Getting to Know... Hasan Softic, UI/UX Designer
Ever asked yourself “What does a UI/UX designer do?” Hasan Softic, our latest addition to the team, is here to answer that for you. Let’s take a closer look at what he has to say about his UI/UX designer role at a digital agency and dig a little deeper into how it is he helps GRM go above and beyond for clients.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us, Hasan. Let’s begin with a brief overview of what the UI/UX team at GRM Digital does.
Well, as many people know, UI/UX stands for user interface/user experience, which means making sure that our clients’ websites/apps are visually appealing to their target audience, but also highly functional for an impeccable user experience.
However, while our primary task is crafting user-centred designs, we also always have to keep in mind the business, its requirements, goals, budget, etc. That’s why the UI/UX team here at GRM is involved in every project right from the outset. We are responsible for the very first steps of starting a project and work through every stage – from the discovery and research phase, to wireframing, to creating the final high-fidelity prototype. So, we do our best to fully understand the client and their business, and it is only then that we can even think of beginning to brainstorm.
Thank you for the introduction to your UI/UX role, Hasan. Now, could you give us a more detailed account of what your tasks involve?
A common misconception is that UI and UX are the same thing and that our tasks mostly revolve around the visual appeal alone, but there is a lot more to it than that. UI and UX both put the user’s interactions with a site/app first, but they do so in different ways.
First of all, UX design is all about giving users the best possible experience with a site/app, which usually centres on enabling them to complete their desired tasks in a fast and easy way. UI design, on the other hand, is focused more on the visual side of things, like the colour scheme or menu styling, for example.
So, the terms aren’t interchangeable, but they definitely complement each other and are so closely related that they have mostly morphed into one role.
As for my role at GRM specifically, it requires a lot of documentation research and product understanding in the project’s starting phases. We really want to have a clear vision of the clients’ main objectives, product and service type, who the predominant users are going to be (target audience), and what the client’s biggest challenges have been so far.
Once we have successfully communicated with the client and everything is clear, it’s time to design wireframes, i. e. layouts where the best possible design is defined, taking into account both the functionality and visual aspects.
The final phase of the UI/UX process involves actually bringing those wireframes to life. It’s called the high-fidelity mock-up/prototype phase, and that’s where we test out whether the design meets user demands and client expectations, making improvements where necessary. Once everything is satisfactory, it’s time to finalise the project document and complete the development hand-off.
So, you’ve been working at GRM Digital for a couple of months now, but we’re interested in hearing how you originally got into the world of web development, UI/UX and digital marketing?
My interest in web development was sparked years ago. I studied Management at the Faculty of Economics, but I wanted to get into the world of IT at the same time and develop my skills. So, during my studies I began taking courses in frontend development, more precisely HTML and CSS.
Before going into frontend more deeply, I discovered the charm of UI/UX design and decided to take a career switch in a way. The reason I was so adamant about becoming a UI/UX expert was the fact that this is a complex discipline with so much diversity within it. You have to find the best way to make both clients and end users happy, which is quite an exciting journey, but at the same time you can let your creativity flow.
I continued to study and managed to recognise a strong link between economics and UI/UX, as both disciplines involve plenty of research and analysis to understand customers/users and the market as well as possible. My experience with frontend also came in handy, as it enabled me to become a UI/UX designer capable of comprehending coding limitations and always working with that in mind – which ultimately boosts efficiency.
All of the education and experience I’ve gathered over the years has allowed me to hone my skills and ensure that we deliver a high-quality product to our client.
Have you completed any qualifications? If so, how has that improved your work and the delivery to GRM clients?
I have taken a number of online courses and obtained certificates that way. UI/UX became my passion, so I made sure to take advantage of any resources I could get my hands on.
Of course, there is always room for improvement in any craft, so I am definitely planning on further expanding my knowledge so that I can contribute to the ultimate satisfaction of GRM clients and their users to the best of my ability. GRM supports the professional development and career growth of all of us, providing access to a large number of online courses and enabling us to enhance existing skills and acquire new ones.
What would you say are the biggest challenges when facing clients and team members? How do you successfully overcome these challenges?
As with any other profession and job, there can be challenges along the way. I think healthy communication is the number one solution for challenges, both in the case of team members as well as clients. It’s the basis for a job well done.
I consider a diverse team to be better than a uniform one, but of course that may bring some differences in opinion and you aren’t always going to be on the same page. The key is to communicate effectively and in a cool, calm, collected manner. Working as a team, the ultimate goal is to deliver a top-notch product to clients, and that is not possible if members are butting heads and are unwilling to join forces.
As for clients, the same solution applies. Sometimes the client isn’t exactly sure what outcome they are aiming for and it is on us to discuss with them and try to guide them towards a clear end vision. Communicating thoroughly like this minimises the risk of misunderstanding and error and helps us give the client exactly what they want – even if they themselves don’t know what that is initially.
What do you enjoy the most about your position and what motivates you to go the extra mile for GRM clients?
Well, the fact that you get to use your creativity to the maximum to shape a product that a large number of people will be using and that will contribute to the customer’s end goals is truly amazing.
What’s also great is that UX/UI is much more than just design. You also get to constantly keep up with new technologies and trends and further develop your people skills, your research capabilities and your ability to strategise – all that while allowing your artistic side to shine.
Besides, the product you’re involved with from the very beginning will inevitably impact the client’s life and business growth, which is a huge responsibility, but extremely rewarding as well. Ultimately, a satisfied customer is the most significant aim of any project we are working on. Knowing that the project we delivered has succeeded and the client is happy with it gives us another level of motivation to work even harder.