User Interface (UI) design plays a crucial role in developing mobile and web applications. A successful UI designer requires good programming, designing, and communication skills. Attractive UI also helps with an efficient UX (User Experience). It’s important that you understand the foundational principles of UI. As a designer, you might wonder how to fill the gaps or how to get better and provide a smooth user interface and experience. Don’t worry; this article will teach you everything necessary for a professional UI designer.
What is UI?
User Interface (UI) refers to the graphical layout, look, or style of any application designed by UI designers. Primarily, a professional designer works on a smooth, easy-to-use, and pleasant interface. Customers using your application might not care about the design as much as completing their tasks with minimum effort. However, pairing that with an eye-catching design can increase likeability and usability. So, as a designer, you need to learn about task flows, end users, and their requirements to deliver the best UI with a seamless experience.
Ways To Develop UI Skills:
If you are a beginner and want to learn UI, here are some ways that you can use to supercharge your skills.
- Programming Languages
Most designers don’t learn coding languages and directly jump into the pool with similar ones. However, a designer can outshine and fast-track their skills by exploring programming languages such as HTML and CSS to make changes to code and design elements. Front-end development languages such as Ruby, .Net, and SQL are essential for UI elements such as layouts or fonts. React is another free and open-source library developed by Meta for building UIs for applications quickly and efficiently with less coding than others. You can explore different sources on how to learn React to create innovative applications without starting from scratch every time.
- Understand The Basics
Every designer should master the foundational principles of a satisfactory UI. You need to understand why users use a particular platform, what actions they perform, and why they should continue to use the same site every time. If you have answers to such questions, you and your team can create a product that meets users’ and businesses’ needs. Once you understand the basics, you can immerse into the following subcategories, where you can delve deeper and learn in detail.
- Color: As a designer, you should know the color which is pleasant as well suitable for the client’s requirements.
- Font: It is one of the essential UI elements and weighs a lot in visual design.
- Typography: It is more than choosing the right font or words for web or mobile applications. The text hierarchy in design, white space and other visuals also deliver a message about the brand. Many smart designers invest their energy in creating typography to improve UI and drive their businesses.
- Develop An Eye For Good UI
If you only learn the basics of UI, it might not take you far. To reach the next level in this field, you need to study and learn about the designs of your favorite applications or websites with a critical eye. So, every time you visit a website or use a mobile application, notice the interface and feel the overall experience. Analyze what works for you and helps you complete your tasks smoothly. Look at every design element; the spacing, typography, font, color palette, and visual hierarchy. Ask yourself different questions critically and try to find what can be improved to provide a better interface and experience to the user.
- Invest In The Right UI Design Tools
Several design tools are available in the market if you want to bring your designs to life and practice what you have learned. Here’s a quick introduction to the most used design tools in the UI industry:
- Figma: The unique thing about Figma is that it is the only collaborative design tool where you can invite other team members to work on any digital project. Figma is new in the market, but with tons of unique features, it is among the top choices of designers.
- Adobe XD: Adobe XD is specifically built for creating UI and UX designs, giving you ease and variety to work with.
- Sketch: It is a design tool for macOS and is popular among designers due to various plugin capabilities.
- Framer: You can use Framer to create realistic prototypes and responsive layouts.
- Build A Portfolio
For beginners in UI, sharing their work with peers can bring anxiety. But, if you want to become prominent and showcase your potential, you must have a promising portfolio. You might wonder how you can produce a portfolio without experience at this stage. In the beginning, you can use different free UI kits that consist of pre-made design elements for a UI design. Use these kits and create different web and mobile applications for your portfolio. Before adding these to a portfolio, you must learn how to create mockups. A mockup is a realistic representation of a design or a product that showcases the product in action.
- Get Feedback
As a designer, feedback can help you grow, improve your design, level up your skills, and create better UIs. Ask for reviews from your fellows or professionals and use these as fuel to improve the designs. Don’t worry about negative reviews. Instead, use them to figure out what you can do better and how you can improve.
- Get Inspiration
You can use the following websites to get inspiration from good UIs that already exist:
- Dribble: Millions of designers across the globe use Dribble to get inspiration and showcase their work. You can also use Dribble to search for jobs or internships as a designer.
- Behance: Behance is owned by Adobe, and its core purpose includes discovering creativity and showcasing your stunning designs.
- Flickr: Flickr is an American image and web hosting service. You can use Flickr to store and manage your photos or designs, thus keeping your portfolio safe.
A good designer always works to create a satisfying design according to the requirements of end users. Practice makes you perfect; if you want to develop UI skills, it will require hard work and patience.