The Ten Commandments of Good Design

Designer-Dieter_Rams

Dieter Rams at Vitsœ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer who has been recognized as one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century. He worked for 40 years at the German consumer products company, Braun. Today, he works at Vitsœ, a British furniture company that manufactures and sells products designed by Rams.

According to Vitsœ’s website, in the early 1980′s, as he became increasingly aware of his influence in the world, Rams began asking himself a fundamental question: “Is my design good design?”

Realizing that it’s not easy to measure design in any definitive way, Rams decided to set out the principles which he attempted to follow in his work. The result is the list below which is frequently referred to as the “Ten Commandments of Good Design”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

10. 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.

Although Rams developed these principles in the context of his work as a designer of consumer products, we should reflect on them when it comes to designing anything in the business today. Currently I am working on a complex program for client and whether it is a slide deck, workbook or a program plan. Most, if not all, of Rams’ principles are directly relevant.

I am a big believer in the importance of simplicity and Rams’s advice is spot-on: Concentrate on what is essential and dispense with everything that is not. In fact, Rams has described his approach to design with the phrase “Weniger, aber besser“, which in English means “Less, but more”.

Simplicity is not just a sound bite in today’s business environment. Call a senior consultant with Ember Carriers at (513) 984-9333 for a free strategy session consultation to take your company to the next level.

Web: www.embercarriers.com|Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmberCarriers

Twitter: www.twitter.com/embercarriers|LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mhladio

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “The Ten Commandments of Good Design”

  1. Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  2. Thank you a lot for giving everyone such a brilliant possiblity to discover important secrets from this website. It is always very fantastic and as well , stuffed with amusement for me and my office acquaintances to visit your website a minimum of 3 times weekly to learn the newest tips you have. And definitely, I’m usually pleased considering the unbelievable tips you give. Selected 2 points in this post are honestly the simplest I have ever had.

  3. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this website, as i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this website conations in fact good funny information too.|

  4. polecam link says:

    It’s actually a bikisoe great and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate
    to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and
    will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  6. ejacultion precoce

  7. unblock traderush

  8. Hertha Hanko says:

    Pogotowie zamkowe Poznan

  9. logos for businesses

  10. eloboost says:

    may be granted, she offers to go ahead and take three kids
    and turn to New York, leaving Ritchie in London to miss his children and wonder what happened
    on the woman he fell in love with in 1998. They jazz up
    look thus making you the center of attraction wherever you go.

    Here are some of the popular websites that gamers find credible for downloading such full version games.

  11. nexvan says:

    Mary Hladio,Thank you

Leave a Reply