Free thoughts about Interface Design.
When we design we are making visual decisions. Decisions with the eyes, decisions with the mind, and decisions with our essence. Commonly we don’t stop to think about why we decided to do what we do. We simply follow our own process and do it.
On interface designing, we not only consider the organization of information, an aesthetic harmony, and the flow necessary to complete a task. We give shape to a digital product that will be a solution to a problem or user need. And we are designing behaviors: we decide how we will communicate with the user and we assume how they will respond. And this whole make up the experience. The success of our work as designers will depend on user satisfaction with that experience. And to guarantee that satisfaction we carry out usability testing. But prior, we must make decisions to build a prototype for testing.
Let’s talk about making design decisions. How do we build that experience? It is a complex and long way, and we have many tools, guidelines, and references. The eyes are trained with practice, the mind is logical and is fed learning. And then there is the essence, that particular thing that each designer have. That personal approach that will cause a determined design decision to be resolved in one way or another. The essence is part of designers personality.
The novice designer, in the absence of an eye and a mind, abuses their essence. He makes decisions using himself as a reference. He designs as if he were his user, believing that this is the only way to do it. Is based on his own experience, without any validation and verification. Sometimes this feels fresh and light because the essence is genuine! But the professional knows that to design must listen to the user. The essence must be something that should never be lost but must be used with care.
So, is the essence bad? Not if we understand that it’s just our particular way of seeing things. It can help us find innovative solutions. It may be a lateral thought that reaches unexplored options. They can help renew design trends. Our essence is as valuable as eyes and mind. No more no less. Just remember, we shouldn’t be tempted to design for us as users. Designers are not users.