To hone my UI Design skills and practice rapid prototyping, I’ve taken on the Daily UI Challenge. Every day I am presented with something new to design, such as an app, icon, or interaction. While doing these designs I also like to give myself constraints or additional challenges to develop my skills further.
This is an ongoing project and will be updated regularly.
Task: Design an Error/ Success Screen
As a designer, I’m always looking to build on my skillset but tackling the areas I feel weakest in. One of those weaknesses has typically been illustration. Stick figures have usually been the extent of my drawing work.
Well, practice makes perfect, and Daily UI 011 marks one of my early attempts to focus more on my illustration skills. For this design, I wanted to create a cute, colourful character that can convey the emotions of the “Error/ Success” states. I chose a happy chocolate bar, because who doesn’t like chocolate?
Getting the character to feel appropriately cute involved a lot of iteration. This involved playing with its proportions, level of detail, and shading. Once the rough design was established, I worked on embellishing it with some shading and little details, such as the blushing cheeks and wrapper “hair”. Overall this was a challenge that took me out of my comfort zone but has inspired me to continue practicing illustration on the side.
Task: Design an Instant Messaging Screen
Before starting Daily UI 012 I had just completed my work on FreeHand, a conceptual project for my course at Brainstation. FreeHand also involved designing an IM system, so I was already fairly confident in how I would go about designing another. To increase the challenge I decided to create a dark mode design, which I was less familiar with.
It was interesting experimenting with drop shadows and bold colours in dark mode, as they have a bit of a different feel. I feel the purples really pop against the black background, which makes them great for drawing user attention.
Accessibility is always something I strive to work into in my design. Along with the darker shading I use to draw attention to unread messages, I needed to utilize multiple signifiers for users that might have trouble seeing the differing shades. The unread message text is bolded, and a small dot appears at the top of the preview to indicate that the message hasn’t been opened. As usual, all colours were selected to pass WCAG contrast requirements.
Task: Create a Timer
I wanted to focus on creating my design quickly (under 1 hour) and creating an attractive, minimal layout. The design was for a workout timer, which I felt was a perfect type of app for the Apple watch.
The timer uses a semi-circle to visually represent the elapsed time and the actual numerical counter below. I placed the large start/stop button very close to the center screen to make it easier to find and press while doing exercises.
Colours were kept vibrant but minimal, so the eye is immediately attracted to the important interactable elements. I find it very easy for Apple Watch apps to look overly busy due to the tiny screen space, which is why only the most important information is displayed on the screen (with plenty of white space).
Task: Create an ON/ OFF Switch
Technically I took this one a bit further than the intended task. I was really interested in designing a screen that dynamically conveys a change of state, and thought a smart light app would be a fun choice for the “On/Off” prompt. Creating the “lightbulbs” that can change colour and intensity was an interesting challenge!
By keeping all the text and icons on a plain black background, I feel the colour is really allowed to shine. After hitting the “ON” toggle, the glow from the lightbulb really changes the entire ambiance of the screen, which I feel helps build immersion and engagement with the product. It allows users to feel distinct feedback from their interactions with the app and makes customizing the colours fun.
Task: Create a Pop-Up/ Overlay
For this Daily UI, I focused on creating an informal, welcoming message that suggests the user takes a short break.
The pop-up was designed to feel friendly and calming. I chose to create a flat character using soft, cool colours to illustrate the message. The text was kept to a minimum, and written in a conversational tone. I chose Lato as the typeface, which is a rounded sans-serif. Rounded sans-serif fonts tend to feel friendly and inviting, which was very on-brand for the message
Overall this was a fun, quick design that I was able to whip out in under an hour. Speeding up my workflow by keeping myself on a timer has been an effective method for practicing time efficiency and staying focused on the design.
Thank you for reading! To see more, including my UX/Product design work, visit my Product Design portfolio here.