July 29, 2013

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Visual Design Matters

Graphical User Interface (GUI) appeal matters a lot, and when it drives users though the process, it is marvelous. Some people categorize graphic designing as a quick and easy job. From my point of view, to maintain quality, work time is required -- time to gain a better understanding of the product. In the early stages, if we don’t give our valuable effort to the product, it could all be a waste.  Rushing to any judgment can be a mistake for the product. Quality is the key in visual design.

A few days back, I got the opportunity to work on a GUI which needs to grab the attention of end users. The customer was not happy with the existing interface design, and their users encounter complications while using their products. That is why he wants to recreate the existing interface design so it can be easily managed and controlled by the users as well as being very user friendly. Being a creative designer, I recommended creating a new UI which follows each and every step to reach the end result. The customer agreed with my viewpoint and requested a sample UI design. 

To create the sample UI design, I started with information gathering. I explored the existing interface design, categorized the types of users, and had a discussion with the testing team members on what types of issues they face to complete the task. I saw that in testing the product UI, they also faced challenges to complete the task. The existing interface has lots of features, and users get scared about what to do and how to do it. The UI is not very intuitive or well understood by the users. Later I explored a few market competitors and studied their UI designs on YouTube. I have also checked the trend of designing a particular type of interface design.

After all my information gathering, I analyzed that the users have too many things to do on the home page. The existing layout was very cluttered. To make it more user friendly, I removed all unnecessary information from the page. I worked on a creative concept in which I used a slightly larger font size, just like today’s trend, and gave the application the look and feel of a desktop application design. I balanced all the colors and gave extra importance to tasks which need to be done by the users. An earlier user won’t be able to recognize which are active or non-active icons. In the new visual design, I have used a different color style for icons, added extra spaces for layout balancing, etc.

Providing a creative solution takes time and effort. Quality visual design is essential for the effectiveness of any visual communication. The user’s attention is something to be earned. Most users are attracted to visual graphics and features we can interact with, and therefore, we will give that item our attention. After all, the perspective is not to just look pretty, but to reduce the effort for users to get things done too! Therefore, the next time your customer hesitates on giving sufficient time to conceptualize the GUI, share the benefits outlined here with them.