Saturday, 30 August 2014

You Must Need to Know about: Ecommerce Development

Ecommerce also known as Electronic Commerce is the buying and selling of services and products online. What Ecommerce Development creates is a system that permits an online selling business to get their services to the customers. Ecommerce includes all kinds of business ideas from retail shopping, banking, investing, and rentals to personal services such as hair and nail salons.
Product - Carefully choose the product or services to sell. By entering into an Ecommerce business it is assumed that you have a business in mind.
Target Consumers - Determine your potential consumers will be. Ecommerce Development is to attract, influence and satisfy the target consumers to buy on your Ecommerce site.
Web Hosting - Consider buying a domain name then choose a web host that has an Ecommerce Development tools that will be responsible for the SSL capability, uptime, data transfer per month and upgrade values.
Responsive Web Design & Development - Hire a right web designing company to develop your Ecommerce application with CMS & Mobile Compatibility where you can manage your store yourself .
Payment Methods - Make a decision on what method payment your Ecommerce site will prefer. You can choose from many payment methods online such as Paypal (For US) or other Merchant Accounts (CCAvenue, EBS & PayU). Or you may choose to receive payments via check delivery, cash on delivery or wire transfers.
Security - Providing a security is one of the main purposes of Ecommerce development. Make it a point to settle your privacy, return and warranty policies as well as money back guarantees if you prefer to have one.
Shopping Cart - The most evident part of Ecommerce development is the use of shopping cart software. By using an online shopping cart, customers are able to view items for sale, select quantity of items and the item they want. After shopping is done, customers will receive or view the summary of the transaction they made.

Friday, 29 August 2014

How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales

The internet is a growing industry. With the advance in technology, more and more people are exposed to internet and learned to use the internet to fulfill their daily requirements. In that e-commerce plays a major role.
Ecommerce means- trading of products and services on the internet. Therefore having the ecommerce shop for your business will definitely increase your sales.
In case, your company do not put up a good ecommerce site, then it is likely that you cannot deliver a better goods and services. So, while designing or approaching a web design company to create an ecommerce website for your business, make sure it is attractive and easily connects the user to the products/service.
1. Must add the eye-catching “Add to Cart” button instead of “Buy Now” button:
If the call-to-action button in ecommerce site is not noticeable or comfortable then definitely it will reduce your profit. So, it is recommended to use the “Add to Cart” button rather than the “Buy now button”.
Add to cart How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
Because, people usually prefer to add the products in their shopping cart instead of buying them immediately. So, must add a bold and noticeable “Add to Cart” button in your site. But make sure, it doesn’t take your customers far away from the product page when they try to add an item in their shopping cart.
If you do not follow this tip while designing for an e-commerce site it will reduce your sales. So, be aware of that. Also concentrate on the color combination of your Shopping Cart. It is also very important.

2. Give Keyword Suggestion To your Customers:

It is important to provide what your customers want exactly. Most of the ecommerce websites fail in their attempt mainly due to this reason. It is recommended to give keyword suggestion when customers searching for a product in your site.
Give Keyword Suggestion To your Customers How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
In addition to that use a auto-complete search bar for fast and accurate search. It will definitely increase your sales.

3. Don’t force your user to sign-up for an order:

Again it is a bad idea, if you force them to sign-up to your account before they place order they may hesitate to do that and exit from your site immediately. So, it will reduce your sales. Instead of that you can ask them after making an order to save their information for future orders or to track the status of their current order.
debenhams checkout How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
Instead of asking them to fill each and every details just offer a login via any social media account like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

4. Don’t hide your Contact Information:

While designing a website for ecommerce website, it is very much important to provide your contact information. In case, if it is not displayed in the appropriate page or hidden somewhere it may reduce your sales.
Dont hide your Contact Information How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
Because, customers expect to deal with a real company when they are giving their credit card information to you while ordering the products. It will increase the trust on you. So, place a 24/7 customer service phone number, email id on your ecommerce site.

5. Provide High Quality Images:

It is very much important to provide the fresh image of your product. Make sure your product image is bigger. Because, the shoppers can’t physically handle the products you are selling, so small images never make them to buy your product.
Along with that instead of just only one image of your single product it is advised to use more than one image. It will again help to increase your sales.

6. Keep an easy navigation:

The customers will search their desired product either through navigation bar or search bar. So, provide an easy and useful navigation don’t confuse them. Before display your products and services on the website, categorize them clearly.
easy navigation How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
Make sure every category has atleast few products. Don’t leave any category as empty. In case, if you have too many category or similar category then put the similar category under the main category as a sub category.
Alternatively, you can use the fly-out menus for too many categories. You can even use the bread crumbs so then the customers can easily trace their way back from where they came. It will definitely give a easy shopping experience to your customers and help to increase your sales.

7. Provide detail product description and information:

If you go to a cloth store, definitely you will check its material, size, design and color. But in the online store you cannot check like that.
questions ask building ecommerce website How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
So, it is very much essential to provide the detailed information of every product so then it will be easy for the customers to order the product.

8. Show the Products Availability clearly:

Availability of products How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
If the customers see that the product is sold out or not available instantly after adding them into their shopping cart then definitely it will disappoint them from your website because of bad design. So, clearly mention its availability. This will help the shoppers to select the product.

9. Have a One-Page Checkout Process:

one step checkout How To Design An Ecommerce Website To Increase Sales
One-page checkout process is a good idea to increase the conversions and also to make the customers to coming back. Don’t make a complicated or long checkout form or 2-3 steps checkout pages. Just make them short as well as simple. Also ensure that a confirmation page is there before submit an order.
Nowadays, many of the users browse through the products through mobile. So,make sure your e-commerce site is responsive.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

6 Deadly Errors One Should Avoid While Developing An E-Commerce Store

There could be multiple reasons that could be attributed to the surge in E-Commerce market growth. These insights are worth pondering as they would help you in planning your activities to optimize E-Commerce development process.
Let’s begin with understanding the major E-Commerce errors that one must avoid during the ecommerce website development process.

1. Tedious Checkout Process
This is one of the most talked about design issues, but not properly heeded to by many of the E-Commerce developers. There are still many E-Commerce stores with multiple step checkout process. Such a tedious process would force the shopper to immediately shift to a different store for the same product. Ideally, there should not be more than three steps involved in the checkout process.
The simplicity of the process is directly proportional to conversion rate. The aim of the web designer should be to create the entire checkout process on a single page itself.
2. Overselling Your Mobile App
It’s good that you’ve put in an effort to develop apps for different platforms. But don’t bombard visitors of your website with App-download requests. For instance, if a potential customer visits your website on his iPad, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s keen on downloading your iPad app. Instead, it may distract them away from making any purchase from you.
Don’t over-invest in customizing your mobile apps beyond a point you can see a clear value addition. Rather, you must focus on optimizing your site for the phone/tablet experience, something that hasn’t been realized by many developers.
3. Regular Retail Prices
You might want to recover your investment, but if you are planning to do it too soon, you are in trouble! Wait for people to get familiar with your online store by training them to buy from you. Without that incentive, they won’t take the first step.
Some of the big online stores offer various discounted deals to online shoppers in amateur markets. You might be wondering why! The answer is – They are actually training their online shoppers to buy from them. And it works too. Now that a shopper knows how to order from a particular online store say Amazon or eBay, he would not have any incentive even to look elsewhere.
Therefore, offering your products at low prices is the best incentive. And because selling on the Website is so much cheaper, you can easily afford it. Why not split the saving with your customers? Your competitors will offer this incentive if you don’t.
4. Going Mad After PPC Blitz
The advantage of pay-per-click tools such as Google AdWords is that they allow you to draw in targeted traffic very rapidly. However, the best managed PPC campaigns if developed in a gradual manner, closely following the analytics can tell you a lot about buyer behavior. With hasty spending, you could run out of money before you really understand where the profitable parts of the market are.
5. Duplicating Product/Service descriptions
You might think that the manufacturers know the best about their products. So the ideal thing would be to simply copy and paste the product descriptions provided by them. However, this is not going to help you because other E-Commerce stores may use the identical product descriptions provided by the manufacturer. This practice may also harm your store’s reputation with respect to how the search engine will look for your website.
If you want to differentiate yourself, get as descriptive as you can. Remember to specify all the product specifications, features and variants. Also, while writing a new product description, focus on the value proposition of individual products. If the potential shopper doesn’t find the essential details with you, they will hop to a store where they do.
6. No Return Policy
It’s natural to be apprehensive of the misuse of this policy & the impact that it will have on your accounts. But on the other hand, have you considered the huge sales boost that this policy will bring along? Recent studies have revealed that the number of mischievous shoppers is dwarfed big time by the number of genuine shoppers that this policy brings along with it. Hence this policy is ultimately a good deal.
If you plan to do the business in a sustainable manner, the above mentioned practices are imperative. The results may take some time to show, but will be long lasting.
We hope that this article has helped you to check for the pitfalls and avoid major ecommerce issues while developing an online ecommerce website for your business. Feel free to reach us and get in touch to discuss your E-Commerce Website Development.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Responsive vs adaptive webdesign, which is best for you?

Responsive webdesign has become a catch-all term for making your website work well at low resolutions.
Smartphones revolutionized the mobile web, and tablets are throwing another wrench into the gears with their growing popularity. With all things considered, a website today could be experienced on a low resolution smartphone, a medium resolution tablet, or a high resolution desktop or laptop. When you throw retina displays into the mix, the number of potential screen sizes is dizzying. Ideally, your website will look and function gracefully on all of the above, at any resolution.
Responsive webdesign in itself is the process of making a website work on very small screens, very large screens, and at any resolution in between.
Over the last few years, the industry has collectively developed a shortlist of common best practices. Many of these practices focus on retrofitting websites intended for high resolution down to lower sizes. Others start at mobile and work up to the larger viewports, optimizing as needed. All of these practices can generally be categorized as either responsive or adaptive layouts.

Responsive vs adaptive layouts

Responsive layouts generally perform better than adaptive layouts, but in some cases (complex webapps for example) an adaptive approach could serve users better. Either way, the goal is to make your website always look its best at the desired resolution.
Most people choose to use media queries to do this, as they are rock solid unless you need support for IE8 or below. For those of us who still have an audience in IE6 – 8 though, Scott Jehl has created a JavaScript polyfill called Respond.js  that will make things work.

Before, many webdesigners had minimal communication with developers until the handoff. Now though, designers and developers have to work together through both the design and development process in order for everything to go smoothly. From user analytics to what can or can’t be rearranged when changing viewports—designers and developers are closer than ever, if not the same person. If you’re looking for inspiration as to what responsive or adaptive layouts look like,  is a popular webdesign gallery that displays four view ports of a website.

Adaptive layout design & development

When the idea of responsive webdesign first started gaining ground, adaptive techniques dominated for a while. It’s easier to transition into designing and developing for these layouts, although they require more work than their responsive counterparts. This is also the route many people take when retrofitting an existing website to be mobile friendly. Because of the nature of adaptive layouts, they give much more control over the design of the website. You only have to design for specific viewports, and browsers only display the highest one that will fit in it’s width. These layouts are the ones that “snap” when adjusting as you resize your browser window. In fact if you resize your window to be smaller than 1024 pixels, you’ll see this sudden change I’m talking about as the layout of this website adjusts to focus on a medium resolution viewport.

Adaptive design

When designing for an adaptive development approach, the work is fairly easy. Before responsive webdesign became a thing, you simply designed one layout and then developed it. Now, you’ll design for multiple viewports, and develop them. Generally, it’s easier to start at low resolution viewports and work your way up. If you start with high resolution viewports and go down, things could end up a little…compact. And by the time you reach mobile, cluttered.
The number of viewports you design for is entirely up to you and the developer, work out a battle plan based on your users. If current site analytics show users mostly using low and medium resolution viewports, plan for those. You want at least three: one for low resolution viewports (smartphones), medium resolution viewports (tablets), and one for high resolution viewports (desktops and laptops). Ideally, planning for six is the standard, having a high and low resolution layout for each of the three viewports listed above. However, having too many more than that will make the development and maintenance too much to handle, so be wary.

Adaptive development

Developing an adaptive layout is actually quite simple as well. Assuming you’ve worked with the designer (or are the designer) from the get-go it’s just like developing a traditional website. You’ll start by developing the site at a mobile low resolution viewport. Once you get that done, we’ll use media queries to expand the layout for higher resolution viewports. Below are low, medium, and high resolution viewport media queries:
/* Mobile low and high resolution viewports */ @media (min-width: 320px) { ... } @media (min-width: 480px) { ... }
/* Tablet low and high resolution viewports */ @media (min-width: 768px) { ... } @media (min-width: 1024px) { ... }
/* Desktop low and high resolution viewports */ @media (min-width: 1080px) { ... } @media (min-width: 1440px) { ... }
This is where the “snap” comes from in the adaptive approach. Since we’re targeting multiple common viewport resolutions, going from one to the other when resizing the window may cause the layout to jump. As I mentioned before, adaptive design & development is only highly useful for retrofitting or for complex webapps. Designing and developing for this many layouts for independent viewports is much more of a hassle if it isn’t needed.

Responsive layout design & development

As of today, responsive design and development is the de-facto approach to use. While it offers less control over the layout compared to an adaptive approach, it’s much less work to implement and maintain as you technically only have one layout. It’s also more customized for the website too, and this is the key selling point. You’ll be able to make your own breakpoints based upon when your design breaks or doesn’t look as intended.
Responsive layouts also include fluid layouts. Before responsive webdesign caught on, fluid systems were popular – layouts using percentages for widths. While they certainly worked well in most cases, that was before we had smartphones and tablets. Now, most fluid layouts are augmented by media queries at very low and very high resolutions. Otherwise you could end up with highly compact or immensely large layouts.

Responsive design

While you have a very simple guide to follow with adaptive design, responsive design isn’t so clear cut. There is heated debate that designing in the browser is the best way to go about it—designing and developing at the same time. Since you’re essentially going to take all viewportsinto consideration when designing, there is more work involved on the design side. Ideally, we want to keep the viewports in mind, but not design for any particular one. If possible, try to meet at a middle ground; Focus on mid resolution viewports while keeping in mind the layout will need to adjust for lower and higher resolutions later.
It’s exceedingly important to use existing user analytics if you have them. If your site already has analytics that demonstrate your audience primarily reads from low resolution viewports, design with a focus on those. Target your audience, even if that means ignoring some of the best practices out there. In the end, your website is going to be serving them, not the people aggregating these ‘best’ practices.

Responsive development

Once the design phase is complete, development is where the real fun begins. As mentioned before, if you have analytical data of your typical audience, start there. Once you get your layout developed, you’ll use media queries to make it responsive. Instead of defining set viewports though, you’ll instead manually resize your browser until the layout breaks. When that happens, that is your breakpoint width—add a media query to fix the break in design and continue on resizing. Ideally, you’ll be doing this from a high resolution device so you can see all viewports. Once you ensure you have support for low and high resolution viewports, move on to testing.

Custom or mixed layout types

Rarely, You may encounter a website that uses a custom solution, such as WebdesignerDepot. Generally speaking, the majority of the web falls into either the responsive or adaptive groups as outlined above, but sometimes people get creative and make their own solution. WebdesignerDepot does so by starting with the standard low, medium, and high breakpoints, then supplementing as needed inbetween when the layout breaks. On top of that, the layout is also fluid in nature up to a set max resolution. With this in mind, get creative and build something that breaks the norm!

Browser testing responsive and adaptive websites

Unfortunately, there really isn’t any good solution to browser testing these layouts yet. Thebest way to go about testing is to do it manually: loading up the page on your phone, tablet, laptop, and anything else around. You can also use a viewport spoofer in your browser if it supports such an extension. 
Ripple Emulator
 is an extension I use in chrome to test some low resolution viewports. While it’s certainly inconvenient to manually test on devices, it gives a more accurate impression of the functionality your site has. UI that looks alright on an emulator, may actually perform quite poorly on an actual device.

In conclusion

As extensive as this article is, this is simply a primer on the subject of layout types. There is a lot of information about responsive webdesign methods not included in this article; Optimizing UI elements & typography, responsive images & media, device pixel ratios, and much more isn’t explained here. However, there are plenty of sources for such knowledge, in much more information dense forms. Since the idea of responsive webdesign came around, we’ve contributed to an exceedingly vast wealth of knowledge on the subject. I hope by explaining the difference between layout types here, you’ll be able to better have a handle on the idea of a responsive web… without getting lost down the rabbit hole.
The community is constantly creating new techniques and constructing creative solutions to problems we’re only just starting to encounter. So while there is a vast wealth of information available about responsive webdesign out there, it’s a concept still in it’s infancy. While best practices and common use cases are easy to conform to, being creative and paving your own solution is always encouraged. If you have any tips or suggestions for those of us just getting into, or extending our knowledge of responsive webdesign and development, spark a discussion below!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

How to optimize your website’s landing page for mobile

It’s no longer necessary to underline the importance of preparing your site for mobile. The mobile revolution is the single biggest change in the Web’s short history. The only question is whether smart phone and tablet users will make up more than half of your audience this year, or next.
Bearing this in mind, optimizing your landing pages for mobile is now an essential process for every designer. It doesn’t have to be difficult however, there’s a simple checklist that you can run through to ensure your site is ready for mobile browsers:

Scale appropriately

The ability of a website to scale to various devices is vital. There are thousands of devices are out there, so selecting a few representative screen sizes isn’t practical.
The accepted answer to this is responsive web design, some people argue adaptive is better, other people argue adaptive is the same thing. These arguments are really semantic, the bottom line is that you have the ability to make your site work on any device, current or future. To fail to do so would be irresponsible.
One important consideration: make sure that your site scales properly in portrait and landscape.

Select content carefully

Obviously, mobile offers much less space to fit content onto a landing page. Ideally, keep headlines short, succinct, to the point and around three to four words. Likewise, keep the page as clutter-free as possible, with a low number of links and a maximum of one image, if feasible.
Put content in bullet points so that the eye can take it in easily, without having to pause and squint. Also, create a clear call to action to tempt the visitor to visit the rest of the site. It should give some kind of incentive and could be as simple as a button that allows visitors to call the business, especially useful for local businesses that also use location services.
Something like 75% of searchers take action on their search results within an hour, so it’s easy to see why a call to action should be strong. Also, put the call to action somewhere near the top of the page, so that it’s one of the first things the mobile visitor sees.

Size matters

Yes, size really does matter—file size, that is. A landing page should always be quick to load, especially one that will be accessed via a mobile device.
There’s no set rule—the faster the better—but as a general guide, if your landing page takes longer than 3 or 4 seconds to load you’ll start losing a lot of users.
Ideally, your page should be extremely lightweight, below 20 kilobytes. Images take a lot of time to load and so should be kept to an absolute minimum. Keep all of your code nice and tidy, use image sprites if necessary, and use CSS instead of images where possible.
As well as file size, think about the number of requests that are being made to the server; typically those requests cause more of a delay than the actual file download.

Are you local?

Mobile users are often on the go, so use location services. Tailor the landing page to be relevant to local users, and offer incentives to them too. You could customize content to the local branch of a store, for example. 
Depending on the size and scope of the project, you could also adapt the core content itself to the location.

Readability matters more than ever

Being able to read what’s on the screen is vital, which is why less is more. If you can’t read the text with the phone held at arm’s length, then it needs to be bigger. You really are limited for space.
Don’t make users endlessly scroll either, or else they will get bored quickly and move on. Yes, people do have a short attention span on the Internet, much shorter than when reading a magazine or book, so everything you do must grab their attention immediately.

Thumbs up!

Anything clickable on your landing page should pass the thumb test. If it can’t easily be clicked using the thumb, then rethink it. Pad links to leave as much space around them as possible, and leave ample room between links. This will reduce the chances that the user taps the wrong links and leaves out of frustration.
Plugins can be used to ensure that photos can be easily swiped, although putting photos on the landing page is not exactly recommended.

Forms and input

If you do put a form on the landing page, keep it very simple, and don’t take up a lot of space. Forms that require a lot of input are off-putting and achieve a lower conversion rate than simple forms. So, add as few fields as possible.
Again, people get bored quickly, so giving them a lengthy form to fill in will make them more likely to abandon the site.

Simple navigation

Navigation should be simple and straightforward. Keep buttons to a minimum, and ensure that they pass the thumb test. Try adding buttons to different areas of the page so that a logical path can be followed.

Testing, testing, testing…

Thoroughly test your landing page to ensure that it works effectively on mobile. Consider A/B testing, which has been shown to increase leads by up to 40% in some cases.
With an A/B test, you would create two designs of the same page, A and B. Traffic is then split between each design to see which performs the best. Use metrics that are the most important to the project, such as conversion rate, sales, bounce rate. At the end of the test, go with the one that performs best, and you’ll be halfway to having a proven design.
There are lots of mobile simulators out there, but whichever one you choose, make sure you only use it for the first round of tests. To test properly you have to use real devices. Beg, borrow, and steal if necessary, just check out your site on as many real devices as you can lay your hands on.

Keep actions to a minimum

The more clicks or actions a user has to make, the less likely they are to complete them. Allow people to get from point A to point B in as few clicks as possible. Make every aspect of the navigation and the call to action incredibly simple.
These are the most important things to bear in mind when optimizing a landing page for mobile. Remember throughout the design process that mobile is a different medium to PC. People have even less patience on mobile because they are usually on the go and want to complete their task with a minimum of fuss. Slow loading times and unresponsive interaction also irritate people, so take the time to get them right.
Getting it right can be rewarding and could mean the difference between the site performing well against the competition and losing visitors.
By Kerry Butters

Thursday, 21 August 2014

How To Create A Vibrant Image Using Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’ll explore how to add more energy and dynamism to a photo. The effects can be extended and used on a multitude of photos to create a feeling of motion and vibrancy to a static image.
Step 1
Start by choosing an image similar to this one of someone jumping in the air. Pick an image that you feel has a lot of energy already, even before you’ve added everything else. Create a new document at A3 size with 300dpi, or if you prefer slightly smaller, then go for A4 300dpi.

Step 2

Drag your image into the new document and grab the pen tool, carefully start adding point by point until you’ve drawn around the entire body of the girl. Hit A to select the path selection tool and right click on the path>create vector mask. This will give us a clean edge and knock out the background, ready for us to add our own.

Step 3

With a blank background, let’s create some instant depth to this piece by adding a gradient. So select the gradient tool and keep it black to white. Now drag from the bottom right to top left, but drag over the canvas edges so that it sort of goes from dark grey to light grey.

Step 4

Now I sometimes like to get colour palette and tone sorted early, and in the case of this piece let’s do just that. What we’re going to do is something ever so simple but very effective in creating the mood of the piece. In the menu go to Layer>New adjustment layer>Gradient map. Now choose the preset blue, red to yellow gradient, hit ok and set this layers opacity to 40%. It looks a bit washed out, so something you should always do is add a couple more adjustment layers and for this piece we’ll add one for brightness/contrast, set to +8 for brightness and +28 for contrast, and one for levels which we’ll set to 15, 1.00 and 246 for the 3 input boxes.

Step 5

Let’s give some pop to the girl and add some lighting. Ctrl+click on the original stock layer to create a selection around the girl, then on a new layer, grab the brush tool and using varying sizes and the flow set to around 24%, begin brushing areas you think would look good with some white light on them. Then lower the opacity to around 15-35%.

Step 6

Give the piece some instant energy appeal by adding some diagonal stripes in the form of random geometric selections filled with a pattern. Create a new document 40 x 40 pixels and create a shape similar to the screenshot on the left below, make the background transparent then Ctrl+A and go to Edit>define pattern. Now back to your main document and create some random geometric selections with the polygonal lasso tool and Edit>Fill them with your pattern. Keep them in the direction of the energy of your person in the piece and make some black, some white.

Step 7

Time to add some big bright coloured shapes to get this piece moving. Again with the polygonal lasso tool, create some big geometric multi-sided shapes, and with the gradient tool set from red to yellow, fill your selections and position/transform until you have a nice arrangement. Place them above or behind the diagonal striped shapes, whatever you feel looks good.

Step 8

Now start to layer it up by adding lots more shapes of various sizes over and behind the girl. Do what we did in the last step by using the polygonal lasso tool and create sharp shapes. Fill some with a black to white gradient, others with a yellow to transparent or red to transparent, play around with it until you’ve padded out the illustration with a nice amount of shapes.

Step 9

Looking good? I thought so. Now let’s get some detail worked into this piece. To do this lets create some shards to enhance to energy of the piece. Grab the polygonal lasso tool again and create a small angular shape, hold down shift and create another. Repeat this several times until you have a bunch of shapes. Then fill them with black/white and position. You could also use the pen tool, but in this instance the lasso tool is better as the shapes will feel more erratic and unplanned, which is what we want.

Step 10

Time to develop the piece some more. Grab the polygonal lasso tool (yet again) and create some more selections, but keep these quite square and not as sharp to provide some contrast to the other shapes we created earlier. Fill with black and apply a gradient overlay with the settings shown in the screenshot below. Notice the effect on the girls arm, it’s now showing through as a solid shape because of the lighting we added to her in step 5. So place a shape behind that layer so it shows through, also feel free to create this effect with other body parts of the girl.

Step 11

For some added energy, flow and detail we can add some thin lines to the image, both over the top of most layers and some right in the background. So grab the line tool and set it to 2 pixels wide, on a new layer start drawing some lines in the direction of the rest of the shapes, don’t go too crazy with them though, keep them subtle. Now make the line tool 1 pixel wide and on another new layer draw some more lines, almost as if the lines are fragmenting.

Step 12

To further enhance the energy let’s create some light streaks. So create some more thin sharp shapes and fill them in white. Go to filter>blur>motion blur and make the angle the same as the angle of your shape, with the distance set quite high to around 4-500. Duplicate and arrange some shapes and play with opacity and blending modes for more interest.

Step 13

The image is now looking great but it’s not quite complete, it needs some finishing touches. So create some more particles with the pen or lasso tool and fill them with white and position them behind most of the layers. Also create some larger shapes with subtle gradients and overlay blending mode to give off a nice look, position them as you’d like to achieve a nice balance. I’ve marked out where I’ve added some extra shapes to using selections in the screenshot below.

Step 14

Almost there, and to make things abit more dynamic for some of the shapes. Grab the brush tool at a size around 900 with the flow set to around 15-20%. Gently brush onto areas to lighten it up, be very subtle with this though as you don’t want to kill it. Then lower the opacity to blend it in nicely.

Step 15

For the finishing touch well, you may not be a fan of textures but I am, and for this piece it will work really well. Find a high res paper texture like the one in the screenshot and drag it above all layers in your main document, scale it up to fit if needs be and set the blend mode to color burn with opacity at around 40%. This makes the colours really come to life and makes the image more moody.

Step 16

So there we are, check the finished image below! With images like this, there is a minimalist route and a more chaotic route where we could have kept on going adding more and more shapes. But in this instance we’ve settled for something in the middle with a really nice balance.
The tutorial was created and written by renowned artist Mike Harrison