UI Design:
The Ultimate Process Guide

When designing afresh or updating existing work, keeping in mind UI design principles is imperative. Here's a rundown of our working process.

The White Canvas

You’ve been entrusted to improve the design of a product, or are new to the field and want to learn how to tackle UI design. A good place to start is knowing all the rules and principles of interface design. So let’s get started keeping our eye on our goal - an effective and simple to use UI design.

01. Define

Here we take time to determine exactly what needs to be created, and why. Why does this product need to exist? Who are you creating this for? What business problems will this solve?

Brief / Objective statement

02. Research

In this phase, designers ask a lot of questions to gain a deep understanding of their users and their needs. This is where bridges are built. Empathy for the users is established and what's needed from the product or service is clearly understood.

Research data or understanding & requirements

03. Analysis & Planning

Designers then take all of the information gathered in the research stage and begin to plan out how they’ll meet those needs. They develop user personas, user stories, wireframes, and other high-level plans during this phase. They gather references & create moodboards in this stage.

user stories, sketches / wireframes, high-level plans

04. Design

Once a good understanding of the users and a plan to move forward is charted out, it's time to start sketching out ideas for interactions with the interface. This is where designers think about the overall layout, navigation, and specific elements on each page.

HiFi design / design v1

05. Prototyping

Now's the time to turn a working UI into a working prototype. Prototyping allows you to present a more realistic usability testing experience which in turn can result in more accurate feedback and insight into "what's working" and "what's not working"

Design with interactions, navigation, effects and animations (wherever relevant)

06. Reviews

Before launch, it's important to test the interface with real users. Usability testing helps identify any areas that need improvement before the final product goes live, and deliver this feedback from the user's point of view.

List of changes and client approval

07. Freeze Design

Once the testing is complete and all of the necessary changes have been made to your high fidelity user interface, the product is ready to be handed over to the development team for implementation.

Final design handover to developers / stakeholders

Staying on-brand

Consistency is key to good design. And a large part of that consistency comes from meticulous guides you have set for your brand. If your brand already has a style guide then great otherwise this is where you set down rules to define the visual identity of your brand and how an end-user will experience it in turn.

A style guide typically includes typography, iconography, the color palette, text values, spacings, layout guidelines and such - everything that gives the brand you are designing for a unique and consistent style.

What differentiates good UI Design

Distilled down to its essence, your job is to organize UI design elements in as intuitive a way as possible to allow users to navigate your product as if it is second nature to them. It's about following a set of pointers to ensure that users see the most important information first and so on until the experience you create is a seamless one.


Strong visual hierarchy is a core design principle of a successful user interface. It consists of arranging visual elements in a way that explains the level of importance of each element and guides users to take the desired action. As a designer, your job is to organize UI design elements in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate your product.

Colour blocking is an excellent way of highlighting certain UI elements


The first and one of the most important elements of establishing visual hierarchy is color. Bright colors stand out the most and can be used in muted color schemes to direct users to take a certain action.

Colour blocking is an excellent way of highlighting certain UI elements


Size matters a lot in UI design, especially when establishing visual hierarchy. The bigger the element is, the more visible it is. Smaller elements are usually those of less importance. So, as a designer, try to make important things (like headlines or CTAs) bigger and bolder.

It is the best example of The bigger the element is, the more visible it is.


Fonts play a unique and crucial rule in adding to the overall experience. Play around with different sizes, weights and styles of fonts to establish visual hierarchy.

Dribbble using different sized fonts to create visual hierarchy


From recognizing interactive and static elements to making navigation intuitive, clarity is an essential part of a great UI design. So when you create your product, ask yourself the following questions:

01- Is your navigation intuitive? Are users directed and
encouraged to move from one page to the next with ease?

02- Have you used highly visible buttons that prompt
users into clicking them?

03- Is the purpose of each element on your product, website
or application, clear and easy to understand?

Clarity is an essential part of a great UI design.