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UI Images 
Best Practices

September 2, 2021 - Reading time: 172 minutes

10 best practices to help you master images in UI design.

Imagery is one of the most effective tools to grab the reader's attention.

Images are used for setting up the brand's voice and building the presence. A well-placed photo can tell about your business much more than hundreds of words on your landing page.

But searching and fitting images into your designs can be really challenging. Besides finding the right photo, you'll need to properly align it with other interface elements and your business goals.

So here are my best practices to keep in mind while working with interface images.

Be extremely picky when choosing photos

A bad photo can instantly ruin your design, even if the rest of the work is perfect.

When choosing photos, use only relevant, professional, and high-quality photos. Thanks to the internet, we have tons of resources and tools to provide us, both paid stock photos and royalty-free content.

Here is a handy list of resources to help you find the right photo right within your fingertips:

Ensure text has enough contrast

Bright and colorful photos can make text unreadable. When placing text above your images, make sure to emphasize the copy by adjusting image contrast or adding a darker color overlay.

Ensure text has enough contrast

Make images stand out

With multiple images on a screen, make some to lead the pack.

Use images to articulate the importance of your layout elements. Attract users to certain areas or CTA by employing bolder/bigger images.

Make images stand out

Add dynamic to the layout

When designing a large gallery, especially on mobile screens. Employ multiple columns and image sizes to make scrolling more fun and interactive.

Add dynamics to galleries layout

Use text wrapping smartly

Avoid nesting images into paragraphs.

When an image interrupts the text, it causes the reader to make unnecessary eye jumps from side to side of your page. Avoid interrupting the reading flow. Align images inside a paragraph to the top or right.

Use text wrapping smartly

Separate text and images into columns

Instead of wrapping text, sometimes it's a good idea to split the view into separate columns. Also, this duo column layout is a good way to demo vertical photos.

Separate text and images into columns

Put images outside the layout

Put images and multi-image galleries outside the grid.

Use this trick to employ a more immersive feel for your page or article. Placing full-size photos also make a clear visual pause for your readers.

Put images outside the layout

Use captions for standalone images

When an image is placed without a proper caption, it makes no sense, and the overall UI accessibility suffers. Always provide <alt> tags and a proper description of images. Google ranks such behavior higher.

Use captions for standalone images

Separate visually heavy blocks

Heavy vertical blocks can blend. Consider adding a separator <hr> tag between such elements.

Separate visually heavy blocks

Use pagination to showcase multiple images

Consider employing mobile-friendly horizontal pagination to let users see your product or service with a swipe gesture. People love to swipe.

Use pagination to showcase multiple images


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How to Design Sexy Gradients

August 17, 2021 - Reading time: 5 minutes

Actionable UI tips to help you design better gradients.

Gradients are everywhere. It's no longer a trend from the '90s, and designers tend to employ gradients all over modern minimalistic UI. Backgrounds, buttons, toggles, cards, even shadows, you name it. Gradients have taken over digital products and Dribbble/Behance.

So what are gradients?

The gradient is a transition from one color to another. A gradient is a procedural blending made from multiple colors (a single gradient can have unlimited shades). 

We can use gradients in many ways. We can make subtle or extremely bold color combinations that can be used for both backgrounds and foreground interface elements.

Because gradients are that versatile, we use them to communicate a unique design or brand vibe.

In this article, I want to share practical tips & tricks on making gradients that stand out.

Find the right inspiration

First, we need to find the source.

The best inspiration for gradients is nature. So, start the design process by taking your time and observing the real world. Find photos of landscapes, environment, or plants as your source of colors to associate your project with.

Create your palette

Use the "Color Picker" to find the right mood. Build your palette by extracting 2 to 3 primary striking colors from a photo/picture.

It's recommended to start with only a few colors. Since the RGB color model has only 3 variables, this means you can make any gradient by solely mixing Red, Green, and Blue. RGB values are usually given in the 0–255 range;

So for making soft-looking gradients, consider using the range of 50-150 when building your palette.

Blend palette colors

Create a new layer above the chosen color palette, and make a smooth transition by adding a background blur effect. 

Now create a new layer and use the resulted blurred path to recreate your linear gradient.

Use radial gradient to add depth to a linear scale

Radial gradients are used to simulate lighting, which isn’t always linear. You can apply a radial gradient to a predesigned linear gradient and configure the light source direction to make it look even better.

Use gradient direction 
that makes sense

Employ the gradient direction where it's needed. 

For example, emit the light source to highlight a certain element, make the text more readable by placing it over colored areas, or direct the user through UI with a smooth gradient path.

Add noise to make it strike

In Figma or Sketch, apply an additional layer of grain over your gradient to make it look vintage. You can apply noise effect on the web by placing an image over your gradient.

Learn how to add noise with CSS here.

Note: Usually, you only need 0.1% to 0.5% of noise image transparency. 

Combine gradients with abstract shapes

To make your gradient, even fancier employ abstract semi-transparent shapes. Use the "Mask" tool for nesting blobby or wavy shapes beyond or above your gradient layers.


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Typography: Visual Hierarchy

August 5, 2021 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Typography tips & tricks to help you better control UI visual hierarchy.

Visual hierarchy can help improve your UI/UX efficacy, conversion potential, and overall aesthetic. In other words, you can tell a whole story by solely tweaking page fonts, guiding the reader throughout your design.

To do so, you need to properly balance the visual weight of your page or a specific design area/element.

It would be best to start bold and intrigue and then proceed smoothly to an interacting CTA conclusion. So, let's find out how to properly distribute text hierarchy between size, weight, and color, so your UI stands out against the crowd.

UI typography hierarchy goes in three levels: 

Level 1 — The first thing user sees on a screen or specific area. This level is usually reserved for bold headlines that introduce the reader to a topic or specific context. Consider this level always to be clickable!

Level 2 — Contains the second-biggest font size and is usually reserved for a call to action or other options that demand interaction. Buttons and form elements are the perfect examples.

Level 3 — Used to expand upon the topic and provide less important to the design goal information. Usually, this is the  <body> text of your design.

Visual Hierarchy Typography

The key to a successful type hierarchy is high contrast between levels. Consider these techniques when designing each of them:

Don't rely solely on font size.

A common mistake is to rely solely on font size to settle all 3 levels. It often leads to primary content being too big and secondary content being unreadable.

UI Visual Hierarchy

Use fonts with multiple weights

Pick a font with 6+ different weights to have more options and control over your UI. Use both weight and color to build a high contrast pair within a consistent font size.

Visual Hierarchy in Interface Design

Multiple font-weight better communicates text importance rather than using only the font size.

Font choice in visual hierarchy

Stick to two to three font weights instead of multiple sizes:

  • Font-weight: 400/500 — for regular text;
  • Font-weight: 600/700 — for headlines and CTA's;

Use colors to convey the importance of text

Similarly, instead of a smaller font size, use softer colors for supporting text and clarify that the text is secondary without losing readability.

Visual Hierarchy in UI Design

Stick to two to three colors:

  • Primary dark color for important content (e.g., headline and pricing tag, number of reviews);
  • A grey for secondary content (less important text);

Typography: Visual Hierarchy

That's it. As you see, the results are always worth the hustle. So play it statigically and use this typography technique to design how users interact with your UI. Consider this technique as a tool to tell an eye-pleasant story and guide to your advantage.