Student Experience | Mary Colpo, User Interface Design

By Mary Colpo July 27, 2016


Click here to learn more about BrainStation’s User Interface Design course.

It’s crazy to think that I am officially past the halfway mark of my course. Since my last post, I’ve completed a few more wireframe iterations for my course project. The process of building a simple and functional wireframe has been surprisingly challenging. Here is an example of my first Photoshop wireframe I created after developing two paper wireframe versions. As you can see, the photo is fairly zoomed out to show the entire “scroll-able” desktop home page, but hopefully you can get a general sense of this basic site – with the logo/header at the top, various photo and text blocks throughout the page, and a footer at the bottom.

Rather than creating a wireframe in Photoshop, I definitely would recommend an alternative program called Sketch. Sketch is a professional digital design tool that is built specifically for designers and is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. Our course instructor (who works at Slack) swears by it, along with all my other classmates that have Macs. So why didn’t I use Sketch to create my wireframe you might ask? Unfortunately, I’m stuck on an old Mac laptop and don’t have the minimum OS requirements to download and use the program (FYI must have Mac OS 10.10 or higher…and here I am rocking 10.6.8 :p). So while I’m holding out for that next MacBook Pro (fingers crossed for August 2016 release date!), I’ve decided to stick to borrowing my sister’s laptop which has Photoshop installed.


One of my favourite aspects of the course has been the ongoing feedback we receive each week – both from our course instructor and classmates. The mini project presentations we do at the beginning of each class offers us a non-intimidating presentation opportunity, allows us to follow along with the progression of each other’s project, and receive constructive and helpful feedback that we can apply in our work.

I’m really happy that I chose this UI Design course because it has equipped me with several new skills that can be applied both inside and outside my current role. Perhaps the most important lesson that Hubert continually emphasizes is that design must always serve a purpose. If a given element doesn’t have a particular function, you must consider whether it makes sense to include it at all. This has altered my perception and understanding of UI Design and helped to develop my eye for both good and bad design concepts in the webpages and apps I interact with. Studying UI Design has given me such a stronger appreciation for designers, creators, and coders that bring beautiful and innovative webpages and apps to life. I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks to begin finalizing my website design and framework and leveraging all the skills I am building from taking this course.

Until next time!

Mary is taking User Interface Design at BrainStation in Vancouver.

Mary is taking User Interface Design at BrainStation in Vancouver.

User Interface Design
1110 Hamilton St.