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What is User Interface Design and Development?


Before we start talking about the development of a graphical user interface, let's clarify just in case what it is.

Interface - a common border between two functional objects, the requirements for which are determined by the standard; a set of tools, methods and rules of interaction (management, control, etc.) between the elements of the system. This is an exact, but boring definition. In other words, and more interesting: the user interface (UI) is the way you perform a task with a product, namely the actions you perform and what you get in response.

In everyday life, we constantly face interfaces. These are social networking sites, the controls in the car, and the remote control for the TV, and the voice control of the smart home, and the button bar in the elevator. So we use one product to manage another product. But let's not list all the phenomena in our life, but talk directly about web services and applications and how to make them user-friendly

Why do we need UI?


We figured out what the user interface is, but it is not yet clear how much we need it and whether it is worth spending money on its development and design. Therefore, for a moment, let’s back to the elevators.

The elevator is convenient. It allows you to reach the upper floors with a minimum of time and physical input. But what would be the use of it if we could not easily open it, choose a floor and, if necessary, stop ahead of time? All of the above is feasible, but in what way? Will the lever control allow the passenger to make the necessary actions or will it be more reasonable to use the button control? Here an important point appears: which elevator control interface to choose.

Modern web services and systems radically change the work of people. There are, for example, control systems of theatrical mechanisms that simplify work with electronic equipment, depriving them of the need to be permanently with the equipment. But it is unlikely that the work will be simplified if such systems have too complex interface.

It turns out that professional user interface design not only solves our problem of interaction with the application, but also makes this interaction as convenient as possible. It is important for us to have an interface that allows, with a smaller amount of effort, to become familiar with the capabilities of the application and understand the principles of working with it.

Visual Design Services


So that we have no problems with using any application, smart people visualize its functionality in the form of understandable elements, and behind this visualization lies the whole layer of UX / UI-design.

The line between UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) is very thin, but if you look at it, it becomes clear that UX helps to understand the user. In UX-design, there is more of a psychological aspect than a technological one. UX examines the user: how the user lives, what he thinks, how and what he does and what surrounds him. The visual designer is given the task of helping an ordinary person easily deal with his/her software product and at the same time get satisfaction from working with it.

And to understand the user is very important. No one wants to fill out twenty form fields for registering on the site or flick through fifteen tabs before getting to the desired function. The user should not be forced to interact with the program for longer than is absolutely necessary to solve a particular problem.

This is a real problem that the designer must solve, and we will take a closer look at the stages of solving this problem.

Concept

First we should find out the elements of the future interface. To do this, we define the task, examine the subject area, audience and how it uses the product.


Create UI mockup

This stage allows to quickly understand the vision of the client and make a lot of changes before the development of ui design of website or mobile app interface. We outline the location of buttons, forms and other necessary elements, and only then we select a color palette, fonts, images, transforming all this into a convenient and beautiful layout. That is, we start with the warframe (the layout of the elements on the page), and finish with the creation of a beautiful picture from this plan. In the case of developing applications for Android and iOS, the designer’s work is facilitated by guidelines - the rules of design and layout of interface elements, UX / UI regulations, which were created directly by design experts from Google and Apple.


Structure approval

The customer approves the developed structure and user scenarios, and the developer moves on. This step allows you to exclude future changes or make them minor. If the structure loses points in logic or the design will require global processing, it will not benefit the project.


UI style selection

When choosing an interface style, you should take into account current trends in design, adaptability, time to develop and implement a design, and many other equally important points. In any web service or application, the design helps the user to solve his immediate problem, so non-standard chips and bright colors fade into the background.

Style matching

Finally, the customer can be shown the version of the design developed by us, justifying style decisions at the same time. At this stage, we process any comments of the client, because our work is aimed at coming to a mutual solution. When the style is chosen, the designer draws a layout, based on the rules of guidelines and corporate style of the client. Finally, we get a comfortable and beautiful mobile app design.

Interactive Prototype

The prototype is a visual design of a model. In essence, this is a functioning “draft” of the interface, created on the basis of your ideas about user needs.

For a more visual demonstration of the application to investors and potential users can engage in the development of an interactive prototype. Although it is worth noting that this is not an obligatory stage, since the mockup + user flow diagram is quite a prototype describing the future product from the UX point of view. However, an interactive prototype will give a more complete picture of both the capabilities of the application and the scope of work for their implementation.

Prototype variants depend only on your time resources and on the level of desired quality. This may be a test bench on which the operator manually performs changes in the application state depending on the user's choice, or it may already be a software implementation that can be run on a smartphone or in a browser, click through all screens, evaluate the logic of the product.

Result approval

Here it is, the last stage of work on the UI. Everything is very simple here: the customer evaluates the result, gives comments and suggestions, and if necessary we make edits. At this point, we should have the technical assignment, which contains all the information we worked with at the stage of prototyping and design. Having a ready-made design and technical task, we begin to develop the application.

Conclusion

The staged development of the interface of applications and complex systems saves time, structures all the work, reduces the likelihood of additional cash investments. The most important thing is the ability to develop an interface in which the user will find the key functions of the product in the minimum time required for this.

Good user interface design reduces design time and simplifies user interaction with the product. Well designed UI = thankful user = happy you.

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