Sri Lankan Devs & UI/UX

a worse love story than Twilight.


Few months ago, I was invited to a briefing of an Android app competition organised by a certain private institute based in Colombo. Between few boring presentations, they delightedly demoed their internally acclaimed ‘Best Student Projects’ and I was honestly shocked by the inadequate attractiveness and stale professionalism they displayed.

“If people can’t use an app, they won’t”

In UI/UX terms — more in UI though — Sri Lankan apps suck. I have come across several apps done by Sri Lankan devs. But this ugly void of design creativity has apparently stationed itself among majority (95%?) of them. Professional and experimental alike, UI standards have been tremendously disregarded during the last few years. It’s mostly mismatching gradients of colours, a button which hasn’t seen a smear of CSS or Times New Roman where Roboto should be used.

A super cool concept doesn’t mean you’re sellable. An innovative math game developed by one of my colleagues was recently given a negative rating by an international app review site because it fell short in UI and UX. It’s not always isolated cases like these. I have stumbled upon scenarios where even companies have no clue of what they are trying to build; design wise. They would try to squeeze functionalities in without even having a 5 minutes design discussion and even without mockups to carry out development process. It’s really hard to see such products being successful in open market.

This could be one of four things; no idea, don’t care, no skills or no money. Mostly fresh graduates fall under ‘no idea’ ilk. They just code for fun and sometimes to show off that they are just capable (heh). Therefore, even if they do know of UI and UX, they disregard after weighing down the time and skill set they’ll have to allocate for the purpose. And there are scenarios devs don’t have the skill set to manipulate graphics. Or the ‘eye’. They wouldn’t see the inequality between fade-in and slide-in, or ‘y’ looking like a ‘v’ in an input field or borderlines that should be there to separate title and body. But even if they do care, have an idea with no skill set, sometimes they don’t have money to hire a UI engineer, just for a recreational app. Or can’t allocate a UI guy, in big companies.

User interface and user experience are polyjuice potions that determine the saleability and façade of an app. Every minuscule detail in everything we see or use has a reason to be there and a standard. Integrate that with your apps too because you have to stand out in a world run on wheels of competition.

Update: Just leaving a little guide to help you with your UI/UX endeavours.

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