Most graphic design graduates here in Indonesia barely know about UI/UX. I am here to enlighten you guys about it. Probably most of you heard about it but doesn't know what it is.
" What is it? Why don't we all get it at graphic school?"
So, what's is UI/UX? What's the difference between UI and UX? UI stands for User Interface and UX stands for User Experience. In a simple manner; UI is the look and style, while UX is somewhat the invisible part, where users experience the design as a whole . Both are "make or break" elements for a product (can be physical or digital).
Long story short, UI/UX design is about designing a "usable" medium for humans to interact (interface) with machine(s) so we can finish the task at hand right away.
Your school or most graphic design school here in Indonesia probably screwed you over all these years. "Fuck me, right?!" That's the least you can say. This might be because the majority of lecturers here are "old school" designers. I'm not saying that "old-school" is bad. They're great on making analogue / printed stuff, but most of them are disregarding the new digital wave. Of course we had web-design class, but we have to admit it; it sucks, it's short, and the world wide web was not as exciting and advanced as today.
We are taught to design in a pre-defined space, a world of finite static pages, where space is defined by International Paper Sizes and DPI's, where interaction and usability is non-existent. You probably are already sick about hearing A3, A4, B5, CMYK, Pantone Color Codes, and all that archaic stuff. We now live in a digital world, where papers and printed materials are obsolete. In the digital world, things like usability and user interface comes in. It demands that a design should follow all the principles of graphic design that is usable in an interactive or dynamic environment.
Now my friend, is time for you to upgrade. I am confident to say that the market in Indonesia for UI/UX is still pristine. Meaning that there are still so few competition or companies that focuses on it. The demands are high. Clients are paying top-dollars for people / companies that has experience on UI/UX.
We are on the golden age of UI/UX as we speak. Cheap Android phones are the sole reason for this. People are getting more exposures on mobile design more than ever. They demand good; if-not excellent experiences on their mobile devices, which they will get on application design and responsive design.
"Okay, I get your drift. Where do I start?"
There will be a follow-up blog on this, with a more thorough studies and examples. In the mean time, you can start by reading a really good book about UI/UX Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug.
PS: Check out Part 2 of the blog here.