Beginning of the long trip
At the first meeting, I am trying to explain how the process will look and to understand every client’s requirement and what goal we should achieve. As more info I get, I will have a better understanding and plan.
After that, Dribbble, Medium, and other resources will help me to do my research. The research phase is fundamental, because the designer can explore competition, notices some good or bad characteristics, and so on. Also, because of researching, the designer can suggest some new ideas to the client. Suggesting features that solve user’s problems or address specific needs in a given market is called product design. Basically, it is an understanding of the end-user customer, the person for whom the product is being created.
Then, I can start with making wireframes and prototypes. We have many iterations, which means implementing new feedback from the client. But, every feedback is welcomed, although the client thinks that I am angry because of bad criticism. Believe me, each new iteration is improved and I appreciate any kind of feedback, because it helps me to be a better designer. After all iterations, we get a completely new UX flow with all possible states and testing it on some third-party users to see their reactions. Then, after implementing their feedback, I can say that we have the final version of the UX design.
Importance of UX and UI design
Now, I want to explain UI design. It is about giving skin to the UX design, in the form of different objects, colors, fonts, and so on. Usually, I do a few UI examples of main screens, because the client doesn’t know what style he prefers. Then the client tells me what he likes and doesn’t, and then I can do the final version. Then, my life becomes easier, and I can exhale literally. After that, only what I have to do is to create main flow screens, and the style guide with all elements for developers.
What would happen if we would do UX and UI design at the same time? We would be stuck in an endless loop. Because, the client would look only if the product is visually appealing or not. Again, as Steve Jobs said: “The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”.
Back to reality
- Usually, the client doesn’t understand the importance of UX design. He is shocked why there is no color and other visually nice elements, and they can’t concentrate on usability characteristics.
- The other big problem is that clients expect that a designer needs only a few hours to do around 50 screens that usually converts into 150, because of all possible flows. So, expecting everything right now is not realistic.
- The client adores to make UX changes during the UI process. That is what I hate the most, because we have agreed that UX design is final. But, you know that I have to obey the client, and I always try to make some compromises.
- It depends on the case, but some clients can be stubborn. Then the war begins and I have to give a lot of arguments why it should not be like he suggested. Sometimes the client “wins”, sometimes I.
- Getting messages from the client even during the night. So, the client doesn’t give me to sleep like a baby, because I am thinking about flows, colors… I can’t chill out, not even in dreams.