As a mobile software company, on a daily basis we write code and solve technical issues. But our jobs (Front End Developer, Back End Developer, Big Data Specialist, Tester, UX/UI experts and others) might be tricky to get for non techies. That’s why we launched a regular column to ‘decode’ technical professions to inspire and explain what they really mean.
UI ∕ Graphic Designer: Julien Besnard
Hello all, this is Julien. Let’s begin with generic definitions of these two different types of jobs: designer and UI (user interface)..
Graphic designer: in charge of brand guidelines, visual identity of a brand or product. Creator of flyers, posters, leaflets and the entire brand collateral. With key objective of beautifully illustrating the company’s message in a way that is easily understood and attractive to target audience.
UI designer: leads and drives users visually and instinctively inside the app, product, functionality. Creator of a layout of websites, landing pages, software and applications. It is not about user experience (UX) but about user interface (UI). To make it easier, let’s use a house metaphor: UX designer is like an architect when UI is like an interior designer.
What’s your typical daily task?
I create images for marketing and communications like stands, banners, leaflets, business cards, stickers and more. I also help with visuals for digital channels including blogs and a website. And as a second part of my daily responsibilities I work on designing our software. As an example, Rakuten Aquafadas is a creator of the InDesign Authoring tool (which is a plugin for InDesign) and I am in charge of designing features later on coded by our developers. And finally I design applications or demos for clients.
What’s exciting about your job?
I have been at Rakuten Aquafadas for 10 years now and honestly it feels like I have been at 4 or 5 companies. From creation of a startup identity (focusing on comics and digital publishing) to the current integration inside the Rakuten Group (where our key targets are corporate clients), a lot has happened!
What’s most difficult?
I cannot deny that tight deadlines are the most complicated to handle. Externally it’s often hard to realise that designers are creators and we’re all about quality over quantity!
And also the fact that our designs have to please everybody can often be exhausting! We frequently do and undo our ideas until everybody is pleased.
What kind of training and skills you need to become UI / Graphic Designer?
You need a professional degree but key is a creative personality. This job is all about a way of seeing the world and passion!
How do you think your job will evolve in the future?
It changes so fast but the UI graphic designer spirit will remain. No matter how tools and trends will evolve, it will always be about conveying a message and promoting a brand or a product through images.
What makes a UI / Graphic Designer laugh?
“Come on, it is great for your book!”
Meaning, it will enrich your portfolio even if you’re paid peanuts!
“I really love your work but could you change colours? Maybe make the logo a little bigger? And the font as well … isn’t it a bit too serious? I would love it in Comic Sans …”
Meaning that all you did isn’t great!