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6 WAYS TO JUSTIFY HIRING A UI DESIGNER

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Key stakeholders will perk up when they hear about lowering development costs and increasing revenue.

6 Ways to Justify Hiring a UI Designer

User interface is the most significant component of successful software. Ease of use is of the utmost importance. It truly can make or break your product. Feature-rich software that fails to meet the user’s expectations can’t compete with straightforward software. The importance of UI cannot be overstated. Still, many companies fail to see just how crucial UI designers are.

One famous example is the $300 Million Button, in which a major ecommerce site redesigned one button and saw a massive spike in revenue. “The form was simple,” wrote Jared Spool. “The fields were email address and password. The buttons were login and register. How could they have problems with it?” After conducting a few rounds of usability testing, they found that new users begrudged the register button, and returning customers were prone to forgetting their passwords. “The designers fixed the problem simply. They took away the register button.” The register button was replaced with a more user-friendly “continue” button, which promptly resulted in a 45 percent increase in sales.

Something as simple as a button could be costing you millions in revenue a year. Programmers don’t catch key usability issues like this, designers do. Every tech company needs a UI designer desperately; it’s just a matter of whether they are aware of it or not.

Here are six ways you can justify hiring a UI designer:

1. Brands that invest in UI outperform those that don’t.

You don’t have to look too far to find examples of UI benefitting big brands. Apple is the perfect prototype of a company continually committed to creating products that are extraordinarily simple to use. They consistently beat out competitors who focus on features rather than usability. Microsoft’s doomed Zune, for example, fought and struggled to claim just an eighth of the MP3 player market share. While the Zune was arguably more robust than the iPod, it simply couldn’t compete with a well-executed UI.

2. They reduce development time.

According to IEEE, up to 50 percent of software specialists’ time is spent on avoidable rework. UI designers cut down on rework as they help catch usability issues early. This greatly reduces the development time since programmers can spend their time doing work that adds value rather than reworking unnecessarily.

3. They improve performance.

UI designers concentrate on creating interfaces that are easy to understand. Ideally, a user interface is intuitive and feels natural. When an intuitive, easy-to-use interface is implemented, user error is markedly reduced, which greatly improves overall product performance.

4. They lower development costs.

UI designers test and develop interfaces alongside programmers. They take the usability guidelines set out by the UX designer and put them into action. UI designers tweak buttons, sliders and text boxes during the development of the product, which is far less expensive than fixing user interface issues after deployment. A whopping 80 percent of unforeseen fixes are attributed to user interface issues. A UI expert can help catch these fixes before they cost you a fortune.

5. They increase revenue.

Investment in greater usability for mobile devices prompted a 70 percent increase in products sold for one ecommerce site as well as decreasing bounce rate and increasing overall traffic. This case is no exception, either. Several studies have shown that enhancing UI drives remarkable revenue growth.

6. Easy-to-use design fosters customer loyalty.

User interface is the art of crafting perception. Even if your software is solidly built, if your users can’t understand it, they won’t perceive it as credible. The user’s experience with your product is what builds its credibility. Effective user interfaces are simple to learn and even easier to use. The less time and energy it takes to use your product, the more willing and able customers are to perceive it as higher quality. Furthermore, once you’ve captured these customers with great UI, they are less likely to be torn away from your product by competitors.

It’s easy to justify hiring UI designers when you consider their staggering ROI, with some estimates purporting a $100 return on every $2 spent. UI designers endeavor to make complex, contrived software as simple and intuitive as they possibly can, and their work almost always pays off. Hiring a UI designer will decrease development costs and development time, improve public perception and product performance, as well as increase revenue. They save teams a tremendous amount of time and money because they force programmers to think of the end user, who is, ultimately, the one who decides whether your product lives or dies. As E.F. Schumacher, an influential British economist, once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. …It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

source:https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289897

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Desktops

SAMSUNG’S TAB S4 IS BOTH AN ANDROID TABLET AND A DESKTOP COMPUTER

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Today, Samsung is unveiling the successor to its well-rounded yet expensive Galaxy Tab S3 from last year. The new Galaxy Tab S4 improves upon last year’s slab in nearly every way, and it should be more versatile for users thanks to included Samsung Dex software. Confined to accessories until now, Samsung Dex software lets users connect a Samsung mobile device to a monitor and then use the device as a pseudo-desktop.

The first Dex dock came out over a year ago and was designed to be used with Samsung smartphones. Users could plug their device into the dock, connect it to a monitor, pair a keyboard and a mouse, and use the setup as they would a full desktop PC. The system ran a version of Android that Samsung modified to better suit a desktop UI, which included a lock screen and a task bar area with app icons. Dex on the Galaxy Tab S4 works just like this, with a couple of extra features that leverage the power of a tablet.

When connected to a monitor, both the big screen and the tablet’s screen can be used simultaneously. In a short demo, Samsung showed how the device supports up to 20 open windows at once and how features like split screen and drag-and-drop can be used just as they would on a desktop PC. Users can launch Dex when not connected to a monitor as well, and that produces the same modified Android UI on the tablet’s 10.5-inch, 2560×1600 Super AMOLED display.

Samsung claims users can launch any Android app while using Dex, but it’s unclear how many are truly Dex-optimized to fit a larger screen and make use of keyboard shortcuts. Big players, including Google, Adobe, and Microsoft, signed up to support Dex back when the software was still new, and more developers have been optimizing their Android apps for Chrome OS devices as Google’s browser-based operating system has gained popularity. Undoubtedly, more Android apps can be used comfortably on desktop-sized screens than when Dex originally launched.

In addition to Dex, the Tab S4 supports signature Samsung features like Air Command, translate, off-screen memos, and live message. Originally confined to Galaxy Note devices, live message lets users create gifs of themselves and decorate them with pen drawings before sending them in a message to friends and family. Samsung redesigned the S Pen that accompanies the Tab S4 to be easier to hold in your hand and more like a traditional pencil, but even with those changes it still doesn’t require charging. We’ll have to test it further to determine how much better it is than the previous stylus.

The Tab S4 is slightly bigger than the Tab S3 with its 10.5-inch display, and it runs on a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of memory, and up to 64GB of internal storage with space for up to 400GB with the use of a microSD card. It has a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front-facing camera while supporting 4K video recording at 30fps, and inside are four speakers tuned by AKG.

Samsung added a lot of heft to the Tab S4’s battery—the company claims the 7,300mAh battery can support up to 16 hours of video playback. On paper, it’s a solid improvement from the Tab S3’s 6,000mAh battery, so we’re interested in putting it through our battery tests to see if Samsung’s estimates hold up.

The Galaxy name is synonymous with Android, but the decision to make yet another Android tablet is a curious one. Android tablets are being left in the dust as Chrome OS infiltrates the tablet scene. It’s possible that Samsung will consider making a Chrome OS tablet in the future—but the Galaxy Tab S4 supports Android and Android only, unlike the company’s Galaxy Book of yesteryear that came in Android and Windows varieties.

The Galaxy Tab S4 will be available August 10 starting at $649 for the Wi-Fi version. Samsung will also sell an LTE version of the tablet through Verizon, but starting price for that model hasn’t been disclosed yet. The Book Cover Keyboard for the Tab S4 costs $149.

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Mobile Platforms

END OF ANDROID? FEARS GOOGLE MAY BE SCRAPING HUGELY POPULAR MOBILE OS

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ANDROID fans have been put on alert about shock claims that Google are planning on scraping the hugely popular smartphone and tablet OS.

Android could be replaced with a new mobile operating system that Google are working on right now, according to shock new claims.

Android is one of the most used pieces of software in the world.

At the Google I/O developer conference in 2017 it was revealed that more than two billion devices use Android each and every month.

But despite the huge number of people that use Android worldwide, sources are claiming that Google are busy working on a successor already.

And one insider has claimed that it’s hoped the in-development mobile OS, known as Fuchsia, will replace Android within the next five years.

For more than two years a group of engineers at Google have been working on the software they hope will succeed Android.

More than 100 engineers are currently working on the project which is intended to be used across all in-house Google gadgets, Bloomberg reported.

The OS is reportedly intended to work on Pixel phones and smart speakers as well as third party-devices that use Android and Chrome OS.

Fuchsia will reportedly be designed to better accommodate voice interactions and frequent security updates across a range of devices.

The latter will be music to Android users’ ears.

 

Android

Android is used on over two billion devices each and every month (Image: GETTY)

The news comes after the European Commission (EC) earlier this week handed Google a whopping fine over Android.

The Brussels regulator insisted the tech giant had used Android illegally to “cement its dominant position” in user searches.

It was argued that Google requiring Android phone manufacturers to pre-install its Chrome browser and Search app had allowed it to gain an unfair advantage over potential rivals.

As a result Brussels issued Google with a record €4.34billion (£3.9billion) fine.

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THIS GOOGLE-FUNDED COMPANY USES ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO FIGHT AGAINST FAKE NEWS

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“Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it,” wrote Jonathan Swift over 200 years ago.

If that was the case back then, before telephones and radio, let alone Twitter and Instagram, imagine how much bigger the problem is now.  In fact, it’s so big that “fake news” has become a hot topic for those on both sides of the political spectrum. Gartner has gone as far as predicting that by 2022, we will consume more lies than truth.

But if technology has exacerbated the situation, there’s hope that it may also offer remedies. In particular, artificial intelligence – in its most useful current form, machine learning – can potentially be a powerful tool for sorting truth from fiction.

Machine learning is already being used by banks and financial institutions to comb through records of financial transactions, looking for tell-tale signs of errors or fraud, and then using that data to become more efficient – effectively “learning” without human input.

In the same way, algorithms can be trained to monitor media – across both social networks and news organizations – looking for tell-tale signs that any piece of output might be out of alignment with whatever objective truths are known regarding situations or events.

One exciting application of this technology comes from Belgium-based startup VeriFlix. They have developed a method of scanning user-submitted videos – which play an increasingly significant part in the output of most media organizations – and attempting to determine whether they actually are what they purport to be.

After winning funding through Google’s Digital News Initiative, the company’s technology is now being put to use by one of that country’s largest media outlets – Rourlarta, with promising results.

Founder Donald Staar talked to me about how the platform had evolved from its initial conception as a peer-to-peer crowdsourcing app for videos. Media organizations would make a request for video footage through the app, and any user within the correct geolocation could switch on their phone and start filming.

“Once the videos get sent to the platform we add a layer which first detects the content of every stream – so we can say what we see in the video, alongside the geolocation data and time stamp,” Staar tells me.

“And once the videos are tagged we can compare them to one another, so that if for example, one request results in 1,000 videos, we can compare the content of every video and if a majority of the videos show the same content, then it can verify the authenticity of what has been shot.

“If 800 videos out of 1,000 show the same thing then the probability that the video has been faked is very low.”

Veriflix uses the YOLO (You Only Look Once) real-time object detection algorithms to classify and label contents of videos, before passing that data through to proprietary algorithms, designed in partnership with KU Leuven University. These algorithms analyze the data, alongside timestamp and geolocation information passed through the application’s secure interface.

Staar says “There are two main advantages – the first is that media companies can now make sure that videos they use are authentic and shot in the location where they say they are taken, and not modified or doctored.

“The other advantage is that they are able to bridge the gap between themselves and their audience – let their audience become a part of the story, and source exclusive and verified content very quickly. It can be for small things, too – it doesn’t have to just be big, breaking news.”

As is common with those working in today’s AI space, Staar is keen to point out that the idea isn’t to put journalists and human fact-checkers out of jobs.

“It will not replace the job of the journalist – we will always need journalists to put everything in perspective, but to get the raw data, this will be a great tool.”

Of course, as technology advances, the tools that fakers use to attempt to pull the wool over our eyes are likely to become increasingly sophisticated. It’s already possible to make highly realistic videos putting words in the mouths of people who would, in reality, be very unlikely to say such things. This doctored video of Obama being rather rude about Trump is a great example (warning, contains explicit language)

Over time it’s likely we will see a continuation of the arms race which has always existed in the technology sphere – with good guys racing against the bad guys to be the first to deploy the latest and most powerful tools.

Fake news is unlikely ever to be fully eradicated – there will always be someone willing to present a skewed version of the truth to push their own agenda. However, it could be the case that tools like VeriFlix, or whatever comes next, will raise the barrier regarding the tech and expertise needed to hoodwink us, going some way toward making the world a more truthful place.

Bernard Marr is a best-selling author & keynote speaker on business, technology and big data. His new book is Data Strategy. To read his future posts simply join his network here.

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