User interface & digital design

John Newall: Visual communications

Science meets art. Style over fashion. User interface design is a natural fit with these sentiments. Rich and thoughtful conversations communicated in colours, textures, shapes, and space. Documented not in paint but bits and bytes, delivered with pixel-perfect accuracy.

A general interest in the discipline of design was the seed. Nurtured with a bachelor degree in Visual Communications, I’ve since experienced a wonderful array of traditional design industries and eventually, naturally, grew to digital design.

User interface design spans a surprisingly wide range of activities. Outlined here are key focuses I practice. They represent what I consider the most influential aspects of interface and experience design. When used together they form the strongest chance of success.

Planning, research & analysis

Smoothly run projects start with planning, successful projects have clearly defined goals. Structure and method brings predictability to what can be an uncertain artistic discipline. Every project, no matter what size or complexity benefits from upfront planning. A broad topic in itself, my approach is bias toward user-centric solutions where users and their goals are placed in front of other desired outcomes.

  • Goal clarification, project scoping and project brief creation.

  • Analysis of existing user interfaces with comparison to competitors and aspirational examples

  • Define user personas to help understand audiences

  • Mapping user journeys that relate users to goals

Wireframes

Diagrams devoid of graphical embellishments (hence the term ‘wireframe’) focus attention to functional requirements of an interface. The universal language of pictures makes wireframe diagrams the perfect step after initial research. Quick to create and test against user journeys, wireframes enable blue-sky thinking where every possibility can be explored.

  • Low fidelity wireframe, ideal for fast review processes
  • High fidelity wireframes mapping out page and component structure
  • Test and enhance user journey analysis with incorporated wireframes
  • Deconstruction of wireframes for development documentation

Graphic design

Much more than making an interface look attractive, graphic design is the vehicle that conveys identity, guides attention, and controls emotion around the most important parts of any interface - the content.

Colour, texture, typography, and graphical treatment, combine to support and extend the meaning of content. Aesthetic considerations, balanced against functional requirements, fill in a rich story whilst guiding users on a journey toward desired goals.

Samples and articles

This site contains a cross-section of my professional and personal work with a focus on digital interface design. Samples have been filed into three sections.

Web interfaces: Fully operational web-pages and components. Mostly interface designs, elements and experiments. Note: Some pages in this section may be styled radically differently from this site, use the browser back button if the sample has no evident return link!

Gallery: Visual records of design projects, interfaces, illustrations, graphic design. Feel free to enquire for more details on items that pique your interest.

Articles: As a contender for the slowest writer in the world it’s not often I assemble a piece of prose. Some ideas are worth documenting though - it helps consolidate them in my own mind if nothing else.

Contact