Below is an interview with Antonio, one of Revel Systems' UX/UI designers. By meeting one of our UX/UI designers and delving into his creative process, we at Revel hope to give you a better understanding of what goes into our product at the design level.
Tell me a little bit about your background, and how you got into design.
AA: Design has always been a part of my life, ever since I was small. I liked to modify/edit the video-games I was playing when I was younger. I used tools to modify levels of video games and even the menus in video games, and play around with those - change the colors, etc. This started as a way to impress my friends, but it encouraged me to go on to study game development. I later used the skills I learned during my study of game development and took those into a more broad, visual communications background that I have now. I started with 3D art and went into 2D art afterward - most people do it the other way around. But I already had a foundation from schoolwork and just playing around on my own - creating textures in video games and doing painting and artwork in Photoshop, and these are skills I use today for UI art. In reality, video games can be applied to many different applications - in the game industry, UI is extremely important (in fact, in every industry). And this isn’t just UI, but also UX - the experience of the user. UI and UX play a major role not just in apps but in graphic design as a whole.
What is your day-to-day like at Revel? How do you go about collaborating to achieve the look and feel of the product?
AA: I work closely with my team - all the designs we create are very logic-based. They make sense. You shouldn’t have to think about it when you’re using it - that’s what intuitive means. But it’s even more than that - it’s making sure it’s easy. It’s definitely a thoughtful process. Usually there’s a business case for our designs, otherwise it’s just me and our other designer who feel that a design is integral to the system, and get it implemented. And I really appreciate another set of eyes - another perspective that can point out things I may have missed. There's a very thin line between UI and UX. There are only two UX/UI designers here at Revel, and we are tackling not only the design of the front end - the part of the app that faces all of our customers and their customers - but also designing the functionality of the back end.
Tell me about the process for the new Revel Kiosk.
AA: A little after our other designer joined the company we started conceptualizing a brand new kiosk for Revel. The old one really didn’t play into anyone’s ideal of a kiosk - it didn’t appeal, it wasn’t selling, but it also hadn’t been a priority. We were given the opportunity to completely redesign it to our taste. That’s the best thing you can ever get at a company - the opportunity to create something of your own. It’s an enormous, iterative process. When I look at my files, I have at least 50 iterations of the kiosk - just little changes here and there. There are new screens being added even to this day. I always converse with our other UX/UI designer before I finalize something, and ask for her opinion, because even though I trust my decision, I’m certainly not always right, and she perfects the final product. I’ll ask questions like, “Does this look right to you? What am I missing?” and she'll always help with improvements. Work is happening around the clock - every morning I wake up and wonder what the engineers have accomplished, and what I will be working on that day. This is also a major part of the iterative process - learning how to work with people overseas and learning how they work.
What is something you’d like the world to know about designers?
AA: Creativity takes time. And, if you want a quality product, it takes time. It’s also good to know how to talk to a designer, especially when giving feedback. There’s always more than one way to do something - there’s never only one way. While it’s always good to receive feedback, those giving feedback need to keep an open mind, and to understand there’s more than one way to approach a problem. 5 + 4 = 9, but so does 6 + 3. Be constructive, and realize that design is not only a creative, but an iterative process. It takes time, creativity, and several iterations to come up with the right result.