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Spectacular layout using scientific images for the Rockfeller University annual report

If you happen to be interested in science at large, you already know that the infinitely big or small can produce powerful imagery. New York design studio C&G Partners recently took advantage of the beautiful images from the biomedical use to create a stunning Annual Report for the Rockfeller University.

Actually they did more than this. The photos in this post show glimpses of the annual report, but the agency produced a full communication set that includes: graduate programme booklet, scientific prospectus, campus map, annual report, overview brochure and a new website. The mix of abstract images, close-ups, and perfect use of white space and layout make for a spectacular result.

Spectacular layout using scientific images for the Rockfeller University annual report

Spectacular layout using scientific images for the Rockfeller University annual report

Spectacular layout using scientific images for the Rockfeller University annual report

Spectacular layout using scientific images for the Rockfeller University annual report

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Incredible alternative movie posters better than the originals

Have you ever seen a movie poster and thought “Really? I could do better than that!” Well, it seems a lot of other people have thought the same thing, but actually did something about it. Alternate movie posters are quickly becoming one of the biggest trends on the Internet today, as many talented designers from all over the world are showing off their creative chops when it comes to delivering a knock-out poster.

This makes us think that movie studios should, in fact, outsource their poster designs to the general public and pick something unique, rather than what many consider to be the same old stuff they’ve seen before. Thankfully, there is some recognition available for those artistic designers who decide to break the mold and create a jaw-dropping movie poster. There are many online poster competitions which allow anyone to submit a poster design on a wide range of themes. Several of these will ask for a JPEG of the poster, but it might be the case that a physical poster must be submitted, in which case it’s possible to create one online and have it sent to your house.

Similar to an old post in which we covered retro-futuristic movie posters, we’ve been scouring this Instagram account full of incredible alternative movie posters, and the following are some of our favorites.

The Terminator by @grzegorz_domaradzki

As if Terminators weren’t frightening enough, this poster only reaffirms how deadly the unstoppable killing machines can be. Intertwined with images of the film’s heroes, Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, the poster perfectly captures the devastation caused by the fight between the machines and humans, as well as those cold, red eyes of the Terminator, which have become so synonymous with the character.

Dunkirk by @robotwig

Sometimes, it pays off to show less and let the viewer assume more. The harrowing movie portrays the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk during World War II, closely following the experiences of the characters involved. One, in particular, was Tom Hardy’s fighter pilot, who acted primarily with his face and eyes (as the poster represents). By focusing on the pilot, we can clearly see the emotion in his eyes, with what appears to be tears gathering, as the horror of war is right in front of him. A simple, but hugely effective poster.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by @apemeetsgirl

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone in the UK) was the first in the series, and therefore needed to accurately represent J.K. Rowling’s fantastical and incredible story. This poster manages to capture an iconic scene from the movie, in which Harry walks through the streets of the magical universe for the first time with his friend Hagrid. The size difference is easily spotted, as Hagrid is visibly bigger than most men! The shop signs and cobbled streets bring a certain charm and fairy tale quality, as this is definitely a street you want to discover. Choosing not to go for an action poster, this option instead selects a quieter but still hugely important moment from the movie.

There are so many more fantastic alternative movie posters, but these were three that instantly caught our eye. So, what are you waiting for? Get designing!

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3 Essential Tips for Boosting the User Experience of Your WordPress Website

Powering a whopping 26% of the web and claiming responsibility for an unfathomable 1,808,219 posts per day, WordPress is one the most powerful digital entities in the world.

Whether you’re a guerilla journalist, a small business owner, the founder of a startup or a freelancer selling their services, WordPress offers a presentable, practical and user-friendly means of creating a website that’s both functional and looks good too.

To build an adequate WordPress (WP) site, all you need is fundamental computer literacy skills, coupled with time for a little trial and error. But, if you want to make a WP site that yields genuine results, you need to invest on user experience (UX).

Why is UX essential? Well, it’s simple really, in today’s digital world, the average person is more discerning than ever, and if you don’t provide a user experience that sings, people will not hang around. Plus, careful attention to UX will help you increase engagement and boost sales.

An excellent example of this comes from big name sports broadcaster ESPN.com. By asking their audience for suggestions for their website redesign and listening to the needs of the modern consumer, the company enjoyed a healthy revenue increase of 35%.

It’s no secret that good UX will have a positive impact on your business. So, if you’re reading this and you have a WordPress site that could do with a little tweaking, or you’re in the throes of building one from scratch, these three tips will help you increase engagement, reduce bounce rates and improve your sales…

Improve the loading speed and performance of your WP site

If your website has broken links, design potholes or takes an age to load, your site visitors will bounce off your page faster than a rubber cheque in a bank.

One of the most critical elements of UX is general site performance. Why, you say? In a nutshell, it’s because these days, digital consumers have the attention spans of common goldfish.

Taking measures to improve your WordPress site’s performance is a key element to its long-lasting success and to make this happen, you should always be looking to take steps to make sure your blog loads fast.

There are a host of techniques to optimizing your site’s speed and performance: these are three of the most effective:

  • Source and install a WordPress Caching Plugin such as W3 Total Cache
  • Implement a Content Delivery Network
  • Make sure that the images you upload to your website are saved in .jpeg format (compressed) rather than .PNG (uncompressed)
  • Make sure Google AMP is on (for mobile faster loading)

When upgrading or building your site, make sure you always take the time to monitor your website’s performance and iron out any teething problems with haste to make sure they don’t get out of control. Remember, a fast site is a happy site.

Functional always wins over flashy

There are plenty of people out there who think the more flashy, busy, colorful and intricate a web page, the better. That’s not necessarily the case.

In almost every instance, web users prefer function over form. Put simply, if your design distracts or confuses people, they will not engage with your content, absorb the information you’re providing or take the action that you want them to take. This, of course, is bad for business.

When you’re putting together your WordPress page, pick a standard layout such as a header, followed by the main body content, a sidebar, and an easy to read footer.

Also, choose a theme that is slick, yet plain, functional and customizable. By doing this, your users will benefit from a better experience and will be far more likely to invest in you as well as what you have to offer.

A great example of a plain, practical and frankly, cool WP design that gets constant results is curated online photography gallery, DeFringe. Like DeFringe, choose a functional WP theme and you’ll be able to build a sleek, simple and usable site without starting from scratch.

Make sure your users don’t get lost en route

Providing quality UX largely comes down to user navigation. If your user finds it hard to get from one page to another, you will fail at the first hurdle.

Every website worth its salt is clear, follows a logical pattern and lets the user know exactly where they are and where they need to be without having to think too much (or at all, ideally).

So, getting way around your WordPress site needs to be simple for the end user. Your visitor should be given one or more navigational elements that help them find exactly what they are searching for – and these are the page elements you need to include:

  • A direct and easy to read navigation bar
  • A categories list added to your sidebar
  • A site search facility (search box) at the top of your sidebar
  • An archives page with relevant content displayed at the top
  • Breadcrumbs, (a navigational display that aids visitors by helping them to understand their current location in the context of a site)

If leveraged correctly, these elements will transform your site into a user-friendly informational hub almost instantly, resulting in a flurry of positive metrics including increased conversions and reduced bounce rates in a very short space of time.

“If we want users to like our software we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.” — Alan Cooper

In today’s world, user experience is everything, and if you want to enjoy the kind of long term success you no doubt deserve, you need to take action now. Follow these top tips, think like your consumers, and you’ll have a successful WordPress site up and running in no time.

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