CareerFoundry UI Design Short Course - Day 01

UI Design Short Course Header

Welcome to the first day of your 7-day UI design course.

Just before you get started, we recommend whitelisting our email domain to ensure all 7 days of the short course land safely in your inbox. You can find out how to do that here.

Without further ado, let's begin!

We know that learning a new skill isn’t easy, but you’ve already taken the first step by signing up for this email course.

When I first started learning UI design, I was bombarded with information from so many different sources. Outdated blogposts with conflicting information made things confusing to say the least. How do you separate opinion from fact?

We’ve put this course together to solve that by giving you a singular location where you can learn the essentials of UI design. We’ll show you key design concepts in terms you can understand, as well as real world examples that you can learn from and draw inspiration from.

These lessons will be delivered straight to your inbox for the next 7 days!

Here’s what’s included in this email course:

  • Key UI design principles and concepts
  • Hands-on exercises and tips

The best place to start, as always, is from the beginning. So, what the heck is UI design?

User interface design (UI) is concerned with the design of visual tools that users need to interact with a product, which are collectively called a user interface. User interface designers aim to create a visual language that is consistently applied across a product while remaining faithful to the path a user experience designer established during the user experience phase (more on user experience design—or UX design—later in the course). This visual language is made up of UI elements, generally categorized as:

  • Input Elements
  • Navigational Elements
  • Sharing Elements
  • Informational Elements

UI also encompasses the design of interactivity; in other words, what a UI element might do when a user clicks, taps, swipes or interacts with it in any way.

What does a UI designer do?

Below is a brief overview of the types of tasks you will be able to complete by the end of the course, and will commonly encounter in the field of UI.

Designing Screens

As a UI designer, you'll be in charge of designing each screen a user will interact with. This means designing everything from a screen's layout and the different UI elements like toggles, lists or buttons, and patterns used on each screen.

Bookling Mobile App

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Designing Interactions

UI also requires that you give careful consideration to the interactivity of an interface. In other words, you will need to design what elements do when users interact with them. A bit unclear on what this might look like? Check out these clever examples below of different UI elements "reacting" when a user interacts with them.

Submit Button by Colin Garven

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Designing Icons

As screens shrink under our thumbs, icons have become more popular and important in interface design. Icons shouldn't only be beautiful, they should also communicate their meaning clearly. Icon design affords designers a great deal of creative freedom, and is considered by some designers to be among the most enjoyable tasks in the field.

Icon Set

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Designing a UI Style Guide

A UI Style Guide is a set of standards for the design of an app, website or product. It ensures consistency and the proper implementation of a visual language across an entire product, safeguarding its integrity.

Airbnb UI Toolkit

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Medium.com UI Style Guide

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Acronyms, style guides, design principles? If you feel like your head is about to explode, don’t worry. By the end of this course, these terms will be second nature!

You’ve officially survived Day 1!

Sit back, take a breather and give yourself a pat on the back. Now that you have a good idea of what UI design is and what a UI designer does all day, let’s dive right into your first exercise!

  1. Without referring back to today’s exercise, explain in 2-3 sentences what UI design is.
  2. Without referring back to today’s exercise, explain in 2-3 sentences the types of things a UI designer works on.
  3. Refer back to the lesson. How did you do?

Further Reading

If you'd like to continue your introduction to UI design, check out our recommendations for further reading:

What Does A UI Designer Actually Do?

How Do I Know If I Should Become A UI Designer?

How To Become A UI Designer


This page was last updated: 11-6-2019