Subject: Rookie Interface Designer....

20 Feb 2005 - 11:37pm
9 years ago
1 reply
340 reads
Camaal Moten
2005

Hello,

I'm in school studying web design, but I'm really interested in working in the field of visual interface design. The curriculum at my school really doesn't teach anything in depth on interface design, so I'm kinda teaching myself. I'm reading Jef Raskin's book The Humane Interface, an I'm intrigued by his views on GUI's vs. ZUI's. He seems to think that we are heading down a dysfunctional path of endless confusion due to bad graphical interface design. He hates icons, buttons, mice and all! The interface that he has created is kinda cool, but it's going to take a while for people to catch on. Until then, I'm trying to get a job as a visual interface designer. Where do i need to start, what should i have in my portfolio, do i have to know any programming languages?

Camaal

Comments

24 Feb 2005 - 12:44pm
Mark Canlas
2003

> I'm trying to get a job as a
> visual interface designer. Where do i need to start, what should i have in
> my portfolio, do i have to know any programming languages?

I, too, am a rookie, so please forgive any inaccuracies...

My interest in user interfaces came primarily from my exposure to web
design. I've read a bunch of books on web design and usability. As you learn
more about each, the areas tend to bleed, so you'll learn more about
interface design in general. One book I like is Don't Make Me Think by Steve
Krug.

In your portfolio, you should enough work that demonstrates your visual
vocabulary. You're usually trying to express a mental idea
(interaction/interface) through a visual medium, so people need to know that
you can communicate successfully, visually. After that, people always love
prototypes or examples of interactive work that you've done... If you ever
lean towards the hard usability side of things, data and reports showing the
effectiveness of your work are good too.

As for programming languages, I'd say you don't have to know any. But here's
the thing... The more you know, the easier it will be for you to understand
how an interface relates to the bits underneath. Sometimes designers can
make outrageous requests (make me a spinning 3D globe on fire that bounces)
that aren't practical or feasible. Also, if you know a programming language,
it can help you create prototypes quickly. DHTML is a lightweight platform
for developing or testing interfaces, as opposed to programming and
compiling something like C++. Either way, you'd be better off knowing
something than nothing.

Hope that helps. Cheers.

Mark Canlas
http://www.htmlism.com/mark/

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