7 Must Need Skills for Aspiring UX/UI Designers

What do you know about the UX/UI designer job? Probably you may think that it’s all about creating clean interfaces, icons, and illustrations.

However, there’s more to this. As a UI/UX designer, you need to learn further. You must know more about who your web design users are. This will help you create usable features. And, when you create functional features, your users can easily achieve their goals. For example, you should always improve the ease of usability to benefit users.

Your ability to propose the right website design solutions will be significant to the success of this role. And, to come up with appropriate website development solutions, you need the right design skills.

Irwin, the Chromatix Owner, said that your web design nowadays must win the customers’ trust. This is important if you’re to enhance the desired returns. He says that website design is a plan to arrange elements best. It’s what will help you achieve specific purposes.

You need to recognise that the purpose of your work will extend beyond designing for screens. That’s why you must be able to align your design with developers where necessary.

Besides, the Chromatix Owner, in his ‘we’re true web purists’ words, promises that his team of experts will custom make websites so that your phone won’t stop ringing. Thus a great website for you!

What You Should Know to Become a UI/UX Designer

The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designs are still considered new fields. Thus, there are no official requirements for becoming an approved UI/UX designer.

Many professional UI/UX designers come from different fields. And, each individual may bring transferable skills like:

  • Software development
  • Visual design
  • Digital marketing

More so, your educational background as a UI/UX designer is not immediately obvious. We can say that a degree in web or graphic design may help. But, UI/UX design mostly concerns how people think.

This means that a person with a background in psychology can be skilful enough to work as a UI/UX designer. And, they can do as much as one with a background in graphic design.

It’s no surprise why the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the employment growth projection for web developers and digital designers. The jobs are projected to increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030. This is a higher increase rate than the average for other occupations.

More so, 17,900 job openings on average are anticipated every year for web developers and digital designers. This is still bound to happen between 2020 and 2030. And most of these openings are expected to escalate from the need to replace workers shifting to different occupations.

Essentially, some skills are unique to each UI and UX role. For instance, UX designers typically need organizing and interactive web design skills. On the other hand, UI designers need typography, animation, layouts systems, and colour theory skills.

However, there are shared skills between UI and UX that a website designer needs. Some may involve collaboration, visual and communication skills.

Read on to learn more about the 7 must need skills for aspiring UX/UI designers.

1. Information Architecture Skills

Information architecture (IA) is a significant UI/UX design factor. It focuses on:

  • Organising information
  • Structuring websites and mobile applications

The above focus points purpose to help users navigate sites to find the information they need.

Information architecture concerns many things. It involves how organised your web pages are to conversation channels within a chatbot. This means that your content must be well-structured and labelled properly for users to find it.

A user-friendly and well-designed information architecture ensures that users spend less time and effort in finding information. And that they’re successful in finding what they’re looking for.

The main information-architecture tasks involved among web design companies include:

  • Establishing common features in a content
  • Creating groups of similar information objects
  • Linking documents one to another on similar topics

As a UI/UX designer, you need to consider users’ needs for knowledge around the designed product. This is especially when it concerns a complex software application. Thus, an app or website’s content must be clear and understandable.

2. Wireframing and Prototyping Skills

Wireframing and prototyping skills form the basic steps of product development. The skill offers web designers the chance to conduct user testing at every web design stage.

This forms the foundation for good user experience and user interface designs. UI/UX designers use this skill to determine the particular features to display on a website. They use wireframing and prototyping to establish:

  • Which features to omit
  • Where to position specific content
  • How to visually present features and content to offer the easiest and most efficient user experience

You must know how to represent UI elements in diagrammatic form. This includes elements like:

  • Images
  • Menus
  • Call-to-Action buttons

With approved wireframes, you’ll also need to work on mockups. These are initial product models designed to test a concept or procedure. In such cases, you need to familiarise yourself with common prototyping tools like Marvel or Invision.

Most importantly, as a UI/UX designer, you must produce wireframes and prototypes faster. And the results should be effective.

3. Coding Skills

As a UI/UX designer, you need to become a coding expert. It helps to think like a developer. And, it’s even more beneficial to use the coding language. It enables you to communicate better with developers, so you’re both speaking one language.

Thus, it would help if you start by having basic Javascript, CSS, and HTML skills. This is what gives you the ability to make minor website changes. Remember, you’ll most likely be testing and re-testing website features at a faster pace. And you must code minor changes even without the need for a developer.

Besides, coding skills will help you to work best with software engineers. This is where you can understand software architecture controls. Hence, you can formulate more realistic designs.

4. Analytical Skills

As a UX/UI designer, it helps to understand that when a product or feature is sent to production, it doesn’t mean that usability testing is done.

So, your work as a UI/UX designer is to monitor product usability data continually. As a result, you can find ways to improve the existing products. At the same time, you can use data to conclude on new product ideas.

Anytime you create a website or an app, you must test it. Understanding the numbers, ratios, and percentage results and representations is crucial. It will enable you to evaluate the performance of your design quickly.

5. Visual Communication Skills

There’s more to visual design in UX/UI than how a website looks and feels. For example: What happens when you see standardised user elements like the playback button?

Definitely, when you see such an icon, you quickly know that it’s clickable. And you also understand what it signals. That’s the power of a visual cue.

So, effective visual communication skills concern using more visual cues to guide users. This means lowering the need for using written user instructions.

As a UX/UI designer, you must know how to integrate some visual cues to guide users.

The visual cues help users to:

  • Understand where they should go next on a web page.
  • Know how to find the information or features they need.
  • Know what other actions they should take to satisfy their needs.

6. Interaction Design Skills

Interaction design skill is fundamental for a UX/UI designer. It allows for the creation of successful digital products. And, most importantly, products that centre on in-built interaction designs.

The web designs should enable users to accomplish their desired tasks using minimal effort. Interaction design involves elements like:

  • Motion
  • Sound
  • Aesthetics
  • Physical space (how and where the product is used)

All these affect users’ interaction with particular products. So, as a UX/UI designer, you must be concerned with:

  • Information access
  • Effectiveness of the screen layout
  • User flows

7. Writing Skills

Good UX/UI writing skills can boost your ability to design excellent experiences for users via microcopy. They are a major element for website navigation and the overall user experience.

Effective UX/UI writing is useful and concise. It also reflects the brand’s tone and values. The user experience writing works together with visual design and interaction to create a user-friendly environment. This is where the user can realise their goals quickly.

Key Takeaways

A UX/UI designer is presently considered one of the most in-demand careers in the field of creativity. Understanding the necessary skills a UX/UI designer needs is fundamental.

UX/UI design is a people-centred job. Thus, the candidates focused more on their skills will be at a higher edge than those with credentials only.

So, entering the web design industry does not only require regular training. You also need the right skills. This is what will make web designers meet the increasing business demands.

 

Silva Web Designs - Profile

Posted by: Silva Web Designs

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

It’s good to share

User Experience Principles For A Great Website Design

When you work on web design, one of the few things that you will always have to work on is ensuring a good user experience. User experience design is a process to develop websites and apps that offer a relevant and meaningful experience to the user. It combines several aspects of usability, design, function, and branding.

UX design is ever-evolving. It is a creative field with new trends being born every now and then. Perhaps that’s why website redesign is a common practice. You will find several business owners finding professionals to revamp their websites and make them user-friendly.

UX design might keep developing, yet, there are a few principles that form the foundation of every great design. It is these user experience principles that make the interaction of the user with a website exactly how a designer wants it to be – delightful.

If you are new to design, you should make it a point to have these principles at your fingertips. You should attempt to align these principles with your design practice. It will help you create a great website design; something that every designer strives for.

The better the user experience you provide, the better your SEO will perform.

One of the common principles that you will find at the junction of user experience and SEO is the speed of the website. The more quickly your website loads, the better. You can use a tool like website checker for a site speed test.

You can find the other user experience principles below.

Learnable interface

The first user experience principle is Krug’s First Law of Usability — “Don’t make me think”.

We have all heard how a website should be easy to use. But what exactly does it mean? According to Krug’s law, you should attempt to design your website in such a way that your user doesn’t have to think twice about what they are supposed to do. Make your interface self-explanatory.

You need to understand that your user has developed some habits over the years he or she has been using the websites. We know that an arrow or a hamburger icon is a menu bar (thank you, Facebook!).

We have all heard how a website should be easy to use. But what exactly does it mean? According to Krug’s law, you should attempt to design your website in such a way that your user doesn’t have to think twice about what they are supposed to do. Make your interface self-explanatory.

You need to understand that your user has developed some habits over the years he or she has been using the websites. We know that an arrow or a hamburger icon is a menu bar (thank you, Facebook!).

These are our mental modes. As a user, we have an idea of how certain things work on a website. You should adhere to these mental modes (at least in some cases). It will be easy for users to learn how to navigate your website.

For example, keep your navigation bar at the top, somewhere where it’s easy to locate and access, just like most other websites. You can place relevant tabs in your navigation bars and hide the less important ones in subcategories.

Adhering to mental modes does not mean you should avoid testing. Test your designs to be sure about your audience and to steer clear of assumptions.

Easy language

Using fancy words will only lead to making the process prolonged and your aim as a designer should be to quicken up the process.

It is important that you add language that is simple and clear to understand. The more easily your user understands the language, the more quickly will they be able to reach their end goal. In fact, your attempt should be to use language that even a 6th grader would understand.

Using simple language also allows users to finish tasks with accuracy. Now, remember that today, users hardly have time or patience on their hands. Using industry jargon and complex terms will only act as a hindrance, leading to frustrating the user.

This simplicity is especially needed for error messages and your CTAs. If you are getting a form filled and the user leaves a mandatory section blank, it would obviously pop an error message. Keep the language here minimal. Suppose you need their card information, your error message should just be ‘*CVV is required.

Your CTAs should be according to your audience. This just means that if your audience prefers something catchy, use a catchy and descriptive CTA. But if they want something direct, just use a simple and straightforward CTA.

Content relevance

We often stumble across websites because we are in search of solutions. If we find what we are looking for as soon as we land on the website, it offers us delight. Otherwise, we are just left disappointed and frustrated.

Similarly, when your users visit your website, they should be able to find the content they are looking for in terms of relevance. It is one of the important principles to ensure that your content is precise and o the point.

Also, you can ensure ease of access to this content by adding categories to your menu and navigational items.

Suppose you are a store that sells online products. You should categorize your products according to their popularity. Your most popular products should take the extreme left place on the navigation bar or the top spot in the drop-down menu.

If your customer is in search of the most popular items and the correct content related to those products is the first thing they come across, it will offer a good user experience.

Minimalism

We have already discussed how a user is in search of something, which could be in the form of information or a product when they visit your website.

To ensure that they have a great experience, you should attempt to remove the barriers that will make it longer for them to reach their final goal. This is where a minimum design will be more relevant.

You should get rid of all the additional and irrelevant elements that might distract the user and get them off track. You should attempt to only include the information or products that the customer needs to see at that moment along with the navigation options to make it easy to go through the website.

If you have a hotel website to design, you should certainly select a remarkable hero image and videos beautifully expressing different stories. But you should not hide away the ‘Book Now’ button behind all of this. Otherwise, it will prolong the process and distract your user.

Keep your website design intuitive and simple. It will go a long way.

Touch-friendly

Clickable elements in a website are what help transform it from being ordinary to extraordinary. Such elements are crucial to ensure efficiency.

When you plan your design in a manner that there is no additional or irrelevant content on a web page, you can easily have enough space to make sure the size of those elements (buttons, the toggle buttons, dropdown lists, etc.) with which the users will interact is sufficiently large.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the size of your button should at least be larger than the diameter of an average thumb (approximately 15mm).

The more touch-friendly elements you add, the better user experience you will offer to your audience.

Relevant information architecture

Information architecture is how you structure content on your website. It is the well-structured information architecture that ensures the flow and ease of access to the content present on your website.

This proper sorting of content allows you to ensure that your customers are not lost or confused when they visit your website. A proper information architecture ensures it’s easy and efficient to navigate your website.

You should sort your information architecture before you start designing. This will help you stay on track and also allow you to get rid of any irrelevant content.

Conclusion

To conclude, we can say it’s the little things that matter to ensure a good user experience. Providing relevant information, keeping the website minimalistic, and reducing the number of clicks to achieve a goal is just a few of the many ways for you to ensure your users have a good time navigating your website.

 

Silva Web Designs - Profile

Posted by: Silva Web Designs

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

It’s good to share

Why User Experience Is Vital for Quality SEO

There was a time when search engine optimization (SEO) was all about backlinking and keyword stuffing. Not anymore. These days, Google is increasingly focused on your site’s overall user experience (UX). Let’s take a closer look at why UX matters for SEO. 

User experience (UX) quality, which includes making your site easy to navigate and producing regular engaging content, has become one of the top factors in getting high Google rankings. Stuffing your text with keywords and building backlinks are not effective SEO strategies anymore. Whether you’ve got an eCommerce shop selling lampshades, or an online casino with games like Sizzling Hot, Google is most interested in how your visitors interact with the content. Not convinced yet? Then check out this article. We’ll go through the top reasons why user experience plays a role in search engine rankings. And we’ll also share advice on how to improve your position. Let’s get started.

Google Gets Smarter Every Day

There used to be a time when user experience for SEO was pretty irrelevant. Google was primarily interested in how connected your content was with the keyword typed into the search bar. Plus, the search engine determined your trustworthiness by the number of reputable sites linking to you. But in 2021, Google got a new tool to pick the top search results: the RankBrain algorithm. And one of the primary criteria this machine learning system detects is the user experience on a website. It measures over 150 factors of user behaviour, including session duration and pages per session. If your videos and posts do not tailor to your customers’ searches, the user experience is not good, and visitors won’t explore deeper into your website. That causes a high bounce rate, and RankBrain informs Google about it. As a result, you get a lower rank.

Improving the User Experience via Better Content

So, how to enhance the user experience? It all starts with giving your visitors comprehensive content that answers 100% to what they’re searching for. That creates a positive experience that’s good for your business. And it’s also beneficial for Google because satisfied users are likely to use Google for their new searches. Unfortunately, a big chunk of content on the web is reiterated, rehashed, stuffed with keywords, and offers very little value to the customer. These uninspired and uninformative writings do no good for Google’s reputation if the search engine ranks them high.

How to Improve Your Content

To create valuable content, you need to step into your customers’ shoes for a minute and think about what they are hoping to find when searching for a specific keyword. If, for example, they type in “dog grooming,” they don’t want to read a general article about pets with the keyword “dog grooming” stuffed in every paragraph. A comprehensive guide on the best ways to groom a specific breed of dog will be much more valuable. Or a detailed comparison of the best grooming products for dogs with lots of hair.

Making sure your information is specific and relevant is only the first step in keeping your audience’s interest. For the best user experience and the highest rankings, you need to go further. Share unique stories about your brand, provide ingenious industry-specific solutions, publish highly relevant case studies, etc. The aim is to offer people something your competitors don’t have. That’ll make them stay on your site longer, and it improves your SEO.

businessman loudspeaker

Site Navigation – Keep It Simple

Does your website have overly complex navigation? That can cause plenty of confusion for users and increase the time it takes to complete their tasks. And nobody is likely to return to a site that takes too much of their time.

So if possible, keep the number of pages low, and organise them in a user-friendly way. That means having a simple short menu, making sure your search box works, having zero error pages, and clearly divided categories. All this will also help Google understand what your site is about, which can improve your rankings.

Headings to Identify Content – Use Them

The thing is that before people read your posts, they will check the headings of the content to see if it provides an answer to what they’re searching for. So having titles using H2-H6 (H1 should be preserved for the title only) tags point the reader quickly to the information that interests them. Plus, Google crawlers interpret your content based on H2 tags.

Make the Pages Load as Fast as Possible

Regardless of how engaging your site is, the user experience with slow loading pages will always be a nightmare. More than half of consumers will leave the website immediately if it takes more than 3(!) seconds to load. So choose a fast web-host server, clean up your code, compress images, and do everything possible to make the pages load super fast.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Everybody has a smartphone these days, so mobile-friendliness is a must in providing the best user experience. Pay attention to how variables like images, text, and overall layout of your page translate to a mobile screen. Keeping everything clear and to the point improves your site’s usability and, therefore, its Google ranking.

Test Your UX Efforts

The best way to gain user experience knowledge and understand how it affects your SEO is to A/B test every new feature. Come up with at least two variations for every UX improvement you’re planning to make. For example, if you’re going to make your text bigger, try both a medium and a large letter size. Testing allows you to see which variables drive more engagement, get more clicks, and ultimately, get you a higher Google rank.

mobile app ux apps cellphone

Conclusion

The bottom line is this: user experience will affect Google ratings. Their primary aim is to give their users relevant and easily accessible results. That goal has helped Google become the number one search engine on the internet with a consistently growing user base. And since user experience is important to Google, easy site navigation, valuable content, mobile-friendliness, and fast loading times can all help you rank higher in the search results. So start improving your UX today, and effective SEO will follow.

Have you enhanced the user experience for your eCommerce site lately? Let us know what impact it had on your Google ratings.

Posted by: Darrell Rios

Darrell Rios is a former journalist and owner of several local shops. Now in his spare time he writes about business and entrepreneurship, as he has extensive experience in organising startups and business analytics.

 

It’s good to share

5 Reasons Consistent Business Branding is Important

Web design, believe it or not, is much more than the elements that visitors are actually able to see. The design of a website has a significant impact on many elements of your business. This is because of the fact that an online presence is one of the more important things that a business needs to keep in mind. If you take consistent business branding seriously, you will be helping to keep your visitors happy.

Consistent business branding creates a familiarity between your brand and website, one that allows users and customers to feel more comfortable with doing business with you. This is because your business will become to look and feel more ‘legit’. It will also make it easier for you to create a distinct ‘personality’ for your brand.

When we talk about design being associated with both a ‘real’ world and digital presence, it is important to understand that when we talk about consistent business branding, we are talking about colours, logos, fonts, your brand message… and it all has to be the same, be consistent, between your online and physical business branding.

The more consistent your brand is, the easier it is going to be for you to build trust for your brand. Why? It’s because people search for companies that they can rely on. As mentioned already, consistent business branding is not just about the visual elements of your website or your bricks and mortar location, it is also about making sure that there is a comfortable interaction between customer, brand and website.

The importance of consistent business branding

Business brand consistency also includes all of your methods of expression, such as video or image content, that will affect how people form opinions about your brand and whether those opinions will be positive or not. Of course, the overall brand consistency is going to depend on the consistency of your messaging, what do you offer exactly, and design.

In the digital world, creating and publishing web content is relatively easy. An idea is very quickly developed from concept to finished product. When it is this easy, is it really all that surprising that lots of brands fail to check for consistency, while some others simply ignore it in favour of speed and getting content ‘out there’.

Your business should not allow itself to fall prey to quantity over quality. There shouldn’t be any variation in things like presentation or interpretation. Any brand that keeps changing is not going to build trust, nor is it going to be perceived as reliable. Large brands rarely change their branding, and that’s because they know how potentially damaging that can be.

Consistency becomes especially crucial when it comes to web design, given just how central the internet to people’s lives the internet has become. Firstly, working toward consistent business branding, make sure that the basics like nav icons, images etc. are in the same place on each page of your website. This way, your site visitors will not be wasting time trying to work out something as simple as how to use your website.

In addition to this, consistent business branding can actually help to lower costs. With a consistent layout, developers can get to work with pre-existing templates meaning that new ones don’t have to be created. This cuts development time, which in turn cuts your costs. The first thing that should be taken care of is the colour scheme – make sure that it is consistent with headers, footers, logos, the background etc.

1. Branding

The single most important thing is to make a crystal-clear connection between your brand’s message, its name and the logo that you are using. This type of connection is extremely helpful. It can even help where the brand name has zero to do with the product being sold. For example, nobody would reasonably connect the name of a planet with a chocolate bar, would they? It does, however, become that much more memorable.

Reinforcing connections between very different elements show to visitors that the details matter to you and this, in turn, makes your look more trustworthy in the eyes of the customer.

2. User interface & User experience

These two aspects of the design have many features of their own, but the main goal that the majority of designers wish to achieve is a sense of predictability and convenience. Take buttons, as an example. Buttons should be immediately recognisable as being buttons, they should also be actually clickable. Not only should they be usable and identifiable, but they should also look and act the same way on all of your pages.

In this way, site visitors will very quickly get used to how your website works, and they will be able to enjoy a relatively seamless experience without distraction. Consistent business branding such as this is well worth investing in.

3. Information communication

It is also very important to keep consistency in mind when it comes to communicating information to site visitors and customers. Your users are going to find it very difficult to find the information that they need if it has been placed in random places around your website. You should be aiming to keep things as simple as possible.

Care should also be taken with font elements such as bold and italics. These can very easily lead to distraction, so be sure that such text is on the same level of importance. Another way to draw attention to a certain piece of text is by using a larger font. That being said, you should take care here too so as not to create confusion with too many sub-headers.

4. Messaging

The right colours and striking logos are important in making your branding visually appealing, however, it is also very important to consider the message of your brand and how it contributes to constructing a strong and consistent business branding. Very often brands will leverage websites to demonstrate how their services or products are superior.

While the above is true, and it is advantageous to demonstrate expertise and accomplishments, it is also true that you don’t neglect the other way you can leverage your website to get your message across: by using it to explain to potential new customers just how you can them too.

5. Logical flow of consistent business branding

The logical flow of design is also something you need to be keeping in mind. For instance, if you have a medium-sized image in the middle of a page and you follow on from there with, say, a 60-word description, then logical design flow would dictate that you do the same with the next image.

Visitors will very quickly pick up on the logical flow of the content, making it easier for them to read and to understand. Logical flow is in use on the sites of all major brands, as they tend to follow best design practices to make things easier for people to move from browsing to purchasing.

In conclusion

Consistent business branding allows visitors to feel more familiar with your brand and your website. Consistency across platforms also helps in the exercise of building trust and creating an image of a brand of being reliable. Web design, done consistently, serves several other purposes including helping to cut costs and make the entire visitation process more convenient for your customers.

 

Silva Web Designs - Profile

Posted by: Silva Web Designs

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

It’s good to share