According to research, people spend about 213.2 billion hours per year on Google alone; and this equates to about 1.6 million years. Google is just one of the most visited websites. The numbers become mind-blowing when you add the hours spent on social media. People practically live on the internet.
The numbers have something to do with the design of the websites and various platforms. People would not spend a minute on a bad website, let alone 213.2 billion hours browsing through poorly built and annoying websites. Therefore, User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will determine the amount of time people spend on a website.
Web designers need a good understanding of their users and how to create an interactive experience to keep their users coming back. To visualize this, you require some level of understanding of what exactly goes on in the mind of a UI/UX designer. Let us look at a list of some skills most designers need to master:
1. Understanding Psychology
Take time to research and learn cognitive and typographical psychology to help you make design decisions. This is what Irwin said from Chromatix, “web design these days requires an understanding of the psychology of the target audience when designing the site.” Their aim should be to engage and persuade the users.
As a designer, you should understand how your users think. A good interface and user experience are part of what stands between any website and success. Whenever people do not like details, such as the layout or colors on your website, they will look for better alternatives.
The process of switching to a better-looking and better feeling website is psychological. Users will not make a pros and cons list of what website to use; well-built websites need to be complemented by great UI/UX.
2. Visual Communication
As a UI/UX designer, you need ways to communicate with the website development team or clients and show them the ideas in your head. For example, a designer can use wireframes and prototypes for visualization. Wireframes are skeletal models of the layout of a website and show what elements will appear on the pages.
Wireframes can be either low-fidelity or high-fidelity. Low-fidelity wireframes only show the basic concept and a hint of the visual interface. On the other hand, the high-fidelity wireframes present the look and feel of the final product in detail.
Prototypes are experimental models used to test and validate ideas and design aspects. They help you build with the end product in mind. They will also help you visually communicate your website design.
3. Information Architecture in Designing
Information Architecture deals with the organization of content on your website. Think of your website as a supermarket; you may have realized that fresh produce and toiletries never end up on the same shelf or adjacent to each other. Like items at a supermarket, you need to organize your content in a relatable way.
You want to ensure people can easily navigate your website and complete tasks. For this, you need to create labels, organize UI components, and write basic rules to help users achieve their goals. Mapping navigation will help you design your website in a way it is easy for users to finish tasks
4. Communication and Collaboration Skills
UI/UX designers are just one part of the team involved in website development. Other teams include coders, the marketing team, and the project management team. These different teams need to work together to develop the project.
You need good communication and people skills. Designers spend a lot of time interacting with clients, stakeholders, and other designers to develop the website and solutions to problems that may emerge. Good communication skills ensure that all parties involved are understood and that the development team shares the same idea.
5. Conducting Research and Analysis
Nobody is all-knowing. Being a designer, you will spend a lot of time getting information from users and books. The research process continues throughout the development period of the product and extends into the testing phase.
To efficiently get UI/UX information from users, you need to be familiar with research techniques such as card sorting, generating website heatmaps, and taking surveys. After collecting the data, UI/UX designers need to analyze the information and make sense of the percentages and numbers.
Analytics helps establish relationships, which can be a basis of design perspective. The numbers help you make user-based decisions in your design.
6. Empathizing With People
One of the fundamental skills a UI/UX designer needs to learn is empathy.
The process comes from constantly doing research, carrying out tests, and analyzing data to understand the different users. This will help you relate to the varied demographics your designs have to satisfy.
7. Creating Interactive Designs
Knowing how to create a fancy design with cool animations and beautiful text is only part of the work. You also need to understand user interactions with your design. This is made possible through the use of prototypes. Prototyping can help you understand the user’s mental models as they interact with your prototype.
You can also conduct competitor analysis. This involves analyzing how users interact with competitors’ products. With this information, you can create a design that mimics or borrows the pre-existing user mental model rather than creating an entirely new experience. Remember, people are not always welcoming to change.
The world is in constant need of web designers and e-commerce website designers, which means there is a constant demand for good UI/UX designers. UI/UX design is the difference between a user-friendly website and a sketchy and complicated website that nobody wants to visit twice.
For UI/UX designers, the main task is creating an interactive and pleasant environment for users. The user interface should complement the sophisticated backend operations. UI/UX designers should always keep in mind that less is more. Users will always prefer simple layouts that work effectively.