top of page

UI/UX Design through the lens of cinema

Drive the drill of User Interface Design through the blooming creative skills of cinematography.

“Design is thinking made visual”- Saul Bass, Visual designer USEEDS.

A creative mind is one that can see indifferences or unlikely juxtapositions. The cinematography in concerted efforts with the creative team is responsible for bringing ideas live on-screen; it makes emotions breathe and removes virtual blurriness between story and audience. Art knows no boundary, and we can tell you this by pointing out shear inspirations, creative techniques, and fundamentals of visual design used both in films and UI design.

We present you in phased steps, virtual interaction techniques, and basics of design through which you can outgrow the monotonous and superfluous designing rituals. The article is also a cheat sheet for those who love to live in the abstract beauty of art and design.

The ground rules of art and design

Whether it’s a designer or a creative head of a film’s graphics team, the basics remain the same for all the art forms. The aim is to give a wonderful experience to the audience/users/customers. A designer aspires for his users a simple and easy achievement of goals, whereas a movie maker wants the audience to grasp the idea or emotions he wants to convey as efficiently as possible.

However, a movie creator demonstrates that all stages are yours but mind the details. Details of screen or stage have the magic of art in them. Making a detailed striking design makes sure that you arrange the elements on the screen in a complementary and definitive manner. Neatly structure your layouts and create a focus on features you want to highlight. Measure the extent of typography you choose to with. This ensures stability and consistency in the design that appeals to the users.

The infamous documentaries The Last Dance and DesignAndThinking are terrific examples of the methodology that promotes design thinking by bringing together designers, creators, and entrepreneurs.

The last dance documentary Pippen Jordan

The last dance. Source

Frames and palette usage to convey the idea

The selection of different frames and color palettes in movies is made carefully. The filmmakers often take advantage of visual interaction with various frames and palettes to communicate the theme and ideas of different scenes to the audience. Subtle usage of this technique can be done in UX design too. Sleek layouts and frames without overwhelming colors are a classy way to attract users. UX designers can also use intuitive visuals. For example, an elegant and subtle palette for a corporate product, sharp colors for kids UX products.

The sharp distinction used through frame variation in The White Tiger to show two different worlds, haves and have-nots is a great example. The same variation is also displayed in The Bladerunner.

The White Tiger Netflix

The White Tiger. Source

Inspiration from design interaction techniques

Design, if not is user interactive, loses its relevance. Movies of genres such as drama, thrillers and fantasy interact with the audience almost through the cinematography. The communication of emotions through wrong fundamentals of graphics is a blunder. Examples of excellent usage of elemental balance and emphasis on the frame is seen in movies like JoJo Rabbit ,Little women, Forest Gump, Breaking Bad, and other masterpieces.

Even animated movies and live-action movies such as The Lion King, Akira use component composition for better graphics.

JoJo Rabbit Scarlett Johansson

JoJo Rabbit, Source

Work on constant iterations

Constant iterations will bring balance and hierarchy among the elements of your design to the best. The gestures and virtual used in Avengers movies such as Iron Man and others, Pixar movies are something to adapt for a designer.

As a good UI designer, you must speculate future interfaces through experimenting with iterations. Use holograms, ideas from Artificial Intelligence, HUD interfaces, AR technology, and effects of 3D elements as used in movies. Animes like Naruto, Pokémon, The Death Note, etc., have added these classic visuals improvisation techniques.

Naruto Poster

Naruto, Source

Be limitless for setting new rules

Although conventional designing tools and techniques are something to abide by, modern designers using platforms like Behance and Dribbble have the potential to break the design monotony. Stanley Kubrick violated the 180 degrees camera rule in the movie The Shining. Creative teams of movies try new landscapes to make the screen appealing and connect the audience's emotions with the story. Experimentation is what gives birth to innovation. Designers must look out for stills of movie scenes to fall for the exceptional patterns graphics of a film can make on the screen.

Famous graphic designer David Carson made a groundbreaking distinction by pushing typology, visual communication, and layout to another level. The philosophy of Jean-Luc Godard in movies like Breathless is also notable.

The Shining, Source

The evolution of art, design, and film is natural, making it inevitable to find parallels between them. In both outstanding films and UX Designs, clarity of intent and design is created for the audience. Make sure to use all the tools in the arsenal (be it the composition, editing, color, typology, motion, etc.) to make the product real for the audience.

830 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Join our newsletter!


Discuss your project with us!

bottom of page