What is User Interface Design (UI)

User Interface Design

User Interface Design (UI) is focused on what your customers or potential customers need. It is also about ensuring that the things you produce for the customer’s or end user’s needs are easy to access, easy to understand, and easy to use. UI uses concepts from Interaction Design (IxD), Graphic Design, and Information Architecture (IA). Users are accustomed to a certain way of doing things, so be consistent and predictable in your design choices.

User Interface Elements

User interface elements include but are not limited to:

  • Input Controls: buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, toggles, date fields
  • Navigational Components: breadcrumb, menu, slider, search field, pagination, icons
  • Informational Components: tools, tips, icons, progress bars, notifications, message boxes
  • Containers: accordions, widgets, tables, panels, windows

Deployment Phase

Media or software deployment is all of the activities that make digital material available for use. Deployment is about making the product available for the user. The deployment process is composed of a number of different activities:

Product Release is related to packaging the product and distributing it to the user.

Deactivate and Remove is related to turning off certain software components and deleting the information from the computer. This prepares a computer for new software that will be replacing the old software.

Install and Activate is related to placing the software in the right locations on a computer and verifying that the product license is valid.

Adapt and Update is related to modifying the software or environment for personal use.

Version Tracking is related to identifying how recent a software product is and whether the user is setup of the current variant.

Retire is when a product reaches the end of its life cycle and is no longer produced or supported.

Analysis Phase

Product analysis is about identifying the requirements, goals, and scope of a project. It is also about making observations about current or related products in order to develop design requirements. These requirements and observations are then documented into a report that describe the action items that need to be addressed in the design phase. Product analysis involves several different activities:

Goals and Requirements are related to identifying specific project objectives.

User Analysis is related to identifying issues related to usability.

Documentation is related to organizing data, prioritizing objectives and developing a report that describes the important details of a project.

Design Phase

Design is about identifying the tools and technologies that will be used, growth factors, networking processes, and the structure of the components to be developed. It is about narrowing down from numerous potential solutions to one explicit solution.

Implementation Phase

The implementation phase involves the actual construction and development of the desired products. Programmers are occupied with encoding, designers are involved in developing graphic material, and contractors are building. It is during this phase that the project becomes more than abstract ideas. There are tangible solutions being developed. The implementation phase is the “doing” phase of the project. At the end of the implementation phase, the result is evaluated according to the list of requirements that was generated in the analysis phase. Once the project manager and the client agree that the terms have been met, the project is deployed to the end user.