I have been trying to sort out some of my understanding and views of visual design in some way. At the same time the current team of visual designers, there are a lot of common distress, confusion and uncertainty about the future. I hope that my understanding and ideas for everyone to inspire, so that we have to engage in a more in-depth career thinking.
Visual design is dead
This is what I said in a group of designers, there is a few years engaged in the operation of visual design students, immediately jumped out to refute, finally to the only difference scold: "You are dead!" 's situation. I very understand that the end of the other people to tell others that their livelihood is not insured, who will subconsciously counterattack. But I am referring to the death of the art-style visual design (not only dead, but dead for quite a long time).
Visual design if the literal translation is English, the most appropriate should be "visual", but neither fi nor CDC, you can not find the words described in the post. You can also see from Google's inclusion of the word, how many companies are using this word to describe your work. In contrast, web-company visual designers are more often known as Designer or User Interface Designer, or simply called Designer. Obviously, there is definitely more than one "Visual design" involved in this. As Mark Boulton said, there is no such thing as a person or a job in the Internet business that simply "beautify" the job, that is, no pure visual design or Visual Designer. Even in the closest area of graphic design (Graphic), designers have done comprehensive work such as customer communication, creativity, prototyping, and design execution.
But "visual design" has indeed appeared in the domain of user interface (Interface) design, and in the early days of the age of the lack of beauty, it was called "art" (though there were many who had no art background at the time). But soon, visual designers began to reject the title because they found their work far beyond the scope of "visual beautification".
User graphical interface design although in a short period of 10 years to Graphic the traditional graphic design (and set up their own theoretical system), but after the Web2.0 frenzy, the entire visual design trend change speed has been significantly down (you see Facebook and Twitter hasn't had a big visual style change in years. Without a new change in visual design, there is no need for people to specialize in the replacement and rectification of the visual style of the product.
Today's Internet visual design is like a flood of Hollywood effects: People are so familiar with all kinds of visual performance-businesses and users have begun to focus on a deeper product experience than a superficial visual impact. The development of the whole industry has already made "visual design" and "user experience" inseparable, "user experience" can not be separated from "product exploration". Have to say, since the "User Experience" appears, with a variety of skills, techniques to do pure beautification of the kind of "visual design" has begun to die.
Reviewing visual design
Division of labor is a symbol of progress in the industry, in this sense, interaction designers, visual designers, user research engineers, these experience design related positions will continue to exist. But as Marty Cagan in Revelation: The visual design part of product experience design can be outsourced, and interactive design or user research suggests in-house teams to do this because they require people who have enough knowledge and knowledge of the product (and the user) to do it, They are also part of your differentiated competition (the core user experience). The reality is so brutal: visual design is less important than user research and interactive design in the overall experience design, because "sensory" is not the core experience element in most products. "Our work is just icing on the cake," as many visual designers have lamented. Although this kind of understanding is biased, but it is not unreasonable.
The visual design that I understand, in fact, there are a few things to do: Create visual levels by visual means based on interactive design (or simply visual flow), develop visual norms to achieve visual language consistency (visual norms), create a comfortable visual sensation for browsing or use, manufacture visual pleasure, and create visual brand impressions. (to a certain extent, you can also use them as a visual review of the criteria, a good interface visual design works must have a corresponding number of attributes to have a certain professional basis of the designer, to do the first two should be relatively easy, or even better to do the top three. and "Pleasure" and "brand" will be very recessive, because of the inability to quantify and as a value-added attribute is habitually ignored.
The pain that can not be avoided
Professional is violated, by the boss's preferences, the evaluation of disharmony, career prospects confused ... Everything will be there for a long time. Think of here, can only drop two words: "Bitter b!" When you cry, look at the root causes of these problems: the first is that everyone has their own aesthetic standards and preferences (including the visual designer himself), and self-confidence in their own aesthetic taste of the correctness and universality (so almost everyone in the company, including security and cleaning aunts can review your visual design of the manuscript); Secondly, the value of visual design can not be quantified in many cases, which leads to the lack of the right of speech and cannot afford the challenge.
There is such a point about aesthetics, do not know whether we agree or not: "Truly" beautiful things, is able to get most people's favorite. In other words, the "beauty" has a common and regular. Then grasp these commonalities and rules and flexible use, theoretically can let the design program to get more people (target users) of the identity (from the visual expression). In fact, this has been a lot of accumulation, like the golden ratio of the composition method, color psychology and collocation principles, grid typesetting and alignment, aesthetics-related basic research ... Visual design method is a way to follow, but in addition to it? Before using these methods, we will do qualitative analysis through user survey, user interview or image screening, or according to the user portrait to knot the keyword, and then derive the user's visual preferences. We also have to do "competition" analysis, and product managers to communicate their expectations of product vision, integrated business strategy and the company tried to convey (brand) visual impression ... All you can say is that you are working in the right direction: you cannot get an "exact" RGB color value through the above methods. Even if you can get it, different designers will still come up with a different color scheme. In short, you can only be infinitely close to that vague "best" solution, but you can't tell where it is. You use a series of rational analysis methods and design methods, and finally get a "relatively conclusive" perceptual results. It's no wonder that when Google tries to "absolutely" design results, it's going to be a pain in the designer's mind.
On the quantification of their own value, this is not only a weakness in visual design. The entire user experience design is nerve-racking, otherwise designers will not often feel dejected by the loss of their right to speak. Product managers are responsible for market share and customer number, operators are responsible for market feedback and user complaints, development engineers and test engineers are responsible for bug overhaul and system operation. And what about experience designers? Take responsibility for the "user experience", of course. There is a problem: first, the "user experience" itself is a general concept, and designers are responsible for only part of the vast "experience" cluster, that is, "user experience > Designer's work." The user experience runs through the entire lifecycle of the product, and the designer is able to influence the efficiency and pleasure of the user in the process of accomplishing a particular task in a particular scenario. The second is that the "user experience" brings the result is recessive. Changes in efficiency and pleasure must be reflected in the amount of clicks, conversion rates, customer numbers, customer feedback, and so on, but the changes in these data are definitely not the result of a purely user experience, (on the contrary, in many cases it is not associated with changes in data), and many other factors are mixed together, leaving you unable to separate. Even with A/b Test, as Wu Zhohao says, you can't just change the user experience-related conditions and make sure that the other conditions are exactly the same. You might argue with me that Google's heart model always helps us to set the design goals to some extent and can roughly quantify some of the design value. But if you want to separate the effects of visual design from these values: changing the color or texture of a button is harder to quantify than changing its position.
The Law of Experts
"It's impossible to do visual design all the time, right?" This is the most common word I have heard. The subtext behind it is: after the design of the N-year, technical progress slowed down, learning ability innovation ability must lose to later, sooner or later to be eliminated. This question can be thought of: an industry needs experts? If the answer is yes, according to the 10,000-hour law, you are engaged in visual design for 10 years, you can become an expert in this field, your competitiveness at least in the first decade of your career, is constantly enhanced rather than weakened.
I do not know whether you have had such a experience: a more "gifted" graduates, after three years of work, the visual performance of the work has been comparable with the company's senior designers. Even because TA younger and more able to "perceive" the trend, compared to the senior designers whose works more "fashionable." This seems to violate the 10,000-hour law, and your advantage has been broken by people who have been in the three years. Is that really the case? Maybe TA is more daring than you, more creative than you, and using elements that are more current and more "sensual" than you. But design is not creative, right? More senior you use of color must be more sophisticated, more reasonable layout, technical standards and the realization of the more comprehensive consideration, you know who the user is, they prefer more accustomed to see what, how to see ... For the same design needs, your plan is more in-depth, comprehensive and persuasive. The relative effect is piling up and you know more about subtraction than addition. (This is often a "depth of design" line) at the same time, you have a more systematic theoretical system, the industry has more in-depth insight into products and insights ... When you really ask yourself in the direction of an expert and work hard for it, three and ten years must be fundamentally different.
I know a lot of students, engaged in the two or three years of visual design after the transfer to do the interaction. A large part of the reason is that I am tired of the "unavoidable suffering" I mentioned earlier. To experience the design of a more upstream link, the work content has also turned into logical and structured thinking, but still can not get rid of the value of the inability to quantify the embarrassment, the right to speak is not much more than visual designers. Also many students have done the design management, this seems to be from the "Do not always do XX technology" in the nightmare of relief, but found himself in another awkward situation: driving a group of people to do the design is obviously more difficult than only to drive themselves, still have to face the dilemma of value quantification (often the experience of the Department receives no attention, The key to mastering the initiative: both technology and management can not be delayed, bad luck and the struggle against personnel and power ... Compared with the two, a small number of students to do the product manager, the reason is estimated that the relative professional span is greater, experience design experience difficult in a short period of time to form an advantage. The benefits of changing roles are obvious, the combination of professional background allows you to think more about the problem, it is easier to optimize the process, to deal with the complex and changeable situation. The downside is that you need to devote more time and energy to gradually build your competitiveness in the "new" field and embark on another path of expertise. So it takes determination to make a choice, but it takes a lot of courage and perseverance to stick to your choice and give it your full effort.
Article Source: aliued.cn