All those passionate about design, art or technology, may have possibly heard about Dieter Rams at some point in their lives.
For those who don't know, Dieter Rams is a renowned industrial designer who led one of the most influential and perhaps the most significant movements of industrial design based on functionalism for product design and architecture.
So, let's pay a virtual visit to this renowned industrial designer's workshop. We will discuss some of Dieter Ram's principles for good design, more commonly known as the ten commandments of design.
Hopefully, by exploring the principles of his leading approach, we can incorporate some essential components into our designs in the era of "less is more."
Dieter Rams' Principles of Good Design
Dieter Rams is one of the most creative designers of his time. He was extremely prevalent in the '60s and was in charge of all consumer products for Braun, such as razors, calculators, and shavers.
His products introduced the world to a functional design style. When it comes to a functional design, the purpose is intended to be a moving force through its design. Every design decision behind Rams' product, including its shape, texture, and cost, was made to maximize his objects to full capability.
This seems like a no-brainer, right? However, it isn't. For instance, consider the new MacBook Air. Apple made the decision to take out their extremely useful USB port to decrease the thickness of their laptop.
This decision was made to make the laptop look more attractive. Sometimes designers need to make products look like they represent specific identities. Fashion designers do it all the time where they focus on the appearance of the clothing rather than its functionality.
Dieter Rams is very prevalent in the UX and product design community. He's also known for creating beautiful and simple designs that were stunning yet very easy to use and understand. Dieter Rams is not only a practitioner of design, but he came up with ten design principles, which are still being followed by modern designers.
So, let's get started...
Good Design is Innovative
The depths of good web design have never been explored as it is right now. All of the high technology at our disposal offers designers an amazing opportunity to solve problems in tandem.
Ankur is a great example of good design. Ankur is a podcasting platform for iOS and Android. Furthermore, they do an incredible job in the audio and podcasting field.
Podcasting is a technology that has been around for a while; however, Ankur provides an astonishing design and solutions to the problem of making a podcast. Ankur has invested countless hours in simplifying the tedious process of creating a podcast on your phone.
Good Design Makes a Product Useful
A product is purchased to be used, which may include a phone, application, and website. If someone browses a website, they're using their time, and they're purchasing it with the seconds they spend by landing on the homepage.
Therefore, the product not only has to be beautiful but also useful. This concept serves as an excellent reminder to designers not to get too focused on the aesthetic and realize that a stick is a great design if you need to poke something. Thus, always create simple and compelling website design.
Good Design is Aesthetic
When you hear someone say good design is aesthetic, you might be thinking, "well, of course," but it's not that obvious. When you do user research and spend a lot of time analyzing and auditing a product for its effectiveness, you will find that people can't describe why they don't enjoy something.
This is because the aesthetics are used everyday and the well-execution of objects makes the product more appealing.
Good Design Makes a Product Understandable
There are complicated things and a couple of different ways that designers can easily simplify them. You can simplify the product itself by streamlining and stripping off features and the extra bells and whistles.
However, you could use your design resources and skills to make more sense of those items. You can do it through aesthetics, content, and everything you have at your disposal as a designer.
Moreover, you will need to use all of these tools to grab people by explaining the product immediately and then draw them in for more information.
Good Design is Unobtrusive
As a designer, you should scale back and take things down and simplify it. Therefore, when it comes to all forms of design, you need to make sure that your design does not intrude on the objective of the design.
It's good to love your color palette or the images you're using, but if it impedes the user's ability to use the product, you have gone too far, and you need to scale it back.
Good Design is Honest
There is a bait and switch that can happen when you offer something to users. If users were to download your app only to find out that the app doesn't work as they expected it or was misleading, that would result in a poor user experience. Therefore, it's always better, to be honest about the product itself.
Good Design is Long Lasting
It's essential to ignore the hype and the trends in our design society and spend time on the problem instead of trying to be popular. Innovative people and products stand out for good or bad reasons, but they still stand out.
Good Design includes Every Detail
This concept means to be detail-oriented. You want to make sure nothing is up for chance. Therefore, focus on every single aspect of the design, and make sure it qualifies to be a part of that design as a whole. So, design things with care, concern, and thoroughness.
Good Design is Environmentally-Friendly
This concept speaks to the fact that we belong to a greater world, and the things that we make end up in a landfill. When a designer creates or redesigns a website, there's a server running to support it, and that's causing pollution. You can also link with a web design company to create excellent website design at an affordable cost.
Therefore, load times, products, and everything that gets factored into what designers create should make them environment friendly.
Good Design Equals Minimal Design
All the design principles focus on this concept. If you want to make your design look and feel good and make it fit right and contextually relevant, don't overdo it.
The ten commandments of Dieter Rams has shown us that minimalism and functionality are the right approaches to take when it comes to modern-day design. Furthermore, Dieter Ram's principles show us proof of his professional stance. Designers should try to inculcate these principles, their values and philosophy into their design.
Dieter may not have mentioned the user experience, but all his ideas still use the same philosophy and values. As Dieter has taught us, designers need to implement their creativity using the ten principles of design. It's essential to ask yourself how you are applying these website redesign principles to your everyday design process.
Using these design principles will ensure that your designs are not mediocre but fantastic, simple, and pure. When it comes to design, make sure to take a look in the mirror and recognize the kind of designer you are. As you move forward through your design process, be aware of the little problems that come up and how you naturally design solutions for your designs.
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