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The 10 Principles of Good Design

The 10 Principles of Good Design

The 10 Commandments.

‘The 10 Principles of Good Design’ were developed by Dieter Rams and have made a tremendous impact on the way design is practiced. They are an inspiration and a basis of any successful design.


A good design must be…

Innovative – Advancements in technology are an essential element for design, in order to keep producing creative solutions that are truly innovative.

Useful – Design is ensuring that a product has a true purpose for being crafted in the first place. A product must satisfy a specific criterion, by being useful to the people who buy them.

Aesthetic – Though this is not the single most important aspect of a design, aesthetic appeal is the make it or break it. Beauty attracts and motivates people to use something; and makes them happy whilst using it.

Understandable – At best a product is self-explanatory. When attempting to interact with a product leaves you aggravated, it is because you have no idea how the product is supposed to be used.

Unobtrusive – A design should be neutral and restrained, allowing the user to exercise their own preferences and individuality. Obtrusiveness can bring negative associations along with it.

Honest – Design is meant to solve problems and always have people in mind, it does not attempt to be unreliable and manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

Long lasting – A design should try to avoid being fashionable, this effects the future-proofing and life cycle of a product.

Thorough down to the last detail – Design is in the details. Care and accuracy should be implemented in to every step of the design process and nothing should be left to chance.

Environmentally friendly – It is imperative not to be ignorant to the preservation of the environment by conserving resources and reducing the amount of physical and visual pollution.

As little design as possible – Less is more. Concentrating on the essential aspects and not burdening a design with none essentials keeps the focus of the end product prioritized.

These design principals are a fundamental framework to keep in mind when thinking of ideas to incorporate in to and motivate your project.