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DESIGN BETTER: DESIGN PRINCIPLES

DESIGN BETTER: DESIGN PRINCIPLES

As designers and problem-solvers, we are accountable for the ever-increasing importance of design as well as for the role it now plays in today’s life, society and innovation. It’s our responsibility to not only make design aesthetically appealing, but also to make any design solution — first and foremost — the best it can be.

By pushing the boundaries of what’s currently possible and by integrating design thinking and a human-centered approach into our processes, we can strive to create the best possible outcomes each and every day. That said, being guided by great design principles will always be the way to go. I’m a great believer in keeping things clear and simple and these design philosophies are no exception:

 

Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles for Good Design

 

Good design is innovative

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

 

Good design makes a product useful

A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

 

Good design is aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

 

Good design makes a product understandable

It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.

 

Good design is unobtrusive

Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

 

Good design is honest

It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

 

Good design is long-lasting

It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

 

Good design is thorough down to the last detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.

 

Good design is environmentally-friendly

Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

 

Good design is as little design as possible

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

 

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