"Is my design good design?"  And 10 Pinciples by Dieter Rams

"Is my design good design?" And 10 Pinciples by Dieter Rams

, by Steve Coulter, 1 min reading time

"Is my design good design?" this is the question Dieter Rams asked himself about his designs, which are now famously influential.  Its a question I find myself asking about my own designs, and looking more into Rams I discovered a gold mine in his "10 Principles of Good Design".

I actually put a poster up of these "10 Principles" in my R&D lab to remind me to question every decision - from function to durability to aesthetics - along the product development process.

Here are the 10 principles:

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long-lasting
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmentally-friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

If there was an 11th it might be "Less, but better"  - an often quoted saying of Rams - another great checkpoint in the design process.  Note the phrase is not "Less is Better" but "Less, but Better" - this is also a part of Elon Musk's 5 step protocol for successful engineering.

So many decisions - each critical - to be made in the design process. And along the way I have found these 10 (or 11) principles can not only prevent a Frankenstein from occurring, but lead to an excellent product! 



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