpower.
In return, the data insights will enable you to modify and improve your processes as well as significantly reduce your overall costs.
Ability to draw reports is a vital point in any business – within warehousing, real time reporting can be a great improvement.
If you digitize your business operations with thorough reporting through features of WMS, you can improve your current processes to a great extent with such insights.
Such data can be viewed and monitored generated in various forms like charts and graphs as these insights directly influence to get more informative decisions on how yoru warehouse can be managed more effectively.
In order to get such reports to your advantage, you must understand what steps are involved and what actions are required.
A Word for the Future
Companies today have realized that the best way to streamline and automate business operations and reduce costs can be accomplished if they invest in warehouse management software.
A robust WMS can leverage the cloud for a quick, cost-effective implementation that will bring numerous benefits, keep in mind the following:
Arrange your layout properly and then organize your inventory.
Organize a well-drilled system for your staff to repeat again when it comes receiving stock and filling out orders
Measure efficiency and if spot any problems, identify them and then fix the problem area.
If you get these aspects properly, you can make your warehouse work like a clock.
Prashant Pujara, CEO of MultiQoS Technologies Pvt. Ltd
Stripe Terminal is an excellent platform for businesses to integrate online and offline payment solutions to their web and mobile applications.
However, one must also understand that Stripe mainly focuses on online payment methods and has shortcomings in the offline system. Although the tool is developer-centric, it requires someone who knows coding aspects, too. Such factors like this allow businesses to look for alternatives to serve as a payment solution.
Let’s take a look at the top 8 Stripe competitors that any eCommerce development solutions can opt for in case Stripe is not a good match for your business needs.
Factors to Consider while Looking for Stripe’s Competitors
One can consider the Stripe alternatives based on the following factors:
Feasibility of Usage – Firstly, you must realize that integrating Stripe to your application requires knowledge in coding plus the tool is not so easy to use. You can find Stripe helpful and easy to use only when you have a team of developers in your organization.
Offline Payment and Sales – While this tool is incredible for online businesses, offline payment methods are still haywire. You can find many competitors if you are primarily looking for offline sales.
Price – Stripe charges are reasonable for POS sales. But as a merchant, you must be aware of a few hidden costs, too. The Stripe radar has additional charges involved.
Keeping these aspects in mind, we have listed the top 8 competitors to Stripe.
PayPal Here is a well-suited tool for small businesses. POS transactions for mid-sized companies are also seamless.
It is a low-cost payment processor specifically developed for medium and small businesses to thrive. If your business is looking to expand online, PayPal Here is an excellent option.
Extra Features include:
Inventory Management Services
Customer Management Services
If you plan to opt for a free payment processing system, Square should be your choice. It charges no other fee except the transaction charges.
It is specifically built for small and medium-sized businesses that include cafes and boutiques too.
Extra Features Include:
Inventory Management Services
POS Reporting Services
Sales Analytics Report
Offline Sales and Payment Methods
The most popular eCommerce tool has POS services too. As an e-commerce development company, you must consider Shopify, as it is the perfect tool to blend online and offline payment methods for businesses of any size and niche.
The pricing factor is reasonable, and it is scalable too. There are packages available with different price plans and limitations in its usage too. For example, Shopify Lite charges $9 a month, but it can be used only by eCommerce stores, while the Basic Shopify package helps both online and offline businesses. Shopify charges $29 a month for the basic package.
Though the name Lightspeed restaurant, it can be used by small and medium-sized businesses too.
Extra Features include:
Inventory Management Services
Menu Management Services
Purchase Order Management
Epos Now, an incredible competitor of Stripe, offers two significant packages; retail and hospitality. The omnichannel selling feature makes it an excellent tool for businesses of any size. The standard and premium packages are available, with the highest price package being $69 per month while the lowest is $39 a month. As a merchant, you must understand that both the packages offer similar features, with the premium users shall get customer support as an extra feature.
Extra Features Include
Inventory Management Services
Revel POS is for larger businesses, especially for larger restaurants. You must sign a contract for three years to obtain the services. The pricing is quite competitive at $99 a month. You will be billed annually for the services, though.
Extra Features Include
Pre-authorized Payment System
Digital Menu Boards
Table Management Services
Inventory Management Services
Employee Management System
Though Clover POS is for retailers and restaurant owners, it is mainly used in the hotel and restaurant businesses. It is designed for medium to larger businesses. The higher entry cost might take you back, but it is worth it. If you are planning to use Clover, then you must be aware of the price plan. The card reader for one terminal shall be $69, and it might go up to $1,649. Further, there is a software subscription charge that ranges from $14 a month to $70 a month. It excludes the transaction charges.
Extra Features Include
Order Management System
Customer Management System
If you are a business owner of any food and beverage outlet, this can be the right pick for you. ShopKeep is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses. More importantly, it is designed for quick service outlets. The basic package starts at $49, and the advanced plan shall be charged at $179.
Extra Features Include
Inventory Management Services
Customer Marketing Services
Offline Payment Methods
No matter which solution you choose, make sure that it suits your business needs and that your company operations that include payments are streamlined seamlessly.
Technology is constantly evolving and businesses have already become dependent on technology to run their operations efficiently.
Sales is a part of every business and it is a fast-paced, dynamic business aspect where technology streamlines sales processes. It is said that salespeople are the early adopters of technology starting from CRM systems up to smartphones.
As technology became more advanced, B2B selling strategies benefited from the tech advancements and contributed to its further growth.
Let’s explore how technology helps sales teams to improve their productivity and reach their targets.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is the most popular sales and marketing tool — it enables salespeople to draw the reports, take notes or updates directly into CRM, store emails and more. Such tasks help the sales reps to stay organized in their pursuits.
CRM empowers salespeople to better grasp the sales opportunities by tracking deals as they progress in the pipelines. Such monitoring allows them to review stages and probability, thus improving forecast accuracy.
No matter which CRM you use, it helps you to store your lead information and historical communication in one place, standing as a ‘hub’ accessible to your entire company. CRM can help salespeople set their tasks and reminders for follow up actions, integrate their calendars or inboxes and sync data to the system automatically. Sales managers can track workflow analytics enabling them to identify and amend inefficiencies within the sales process.
The entire CRM system captures sales data which can later be used by other departments, like marketing, to determine which efforts are driving revenue and enable quick forecasting for the company operations.
All in all, CRM provides a central place for coordinating actions with customers making it easier to implement a sales process.
The Big Data
The more salespeople know about their customers, the greater competitive advantage they have.
Big Data can be the prime tool of your sales team to uncover important details about their leads prior to reaching out. It can support increasing customer acquisition and reducing churn rates as well as improving existing products.
You should start with a process of collecting and consolidating data. If you develop clear goals and processes around data collection, you can enable the sales team to be proactive in gathering relevant information — a key factor when working with CRM.
Data analytics tools can help your sales workforce to identify and nurture those leads that appear most likely to respond to their products or solutions. Well-designed analytics program can guide sales teams to make better decisions. Keep in mind that such a process can bring successful results only if focus is put on areas where analytics can contribute the most.
Sales teams can use analytics to segment their target market and to approach prospects, including relevant information into the communication.
Email Tracking Tools
Although many salespeople frown upon mention of email, the very same email has become a default communication channel for both buyers and sellers. With the technology advances, today it is also normal to have email tracking software.
Email tracking tools enable salespeople to spot their prospects’ behavioral clues which they will later use for an effective follow-up.
Top sales people monitor their prospects preferences thus make valuable and timely follow ups no matter the action — a website visit, a clicked link or a social media mention.
However, no matter how ‘creepy’ email tracking sounds, top salespeople know how to use it in a more ‘natural’ way — tracking details are used to identify which prospects show the most interest (high open or click rate etc.) thus creating meaningful follow up communication.
You can also automate your email communication by creating sequences to send to your prospect on time, which can also be personalized. There are various software tools enabling personalization and tracking each message — your job is to collect data and send out your best sequence.
The entire sales population today are on mobile devices — smartphones, laptops, tablets and other devices help them to automate tedious tasks and focus more on important things.
Mobile devices have changed many aspects of the selling process forever, not only for sales people but also for customers. Since customers can research, evaluate and purchase products using smartphones, sales people should take that into account, since research shows that 93% of consumers use their mobile phone to research products and services that will end up in making a purchase.
Mobile offers instant access to products or services — it may increase effectiveness of your sales pitch resulting in higher closing rates and improved customer experience.
When it is purchase time, mobile access allows all the documents to be readily available for winning the deal. Texting buyers and prospects is now a common practice for many sales reps and for a good reason: texting has nearly a 100% open rate and most texts receive a response within 5 minutes.
Such a mobile explosion set a great opportunity for salespeople to gain a competitive advantage via mobile phone. When you combine it with cloud-based CRM platforms, your salespeople have easy and instant access to their critical customers and opportunities. Mobile technology and collaboration tools enable salespeople to work with real time data and update their records at the moment.
Social media have changed the rules of the game when it comes to marketing and customer expectations. Data has always been important in the sales process yet social media made it easier to access customer data while automation tools can facilitate the analysis of such data focusing on data-driven sales.
Sales people should identify key social networks that your target customers use and focus on building a high-quality presence. It is said that for B2B sales, Linkedin and Twitter work well.
Salespeople can easily connect with the prospects by connecting and following them. When identifying the prospects, sales reps can use keywords to search for persons active in their particular industry.
Social media allows salespeople to build long lasting relationships so be prepared that you will need some time before you get desired results. Building such long lasting relationships is only possible if you invest time to research, create and share engaging content.
If you want to drive more sales, another effective way via social media is to have the influencers to promote your unique product, services or specific discounts.
Another way is to turn your existing customers into your brand advocates — you can reach out and offer them to promote your product in exchange for freebies or other rewards.
Social media advertising is one more method — each social media has options to create ads or promotions. It can increase your brand visibility which can further boost your chances of driving sales from social channels, as well. These ads can be customized by displaying products that a certain customer recently viewed, putting it into context and driving them to the purchase.
In today’s business and marketing, CONTENT IS THE KING!
Modern consumers prefer to make their own decisions based on the information provided to them by your content — thus, they buy on their own. Relevant and fresh content is the most important way to help them with their purchase process while it helps your company to build your brand.
Original content is the best way to inform people about your services and further stimulate them to engage with your company. Always bear in mind that people actually buy benefits and NOT your products or services so always focus on benefits and problem solving when creating your content.
Once you create our own content, make sure to allocate it to different channels — the proper allocation will put your sales and marketing teams on the right track as this is an important step in your content strategy.
We return to social media as it is the best way to provide valuable bite-sized content to your audience. Social media can enable you to promote your content as well as create content that will provide valuable information to your followers like blogs, guides, tips, detailed FAQ section and more.
The overall goal is to provide valuable information to your customers that will help them decide and attract them to try out your products or services.
The average attention span of a website visitor is short — if a visitor comes to your website to make an enquiry, you have a short amount of time to respond. That is where chatbots come in because no person can sit at a computer responding to queries all day.
As demands for personalization and instant communication continue to increase, chatbots are becoming more common and more sophisticated.
Customers usually expect a chatbot to get detailed answers to their questions, resolve complaints or guide them how to get a quick response. Having this in mind, you can tailor your chatbot to meet your customers’ needs thus increasing your chances to drive more sales! Chatbots can respond to customers’ queries, evaluate their interest in your products or suggest other available options and all of this is automated.
Chatbots can be also used to facilitate feedback from customers via several options like online surveys, emails, polls and feedback forms. Customers’ feedback brings hidden issues to the forefront and guides you in the right direction.
Sales chatbots help you to push leads down your sales funnel with little or no human participation. Benefits are huge — money saved for not having to hire a human agent can be a big plus to your profit margin and chatbots are always on time — they log any enquiry providing swift response preventing any dissatisfaction by keeping them waiting for long.
It was much more difficult for companies in the past — they had to deliver their software on physical devices like CDs or Flash Drives etc.
Although those were revolutionary at the time, the obstruction to sales was the expense and slower speed of data deployment. The progress in cloud technology resolved such issues by offering cloud-based solutions.
Today, companies can cut their costs by transferring to cloud solutions and storage which makes data products more affordable — lower cost products and quick access to services end up being factors for improving sales volume in any industry or market.
Nowadays, technology enables us just to ‘hop’ on a video conference call.
Such ability was a great improvement for sales people in the pandemic times and for those who work remotely.
Although the default process for many sales people used to be to pick up the phone or just send an email, video conferencing popularity greatly improved such a process.
Video conferencing is of extreme importance as body language, facial expression and posture are visible on a video call and give more insights into the person’s energy and mood, facilitating the pitch flow for the salespeople.
Today, sales officers do not have to wait for live seminars or in-person conferences to improve their skills. There are many virtual learning platforms and webinars, sales managers can find plenty of knowledge sources to learn more and train for better sales performance.
You should try to leverage these learning platforms and tools to reinforce your knowledge and skills to the best.
Digital age is here and unless companies recognize the effect the technology has on our businesses, we may find ourselves left behind.
Many B2B technologies developed in recent years are already well integrated in forward-thinking selling strategies, including chatbots, texting, machine learning etc.
Top sales professionals not only use technology but ensure that the same helps them to achieve better results and drive more sales.
Any kind of technology has to be carefully applied to be of real value for your customers and to solidify what your brand stands for.
Originally published on Data Driven Investor, Medium on 1 October 2021: https://medium.datadriveninvestor.com/how-sales-teams-use-technology-to-their-benefit-2e3064026d50
How is Blockchain Boom Affecting the Software Industry
The Worldwide Blockchain Spending Guide, published last quarter by IDC, revealed that the use of blockchain will reach $6.6 billion in 2021, up 50% as compared to 2020, according to Intelligence CIO. This study also argues that blockchain will impact the market for ten technologies in servers, hardware, software, IaaS, external storage systems, IT, and business.
The prominent value chains in the software industry, powered by blockchain, will extend their platforms to their entire ecosystem, reducing costs by 35 percent.
According to Oracle CTO David Uribe, “We must first understand what blockchain is and how it works, to talk about the evolution of software from blockchain’s impact’.
Generally, blockchain is linked with cryptocurrencies, in particular Bitcoin and financial transactions. But in terms of technology, blockchain is a distributed journal where daily transactions of various processes are recorded.
Unlike traditional technology, the blockchain prevents any information from being changed by replicating data and distributing it among multiple participants. This makes blockchain a perfect solution for preventing hackers from getting access to any data.
For example, if the information is hacked on a single copy, it will be incompatible with the other documents. As a result, you will be unable to access and change the information throughout the network.
This is one of the characteristics making blockchain popular in the cryptocurrency world. Ideally, when users want to transact Bitcoins or other cryptos, the transaction is controlled and tracked without an intermediary. That’s because every transaction is reflected with the blockchain technology on the network.
In addition to being secure, blockchain technology is more powerful than most technologies out there.
Not only will they provide solutions to problems in the IT industry, but their cryptocurrency value is likely to increase significantly in the future.
Boosts Interbank Transactions
Compared to other technologies, blockchain, also known as chains of a block, guarantees the possibility of reaching high levels of security. That’s why its application is desired in the development of cryptocurrencies and improving interbank transactions.
Today’s banks and credit card providers leverage blockchain technologies like Bitcoin, ether, and dogecoin for payments. Users can also harness the power of blockchain for transaction tracking, information recording, and digital assets.
If you’re looking to invest in digital assets, note that there are two types. Resources that represent real assets like title deeds to real estate property are digitized for financial security. Then there are digital assets that are created digitally and have a monetary value. To make the most of digital assets, you need to understand their characteristics. Some of the unique qualities of digital assets include ownership, meaning they belong to you entirely. Digital assets are also negotiable, traceable, and cannot be duplicated.
Blockchain is a secure, transparent, and decentralized technology that can solve the biggest challenges in financial services, including fraud, data integrity, and tech integration. It is cheaper than existing technologies as it eliminates overhead costs dedicated to teams hired to confirm authenticity. As a distributed ledger, blockchain enables everyone on the network to confirm transactions effectively and simultaneously.
During authenticity confirmation, users on the blockchain network monitor who’s transacting, confirm digital contracts, tax transactions, and store information. For instance, if you’re trading cryptocurrency, parties involved in the transaction can identify who’s moving the money. They can also monitor tax payments made for Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies.
So, whether you’re trading cryptos or aspiring to become a trader, it’s wise to understand the taxation process of cryptocurrencies. Since the IRS defines cryptocurrencies as property rather than currency, they are taxable. This means you must pay tax on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple when using them to pay for goods or services. If you own Bitcoin and decide to sell at a high profit, you’ll have to pay capital gain taxes.
Improves Data Integrity and Transparency
Over the decades, data security and transparency have been opposing forces during the software development process. In a common software development process, data transparency interferes with security negatively through high visibility. How data moves between the teams and the entire organization also creates room for security risks, affecting data integrity.
But with blockchain technology, data security and transparency co-exist together. Because creating blockchain software and mobile apps for storing sensitive information is a sure way of keeping data safe. You’ll also set a solid foundation for future software development projects without interfering with data visibility and security for the developers.
While blockchain technology is still in its infancy stage, it can revolutionize the software industry. Given the blockchain is a decentralized system and unbreakable electronic ledger, it guarantees data security and integrity. This also promotes interbank transactions, improves payment methods, and offers visibility throughout the software development process.
Most importantly, individuals and organizations can leverage blockchain for digital assets and payments using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain technology offers innovation for transparent transaction mechanisms in various industries. The features of this technology enhances security through transparency and traceability of any transaction whether data, assets or financial resources.
Despite doubts, large corporations (and some governments) started to look into adapting and improving the technology across various application domains.
There is still much to discover and explore so stay tuned for more Blockchain updates.
7 Most Popular and Efficient Tools to Help You Understand UI Design
User Interface design or UI design focuses on predicting what users need to do on an app or software. The UI designer then ensures the interface has all the elements that make it easy for users to carry out those actions.
UI design covers how users interact with an app or software interface; e.g., how does the user get from one screen to the next? UI design ensures the user has quick and straightforward access to the content they are looking for.
We will provide you with a list of seven best tools to help you understand UI design faster and better. We will also let you know about the essential features to look out for when selecting a UI design tool.
7 Best Tools to Help You Understand UI Design
Check out our seven most-loved UI design tools to help you understand and execute your UI designs.
Figma is a browser-based platform allowing UI designers to compose and design interfaces at a fast rate. It is helpful for sketching, wireframing, managing design systems, and even prototyping.
Figma allows you to connect the UI elements of your designs effortlessly. You can choose different interactions and animations between frames and it allows you to customize every interaction with simple gestures such as clicking, hovering, and swiping.
With Figma, you can use nested artboards to create flexible and unique UI designs as you wish. In addition, the software allows you to have your users test out your designs and collect their feedback before you move the design to the testing phase.
Figma works well on most browsers such as Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, etc.
On the downside, Figma has limited vector tools and no desktop app. But other than that, Figma is a great UI design tool.
If you are a big fan of Adobe, then you will love Adobe XD. Adobe XD was launched in 2016, and it has become one of the best UI design tools in the industry; it fulfills the industry’s standards.
Adobe XD is software that was “made for designers by designers.” You can design your projects like you always imagined. The app allows you to wireframe, animate, collaborate, prototype, and many more, all in one place.
Adobe XD is a vector-based tool that is versatile in that it offers you a host of features to help with the designing process. If you are not so familiar with the Adobe family, the team put together a video tutorial on using Adobe XD, making the app beginner-friendly.
Sketch is a UI design tool with an intuitive interface and intuitive features. It allows you to stay focused on creating amazing things, ranging from pixel-perfect icons to possibly your next big product.
Sketch has tools that will help your finished design to shine. Additionally, it is perfect for wireframing and prototyping and allows you to resize your drawings or images without losing any quality or sharpness.
You can customize your workflow to your preference – Sketch provides hundreds of plugins, assistants, and integrations that allow you to do anything you wish, like animating interactions or making your designs accessible.
The Sketch software is available only for MacOS. You get a 30-day free trial, but when you pay for it once and you can use it for as long as you want.
InVision is one of the best digital product design platforms that powers the world’s best user experiences. It allows you to transform your ideas into reality in one unified platform.
This tool is a powerful design system allowing users to work smarter, faster, and more in sync. You can either decide to design from scratch with a blank canvas or use InVision’s pre-built templates.
You can link InVision’s Freehand tool to a real-life whiteboard. The freehand tool comes with easy-to-use digital elements that are handy during the design process. This tool is beneficial for prototyping, design system management, and code inspection.
Additionally, this tool allows you to create rich and interactive prototypes – you can also collect input and provide detailed specifications that will help you keep your builds on track.
Lastly, InVision works well with other design tools and collaborations like Slack, Photoshop, Sketch, etc.
Maze is a UI design tool that provides designers with rapid and remote testing. With Maze, you can test prototypes or copies at a fast rate. You can also use it to round up user feedback as it will help you create better user experiences.
Maze drastically reduces the amount of time you need to gather user insights. You can instantly act on your results and easily create a maze for any project you have, either usability tests or user surveys.
This tool allows you to test anywhere and at any time. In addition to being able to carry tests easily, Maze allows you to learn UI design quickly.
If you’re interested in the tool, Maze’s UI design guide walks you through the whole UI design process. It makes the relatively complex process more effortless.
Maze offers free trials and paid packages.
Flinto is a Mac software that top UI designers worldwide use to create an interactive and animated prototype of their app designs. This tool offers several features that you need to bring your designs to life.
Flinto’s Transition Designer feature allows you to design animated transitions between your screens in the app. Also, you can navigate your prototype using gestures like taps, swipes, scrolls, and even 3D touch.
Another feature of the Flinto is the Behavior Designer. This feature allows the designer to create micro-interactions within your screens. In addition, the app allows you to design with advanced vector drawing tools.
Flinto is easy to learn with its extensive documentation, active community, and over 100 tutorial videos to walk beginners through the process. Lastly, it is a straightforward process to import your designs directly from Sketch and Figma.
With Balsamiq, anyone, both professionals and beginners, can design great desktop software. As of 2008, when it was established, the Balsamiq team has had the mission of ridding the world of bad user interfaces.
Balsamiq Wireframes is one of the fastest and most focused low-fidelity wireframing tools in the UI design industry. It has a user-friendly interface that works quickly and is easy to use.
Even if you are new to wireframing, the build of the Balsamiq design tool makes it easy for you to jump right in and begin with your designs.
With this UI design tool, you can quickly and easily develop structures and layouts for your design. In addition, the drag-and-drop elements of this design tool make life easier for designers to execute their projects.
Balsamiq is available on Windows, MacOS, and the web. Although there is no free version, you can try it for a 30-day free trial.
How to Choose the Best UI Design Tool
The UI tool you decide to use for your project can determine the success or failure. Your interface is what helps users get the most out of your app, website, or software.
It would be best to look out for these tips in choosing a UI design tool for a design project.
Consider the Project at Hand
When deciding on what tool to use, you must consider the project you need the UI design tool for. For instance, you might not be able to use some design tools for a large-scale project. You, therefore, need to use a UI design tool compatible with your project.
You also need to consider the format of the design tool carefully. How does its result look? Do you like the design? Does it meet your requirements? After answering questions like these, you should decide on your chosen UI design tool.
The tool you want to choose must adapt to the operating systems you and your users intend to use. This means whatever operating system is to be used must be compatible with your UI tool.
Good Assistance and Support
Ensure the design tool you decide on provides you with round-the-clock assistance if you need help at any point. For example, the UI tool should walk you through the process in a situation where you have questions.
Openness to Integrations
Remember that, when designing a user interface, using multiple tools is expected. Therefore, the UI tool you choose must work with other tools without losing its efficiency and effectiveness.
Make sure that out of the many tools in the industry, you choose the one that will perfectly match your project’s needs.
We’ve highlighted ten of the very best to help you understand UI design more effectively.
Sticking to this list of UI design tools is sure to sharpen your design skills. Select your preferred program or software and dive into the wonderful world of UI design.