Ten Principles For Good Design – Dieter Rams

 In Insights

Photo source: Vitsoe

“An honest design communicates solely the functions and values it offers. It does not attempt to manipulate buyers and users with promises it cannot keep.”-  Dieter Rams

There are more dimensions for you to define when it comes to good design.

Good design is not just what looks good. This comes down to the need to perform, convert, astonish, and fulfill its purpose.

In fact, a good design cannot be measured by either metrics or finite way.

But multiple perspectives can enable to identify with a good design.

According to Dieter Rams, in his approach to design which has generated an immense influence on the design of products. The big question Rams asked himself: Is my design good?

Inspired by Dieter Rams, are the principles for good design that has been recognized worldwide and appreciated.

 

Here are the timeless 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

 

1. Good design is innovative

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design.

But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Innovative design can both serve as a milestone to product or service, and a redesign of an existing product or service. This milestone adds unseen value and function to the market and the user as a redesign improves an existing product.

 

2. Good design makes a product useful

A product is bought to be used.

It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good design is based on its use and designed to improve the user lifestyle and experience.

User-oriented design adds value both intellectual and material value to its product and in turn, increases satisfaction and the user lifestyle.

 

3. Good design is aesthetic

A product that is aesthetic has an inherent ability to be able to fascinate and immediately appeals to its users’ senses.

But only well-executed objects can be beautiful. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products used every day have an effect on people and their well-being.

 

4. Good design makes a product understandable

A well-executed clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk, clearly be expressing its function by making use of the user’s intuition.

At best, it is self-explanatory.

Intuitive design explains itself and makes a user manual unnecessary. A design makes how to use, perceive, and understand a product obvious. A good design explains its function.

 

5. Good design is unobtrusive

The product and their design should be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

By fulfilling their purpose they are like tools, they are neither decorative objects nor works of art.

 

6. Good design is honest

An honest design does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

But an honest design solely relies on the functions and values it offers.

 

7. Good design is long-lasting

In a society with so much consumption, a good design has an important objective in building on sustainability.

Therefore, it avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

 

8. Good design is thorough – down to the last detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

 

9. Good design is environmentally friendly

The design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

 

10. Good design is as little design as possible

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials.Back to purity, back to simplicity.

 

606 Universal Shelving System

Designed by Dieter Rams in 1960 and made by Vitsœ ever since

Source: https://www.vitsoe.com/rw/606

My heart belongs to the details. I actually always found them to be more important than the big picture. Nothing works without details. They are everything, the baseline of quality – Dieter Rams

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