User-interface Design (UI)

User-interface Design or ‘UI’ as it is commonly know is a term not always easily defined. It’s an all-encompassing title that includes the likes of wireframing, interaction design, and visual design. Generally it focuses on the execution of high-fidelity, full colour visual design apposed to research and strategy or information architecture.

Banner image that represents user-interface design

Creating effective user-interfaces

The overarching objective of the user-interface is to convey information for people to understand. Although to better understand it can be broken down into the following things:

  • Typography
  • Symbols
  • Icons
  • Animation and interaction
  • Colour
  • Imagery
  • A combination of best practice, brand influences, and UI principles should be combined to create considered user-interfaces for both websites and apps. It’s best not to jump straight into the interface design, but instead complete research and strategy, information architecture, user journey mapping, wirefrmaing and prototyping phases. Once to the stage of mutually agreed and tested wireframes, you can proceed with the user-interface design, designing all the patterns, components and elements within a website or application.


    What to expect from a good user-interface Designer?

    Technical understanding

    Good user-interface design requires a good technical understanding of HTML/CSS/javascript, and responsive design. To separate the design from the technical restraints and digital environment is a big mistake, and may result in interfaces that simply aren’t buildable, heavily bugged or fail to perform well.

    Understanding of brand

    It’s also important the designer understands the wider values, image, identity and guidelines of the brand. These will influence and effect the user-interface design and user-interface designers are often best paired with a creative/brand designer or creative director.

    Understanding of research, strategy and wireframing

    While user-interface design is a well respected and difficult task in itself. All other research and experimental stages that lead up to the interface’s creation should heavily influence and near enough dictate the final user-interface.

    Read about UI Design Toolkits >

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