The impact of color on conversion rates

Color favorites

Studies have show most favorite colors (above) by men and women—along with their least favorite

Color does not add a pleasant quality to design — it reinforces it.

—Pierre Bonnard

Color is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s toolkit. It can draw attention, set a mood, and influence a users’ emotions, perceptions and actions. Did you know that color accounts for 90% of the reason why you purchased a specific product? Or that full-colored ads in magazines are recognized 26% more than black and white ads?

Nick Babich has a great article on color theory for designers—check out The impact of color on conversion rates at the Adobe Creative Cloud blog.

Free font: Fivo Sans

Fivo Sans font
Fivo Sans is an awesome sans-serif font, perfect for use in small body copy or giant headlines. I love a nice neutral looking sans serif font that still manages to have some personality to it.

You can download Fivo Sans here—absolutely free for personal and commercial use.

You’ll notice at the bottom of the page below the download link that the author of the font also offers Fivo Modern, a great variant of Fivo Sans, for free. Donations for both fonts are welcome.

Control your Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or MacBook trackpad like a boss

MagicPrefsWhen I came across MagicPrefs a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would use it beyond a quick peek at what it could do. It just seemed like the sort of app that was too good to be true, be difficult to work with and make a general mess of a simple thing.

MagicPrefs allows you to completely customize your Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad or MacBook trackpad in a ridiculous amount of ways. You can add actions to existing or custom gestures and clicks/taps.

MagicPrefs
You can even assign “areas” of your trackpad or mouse to receive those gestures (see above).

There are so many options that it’s nearly pointless to go through even a few of them. MagicPrefs is free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try if you wished you could do XYZ with a simple mouse gesture.

Free magazine mockup PSD

High-quality magazine mockupFreePik has this really nice magazine PSD mockup, high-resolution and free to download. I like this one in particular because it’s straight-on, so you could use it to show off a 4-page newsletter just as easily as a 64-page magazine.

If you’ve never used Photoshop smart objects, just double-click the layer with the magazine art on it, drop your artwork into the resulting file and save it and boom… your magazine mockup is updated to show off you design.

Apple to put voices in your head

I found this article about Apple’s work with the hearing impared fascinating. I had no idea we were at the point of surgically implanting hearing aids, but apparently 10% of hearing aid customers could really stand to benefit from the surgery. And I’m sure as the technology improves (along with the hardware), it’s going to be more common.

While some companies “throw together” features to sell their wares, Apple spent years developing a low-energy form of Bluetooth for just such a use-case. Bravo, Apple!

How Jony Ive Masterminded Apple’s New Headquarters

Jony Ive - Apple Park

‘‘Jony works tirelessly at the detail, evolving, improving, refining. For me, that makes him a poet.’’
—Norman Foster

The Wall Street Journal has a superb feature article on Jonathon Ive, Apple’s design genius. And of course, it’s packed with gorgeous photos of Apple’s new headquarters, including some inside pics that I’ve not seen anywhere else. You just gotta love the clean lines of the workspaces and common areas shown.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit-back in your favorite chair because it’s a long article, but so worth the time.

Adobe nostalgia: What a tangled Web we weave

GoLive Cyberstudio
Adobe has a habit of buying and killing-off great products. There are so many that I can’t even remember the names of some of them.

I came across a few of these product CDs the other day as I was cleaning out some old storage bins. And it got me thinking…

Adobe’s tangled web:

  • 1995 – Adobe acquires Seneca Inc and its primary app – PageMill
  • 1996 – GoLive Inc releases the first commercial-grade WYSIWYG HTML page builder – GoLive
  • 1996 – Macromedia begins selling Flash
  • 1997 – GoLive Inc releases CyberStudio – the 3rd upgrade to the original GoLive app
  • 1997 – In response to CyberStudio, Macromedia releases Dreamweaver
  • 1998 – In response to Flash, Adobe begins selling ImageStyler
  • 1999 – Adobe acquires GoLive Inc and re-brands CyberStudio as Adobe GoLive
  • 2000 – Adobe kills off ImageStyler and replaces it with LiveMotion
  • 2000 – Adobe kills off PageMill and SiteMill
  • 2003 – Adobe kills off LiveMotion
  • 2005 – Adobe acquires Macromedia and its popular Dreamweaver & Flash apps
  • 2007 – Adobe replaces GoLive with Dreamweaver in Creative Suite 3
  • 2008 – Adobe kills off GoLive completely

PageMill was the first consumer-oriented WYSIWYG HTML page builder. I loved it. Even though it couldn’t create tables, it was simple to use and produced excellent code with little fuss.

Adobe GoLive was a product that Adobe acquired when they purchased a German company named GoLive who made a spectacular application called CyberStudio. I loved this app even more than PageMill. It was truly a professional app that produced much cleaner code than the first version of Dreamweaver—and it was far easier to use.

Adobe LiveMotion
Adobe LiveMotion was basically Flash for designers. Flash was a code-heavy mess even in the early days—usable only by developers for the most part. LiveMotion was a breath of fresh-air. I created several websites for clients back in the day using LiveMotion and nobody knew the difference. It was awesome software.

Macromedia was the originator of not only Dreamweaver, but Flash and Freehand (Illustrator’s only competitor). Many people, including myself, believe that all of the Macromedia products went downhill after being acquired by Adobe, with Freehand being outright discontinued. And many people, including myself, believe that all of Adobe’s competing products were far superior to their Macromedia counterparts. Unfortunately, Macromedia had the numbers.

In summary, Adobe acquired three companies, the only three that produced serious software to create websites in the early days of the web. In hindsight, they killed the easier-to-use software in favor of more complex software, which is why we have the complete mess that we have today.

Incidentally, most of the applications Adobe has acquired over the years came from companies that acquired the apps from someone else as well (Flash, Director, Freehand, HomeSite, ColdFusion and more). It seems nobody ever really wanted to hang on to anything in Silicon Valley.

Don’t even get me started on PressReady, ImageReady, TypeManager, Streamline and Dimensions. All of those apps live-on to this day—rolled into other apps or the OS itself—but none of them offer the simplicity and superior results of their stand-alone predecessors.