Design principles are a set of guidelines and practices that help us create products, systems, services, and experiences that are simple, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to use.
Inspired from Dieter Rams’ 10 principles for Good Design, these considerations are essential for creating designs that are overall and most importantly simple to use, innovative, and responsible. They can be applied to a wide range of design disciplines, more specifically industrial design, and when considered throughout the whole design process, these principles can help create artifacts that are effective, efficient, and engaging to their users.
Designers should strive to create designs that are easy to understand and use, with clear and consistent interfaces, intuitive navigation, and well-organized information. They should also focus on creating designs that hold haptic appeal on visual, sensorial, and tactile levels. This can be achieved using tailor-made color palettes, appropriate typography and styling, proportioned and ergonomic shapes and forms, to name only a few of the design elements that can be used to create a sense of harmony and balance.
Designers should ensure that their designs are practical and functional, meeting the needs of users and solving real-world problems. They should also consider the needs of a wide variety of users, including those with disabilities, and strive to create designs that are accessible to everyone.
Finally, designers should be mindful of the environmental impact of their designs and work to create sustainable solutions that minimize waste and promote responsible use of resources.
Overall, simple, innovative, and responsible design principles are essential for creating effective, user-centered designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable. By following these principles, we can create products, services, systems, and experiences that are both useful and delightful, enhancing the lives of users and contributing to a better world.
Since the emergence of user-centered design, descriptions and prescriptions of what, how, and why design should look like, feel like, sound like, and behave like have been circulating within the design community.
We can find gestaltist theoreticians exploring Gestalt principles describing how we make sense of the physical world surrounding us; Zen aesthetics features breaking down the essence of beauty, elegance, and mindfulness in the material world; emotional design criteria suggesting how we can build attachment to that material world, and lastly the most notorious - and perfectly vulgarized - list of Good Design principles brought forward by designer pilar Dieter Rams, to name only a few.
The purpose of this vulgarized list of design principles is to inspire ourselves and our clients to always strive towards the best design possible:
one that is empathetic, innovative, and ecologically responsible.
Is thorough, revolutionary, and in symbiosis with technological advances
Is purposeful, accurate, elaborate, though-out, and thought-through
Is pure, light, and focused on the essentials
Fits within the technical, budget, and timeline constraints
Offers a unique & pleasant experience that calls to be repeated
Satisfies the consumer by swiftly and easily serving its main purpose
Is easy to understand and to use
Is comfortable to manipulate and to interact with
Is considerate, respectful, and attentive to the users’ needs & wants
Considers the needs and wants of all types of users regardless of their background, gender identity, age, and abilities/disabilities
Positively contributes to the preservation and conservation of the environment
Straight-forward, fulfills its promise, and does not try to manipulate the consumer
Is timeless and long-lasting
Resolves an important problem that similar products don’t - without creating more problems
Concerned and sensitive to prospective realities within a holistic systemic approach