May 1st, 2019
When people think of design, they usually associate it to visual design.
As the name suggests, visual design deals with everything visual in a product. Visual design decides the aesthetic appeal and usability of the product.
There are several elements that impact the user experience. Space, layouts, color, typography and illustrations, together combine to create a beautiful experience.
So, how do senior designers do their visual designs? Their knowledge of design principles can definitely unlock a goldmine of wisdom.
Let’s find out their exact process.
The process starts with you picking a visual style for the entire project. Different products convey different emotions. You can choose a style for a product only when you understand the product deeply. Once you do, pick a style that accurately portrays the product’s emotions.
Sometimes it could be an illustration style or sometimes photography style. Some of the other styles are thin style vs filled style, light theme vs dark theme. How do you identify which style is best for you? Create a moodboard for a particular style and see if it is in alignment with your product. If it doesn’t, try again with another style.
Once you pick a style, use this across the product.
Visual Flow & Hierarchy
This is one of the most important steps of visual design. At the page level, you’ll have to decide the visual flow of various elements. What would you like the users to see first, second and then so on. You’ll be designing the layout considering both user goals and page goals.
Once the page-level flow is finalised, you’ll be designing block level elements. In a particular section, consider the importance of each element and design accordingly. In most of the cases, you’d be manipulating visual hierarchy by adjusting font size, weight, color and spacing.
At this stage of the process, you will be designing elements that influence users’ perception of your product, a.k.a branding. This is a crucial step in forming a consistent image of the product in the minds of users.
Creation of logo, use of typography, color palette, iconography, button styles and even the style of your photography or illustrations help in establishing your visual identity. User’s perception of a brand is influenced by words as well. But in the visual design process, we focus on conveying meanings for a brand that cannot be imparted through words.
Once these steps are done, you may go a step ahead and persuade users to take action by using visually enticing elements on your project like detailed illustrations, micro interactions, 3D graphics or even rich photography.
Visual persuasion is like an icing on top. If you have followed the process up to this stage, you will have a pretty usable product. But if you’d like to go one step ahead and persuade the users, then you may make the entire product visually desirable.
There you go. That’s the step-by-step process of how a pro visual designer enhances the visual aesthetics of a product. They improve user engagement considerably while ensuring that content still remains central throughout the product.