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Dabbling in UI/UX with the User in Mind
Updated 2019-06-24

UI refers to user interface design whereas UX stands for user experience design. In this day and age, both are key components in the digital spectrum of apps, software, games, products and services. Recently, Charissa Ong, alumna of The One Academy and the UI/UX Lead from Axiata Digital was invited back to the institute to provide an insightful Masterclass to Digital Media Design students on the topic of ‘Designing and Managing Digital Product’. The session was conducted over a course of two days with the first day focusing on ‘Leading Design’ whereas the following day was all about ‘Product Ownership’. Throughout this period, the attendees were given the opportunity to not only learn about the ins and outs of UI/UX design but also partake in some practical activities to hone the skills learnt.

The event kicked off with an introduction to designing with data where she highlighted the importance of not only using data but rather, using it safely. The lifeline of digital products was categorized into four stages namely the introduction, growth, maturity and decline and Charissa addressed how to tackle the process to delay the decline of products to the participants using case studies of various organisations. One of the activities done during the session was to identify the business objective of a project using the set of data provided and subsequently come up with strategies to improve their UI/UX. During this activity, she emphasized on the importance of listening to the users as they are the ones who are able to provide useful feedback on a certain design or product. “Define who you are testing for and identify those that fit those range, this will eliminate unnecessary data that does not suit your criteria” Charissa advised.

The students were then tasked with coming up with alternative strategies to improve the UI/UX aspects of The One Academy’s website. Divided into groups, they began to devise new ways to improve the website’s interface as well as the experience of those using it. Upon completion, the participants were then trained on how to conduct interviews to gauge the effectiveness in elevating user experience. Charissa walked them through the guidelines of running a good interview as well as shared some pointers on extracting the information needed from users. The students then took turns to roleplay and interview each other to understand the flow of the process from the perspective of both the users as well as the designer.

The second day’s session was mainly on product ownership and zoned in on phasing. “In phasing, we get to divide features into a feasible roadmap which will help us plan out the products completion”, said Charissa. She elaborated on the importance of using a features matrix in order to properly plan out upgrades to the interface design and usability of products. The activity carried out involved the attendees correctly identifying the timeline during which they will conduct the upgrading and in which phases will it be done. The sharing wrapped up with Charissa highlighting the prominence of designing with data as well as importance of UI/UX in any digital product or service.

[The One Academy of Communication Design was established in 1991 with the aim of promoting the region as the world’s center of creative reference. Strategically located in the thriving creative hub of Bandar Sunway, Selangor, with a branch in Georgetown, Penang, The One Academy is today a top notch leading international institute in art, design and creative multimedia, renowned with graduates who steer successful careers in creative capitals worldwide. The courses offered are Digital Media Design, Digital Animation with Game Development, Film Visual Effects, Illustration, Movie & Game Art, Advertising & Graphic Design, Interior Design, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making and Fine Arts.]