UI/UX Designer (Product Designer)
UI UX Designer or UX/UI Designer:
These designers exhibit both UI & UX skills working with aspects of UI design, Prototyping, UX design, research and testing.
User Experience Design is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and experience provided by the interaction between the consumer and the product. (Wiki)
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products” – © Nielson Norman Group.
A common UX test is the A/B test (split test) where two versions of one website are researched and tested (usability/feature changes). This can also include testing component variations. (context matters)
User experience design for websites, apps and web apps is a fairly emergent field, but UX has been widely and popularly discussed, researched & developed over many years since the term was coined in the 1990’s by Donald Norman.
UX Designers & UX/UI Designers are educated and particularly involved in:
- More recently Agile
- Design Methodologies & Processes:
- Lean UX
- Design Thinking
- Human Centered Design
- User Centred Design
- Co-Design or Participatory Design
In some cases, UX designers are not capable in traditional design work or working with web/mobile application design and digital design technologies.
UX designers can have a strong academic background, sometimes within psychology (behavioral science), research, industrial design, graphic or interactive design disciplines.
UX Designers can create usability tests, user flows applied to applications, heuristic evaluations, user personas, map experiences, use Human-centered Design (HCD) & Design Thinking methodologies, hold interviews, undertake ethnographic studies, facilitate user groups, analyse data, be aware of content strategy and using content everywhere , hold Q & A’s sessions with open-ended questions while avoiding leading questions, organise & run design workshops, complete card sorting, ui design work, low fidelity design, mind maps, affinity clustering/diagrams, creatie a 2 x 2 matrix to quickly visualise relationships, gain insights and make decisions, requirements gathering, site maps, wireframes, understand research with validation, gain explicit & implicit feedback and understand the difference, use rose, thorn, bud technique, ideate, practice iterative design, and collaborate while finding solutions to pain points.
A great site across many of these methods is LUMA Workplace.
It takes time to grow a career and learn these techniques, but with patience and applying them within your workplace, over time they will greatly assist your career and be hugely beneficial to the companies and clients you work with. Mastering all of these methods is difficult for anyone, even mastery of some of these is a big plus to a career in UX.
Here are some great example portfolios from some leading UI/UX & Product Design professionals.
UI Design is the design of user interfaces and the “what you can see” aspect of a website, app, technology form or software. It is essentially the design of the interface from wire-framing or prototyping into a finalised version/design. UI Design can also include interactive prototypes. UI designers usually focus on designing for improved usability through the simplification of sometimes complex design problems and design patterns.
UI states, patterns with behaviours of an application/system are part of design, product design and front-end development. The designed ui states & patterns assist developers, teams and clients to understand the current pattern/s and behaviours of the application at each possible stage of the process (user flow).
States are used by developers also in terms of accessibility, so that, for example, once a collapsible component is opened the state is read out to the screen reader. This assists the visually impaired user to know the current state of the UI (open or closed component) and proceed with their assistive technology of choice (usually JAWS or NVDA – Web) but also while using IOS and Android (mobile) accessibility features.
Full Stack Designer | Product Designer:
A Full Stack Designer understands things more holistically and can deliver code, visual design and user experience advice for a product, feature or software release. Full stack designers work closely with developers, testers, BA’s, stakeholders, clients and UX researchers. They provide UI designs including states or components with states, interactive prototypes, code and best practice design patterns (Visual & UI, not Programming Design Patterns).
Product Design is a very broad term, can be used within digital and I.T but is used across various industries in relation to delivering products and can have an increased scope. The term product designer can be used within digital. Traditionally the term product designer was used in industrial design, however product designers in the digital space work with digital product design and management (product manager). Product designers can also specialise in ui & broader design work with a strong skill-set in end-to-end user experience design and not necessarily front-end development.
UI Design Patterns, a components library or visual states and the thinking behind them greatly assist developers, business and teams to understand specific use cases around the application and their correct code implementation.
Implementing these for applications leads to improved usability and simplifies work for developers who are more technically driven in building them.
The simpler applications are designed (with the right amount of functionality), it is then easier for developers to build them & then for people to use, leading to improved outcomes for everyone involved, including clients.
Cross-functional agile teams with full stack designers (designers/coders/UX) can ideate/prototype/iterate design solutions (relatively quickly) and deliver both design & code with user experience methods informing the design decisions.
Testers (Unit tests, Accessibility:WCAG AA & UX) can then validate and further advise on design decisions around the solution or product taking into account business requirements.
Product & Full Stack Designers essentially deliver end-to-end design solutions.
The end-to-end design solution can be made up of UI design, prototypes, design patterns, front-end development, user experience deliverables, code or coded components. Product designers & full stack designers have (IMHO) been brought about from people living within a digital native environment.
Other UX Apps
- Microsoft Design
- Google Design
- Human Interface Guidelines (Apple)
- Facebook Design
- Service Design (Wiki)
Other Areas of Interest
Motion Design, VR, MR, AR, 3D & Apps:
- Autodesk Maya & 3DS Max
- Adobe After Effects
- Hololense (Microsoft)
- Oculus Rift (Facebook)
- Power Bi (Microsoft) Data Visualisation & Analytics
- Processing (Java, JS or Python)
- Processing (Exhibition)
- 38 Best Data Visualisation Tools
AI (Artificial Intelligence):
- Counter Print | (UK) Design Books
- Creative Applications.net
- ProQuest Database
- Google Scholar
- openFrameworks (C++)
- Under Consideration
- Brand New – Under Consideration
- For Print Only – Under Consideration
- A List Apart
- Interaction Design.org
- Safari Online (O’reilly Media)
- O’reilly Media (Books)
- Nielsen Norman Group
- Rosenfeld Media
- Open Processing.org
- Max For Live
- Ableton Live
- TEDx Talks
- UX Mag
- Must Read UX Books
- UX Booth
- UX Myths
- Usability Geek
- UX Daily
- Smashing Mag
- Creative Bloq
- It’s Nice That
- Logo Lounge
- Print Mag
- Stack Overflow
- Best Folios
- Scientific American (Tech)