There’s a reason why interface and product designer Eric Hoffman has over 35,000 followers over at his Dribbble account. His eye for clean, functional UI design is second to none and if you’re looking for some inspiration in this area of design then we highly recommend following his work.
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Eric is the creative director of Reform Collective, where he and his team create beautiful interface and dashboard designs for app and mobile. Here we go into to detail, pulling out some of Eric’s projects and explaining why they work both functionally and aesthetically.
Let’s get to it…
Clearbit is, at it’s core, a technology company. Their systems look across the web, sorting through millions of data-points in real-time to pull back actionable intelligence from a variety of sources. Eric and his team were brought in to provide a high quality design solution to use for the entire marketing site and the output is a clean, minimal design that works perfectly across all browsers and devices.
- The design is really spacious and text usage is light throughout, sitting easy on the viewers eye
- The illustration style used within suits the sector / industry (tech & data) perfectly matching it to the target demographic
- At first the page appears to not have much content but the tabs within the page reveal more content at the user’s control, which ensures the user doesn’t feel overwhelmed at first glance
- The colour palette is considered, minimal and matches the brands core colours
- The design entices the user through a simple story layout, ending with a spacious and attractive CTA (call to action) to join the mailing list.
Project management dashboard
This is a concept Eric did for an unknown client but is a great example of a well-designed profile dashboard layout that combines spacious typography, minimal chart elements and a functional use of space throughout.
- The flat use of colour throughout provides a minimal, simple design giving subtle appearances of depth without the use of heavy shadows or effects.
- Key sections are well organised and placed into obvious zones – essential for admin areas and user management systems.
- Important progress steps are obvious at first glance, using colour to provide a hierarchy and giving the user a quick glance overview.
- Icons are used subtly to replace large text areas, but are done so in a functional manner without overdoing it.
Calendar view concept
We absolutely love calendar designs and they are often used by UX designers to practice their skills, providing an obvious set of content to work from. A good calendar design is super minimal; clearly highlighting upcoming events in a visually engaging manner. This concept by Eric does just that. If you’re looking to fill out your portfolio with some UX concept artwork why not give your own twist on a calendar concept design. We’ve highlighted a few key points as to why this design works to help you when starting a project like this.
- Eric uses his signature flat style, avoiding shadows, effects and gradients almost completely. This is pretty much essential in a good UX & UI design. They can be used but need to be extremely subtle and used lightly throughout (notice that subtle shadow on the bottom right-hand green plus button).
- Key dates are clearly visible and colour coded to help a user quickly visualise upcoming important dates and events.
- Padding is spacious throughout and given that the amount of space for each day in this month view is relatively small, Eric makes good use of this space with a unified height and layout for each event
Improving your UI skills
As you can see from some of Eric Hoffman’s works above, great UI & UX design takes time and patience with many important factors that need to be considered. It’s a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetic with a user’s experience and journey as a top priority in the artwork. To improve your skills, take time to explore every option and use the artwork and direction of designers like Eric Hoffman to provide inspiration before getting started on a concept.
Here are a few other pieces of Eric’s work we love and always come back to when starting our own UX work.