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Less, but better.Ten principles for good design
by dieter rams
DAVID RHYNE
Senior UX Designer
david.rhyne@3pillarglobal.co...
whydodesignprinciples matter?
flexibility & availability
power & specificity
user
testing
flexibility & availability
power & specificity
user
testing
user
research
flexibility & availability
power & specificity
user
testing
user
research
design
principles
flexibility & availability
power & specificity
designprinciplesarereadilyavailable andextremelyflexible
Dieter Rams
Industrial designer and design
thought leader
Born May 20th, 1932
Employed by Braun, and Vitsœ
jony ive on dieter rams
“Surfaces that were without apology, bold, pure,
perfectly-proportioned, coherent and effortless.”
jony ive on dieter rams
“No part appeared to be either hidden or celebrated, just perfectly
considered and completely appropriate in the hierarchy...
Weniger, aber besser.
Less, but better.
Less, when better.
Now, the ten principles.
Now, the ten principles.
(with some real world and digital examples)
Now, the ten principles.
(I’m going to read a lot)
1
Good design is innovative
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any
means, exhausted.Technological development is...
1Good design is innovative
1Good design is innovative
technology
1Good design is innovative
technology
good design
1Good design is innovative

technology innovation
good design
2
Good design makes a
product useful
A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy
certain criteria, not only function...
2
Good design makes a
product useful
2Good design makes a product useful
Level
2Good design makes a product useful
Emphasizes the usefulness of a product
Level
2Good design makes a product useful
Emphasizes the usefulness of a product
Disregards anything that could possibly
detract...
3
Good design is aesthetic
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to
its usefulness because products we use every ...
3Good design is aesthetic
3Good design is aesthetic
3Good design is aesthetic
3Good design is aesthetic
4
Good design makes a
product understandable
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still,
it can make the product t...
4
Good design makes a
product understandable
4Good design makes a product understandable
The iPhone
4Good design makes a product understandable
4Good design makes a product understandable
 Clarifies its own structure
The iPhone
4Good design makes a product understa...
4Good design makes a product understandable


Clarifies its own structure
Is self-explanatory
The iPhone
5
Good design is unobtrusive
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools.They
are neither decorative objects nor works of...
5
Good design is unobtrusive
5Good design is unobtrusive
5Good design is unobtrusive
Pinterest
5Good design is unobtrusive
Is neutral and restrained
Pinterest
5Good design is unobtrusive
Is neutral and restrained
Leaves room for the user’s
self-expression


Pinterest
6
Good design is honest
It does not make a product more innovative,
powerful or valuable than it really is. It does
not at...
6Good design is honest
6Good design is honest
Windows Phone
6Good design is honest
“Authentically digital”
Windows Phone
6Good design is honest
“Authentically digital”
Does not attempt to manipulate the
consumer with promises that cannot
be ke...
7
Good design is long-lasting
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never
appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable desig...
7
Good design is long-lasting
7Good design is long-lasting
7Good design is long-lasting
Horizontal navigation
7Good design is long-lasting
Avoids being fashionable
Horizontal navigation
7Good design is long-lasting
Avoids being fashionable
Doesn’t appear antiquated

Horizontal navigation
8
Good design is thorough
down to the last detail
Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care
and accuracy in the de...
8
Good design is thorough
down to the last detail
8
Good design is thorough
down to the last detail
8
Good design is thorough
down to the last detail
8Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Allows username modification
Suggests an autogenerated name to get
you st...
8Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Shows appropriately-colored boxes next
to hex codes
Slack

8Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Detects high-resolution files
Works with @2x convention to
automatically ...
9
Good design is
environmentally-friendly
Design makes an important contribution to the
preservation of the environment. I...
9
Good design is
environmentally-friendly
9Good design is environmentally-friendly
Cargo Collective
9Good design is environmentally-friendly
Is sensitive to its environment
Cargo Collective

9Good design is environmentally-friendly
Is sensitive to its environment
Minimizes visual polution
Cargo Collective


Good design is as little
design as possible
Less, but better – because it concentrates on
the essential aspects, and the p...
10
Good design is as little
design as possible
10Good design is as little design as possible
10

Good design is as little design as possible
10Good design is as little design as possible
Amazon Echo
Presents clear navigation and
pertinent,high level details
Amazon Echo

10Good design is as little design as possible
Presents clear navigation and
pertinent,high level details
Provides a call to action
Amazon Echo


10Good design is as l...
Presents clear navigation and
pertinent,high level details
Provides a call to action
Is as little design as possible
Amazo...
whathavewelearned?
Be helpful.
Be helpful.
gooddesignisuseful,innovative,honest,long-lasting,
andconsciousof itsenvironment
Be thoughtful.
Be thoughtful.
gooddesignisaesthetic,understandable,unobtrusive,
thorough,andaslittledesignaspossible
Stop thinking of yourself as
a UX designer.
Stop thinking of yourself as
a visual designer.
Stop thinking of yourself as
a web designer.
Think of yourself as someone
who is helpful and thoughtful.
Think of yourself as a designer.
“Back to purity, back to simplicity.”
dieter rams
Thank you.
DAVID RHYNE
Senior UX Designer
david.rhyne@3pillarglobal.com
http://dazid.net
@dazidrhyne
Less, But Better - Dieter Rams' Principles of Good Design
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Less, But Better - Dieter Rams' Principles of Good Design

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A presentation from 3Pillar Senior UX Designer David Rhyne on Dieter Rams' 10 Principles of Good Design. Among the principles put forward by Rams as most important to design are that it is innovative and makes a product useful and understandable.

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Less, But Better - Dieter Rams' Principles of Good Design

  1. 1. Less, but better.Ten principles for good design by dieter rams DAVID RHYNE Senior UX Designer david.rhyne@3pillarglobal.com http://dazid.net @dazidrhyne
  2. 2. whydodesignprinciples matter?
  3. 3. flexibility & availability power & specificity
  4. 4. user testing flexibility & availability power & specificity
  5. 5. user testing user research flexibility & availability power & specificity
  6. 6. user testing user research design principles flexibility & availability power & specificity
  7. 7. designprinciplesarereadilyavailable andextremelyflexible
  8. 8. Dieter Rams Industrial designer and design thought leader Born May 20th, 1932 Employed by Braun, and Vitsœ
  9. 9. jony ive on dieter rams
  10. 10. “Surfaces that were without apology, bold, pure, perfectly-proportioned, coherent and effortless.” jony ive on dieter rams
  11. 11. “No part appeared to be either hidden or celebrated, just perfectly considered and completely appropriate in the hierarchy of the product’s details and features. At a glance, you knew exactly what it was and exactly how to use it.” jony ive on dieter rams
  12. 12. Weniger, aber besser.
  13. 13. Less, but better.
  14. 14. Less, when better.
  15. 15. Now, the ten principles.
  16. 16. Now, the ten principles. (with some real world and digital examples)
  17. 17. Now, the ten principles. (I’m going to read a lot)
  18. 18. 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.
  19. 19. 1Good design is innovative
  20. 20. 1Good design is innovative technology
  21. 21. 1Good design is innovative technology good design
  22. 22. 1Good design is innovative  technology innovation good design
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 2 Good design makes a product useful
  25. 25. 2Good design makes a product useful Level
  26. 26. 2Good design makes a product useful Emphasizes the usefulness of a product Level
  27. 27. 2Good design makes a product useful Emphasizes the usefulness of a product Disregards anything that could possibly detract from it   Level
  28. 28. 3 Good design is aesthetic The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  29. 29. 3Good design is aesthetic
  30. 30. 3Good design is aesthetic
  31. 31. 3Good design is aesthetic
  32. 32. 3Good design is aesthetic
  33. 33. 4 Good design makes a product understandable It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  34. 34. 4 Good design makes a product understandable
  35. 35. 4Good design makes a product understandable The iPhone 4Good design makes a product understandable
  36. 36. 4Good design makes a product understandable  Clarifies its own structure The iPhone 4Good design makes a product understandable
  37. 37. 4Good design makes a product understandable   Clarifies its own structure Is self-explanatory The iPhone
  38. 38. 5 Good design is unobtrusive Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools.They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  39. 39. 5 Good design is unobtrusive
  40. 40. 5Good design is unobtrusive
  41. 41. 5Good design is unobtrusive Pinterest
  42. 42. 5Good design is unobtrusive Is neutral and restrained Pinterest
  43. 43. 5Good design is unobtrusive Is neutral and restrained Leaves room for the user’s self-expression   Pinterest
  44. 44. 6 Good design is honest It 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.
  45. 45. 6Good design is honest
  46. 46. 6Good design is honest Windows Phone
  47. 47. 6Good design is honest “Authentically digital” Windows Phone
  48. 48. 6Good design is honest “Authentically digital” Does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.   Windows Phone
  49. 49. 7 Good design is long-lasting It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  50. 50. 7 Good design is long-lasting
  51. 51. 7Good design is long-lasting
  52. 52. 7Good design is long-lasting Horizontal navigation
  53. 53. 7Good design is long-lasting Avoids being fashionable Horizontal navigation
  54. 54. 7Good design is long-lasting Avoids being fashionable Doesn’t appear antiquated  Horizontal navigation
  55. 55. 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 user.
  56. 56. 8 Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  57. 57. 8 Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  58. 58. 8 Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  59. 59. 8Good design is thorough down to the last detail Allows username modification Suggests an autogenerated name to get you started quickly Tumblr  
  60. 60. 8Good design is thorough down to the last detail Shows appropriately-colored boxes next to hex codes Slack 
  61. 61. 8Good design is thorough down to the last detail Detects high-resolution files Works with @2x convention to automatically scale high-DPI images InVision  
  62. 62. 9 Good design is environmentally-friendly Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  63. 63. 9 Good design is environmentally-friendly
  64. 64. 9Good design is environmentally-friendly Cargo Collective
  65. 65. 9Good design is environmentally-friendly Is sensitive to its environment Cargo Collective 
  66. 66. 9Good design is environmentally-friendly Is sensitive to its environment Minimizes visual polution Cargo Collective  
  67. 67. 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. 10
  68. 68. 10 Good design is as little design as possible
  69. 69. 10Good design is as little design as possible
  70. 70. 10  Good design is as little design as possible
  71. 71. 10Good design is as little design as possible Amazon Echo
  72. 72. Presents clear navigation and pertinent,high level details Amazon Echo  10Good design is as little design as possible
  73. 73. Presents clear navigation and pertinent,high level details Provides a call to action Amazon Echo   10Good design is as little design as possible
  74. 74. Presents clear navigation and pertinent,high level details Provides a call to action Is as little design as possible Amazon Echo    10Good design is as little design as possible
  75. 75. whathavewelearned?
  76. 76. Be helpful.
  77. 77. Be helpful. gooddesignisuseful,innovative,honest,long-lasting, andconsciousof itsenvironment
  78. 78. Be thoughtful.
  79. 79. Be thoughtful. gooddesignisaesthetic,understandable,unobtrusive, thorough,andaslittledesignaspossible
  80. 80. Stop thinking of yourself as a UX designer.
  81. 81. Stop thinking of yourself as a visual designer.
  82. 82. Stop thinking of yourself as a web designer.
  83. 83. Think of yourself as someone who is helpful and thoughtful.
  84. 84. Think of yourself as a designer.
  85. 85. “Back to purity, back to simplicity.” dieter rams
  86. 86. Thank you. DAVID RHYNE Senior UX Designer david.rhyne@3pillarglobal.com http://dazid.net @dazidrhyne

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