You can learn a great deal by looking at others’ work and analysing it. Breaking down existing user interfaces and rebuilding them in XD will teach you how to ‘see through the eyes of others’.
I’ve included some ‘Master-Apprentice’ exercises where I’ve analysed a variety of interfaces in different contexts:
- Mobile (Smartphone, Tablet)
I use this Master-Apprentice approach in my teaching at Belfast School of Art, and the students who undertake the exercises invariably end up learning much faster and producing more refined work as a consequence. I hope you find the examples useful.
Looking at these interfaces and how they are structured will teach you about user interface design and information architecture in different contexts: from the relative space of a desktop to the tighter confines of a wrist.
I’ve undertaken a few exercises that I’ve included to demonstrate how I learn about user interface design by analysing, deconstructing and reconstructing others’ work.
Where possible I’ve sought the permission of those whose work I’ve deconstructed and I’m thankful that the majority of the designers I’ve contacted have been happy to share my analysis of their work.
If your work is included here and you’d like me to remove it, please do drop me a line, and I will – of course – replace the example with a different one. Rest assured, I did contact everyone.
A designer, writer and speaker based in Belfast, Christopher mentors purpose-driven businesses,
helping them to launch and thrive. He encourages small businesses to think big and he enables big
businesses to think small.
As a design strategist he has worked with companies, large and small, to help drive innovation,
drawing on his 25+ years of experience working with clients including: Adobe, EA and the BBC.
The author of numerous books, he is currently hard at work on his eighth, ‘Designing Delightful
Experiences’, for Smashing Magazine and ninth, ‘Building Beautiful UIs’, for Adobe. Both are
accompanied by a wealth of digital resources, and are drawn from Christopher’s 15+ years of
experience as a design educator.