One important part of the development of a new application of software is the visual design. Mostly our users don’t know or don’t understand about the programming part or the logic followed to develop an application, they only care about their user experience and part of this user experience is the graphical interface.
From the point of view of the users, the design or the distribution of the elements that are used for the new software interface have to be easy to understand, follow a logic (standards of the industry, the OS, etc) and be related in some way to the real world in order to facilitate the understanding process of our new user. The icons have to simple and related to the actions they perform and the distribution of the components in the layout must be clear and understandable.
From the point of view of the developers, the impact of visual design and graphic design is very important and can be a headache sometimes. The most common “war” in this area is between the graphic designers and the developers because sometimes the design is really beautiful, the static is perfect but the big problem is that it is not possible to implement or some changes have to be made on it to include the required functionality. On the other hand, when the graphic and visual designs are correctly and cleanly structured can be very useful for the developers and solve or make easy to implement some functionalities.
Good Practice: Create Mockups!!
So the impact of graphic and visual design has a big impact on the results of our final product. As software engineers, we cannot say “I program and then somebody else figures out what it should look like”. As mentioned before, both parts the programming (functionality) part and also the static (visual or graphical) part are related and are part of our product; both should be correctly designed and developed.
Successful software is the one that fulfills the requirements, is available when needed and provides a good user experience.
Sometimes is better to design first