“Design is not just what it looks like & feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs
Before we understand how to enhance UI / UX designing skills, let us read through some eye-opening statistics that prove how important is user interfacing and user experience to anyone:
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience
- 90% of users reported that they stopped using an app due to poor performance
- Slow loading websites cost retailers more than $2 billion in lost sales each year
- Mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task if a site isn’t optimized for mobile
- 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load
- People who have a negative brand experience on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future
These statistical figures emphasize on the importance of a good user interface and experience in any project. Be it any industry segment, size of business or geography. Designing skills reflect the success of the project hence brushing up on designing skills and enhancing them further is extremely important. Following are some of the key points which can play a very important role to enrich one’s designing skills. Let’s check….
“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” – Paul Rand
- Assume You Are A Real User Rather Than A Designer
Designing without knowing the real user does not serve the purpose. What is important is to put yourself in the shoes of the end users and look at the entire aspect from their point of view. Designing without any connect / contact with the users is like an unfulfilled task. There must be a collaboration with the users that will be open, frank, honest and effective. Understanding design requirements from their angle will give you an edge over the rest.
- Sketch More for Better Ideas and Thoughts
The traditional way of sketching ideas with a pen and paper still hold relevance. For a transparent thought process and execution of ideas, it is recommended for a designer to keep sketching as and when time permits. This gives a creative rush to the designing efforts, with clear thinking, structured design, and detailed expression. Portray all ideas on paper as it helps in ultimately, coming up with an ideal and creative UI / UX.
- Change Your Design Perspective by Getting in Touch with Third Party Acquaintances
Broaden your views, meet groups who aren’t involved in design but fall under that category of probable users. While designing, you just don’t need the design perspective, there must be a user perspective as well. And the best way to get that is to indulge with the likes and dislikes of the common users. It may not always be possible to keep in touch with your end users, in that case, you may connect with third party people to have a review of what they feel about the design.
- Indulge and Learn from Other’s Work
Observe, analyze and learn from other designs developed by peers / third parties. What the major features, what is it that makes this design attractive, which tools are being used – these are some of the analytical questions that you can ask and get answered.
- Undergo Wireframing & Use New Designing Tools
Today is the age of responsive web designs. They are being adapted world over as the latest design style, since be it any mobile device, they are getting engraved into our daily lives. Hence, wireframing, i.e. creating an information hierarchy of your design is very important for designers to master. There is a need for more prototyping, modular designs, CSS stylesheets and less of sketching. UI / UX designers need to upgrade their mindset from the traditional approach to the modernized one.
Having knowledge of technical tools will help in quick and effective designing. Hence, designers need to be comfortable using new design tools and should keep up with the pace at which new tools are introduced around. This adds value to designing projects with newer concepts to apply.
- Perform User Research Prior to Designing
An experienced UI / UX designer needs to perform detailed user research before kicking off the design aspect. After understanding what the users want, the designers need to show them different layouts and options to understand what they would like the best. A designer can never finalize any design by offering just one option. Getting feedback from the user is more towards doing it proactively rather than getting it done at the final stage. User research is needed to perceive what are the problem areas that the clients want us to handle, how vital are these to them and what tools and features can be designed to solve these.
- Conduct UX Audits Regularly
Often, designers tend to overlook the work that they have been doing and commit errors repeatedly. What is recommended is to audit the UI / UX designs regularly, so that errors are identified in advance. There are higher chances of user acceptance, higher productivity, goal alignment, and effective output.
- Let the Design be Data-Driven & User Driven
There are no fixed rules when it comes to choosing design themes, templates, standards. There is absolutely no need to follow what others have done, since that may just not apply to your project, your users. Choosing which design to take and finalizing other components depends upon the data that you have accumulated from your users. There could be cases where certain components are well-liked by users in some projects but may not necessarily be appreciated by users of another project since it doesn’t gel well with their likings. Hence, it is better to conceive design patterns based on a case instead of generalizing it.
- Optimize Designing Tasks Efficiently
Only analyzing tasks isn’t enough, that just forms the primary step towards a designing effort. What is of prime importance is to offer it complete optimization. Fewer repetitions, better workflow, less risk involvement, better efficiency, and productive output is what comes out of optimizing designing tasks.
- Acquaint Yourself with the Design Ideologies
Before you get started with the UI and UX, you need to familiarize yourself with the UI and UX fundamentals that need to be followed, no matter what the size and segment of the project is. That kicks off your creative stint on the right path and offers your further prospective thoughts in a well-defined manner. There are lesser chances of failure once you choose the apt path.
- Never Stop Reinventing Yourself
Designing is more of creativity and less of technology. Technology is surely needed to support the creative instinct, but foremost, it is the creative outlook that builds the design. And creativity, when not reinvented regularly, tends to get stale. Hence, as a designer, keep reinventing newer things, newer ideologies, designs, themes and that will keep the circle of good design moving.
“People ignore design that ignores people.” – Frank Chimero
Wrapping It Up
In an accomplished UI / UX development environment, you need to understand the demands of the industry and ensure designs with visually appealing sights with a sophisticated assemblage of colors, fonts, themes and logos, soothing sounds extending it to intuition, emotions, and feelings. Designs must be responsive and adaptive, along with uniform cross-platform compatibility and modern design frameworks, proving to be a class apart. UI / UX designers need to be well versed with the latest technologies like HTML5, CSS3, Angular JS, Less framework, jQuery mobile, Material Design, and Bootstrap. It is a different league altogether, isn’t it? After all, the design is thinking made visual!
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