X ≦ 100

I’ve completed the DailyUI Challenge — UI Design isn’t as simple as you may think

Doppler — Daily UI :: Day 100

The 100 Days UI Challenge is a challenge initiated by a Romanian designer called Paul Nechita. If you’re interested in participating, you can go to https://dailyui.co/. By signing up, you’ll get an email every weekday with a challenge to complete for a total of 100 days.

Screenshot of http://collectui.com/challenges/sign-up

After completing the 100 Days UI Challenge, I’d like to share my experience and ideas about UI Design. Hopefully my thoughts can be of use to fellow designers.

My name is Doppler Kuo, a Taiwanese (Taiwan is a country not a province) designer. In October 2015, I started this challenge and joined Daily ui challenge@taiwan , a Facebook group created by Wesley Hwang. The challenges I’ve completed are available here. I have to admit that most of my works are“Visual Design” not “UI Design”, but this is also the main argument I’d like to make here.

According to the data — Daily UI is truly difficult

I collected data to make this chart for reference only

This data was collected from Dailyui challenge@taiwan and Collet UI. I put days on the x-axis and participants (%) on the y-axis. We can see that participation greatly decreased after 20 days since the Challenge has started. After 40 days, less than 20% of participants were still participating. This dramatic drop on the participation rate is not probably due to laziness, but rather a question of whether the Challenge is too difficult or has no practical function to UI designers.

When you get the topic from this challenge each day, you have to spend 1~3 hours studying what it means and planning it to be good “UX Design”. Afterwards, you still have to consider the visual aspect of it. This whole process probably takes you at least 5 hours. It could be really time consuming and a difficult task for people to fit in their busy schedules every day. Due to the fact that people might have limited window to thoughtfully design their DailyUI challenges, the scope of DailyUI Challenge has small comparison to a full-scale project in the real world. Thus, completing the challenges might not be able to offer practical values to professional UI designers.

How can I finish it?

Although I’ve completed the Challenge, I didn’t become a professional UI or UX designer through the process. I was able to finish the challenges effectively and efficiently by choosing either one of the following tricks:

1. Focus on visual practice, identify design trends, and follow existing UI fields 
 2. Focus on UX Research with simple visual designs or existing UI visuals

I want to be a UI Designer. How can I use this challenge to help me?

Doppler — Daily UI :: Day 52

To newcomers who want to get a job in the field, it’s a catch-22 situation. For designers to get a job, they need to have works to showcase. However, in order to have works to showcase, they need to get a job first. Fortunately, this challenge can help you create works to showcase — but only if you know how to select your goals and spend time wisely. So here are my suggestions for newcomers who want to utilize this challenge efficiently.

First of all, I divided “UI Design” into three basic parts: 
Visual Design (VD)
User Experience Research (UX Research)
Programing Feasibility

As for programing feasibility, you should be able to gain knowledge from reading or some hands on experience. This challenge can really enhance your “Visual Design” and “UX Research” skills. But how? If you are a newcomer, you can try the following practices:

Visual Design Practice — duplicate 20~30 visual designs that you see from DailyUI Challenge. Familiar yourself with the software (e.g. Sketch, Photoshop, illustrator).
UX Research Practice — pick 10~20 Collect UI topics you are interested in to design the entire UI flow. During the process, you should define the purposes and goals of the UI. And you also need to consider the how different system status allow for different prompts (Airplane mode? Speed of Network is slow?). 
Spend 80% of your time on UX and 20% of your time on VD. Re-designing existing UIs is a good option.

Learn more by spending time on UX research rather than visual design

Finally, “Visual Design” is not the most important thing in “UI Design”. For increasing start-ups, UI Design has to reflect users’ needs in order to be competitive. Therefore, focusing on creating something useful is more important than making it look beautiful. The 100 Days UI Challenge is a good activity, as long as you know what your goal is.

Thank you for reading. ( I probably want to be a player in dribbble. ><)