I owe you a proper recap of Leah Buley‘s earth-shattering presentation at the IA Summit, but because my computer battery had died and I was taking notes on paper, I’ve been lazy about typing it all up.
In any case, one of the things she talked about was the importance of using Design Principles to guide us:
I bring it up because I was just reading the Official Google blog when I saw the post, “What Makes a Design ‘Googley’?”
Even though Google has been designing products since 1998, it was only last year that they defined their design principles to “make smart design decisions.” What they ended up with was:
- Focus on people—their lives, their work, their dreams.
- Every millisecond counts.
- Simplicity is powerful.
- Engage beginners and attract experts.
- Dare to innovate.
- Design for the world.
- Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business.
- Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
- Be worthy of people’s trust.
- Add a human touch.
The way they’re phrased feels more like core business values than design principles to me. If I had been responsible for articulating these, I might have worded them a bit differently. Just as an example:
- Make user data front and center
- Every page must load in less than 1 second
- Reduce superfluous elements and leave lots of whitespace
- Guide new users; provide shortcuts and tools for experts
- Consider functionality our competitors aren’t offering
- Allow for universal accessibility
- Create scalable solutions that allow for growth
- Add but limit design flourishes on each page
- Provide accurate data and prevent errors
- Use everyday language
Am I way off? Should design principles not be as prescriptive as I made them? What are the key distinctions to make between core values, brand attributes, design principles and business goals? Can one list exist in isolation of the others?
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