Explorations in UI/UX design: The link between technology & art | The Advertiser – Cessnock
As humanity continues to shape digital technologies to behave as an extension of their own almost instinctive thought processes, user interface design has evolved from a scientific process filled with linear pathways to a multi-dimensional art. more creative and perhaps even intuitive. full form.
Admittedly, not all UX designers will easily refer to UI or UX design as an “art form”, particularly because there is a fair amount of behavioral psychology that goes into producing intuitive user interfaces.
Even so, there is no denying that this branch of technology design requires as much imagination and “outside the box” thinking as it requires critical thinking.
But how does UX differ from UI, and is it fair to call one avenue more technical or artistic than the other? We’ll take a closer look at these two interrelated disciplines to help Australian students learn how best to get started when starting a career in UX or UI design.
The role of the UX designer
While UI design is limited to the creation of two-dimensional or purely digital products, UX (or “user experience”) can involve the development of both physical and digital creations.
Whether you are building a physical product or a digital interface, UX design projects are naturally concerned with maintaining a user-centric approach or ‘human first approach’ to the design process.
This user-oriented process is what enables UX designers to produce structural design solutions that actively respond to user needs and address common user issues that have been observed in previous implementations.
Simply put, it is the responsibility of the UX designer to use design theories in accordance with historical data and the results of user testing and prototyping to create the best possible technology solution to meet a set of defined user needs.
The preliminary stages of any UX design project will always involve the process of UX mapping. The nature of UX mapping typically requires UX designers to be strong spatial thinkers as well, with an ability to map and follow a wide selection of “pathways”.
As UX design also often involves connecting pre-existing pathways to sections of an interface under development, UX designers are also expected to think abstractly on a regular basis.
If you have the skills we outlined above and are passionate about the technical side of the design process, chances are you have what it takes to be a talented UX designer.
Get started in user interface design and development
But what if you’re more passionate about the aesthetics of interactive elements than the formatting and functionality of those elements? Well, you’ll probably be more aligned with UI design than the highly technical process of UX design.
UI design (or “user interface”) is the yin of the yang of UX. The two processes work together so that the user interfaces are very user-friendly, both in terms of their structure and their presentation.
That being said, UI design involves a lot more than just fine-tuning color palettes. There are also elements of strategy behind good UI design, with UI designers also being responsible for determining where it is best to include visual elements to enhance or draw the user’s attention to specific functions.
For example, mobile apps with swiping mechanisms are likely to include a small animation to let users know they can swipe between pages. But what happens when a user swipes to the “end” of a side menu?
And what about what happens when users interact incorrectly with others navigation styles? The UI designers are actually the ones deciding here. Any animations or small responsive actions created by your interactions with an app are likely to have been created by UI designers.
As UI designers are concerned with the design of intuitive responses, typography, button design, images and all other visual elements of a user interface, UI design is usually seen as a more ‘straight’ approach to digital design.
And while UI design is arguably less technical than UX, this design discipline still has its fair share of theory, including explorations in the field of behavioral psychology.
The Art of Problem Solving in UX/UI Design
Believe it or not, the way we interact with our digital interfaces says more about the human brain than our collective design thinking abilities.
UX and UI design principles were actually developed to revolve around user behavior versus user expectations, which is precisely why some user interfaces can feel like an extension of your mind and your thinking processes.
The whole mechanism of swiping down to descend on a screen and vice versa is in itself a natural response that the majority of human brains are likely to have.
At the same time, designing according to behavioral theories can also prompt users to perform certain actions both inside and around a user interface. A good example here is an app using emotive language or images to elicit a sympathetic response from users, or sending notifications with rhetorical questions or calls to action to inspire user engagement.
This is precisely why many UX and UI designers believe that the interface design process is much more scientific than it is artistic. And to be fair, they’re not wrong here either.
Even so, there is an undeniable level of artistry in the way UX and UI designers solve user problems. Finding the most novel and ever-intuitive ways to meet a user need or inspire a desired user interaction requires creative thinking as well as critical thinking, which is why UX and UI design is always design. digital rather than ‘development’.
How to get started in UX & UI
If human-centered design approaches sound like a fascinating field of study to you, we strongly encourage you to enroll in a UX or UI design course. There are an abundance of UI/UX courses available for students to learn, including on-campus and online programs.
In addition to enrolling in tertiary courses, students can also take full advantage of all the physical and digital learning resources available to them.
There are a growing number of UX design blogs, digital magazines, and online forums accessible all over the world for students to self-study while pursuing academic and career opportunities.
Since user interface and experience design are two fairly young disciplines that are developing rapidly alongside digital transformation of global industries, there really has never been a better time than now to start learning these highly employable and highly scalable cross-disciplinary skills.