What a fantastic talk this really was this morning from Paul, an ex-student on this course, who is now working at Gospelware in Gateshead as a UI Designer.
So “in the beginning”, Paul always wanted to design, he was mad for it! He always had his heart set on Graphic Design so wanted to focus his attention to it. He came to Newcastle College in 2004 and done so… Afterwards, he went onto Leeds Metropolitan University where he studied a degree in Graphic Art & Design and came out with 2.1. Unfortunately, Paul did not really enjoy his time at University and thought that he did not fully develop the skills he possessed at that time. It then came to looking for work for Paul and he spent two hard years of finding some work experience to get his foot in the door. Designing leaflets, posters, flyers etc were all part of Paul’s journey. He found that he was getting asked for a lot web based work but did not feel it was right for him. Paul had two options; “Level Up” or “Game Over”. He went with giving it one last shot and he enrolled on this Digital Media course (Formerly known as Web Design when Paul applied). And when he looks back, it was the “best split decision he has ever made”.
Since Paul has been with Gospelware, he has designed around sixteen (16) Apps and worked with a variety of clients. Out of those sixteen, Paul has worked on 11 of them; and by that I mean Gospelware has built them. There has been instances where Paul has designed an App to send onto another developer.
As well as designing apps, Paul has designed & developed five (5) websites, including a full rebrand of the business! Pretty good eh
How Gospelware approach UX
When it comes to a project, Gospelware always go down the same route. They have a series of topics which they act upon so the process can be carried out in as much depth as possible. What they will always do first is start on the user stories, they gather the app requirements and define features for MVP (which is a bit like the MoSCoW process).Wire-framing is a big part of any project, it’s all about finding the simplest and most logical way to achieve the desired goals. Paul told us to imagine yourself in the user’s shoes. It’s quite difficult, but with practice, we will get used to it.
When it comes to looking and the information and clarity of the project, it’s important to carefully consider how to display the most relevant content. Offer users clear and apparent content which is digestible. It’s very good practice to learn typography, having a hierarchy in place helps you a lot. Gospelware believe that every app that is designed must contain consistency throughout and there should be limited learning within. One massive consideration that Gospelware make when it comes to the UI process, is testing everything to scale. Reading the user interface guidelines will help us a lot, we will learn about typography, icons, font sizes etc.
Freelancing (All views are of Paul’s own and not associated with Gospelware in any way, shape or form!)
Paul also carries out some freelance work now and then and the way he see’s it is that “he used to have hair”. Freelancing makes you wiser, it makes you grow up. Clients can be very needy from time to time and it’s important that you do not work for free. If you are good at what you do, then you should be paid for it. Saying that, because I’m still at college, I want to build up my skills etc, so sometimes it may be necessary for me to do work on the side for free. One quote that I particularly liked from Paul was “Say what you’ll deliver. Deliver what you say”. It’s easy for clients to take advantage if you do not stick to your guns.
It’s quite often that clients think anyone can design; as Paul said, they wouldn’t walk into a garage, ask for a quote then argue it; they’re the experts. One final thing which meant a lot to me was when Paul told us to “develop a thick skin”. Be disciplined and be professional when you think its all becoming a bit too much. Always look to turn negatives into positives, and they way you can work with others to improve.
Things to look at…
Throughout the presentation, Paul mentioned a number of things that we should have a look at and I have collected a list of a few things I am going to look into further. Paul knows what he’s talking about and I believe the resources he gave us were given in his best interest. He was in the same position as me two years ago and look where he is now? As the guys from Adidas say… “Nothing is impossible & impossible is nothing”
- F**k you,Pay Me by Mike Monteiro
- Dribble & Designspiration
- Android Website to read through UI Guidelines
Thanks again Paul!