WHY BECOME A UI DESIGNER?
The UI designer is essential to the creation of a digital interface. It guarantees a good user experience thanks to fluid navigation, consistency in the information architecture and an appropriate design. So what is its role, and what are the prerequisites for the profession of UI Designer?
WHAT IS UI DESIGN?
UI Design works on the visual part of user interfaces. This can relate to a mobile application, a website, a product or any interactive screen on a device. It is the meeting point between an interface and users, but above all, between a brand and its customers.
A good UI requires an ergonomic design, allowing users to achieve their goals. Here are the criteria for optimal ergonomics:
BE EASILY ACCESSIBLE
The UI design must allow all users, regardless of their constraints (geographical, material or physical), to quickly access your interface.
Good accessibility requires HMI interfaces that give access to all users. This also applies to people with disabilities.
HAVE CLEAR NAVIGATION
Fluid navigation is essential for building natural communication between the user and your interface. The design of an effective navigation system calls upon interaction and information design principles. This straightforward navigation requires the creation of shortcuts, menus and links that are both aesthetic and functional.
MAKE THE DESIGN IMPACTFUL
A graphic design must arouse an emotion in the user in the order of trust or satisfaction. This design combines several criteria:
- content hierarchy
The design aims to entice users to explore your interface more deeply. With easy and uncluttered navigation, this promotes user loyalty and consolidates their commitment.
CREATE A COHERENT INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
It is necessary to pay attention to the hierarchy of contents. The goal is to structure the information to make it easy for all users. This is key to creating a clean design and easier interaction with the digital system.
Information architecture is fundamental in how users navigate the site or application. In this way, choose a structure that adapts to your field of activity, and that is known to your users.
MAKE AN INTERACTION DESIGN
The purpose of so-called “interaction” design is to design an interface with a natural interaction between a human being and the site or application. This brings user-friendliness to the digital interface and allows users to achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.
This type of design includes several dimensions, such as:
- catchy labels
- entertaining animations
- qualitative images
Today, thinking “mobile first” is essential when creating a digital interface. This must be optimized and adapted for all mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.). The UI Designer must take this criterion into account when creating an interface.
This criterion is all the more important because it allows Google to reference a site or a mobile application better.
UI DESIGNER: A PROFESSION OF THE FUTURE
THE ROLE OF THE UI DESIGNER AND ITS MAIN MISSIONS
Let’s get to the heart of the matter, what does a UI Designer do? He ensures that the digital interface is consistent, easy to use, and aligned with brand objectives and user expectations.
By becoming a user interface designer, you will have a multidisciplinary job with several hats: the visual, emotional, psychological aspects… Indeed, you will need to understand how each element works and creates a good user experience. You will need to know user expectations through extensive research and design the interface accordingly.
The job of a UI Designer includes several steps in the creation of an interface:
Make a graphics benchmark.
The graphic benchmark makes it possible to centralize the best practices, the most relevant elements and all the design novelties to develop the most adapted, modern interface corresponding to the criteria of the market. For this, the UI designer must constantly monitor trends in digital interfaces.
Set visual guidelines
The role of the UI designer is to design all the pages of an interface and to ensure the consistency between each visual with the user journey defined by the UX designer. Every day, he works on the design of the graphic elements, the interactions and the organization of the pages. In general, he creates a visual library to ensure the consistency of the brand image.
Create prototypes and wireframes.
He will create prototypes and models for the developers in a team with the UX designer. Using these wireframes, they can make a functional design to help users find what they want on the interface.
Optimize UI continuously
The role of the UI designer is to constantly test the interface with users to ensure the proper functioning and meaning of each element. If the feedback is negative, he must adjust his choices.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED QUALITIES?
To become a good UI Designer, you will learn by practising and making mistakes. Many human qualities are required, among them:
- Curiosity, to always look for the latest trends
- Creativity, to offer an adapted and modern design
- Rigour and organization to keep commitments on time
- Empathy, to better understand the user
- Team spirit, to better communicate with all stakeholders
SKILLS OF A UI DESIGNER
A good UI Designer should:
Know the web and applications to create modern interfaces that are easy to use and meet the habits and needs of users. This knowledge will allow him to integrate graphic elements and animate them.
Know how to master computer and graphic design tools such as the Adobe suite or even Figma for prototyping.
Know good elements of psychology and sociology to identify the targeted users best. This will allow the UI Designer to adapt UI choices based on user behaviours.
Have a developed sense of creativity to create unique and attractive digital interfaces that will arouse positive emotions in users.
HOW TO BECOME A UI DESIGNER?
Just like for the profession of UX Designer, there is no typical profile or studies devoted to this profession. It is necessary to highlight the skills and soft skills that you already have.
Several paths are available to you to become a UI Designer; you can choose to do a BTS, a DUT or a license in digital engineering, multimedia, graphic design, webdesign, web marketing, communication or even applied arts.
The UI Designer, or interface designer for users, comes from a wide variety of training. Business, tech or even marketing profiles can learn the necessary additional skills.
Indeed, in addition to design skills, UI Designers must, above all, know how to work in a team, in particular in pairs with a UX Designer, understand users’ emotions and be creative in the design of an interface.
WHY TAKE A COURSE IN UI DESIGN?
There are some training courses online or in centres dedicated to UI Design and the challenges of this profession. These pieces of training require basics in the field mentioned above and will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge of the area.
They will teach you:
- The creation of an automatic and faithful visual journey of the user’s needs
- The development of a coherent design between all interfaces
- Collaboration with a multidisciplinary team bringing together UI and UX designers, web developers, and communicators…
- Prioritization of content to identify unnecessary or missing content
- The development of interactive models and prototypes
- Familiarization with the principles of mobile navigation and the constraints that this generates
- The choice of colours, icons and typography according to brand image and readability on digital interfaces
- Emotional design awareness that puts user emotions at the centre of the experience
UI DESIGNER AND UX DESIGNER, COMPLEMENTARY?
The professions of UI and UX designers often need clarification. However, there is a real difference.
Unlike UX designers, who focus on ergonomics and user experience, UI designers focus on digital interface design. The objective of UI Design is to meet the visual needs of users by improving the work of organizing content designed by UX.
The two have very distinct roles, although they are complementary: we first work on the user experience, and to best meet their needs, we design the digital interface.
UI DESIGNER VS WEB DESIGNER
The job of the UI Designer is very different from the role of the web designer.
The web designer puts his creativity and technique at the service of designing layouts that reflect a brand’s image. Its mission is to create the graphic charter for the pages of a website and the design of web interfaces, unlike the UI Designer, which works on a user-centric approach. Its mission is to define the needs and behaviours of users to align the interface with their expectations.