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The three clicks rule – designers’ hope for audience sanity!
To sit in a corner at your office station watching designers and developers fly their fingers over keyboards in speeds one cannot even hope to achieve in ten blue moons, must sound like a day well spent, engrossed in the hypothetical wonder of the technological world; but! –but the entire aroma of technological brilliance blows up in smoke if one such system becomes a victim of plain dark fury of a frustrated user.
To avoid this anguish imposed on their dearly designed systems, designers came up with a rule that very sternly signifies the importance of only three clicks required from a user to reach their destination in an application or a website. Any further clicks/taps required only end up complicating the program, slowly and gradually pushing the audience towards the inevitable rage.
Since it isn’t an official rule, a lot of programmers and designers are against the concept of three clicks and call it a myth as their applications are running and running well with as much as 25 clicks per destination. But according to me, it is always the point towards a saying/rule/quote that we humans miss. What I mean is that the three clicks rule does not necessarily imply to use EXACTLY THREE CLICKS. It means that the user is easily directed towards his destination. For that, what is needed is to understand the purpose of the application you are developing. For example, if you are developing an application for weather update and the user has to open a dozen windows within windows to merely synchronize his device settings to the local area; well, then you very well deserve a perfectly targeted outburst from users. Such designers can learn from applications such as Weather Magic Pro, where within three clicks, not only you can adjust your location but also add dormant weather screens for other locations.
Upon mention of three clicks rule, a highly talented designer at DynamoLogic stated in the simplest of terms, saying, ‘When designing an application, the designer has to actually put himself in the mind of the user to gauge what they require and how they require it. And since, almost 90% of the community is found to expect easily accessible user apps, there’s the three click rule to follow!’ He further illustrated that from his experience with development of applications he has found this rule to keep systems simple, easy and problem free. I personally call it the sanity switch!
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With the increasing inclination towards IT and digitalization of almost all kinds of industrial development, it has become essential to know even more of the computer languages evolving day by day. Are you looking to seek a job in the software sector? We have compiled a list of the most in-demand computer languages that you cannot do without.
Asp.net is a server-side web application framework designed for web development to create vibrant web pages. It offers web services i.e. you can have several pieces of your web application on different servers all across the globe.
- Applications: www.live.com , www.msn.com, www.classicpdf.com
- Learn from: http://www.asp.net/mvc/tutorials
One of the most popular programming languages, C++ is a general purpose programming language that is free-form and compiled. Equipped with imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features, C++ is employed in a number of hardware platforms and operating systems.
- Applications: Google, Twitter, Youtube
- Learn from: www.learncpp.com
C# (C Sharp)is a multi-paradigm programming language that features strong typing, imperative, declarative, functional, procedural, generic, object-oriented (class-based), and component-oriented programming disciplines. C# is designed for development of software components that are appropriate to be employed in distributed environments.
- Applications: SharpMap
- Learn from: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/hh341490.aspx
4. Objective C
Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that adds dynamically typed messaging to the C programming language. Objective C derives its syntax for object-oriented operations from Smalltalk whereas the syntax is identical to C for non-object-oriented procedures.
- Applications: NeXTSTEP, iPhone OS
- Learn from: http://cocoadevcentral.com/d/learn_objectivec/
Java is a computer programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and specifically designed to be extremely reliable in execution. It functions on ‘write once, run anywhere’ principle i.e. the developer does not need to recompile it to run in another system.
- Applications: Google, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Bing, www.lovefootballfc.com
- Learn from: http://www.yuiblog.com/crockford/
PHP is a server-side scripting programming language that is also used for general purpose web programming. PHP codes are directly embedded into HTML and a separate external file is not required to process the data. Equipped with a command-line interface, it can be used in standalone graphic applications.
- Applications: Yahoo, WordPress, http://www.fariqak.com
- Learn from: http://php.about.com/od/learnphp/p/learn_php_free.htm Research credit: Dynamologic
We recently shared photo editing and typography apps and alternatives to Instagram. Here are a few more photo apps on our radar — most of these offer tools to create drawings and sketches from photos, as well as enhancing selfies. Take a look, and have fun!
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“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”
-Steve Jobs, CNNMoney/Fortune, January 24, 2000
This design is what in an Application world, called interface. It’s what users experience and this experience forms the backbone of acceptance or rejection of a mobile application. Hence, it is extremely important to come up with an interface design that users find friendly, easily accessible and majorly ‘not annoying’. Here are a few tips that add to friendliness of user interfaces and consequently contribute to applications’ success.
1. Colour and themes
About the colour, it is nearly impossible to say that a certain choice will definitely be ‘everybody’s cup of tea’ but a general rule could be to use those that please. People normally use apps to help them with various tasks and they don’t want screeching colours that bear into eyes and distort attention. Colours and themes should be selected:
- To compliment the purpose of the app (e.g. bright pink colours will suit a beauty guide app but definitely not a yoga instructor one.)
- To focus attention on task on hand instead of irrelevant popups or icons
- Are elegant and refreshing instead of dark and blunt.
2. Buttons and icons
Always use big, clear and specific buttons/icons for functions on a mobile application. There is no point of having a large number of buttons on the screen if the user is not able to tap the right one on first attempt. Cramped and small buttons are never favoured by users. Moreover, if buttons are designed to stand at a suitable distance apart, their ‘sweet spot’ can be enhanced and the user can even touch the side of the icon to activate it.
Our developer at DynamoLogic mentions how she ‘totally hates’ icons in a mobile app that have to be clicked to check what they are meant for. This is, honestly, not just her annoyance with apps but majorly everybody’s. Hence, it is also advised to either use plain and obvious animated icons for the functions of provide tiny description about the use of the icon. For example, no matter how creative you are but if you use anything else than a pair of scissors and clipboards for cut and paste options respectively, no one will understand what these icons are for. Sometimes, sticking to the traditional is better and this is one such case.
3. Here and there
Another important factor to add to an app’s accessibility is easy navigation. All users prefer easily swapping screens and direct options. They want everything where they expect it to be so they do not have to go out of their way to achieve a simple task of ‘closing the menu’.
Moreover, all options should not be cramped on a single screen. Instead, categorization and dividing functions in separate tap-to-open screens prove to be much preferred by users.
4. Undo and redo
While designing an app, please consider that humans are going to use it and they make mistakes, *pause*, all the time! It adds greatly to the apps usability if options for undo and redo are available. So if the puny human accidently hits delete on his favourite tune, he’ll be able to retrieve it without losing his heart over it.
5. Yes and no
Yes, this is actually one very important feature and no, you cannot possibly ignore it while designing an app. It is a common observation that some people like keypad tones and some simply hate it, so why take a risk. Easiest solution is to provide an option to turn on or off their keypad tones on the app. Hence, if the user is in the mood, he can enable the otherwise simply unacceptable option of vibration along with the alarm tune.
In simpler words, it is advised to provide flexible options on the app because not only you can hardly guess the choice of the entire community but also it’s bound to vary. So again, why take the risk?
I always intended to wake up for Fajr but thanks to the apparently blissful but actually unspeakable ‘snooze’ option on the alarm, was mostly arisen by 9 o’ clock, high in the sky sun and every day the guilt of missing Fajr nagged me as I went about my work for the rest of the day. Few days back, I came across an application named ‘Never Miss Fajr’ and I grabbed at it, despite the usual expectation of never finding a good enough app for solely that purpose but I’ve been constantly amazed by its practicality and actual help.
Apart from the very first pleasure you receive by downloading the application totally for free, it literally works wonders. First, I was forced to choose 20 shakes to turn off the Adhan alarm when it sounds, 20 being the minimum and 100 being the maximum; ONLY because this was the easier of the two options available, second being that of answering a trivia when you can’t even open your eyes to properly see. Also, there ISN’T any option available for snooze or turning down the volume. The developer of this app was actually determined to wake me up! I selected my favourite sweet-sounding adhan as alarm out of 7 to choose from and adjusted my time zone which was also enlisted in the default time zones provided.
Next morning, exactly 5 minutes before Fajr (as I had set the time to be), the adhan alarm went off quite clear and loud. I immediately woke up and as the adhan went on, I shook my device 20 times to turn it off. By that time I was wide awake. Mission accomplished! I’ve been using this wonderful app since then and am proud to say that I NEVER MISS FAJR, Alhamdullilah.
Recommended by my friend, I also tried its ‘answering trivia to turn off the alarm’ option. It goes like this. Just as the alarm sounds, an Islamic quiz starts and until I get 5 questions right it keeps asking more. I must say I have been able to increase my Islamic knowledge much more because of this feature and obviously there isn’t a need to mention how awake I am by the time I get all the questions right.
It normally is a disappointing routine for most of us Muslims to NEVER wake up for Fajr with the traditional alarm clocks in our handheld devices. Hence, it can be easily said that NEVER MISS FAJR is a revolutionary application for this purpose. Tried and tested, I recommend all Muslims to use this app to not only help refresh their Imaan but also have a much more productive day with an excellent head start.
PHP (Hypertext Pre-processor) developers, as might the name be cumbersome, are just as essential to be hired correctly for they develop all of the programs (side scripting servers) for web applications that are then laid out to the user community; hence rendering your software development company some well-deserved boost within the IT-plagued society.
Being blessed with some brilliant PHP developers ourselves, we have come up with a few questions that should help you select a ‘just right PHP developer’ for your next project.
Experience and applicable portfolio
This is fairly obvious that every candidate is tested for the experience he has gained in the respective field and is he able to present it in the form of a work portfolio? It is an easy case of the more, the better; be it quality of work or years of experience. Also check if he has worked any projects similar to those that are in your company’s future plans.
Requirements’ gathering talent
It is extremely important if the developer has a knack of quickly tracking down the requirements for a certain project at hand. You better ask the developer to lay out his strategy for requirements gathering. That should give you a fair idea of how much help you could possibly receive from this end of your quest.
Patience with constantly changing requirements
Be it an IT platform or a railway’s, patience is one of the most important attribute a candidate exhibits in his dealings with the employer or a client. Similar situations arise when the requirements for a program change constantly requiring modifications in the coding. Now, if your developer starts stamping feet at that, it sure is your cue to show him/her the door. You should check this with your candidate before hand to avoid an embarrassing sight as so.
As you will be well aware how important it is to user-test your web application before launching, in case there are any difficulties that are later pointed out in the form of complaints from the clients or users. Question your developer about his opinion towards the user-testing step. Test his ability to test a program from a novice user’s perspective and the elements that require testing.
Ask your candidate if he can illustrate the procedure to track bugs in a program developed because you obviously do not want to ship the code to the server with bugs crawling through the entire program. The developer’s knowledge about the minutiae of bug tracking is a great guide to his capability to successfully write a program for web applications.
Website security, be it a final touch, is one of the most important element of a web application design. Your developer should know its ins and outs to be able to yield results that bring triumph to your company’s name.
Rate yourself; technological skills
Last but definitely not the least is the attitude of the developer towards learning and confidence in his skill for productive participation. Ask your candidate to rate himself according to his competence in the field and proficiency in the technologies required for PHP development. It is necessary for any successful worker to be able to cope with the environment he works in and adapt to the improvements required for a superior outcome.