Understanding the fundamentals of Designs
Hello everyone! I worked as a software engineering fellow at Leapfrog Technology Inc, Kathmandu for 8 weeks. We were taught multiple things during our fellowship at Leapfrog. Here, I will be sharing my learnings at Leapfrog so you can relate to the minimum understanding of software engineering fellow.
Introduction to Design was our very first session at Leapfrog facilitated by our brother Ishan Manandhar (ishan02016). These are basically my takeaways from his session.
Kickstart with Designs
Designs are the very first step towards problem-solving. Let’s start with an example. When clients approach some companies, they have some problems to solve and requirements to fulfill. To solve any kind of problems plans are made and representing that plans or specifications in the form of a prototype, the process is designed. We need to make sure all the user's needs are fulfilled while designing. According to the Cambridge dictionary, how something is planned and made is defined as designs.
Three aspects of designs:
- Visceral: Visceral aspects of designs talk about the tangibility of designs. We can look at designs and feel them.
- Reflective: Every design conveys messages.
- Behavioral: Designs are just not aesthetic but should cater to the needs of wide numbers of users. It must be inclusive, accessible to all users, and must be functional.
As a tech student, we design and build digital products based on clients' needs and assumptions and then validate our assumptions. While talking about designs disciplines, design is itself a discipline of problem-solving, and under this design umbrella we have numerous sub-disciplines which are listed below:
UI and UX Designs
User Interface(UI): The user Interface is that screen that we see when we open our website. They are just aesthetics and visual elements. UI is mainly concerned with the good looking of designs such as the proper size of buttons and color contrast, relevant use of icons, etc.
User Experience(UX): User Experience is concerned with the overall experience of a person when they interact with every aspect of designs. UI is concerned with what we see whereas UX is concerned with what we feel while playing with designs.
A good design focuses on both UI and UX. In case, if we can’t balance UI and UX, what is more important? In such situations, designers focus more on UX than on UI because we want users to feel good by using our product despite a bad UI.
Elements of designs in digital products:
Have you ever thought, why is alert always red, Green is always eco friendly, and Orange perceived as warmth? This is because color has its own psychological effects on its users.
When plain texts are incorporated with art, we define them as typography. Typography gives those plain texts some styles and personalities. Different typography has different tones and voices to convey messages to its audience.
If we look at “MOTHMAN”, the font looks more like horror and if we are making a health-related website we might need “Verdana ‘’ type typography.
Similarly, we might need other different kinds of typography if we are making products for children. Therefore, typography plays an important role to hook up our audience.
LAYOUT AND COMPOSITION:
Principles of designs:
- Proximity: It is the grouping of things together using proper spaces. It is the use of visual space to show relationships in contents.
- Space: Space helps to define and separate different sections.
- Alignment: Alignment helps to make the composition more organized and easy to navigate
- Contrast: Contrast draws the attention of users or creates emphasis.
- Hierarchy: Shows users where to begin and where to go next using different levels of emphasis. For emphasis, it can use different levels of visual weight in typography.
- Repetition: Every project should have a consistent look and feel. It can be like using similar components everywhere in designs.
Dieter Rams have given 10 principles of good designs which are depicted by the below-shown picture:
To better understand the principles of good designs we can go through this video: Principles of good design
Examples of bad designs:
- The above design is bad because statements in design make us aware of using a mask while coughing, but the emoji used has the mouth opened during coughing. If we could have used emoji with a mask, it would have been a good design.
- The above-shown teapot is also an example of bad design. Although it looks pretty, we can see the handle and the mouth for serving tea from the teapot are on the same side. Users will encounter difficulties while using this product. Therefore, it’s a bad design.
Comparison between good and bad designs:
Designs are always targeted to end-users and designing starts with empathy. Designs are not always about what we see, it equally important how we feel while playing with the entire design.
I am a beginner in software development who is willing to learn and evolve. So, let's learn together and I am always welcoming feedback.