How to be a User Interface & Experience Designer

Today, I read some good answers on a Quora about what resources are the best to be a good User Interface and Experience Designer. The reply from Colm Tuite really stood out.

First, let’s look at what are User Interface and Experience Designs.

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs

User Interface (UI) design is the design of websites, computers, appliances, machines, mobile communication devices, and software applications with the focus on the user’s experience and interaction. The goal of user interface design is to make the user’s interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals – what is often called user-centered design. Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. Graphic design may be utilized to support its usability. The design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs.

User Experience (UX) is any aspect of a person’s interaction with a given system, including the interface, graphics, industrial design, physical interaction, and the manual. In most cases, User Experience Design fully encompasses traditional Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design, and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.

Continue reading

Adobe Spurring the Next Creative Evolution

These days, Adobe, specially in India, is doing few distinct initiatives that are pretty interesting. Initiatives where they focus on the content and the quality without bringing in or bombarding their brand or even products as the limelight. Of course, it is evident it is Adobe and it’s tools are one of the driving forces with the initiatives but they have maintained their subtlety very well.

Today, I went to one of such no-frill, subtle event organized by Adobe — “Spurring on the next creative evolution” — a panel discussion amongst some of industry’s known and celebrated creative professionals.

Continue reading

How to use Icon Fonts the right way

Icon Fonts are a smart way to deploy scalable icons in your website and web app design projects. They are treated as part of your text and so you can apply all the properties you apply to a text – size, color, text-shadow, transparency, transform, etc.

You might have used some of the icon fonts, such as – Font Awesome, Entypo, IcoMoon, Symbolset, Typicons, Iconic, Zocial, Linecons, Elusive Icons etc.

The easiest and simplest way to use them is to dump the font variants, drop in the icon style classes and use them in your html with an <i class="icon-myicon"></i>. However, with this method, you’re forcing your users to download the whole font, when you actually use just a few of the icons.

Continue reading

Practical Typography — a must-read free book

I just finished reading Matthew Butterick’s online book – Practical Typography. It’s an awesome book with an equally impressive design.

If you’re the very busy type, you can try the section, Typography in ten minutes. However, you should bookmark the site and read the whole. It has tons of useful information, tips, tricks and details about typography for the web and elsewhere.

Go read the read the book online. The book is free to read and if you enjoy it, there are ways you can pay for the book.

UPDATES

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud gives users the freedom to use Adobe’s multitude of applications through its ‘Cloud network’, but a recent company decision by Adobe to focus their software developments entirely on their Cloud subscriptions has created some controversy among users concerned with the narrowing options of Adobe’s platform.

Cloud technology has been a boon for both software developers and users, enabling people to readily access their desired technology with more flexibility and freedom than on-site installations that limit software to a single computer, but this freedom significantly changes the way developers and consumers interact; from readily available updates to no longer being able to purchase the physical copy of any given software, Adobe’s decision has put a microscope on Cloud technology as a whole and potential ramifications of future innovations.

Continue reading

Why won’t index files deployed on Cloudfront work like it does in S3?

I seriously had no clue about this. It was one the most irritating thing while deploying static site hosting on Amazon Cloudfront. I had in-fact stayed with S3 for sites that had folders with “index.html”. Here is the solution for those who haven’t figured out yet.

I was recently deploying a Jekyll powered static site for LxiDD – pitch.lxidd.com. During the test phase, it all worked fine being deployed on the S3. When I decided that it’s ok to move to Cloudfront — except for the root index, anything else inside a folder won’t display without appending the “index.html” at the end.

Continue reading

Stuck in a rut? 5 tips to get your first freelancing gig

Many people tend to think that freelancing is easy-peasy, that they will just fling their resignation letter into their boss’ faces one day with a dramatic monologue to accompany it and ride off into the sunset where the land of milk and honey awaits.

Reality couldn’t be more different. Freelancing is a tough career to break into and quitting your job to freelance full-time is a surefire way to the poorhouse. The smart way to begin working as a freelancer is to quietly stick to your day job and begin on the side. Usually it takes a while before you can earn enough money to dramatically resign from your day job.

Continue reading

Typography, One of the Most Important Aspect of Web Design

I say, “your web-design is already half done when you’ve taken care of the Typography.” Typography is such an important aspect of User Interface Designs that it would be total folly to neglect it in the underneaths of font-family, font-size and font-weights.

Recently, I went to a casual gathering of WordPress enthusiasts to mark the 10th anniversary of WordPress, and we got talking about themes, plugins, frameworks and overalls of web designs. Amongst the interesting talks on WordPress specific frameworks, themes and general User Interface Frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, et al, we also happened to talked about Typography.

Unfortunately, many were not really concerned about it but curious enough that they wanted to know more. This article is the result of that conversation, hoping that other designers would be able to kick-start on the ideas of Typography – explore it and even master it.

Continue reading

How to be a Good Parent, for the Lesser Mortal Startup Entrepreneurs

Yes, for those Startup Entrepreneurs, who cannot fly around the world with their kids, who cannot hire nannies at lavish hotels, and for those who do not have superhero, super-dad, super-mom tricks up their sleeves.

Being a Startup Founder and a parent; while seemingly dissimilar, both require a great deal of time, skill and dedication in order to be successful. It may sound like a daunting task, but is possible to run your startup while still maintaining a good relationship with your children.

Founding a startup can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it is also a time consuming process. In order to accomplish your goals while still maintaining a healthy home life, it is important to manage your time wisely. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and excitement of your startup and neglect your family. By the same token, the commotion of a busy family life can cause you to neglect your startup. A healthy balance between work and family is absolutely necessary to running a successful startup while still being a good parent to your children.

Many have written and advocated on effective time management and routines to help you be a super-parent and a hustling Startup Founder. As a Startup Founder, you have to find your ‘style’ of time management and (un)routine to be omni-present for your startup and your family.

Continue reading