One year of UI Design – Day 6

April 7, 2014

After a weekend full of other activities, I continued my UI Design series today with designing the round menu. The first challenge with a round design is that you have to work with angles. After a few failed trials to create the right angle by hand, I just chose to use 45 degrees, which Photoshop can automatically lock into when you hold the shift-key while dragging a line. Using that angle actually worked out nice and divided the menu in eight parts.

It’s still a quite simple design, though I like that it’s a really different menu than you often see. I think it could be actually very handy to have a round menu instead of a horizontal or vertical navigation bar, since you have all the menu-items really close to each other. Another reason that I keep my designs simple is very practical: time. I’m trying to do this UI Design challenges almost every day and for that to happen, I have to limit the time I spend on it. That also provides some helpful pressure on the design process. Like this morning my train was heavily delayed, so I decided to pick a train later, giving me exactly half an hour to go to a Starbucks, open my laptop and design the menu. Keeping that in mind, I’m happy with the result.

Today I also realised again how helpful sketches are. I first thought I could just do this thing by head, but halfway I found myself in need to have a look at my sketches to check if I was still on the right path. I think sketching is half of the work, because you have most things worked out in your head by that stage. Though of course for a real project there would be more time needed to think about the details. For now, here is a nice round menu.


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