As internet technologies provide new and increasing possibilities for its users every year, they also create exciting opportunities for those ready to learn something new. As we are all internet users, you can try your hand at something that is intuitive for all of us. Getting to know some techniques and UI design trends could be a useful new skill or the start of your career as a UI designer.
What is UI Design?
User Interface design is first and foremost about the visual approach to the design of a digital product. It relates to the graphic and interactive aspects that a user could encounter when using software or computerized devices. A UI designer is typically concerned with the following visual elements affecting the design of a product:
- Color schemes
- Responsive design
- Icons and buttons
UI design can refer to a graphical user interface (GUI), a voice user interface (VUI), or even gesture-based interfaces in 3D design spaces, as used in virtual reality games. UI design always relates to digital products, and a UI artist aims to build user-friendly and enjoyable interfaces.
The digital market is filled with products that enable the audience to criticize any defects. This means UI design needs to anticipate the user’s needs and pains to be successful. The UI of products must be functional and complete tasks quickly and without any difficulties. They must also be fun and appealing, with the possible use of gamification.
The differences between UI, UX, product, and graphic design
There is often confusion between these fields, with the incorrect term used in many cases. As they are relatively recent areas of design, many non-designers are not always sure of what is referred to when the terms are used.
User Interface (UI) Design
This refers to the design of a digital interface, and it cannot be used for other non-digital products. It relates to the elements through which a user interacts with a computer or device and the overall visual experience.
User Experience (UX) Design
This is the complete experience that a user has with a product from start to finish. While it can be used to talk about the user experience of a digital product, it can also be used for a non-digital product. UX involves the effectiveness and any pain points that a user may come across when using a product.
Product design is a broader term that refers to the design of products to address specific user’s needs in a particular market. It involves looking carefully at the customer to understand their behavior, habits, problems, and pain points in a given area.
This is a more established field and artistic discipline that uses visual communication to convey messages with a particular purpose. Graphic designers interpret different messages visually and transfer them through text, images, drawings, and other visual media.
Naturally, there are frequent overlaps between these different fields, such as a product designer working on UX for a project or a graphic designer involved with UI design.
Who is a good fit for UI design?
In order to become a UI designer, there are a number of skills and qualities that you should match. These include the following:
- An eye for aesthetics: UI is primarily a visual field, so you need to have a strong understanding of visual communication and speak this language fluently.
- Creativity: Designers need to be full of ideas and imagine the best ways of making improvements and solving problems.
- Communication skills: UI involves the interpretation of messages and feedback and effectively communicating in the design arena.
- Teamwork: UI designers work as part of a team and alongside other designers, marketers, and software engineers. This means you need to be strong in collaborating with others and ready to take on feedback.
Designers working in UI can come from a range of different backgrounds, provided they can satisfy the position’s requirements. The most important thing is showing the personal skills and abilities that will lead to success on UI projects.
Where can you learn UI design?
For those wondering how to become a UI designer, there is a range of different sources that can help you learn more about UI.
Some recommended books on UI or UI-related topics that budding designers include the following:
- Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger
- Icon Design by Christopher Heath
- User-Centered Design by Travis Lowdermilk
- Design for Hackers by David Kadavy
As with many other digital fields, there is a wide selection of online resources to deliver a solid education in UI design. These include e-learning platforms that offer courses that train learners through regular, ongoing classes or those that are more flexible. Some leading e-learning platforms that offer instruction in UI design include:
Each of these offers high-quality courses that could be an introduction to UI and the beginnings of a promising UI career.
There are various skills to learn when getting to grips with UI design. But any creative person with the right personal skills can become a successful UI designer and make a valuable contribution. UI is a growing field that is likely to provide more opportunities for talented designers in the future.