Using Illustrations For App UI/UX Design

Mr. Vivek Khatri
Mr. Vivek Khatri, Director & Co-Founder at Emizen Tech
Published on Jul 28, 2021 in App Development

Illustrations assists in enhancing the UX/UI design by appending value to a product. While crafting a user interface, you may become familiar with various popular features. These are justified procedures of interaction that build a pathway for better UX/UI design. Simultaneously, other functions perform as a communication tool between the product and user.

Usually, the chief aspect of a UX design is widely accepted as functionality. Today, illustrations come with varied functionalities that assist in boosting up the UX/UI design. Moreover, they help the app developers and designers in crafting a narrative for users to aid in finalizing decisions.

Let's first understand illustrations perfectly.

What Is An Illustration?

A visual interpretation of a specific text, concept, or process is the illustration. It’s an image that targets clarifying, supporting, or drawing out the ideas that users get from other sources of information.

The primary purpose of illustration is to assist the viewer in imagining or understanding something better. For many years, illustrations have been integrated into varied print stuff, such as magazines, books, posters, newspapers, educational materials, and flyers. After that, video production and cartoons emerged. Lately, new tools and technologies pushed the restrictions which led to the evolution of digital illustrations.

The illustration comes with creative and appealing flexibility that is becoming popular as one of the ways to increase usability, visual and emotional appeal of the interface with the continuously growing mobile app development and websites development.

Types of UI Illustrations

In the modern UI, you may witness all distinct styles and directions expressed in illustrations, from vector images and icons to explained digital artworks. Like a functional layout element, illustrations may fulfill varied needs and functionalities.

1. Tutorials

Such UI illustrations showcase visual hints. They initiate the descriptive possibility. Besides, its prime target is to motivate or explain specific functions. Such images make UI friendlier for people who can’t read the copy or don’t like to do that.

They perform property in mobile interfaces only, with limited screen space. Moreover, it states that most miniature image information should not be considered for igniting misunderstanding.

2. Mascots

These are the personified characters that just append personifications to the UI. Ahead, they become the interactions between the interface and user. Mascots hold various contributions to the voice and tone of a website or app.

Furthermore, they can become a symbolic face of a product also. The symbolic nature of images makes them noticeable.

3. Rewards

The popular sort of UI illustration is Rewards. Cups, medals, starts, badges, stickers, and all such elements incorporate gamification in the user experience and record the user’s progress.

4. Theme

This type of illustration immediately crafts the general theme and mood of a website or app. It exhibits robust visual associations and metaphors to develop an emotional appeal from the starting stage of interaction.

Furthermore, the theme saves user’s time and effort while delivering a better user experience and creating the needed atmosphere.

5. Entertainment

Mostly, illustration’s main objective is to entertain users, although it doesn’t relate to functionality. Still, it directly handles aesthetic satisfaction along with emotions. Ultimately, beauty, style, and fun may also become dependable factors to retain the users.

6. Onboarding

The concept of onboarding came from the domain of employment and HR to UX design. It handles a few steps and techniques, permitting beginners to learn the interface’s functions.

Ways To Use Illustration In User Interfaces

Like the other part of an interface, illustration is not a decoration element; instead, it is functional. It needs to make interactions and messages more effortless and more precise.

We have come across the below list of ways where we can use the illustrations in UI:

  • Hero Images
  • Social Network Pages Supporting the App and Website
  • Theme Images
  • Blog Article Images
  • Marketing Stuff and Advertising Banners
  • Onboarding Tutorials and Tooltips
  • Notifications and System Messages
  • Stickers (trendy for messenger apps)
  • Rewards and Other Gamification Graphics
  • Storytelling
  • Visual Markers of Content Categories
  • Mascots and Characters
  • Infographics

Benefits of Illustrations for User Experience

A survey reveals that the image processing speed for a human visual system is only 150 ms, while the image taken is less than 100 ms. Today, visuals process information easily and quickly. They form a straightforward interpretation of the message no matter whether the user can read it or not.

Following are some of the outstanding benefits of using illustrations to enhance the UX:

  • Illustrations rely on engaging visual metaphors and craft unique and engaging designs.
  • Illustrations build visual triggers that convey a necessary message quickly.
  • Moreover, illustrations help in preparing a positive brand image.
  • The custom graphics allow aesthetic satisfaction that enhances the project’s expectations.
  • Graphics provide practical assistance to the copy, which is implemented in the web or mobile interface.
  • The custom illustrations develop a strong establishment of originality and artistic harmony.
  • Furthermore, Digital Illustrations are also known for adding to the humor.
  • Besides, it encourages users with storytelling.
  • Apart from that, illustrations provide an illusion of real interaction.
  • They hold the strength that assists in deciding the emotional appeal.

Resources for Exceptional Illustration Collections

Illustrations come with a significant strength that helps in setting the emotional attraction for the interface. Moreover, they are catchy and memorable; that’s why they perform perfectly in boosting brand awareness, recognizability, and storytelling.

Keeping that in mind, let’s check out top illustration collection resources that ease our routine tasks and make us design better.

1. Ouch!

A project that is dedicated to the free illustrations for the user interface is Ouch. It permits filtration by user case categories, like sign in, sign up, welcome, errors, or illustration style selecting from 20 illustrators.

2. Absurd Design

In the digital era, sometimes we feel that we should interact with something more human. It will make us appreciate the imperfection and beauty of something crafted with hands. With this need, the absurd design comes into play. It crafted the sequence of illustrations merging absurdity along with a deep sense of naivety and childishness.

3. Humaaans

This resource is a mix-&-match illustration of the people with a design library crafted by Pablo Stanley. They are entirely free for personal and commercial use. You can position and rotate its elements according to your needs and desires. They are like legos crafted out of flesh and vectors.

4. unDraw

This resource for the outstanding illustrations collection is a project that permits you to emerge with the images that fulfill your requirements.

UnDraw is a project that allows you to find the images that fit your needs. You can reap the benefits of the on-the-fly color image generation to suit your brand identity.

5. avataaars

With this, you can mix and match avatars with a Sketch library. You can craft avatar illustrations in the Sketch App using this free library. Next, you may combine hair, clothes, accessories, emotions, and colors. Created by Pablo Stanley, the avatars are free for commercial and personal use.

6. Artboard Design

Apart from all, in the illustration category, Artboard Design is not the exact match. They can be convenient. The best quality set the mockups by clicking the photos of natural objects and converting them into a format used on the web to offer you an exceptional experience.

7. Draw kit

Crafted by James Daly, this resource for illustration collections is an accumulation of appealing and customizable illustrations in two styles that you can use for apps, websites, or projects. Apart from that, it holds packs of ten seamless, animated, and looping scenes that help make your project stand uniquely in the crowd.

8. Lukasz Adam

An independent web designer, Lukasz Adam, has crafted all the Vector Art Illustrations and Icons. You may get these for free for your commercial and personal use.

9. Stubborn

Such a resource for exceptional illustration collections is a project that is available in an incredible set of twenty existing incidents and stories from the IT world.

10. Bottts

Crafted by Pablo Stanley, this resource is a mix and match of robots with a Sketch library. You may create robot illustrations in Sketch App using this free library. Next, you can combine antennas, frames, colors, accessories, and sensors. It is available for free for commercial as well as personal use.

Wrapping Up

There are various sorts of illustrations, like notifications, entertainment, infographics, mascots, etc. These are essential functional elements that help the designers form an interactive UI that increases engagement and helps retain users.

Illustrations hold the needed power to append emotion to the design, something that’s important while interacting with a large audience. They are restricted to improve user interfaces with their storytelling caliber and convey the message behind the application or any context.

The designers must keep track of such illustrations because it's not enough to showcase the elements of the layout to the users. Instead, it's essential to make them identify their meaning and understand their message also. So, we hope that this post has provided you some inspiration to use illustrations in your mobile app development process.

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About the author
Mr. Vivek KhatriDirector & Co-Founder at Emizen Tech

Mr. Vivek has been working in the IT industry since 2005. He has extensive experience in eCommerce technologies such as Magento, Shopify, OpenCart, and BigCommerce. He also specializes in mCommerce solutions including shopping applications, mobile wa...

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