What is (UI) User Interface Design?

User Interface (UI) design is a large field. In theory, UI is a combination of content (documents, texts, images, videos, etc), form (buttons, labels, text fields, check boxes, drop-down lists, graphic design, etc), and behavior (what happens if I click/drag/type).

It takes a good eye, a lot of practice, and a lot of trial and error to get better at it. As a UI designer, your goal is to create a user interface that is engaging, beautiful, and also creates an emotional response from the user to make your products more lovable and beautiful.

When I started out, something I learned from my mentor is to take a tour guide journey to your product. Imagine your app/website as a journey. Every user that downloads your app right from spotting it in the App Store/web, through using it, achieving goals or completing tasks within the app is taken on a journey. And that journey should be a delightful one.

And you, as the app designer, are the craftsman that designs this journey. So you don’t want to throw all the information on the screen hoping that the user will pick it up. That’s the very opposite of a good UI.

Instead, you’re the tour guide that takes the user on a wonderful journey through your app. And in order to this, you have to be able to shift and move their attention from place to place guiding them.

Design isn’t all about learning to use design software —although that’s certainly important. Software is like a designer’s sword. You need the sword to fight the battle, but that’s not all you need to learn to use. You need to learn the strategies, processes, tricks and tips of the fight/game to be able to win it. In UI design, you need to brainstorm, experiment, test, and understand your users and their journey throughout using your product.

The benefits of having a well-designed product is that you’ll have a higher user retention rate.