Sean's Dev Blog

Thoughts on UI Design in 4K

June 12, 2020

Whether you are developing a front end for a web app, creating graphical components for a software project, or simply want to create slick visuals, you need to be using a 4K monitor. Here’s why.

Design is for Everyone

Good design should be seamless and jaw-dropping for as many users as possible. Yes, you want your mobile-only users to have a great experience. You also want your high-end professional creative users to have an equally great experience. It’s very possible for odd user interface bugs in 4K to be non-existent on lower resolutions and mobile screens. Optimizing digital products for displays ranging from 4K all the way down to mobile displays will give developers the widest coverage, and the highest user engagement. Everyone loves well-crafted things, so designers need to ensure that their things are well-crafted for everyone.

Load Times Matter

Once you decide to start designing in 4K, you need to be using scalable vector graphics (SVG). Raster-based file types like JPG and PNG may look good on a 1080p display, but a 4K user is likely to see heavily pixelation. Creating UI assets with 4K rasters is incredibly inefficient, so don’t even think about it. SVG provides infinite image scalability, snappy load times, and fully programmatic graphics for cutting-edge animations and interactivity that raster-based file types can only dream of.

The Internet Hasn’t Caught Up Fully (Yet)

Web browsing in Ultra High Definition is an elevated experience. When you join the “4K Club,” you will undoubtedly have to slog through a lot of websites with glaring pixelations, buggy animations, and choppy transitions. Nevertheless, the well-designed websites are more exciting than ever to search for and explore.

Because of these reasons and more, it is imperative for any professional developer or designer to perform the bulk of their work using a monitor with at least 4K resolution. In a future blog post I will be taking an in-depth look at some of my favorite and not-so-favorite user interface designs, so stay tuned!


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© 2020 Sean Boisselle