The Futurist

Designing for Interactive User Interfaces

30 May 2014

Nick Crowther

Amy and Kieran were recently invited to give a guest lecture on designing for Interactive UI at UniSA.

Designing for Interactive User Interfaces

I have been teaching final year Visual Communication (Graphic Design) Studio classes at UniSA – the degree I completed in 2008 prior to an Honours year and my start in the design industry.

A return to Uni as a lecturer is something I’ve been interested in as an opportunity to give back to the local design community and as a reflection on what I’ve learned and how I approach my own professional practice.

Over the last semester, I’ve worked with 21 students to help them through two of their major assessments for the semester – a branding project and an app design project. I work closely with the students to monitor progress and give feedback, then assessing the work.

Our Creative Director Amy and I were recently invited to represent Freerange by giving a one hour guest lecture – ‘Designing for Interactive User Interfaces’ – to my student group. The lecture was one of a series organised by the University that invites professionals with an expertise in a particular design area to share real, practical insights on the process and business of design coupled with best-practice instruction.

The lecture focused on application design specific to mobile – although the process can extend to any device – and covered a range of topics including:

  • The ways interactive UI design can deliver content
  • Designing apps from scratch vs. designing apps for existing brands
  • A walkthrough of the app design process
  • ‘Traps for young players’ including accessibility issues and other technical considerations.

Preparing the lecture for this audience was interesting – the average age of the student group is 20 years old, so they can well and truly be considered ‘digital natives’. Having grown up entirely in the internet age, this group uses apps with intuition and fluidity. There was a lot of assumed knowledge to consider, but we didn’t want to skip over the nitty-gritty design details – ie. the fundamentals that intuitive users take for granted in good UI design.

Two Freerange projects were used as case-studies. stereopublic, as an example of designing an app from scratch, and the Wheatsheaf as an example of designing an app for an existing brand, product or service.

The students responded positively to the presentation and added some insightful points to the discussion. I look forward to seeing how their projects develop over the next few weeks!



Topics: Brand

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