Fundamentals of UX/ UI Design

Good Design

The first thing I should say about UX/UI design is that users use interfaces to accomplish a task. So it is very important understanding the user and user’s need. You can design a really nice looking interface but on the other side if that interface does not allow to users complete their tasks, is it still a good design?

Users needs interfaces to accomplish their tasks
  1. Affordance: Affordance is the relationship between an object’s features and a factor’s capabilities which determines how the object is been used. Lets think about a car. Car affords to move one place to another. If a person doesn’t know driving then the car does not afford moving. Affordance is really rely on the user’s capabilities. The important factor about affordance is that users know about the products affordances, other way user can’t use that affordance.
  2. Signifiers: Signifiers are elements to show the affordances of an object and shows how to use them. Signifiers are closely related affordance but the two concepts should not be confused. The door itself affords the transition, push label on the door signifies its transition affordance.
  3. Feedback: Feedback is the concept of giving information after a process. It is really important feature of a design. Let’s think about a job application scenario. A user filled lots of fields, upload his/her photo and CV, lastly clicks the apply button. The page was cleaned and said nothing to the user. Ops! The user does not know if he/she could send application. Maybe he/she would try again and again. As you can see feedback can be seen the last element of design however it important as affordance and signifiers especially when the process is vital.

UX/ UI Design Process

Let’s continue with the design process.

4-Step Design Process
  1. Requirements Gathering
  • Naturalistic Observation: You can simply go and watch the user. You can learn how the user accomplish task, you can apply time study to learn time of user activities. This technique is simple and useful but the results may be subjective and smattering.
  • Survey: You can create a survey and apply it to users. You can use the data from survey, use some statistics and find some results to use in design. For this technique you should know some statistics (e.g. determine the correct size of sample, hypothesis validation)
  • Focus Group: You can select a group of users and ask questions to them.
  • Interview: You can talk with users separately.
  • Paper Prototyping: It is one of the low fidelity prototyping. You can simply sketch your design on a paper and show it to users. It is very fast but does not afford much detail about design.
  • General Software Prototyping: You can use some general software to show your design (e.g. PowerPoint).
  • User Interface Prototyping Tools: There are some UI prototyping tools, you can simply search on web and select one of them.
  • Wizard of Oz Technique: A person performs as the product and the user isn’t aware of this situation.
  • Proof of Concept Video Technique: You can simply take a video of telling your products features. It is more economic than making the real product as prototyping.



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MSc. Student Industrial Engineer & Business Analyst