Graphic design is an ancient craft, dating back past Egyptian hieroglyphs to 17,000-year-old cave paintings. As a term originating in the 1920s’ print industry and covering a range of activities including logo creation, it concerns aesthetic appeal and marketing – attracting viewers using images, color and typography.
Aesthetics must serve a purpose – in UX design we don’t create art for art’s sake. So, when doing graphic design for UX, you should consider the information architecture of your interactive designs, to ensure accessibility for users, and leverage graphic design skills in creating output that considers the entire user experience, including users’ visual processing abilities.
For instance, if an otherwise pleasing mobile app can’t offer users what they need in several thumb-clicks, its designers will have failed to marry graphic design to user experience. The scope of graphic design in UX covers creating beautiful designs that users find highly pleasurable, meaningful, and usable.
Although the digital age entails designing with interactive software, graphic design still revolves around age-old principles. Striking the right chord with users from the first glance is crucial. As a graphic designer, you should have a firm understanding of color theory and how vital the right choice of color scheme is.
Color choices must reflect not only the organization (e.g., blue suits banking) but also users’ expectations (e.g., red for alerts; green for notifications to proceed). You should design with an eye for how elements match the tone (e.g., sans-serif fonts for excitement/happiness) and overall effect, noting how you shape users’ emotions as you guide them from, say, a landing page to a call to action.