Five Principles to Design By

Found this via Original Signal. This little essay sums up much of what I think about design but also gives me pause as I consider some of the projects I have in the design hamster wheel right now.

His principles (with a little pull quote from the essay)

  • Technology Serves Humans (“People should never feel like a failure when using technology”)
  • Design is not Art (“Art is about personal expression…..Design…is about use.”)
  • The Experience Belongs to the User (“The ultimate experience is something that happens IN the user” – emphasis mine)
  • Great Design is Invisible (“In a great irony,…bad design is much easier to see…”)
  • Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication (“…it comes across as magic when it works…”)

I must really take to heart that last principle considering that one of my signatures in email is a quote from a greeting card I have hanging in my office – “If technology doesn’t seem like magic, it must be obsolete”

I also think (as this blogger does as well) that there is nothing wrong with making things beautiful. Like the Shaker philosophy of design – if something is needed and useful, make it and make it beautiful. To me, that feels like mixing Design (capital D) with Art (capital A). But I guess all Art is not necessarily Beautiful. Hmmmm.

I have to think about this some more and make change to some of my thinking because I can feel “code bloat”, if you will, creeping into my systems I am creating for the projects.

Bokardo – Social Web Design » Five Principles to Design By