Video icon 64
Upgrade your design skills with practical video courses from Tuts+. Start your free trial today.
Advertisement

Create an Interesting User Interface Design in Adobe Illustrator

by

We are all aware that User Interface design is very important. Our computers, mobile phones, tablets and other devices couldn't do their job without User Interface design. Today we will have the opportunity to create an interesting User Interface element that can be used as checked point or an information holder.


Step 1

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tool panel and click on the Artboard. Rectangle Option box will pop up. Set the Width and Height of our basic shape to 250x300 pixels.

Fill color is not important right now.


Step 2

With Rectangle Tool (M) still selected create a perfect square. To do that, make sure to hold Shift key on the keyboard. Dimensions are not important at this moment, but make sure not to create too large square.


Step 3

Under Object select Transform > Rotate. Set the Angle to 45˚ and hit the OK button.


Step 4

Now we need to resize the square and to place it on the right place. Select the square and under the Transform panel set dimensions to 250 x 250 pixels.


Step 5

Select both elements we have created so far and align them by hitting Horizontal Align Center under the Align panel.

After that just nudge the blue square upwards until the end points meet.


Step 6

Select both rectangles and under the Pathfinder panel hit the Unite button. It will turn both shapes into one.


Step 7

We need to round the corners slightly. To do that select the new shape and under the Effect select Stylize > Round Corners.

Set the Radius to 15px and hit the OK button.


Step 8

In order to be able to edit the new shape we need to expand it. Select Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 9

Let's move on. We will create a lower part for our UI element. To do that first we need to create the exact same shape we already have, but larger. Select the blue shape and under the Object select Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to 8px and hit the OK button.


Step 10

Now we need to adjust few things. First we are going to add two anchor points. To make sure to add them on the right place we are going to use Guides. Make sure to set the Ruler visible (View > Show Rulers).


Step 11

We are going to click on the Ruler area and to drag the Guide as it shown on the picture below.


Step 12

Now grab the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) from the Tool panel and add two anchor points on the spot where Guide intersect the larger shape.

You should be left with the following:


Step 13

We will remove a few anchor points as well. Select the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) from the Tool panel and remove following anchor points.

We will also change the Fill color of the larger shape in order to be able to monitor creation process.


Step 14

Let's modify the yellow shape. Set the Vertical Guide in the middle of our illustration, select the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool panel and create the path as it shown on the picture below.


Step 15

With the new path selected hit the Object > Transform > Reflect. Set the Axis to Vertical and hit the Copy button.

Place the new path as it shown on the picture below.


Step 16

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select both anchor points that meet in the middle of our illustration and under the Right Click select Join. This way we have joined two paths into one.


Step 17

Select the new path we have just created and the yellow shape and under the Pathfinder panel hit Divide button.


Step 18

Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl / Command + G) the yellow shape and remove the upper part. You should end up with something like this.


Step 19

Now, we will create the upper part of our UI element. Instead of drawing the entire shape at once we will break down the drawing process into two parts. Using the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool panel, draw the left half entire shape, as it shown in the diagram below.


Step 20

We are going to create the mirror image of the purple shape. Select the purple shape and under the Object select Transform > Reflect. Set the Axis to Vertical and hit the Copy button.

Place the right part as it shown on the picture below.


Step 21

Select both half of the purple shape and under the Pathfinder panel hit the Unite button.


Step 22

Using the same technique we are going to create the back side of the purple shape.

You should end up with something like this.


Step 23

We have created the basic shapes of our UI element. All we have to do now is to apply some nice colors and shadows. So, let's get started.


Step 24

Shadows are something we shouldn't forget. Without them our illustration will look flat. To create necessary shadows we will be using Blend Tool.

Grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool panel and create the shape as it shown on the picture below.


Step 25

Now, create another, smaller shape. Set the Fill color to #540000.


Step 26

Set the Fill color of the yellow shape to #FF0000 and the Opacity to 30%.


Step 27

Select both shapes and under the Object select Blend > Make.


Step 28

In order to create nice and smooth transition between two solid colors select Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the Spacing to Specified Steps and the value to 30.


Step 29

Place the front part of the ribbon to Front (Shift + Ctrl / Command + ]).


Step 30

Using the same technique we are going to create small shadow for the lower part of the ribbon. Using the Pen Tool (P) again, create two shapes as it shown on the picture below.


Step 31

Do not forget to low the Opacity of the larger shape to 30%.

Select both shapes we have created in previous step and under the Object select Blend > Make.

Use the same settings we have used in previous step.

Make sure to place the shadow underneath the ribbon.


Step 32

Blend Tool will help us to create another similar shadow. Duplicate (Ctrl / Command + C, Ctrl / Command + F) lower white part of the UI element. Do the same thing with the red shape as well. Select both copies and under the Pathfinder panel hit the Intersect button.


Step 33

Set the Fill color of the new design to #6E0000 and place it underneath the white part of the illustration. Duplicate (Ctrl / Command + C, Ctrl / Command + F) the new shape and nudge the copy for the 5 pixels upwards. Make sure to set the Opacity of the copy to 0%.

Select both shapes and under the Object select Blend > Make.

Select the Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the Spacing to Specified Steps and the value to 30.

You should end up with something like this.


Step 34

We shouldn't forget to emphasize the edges. This will improve our illustration a lot. Let's do it first for the upper part of the illustration – the ribbon. Duplicate (Ctrl / Command + C, Ctrl / Command + F) the front part of the ribbon. Under the Right Click select Isolate Selected Path. This way we will be able to modify the specific part of the illustration without messing up anything else.


Step 35

Select the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) from the Tool panel and add the anchor point as it shown on the picture below.


Step 36

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the anchor point we have just added and remove it by hitting Delete key on your keyboard. Make sure to remove Fill color and set the Stroke color to white (#FFFFFF). Also, make sure to set the Stroke Weight to 0.75pt and Profile to Width Profile 1.


Step 37

Using the same technique create the edge highlight for the lower part of the UI design as well.


Step 38

We need to create one more part. Select the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool panel one more time and start drawing the back side of the lower part of our design.


Step 39

Remove the Stroke color and set the Fill color to light gray (#E6E6E6). Make sure to place the new shape to the back (Shift + Ctrl/ Command + [).


Step 40

Let's create the right side of the illustration. Using the Reflection feature we will create the mirror image. Under the Object select Transform > Reflect. Set the Axis to Vertical and hit the Copy button.

Place the new shape as it shown on the picture below.


Step 41

Duplicate (Ctrl / Command + C, Ctrl / Command + F) the red shape. Select the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tool panel and create the ellipse as it shown on the picture below.


Step 42

Select the copy of the red shape and the yellow circle and under the Pathfinder panel hit the Minus Front button.


Step 43

Apply a linear gradient to the new shape.


Step 44

We just need to create a soft shadow to place it underneath our design... and we are done!


Conclusion

Although this might seem like a long tutorial with lots of steps do not hesitate to try it out. Feel free to make some changes and to play around until you create something interesting and useful. The goal od User Interface design is to make user's interaction as simple and efficiant as possible. Keep that in mind and you'll be able to create various elements for all kind of purposes.

I hope you enjoyed reading this tutoril as much as I enjoyed creating it. Thank you for following along.

Advertisement