10 Principles for Good Digital Design
The Importance of Good Design
At VeenPool.media we believe that digital design is one of the most important features for the establishment of a business in the online sphere.
Today, a website or app contributes massively to the success of a business.
A well designed online platform can foster trust in the business and serves to establish and sustain new business relationships.
MinClick: The process optimising platform function (typically to inform or to sell) whilst minimising user input.
MinClick is VeenPool’s native philosophy for design, whether it be a for a Website, Application or Plug-In.
MinClick pays homage to Dieter Rams’ principle, ‘Weniger, aber besser,’ or ‘Less, but better’
Based on research that surmises that each additional click required of a user leads to a fall in customers; MinClick philosophy is the aim to eliminate the unnecessary input requirements placed on a customer.
The aim of MinClick is to create an optimised platform in order to maximise the platform’s goal, whether it be to inform, to buy or to sell.
The MinClick philosophy applied, should result in a platform that:
- Is intuitive and self-explanatory
- Minimises the need for user input
- Is aesthetically pleasing, without sacrificing function
- Deep understanding of user behaviour and digital trends
- Extensive knowledge of front-end and back-end code
The 10 Principles
This list borrows from Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles for good design. The master of the Functionalist School of product design outlines 10 principles that we believe every UI and UX coder should apply, to add value to their work.
1. A good design is useful
That first and foremost, form follows function. That the purpose of the overwhelming majority of websites, applications and plug-ins is to serve as a platform to buy, sell or inform or otherwise to perform a particular function.
Any feature that does not support the purpose of a platform i.e. to buy, sell, inform or optimise should, therefore, be discarded.
2. A good design is aesthetic
A well-designed platform shows an investment of time, resources and care.
It fosters faith in the business and the product and services it provides and can encourage new customers and retain existing ones.**
3. A good design is long-lasting
“What is fashionable today will be unfashionable tomorrow, and a piece of comedy in 10 years’ time.”*
A design that avoids being fashionable never goes out of fashion.
4. A good design is self-explanatory
If a product requires an extensive manual to fulfil its purpose, something is wrong. A platform should aim to be intuitive and the user should glide through with need for minimal inquiry.
5. A good design is unobtrusive
A well-designed platform is like a tool, its design should be both neutral and self-restrained.
An overly designed platform can have the effect of overwhelming the user. It is important to maintain the user’s right of self-expression when using the platform.
6. A good design is honest
“A good design does not attempt to manipulate the customer into thinking it is more powerful or valuable than it is.”
A promise is a promise, whether it‘s conveyed through text, audio, iconography or imagery.
Over-promising exposes a risk of under-delivering, at the expense of credibility.
7. A good design is thorough
“Care and accuracy show respect for the user.”*
Every feature of a design: images, workflow all the way up to the last tool-tip, should show design consistency.
8. A good design is environmentally-friendly
In software development, code efficiency is under-considered.
Badly written code can exponentially increase server-load, network load, processing time and memory requirement and can exponentially increase energy expenditure.
Environmentally friendly digital design:
- Removes unnecessary code that goes towards redundant processing
- Ensures the best run time for completing an algorithm
- Makes use of error and exception handling at all layers of the software, including user interface, logic and data flow
- Optimises the use of data access and data management practices
Code efficiency that specifically pertains to runtime execution of software is essential to low resource consumption and high performance.
9. A good design is innovative
“There is no reason not to innovate.”*The possibilities for innovation have, in no way, been exhausted!
Whether it be for optimising efficiency or maximising utility, there is always a better way of doing things!
10. Weniger, aber besser
“A good design offers less, but better.”*
Good digital design focuses on the essentials, relevant to the purpose of the platform.
Anything additional misdirects the user from the purpose of the platform and should be ruthlessly eliminated.