UI Design with Purpose

The purpose of UI design, above all else, is to deliver content and make visual sense of well planned out UX. The often debated battle between flat versus skeuomorphic design poses us a pivotal style decision in how we allow the content to communicate through our designs.

Understanding how either style impacts your design will allow you to make the best choice, rather than choosing the camp that suits your personal preference. Regardless of our chosen aesthetics, asking ourselves questions like: 'is what I'm designing usable?', 'Does my UI visually communicate the path my UX has laid out?', can keep us on the path to successful, useable UI. As someone wiser than myself once said, 'The best user interfaces allow the content to shout, while the UI whispers'. That single statement can grant the most clarity as we travel down the path of successful user interface creation.

  1. No to NoUI

    Consider the differences and similarities between 'invisible design' and ui design that is 'visually beautiful'. Can both meet the goal of great experience when properly balanced?

  2. Flat Pixels: The Battle Between Flat Design & Skeuomorphism

    Resurrect a project you've worked on in the past and identify whether it leans towards flat or skeuomorphic style. Take a stab a redesigning part of that project in the opposite style. Feeling brave? Upload and share the before and after results.

  3. UI and Capability

    Take a moment and think about the your most used web or device app. Now pick a section or screen that you can envision benefiting from a different approach in capability affordance. Perhaps that means better task focus, removing elements or changing the UI altogether - you be the judge. Grab a screenshot and take your best shot and refocusing the capability/style balance. Share it once you’re happy with your creation!

  4. Less Aesthetic, More Design

    Take a survey of your favorite and daily used apps on your mobile, tablet or laptop. Can you identify which of those apps excel in both aesthetics and usability? Have you installed some applications that aren’t as successful in delivering top notch usability, but have opted to keep them purely because you’re drawn to their visual style? Take note of how you decided on which apps fell into which bucket.

  5. Who Owns Your UX Philosophy?

    Great UI is fueled and informed by great UX. Remind yourself of the difference and values of each and treat them with equal measure on your next project!

    Read through the comments for some extra knowledge tidbits and hidden gems.

Finally, an easy to follow design course

Receive a design lesson in your inbox each week, hand crafted by a design pro. Learn at your own pace, and apply it to your real life work – no fake projects here.

No spam ever. We promise.