Three Steps to Making Visual Designs Lively and Interesting

Whether we are designing an app, a website, or a presentation deck, creating visuals for multiple screens or pages can be a challenge. We seem to run out of inspirations quickly. We may have one or two interesting ideas in mind, but after we exhaust those ideas, our designs tend to be repetitive, dull and boring.

What’s the best way to tackle this challenge so that we can consistently produce visuals that are interesting and dynamic? Here’s a three-step approach that I found helpful.

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Poorly Designed Interface Makes Oven Hard to Use

We talk a lot about the designs of mobile apps and websites. Companies, start-ups hire the best designers to craft the best UX for their digital products, but we seem to ignore the UX of physical products. User interfaces of a lot of home appliances, such as oven, stove top, dish washer, washing machine, are often not intuitive and hard to use.

Recently I moved into a new apartment and tried to cook. I was confused by the buttons and knobs on the panels of an oven and ended up spending much time trying to figure out how to turn it on.

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Brainstorm Product Features Quickly Using the 5W1H Framework

What if you’re asked to propose to a prospective client a new feature for their existing product. You’ve never worked with this client before, and you’ll need to finish all this in a short period of time. How will you handle this challenge?

Recently, the design team I’m in was tasked with something similar. I proposed the idea of using the 5W1H framework to the team and moderated the brainstorming session. It turned out to be an effective one and help us come up with interesting new product features.

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Please, Don’t Replace the Bar with the Drawer

The bottom navigation bar in Material Design, which I will call the bar, also known as the tab bar in iOS, is the area at the bottom of the screen that allows the user to quickly switch between sections of an app. The navigation drawer, which I will call the drawer, is typically a side sheet that displays different app sections and is triggered by tapping the hamburger menu icon.

Both the bar and the drawer can be used for navigation purposes. Many apps nowadays seem to get rid of the bar and rely purely on the drawer, especially on Android. Without careful consideration however, this can lead to usability problems.

A bottom navigation bar in Material Design
A navigation drawer in Material Design

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