Your Design Principles

Hi guys,

I’ve been thinking recently about design principles and that designer should have them, otherwise all creations will be blank and with no background and deep support.

I wrote it down in my yellow moleskin:

  1. Seamless. Less seams, carved from solid piece possible.
  2. As less details as possible.
  3. Honest. Do not try to camouflage brass for gold etc.
  4. Sustainable - we have tons of stuff that is being thrown on the ground. Consider materials that could dissolve with time.
  5. This one is tricky: built for last e.g. no “built of obsolescence”, there is no wheel 2.0 or spoon 3GS, all great inventions and designs last for ages. I understand that companies need obsolescence to provide cash flow and then reinvest in R&D. However is there a need for billion profits? What if company will not go public and stay private as IDEO did?
  6. Solid story backed up with emotional connections. Could be called emotional skeuomorphism if you wish.

Let me know what your principles are and what do you think about mine.


Id say mine are (in no particular order):

  1. Being able to live with my designs - I want to be able to use my designs in my life. If it a chair, I would want to have on in m apartment.
  2. Simple - I want my designs to use as few parts as possible and be easy to assemble. An added bonus would be if someone could make it themselves.
  3. Give a memorable experience - I want the experience my designs provide to be something that the user remembers and is stays with them. Obviously I want it to be a good experience.
  4. Obvious use - I want my designs to be intuitive in how you use them.

I made this awhile back for a presentation, looking back on it, I think it holds up to what I try to do. Think of it like legs of a stool. If any one of the legs is longer or shorter, the stool will wobble.

Build what the customer needs, not for what they say they need. Read the common disconnects between actual use and perception of use.
Reduction and consolidation, combine elements to reduce parts and transitions, to make a “smarter” solution.
Choose from a portfolio of materials and choose the best for the function and the market expectations.
Take into account manufacturing processes, tailor or develop manufacturing processes for efficiency and cost savings.
Design with a sense of perspective, history, function, avoid current flavors. Design and build it as evolved at release as possible, don’t hold back for a future version.
Build with repair and service in mind.

Finally, whenever possible, design tripods instead of four legs, they adapt to any surface and manufacturing tolerances with no wobble. :smiley: