10 Free Icon Sets for Ecommerce UI Design

Designing an ecommerce site is not like any other web project. You have to think about branding along with user experience and marketing based on the design. It can be quite difficult to say the least. But there are lots of free resources you can use to make your job easier. Icon sets, for one, are a lot of work to design. You can save hours (even days) worth of time by using a free icon pack instead. The sets below are all totally free and come in a variety of styles. If you’re looking for ecommerce-related icons, you’ll find plenty to dig through in this list. All the Icons, Fonts, Web Templates & Design Assets You Could Ask For
DOWNLOAD NOW 54 Ecommerce Icon Pack First up is a massive 54-set icon pack featuring simple line icons that will work well for typical ecommerce features. This set was created by designer Virgil Pana and released for free on Dribbble. The entire pack comes as a PSD file and it really is one of the better ecommerce sets out there. I like this particular style because I think it can easily blend in with any website. The minimalist line style is very common and so it’s worth trying – regardless of what project you’re building. Simple Green Icon Set Here’s one more freebie pack hosted on Dribbble with a focus on beautiful green icons. Although, technically the color scheme can be altered with a few clicks in Illustrator. Designer Pavel Kozlov created this pack of 40 free ecommerce icons and released it to the world a few years ago. Yet, the icons are just as relevant today as ever before. To download a copy you’ll need to visit the Gumroad page. Typically items on Gumroad cost money, but this pack is actually 100% free. If you want to give Pavel a tip for all his efforts, you certainly can. But it’s not a requirement to gain access to these lush green icons. Flat Vector Shopping Icons Another really popular trend is flat design. This has been applied to everything from mobile apps to websites and yes, even icons. Take a look at this vector icon set featuring 80 different shopping icons. Some are colored, some are just plain line icons, but they’re all super easy to use and customize. You can nab the pack as static PNGs or as vectors in AI/EPS format. And they’re free to use on commercial projects. Just note that the license requires a simple link back to the original website. Shipping and Ecommerce Icons The...

7 Ways to Improve Your Design Team Collaboration

Being a creative professional can feel like a solo adventure – even if you work for a company or with a team of colleagues. Sometimes it can feel like you lose your collaborative spirit when you’re working, head down, on a big production-heavy project. However, you know that a great collaborative environment can refuel your best ideas, earn you the most useful kinds of feedback, and give you the opportunity to learn from others who create like you do. What are the best ways to collaborate with other creatives and professionals? How do you make sure to support the forms of collaboration and communication you rely on to get projects done? Whether you’re a freelancer that works in a collective with other designers, or you’re working on an internal team – we’ve rounded up 7 smart tips to make your collaboration effortless. Our Best Collaboration Tips for Creatives Keep meetings under wraps For all types of teams, meetings can feel like the enemy to productivity. By wasting too much time talking in circles, the “real” work is halted. This is even more true for creative teams who need a lot of solo time to produce their work, and for those who can feel drained by an over-focus on technicalities. Meetings are necessary to keep everyone on the same page, but you can streamline yours by: Setting a smart agenda to align on the purpose of the meeting Tracking your meeting minutes for better time management and notes Holding meetings digitally when possible – or reducing your meeting to a chat thread Ensuring that everyone is aware of action items and directives from the meeting Hosting those meeting minutes in a shared space so they can be re-reviewed Track projects dynamically What are you currently using to document and track project progress? If nobody knows where a project is in the funnel, things can get hectic and strained quickly. When creators are overlapping in the work they’re doing or leaving gaps, accountability falters and results suffer. Instead of wondering about the status of each project element, find a thoughtful, streamlined, and mutually meaningful way to track the project’s movement. Some teams prefer a project management software of some kind while others prefer a ticketing system, and some just prefer a well-crafted spreadsheet. Whatever works for you and your team is fine, but make sure that everyone is on board and educated on how to...

Dig into digital illustration with Procreate

While there are plenty of digital painting and illustration apps out on the market today, one that regularly rises to the top amongst the creative crowd is Procreate. With an intuitive interface and (let’s be honest) a cheap price tag, this iPad app is on of my favorites and it empowers artists everywhere to take their digital sketches on the go. In this article, I’ll go over Procreate’s key features, recommend some of my favorite Skillshare classes to familiarize you with the app, and introduce ways to incorporate it into your workflow. Web banner illustration by Fe MeloSo, what is Procreate?
_ Procreate is a digital painting app designed exclusively for mobile, which means it’s been optimized for you to start sketching whenever the mood strikes. To use the app, you’ll need to have access to an iPad and an Apple Pencil and download the app from the Apple Store. The app is most known for having an intuitive workflow, where designers navigate through brush libraries, layers and effects using finger gestures and customized Apple Pencil strokes. You can easily save, organize and export your artwork in a variety of file formats. I use Procreate for most of my designs. Here’s a look at a few of the key features: Import & export files Procreate can easily be incorporated into your existing workflow. The app supports most major image formats, so you can bring in photos and existing design files to tweak within the app. If you want to finish your piece up on a desktop computer, you can export it as a layered PSD file and make the final touches in Photoshop. If you need to vectorize your drawing (maybe you’re working on a logo, pattern or hand lettering), you can switch off the background layer in Procreate and export the artwork as a PNG. Then simply open the file in Adobe Illustrator and convert it into a vector using Image Trace. Experiment with brushes Mix and match the Shape and Grain to create your own custom brushes. Image via the Procreate Artist Handbook.Procreate has a well-stocked library of more than 130 brushes, so you should be able to find some brushes that suit your style. Each brush is split into two elements: Shape and Grain. The Shape is the container that houses the Grain. The Grain is what’s rolled onto the canvas (anything from a basic pattern or texture to an imported image or photo). Once you get comfortable with the default library...

5 Principles of Cuteness in Web Design

Okay, how in the heck do you make something “cute”? Now maybe you’ve grown up in an environment where getting in touch with your feelings was anathema. Maybe you just naturally gravitated to Max Steel over Hello Kitty. Maybe you’ve never had a problem with any of this, and freely make high-pitched noises whenever there’s a puppy in sight (as is appropriate). Whatever your background, attempting to turn a web design into “something cute” will require you to try and determine exactly what makes a thing cute in the first place, and that’s where it gets complicated. The whole concept is naturally subjective. It’s a vaguely warm and fuzzy emotion that seems directly connected to our impulse to smile, but what brings it on can vary greatly. There are people who call insects cute, whereas I could never bring myself to agree. They’re just icky, okay? But whatever you use, cuteness sells—cue the obligatory joke about cat GIFs on the Internet. At some point in our lives, we will be called upon to make something cute, because that’s what the client wants, and we’ll start idly wondering if that means making everything pink. Don’t do that. Read this instead. 1. Imagery Using cute imagery is almost cheating. I mean, you’re just taking something cute, throwing it into your design, and calling it a day. But don’t discount the idea; being cheap and easy doesn’t mean that it’s not effective. Some curmudgeons notwithstanding, human beings are biologically wired to get hit right in the pleasure centers of our brains when we see human offspring (particularly our own), and other things that share some baby-like features (ie. puppies, kittens, pandas). Stock photography can be a great start, but keep in mind that illustration can be a great way to trigger the same responses that wild make people want to squeeze your website. If you need to use original imagery, hiring an illustrator is also way easier than getting babies or animals to hold still. Example: Wonderbly uses both photos and illustration. 2. Colors Imagery is good, but what if you want to embed that warm and fuzzy feeling into the very DNA of your design, and not just in the content? This is where we turn to color. Now repeat after me: Pink is NOT the only cute color. In fact, “cute” colors are a concept that will vary according to individual cultures. For one thing, babies vary in color. The general rule to follow,...

Vintage design: tips and inspiration to master the trend

Vintage design is everywhere, if you think about it. For centuries, we’ve been drawing upon trends from previous eras to shape how we want new designs to be perceived. Take a look at the US Capitol building or the White House to see how 18th century American architects drew from Greek architecture. In fact, you’ll find throwbacks in every design category—from decorative arts to fashion design to music. Although many call vintage design a trend, we’ve been doing it forever. Vintage design is highly emotional because it belongs to the history of each of us. It evokes nostalgia in people of all ages. - olimpio, a 99designer Collectively, vintage design looks back to earlier eras based on specific style elements, usually those that were made popular during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Other terms, like “historic,” refers to even older design elements. If you’re thinking of working with vintage design, you’re in good company—because you’ve got loads of inspiration around you. Incorporate subtle vintage bits into your contemporary work through font choices and imagery. Or design something that looks like it was actually made a hundred years ago. Vintage and retro—what’s the difference? — Let’s get nerdy for a moment: there’s a difference between retro and vintage design. The term vintage is often understood to mean actual designs and items that were produced in the past, whereas retro is typically used to refer to modern designs that emulate these older designs. So most of the designs in this piece are actually vintage-inspired, rather than actual vintage designs. But in practice the transition between retro and vintage design has become fluid. Nowadays the two terms are often used interchangeably or to refer to different styles and eras that are emulated in a design. Looking for a specific kind of vintage to emulate in your next design? Here are some great vintage styles to know about: The types of vintage design
— Art deco Art Deco was popular in the 1920s and 1930s and took architecture and design in a deliberately modern, man-made direction. It’s characterized by geometric shapes within symmetrical patterns and idealized human figures. Art deco designs stick to limited color palettes and bold shapes for a strong, even brash, impact. Via The Next Web.Art nouveau Art Nouveau emerged toward the...

10 Tips for Building a Visual Language

A visual language is just like any other form of communication. Where “language” refers to spoken or written communication, visual language goes a step further to connect with a certain community. Elements from color to style to type of photos or illustrations establish what a brand or company is. These visual elements tie together a group in a structured and conventional way that people understand. A visual language includes both the written and spoken elements of a website or brand, as well as every design technique, photo, icon, logo and item, users can see on the screen. Often users won’t know a visual language is there; they just know that when they see your website or brand they recognize it. Here’s how you create a visual language that users can understand. 1. Build a Color Palette A strong color palette is an identification tool for users. When consistent colors, which as well-known and connected with the brand or website, are used; users know where they are. They aren’t lost in the massive universe of the web, because you have told them visually what website or brand they are interacting with. This color palette shouldn’t be unique to your website. It needs to be universally applied and connected with everything a brand does—online, social media, swag items or packaging, business cards. Further, the color palette should reinforce brand values. Think about the colors for fast-food restaurant McDonald’s: Yellow and red. The colors represent happiness (yellow) and hunger (red). How often have you ever seen this brand without the “Golden Arches” or something with red on the packaging? 2. Create a Typographic Hierarchy Just as important as selecting fonts for your brand is determining how they will be used. A typographic hierarchy sets the tone for whether you talk to users, whisper (small light typography) or yell at them (large all caps lettering). There’s no right or wrong way to communicate; it’s knowing what works with your tribe. The trick to building a typographic scale is that each level should be different enough from the one preceding and following it so it is easy to see changes in text. Airbnb has a distinct typographic scale with sizes and weights for typography that’s standardized. This standardization also extends to the color palette and spacing to contribute to a solid visual language. 3. Establish a Grid Spacing and placement of...

6 skills every pro designer needs

To be a great designer, you need to be creative. But did you know that along with the slew of technical design skills you might already possess (like composition, color theory and software proficiencies) you need something called ‘soft skills’? Yep, they’re a thing! And just like knowing your way around Photoshop, they’re critical to your success. So many skills to master, so little time! Design by Asael Varas.Soft skills are more like your personal attributes and interpersonal skills. Beyond your raw talent, they’re the aspects of your personality that make people want to work with you. The good news is that these skills are mostly already ingrained. Even if you’re a new designer, you can harness soft skills from your past life experiences and roles. Others might not come as naturally, but they can—and should—be worked on if you want to develop both professionally and personally. We polled our 99designs community and, along with insights from other design leaders, we’ve pulled together the most important soft skills to hone in on to take your freelance design career to the next level. Soft skill #1: Communicate efficiently and effectively
— Map everything out before a project to avoid communication issues down the line. Design by Yokaona.Design is fundamentally a form of communication—whether it’s communicating ideas through text and visuals, or solving complex problems with colors, shapes and forms. But good design doesn’t stop at the deliverable itself. Running a freelance design business requires effective communication from start to finish, and often includes dealing with many different (opinionated) stakeholders. So how do the most successful designers stay cool and communicative? It starts long before the project begins, with making sure you have a thorough understanding of the brief and your client’s needs. Know exactly what you’re delivering and when, by creating a scope document that outlines feedback milestones, due dates and any other specifications. At the same time, you should clearly communicate your own terms and requirements. These could be anything from your regular working hours, your preferred feedback collection method, or the best ways for your client to reach you. By setting the tone and expectations up front, you’ll make it easier to troubleshoot any issues later. And, you’ll look professional as heck! Win–win...

A Beginner’s Guide to Visual Hierarchy for Designers 

If you are a graphic designer, a web designer, or if you do visual work at all, then you probably have developed your process when creating a new document or product. Whether you refer to it this way or not, one of the essential tasks to starting a new project is to come up with a sort of visual hierarchy for the piece – a layout of all the elements or sections in your visual breakdown. Composing a new visual piece will always include considerations for layout and composition – where things go, how they line up, and in which order. You can think of the hierarchy as framing that list of essential elements in your design project in such a way that the most important things are presented at the top of the creation. Creating a hierarchy is important since it helps you direct attention to the right thing at the right time. A hierarchy is a reasonable way to show a relative essence of elements by offering organization in their structure and helping a viewer to navigate. You will be able to know which information comes before the other; you will know precisely what should be read first. You will also know which part you should pay more attention to. There should be a hierarchy to everything we create – even the essays we write in school or the reports we present to investors for our businesses. However, in design, the hierarchy is not reduced to text only. For example, when you go through a website that is designed correctly, you will find out that the hierarchy is applied to help structure the page. Right from the navigation banner size to the icons, blurbs and the hero image. So, while your content person or copywriter is busy telling the website’s story from its most important to least important elements, you – as the designer – should be creating a matching visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy builds a focal point making your viewers more comfortable and well-aligned, by going through your design and leading them to where the most important information will be located – and drawing their attention there. If you are looking forward to expanding your knowledge about visual hierarchy in order to build your designing career, you’re in the right place. This article will take you through some of the things to consider so that you can create a proper visual hierarchy. Use Size to Your Advantage As a graphic designer, you can use size to your advantage by reducing or...

Unique Ways to Integrate Social Media into Web Design

There’s something very special about social media marketing and how it compels consumers to engage with it. The Hootsuite 2018 Social Media Barometer says there are now over 3.2 billion global consumers who are active on social media. With such a large part of the population actively involved in social media, it’s no surprise that 67% of business executives surveyed in the report said that social media marketing improves their bottom line. As a web designer, you can take that knowledge and keep doing what everyone else does with it: Add “connect” icons to the header; Stick “share” icons to the scrolling blog sidebar; Embed videos from YouTube. Or you can find unique ways to infuse your web design with a dash of social media. Unique Ways to Use Social Media in Web Design Obviously, I’m not telling you to turn your site into a social network, or a rolling masonry grid of photos. Instead, I would encourage you to think outside the box and consider how you can apply the strengths of social media creatively to your design. Here are some real-life examples to inspire you: 1. Add Hashtags and Handles to the Design When you think of what makes social media so distinct from other kinds of marketing, you’ll likely think of hashtags (#) and handles (@). They’re simple symbols that we used long before social media was invented and, yet, they now have a special significance for most of us. If it makes sense for your brand (i.e. it has a younger audience and also happens to be active on social media), hashtags and handles can add a really cool touch to your web design. Here is an example from the Nuevos Conductores website from Chevrolet Mexico: This website pays homage to the “new drivers” Chevy is catering to and uses real people to make its case. This whole website is an interesting case study in and of itself, that not only uses real Chevy drivers’ Twitter handles, but also includes messages, hashtags, and images from their social accounts to build out the design and message. Hashtags can be used for strictly self-promotional purposes as well and don’t need to have such a predominant placement in the design either. Take the Caribana Festival, for example. You’ll find a small hashtag has been added to the left side of the website. It’s really subtle, but it’s ever-presence is likely to get noticed by fans of the festival who’ve come to the site to learn more...

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08 Dec 2018