User Experience in Graphic Design and Why it Matters
What is User Experience?
User Experience is widely known in the web design community but user experience is needed for all types of design such as print, package design, and advertising. UX (User Experience) is simply how a person interacts, engages and experiences a design. The main factors that any UX designer needs to consider are usability, design, human factors, accessibility, and utility. One major tip to focus on when designing with any medium is to design for the audience. Educate yourself on the audience, become an advocate for the company, and remember that less is more. Your main goal is to get your message across as easily and quickly as possible and then reel them in to gather more information.
User Experience in Web Design
User Experience in web design differs greatly from other platforms. A lot of the elements such as user research, usability, hierarchy, accessibility, and the overall visual design are factors in all design; however, user experience in web design is a lot more involved. On top of those listed, there is usability evaluation, information architecture, user interface design, interaction designs, and web analytics. If a design element contributes to a company’s overall branding, it contributes to its usability. You want to create an atmosphere that is familiar to the customer already and if they’re not familiar with the company yet, it’s a great way to introduce it to them. The best thing about making a website usable and giving the viewer a positive user experience is that usability doesn’t mean the website has to be ugly. That being said, however, just because a website is designed beautifully does not mean it’s usable. There needs to be a balance. You can create award-winning websites while still making sure it’s 100% functional and it gives your viewer a good experience.
Here are some examples of great UX in web design.
Check out even more beautiful examples of great UX in mobile design here.
User Experience in Print Design
One of the most important elements of print design is readability. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get your message across. You need to choose the perfect font, adjust the leading, tracking and kerning, as well as pick the right color choices for the design. (If some of these terms that I’ve used don’t make sense, be sure to check back here next Thursday when we go back to the basics of typography!) When choosing your font, you must also keep in mind who your audience is. The better fit for the audience, the easier your message will come across. For example, you wouldn’t make a brochure for an Accounting company filled with rainbow cartoon lettering that would be better served for a Day Care brochure, would you?
Hierarchy is also extremely important in print design. Hierarchy is the organization of information on a page. Choose which elements are most important and give them the most emphasis. From there, organize the rest of the content with the least important piece of information the least visible. Does your design pass the blurred vision test?
One way that you can add some fun elements into UX in print design is to add things like die-cuts, QR codes, and hidden pockets or folds, etc. Anything that makes the audience physically interact with the design will increase the level of user experience in your design.
Here are some examples of great UX in print design.
Check out some awesome examples of great UX in business cards here.
User Experience in Packaging Design
User Experience in package design is crucial for making sales on the products. Without consciously doing it, people will choose the better designed product rather than the competition because it simply doesn’t give them the same experience as the one they chose. Functionality is also a must have. Package designers have a lot to consider in their designs. Not only does it have to look amazing and beat the competition, it has to be tangible and most importantly functional. The fundamentals for print design still apply for packaging design. You need to design for the audience and make sure you are keeping your information in a good hierarchical format. Like most design, it takes less than a few seconds to catch the attention of a customer.
Here are some examples of great UX in packaging design.
Check out some more awesome examples of great UX in packaging design here.
User Experience in Advertising
Advertising is a very powerful thing. Almost all advertising speaks to the audience in some way whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally. Billboards and posters are a great way to express user experience in advertising. When driving on the highway or sitting on the bus or train, people are always staring at the advertisements around them. Information is being thrown at them from left and right. All it takes is just a couple of seconds to catch and keep their attention before they move on to the next ad. As a designer, you need to make sure your audience has an experience with your ads. The more the audience can relate and feel something from your ad, the more chance they will actually seek more information about your company or product. One great way to focus on the user experience is keeping your text to a minimum. Less text ensures that they can focus on the message within that few seconds of glancing at the ad. Keeping it as visual as possible is the way to go. Adding interactivity to your advertisement is even better.
Here are some examples of great UX in advertisements.
Check out this extremely powerful example of UX in an advertisement here.
Why Designers Need to Focus on Creating Breathtaking User Experiences
User Experience is extremely important just for the simple fact that you never want to give your audience a bad experience with your product or company. One bad experience or impression can reflect poorly on what you are trying to sell. Designers have a very complex job. They don’t just sit at a computer and makes things pretty. Designers have to have an extremely open and creative mind and they need to love asking “Why?”
Designers are marketers and brand advocates and companies put their trust in them to make sure their product is being portrayed in such a way that will make them the most revenue. Ensuring quality user experience is about making sure your design makes sense and meets the needs of your audience. Being able to grab someone’s attention is the first step to good user experience. Keeping their attention is the hard part. Once you do that, you’ve sold them on the product in some way or another. Designers need to be aware of how to create captivating and attentive design to grab their audience. Elements such as how the design looks, how it works, and the body copy of the design are all important things to consider.
Remember, the quality of a design is only as proficient as it is usable.