Step 4. UX Principles

Master UX in 15 steps.📍 Start

What is good UX and how is it measured? What are the principles behind great design? And what is the minimum a UX designer should know in order to create successful products?

The essential principles for effective UX design are:

  1. Usability principles
  2. User psychology principles
  3. Visual design principles
  4. Web principles

Usability Principles


Design Principles: The Philosophy of UX (5 mins)
Whitney Hess on IgniteNYC

Whitney Hess explores the principals of good user design through real world examples including: bathrooms, the birth control aisle at the drug store, doorbells, sandwich shops, and bookstores.

Two most important principles for UX designers: “don’t make me think” and “designers are not users”.

Don’t Make Me Think

Designers have to think about a lot of things to create a product that is easy to use and don’t make users think more than necessary.

Designers goal is to create product that is:

Useful: Does it do something people need done?
Learnable: Can people figure out how to use it?
Memorable: Do they have to relearn it each time they use it?
Effective: Does it get the job done?
Efficient: Does it do it with a reasonable amount of time and effort?
Desirable: Do people want it?
Delightful: Is using it enjoyable, or even fun?

(from the book Don’t make me think)

Peter Morville’s User Experience Honeycomb

Designers are not Users (2 mins)
Jakob Nielsen on NNgroup

Jakob Nielsen explains why all members of the design are very different from mainstream users and the way they will use your product. (But also why users aren’t designers.)

Accessibility and Inclusive Principles

Inclusive Design at Microsoft

Everyone is different! (5 mins)
A11y Bytes

Global Accessibility Awareness Day teamed up with UX Mastery to created a short video all about embracing differences and creating delightful experiences for everyone.

Aside from usability principles, UX designer should also know psychology, behaviour, information architecture, analytics.

2. User Psychology Principles

Psychology Makes You a Better UX Designer (3 mins)
Hoa Loranger on NNgroup

The psychology of decision making in UX (16 mins)
Joe Leech on Media Evolution

User Experience Designer and author Joe Leech talks from a user experience perspective on how to understand the psychology of decision making.

Mind tricks & 7 Secrets of Behavioural Economics for UX Designer (44 mins)
Lanny Geffen on fitcevents

You can sell more products, be more successful dating, understand how to make resolutions stick, wow clients with your incredible insights, and understand how interfaces need to be reimagined for motivation.

3. Visual Design Principles

Short introduction to visual design. You’ll learn more about visual design Step 11. UI

Design principles (4 mins)
on jonathan gibson

4. Web Principles

Even though designers don’t necessary have to code, they do have to understand technological constraints and requirements. 70% of employers require UX designers to have knowledge of responsive design and mobile first approach.

Online course Responsive Web Design Fundamentals
Cameron Pittman and Pete LePage on Udacity

How to Design Components for Mobile First (5 mins)
Luke Wroblewski on Intel Software

Mobile first responsive design is the way you can develop your apps to better engage your users across all the platforms they use. Luke Wroblewski gives some tips on how and why you should design for mobile first.
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