Ten Design Principles

After visiting the Vignelli center at RIT I was inspired by the fascinating design. I was able to find a recent article on design. The article I found at techwhirl.com is “Ten Design Principles and When to Violate Them”.

The article claims the 10 design principles to be

  • Minimal
  • Thorough
  • Understandable
  • Unobtrusive
  • Useful
  • Innovative
  • Honest
  • Environmental friendly
  • Esthetic
  • Long-lasting

Minimal – Less is more. Use the minimal amount of information to get the audience to understand. From a technical communicator perspective the minimal design perspective allows advantages such as less work because only doing what is needed. Another advantage is more work can be done in the same amount of time, or the same amount of work but higher quality.

Thorough – Make communication as simple as possible. Make sure to define key details, next define details readers need to understand to accomplish each step. Document necessary important aspects such as what people can’t figure out alone.

Understandable – Make a design that allows a product to be understandable with little effort or instruction. Writing needs to be clear, concise, and effective.

Unobtrusive – An understandable product must assist in revealing its structure. Something obtrusive could be a design so blatant and obvious, for example text that is so overly designed it is hard to read.

Useful – Product must be needed to complete a purpose.

Innovative – technology allows for new and better ways to do something.

Honest – The fact that everything has limitations.

Environmental friendly – it is important to protect our environment and products should not have severe consequences.

Esthetic – Product needs to be appealing to capture interest and desire. Beauty and Elegance fall in the category of esthetics. Good to appeal to the emotions of the audience.

Long-lasting – Good designs stand the test of time.

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One thought on “Ten Design Principles

  1. I appreciated this post because I am always interested to hear about design when it relates to our major, but while i agree with most of what the design principles are, I feel like a lot of them are too vague to be helpful to a designer. I think it would be unrealistic to say that a designer sits down and considers a set list of guidelines about the principles of design before the make something. In my experience most design begins and finishes as a creative process free from constraints, and while all of the design principles are good rules to follow, I think many of them are followed naturally by a good designer and naturally violated by a bad designer.

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