Raphael Henrique doesn’t underestimate the power of a clear visual message. The Brasilia-based designer creates UX tech solutions for (primarily) government agencies at Memora, where he applies his “simple, direct” style to all kinds of important interfaces. He also takes on freelance projects that allow him to push his craft further, and develop new skills and insights influenced by the ever-changing industry. We emailed with Raphael about the importance of user feedback, the intricacies of scheduling salon visits on an app, and the best rap-rock soundtrack to get stuff done.
What drew you to UX/UI design, and how did you get your start?
I’ve been drawing since I was a child. Eventually I migrated to Photoshop, which allowed me to evolve my skills and get beyond the limitations of my resources (ink, pens, canvas, etc.). I started working on small design projects during college, which started growing into larger ones, and I recently graduated with a Marketing degree; this allows me to be creative and build a good relationship with people for a living, but my passion has always been art.
Since I started working as a Web Designer, I found myself compelled to create something more than beautiful websites; I want my work to be functional, too. I want to achieve better results that achieve the goal of creating a relationship with the user; because of this, I want to study and know more and more about how users behave and what they expect of their products. This is why I became interested in UI/UX design. In the future, I want to create an agency responsible for UX far beyond design, working in every step of the project.
How does Adobe Creative Cloud fit into your creative process?
The speed with which we get our ideas from paper to prototype is very important; the faster we do it, the faster we can move on to further stages. Mistakes are okay, but they should be corrected quickly. That’s why it’s so important to have good tools for creation and communication. (It’s always great to use tools that other team members are also familiar with.)
Adobe XD accelerates the creative process. Prototyping and being able to watch the changes in real time—then share them with a link to other people—is awesome, and for me, XD has evolved to be all I need for a UI job. It’s made my life so much easier.
Let’s look at one of your projects. What was your process creating Fio Maravilha—an app for scheduling salon services?
Fio Maravilha is a famous barbershop in Brasilia, and the owners came to me to develop an app for scheduling appointments. The first steps I took were a series of meetings with them to find out more about their needs, and how our collaboration would work. Afterwards, I reached out to the clients that might use the service; I wanted to know how they would react about the change from interacting with a human for services, to using an app. Finally, I came up with references and developed the app design based on the existing company brand. Fio Maravilha will be available for iOS and Android in March.
I was already familiar with Adobe XD—in fact, I bought my Macbook just to be able to use it when launched, so had been on board since the start of the beta release—and clearly Adobe had already made things faster. I love the way that every month new features arise. The XD community is really helping to build the perfect software for creating interfaces.
What excites you most about the future of UX/UI design—both in terms of creating it, and engaging with it?
UX and UI are finally creating a design link with other areas in the study and science of humans and human behavior, like psychology, in ways they never have before. These connections are enabling us to use what we know about ourselves to create better products and services.
The future of UX / UI is promising and without limits. New technology makes me believe that in the future, the user experience will be almost personal, where everyone will receive the design that suits them best. Just as it works in advertising, where the design picks up information from the user and shapes itself for him.
What bit(s) of wisdom can you share with creative folks who are interested in becoming UX/UI designers?
I have three main things to say to the beginners:
1) The software you use can make things much easier. Find out what your preferences are and what’s new. If you don’t yet know how to use the computer to create, get paper and pen and draft as many new ideas as you can. And don’t be afraid to create projects when you don’t have a “real” or contract one.
2) Read a lot, and look for good references. UX does not have a ready-made guide, but keeping up with studies on the subject is an important step towards building your own ideas.
3) We tend to think that we are totally right or totally wrong, things are not like this in UX / UI. Feedback is important, so always be in touch with people you’re designing with and for.
Whose UX/UI work do you look at and go: “WOW”?
I appreciate a lot of projects made with the golden ratio. It is extremely difficult to do something complete–that’s also good–using this theory, and shows the importance of studying before putting ideas into practice.
Best tunes for getting into a creative flow?
I don’t know why, but I need high-beat music to concentrate and create, so I usually listen to rap and rock.
Follow Raphael on: Behance
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