I’ll be back to flesh out this UI/UX portfolio page in the near future, as time allows. –Stay Tuned, Kris
Why the drawings and CAD renderings? How is that UI/UX?
You may be wondering why I’ve included examples on this page of “UI/UX” work that includes landscape architecture instructions and controls panel machine models. (In a “meta” flourish, I included a screenshot of a CAD program with a controls panel 3D model open, showing how I improved a User Interface for entering product data about the controls panel User Interface model I’m designing via that CAD User Interface! Yeah, I’m kinda confused too…)
The reason I posted a diverse sampling of UI/UX projects I’ve worked on is because UI/UX goes beyond a device screen. I have experience crafting a range of interfaces and experiences. I’ve learned how to put myself in many users’ shoes, ask questions that a first time user will wonder, and then make products and communications as self-evident, clear, and succinct as possible.
A page of instructions on how to install a sign post in the ground is a User Interface to a sign post installation project.
A warning decal on an emergency stop button is a User Interface to pushing a button to stop a machine in an emergency (otherwise, it may just be a button to intended users; the users never understanding their role in interfacing with it appropriately, nor what contextual events trigger appropriate use).
So if you’re wondering why it’s not just websites and app screen grabs shown here, it’s because User Interface and User Experience is more than just screen interaction. A UI/UX designer should be able to think of it in diverse terms and viewpoints to consistently dream up and address use cases satisfactorily.
Mobile-First Wireframe (for Designer/Developer)
For a website that will list cards of art items for sale, I made wireframes for the usual reasons (to introduce a design, take notes, and make changes).
Responsive Visualization: CSS Grid, Flexbox, & Bootstrap
CSS has come a long way. Since I’m often both designer and developer of a site or app front end, I like to turn on the “Grid” overlay in Adobe XD or Figma. This can be dialed in to simulate a CSS Grid Area (including gutters) or the 12 columns of a typical Bootstrap grid. It helps illustrate where the design elements should locate and move across different device viewports in a responsive design.
I’ve come around to mobile-first design practices (when I first learned HTML, there was no mobile Internet). Most sites are visited via mobile viewports. Therefore: I tend to make designs work and look good on a phone viewport first, then adapt that to a larger format.
Here’s a tablet-sized (portrait orientation) version of the wireframe.
- It shows how some main navigation links will have room to appear outside the flyout menu,
- and some of the Grid Area assignments will change (triggered by media query),
- and some features of the footer will no longer be hidden.
Also, notice the “Grid” overlay bars have expanded from 4 to 12.
3D is Key
This 3D device rendering is a fun visualization to make, and can generate the most enthusiasm from clients or end users. Probably because it’s less abstract and more tangible.