"Good design is as little as possible. Less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity." (Dieter Rams)
Using design as a force for positive change, I drew inspiration from Rams' 10 commandments of good design to bring clarity to my process for this project. Rams' principles allowed me to streamline my approach and focus on the problem-solving aspect of the project.
UI and Visual Designer
With a brief calling for minimalism and a tight deadline looming on the horizon, the challenge was to strip down the functionalities of the Notes app to its bare bones.
What three vital functions would the app require in order to be serviceable?
Applying the ‘real-life’ agenda to my working process, I stuck to a rigid schedule in order to deliver the project successfully.
The timeline did not allow me to conduct a thorough analysis of the market and its users. I opted to split my time wisely to gather a minimum amount of information in a short amount of time.
I devoted one hour to online research comparing existing apps, assessing user reviews and ratings and analysing the Notes apps I tend to use myself.
I then conducted a quick survey with five friends and family members asking them to respond to a brief questionnaire by that evening.
The results from this initial market and user research highlighted my three basic requirements.
With the requirements clearly identified, I sketched a few ideas for each screen and swiftly created five mid-fidelity wireframes in Sketch, ensuring the user requirements were being addressed in the simplest possible way with the incorporation of familiar design patterns.
I then focused on the visual aspect of the project.
I created a clean colour palette with a primary sage green and a vibrant pink accent to highlight calls-to-action.
I searched for a simple sans serif font and settled for Basic Sans, not only because its name suited the nature of the brief, but also because it retains good legibility even at smaller sizes.
I expedited my work using Symbols, Text and Layer styles and finally produced high-fidelity wireframes in the allocated timeframe.
This project was particularly insightful as it put my organisational skills to the test with a challenging limited timeframe. I had to proceed methodically and focus on the basic functionality of the app with no distraction.
It goes to show a “less but better” approach not only offers a reliable route towards efficient UI but also provides the foundations to a practical working process. I will be sure to look to this approach in my future projects.