User interfaces are sometimes hard to get hands on. Here are situations where I found designing interfaces were problematic.
The lack of inspiration always comes the first. There is no denying that as designers, there are times when we feel like we are not doing design at all, we are just making things up, and nothing seems beautifully functional. I’ve been through the same many times, so normally I’d go check other designers’ artwork on Dribbble or Behance to get inspired, or motivated.
The lack of understanding or intention may get in our way. Unlike experience design, interface design can be independent, there is less research needed, and it doesn’t matter whether you redesign something based on exist products, or you just use your creativity to get your hands dirty. Because visual is mostly matters in many cases. However, this also causes problems. When you are unable to articulate the goal of your design, when you don’t understand your product from where your audience is standing, then you may lose focus, you cannot know who you are designing for. It is safe to say that we’d better have intention and idea first, we get to know the big picture first before we do something real.
Over-reliance on freebies. Now this one is common, as there are countless freebies that boost our productivity. Freebies are good only if you know how to use them. When you much rely on them, you start losing your score. You are going to be framed by something other people have done for you. Thus you cannot find what really matters in your style. Learning from others is one thing, yet copy-pasting without thinking is another.
No sense of building your design system. This makes you spend much more time doing repetitive work. The truth is, your previous work can used as asset for any upcoming projects, so that personal design library is one of the time-saving tricks no one should ignore. It is also likely that your design system works perfectly on others’ design. All you need to do is focus on the style you are using, make sure you organize them well, so that your work is consistent.
Never looked back. This is a delaying probelm we may meet in the future. By saying never looked back, I mean many of us have been ignoring the projects we finished before, but never have a chance to redesign. With time goes by, our skills are sharpening, as well as our perspectives. So once we turn back to what we made in the past, we definitely will see more, we find possibilities we can work on. Like apps or websites, there are regular updates to make sure things work well. As UI designers, we make sure what we do, not only looks good, but also performs even better, all the time.
I hope every UI designer can find what they need in furture endeavours. Keep evolving, keep engaging, keep designing.