The digital world is increasingly user-centered, and so are its products’ designs. The average user won’t bother attempting to figure out an app or site with poor software architecture, so it’s up to UX and UI designers to create products that are intuitive and user-friendly. This puts a lot of pressure on having excellent front-end design. What exactly goes into creating a good user interface design? Our tech-forward company has software development and web design in Knoxville down to a science. Let’s review the 4 easy steps for creating excellent user interface design.
Step 1: Research Your Front-End Design Concepts
The first step for most projects is understanding exactly what is needed for completion. UI design is no different. This phase of the front-end design process includes gathering all necessary requirements. The necessary requirements are a set of unique features that will change based on the project. In general, however, there are similar actions designers will take to compile their list of necessary requirements.
Conferring With Stakeholders
Designers will first get a clear idea of what the stakeholders, or invested parties, are expecting from the design. Although this vision may change as further research is collected, it’s a good starting point to understand what the current design vision is. It’s important that the entire team is on the same page. Communication will be essential as any new information influences design decisions and project directionality.
Evaluating the Competition
Examining the competitors’ techniques can help define any current problem-spaces in the project’s niche. Designers can make note of any user-reported pain points and view real–time applications of design work to see what works and what doesn’t. In this way, the competitors’ websites or applications can be treated similar to prototypes. For example, web design in Knoxville, TN should include a review of other local businesses that advertise similar services or products.
Researching the User
Conducting proper research of the target user will help eliminate any preconceived notions. Sometimes, stakeholders can hyper-fixate on an idea or vision in their mind that doesn’t necessarily cater to the target audience or best UI design practices. It might be an excellent design, but it could potentially be impractical or useless for the future users. Researching and interviewing target users will give a clearer vision of what they value in a website or application. Designers can distinctly identify key features or solutions that the users are wanting in a new design. For example, any web design for Knoxville residents should survey the locals to understand their specific set of needs.
Making a User Persona
User personas are an integral part of the software architecture process. They serve as models for the target user (based on the gathered research and insights). The front-end design team needs models for their software, and creating a model for their user is just another way to keep designers on track for the best design possible. Having a user persona to reference will keep the target audience in mind during the remaining steps of the process. If any questions arise on whether a feature is useful or necessary, designers may reference their user persona to understand whether the modeled user would find the feature as an asset or as unnecessary.
Step 2: Time to Design
Once UI professionals have compiled their research, it’s time to analyze the findings and begin designing. Typically, the design phase will include 2 steps: wireframes and prototypes.
Wireframing is an integral portion of the design process. Designers create these outlines to sketch rough drafts of the overall design concept. These low-fidelity drafts evolve after testing and feedback, and eventually grow into highly detailed mockups of a final design. The completed wireframe will act as a screenshot of the product. Software architecture teams use wireframes as the basis for prototypes.
Prototypes are one of the most helpful resources when evaluating UI design. They function as low-level versions of what the final product will be. Designers will usually create a couple of prototypes based on the best wireframes. They use these prototypes to simulate higher functioning depictions of their design concepts and ideas prior to development. This makes it easier and less expensive to fix any bugs prior to the implementation phase.
Step 3: Test Your Product
UI design can involve testing at any phase– the more testing, the better. The most mandatory testing, however, is prior to product implementation. After fixing any issues made apparent in the prototyping phase, it’s time to further vet the product’s software architecture through actual user testing. Having actual users evaluate the product will give designers a better idea of usability, functionality, and practicality. Designers can then implement any feedback and fixes prior to launching the product.
Step 4: Implement Your Final Front-End Design
The final step in the user interface design process is implementing the design. The front-end design team works in close collaboration to create a final product from the design vision. Developers will work meticulously with UI designers to implement each and every minute detail. After any final quality checks and several functional assessments, the product will be widely available for use.
A Helping Hand for UI Design
The 4-step process for UI design is easily broken down, but implementing them is a different story. Sometimes it’s best to have an expert on your side—and that’s where our 245TECH team comes in. We strive to make the tech side of your business more accessible, and our front-end design team will gladly consult on any projects you’re considering or need extra help with. Give your next design a boost by reaching out to us at (865) 465-4040.