Core Design Principles
Users - Accessibility - Purpose - Effortless - Consistency - Personality
User needs supercede
Make no assumptions. Only through research and analysis can we truly understand our users. Talk to them. We need to appreciate their needs in order to effectively design for our users.
Accessibility for all
Designs should always have less able users in mind. All users should be able to navigate our products with ease, consistent navigation should be present throughout. Content should always comply with WCAG 2.0 level AA contrast standards. Text should be used to convey information rather than images of text. Headings and labels should describe topics or purpose accurately. If an error occurs and the correction is known, it should be communicated to the user clearly.
Design with purpose
Every design element, from the largest to the smallest, must have a purpose, and contribute to the purpose of a larger element that it is a part of. If you can’t explain what an element is for, most likely it shouldn’t be there. Use motion to provide meaning, rather than just for aesthetic value. Why does a thing move the way that it does?
Users should be presented with a singular objective on any given screen. What do you want the user to do first? They should be able to effortlessly move throughout the experience. Remove all obstacles for the user. Interactions should be intuitive and obvious.
Everything we design should look and feel like it was designed by one individual. All designers should adhere to our brand guidelines and design system documentation. Any deviation should be well thought out and justifiable by the designer. Designers must focus on the details of a project whilst also considering the big picture implications of their work. How does the product or page fit within the wider context of what surrounds it? How will users feel when they approach this design from various entry points?
Designs should have a relaxed, uncomplicated aesthetic. Although deeply considered, things like color choices and typography should feel seamless and simple to users.
Build to last
Designs should be unbreakable by the user. Like a children’s toy, make sure it’s designed for exploration and impossible to misuse. Make sure designs can scale as applications grow and evolve over time.
Show some personality
The experience should always be approachable. Usability is key, but without some personality injected here it’s going to feel unloved. Illustrations, iconography, motion, and language can all be used to add personality. Experiences need to delight users.