“UI/UX Must Not Be an Isolated Castle in the Air”

As UI/UX designers Livia Böhme and Fred Funke are involved in the production process of a React-based framework. At the experten.werkstatt of solutions.hamburg the two experts are sharing their experience of how development and UI/UX design interlock best and which special challenges arise in UI/UX framework design.

mgm live: As a UI/UX team you are very close to users’ needs. What exactly are your main focal points?

Fred: We are responsible for ensuring that the user is best able to use the application. My focus is on questions such as: How do users work their way through the application? Or: At what point in place or time do they expect a specific function? By means of the user interface design I can then refine the conceptual functional solutions optically so that they are at the user’s disposal at the right moment but are not a distraction if they are not required.

Livia: We want to develop user interfaces that are effective, efficient and a pleasure to use. That cannot, as a rule, simply be expressed as an image. So how do you define usability requirements for a framework and hand them over to technicians and business analysts? This communication and an awareness of end users’ needs are a main focus of my work.

mgm live: What do you find most exciting about working on a framework?

Our UI/UX solutions are intended to be usable irrespective of a specific business domain.

Livia: The idea behind the framework is to develop a kind of construction kit for business applications. An interesting challenge in this connection is to make highly complex processes understandable and generalizable. Our UI/UX solutions are intended to be usable irrespective of a specific business domain. As a rule enterprise applications are based on a highly complex informational architecture. That is why another exciting aspect of our work is to draw up general guidelines in order to structure and prioritize information.

Fred: Finding generally valid solutions often requires us first to take a step backward in many areas in order to abstract and find forward-looking solutions. That is the only way to combine the building blocks at widely different points in order to ensure a consistent user experience.

mgm live: What does your interface with the technology and developers look like?

Fred: That is an exciting aspect of every project. We have learnt that a strict demarcation does not make sense. Our task area has for some time been extending toward conception and business analysis. You also need to understand the technology to find feasible solutions. Areas overlap and interlock seamlessly. UI/UX must not be an isolated castle in the air.

Livia: Thinking in terms of classical roles is no longer in keeping with the times. Transitions are blurred by today’s dependencies and possibilities. Within the project we can adjust organizational models to ensure an effective software development process. We will be very happy to describe our current approach in our lecture and to illustrate it by means of examples. Nowadays it is no longer enough to build applications that mainly function and run without errors. They must also be optically attractive for the user and intuitive to use.