What is user interface (UI) ? Every day we work with computers, mobile devices and other machines. And interact with them. You can do anything you want by only a few taps – order food, make an order on online store, communicate with your friends in socials or find new people to get acquainted. And all this make you use interfaces. So there must be people who think how to design these interfaces and make it easy in use.
User interface design (UI design), user interface engineering is a design for machines and software. It is usually made for computers, mobile devices, other electronic devices and is based on user experience. The main goals are to make the process of use these machines and software more comfortable and easy for the user. That is why people who make UI/UX design must understand the needs of user.
It depends on the project but in general there are also some stages of UI process:
- understanding the problem which you need to solve by designing the interface;
- task analysis;
- gathering and analysis of functionally requirements;
- information architecture where UI/UX designer must create the full process stages and made it logical altogether, it is called information flow;
- prototyping, the stage of UI design which helps to visualize the information flow. Usually it is wire-frames which you can make on paper or in special programs. You may read about prototyping resources in my next articles;
- usability inspection which is evaluated by special person not the ready prototypes, usually can’t be tested on common users;
- usability testing – the process of testing on real user;
- graphic user interface design (GUI design) – actual look and feel design of the final graphical interface.
There are a lot of types of user interface design (UI design) but I will tell about that which are connected with computers.
- Graphic interface of user (GUI). User does operations with the help of devices such as computer keyboard and mouse and the device gives opportunity to see it on the monitor of computer.
- Administrative web interfaces. They are used for work with servers and remote computers. Usually it is called control panel.
- Touch screens. These are displays which accept input after fingers or stylus taps on the screen. They are used for mobile devices, street machines of different types etc.
UI design is the creation of interface which gives the best simple pleasant way of interaction of user and product. The most time during the creation of interface is dedicated to user reaction and behavior, which helps to make decisions according to analyzed data. UI design is a job because you do something beautiful, useful and concrete using your knowledge and different methods of work. In their work most designers use such programs and instruments as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Fireworks, Cinema 4D, ZBrush and ordinary pen and paper. But if you want to become a good designer you should understand what is UX design. You can read about UX design in my next article because it is not the same as UI design. Coming soon.
Written by Julia Bondarenko.