Recently, I’ve been getting a number of inquiries along these lines:
- How do I learn more about UI/UX?
- I want to learn more about design because I’m a programmer, marketing manager, and social media strategist. How do I begin?
- How can you distinguish between good and bad design?
- What qualifications do designers need to have?
“Where do I begin?”
This inquiry reminds me of the beginning of my professional career. I started my first design job seven years ago today. Back then, I used Windows, so I’m using an iMac and sitting in front of a blank Photoshop file. I’m attempting to understand what my manager just told me. I don’t know where to begin. Blank.
I had recently earned a Multimedia degree from college before getting hired for that position. Why, therefore, was it that I had no design knowledge?
The truth is that universities don’t instruct us on usable design. on most university classes, we are only given theoretical information, with occasional instruction on how to use design software like Adobe Suite. However, it is still far short of what is needed.
The only way to improve as a designer is through independent practice and learning.
I started self-educating 7 years ago, and now I teach design and speak at conferences throughout the world.
The first thing you should know is:
You don’t have to be born with it.
We aren’t magical unicorn beings with innate artistic talent who were created to be designers. Learned design.
In design, issues are resolved. It entails consistently detecting problems and developing solutions for them.
There are numerous disciplines within the design, including information architecture, interaction design, product design, graphic design, and user experience. Decide which field of study most appeals to you to start.
Let’s concentrate on the most prevalent kind for the time being: a designer who combines interface and user experience, or UI/UX.
1. Become familiar with UI principles.
You must first learn certain design principles before you can actually practice design. Your ability to enter the design industry and begin thinking “creatively” will come from this. You will gain knowledge of the psychological aspects of design, including why something may appear good or bad.
Here are some fundamental ideas that you ought to be aware of.
Color terminology, principles, and color psychology.
Fundamentals of design: color
Assymetry and symmetry.
Fundamentals of design: Balance
Using contrast to structure data, establish hierarchy, and narrow the focus.
Fundamentals of design: contrast
Selecting readable typefaces and formatting text for the web.
10 Readability and Web Typography Principles
Here is where the most crucial rule—creating designs that are simple and easy to use—begins.
Principle of design: Consistency
Here are some excellent dos and don’ts for UI design.
2. Get to know the innovative UX process.
Knowing the creative process is the next step. Every creative individual goes through a specific process for UI/UX design.
The Double Diamond is an easy-to-understand diagram of the design process that is divided into four separate stages: discover, define, develop, and deliver.
The project has begun at this point. Designers begin their study, get inspiration, and gather ideas.
Designers define an idea culled from the Discover stage during this stage, which is called definition. A concise creative brief is produced as a result.
Here, ideas or solutions are developed, tested, and iterated upon in a prototype form. Design professionals can improve and hone their concepts by using this trial-and-error method.
The delivery phase, where the final project is finished, created, and launched, is the last stage.
Check out my article on how to use Figma to streamline your UI/UX workflow.
3. Sharpen your design sense
Understanding design concepts is important, but sometimes it’s not enough; you also need to develop your eye to recognize excellent and bad design as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various designs.
The best approach to develop your design eye is through inspiration.
Know that the only way to be creative is through research before opening a blank canvas and staring at it for 30 minutes. Sometimes the mind is unable to come up with ideas on its own; instead, you must first study existing designs before coming up with your own, particularly if you are just starting out.
So browse Dribbble to see what other designers are creating, and whenever you find anything appealing or that relates to your project, save it in your notes and highlight what you like about it. You can even capture screenshots. You’ll have a selection of motivational designs to choose from in this manner.
Some of my favorite places to find inspiration are listed below:
- onepagelove.com Examples of one-page websites for inspiration.
- awwwards.com website for awards that highlights design talent.
- dribbble.com a group of designers who exchange work.
- pttrns.com a group of design patterns for mobile devices.
- uimovement.com Every day, the best UI design ideas.
4. Consistently read articles about design
The greatest way for us to familiarize ourselves with design is to read a few articles every day.
Make a habit of regularly reading design blogs and news. We can find out about new trends, use cases, and lessons from the millions of articles that are available online.
Finding them is all we need to do. There is nothing better than picking up knowledge from the mistakes of others.
Therefore, begin each day with a cup of coffee and a few motivational articles from Smashing Magazine or Medium. Your mind will become more open and more creative later in the day if you learn something new in the morning.
Then, throughout the course of the day, take a few breaks to read a little bit more. Breaking up your work is crucial for creativity, especially when you’re feeling blocked and unproductive. Add a favorite website to your browser’s favorites list or sign up for a design newsletter.
Here are some of my preferred design blogs and news sites:
5. Create fictitious projects.
Perfectionism is attained via practice. And we all know that without experience, it’s impossible to find clients or jobs. But we can’t practice if we don’t have a job or tasks, right?
But by working on our own projects and making fictitious ones for pleasure, we can escape this pattern! It’s everywhere on Dribbble.
Spend some time redesigning a website or app that you already use. Anything that you think would be better could be used. You might even create your own app concept.
You can use this to practice design and create your portfolio.
6. Get familiar with the newest web design tools.
There are many different design tools available, but you don’t need to be familiar with them all. Learn about the top options available, select your favorites, and keep up with the newest features and trends.
The most recent tools I utilize in my design process are listed below:
An interface design sketch
Using Figma for group interface design
Low fidelity wireframing with Balsamiq
Designing and developing interfaces using Adobe XD
Interactive mockups using the Marvel app
App called Invision for cooperation and prototyping
7. Serve as a mentor and be a mentor.
Finding a design mentor or friend who is eager to assist is another fantastic way to learn design. You can learn more quickly with their assistance.
The designer would assess your work and, whenever feasible, provide feedback. It resembles a shortcut. Additionally, they would impart to you advice and tricks they had picked up along the way. So feel free to email a designer, ask them questions, and voice your concerns.
I learnt more than I taught during the few years I spent teaching design and front-end. You can mentor or instruct someone in design when you’re ready to start interacting with people about it. You will gain a new perspective on it and receive feedback and inquiries that you might not have considered otherwise.
Your mind will constantly be in “brainstorm” mode when you discuss about design with other people, which will cause you to become more and more interested in it.