Robert L. Peters

26 February 2009

Good Design in ten commandments.


Frankfurt, Germany

I’ve posted on this before (here) but “commandments” are worth reiterating, right? It seems that the more tools and resources we designers have at our fingertips, the more we are tempted to stray from core principles—and as my astute programmer friend Gregor Brandt points out, these design guidelines apply equally well to software development. Vitsoe lays out and illustrates Dieter Rams’ well-stated criteria for Good Design here.

“Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him—“an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important criteria for what he considered was good design. Subsequently they have become known as the ‘Ten commandments.’

Here they are:

• Good design is innovative.

• Good design makes a product useful.

• Good design is aesthetic.

• Good design helps us to understand a product.

• Good design is unobtrusive.

• Good design is honest.

• Good design is durable.

• Good design is consequent to the last detail.

• Good design is concerned with the environment.

• Good design is as little design as possible.

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