Learn how to design beautiful user interfaces by yourself using specific tactics explained from a developer’s point-of-view.
Hi! I’m Adam Wathan, a full stack developer who used to suck at design. I’ve been friends with Steve Schoger for years and we’ve worked on a bunch of side projects together — him handling the UI design and me taking care of development.
Like a lot of developers, I always wished I could make my ideas look awesome without relying on a designer, but any time I tried to design something myself I would always get frustrated and give up.
I always chalked it up to a left brain/right brain sort of thing — I’m logical and analytical so I’m good at programming, people like Steve are intuitive and creative so he’s good at design.
But after working closely with Steve I started picking up little tricks. Tricks that didn’t require any artistic talent, but made things look better instantly for reasons that made sense to me as a developer.
Design with tactics, not talent.
Here’s a concrete design tactic I bet you see applied every day but haven’t explicitly noticed.
Use fewer borders.
Borders are a great way to distinguish two elements from one another, but using too many of them can make your design feel busy and cluttered.
Instead, try adding a box shadow, using contrasting background colors, or simply adding more space between elements.
It doesn’t take any talent to make changes like this — once you know the tactic you just need to notice the problem and apply the solution.
Refactoring UI – Complete Package.zip (317.3 MB) | Mirror