Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
BULAWAYO creatives have been challenged to move with the rest of the world by embracing User Experience (UX) design.
This was said at the inaugural Icebo Design Expo that was held on Thursday at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music.
A measurable number of photographers, videographers, graphic and UX designers, brand strategists, content creators and different creatives were taught how to better brand themselves.
Bulawayo is home to a lot of graphic designers and Wadzanayi Kimberly Bwanya, an expert in the UX design field urged creatives to take it up a notch higher by embracing UX design.
“As a self-taught graphic designer, I’ve learnt how to navigate through the industry and I’ve been fortunate enough to enhance my knowledge through UX design. I’d like to urge graphic designers to also embrace UX design since it helps in brand identity and is more user-centered.
“It also helps us move with the times since it’s practiced all over the world. I’ve realised that we have a small community of UX designers in the country and it’s about time we tapped into it so that we ensure that our sites and applications are user friendly and oriented,” said Bwanya.
User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function.
Bwanya is from Sillicon Valley where she spent 5 weeks on an exchange program called Techwomen. There, she was trained at Godaddy.
Mpi Ndebele kicked off the proceedings and spoke of the importance of identifying the “ideal clientele” in business.
“Branding is all about knowing who your target market is. One should know who their ideal clientele is. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in. Any business doesn’t begin, but ends with a log and should be people-centered,” said Ndebele.
Graphic designer and founder of Urban Moon Media, S’Angelo Donga spoke of the need for graphic design in branding.
“Graphic design is the visual element of the brand and it communicates what the company is all about without even having a tagline sometimes. A well-designed logo or sign has the power to bring in clientele,” said Donga.
Veteran print major, Collin Gillies from Directory Publishers shared his knowledge to creatives as far as print technology was concerned since he has 60 years of experience.
“Printing is a very critical part of branding since it ensures a tangible end product. This is the visual aspect of it and in my 60 years of experience in the print industry, the tangible product is here to stay,” said Gillies.
Entertainment was provided by Corner Stone Music with the saxophone and violin on full display.