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App Design - A matter of taste? Not quite.

OdedK ‎04-30-2013 05:54 AM - edited ‎09-09-2015 11:24 AM

People mistakenly think that "to design" means to make something more appealing or merely look “better”. However beauty is only a small portion of an entire field called "design".


Step into a museum or art gallery and you will see a wide array of artwork. Some of it you will like and some of it you will not. Art critics claim that some of it is "good" and that some of it is "bad" but, these experts are not judging the artwork by whether they personally like it or not, but rather they adhere to factual and specific criteria. Composition, space, light-dark relationships, color gradations and much more determine the artwork's ability to withstand the passage of time.


It works the same, in user interface design. Design in general, and user interface design specifically, are very precise practices with a well-defined set of rules. These rules are not arbitrary or voluntary - they stem from a long-standing legacy and tradition of art!


From classical art, through impressionism, via Picasso’s “decomposition” philosophy, to image abstraction and simplified “Grids by Mondrian” – these all serve as the most fundamental pillars that serve the field of modern design.





The basic elements of art—such as composition, space, light and shadow distribution, and color spectrum on the surface—all of these have transformed from merely visual elements to functional foundations in user interface design and infographics. For example, the composition and distribution of color load on the screen have a direct impact on the readability of the content and the way a user's eye navigates across the screen.





Goal-driven design


The design process should take into account user needs and benefits, and not simply as an afterthought,  but rather as a core and primary focus of the designer. Acknowledging the strong artistic roots of design insures focus on the goals of the interface and not only on “beatification” aspects.

The “right” design can dramatically improve the interface, which in turn improves the user experience. This makes it easier for users to consume information; it increases intuitiveness and ultimately usage and can even improve business metrics.

Fashions come and go, technology advances but some things never change – the “right” design will be recognized as such in the test of time. 




About the author:


Reuven Yamrom is a Sr. GUI Designer at HP, with more than a decade of proven experience in a wide spectrum of design disciplines, Reuven today leads the visual language for the HP's new & innovative mobile platform - HPAnywhere (for Smartphone, Tablet, and Desktop).

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About the Author


A User Experience executive who has been introducing UX innovation, strategy and methodology into organizations for the past 15 years. Currently, successfully leading the global User Experience turnaround for HP Software positioning it as a leader in enterprise UX, by incorporating a structured design thinking culture and methodology that in turn has reshaped the internal UX organization as well as impacted the company’s portfolio.

Ellsworth Yakow
on ‎08-19-2013 08:17 AM
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