World Bank Group to Provide up to Half-a-Billion Dollars for Nepal Earthquake Recovery

KATHMANDU, June 23, 2015—The World Bank Group today said it would provide up to half-a-billion dollars to finance the reconstruction of Nepal after devastating earthquakes in April and May killed almost 9,000 people and left many mountain districts of the country in ruins.

Subject to the approval of the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, the financing will consist of $200 million for housing reconstruction in poor rural areas and another $100 million for the government’s budget and for strengthening the banking system, which has suffered with the economy. An additional $100 to $200 million will be redirected from existing World Bank projects in Nepal and invested in reconstruction efforts. Any reallocated money will be replaced with additional funds.

“The World Bank Group stands with the people of Nepal in their time of need,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “We are working with the Government of Nepal and its international partners to help the country get the resources it needs to build back better. We will do everything possible to help people who suffered from the earthquake, especially the poor, rebuild their homes and livelihoods.”

A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) released last week said Nepal’s recovery needs were $ 6.7 billion, roughly a third of the economy. Early estimates suggest that an additional 3 percent of the population has been pushed into poverty as a direct result of the earthquakes.  This translates into as many as a million more poor people.

The PDNA will be discussed at a donor conference in Kathmandu on Thursday, June 25 to help donors decide how much support they can give to Nepal. In addition to its financing, the Bank is also planning to set up a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) that will help Nepal’s partners coordinate their financing in the reconstruction effort.

“Our financial support targets areas that are critical for the people of Nepal,” said Annette Dixon, World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region of the World Bank.“Housing was heavily damaged by the earthquakes and we need to get people as quickly as possible out of temporary shelters and into more permanent buildings that can withstand Nepal’s weather conditions. Our budget support will help to get the government more rapidly back on its feet.”

IFC, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, is making a $50 to 70 million liquidity facility available to commercial bank clients in Nepal so they can support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and boost trade lines. IFC is also trying to accelerate agreements with market leaders to increase production of galvanized corrugated iron (CGI) sheets, the largest single need for new housing in the reconstruction phase.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development.

For more information about the work of the World Bank and IFC in Nepal, please visit:http://www.worldbank.org/np

World Bank Nepal on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldbanknepal

World Bank South Asia on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/worldbankasia

Going Flat!

One of the bigger trends of 2013 has been flat design. Adopted by Apple’s iOS7 and used in updated logos for both Facebook and Instagram, the increasingly popular style is well on its way to replacing the clunky days of 3D.

Downloads for images reflecting the flat-design trend have spiked on Shutterstock by approximately 200 percent since 2012, with the US, Brazil, Korea, Russia, and the UK leading the surge, and Japan and Italy coming in closely behind. Based on the increase, it’s clear that flat design will remain a big deal in 2014.

One reason designers have turned toward this “flat” aesthetic is a push from new technology and its need for a simpler user interface (UI). Flat design elements lend themselves to cleaner app interfaces, responsive design, and better overall interaction with visual data, such as infographics. They also facilitate easier pictorial communication across languages and cultures.

Shutterstock contributors have taken note, adding over 170,00 related images to the collection. Here are 5 of the top downloaded flat-design images of 2013:

Because this trend is going on globally, it’s also worth looking at how contributors are approaching flat design in different places. Here’s a look at the top-downloaded images in various countries.

United States

Brazil

Korea

United Kingdom

Uses of Flat Design

Whilst the term “flat design” might not be a phrase you’re yet familiar with, you will definitely have noticed the concept and the design features whilst browsing the internet.

For those of you that have noticed an increase in the “drop shadow” trend in web design, the easiest way to describe flat design is to say it’s the opposite of that. Flat design is designing a website that has left behind the drop shadow and the 3D effects, and that is by all intents and purposes flat.

Flat design looks modern, fun, fresh and refreshingly simple compared to it’s 3D counterpart. Flat design is embracing the use of solid colors, sharp, well-defined typography and bold shapes. It takes away any faff and fussiness from the design making it so much easier to digest and to navigate. It’s modern and is without a doubt going to be a huge design trend this coming year.

How can you use flat design?

For me, the top selling point of flat design is the simplicity and minimalism of it. That’s not to say you need to have a simple product or minimalist brand to use this trend to your advantage. I actually like the way this trend could modernize a relatively complex or old-fashioned niche, making the information on your site easier for readers to take in and understand.

Of course, the simplicity of flat design makes it so much easier to optimize for different devices too which is another point in its favor.

We all know that mobile browsing is on the rise, and responsive design has already addressed this rise. Flat design makes web design more scalable in a similar way, because when you design with solid colors, rather than a more image based approach, you’re using less detail and so the information based footprint of your website becomes much smaller. This means it’s quicker to load and communicates faster with whatever platform your reader is using to view it on.

Where have you seen it before?

Flat design isn’t exactly new. You’ll actually notice that brands such as Microsoft had already embraced the trend a few years back, while other big brands such as Apple were too busy perfecting other techniques.

Looking back to 2007, a quick glance at the Microsoft Zune – and you can already see that clean, typography based interface taking shape. At the time it went relatively unnoticed, being overshadowed by bigger industry developments, but in 2013 it is definitely at the forefront of design trends.

Flat design treatment

Last year saw the rise of flat design, with the method taking over icons and more. The trend doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon, with plenty of superb examples of flat design done right and continuous flat design projects – one of which is this latest offering from Brazilian designer Leandro Urban.

So, what is flat design? Basically, it’s a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colours and two-dimensional/flat illustrations. This latest project sees those aesthetics applied to the World Cup team shields.

Including every team taking part in this year’s competition, Urban has showcased the likes of Brazil, Argentina, England and France in the minimal flat design style. Do you think the design is improved from the original or would you like flat design to disappear?

5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

simplebits 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

Simplicity rules! It makes a websites look sleek, reduce nagivation confusion and it helps achieving desired goals and results (I.e., more signups, subscribers and sales). But too often it seems elusive to simplify your website design. No matter how hard you try, you can’t make your work look like Apple’s. So what does a website designer really needs to do? Fret not, for there are 5 starting points to simplify your website design.

A simple website design shouldn’t be a daunting all-or-nothing ordeal – you can simplify your design by taking small steps. Simple tasks like putting the focus only on the essential elements of your website, getting rid of the unnecessary, reducing the number of pages your site has, getting more content above the fold, and limiting the number of colors you use. You can always fine-tune and improve your simple design, but the important thing here is to get started. Ready to start simplifying your website design? Awesome. Without further ado, here are 5 starting points to simplify your website design.

 

1. Focus Only On Essential Elements

thesis 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

This first step probably seems forehead-slapping obvious: of course I should put the focus on the essential elements in my site, what am I, an idiot? But a surprising number of websites fail to achieve this and the result is a big mess of important and unimportant elements spewed onto a page. I’m as guilty of doing this in the past as anybody. It’s hard to be objective and prioritize what’s important or not, because everything seems essential. If you want your website design to be simpler, identify what needs to be focus, just like with any good visual design or piece of art. And that means putting the focus only on the essential elements.

Use the 80-20 rule

What 20% of what’s on a page gives 80% of the value and content that people go there for? It could be the copy, some social proof (review snippets, testimonials, media badges), and a signup form or call-to-action button, for example. That’s the 20% right there. On your website, as well as on each individual page, focus on displaying only the 20% of site elements that are delivering 80% of that usefulness.

This isn’t a technical step but a principle that you can use as your guide to simplify your website design constantly. The 80-20 rule will help simplify your website design by pushing you to trim your site elements down to the essentials. What’s really cool is that the 80-20 rule can also help increase your desired results that you hope to achieve on your website. For example, an increased conversion rate in visitors subscribing, signing up, or buying. How? You’re making it so there are less distractions and things for visitors to click on to leave the page.

As we all know, we’re always looking for an excuse not to purchase something at the final step, and any reason to navigate away is a good one. Reduce those reasons and click-away options with the 80-20 rule.

Chris Pearson, creator of the popular Thesis WordPress theme framework, says this is exactly what helped increase sales on his website.

2. Get Rid of All Unnecessary Elements

tumblr 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

We’re continuing with the 80-20 rule here.

Now that you’ve identified the 20% of website elements that will get you 80% of your desired results, it’s time to get rid of all unnecessary elements. In other words, the 80% of website elements that will get you only 20% of results. It could be social media sharing widgets, sidebar elements, blog post meta details (date, time, author, number of comments, etc), or links in the footer (this is especially a huge culprit a lot of the times, particularly when the visitor is looking for the aforementioned excuse to navigate away from the page).

3. Reduce the Number of Pages

squarespace 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

A large part of simplifying your website design is to simply have fewer places to explore and click around. You can do that by trimming the page count. Either get rid of unnecessary pages that deep down inside you know aren’t needed, or at the very least, fuse multiple pages into one. I mean, you don’t really need to separate “about the site” and “about me” pages.

Firstly, get in the mindset of the visitor – if you were to arrive on your website, what are the key things would you want to do? For instance find out what your stuff is about? Or contact you? Next, make sure that your pages facilitate what is necessary and nothing more. Don’t keep unnecessary pages on your website because you think you need to, or because other websites have them. When you reduce the number of pages on your website, not only it is easier for your visitors to focus on your content because there’s less places to click around, but your navigation menu is simpler too.

We’ve all been on websites with too many nav menu items. We don’t know where to start navigating because we get overwhelmed by the choices. And when we get overwhelmed by being presented with too many choices, we go with choosing nothing. By having as few nav menu items as possible, you make your website not only simpler but more inviting and friendlier to visitors.

4. Get More Content Above the Fold

mailchimp 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

Studies have shown that a majority of people spend most of their time above the fold on web pages (what shows up on the screen without scrolling down). So if you want to increase the effectiveness of your website, have the main content and call-to-action elements above the fold. You can do something as simple as shortening the header height if you have a logo and a navigation menu at the top of your website.

This involves nothing more than changing the header’s “height” value in your stylesheet (typically style.css or stylesheet.css). Also, see if a sign-up form or button is below the fold. Move that element higher up in the page so it’s the first thing a visitor sees. After all, that is your desired call-to-action of the visitor, so decrease the work needed to get to it (ie. scrolling).

5. Limit Your Color Scheme

37signals 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

It’s easy to get carried away with colors. Why settle on 2 or 3 colors when you can have 12 or 13? But in order to simplify your website design visually, you need to limit your color scheme. When in doubt, use fewer colors. It’ll vary based on your design of course, but try sticking with no more than 2 or 3 colors to start off. If you need more subtlety and texture to your visual design, use shades of the same color – light blue for the background and darker blue for header and menu items.

I’m as guilty as anyone with getting wild with colors in the past. I’ll add this color, then another, and another – and before I know it, it looks like a rainbow diarrhea all over my website. You can have your website constructively simplified, but if the colors distract the eyes when you look at it rather than complimenting the content, then all that effort was for naught. So use fewer colors with your website design instead.

Having trouble choosing a color to start with? Before & After magazine has a useful free e-book on how to find the perfect color here. Need help with picking a color scheme? Try out this handy color scheme generator.

Last, but not least

apple 5 Tips to Simplify Your Web Design

Hopefully you’re now armed and ready to start simplifying your website design. You’ll be more proud showing off your website because it’ll look gosh-darned sexy and lastly, your visitors will have a much more enjoyable experience browsing in your website.

To recap, here are the 5 starting points to simplify your website design:

  1. Put the focus only on the essential elements
  2. Get rid of all unnecessary elements
  3. Reduce the number of pages
  4. Get more content above the fold
  5. Limit your color palette

Related Articles

  • 11 common web design mistakes. Things like avoiding complicated forms, unorganized content, bad readability, and a not-easily-located search bar – all will further help you to simplify your website design and make it a joy for visitors and a higher conversion rate for you.
  • Clean, simple and minimalist website designs. All of those website examples just further prove that a simple design not only looks sweet and impresses members of the opposite sex, but it greatly helps with the user experience

Over to you: what are your favorite website design simplifying tips? Have you seen an increase in your desired results from simplifying your design?

(bellefoong)

A Look Into Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

preview A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Do you find yourself staring at other designer’s logo and immediately try to decipher what typeface they are using? If you are a designer, it is probably an inevitable habit. There are no hard and fast rules to help you determine which typeface you should land on for your logo. And due to the fact that we are showered with thousands of free fronts on the Internet, deciding on the ideal font to use can be a challenging task.

If you have experimented hundreds of fonts but they just don’t work out right for you, suffering from design block where you don’t what font to use or you are just curious on what fonts others are using for their logo, this article is for you. Today we have analyzed some top brands of their respective industry and reveal the font they used in their logo. They may give you some raw ideas for your next logo design; try not to replicate 🙂

Zopa.com

Many top websites are trending towards gray color schemes with bright color splashes. The Zopa logo and overall image is a perfect example of this trend.

Font used: Frankfurter medium

zopa A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Shutterfly

Shutterfly’s modern logo is simple, refined and playful. This image shows that life is too fast to take it too seriously. Their use of bright colors is consistent with the latest website trends and is effective at enhancing their overall image.

Font used: Frutiger

shutterfly A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

NewsGator

Multi-colored logo fonts are all the rage these days as shown in NewsGator’s logo.

Font used: ITC Bauhaus

newsgator A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Shoutwire

Many caution against excessive capitalization in logo fonts. However, Shoutwire’s use of a font in all caps shows that those who caution against this trend can be wrong.

Font used: Agency Bold

shoutwire A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Shozu

This is an ultra-modern design consistent with the styles of current top websites. When your font is paired with playful colors, you are sure to grab the viewer’s attention.

Font used: FF Cocon Bold

shozu A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Facebook

Elegant and straight-sided characters on the dark-blue background are easy to recognize: Facebook is the perfect example of minimal, yet most recognizable logo!

Font used: Klavika

facebook A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Twitter

Light-blue letters with rounded corners:here you go! Now you can spoof the famous Twitter logo!

Font used: Pico Alphabet

twitter A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Digg

Unlike the above font, this one has no rounded corners at all: everything is sharp and diagonal here giving the perfect feel of the original logo.

Font used: Pico y

digg A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Cork’d

A very cheerful font with attention to details in every letter – it makes a perfect fit for the Cork’d logo.

Font used: Triplex

corkd A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Vimeo

A bold italic font somehow resembles handwriting. It is almost a universal font that can match any interface easily.

Font used: Black Rose

vimeo A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Last.FM

A very elegant narrow characters with rounded borders makes a great fit for the music-related website.

Font used: National

lastfm A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Technorati

Technorati logo sports a very minimal readable font which might lose identity when taken out of the context.

Font used: Neo Sans Medium

technorati A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Flickr

Named after its designer, Adrian Frutiger, the font is used in frequently used in various logos and advertising campaigns. What makes it stand out in Flickr logo is the famous blue/ pink color combination.

Font used: Frutiger

flickr A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Youtube

A straight diagonal font on a red background is one of the easiest to spoof.

Font used: Alternate Gothic No. 2

youtbe A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Google

The font has a somewhat calligraphic feel with contrasting stroke weights and distinctive serifs. Play a bit with colors and you have an exact copy of Google logo!

Font used: Catull BQ

google A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Yahoo

This one is the easiest to spoof: they have their own original font you can download and use!

Font used: Yahoo Font

yahoo A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Hulu

No extra details: smooth lines with rounded corners make up a very elegant font.

Font used: Futura MDd BT

hulu A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

TMZ

TMZ logo features a very effective use of the Amelia font which makes it one of the most recognizable fonts out there.

Font used: Amelia

tmz A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Linked-in

Myriad Pro Bold is used in many contexts but has become very popular from the LinkedIn brand.

Font used: Myriad Pro Bold

linkedin A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Skype

The smooth lines of this font with characters a bit smashed to each other make a very unique combination.

Font used: Helvetica Rounded Bold

skype A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Revision 3

What makes this font recognizable is the effective use of the logo right inside the brand name.

Font used: VAG Rounded Black

revision3 A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Ferrari

Ferrari has a very stylish font: letters seem to match one another so well that you can’t imagine they can exist separately.

Font used: Ferro Rosso

ferrari A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Heineken

Like Yahoo! logo, this one requires no effort to spoof. Just use its original font designed by Jeroen Klaver.

Font used: Heineken

heineken A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Swatch

Swatch sports a very interesting use of the most famous font: its narrow rounded lines imply the Swiss accuracy.

Font used: Swatch it

swatch A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

 

Time

A narrow diagonal very clear and readable font definitely reminds of a print industry.

Font used: Times New Roman

time A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

Absolut

Dark blue bold font has smooth rich lines and implies luxury.

Font used: Futura Condensed ExtraBold or Absolut Vodka

absolut A Look Into: Fonts Used In Logos of Popular Brands

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