Design Tastes, Fads, “Fashion” and UI Design

True design guidelines apply regardless of the latest trend, fashion or fad. As time goes by, what is considered a “good UI” changes, just like fashion. For example, the Aero look was “the next big thing” when Windows Vista was released, and this dictated UI design for several years. Apple upped the ante with the iPad and this look influenced design for a number of years. Windows then came out with Windows 8, and evidently everything associated with Vista was bad, because they completely abandoned the Aero look in favor of Metro. The Metro look is currently in vogue and the next big “fashion trend” will change how UIs look and feel yet again.

As new products hit the market, the market itself changes and, like fashion, what is considered good UI design can be a moving target. A good UI designer will take the current fashion style and use his or her tools to create a great UI that is pleasing to the customer and meets the customer’s idea of what is good. When UI design is well executed, you will find that the principles of UI design have been implemented, either knowingly or subconsciously by the designer. (I like to think of it as intuitive design, intuitively knowing and following the principles.)

The aesthetics of a design takes into account what the customer currently considers or will consider is a “good UI” based on the current fashion trends, while adhering to the principles.

The twelve principles of UI design apply regardless of fashion. Two points, using white space or applying fades, may change with UI fashion and these points may need to be updated, however the underlying theory applies. All twelve principles have been proven over time as key fundamentals that when implemented, result in killer UIs.

Design according to the latest fashion, whether Aero, Metro, Apple, etc., while following the twelve principles. You can’t help but have a great UI.

©2017 Curt Larson. All Rights Reserved.


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