You’re a kid with a crayon, you’re a UI Designer


How many times have you had to answer “What does a UI Designer do?”

Many people have tried a lot of them are really confusing.

So let me add to the confusion:

User Experience or UX Design is the broad picture, it’s the defining of the experience.


User Interface / UI Design is the assembling and styling of that experience into a meaningful interaction layer.

Clearer? Hopefully…

This layer when interacted with responds, behaves and delivers upon the UX promise. Enabling the user to achieve their goal in a satisfying way.

However the user interface is ambiguous and within here lies the rub.

Most people think it is this:

But a voice user interface would not look anything like that.

Why should it?

Everything you need to know is told to you and the importance and weight of information is delivered through inflection. No need for fancy icons or any visual feedback, though in the movie Her this was pretty bloody awesome.

So not only do we UI designers make things look pretty but we also have to consider how things live and think. How does the UI, the brand’s face behave…

Well maybe this should move, this is a living entity and living entities live and usually mooooove and make sounds

So we will define the animations as well as the basics, colours, fonts, grid, position and size of elements upon it. We will usually define design principles as well, but more on that another day.

On top of that a UI Designer will also decide if an element makes a sound when touched, clicked or shouted at.

Pretty cool hey.

So when someone asks you “What do UI Designers do?”.

Don’t say colouring in, you’re better than that.

James is an independent UI Designer and brand consultant currently dropping it like it’s hot at Digital Innovations Group, London
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