UX/UI Design through a DesignLab Course

I decided to take a UX/UI design course because it’s a topic I’ve always been interested in. As an architect, it is my job to determine how a person uses and interacts with a space (in my case, a physical building or place). However, I am very interested in virtual interaction, particularly in VR, and was hoping to gain knowledge from this design course. First, I’m just going to give my overall thoughts of the course I took, “UX: Interaction Design” with DesignLab, and then I’ll jump into what we learned and what I felt I gained from it all.

To be upfront: the class itself was a bit pricey, and I felt it didn’t give me everything I was looking for. The course seemed to be geared towards someone with little or no background in design, and of course since my background is design, it felt lackluster. The topics were broad and lectures seemed to only scrape the surface of true UX/UI.  My tutor was really nice, but I felt like we just went over topics discussed in the online lectures and nothing more. At the end of the course, I realized what I needed was not information regarding what UX/UI is (because as a designer, I should already have a grasp of interface design and how clients interact with my work). Rather, I needed the tools to begin building these UX/UI interfaces. On a positive note, I did gain some of these skill sets.

The overall project was designing a website for an online grocery store. Firstly, I learned how to analyze and compare competitor’s work, as seen below:

UsabilityCompetitiveAnalysis.png

After analyzing the competitor, it was time to start working with site maps and user flows. Sketching out how one’s site would work and how people would move through it was not as easy as I thought, and I had to go through a few more competitor sites and draw a few flow iterations before I could come up with this:

UserFlows.png

After creating a user flow diagram, I set up wireframes to display my imagined site pages:

WireFrames.png

And lastly, I tied together the flows and wireframes to create a site map with my wireframes:

SiteMap_WireFrames.png

Overall, I did have a lot of fun creating my “website/app” and it was definitely a good design exercise. I feel somewhat more knowledgeable about what does and doesn’t work for a good interface. However, my next goal is to actually jump into the actual physical creation of these interfaces (….maybe I should just learn to become a developer…)

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