Whenever I start a new ui project be it for a client or for myself I always ask myself a question. What sort of tone should I set for this project. The obvious answer is that I should go and research the industry that I’m looking to create for.
I look at various websites for inspiration, competitors, awwwards.com, dribbble, behance etc… This allows me to form an idea of what it is I am looking for and get a possible feel as to what my client would like me to create for them.
If I am creating for myself I feel like I have the opportunity to go and create something I would normally not be able to do so. If it is a iOS design then I can push myself in terms of what I can do and explore new areas in which I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
The steps I go through are:
This is the most crucial part of a project. It allows me to look at what others have created and try out a different mobile design patterns. Looking for stylish UI inspiration generally involves me having to go onto various websites and creating a mood board or ideas and features that have really caught my eye and can work well integrated into my own design project.
This stage I end up going through a lot of dotted paper. Concepts can be done in many different ways but I want it to be right for the end users of the product. I don’t want it to lead them to a dead end and not be engaging enough. Then there is also to take into account what it would look like stylistically – which if you’ve worked with someone else’s wireframes you know how hard it can be to re-jig things around because they missed off crucial details due to the fact they aren’t specialised in UX design. If I can be involved in the early UX stages of the design the entire project seems to benefit as a whole as I am briefed in from start to sign off.
Once the wireframes have been agreed to and signed off then we can move to the next step of creating the design.
This I find to be the most fun part of the process since it means I can create the user centred experience for end user. Including the interactions, transitions and the overall look and feel to the design. This stage doesn’t generally take as long as the research or wireframing since by the end of those 2 steps I already have a very good idea as to how the project should shape out, if it’s a personal project then there is a lot less back and forth with the designs.
4. Sign Off
After the designs have been signed off it goes in either two directions, one it goes into my folder for me to create a prototype mockup for myself as a possible idea I can pitch in the future. Or I hand over the designs to a developer and allow them to start the front end design. I make sure to walk them through how I want the transitions to work so we don’t end up mis-communicating on this area.
5. Finished Product
As the title says, we are left with a finished product that the client is happy with. Or I myself am happy with what the final design looks like.
I’d like to eventually get involved in more of the UX side of design in the future so I can improve my work process and get a more rounded experience.