what a UX and a UI designer does

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Dancing queen, one of the best pop songs ever written! It was a song written by ABBA… But what has ABBA got to do with eva? I come from Sweden, so does ABBA but eva comes from Wimbedon so where’s the link? Wil asked me to write a blog post for our website about what a UX (User Experience) and a UI (User Interface) architect does and the process I go through to perfect the experience. My job is to Make every pixel and second count…

Back in the day when I worked as a musician I wrote, recorded and produced songs. When you write a song you can do it all by yourself or you can work with other composers or a band. Regardless how it’s composed you always play the song to people to see it they like it. You grab the acoustic guitar and just sing it to your friends or whatever. The point is you always want to know what people think, you want them to sing along, you want them to remember the song and you want them to want to listen to it again. When you finally reach the point where you feel like you’ve improved the song as much as you can, it’s time to go into the studio and lay down a demo. The eva UX design process for me is exactly the same. You make something, you go out and test it and then you go and make it better. You keep repeating this process so that you can create the best product you can.

When Bjorn and Benny composed songs together they started with chords, structure and finally melody. And let me tell you these boys know a lot of chords. They add colour and finesse to every section of the songs. When it comes to complexity and song writing, ABBA songs are way up there. That sounds odd right? All ABBA melodies are simple and easy to remember. They are ALL hit songs but that’s because there is so much complexity and brilliance behind the songs and the best part is that people don’t ever realise this! The complexity is in the simplicity. This is exactly how I like to approach app design UI and UX. I work using Complex algorithms and designs so that when the app is ready to use, you can use the app simply and with ease.

You can be a great graphic designer and make beautiful photoshop pages that look like amazing apps. However, If that’s all you can do then I suggest you pick up some more skills. Just designing is not enough anymore! You need to learn about web services, databases, frameworks, photography, video… The list goes on. Most importantly, fire up Xcode and start making animations and simple apps. Your job as a designer is a lot more then just making things pretty. You need to understand the complexity and power of designing and technology. Eat, sleep and breathe technology and code for a few months and you will be a far better designer. Hands down the best thing I’ve ever done as a designer was to learn some coding, even if it’s very basic. Few lines of code for an animation can be extremely powerful. Making the button bounce and image move in just the right way is what can make the user experience move from a 9 to a 10. If you know some code then as a designer you can build, test and tweak this. Trust me your developer will have better things to work on the adjusting 100th of a second animations for every user interaction. In my opinion this should now be part of your job description as a UI or UX designer.

Sometimes as a designer you are forced to take shortcuts or come up with hacks that are not the perfect solution. Perhaps the client didn’t have the budget or possibly the technology can’t deliver. Luckily most things can be solved with some clever designing especially if you have the skills above. Just like in music you can cover some things up in the mix and still have a hit song.

Luckily for me Forbidden technology has the most advanced and powerful cloud editing platform in the world. No need to cover mistakes up in the mix. This is our foundation and eva will be our first hit single.

Jens Wilkholm
UI and UX designer at eva

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