The Illuminated UI Kit: Creating Experiences to Empower Women Entrepreneurs
March is Women’s History Month, and to mark the occasion, we asked UX designer Keshia White to create a UI kit that will empower more female designers to do what she’s done: Create a thriving business. If you’re a woman who’s thinking of starting her own business, now’s the best time in history to do so.
According to the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express, the number of businesses owned by women has grown by a whopping 114 percent in the past 20 years, compared to the national growth rate of overall businesses of 44 percent. Keshia’s Illuminated UI Kit touches on this point, making it easier than ever for women entrepreneurs to reach their specific audiences.
“My kit is targeted towards creative women who have blog or media content to share with other women online. It’s meant to be a starting point for them to quickly create a beautiful, polished website that will help them organize their approach, while appealing to their target audience,” she said.
Whether you’re a creative who has a great product and content, but don’t have the time to start your web presence from scratch, or building a web presence for another, then Keshia’s kit is ideal for you.
Getting started immediately with the Illuminated UI Kit
Keshia’s kit is meant to get designers building brand-specific and e-commerce-ready websites quickly.
To get the most out of her kit, simply follow these steps:
- Download the latest version of Adobe XD.
- Download the Illuminated UI Kit.
- Gather the content you need for the blog, media, or business site you’re creating, such as photographs (royalty-free stock images are part of the kit) and written copy.
- Begin placing your content on the homepage artboard. Work your way down the artboard, beginning with the banner, and replace the template content with your own, unique content.
- Continue to go to the artboards of the various web pages you’ll need for the site, plugging in your content until your project is finished.
Intentional UX decisions to empower women entrepreneurs
It’s crucial that designers spend the time to consider how their audience will move through their designs, and, in Keshia’s case, she used a very versatile card-based design to both organize the elements in her kit and effectively communicate to end users how they should proceed to the next page goals. The result is a tight UI that’s intuitive.
“When there’s a significant amount of content to present to a user, a card-based design layout provides a more effortless experience. It allows me, as a designer, to clearly communicate about the content and the next step I’d like users to take. My goal in design is to guide users through the experience I’m creating for them—without them having to think about what to do next,” she revealed.
Of course, the layout, which helps your users navigate through your design, is only part of the puzzle when making smart UX decisions. Keshia also spent a good deal of time ensuring that her use of colors was on-point for the female-based audience she designed the kit for.
“I wanted a color scheme that felt fresh, bright, airy and feminine. The soft pink was a beautiful way to bring that feminine touch to the design, without being overpowering. And the green conveyed a strong sense of freshness and a feeling of being welcomed into the design. I also intentionally used plants, palms, and airy photos for the ‘illuminated’ feel of being in a bright, fresh space,” she said.
E-commerce functionality to help women entrepreneurs monetize
Some of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face have to do with branding, selling their product or service, and connecting with their audience. After all, the Internet is a vast ocean of data, and without the right design touches, your site isn’t going to differentiate itself from the billions of others in cyberspace.
Keshia’s UI Kit helps women overcome these challenges as they launch their media content on the web.
“The purpose of the kit is to serve as a media website, with an e-commerce store. It’s inspired by the popularity of women’s media websites and the fact that March is Women’s History Month. On media sites, there are often profiles of notable women and helpful articles that serve the audience. My kit provides an effortless framework for any media website to get started, and the store is icing on the cake,” Keshia said.
The e-commerce functionality, built right into the kit, allows entrepreneurs to monetize their work quickly. The Shop page makes it easy for them to essentially attach an online store to their portfolio, agency, or brand homepage. Let’s say you’re a graphic designer; this UI kit helps you sell your digital assets, like logos and typefaces, right on your business’ site. Let’s say you’re a photographer; you can sell your prints right on your portfolio site.
Keshia’s big goals led her to create Illuminated
It’s fascinating to hear about where designers go to find the motivation for their creations. There’s often a neat backstory attached, and Keshia is no exception.
In her case, inspiration was born out of being stuck in the rut of doing a very “uncreative” job.
“I started designing websites as a blogger five years ago. I wasn’t happy with my job at the time, and I was searching for a fun hobby to use my creativity. I was in the most ‘uncreative’ day job, working in corporate sales in the telecom industry. Starting the blog helped me discover a passion for design because I was more into making my website look good than I was blogging,” she said. “I decided to work on a career transition, and I started taking evening courses in web and visual design. I did freelance work for entrepreneurs on the side of my sales jobs for a few years and I eventually transitioned into taking my website and brand design business full time.”
This fueled Keshia’s desire to create a UI kit that would raise people’s spirits with inviting design choices: “I wanted to create a design that felt empowering and approachable for women. The word ‘illuminated’ means to light up or brighten. My goal was to create a design that would brighten someone’s day just by having them take a look at the calming colors, patterns, and photography.”
On this Women’s History Month, she’s accomplished just that.
Check out these free design templates to help you spread the word about your local marches, book club meetups, and events throughout Women’s History Month and beyond. And for more UX insights sent straight to your inbox, sign up for Adobe’s experience design newsletter.