Principle One

Design to delight and inspire.

Good design doesn't end at pleasing visuals. Every detail and interaction with one's work is an opportunity to create a meaningful exchange. This can be realized in many ways: clever copy, perfectly-timed animations, or interactions to guide the user.

Principle Two

Be thoughtful first, clever later.

Taking time to look at a problem through a variety of angles is the foundation for good design. When assessing a new feature, website, or identity, a thoughtful exploration can expose potential dead ends or shortcomings in your approach. After this initial investment there is a tremendous amount of room for enhancing these foundational elements.

Principle Three

Design with restraints that scale.

Good design employs restraint, and that restraint brings freedom. However, restraint that is not thoughtful quickly becomes oppressive. Every design decision is met with questions that seek to stretch and test it before execution: How does this look very small? What happens if there are 200 labels instead of 2?

Principle Four

Design systems that inspire trust.

Design decisions go far beyond yourself or your team; there are real people with real lives using your products. Consistency in design details builds trust with your users, from type choices to button colors. This takes selflessness on the part of the designer; consistency isn't always the most engaging design task, but it is trustworthy.

Principle Five

Design to empower your users.

When your users operate from a place of trust, they are empowered to be better. In turn, they begin to become fluent in your design language, most often subconsciously. Tasks that used to take 5 minutes now take 1. They no longer need to think about how to accomplish their goals, they simply do them.

Principle Six

Always have a reason for what you do.

My wife's grandfather always says "Do a thing, and do it right. A thing done by half isn't worth doing at all." As designers, we influence our users and readers in many ways, and it's our job to make sure we know exactly why we do what we do. If we wish for our users to be empowered and confident, we can't be negligent in our choices.

Principle Seven

Good design is reductive, not additive.

Our world is full of clutter and noise that we navigate every day. Good design takes away the extra elements that distract and offer a clear and engaging experience that stands apart. As designers, we reduce what is necessary until all that remains is crucial.