The concept of UI/UX design has begun to gain significant attention in a growing digital world.
After all, every business needs to be active online to connect with its audience today. However, these companies also need to ensure the “experience” they’re offering their end-users is memorable for all the right reasons. If your User Interface or User Experience isn’t up to scratch, you can’t compete with other brands, and you’ll lose the interest of your target market.
According to studies, every dollar invested in successful UX design leads to a $100 ROI. Designers capable of mastering UI/UX skills can therefore earn a significant sum for their services.
The question is, how do you start learning the basics of UI/UX design from scratch?
Here are some useful steps to get you on the right track.
Step 1: Discover the Fundamentals of UX/UI Design
If you’re interested in exploring a future in UX/UI design, you’ll need to start by gaining a basic of understanding of which factors contribute to user experience. There are many different factors which can influence how we feel about a website, and even how we interact with different pages.
For instance, some of the most common elements to think about include:
- Layout and navigation: The layout or structure of your website effects how customers move through your pages and respond to content. If you’re designing a Shopify website, for instance, you’ll need to ensure products are easy to find with categories and menus, and pages are arranged to present useful information clearly.
- Colors and imagery: Colors and imagery can effect users in a variety of different ways. Color psychology means we respond to certain shades differently. For instance, blue is calming and reliable, while red is bold and aggressive. Using the right combination of colors and imagery can also help to ensure your content is easier to consume on a website.
- Functionality: How your website works also has an impact on user experience. It needs to load quickly and perform consistently on all platforms to engage a wider audience. Buttons and links need to be easy to access, while on the back-end, various components need to be connected to help business owners track important data.
There are frameworks and tools to help designers understand the fundamentals of UX/UI design. For instance, the “Five S’s” of UX design is a common framework to read up on if you’re just getting started. It’s also worth checking out books written on UX design like “The Design of Everyday Things”, or “Don’t Make Me Think”.
Step 2: Develop an Eye for Good UI and UX Designs
Once you understand the principles involved in UX/UI design, the next step is developing your ability to recognize high-quality designs wherever they are. A great way to take your skills to the next level, is to start evaluating some of the websites you use regularly.
If you’re a Shopify developer checking out trending website designs, make a list of the sites which appeal to you most. Try to highlight the aspects of these sites that help to enhance your experience. Do you enjoy the color choices, or the interactive elements? How does the spacing between elements work to create a clean experience, and what is the visual hierarchy of the website like?
You can also make a list of the things you don’t like about certain sites, and try to link those to UI/UX design errors. For instance, if you notice a website is frustrating to use, diving a little deeper might help you to figure out why. Maybe the navigation isn’t as clear as it should be, or you find the content you need isn’t located in the correct place.
Following other Shopify developers online and checking out top-rated websites regularly will give you a lot of opportunities to put your eye to the test.
Step 3: Learn How to Use the Tools of the Trade
Any web design expert needs the right tools to create their digital assets. Shopify web designers rely heavily on things like LIQUID language and Shopify development stores. Developing your understanding of how different parts of the Shopify ecosystem work, and how they contribute to your user experience is a great way to improve the quality of your work.
However, don’t forget there are other tools out there that can help you as well. For instance, many developers and designers leverage “Figma” for UX design with teams. This is a prototyping tool for digital projects which makes it easier to work on websites as part of a group.
If you’re creating themes for Shopify, you might leverage Adobe XD, where you can create various user interfaces and experiment with colors and styles to see how they influence user experience. Investing in and experimenting with the correct tools will ensure you’re ready to implement the fundamentals of UX/UI design in your future projects.
Step 4: Begin Building a Portfolio
A portfolio is an important tool in a web designers arsenal for many reasons. First, it gives you a way to attract new clients, and showcase your abilities. Secondly, it’s an excellent opportunity to start putting what you’ve learned about UI/UX design into practice.
There are free UI kits available online to help you get started with your experiments. Or you can leverage the benefits of free Shopify development sites if you want to focus exclusively on the Shopify industry. The key to developing a strong portfolio is working on a wide range of different projects, so you can demonstrate your versatility.
Practice creating mock-ups for a full ecommerce website or app, or look into building your own Shopify themes from scratch. You can post your creations online to help develop your professional brand, and even experiment with different designs to see which options generate the best results from your target audience.
Step 5: Ask for and Learn from Feedback
One of the best ways to develop your skills as a UI/UX designer, is to actually ask people for their opinions on your designs. When you’re a beginner, you might find you get a lot of negative comments when you post your designs on sites like Dribbble and Reddit. However, don’t be disheartened.
Negative feedback, while upsetting at times, can also be an excellent learning tool. It helps you to recognize the issues you didn’t know you had with your design processes, and level-up your skills. Seeking feedback regularly will ensure you can also work on any problems you have before you start showcasing your portfolio to potential clients.
Some design experts find it helpful to seek out a professional mentor to guide them. For instance, you could connect with other Shopify experts in your industry, and ask them for their opinions on where you can improve your UX/UI efforts.
As you begin working with real clients, remember to gather as much feedback from them as possible too. Your clients will be able to provide you with insights into how different design choices might have increased conversions with their end-users, or improved their brand reputation.
Start Learning UI/UX Design
While designing for user experience can seem complicated in a world where preferences are constantly changing, it’s a valuable avenue for any digital expert. If you want to thrive as a developer or Shopify designer, you need to ensure you’re capable of creating the experiences end users want.
One of the most important things to remember is once you start learning the basics of UI/UX design, you should never stop expanding your knowledge. Building on your education consistently will ensure you can stay one step ahead of changing trends.