At a young age, music was a passion of hers. The flyers, posters and album artwork captured her heart. The ambiguous images, expressive typography and the wave of artistic expression would entertain her for hours with the ritual of folding open the albums.
“Design should not dominate things, should not dominate people. It should help people. That’s its role.”
UX is a craft to perfect user experiences with a combination of graphic design, wireframing, persona mapping, research, information architecture, content, story telling, and organization. It’s a not so simple process that ideally leads to online nirvana and enriched digital expression. The most important and subtle designs are the ones [people] just experience and are happy. If that happens, we’ve done done our job right as designers. A successful UX designer has numerous items in their tool kit from being able to do stakeholder interviews, lead governance workshops, flow mapping, digital feasibility, IA maps, wireframes and present to clients effectively from keynote presentations to InVision prototypes.
A UI designer looks at the hierarchy of a screen or environment and takes into account the overall flow of the experience through the lens of visual elements and/or cues. How do the various sizes of typography map out the importance of the information and content? What should the user see first? What is secondary? Can they find all the information they need above the fold or at first glance? Do the colors make sense? Is there an established pattern and design system? If it isn’t done right, it can be confusing. Everything has to have a pattern or system that is easily identifiable to the user without having to invest much time in figuring it all out. It is a skill…to make beautiful design usable and serve a function.
As a designer it is really important to get feedback along the way of how you are developing as a designer and transitioning into an art director role. Noticing what comes naturally to you in your design tool kit and what you feel the most reward and value professionally is key. Having an eye for conceptual visions and curiosity allows one to thrive in the conceptualization/strategy phase of projects. At the same time inspiring others (clients and teams) through brainstorming and storytelling is a significant role of an art director. Adding to the mix of wanting to mentor young designers whilst fostering them through their creative journey is an amazing path when moving into leadership as a designer.
Leah King Sr. Experience Designer, Art Director, Digital Producer & Strategist. Board of Directors AIGA SF & Chair, Women in Leadership and Design.