User interface design for web and mobile applications, is increasingly becoming easier for app designers, due to the availability of numerous creative utilities with enhanced features as well as the plethora of free online UI design resources. A simple online search will yield plenty of results for inspiration and ideas on UI design. The explosion of free icons and vector image providers on the web has also simplified the process of creating a UI design. So how then do we convert that beautiful UI design into an actual working user interface.
Traditionally, user interface designers, post interaction and experience design, would normally ship their designs off to the front end developers who would be tasked with developing the front end code required to create a functioning user interface. In some instance the front end developers will create the functional template of the interface and the designers will then step into provide the stylistic inputs which will be incorporated into the user interface design. A desired state however, would be if both of these processes could be merged into one task from start to finish, preferably going from a researched, completed and approved design to a working user interface.
So coming back to the question of how to convert a UI design into a working user interface is simply, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The single most important language an app designer cum front end developer must learn. CSS, which has an easy to understand syntax, will be used for stylistic inputs such as color and fonts as well as for defining grid systems and layout styling. Images and icons which will be created in the PNG or SVG format, can also be linked to and called from within the CSS file.