How to Become a UI Designer- 2021 Guide
You might be curious as to why some websites and applications are easier than others to navigate. You may say thank you for the user interface (UI) design.
But what is the UI exactly and how does it influence how a person views a website? Let's discuss the fundamentals of UI design so that this innovative tech role can be better understood (and decide if you want to pursue a career in it).
What is UI design?
The field of designing user interfaces is UI design. The point of interaction a person has with an app, website, or software is the user interface. A UI Designer is a form of visual designer similar to graphic design and web design.
Now, what is the difference between a UI designer and a web designer? A UI Designer differs from a Web Designer because they concentrate on designing website interfaces, games, and other interactive items, while web designs concentrate solely on websites.
In a human-centered approach, UI designers build, similar to UX designers, prioritizing the needs of users first. The role of a UI Designer is to ensure that the user interface is beautiful and intuitive (that means a person can move through it easily without having to worry too hard about what they do). UI design also helps shape a brand's view of a consumer.
I have heard UX, is it also the same?
Not Really but they're related. If you've heard of UI as a discipline, chances are you've heard the word 'UX design' as well. To create cool mobile apps, blogs, and other digital goods, UX and UI designers work together. But it's also important to remember that UX and UI have a distinction.
User Experience (UX) architecture is about the overall digital or physical product experience a user has.UX focuses more on the larger picture, while UI concentrates more on visual information. Think of UX as the sensation, and UI as the presence. Since they work so closely together, having the words UI and UX used interchangeably is not unusual. The functions of the UX job and user interface design job are also merged into a single position often.
What does a user interface designer do?
Now that you have a basic understanding of what UI design is, let's talk about what a designer does. The development of the look of a website is the responsibility of a user interface designer. From the user's viewpoint, they are charged with creating a user interface. They might be given a particular design issue and asked to solve it. UI design's ultimate aim is to create an elegant user interface that is easy to understand while still being visually engaging.
A UI designer works on the tasks like:
- Competitive Look & Feel Study
- Build and maintain guides to styles
- Visual layout, including typography, keys, the palette of colours
- Built for interaction, including animation, interactivity, prototypes
- Implementing coherent branding through elements of design, design for the front-end
Is it a good time to become a UI designer?
There's no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year, and it's safe to say that, with a certain degree of trepidation, we're all into 2021. If you're considering a career change, you're most likely thinking if it's a good time to do it now. Above all, you want to ensure that your new industry can provide job security—especially amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Before looking at why and how to become a UI designer, let's first discuss whether UI designers are still in demand and how COVID-19 has had an influence on the industry.
Are UI designers in demand at present? How to Become a UI Designer?
We rely more than ever on digital goods and services, from online meeting tools to fitness tracking, from e-commerce sites to health and wellness apps, and everything else in between, in a world where social distance and remote work is the new standard. In part, user interface designers have developed the interactive interfaces that make up our everyday lives; the individuals who ensure that these products not only look fantastic but that they are also intuitive, open, and inclusive. Just by looking at the world around us, and the various interfaces, we communicate with daily, the need for UI designers is evident.
Any software or website takes a theme and carries theme and its all UI design elements forward to all of the platforms, be it web, desktop, or mobile. In 2021 to how to get into UI design, you will need to keep the following trends in mind:
- Sophisticated, large typography
- Geometrical structures
- Real-life images
- Brutalism in UI Design
- Bright Colors
- Colorful,blurred backgrounds
- Simplification of processes for UI
- The Glassmorphism
- 3D Artwork (yeah, still!)
1- Sophisticated large Typography
Large typography is among the most common web design trends at the moment. The larger the letters are, the better. Dramatic, lavish, attention-grabbing are extremely large typefaces with a considerable weight, and they certainly hold a wow-factor that can attract and win over most visitors. If you use them alone or in conjunction with picturesque graphics, they send assertive messages and express them in a loud way.
Designers typically avoid decorative fonts when it comes to making websites with oversized typefaces and goes with neutral and easy scripts instead. In reality, anywhere they want because there are no strict laws; they use them in headers, buttons, text.
Creativity knows no limits, and these amazing examples of broad web design typography will introduce you to some interesting stuff with big letters that you can accomplish:
- Jon Way Studio
- Thibaud Allie
- BASIC Moves
- Sam Phlix
- À Gauche de la Lune
- Van Holtz Co
- Safari Riot: Noise
- Editorial New
- Diego Funken
- Florian Monfrini
- Angela Milosevic
- 100 Days of Poetry
- USSR Design Almanac
- Corentin Bernadou
- Demo Festival
2- Geometrical Structures
You will use shapes and objects in a design tool of your choice, whether you are making a low-fidelity wireframe, or a fully finalized, beautiful UI design. To get familiar with shapes and their relationships, you can even use Keynote or Powerpoint, and then make the transition to Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD or others
By manipulating vector shapes, all currently available UI design tools work. That implies that everything you see is represented by numbers that define it. It also implies that without losing any quality, the object can be stretched and enlarged, simply making the numbers bigger and recreating it again.
If you intend on developing interfaces, be prepared that it will be about moving different rectangular objects around most of the time. In all the interfaces, rectangles are the most common shape (right before ellipses). The basic principle of UI design is to shift rectangles in just the correct way around.
3- Real-Life Images
Images are more than just decor; they can build or destroy the experience of a user. Each picture has a story to tell. It's easier if you know what you want to say before you start, just like it is with writing. Compelling images have a special ability to inspire the audience and engage them.
Users react quicker than text to visuals, so make sure that your content matches the supporting visuals. You should choose photos that have a clear association with the objectives of your product and ensure that they are important to the context. Soon, everyone in product design will be tired of drawings and 3D graphics, so real-life images are going to make a big comeback.
4- Brutalism in UI Design
In the sense that it not only embodies a counter-reaction to standardized graphic design in this case, but also expresses itself through a sense of roughness, exposed systems, and visible processes of thought, Web-brutalism is no different from brutalism.
Because of how unpolished they could look - much like the architectural movement - some would even consider some of its works "ugly" Some would suggest that the "extreme" flat design is this web-movement. Let's also bear in mind that the raw, "original" Web-Brutalism, UI wise, would directly disregard all the concepts of User-Oriented Design as a declaration and also as a gag for those of us with a geeky sense of humour.
The first (and only) move is, without thinking too much about how they fit together, to throw elements on the screen. Anyhow, who are you to describe hierarchy? For the spotlight, let each feature fight.
5- Bright Colors
Vibrant colours allow ample contrast to help improve readability and legibility. The elements of the opposite layout are distinguishable and visible. High colour contrast levels, however, do not always work well. If the material of the copy and the background colours overlap too much, the text would be hard to read or scan. That's why it is recommended for designers to create a mild contrast level and to add high contrasting colours only to highlight elements.
6- Colorful Blurred Backgrounds
There is a reason why GUI designers integrate shadows into their designs, helping to create visual interface indications that tell human brains what elements of the user interface they are looking at. It only makes the UI look pleasurable to watch. The designs using blurred backgrounds look beautifully organic, inviting, and humid.
Nothing is more aesthetically pleasing than a plain, minimal, and legible UI. Not only should details be visualized with suitable types, but the position on the interface often plays a critical role. The devices we have to work with come with size restrictions, so it is important to be aware of how elements and interactions can be arranged. We should strive to take advantage of what users already see nowadays. For instance, having a vertical layout means having the first section as large as the screen size, which will have a higher priority compared to the rest of the view, because the user must first go through another interaction to reach the rest of the page. This is called the fold above.
8- Simplification of processes for UI
It may sound simple to simplify things, but when you sit down and think about it, every bit in your UI seems important. So how to simplify? Let us keep the following things in mind:
a- Know the context- UI design rule 101, as a refresher, make sure that you know who your customers are, how they are going to use the product, and what they are trying to accomplish so that you can find out how best to simplify the product to their needs
b- Don't feel like everything has to be over-simplified- some products don't have to be simple. Instead, work on making them as user-friendly as possible.
c- Be able to iterate- it's easy to get correct and it's going to take time and several iterations. Keep going back to initial research to ensure that you have not gone off-piste and use consumer research to ensure that by over-simplification the original concept has not been lost.
9- The Glassmorphism
Have you heard of Glassmorphism, the newest craze? (Neuomorphism is not cool anymore, that's right)."It is the newest UI trend, mostly based on an effect called background blur, and it generates the look and feels of elements "through the glass.
It was introduced in Windows Vista, then in iOS7 later, but it seems like it's here to remain in the latest, refreshed form for a while! Glassmorphism is a term used on top of colourful backgrounds to describe UI design that emphasizes light or dark artifacts. The objects are positioned with a background blur that helps the background to shine through, giving it the appearance of frosted glass.
10- 3D Artwork (yeah, still!)
3D imagery is here to stay, particularly as it becomes easier and easier to build anything in 3D for daily UI designers! As the main key visuals, 3D is often commonly used in full-screen animations. The 3D renders also look photorealistic, which is a major benefit for the design of the user interface. Graphics of that sort can save the game in cases where photo content you need is difficult to get or quite costly. It is eye-catching and users will never pass by. If you need to set the futuristic vibes, nothing can help better.
You don’t need to use all these trends in one website or app and they are in no particular order. These are the trends that are there to stay in 2021 in UI design.
What Are The Tools For UI Design
In UI design, we need prototyping, wireframing or mocking tools so that we can represent our user interface idea in from of the intended user. Let us see what tools we can use for these purposes.
- Adobe XD
Balsamiq is an excellent wireframe tool based on low-fidelity. A hand-drawn and cartoonistic style of presenting elements has been deliberately chosen by Balsamiq. This takes the complexity out of the design and forces you to concentrate on element placement. "You won't get the opportunity to create a full-fleshed mock-up "accidentally.
Available on Platforms: Windows, Web (Cloud), macOS
Pricing: starting at 9$ per month.
2- Adobe XD
In the last 3 years, the tool has seen a great evolution. Nowadays, it has a strong collaboration feature that helps you to collaboratively exchange documents and work.XD is a solid prototyping tool that enables you to build elements between them and animate transitions (micro-interactions). As of today, a huge drawback: you and your colleagues can't work on the same paper simultaneously.
Available on Platforms: macOS & Windows
Pricing: Paid plans, per user, start at $9.99 per month. XD has a generous free plan
Figma is a prototyping platform with a collaboration facility. Figma's greatest thing is the opportunity to co-edit live with your peers. Besides that, the tool has a nice interface that allows elements, animations, and code to be inserted to construct prototypes of high fidelity.
Available on Platforms: macOS & Windows. For mirror designs, Figma also provides a smartphone app.
Pricing: Beginning at $12 per publisher, per month
The OG(Original Gangster in case you are wondering) of element-based digital design is Sketch. One of the reasons why Adobe published XD was its increase in market share. Sketch has a clean and easy-to-use GUI that will make making nice-looking mock-ups easy for you. Collaboration is a problem, however, especially because Sketch is only available on macOS.
Available on Platform: macOS
Pricing: starts at $99 a year
Moqups is another trustworthy option for versatile drag and drop UI, and is known as a wireframing method for flows of interaction design. Icons and photos can be put into projects by developers from their built-in library and personal directories. In Moqups, a specific Diagram tool enables users to make logical markups on the wireframe to help define where connections and interactions are going to live, or even how the UX logic would flow within the architecture of the app.
Moqups provides integration with various platforms such as iOS, Android, Mobile, macOS, and Windows. Stencil kits, trendy font sets, structured pages, and more make Moqups a favourite tool for developers.
Available on Platform: Web
Pricing: starts at $16 per month and a free plan with limitations
Marvel is an all-in-one framework for design. The easy-to-use method enables developers to switch easily from the stage of the concept to the stage of the wireframe. It helps to build a physical wireframe from an intangible concept in the early stages of mobile app growth. For the Web, Android, iOS, Apple TV, and even Apple Watch, the famous wireframing tool has premade templates. You can easily drag-and-drop various simple wireframe assets for use. To streamline the workflow, it also enables quick integration of the platform with apps such as Slack, Dropbox, and Confluence.
Available on Platforms: Web, Android, iOS. Marvel also provides a smartphone app and Apple Watch app as well.
Pricing: Free and Beginning at $8 per user, per month
Proto.io is a browser-based prototyping platform that brings out the elegance of stellar results in static designs and wireframes. Platforms such as Mac and Windows support are supported by the instrument. When dealing with complex logic and structure, developers gain high-fidelity interaction experience. The platform caters to checking user experience. It lets developers build interactive wireframes as a wireframing method, as well as evaluate how users interact with the wireframes to gain early user feedback. It comes with special Dropbox synchronization and Sketch import.
Available on Platforms: Web
Pricing: 15 days trial and Beginning at $24 per user, per month 5 projects
Now that you know that what are the trends and what tools you should learn, you can start by picking up good UI design tutorials at any of the online learning apps like Coursera or Udemy. To pick up some good UI designer skills I would recommend learning from LearnUI.
Other than that try analyzing existing websites and picking the above-described trends out of them or try thinking of an idea of a simple page, for example, a very simple landing page of a music concert in your city. How are you going to design that? Will that be minimalistic or blasted with colours?
If you need more help in shaping your path of learning UI design further, read the next part of this blog.