One year of UI Design – Day 1

March 30, 2014

There are many things in life I want to learn. I want to keep improving my programming skills and I’d love to learn to play the piano some day. I also want to improve my design skills. For a long time I’ve had a passion for User Interface (UI) Design. I love looking at well designed interfaces and inspiring mock-ups. I’m fascinated by this craft and the importance of details that make all the difference between a good design and a great design.

Years back I had never thought I would be capable of crafting such designs myself, it looked to me like something only super-awesomely-creative people could do and I thought it would be out of my reach. Then I started working at Media Injection and naturally rolled into the position of UI Designer. Working as a front-end developer I’m responsible for the technical side of the interface. Our system is continuously growing and there are new parts added almost every month. Someone has to design those interfaces. That’s me now.

I’ve designed websites for several years, but that’s really different. With websites I was mainly designing content and building a structure around it. With UI design I’m crafting an application and have to think much more about the functionality and details. I still have a lot to learn, but I love doing it and I believe that’s half the way.

For some time I’ve been thinking about how to improve my skills, since design is something that’s not really learned by reading books. It’s one of those things you have to practice a lot to master it. Recently I saw a blogpost from an old colleague of mine, Jimmy, who is also a developer learning to design. He has put himself on a 100 days challenge in which he’ll design one UI item every day. I like a nice challenge and this one sounds very appealing to me. Good designers steal, so I’ll copy his idea and will give it my own twist.

I’ll put myself to a challenge and call it ‘One Year of UI Design’. From today I want to spend 365 days doing something related to UI Design. It’ll be things like designing UI parts from scratch and following tutorials. Maybe there’ll be days when I’m too busy for it, but that’s ok. I’ll just count the days that I’m working on my challenge and in this way I hope to learn and improve my UI Design skills. Feedback is always welcome and so are tips on how to learn and improve more.

I followed Jimmy’s example and started with a login screen, since that’s where it often starts. Today I made the sketches and later this week I’ll start designing them in Photoshop.


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