UI Designer: Between Creativity And Rigor

Creativity is a process that results in outcomes that are original and of value

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UI designeror user interface designer is in charge of the graphic design of the interface of applications, software, websites, and other digital products. This role implies a keen sense of how users interact with interfaces. He works in close collaboration with the UX Designer, of which he is often the alter ego. This profession has known and is still experiencing rapid development with the generalization of UX / UI Design and the resulting specialization. It must often be remembered that the UI designer is not a UX Designer , although he has a great culture of UX Design, in addition to his skills as a graphic designer.

What Is UI Design?

The UI is the abbreviation for “User Interface” . UI design consists of producing everything related to the graphic environment of the interface , screen layout, transitions, animations, interactions, buttons, texts, images, cursors, input fields, etc.

What Is The Job Of UI Designer?

The UI designer performs the graphic design of the interface, the link between the user and the product or service. He takes care of all the stages of graphic design, from the brief to the delivery of the graphic charter through the graphic tracks , models , and declination of screens .

His/Her job is to organize the visual elements to produce aesthetic and functional content. It has for this purpose the typography, the arrangement, and the size of the graphic elements, the iconography, and many other things leading to the graphic representation of the interface.

Each interface must be designed to be predictable and consistent . This improves its efficiency in accomplishing tasks and ultimately enhances user satisfaction. The challenge of the UI designer profession lies in these elements combined.

The UI designer ensures visual consistency and ergonomic and functional homogeneity of the product, whether it is an application or website, a mobile application, software, an interactive terminal, or any other digital product or service. UI Design aims to create an effective design, including the emotional to visually guide the user. We also speak of emotional design. The creation of the UI is therefore an essential step in the interface design process .

Who Will Work With The UI Designer ?

First of all with the project manager and more particularly the UX designer . He will be in permanent contact with all stakeholders , in a continuous exchange to modify and adjust the screens according to the needs and requests of the sponsors, but also the results of user tests . Often underestimated, the proximity of the UI designer to the integration and development teams is nevertheless a very important reality. Never forget that these are the same integrators and developers who will concretize the design of the interface.

What Are Skills Of A (Good) UI Designer?

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The UI Designer participates in the design of the interface in its essentially graphic dimension. It helps make it easy to use and attractive to the user. His participation is part of a close collaboration with the UX designer to take into account user preferences, noted in studies and UX tests. The iterative dimension is therefore decisive, assuming a great capacity for exchange and an unparalleled ability to change.

There are some key skills to become a good user interface designer:

  • He must be creative , be able to innovate, with excellent graphic design skills .
  • He must know how to work in a team and in a collaborative mode as we have seen. The quality of the collaboration with the UX Designer will be decisive in the success of the project. To do this, they must be able to use their deliverable to develop a user interface that meets the requirements highlighted in the previous UX phases.
  • Being a good communicator : knowing how to put forward your ideas and justify your choices, while demonstrating great flexibility . He will have to constantly adjust his screens, in the dialogue he maintains with the Designer UX, the stakeholders, and the technical teams.
  • He must be able to create and set up clear and useful screens that can be easily implemented by the technical team, supposing a real knowledge of the implications of his graphic choices.
  • He must be curious, have an excellent artistic and technical culture
  • He must be organized and a good project manager because he is involved in a complex, multi-actor production chain.
  • He must be familiar with software and applications in the graphics chain (the Adobe suite is a minimum, in particular Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe XD) and in the UX chain (Axure, Figma, Sketch, Invision, etc. as needed).
  • He must have a minimum knowledge of frontend languages ​​and scripts such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, etc.

What Are The Tasks And Missions of UI Designer?

Unlike the UX Designer in charge of ergonomics and user experience, the UI Designer focuses on the interface itself:

  • The main mission of the UI designer is to improve the user interface
  • It must make navigation more intuitive and more fluid
  • It is essential that he conceives the design while taking into consideration the codes of the brand identity .
  • It enhances the graphic and textual elements in order to balance the visual aspect
  • He must work on the accuracy of the graphic design, the fluidity of the elements, and the relevance of the animations.

Work on UI design cannot be dissociated from work on UX design, so it must:

  • Identify the challenges of the project
  • Analyze users to identify areas for improvement of the project.
  • Create mock-ups, first lines of the design.
  • Producing graphic models
  • Use user tests to make choices. It is also possible to use A / B testing to determine the most efficient version of the interface.

Become UI Designer: What Training?

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Most future UI designers who choose this path come from the field of interface design in the broad sense: web designers, webmasters, developers, project managers, marketing managers, etc. But certain younger profiles are attracted by both creative and rigorous dimensions of this profession.

Between standby and self-training

Before you can become a UI designer, you will have to acquire a practical knowledge of the fundamental principles of design such as color , balance and symmetry, contrast , typography , and graphic consistency . Proficiency in many software packages is required. The most used are Sketch , Adobe XD , Marvel , Figma , Invision , Photoshop , etc … But of course, all of this can be acquired through training.

Online training

Today, there are online training courses to better understand the principles of UI Design. This can be the first step. It should be remembered that monitoring and self-training are part of the job. These online courses provide great flexibility of access and a wide range of content to be always up to date and able to follow the latest innovations in this field.

Continuing or dual training

Today there are many continuing education or work-study programs . This is a solution that may be of interest to those looking for complete training on the fundamentals. Training centers have developed programs deploying in one or more years.

There is some good advice on the criteria to take into account to choose your training, but above all, a fairly critical analysis of the training provided at present. This evolves very quickly, some deficiencies identified at the time of producing this article may have been filled since.

Professional face-to-face training

For professionals already in position, looking for specialization, deepening of skills, or discovery of the profession, there are intensive training courses in the graphic design of interfaces .

Prospects And Opportunities

The job of UI designer is part of a chain that has become complex and specialized, the UX / UI Design chain. As we can see, the trend is towards specialization . There will always be a need for UX / UI Designer, but the needs will soon be felt in more specific segments of the UI, for which few CVs are currently available on the market.

There is therefore a great opportunity to train in this profession of UI designer.