Paritie Hangout: Design responsibly, care for your audience – Bright Emeka

When you hear of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design, what actually comes to your mind?  As you ponder on your response, let us give you an overview of what Paritie Hangout is all about. 

Paritie Hangout is an initiative to discuss pressing issues in the spheres of the startup lifecycle, technology communities and self-development. 

In this episode, we sat with Bright Emeka who walked us through the journey of being a User Interface (UI) designer or/and User Experience (UX) designer. User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) designs are two terms that are most often misunderstood. The significance of these concepts is paramount in the lifecycle of products which can be physical or digital formats. It’s often not easy trying to bring out a clear description of the two, but don’t worry! 

Bright Emeka is a professional who is proficient in User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designs. He is a staff of JD Lab Nigeria Limited and is involved with technology community development with Developer Student Club (DSC), Federal University of Technology, Minna and WordPress Community.

A lover of God and passionate about personal development. Bright regularly develops personal development podcasts to assist others with effective self-improvement techniques. He enjoys reading and engaging in productive conversations and can also be found advocating for people to drink water, please drink water!

Here is an excerpt of our discussion on Paritie Hangout this week; 

Question: What is User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design all about?

Response: User Experience focuses on how something works and how the intended audience interacts with that application, interface or product. User Interface Design focuses on its looks. They both go together, a common factor in both is the User (audience). For every decision the User Experience Designer or User Interface Designer makes, they ensure that the user (audience) can achieve the set goals with ease

Question: What exactly does a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer do?

Response: In most cases, the roles are separated; that is User Interface (UI) Design and User Experience (UX) Design. A User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer researches, define project goals, ideates, prototypes, test and then repeats the process if goals are not met and launches and keep iterating as the case may be.

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Question: How do User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design work together?

Response: The Interfaces to be designed always depends on the research and findings from the User Experience Process, you need both for every project. 

Question: Please walk us through your journey as a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer.

Response: Hmmm… Mehn… I have not taken time to look back in while…  Basically, I started as a Designer and then transitioned into User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design, a guiding principle has been my focus… “There is no vanishing point”; for anyone looking to become a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer, there is no peak, there is always the next challenge ahead (More on this in an article I have been working… smiles). I had a solid foundation as a Designer so the transition was easy. I read books, listened to Podcasts, talked to mentors. I always tell anyone that cares to listen that to be a Designer, You have to design, painters paint, artists draw. So User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designers create usable Interfaces, apps and products.

Question: What has been your bad moments being a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer?

Response: Developers not sticking to style guides or brand guidelines… and Projects with unrealistic timelines.

Question: What are the skills that differentiate a User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designer from other designers?

Response: Design is broad… There are Motion Designers, Illustrators, Brand Identity Designers, etc, and for each of them, there are skills that are unique to their fields of design and there are also skills they share; like every good Designer, pays attention to details, puts the audience first and design to solve project goals. So, for User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Designers, I’d advise you to focus on skills that will help you build usable products, from understanding basic design principles to their application on projects.

Question: What’s your take on the design ecosystem in Nigeria, in fact, Niger State in particular?

Response: The Design ecosystem in Nigeria is growing rapidly, the future is bright; conversations that are needed for growth are constantly being had, so this is really amazing. For Niger State, more can be done, hopefully, with Technology-based Companies domiciled in Minna, Niger State leading conversations around the technology space in partnership with communities like Figma, Developer Student Clubs (DSC), FUTMinna and Google Developer Group (GDG), Minna, there would be positives real soon. So there is HOPE!

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Question: Is it possible to be just a User Interface (UI) designer or User Experience (UX) designer and how can one know which is the best fit for them?

Response: This is an interesting question… Yes, it is very possible to be one of the two. You can know which is the best fit for you by experimenting and trying both out. Take on projects and do the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design for them, with time and experience, you will find your sweet spot. You can balance both and still be exceptional!

Question: Let’s say I am a social media publicist or a programmer and I want to try out User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. Where do I start? OR What does it take to get into User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design?

Response: Get Trained! There are a ton of online academies that offer courses that you can take at your own pace and make the transition. And where possible, get an internship in an organization, nothing beats real-world experience!

Question: What are the essential tools that one needs to create a good User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design?

Response: Pen, paper, your mind and any design software you’re convenient with.

Your advice to design enthusiasts.

Response: This path we have chosen is unique and places enormous responsibility on us; design responsibly, care for your audience, take care of your health, your mind and spirituality.

PS. There is no finish line, you can always get better, and don’t forget to drink water!

There you go! We believe that these few words from our guest on Paritie Hangout will go a long way to demystify your ambition of being a User Interface and/or User Experience designer. If you have further questions you would like to share with our guest, you can reach out to Bright via his Twitter account @UIDesignMaestro and Instagram account brightcemeka.

Is there something we didn’t talk? Feel free to share your thoughts/knowledge with us in the comment section, after all, we all learn from one another!

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