10 Principles for Good Design

These days “experiences are everything” is the mantra of so many businesses, be that companies trying to make a more intuitive and easy to consume product, executives wanting to show their shareholders that they are aware that there is a need for change or those trying to delver an outstanding services.

Having spend a lot of time in engineering and delivery roles, creating and delivering products and services, I find it’s really easy to forget the importance of design; understanding your user, what the purpose is and ensuring that wha you deliver is usable by someone other than yourself, without a complex handover each time it’s updated.

I stumbled on this summary of Dieter Ram’s 10 Principles of Good Design early last year and decided it might be a good idea to make it easily referenceable for myself and anyone else looking for it.

  1. Good design is innovative – design always comes about in connection with innovative technology
  2. Good designed makes prodigy useful – Good design optimises usefulness and ignores anything that does’t service the purpose or works against it
  3. Good design is aesthetic – Objects ups use daily significantly shape your personal surroundings and your sense of well-being
  4. Good design makes a product understandable – it made it easy to understand the structure of the product
  5. Good design is unobtrusive – products that serve a purpose have the characteristics of a tool.
  6. Good design is honest – Honest means not trying to make a product look more innovative, powerful or more valuable that it really is
  7. Good design is long lasting – In forecast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in our current throwaway society
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing should be arbitrary or left to chance
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly – Design makes important contributions to preserving the environment
  10. Good design  is as little design as possible – back to simplicity and purity, less but better.

For those that want to see it in the original German (with English subtitles) see below.

If you get a chance, go check out Dieter Ram’s work including the full length video.