According to the General Assembly, UX designers hold the most promising career opportunities by 2020. As the want increases, the supply also tends to gain momentum. Every year we sight an increase in the number of UX designers, also why we want to offer a helping hand by providing a few facts about great UX designers.
Be it health, finance, retail, or tech- every sector needs a UX designer, qualified enough to handle both online and offline experiences to cater the needs of the users. These master expertise in grounds that may not be a speciality of other engineers.
Hunting a skilled UX designer? Here’s how your man must be
1. Great Designers Master Microcopy
Were you ever perplexed when using an app or a website just because of the unclear UI text? Have you ever felt the need to examine forms more than once because you don’t clearly understand what it is that it requires? Bad microcopy is something to be blamed.
“Microcopy is small yet powerful copy. It’s fast, light, and deadly. It’s a short sentence, a phrase, a few words. A single word. It’s the small copy that has the biggest impact. Don’t judge it on its size…judge it on its effectiveness.”
The user usually expects something precise but the brevity mustn’t be confused with vague literals, which might be misleading. When they feel the conversational flow, the human like tone of it leaves a better impact. Microcopy is one of the core aspects of the design process, as per great designers. It is also believed that it is as imperative as visual design, prototyping or user research.
For instance, let’s study a form design by Tumblr. Notice the words ‘you can change this at any time’. This pacifies the user telling him, “Hey, it’s okay. You could edit this later”. You see? A simple snippet becomes informative, empathetic and user-friendly. Otherwise, the user would’ve been forced to scratch his head and lose his temper.
2. Great Designers Study the Rules and Forget them
No, you read that right. Well, technically they make their own rules. They think way outside the box and do not conform to known standards. They understand the need of being unique and fill voids which get redefined when necessary. Great designers fill their intellect feasibly before breaking the rules. They are fully aware of the cost and risks of reinventing the wheel.
They absorb the nature of the user before working on the design and then deliberately deviate from the conventional rules, as per their call. These specialists are familiar with these rules and are also well-aware of the consequences of breaking them which of course consists of both plusses and minuses. These however drive the designer to deploy fresh ideas and solve user-problems when common techniques are inoperable. Trends are born out of these brilliant ideas.
3. Great Designers Steal
Shocked? You shouldn’t be. They improvise, to be precise. And this comes not only from one mouth, one of the most famous fine artists of the 20th century; Picasso also utters the same principle:
“Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”
Consider this flashy paper shredder image presented by Smena.
Now take a look at its recreated form by a designer at Google, Hanna Jung. Adding an animation gave life to an image though it was not made from scratch, Jung tweaked his creativity to create something better.
Again, this is a navigation system from Brandon Termini for a company’s website.
Stimulated by this concept, Ilya Kostin redesigned its form to something short of nothing.
4. Great Designers Declutter Harshly
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann.
Decontamination here suggests the jam in the interface design that’s usually due to visual noise, over-animated objects and too much of content/text. Everything that steals the spotlight from the essential context must be decontaminated and this is what great designers do. They build and experiment various ideas and finally filter the entire design to declutter.
Decluttering starts with content. Monotonous phrases like “We do this, we aim at this or we are this” simply agitate the user. Minimalism is more than filtering flat elements; it is the simplification of vast content.
The reason why you do this is because users hate to waste their time going through insignificant stuff. They only need to know:
- What your company does?
- How it aids them?
- How to obtain those benefits immediately?
Bury what they need and it wouldn’t take them long enough to switch to another rival in the arena. Fancy visuals, pointless features and fleshy, unmeaningful copy repel them.
The decluttered buffer homepage as shown below serves as a good example in this case. What it does, why you need it and clear directions are all provided in a single page, for the user to get started.
5. Great Designers Take Care of Speed
Imagine a package deal; stunning websites that are artistically developed, mobile-friendly, use decipherable typography but captivating images, all in all flawless. As praiseworthy as these sound, these mind-blowing features are all in vain if, at its basic level, the website loads slowly.
Speed is what matters the most. Everything adds up well if speed is the website’s highlight. UX, conversions, valuable engagements, higher search rankings, all stand together like a dominos linked to the website speed. Great designers understand that a great site-performance is the only achievement they chase for.
Bundling up of excessive images/features slows down the loading time of websites. Hence, great designers work with developers to sort user-priorities to enhance the user-experience.
Bottom line: They rethink, reduce and recover!
These form literally a gist of what you need to know to about great designers or, in fact, be one. Of course, there is a lot more to be addressed but head-turners would pay a heed to these 5 skills particularly. Now, who are you: A face-palmer or a head-turner?