German industrial designer Dieter Rams is a legend among design enthusiasts. He is most well known for being the designer behind the Braun consumer products, which also inspired what Apple products looks like today. He has ten principles that guide his designs, which he offers as advice to aspiring designers.
Rams’ Principles of Good Design:
1. Good design is innovative – Technology always offers new opportunities for innovation and innovative design develops in conjunction with innovative technology.
2. Good design makes a product useful – Well-designed products emphasize usefulness in functional, psychological and aesthetic spheres.
3. Good design is aesthetic – Only well-crafted products are beautiful.
4. Good design makes a product understandable – Making use of the consumer’s intuition will make a product self-explanatory.
5. Good design is unobtrusive – Products are neutral and restrained, leaving room for a consumer’s individual expressions.
6. Good design is honest – A product fulfils all promises and does not offer more than it can achieve.
7. Good design is long-lasting – Good designs are not fashionable and last many years.
8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail – Care and accuracy shows respect towards the consumer. Nothing must be left to chance.
9. Good design is environmentally friendly – A good design will conserve resources and minimize its physical and visual pollution throughout its lifecycle.
10. Good design is as little design as possible – Less is more as it focuses on the essential aspects of a product.
If you want to test whether good design principles have been implemented on a product, refer to Rams’ principles as a blueprint. (via Airows)