Understanding UX Design with eLimu's Head Of Product

Digital Creatives

Oct. 11, 2022, 12:16 p.m.

User Experience or UX design means creating simple interactivity in line with user needs. UX design is a critical aspect of a business; unfortunately, some businesses do not pay attention to it. Besides its aesthetic feature, which many focus on, UX design encapsulates all aspects of product development, from functionality to usefulness, to usability, and even branding and marketing. At the end of the day, how people feel and think after interacting with your product is User Experience. This process is essential to your business because, if done well, it will identify new opportunities for your product and drive traction to your business.

Today's Creative Digest focuses on Gabriel Saka, a man whose work touches the entire end-to-end journey of a user's interaction with a product.

Tell me about yourself.

GS: I think of myself as a creative thinker and designer with a background in product design and development. I understand product discovery and lifecycle. I'm good at graphic design; I create illustrations, vectors, and animations. I'm a web and mobile front designer and developer! Goodness me! I think I'm an alien!

What sparked your interest in UX design?

GS: I grew up doing lots of free-hand drawing and learned to listen and understand people's needs early. Also, after college, I designed and developed beautiful platforms that failed to meet user needs, thus experiencing poor engagement, so I decided to learn about user needs before building a product.

What is the difference between UX and UI?

GS: UI is how a car looks on the exterior and interior, and UX is how it drives. How easy is it to engage gears, cameras, wipers and indicators, and other features? In other words, UI is the looks, and UX is the usability experience. Think about it as looks and attitude; sometimes you can get away with bad looks but not a bad attitude.

What does it mean to be a good UX designer?

GS: You honestly love people, be able to put yourself in their position, and understand their needs. This is not done by just listening and understanding but by immersing into their lives.

How do you put yourself in the mind of the consumer?

GS: By creating products that meet consumer needs. At the end of the day, each of us is a consumer, and we judge products selfishly based on how they make us feel. Products that meet our needs are the ones that make us feel good and reduce the effort we put in.

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How do you decide which features to add to your product?

GS: Product features largely depend on your level with the product, i.e., is it a new or existing product? Either way, product features should be all about making sure that you are trying to solve the right problem for the right group of audience at the right time.

What kind of research methods do you use when starting a new project?

GS: I’m a sucker for Design Thinking because it encourages organizations to make user-centric products by finding data about users’ needs and producing creative ideas to solve them. Design thinking is an incredible tool for product discovery initiatives; it focuses on what is desirable from a human perspective, financially viable, and technically feasible.

How can Africans position themselves in the UX design world and compete globally?

GS: Problems are solved by people who understand themselves; we need to understand ourselves and be able to meet our own needs. Then we can think about the globe.

Which design communities can people join to get better?

GS: Design communities largely depend on an individual area of interest. Communities are important because they help us engage and learn from each other by teaching and mentoring. We also get to partner with other teams and organizations.

Additional comments are welcomed.

GS: Creative thinking is critical, just like art which has no limit; creative thinking helps us come up with unique, original solutions. It also broadens our perspectives by allowing us to consider things in a new way and can help us overcome prejudices through analysis, open-mindedness, and problem-solving.


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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.