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Basic Skills Every UI/UX Designer Needs

Megat Syahmi Waiz July 20, 2022 0

With user experience design becoming more popular and in demand, the need to diversify skills is clear. UI-UX design is a diverse industry and it’s not uncommon to find people who have specializations in various competencies. This can lead to a little confusion, especially if you’re just getting started in UX design and don’t know what knowledge you need to succeed

UX design is a diverse field full of designers with multi-faceted backgrounds and varying skill sets. With booming opportunities in UX design, even with the most amazing portfolio, it can be hard to determine how to shine above the rest of the applicants when trying to land the dream job.   

Design is not only about doing great work, it is also about creating and holding a great presentation. The people you’ll present to are either product managers, VPs, or even the CEO. They don’t know why or how your designs will increase their sales or client retention. It’s your responsibility to show them.

Each of them has their own role in the company, and they might not fully grasp the effectiveness of your improvements. You need to sell your ideas with a presentation. Designers should keep this in mind: it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend coming up with great ideas if you don’t dedicate enough time to present those ideas.

You Cannot Design What You Don't Understand

In order to create great experiences for people, you need to know what’s going on in their heads. You need to understand what motivates and terrifies them. You need to create personas and map out your users’ lives. You need to find out how they think and what makes them tick. Only then can you create a design that is easy to use, has an impact on your users emotionally and makes them want to keep coming back to your product again and again.

Clear Calls To Action

This is a simple concept that thankfully has become better understood over the last few years. Clear, simple calls to action help users understand the flow they should take through an application. There is no benefit in adding complexity. Human short-term memory works best with 2-3 pieces of information at a time, so if you want to get someone to take an action on a page, make sure your directions are simple/minimal. 

Write Less

When you visit a website you don’t want to read a big pile of text and still not know what the product does. People don’t read lots of text. Instead of writing long paragraphs about your product, create short bites that describe what your product does. Get the reader’s attention and keep it. Remove jargon and use simple language. 

Always remember that people only hold three pieces of information at a time so anything else is just taking up space on your page. If possible keep text to a minimum and only include the most important information.

Visual Communication Skills

Visual design in UX concerns so much more than how a website looks and feels—although that is important, too. Think of standardized UI elements such as the hamburger menu or even the playback button. When users see these icons they immediately know they’re clickable and what they represent. An effective visual communication skillset is about minimizing the need for written instructions and using visual cues to guide the user and help them understand where to go next, how to find the information they need, and what other actions they can take.

Analytical Skills

Even after a product or feature is sent to production, usability testing isn’t done yet. Your job as a UI/UX designer is to constantly monitor data on product usability and find ways to improve existing products while using data to infer new product ideas. When you create an app or website, you need to test it. Understanding numbers, percentages, and ratios will help you evaluate the performance of your design.

Let The Data Do The Work

When you’re unsure of which path to go down, let data validate the decision—there’s no reason to have people argue about what font or colour is the best. Test your concepts as often as possible, either with A/B testing or user testing. Your goal should be to get the most amount of value with the least amount of effort.

Start with simple prototypes and show them to your target audience. This approach is more effective and, in many cases, also more time-efficient.

Be Aware Of Technical Constraints

The best designers have a technical mindset and at least a basic level of programming knowledge. They’re able to set a project up for success by keeping the project’s technical constraints in mind from the start.

Consider mobile design from the very beginning. Know the resolutions your work will be displayed at, or what platforms it’ll be hosted on (iOS, Android, phones, tablets, etc.). For those of you who are great designers but don’t know details about the technical parts, we have 3 suggestions:

Become knowledgeable. There are thousands of useful articles and courses scattered all across the web. Many of them are free or cost very little. You can easily read one helpful article a day or take a course, such as Responsive Web Design by Google, on a weekend. The better you become, the more successful you’ll be.

Spend time with developers. Get to know their view of the projects you’re working on. A developer, for example, will always look for a simple solution. There are many ways to achieve complex interactions with minimal use of CSS and Javascript. By collaborating together, you can often come up with a faster and more eloquent solution.

Ask a ton of questions. Everyone starts somewhere. Don’t hesitate to reach out on massive online communities, such as StackExchange or Quora, and ask whatever you need to know.

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