Outside-In Thinking

Take a Walk on the Customer Side

Category: Design

Two blank, open sketch applications. Used to represent sketch plugins.
Sketch has become a core tool for User Interface (UI) Design. This is down to its simplicity and range of functionality. Some of this functionality can be greatly extended to improve a designer’s workflow thanks to the countless number of third-party plugins that are available to be installed. In this blog post I will take you through our top five most useful Sketch plugins that we at Graphic Mint use in our day-to-day Design within the Sketch app.
Whitespace, or negative space, is empty space used in Design between the layouts, paragraphs and any other elements presented. Clients usually push and argue that content should be condensed to reduce scrolling in order to present the user with more valuable information at once. This myth of “less scrolling” can have negative impacts on usability. While many consider whitespace to be a waste of Design real-estate, I will explain why it is just as important as any other element.
Websites and apps are moving ever more closely to a “Show, Don’t Tell” model. The era of getting large User manuals or long instructions with technology is coming to an end. Instead, Users expect to be introduced and taught about what they are using inline and in context. Furthermore, visualisations are being used to provide context and meaning to the User. One method of doing this is to use illustrations.  To use illustrations correctly within User Interface (UI) Design, certain rules must be followed.
As we move further into the 21st Century, our thinking about how we interact with computers and our understanding of interfaces is evolving at a rapid pace. Despite the proliferation of electronic visual displays, there are other compelling emerging forms of engaging with technology that fall under the umbrella of Natural User Interfaces (NUI). NUI technologies like Voice, Gaze and Gesture are transforming our interactions with technology. Access to it can be done by going beyond the screen. This new found agency to interact has great potential to empower us, and it’s not as far away as we may think.
User Experience (UX) Design is a term that has become more and more common over the last two decades. Yet, some people are still questioning what exactly are the benefits of UX Design? UX is not just a bunch of rules and a trend to follow. Rather it is the entire experience a User gets while using a product. Perfecting this experience is the critical key to success for a product.
In a sea of millions of apps and websites it can be hard to make your product stand out. Good User Interface (UI) Design no longer just ends with rigid grids, buttons and content. Motion Design elevates these elements and conveys further storytelling. It brings life and excitement to otherwise static objects which can be easily overlooked by the User. In real life we can manipulate objects in a variety of ways, and the same can be done online through animations and motions.
Have you ever found yourself clicking the wrong button on a website? Perhaps you spend hours looking for a way to click out of an ad? Or maybe you have a few accounts you haven’t been able to delete. Well, don’t worry. This isn’t because of your ability to navigate the website. Rather it is because the website was made with counterintuitive Design to trick the User. This is known as Dark Patterns Design.

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