Three Principles for Good Design

TP 1 radio/phono combination, 1959, by Dieter Rams for Braun

During the ’80s, Dieter Rams wrote ten principles for good design. Herein are three additional principles, for designing products and services in the digital age.

Good design is strategic

Understand the product, competitive landscape, and market you are designing for.

Formulate a strategy by articulating how user experience design will create a competitive advantage to attract new users, harm a competitor, or earn more profit.

Check every design decision you make against the strategy to increase your chances of creating and capturing value.

Good design is empathetic

Identify users, then try to feel what it’s like to be them. Find them. Speak with them.

Observe them. Document the time you’ve spent with them. Synthesize your findings to uncover users’ behaviors, needs, and goals.

Use these insights to design a solution that makes life easier for people, or better yet, gives them superpowers.

Good design tests hunches

Designing a novel experience is risky.

Designers don’t have established patterns to rely upon; they can’t be sure a novel solution will solve the problem at hand.

To be certain, frame a novel design as a hunch, then create a series of working prototypes intended to prove or disprove it.

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