Principles of Good Design

10 Principles of Good Design and the Values- The Complete Guide

Sheikh Al Raihan
13 min read
Blog image

What is good design? How does one determine if a design is good or bad? A design is a plan to create valuable things for people they perceive as beneficial. Good design is only possible with an understanding of the principles of design. A good design gets noticed immediately and creates a positive impression.Dieter Rams is among the most famous contributors to the principles of good design.

“You cannot understand good design if you don't understand people; design is only made for people.” - Dieter Rams.

In the 1970s a German Designer and Architect- Dieter Rams invented the 10 principles of good design. To guide companies and designers so that they can create thoughtful and responsible designs. Moreover, they can also evaluate user experience design, instructional design, graphic design, and more.

This complete guide explores the design principles, importance and values of good design.

Ready for a design in-depth dive?

What are the Principles of Design?

What are the Principles of Design

The principles of design are the rules you must observe to make a practical and attractive design composition. The basic principles of design are-

  • Contrast
  • Balance
  • Emphasis
  • Movement
  • White Space
  • Proportion
  • Hierarchy
  • Repetition
  • Rhythm
  • Pattern
  • Unity, and 
  • Variety.

The highest goal of these principles is to confirm that the result is visually appealing and helpful in its purpose.

When used successfully, these principles can transform designs aesthetically and in terms of performance.

10 Principles of Good Design by Dieter Rams

In the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was interested in and aware that he played an important role in the design world. However, Rams tried to express what he thought to be the most vital principles for good design. These principles have inspired designers and professionals worldwide.

10 Principles of Good Design by Dieter Rams

Here is a short overview of 10 principles of good design:

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long-lasting
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmentally-friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

1. Good Design is Innovative

Innovation is the factor that determines a good design from a poor design. Innovation is developing a new feature for solving issues faced during the design process. Innovation in the UI/UX makes your design different from millions of other designs.

2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful

A product is bought to be utilised. It has to meet specific criteria, both functional, psychological and aesthetic. It should fulfil a particular goal and provide value to the user.

3. Good Design is Aesthetic

Aesthetics are as crucial as usability since they bring you new visitors. Moreover, the aesthetics are as important as the usability of the product. The design should be visually appealing and have a clean, minimalist aesthetic. It should focus on-

  • Simplicity, 
  • Elegance, and
  • Harmony in form and proportion.

4. Good Design makes a Product Understandable

The design should be clear and precise. At best, it should communicate its purpose and functionality. It should also be intuitive and easily understandable for users, minimizing the need for complex instructions.

5. Good design is Unobtrusive

"Good design is unobtrusive" means it does not try hard to attract attention for no reason; it must be "to the point." 

Design should be subtle and unobtrusive. It should not distract or overwhelm users with unnecessary elements or embellishments.

6. Good Design is Honest

A Good design can be determined from a poor one by analyzing whether it makes false promises and manipulates the user. Design should be truthful and transparent. It should not deceive or manipulate users.

7. Good Design is long-lasting

The design should be durable and longability. Good design does not depend on following trends or trying to be fashionable. It is created as a longer-term solution to a user issue.

8. Good Design is Thorough Down to the Last detail

Good design should be detailed. It ensures that visitors don’t have to waste their time and energy finding out little information about the product. In short, design should consider every aspect and detail of the product, from its overall to components.

9. Good Design is Environmentally-friendly

Good design is sustainable, and it should be environmentally conscious. Design plays an essential role in preserving the environment.

10. Good Design is as little Design as Possible

Minimalism is one of the most underrated principles of good design. Good design does not unnecessarily increase the user’s cognitive load. It should focus on basic functionality and avoid extreme complexity.

Following the principles of good design helps designers navigate changes while prioritizing user experience and positively influencing the world.

The Value of Good Design

Today, every business understands the value of a good design and its potential impact on profits. Good design indicates designing powerful customer experiences.

 ''Good design differentiates a product from the competition. It contributes to a better user experience & higher customer satisfaction''

- Sheikh Al Raihan, Founder & Product Design Lead of Ofspace Digital Agency.

Good design speaks. Good design signifies to your visitors that you care about your product. To become a great designer & successful founder, you must understand why what you do concerns you and learn how to present it easily to your colleagues, clients, stakeholders, or employers.

Hence, they value you and your work.

The First Impression Tends to Stay with you

The study shows that users can develop their opinions in 0.05 seconds (50 milliseconds). For many users, that first impression sticks and later impacts their opinion about their experience with the brand and product.

And that first impression sticks with them. Good design makes a big difference here. If something looks nice, is easy to use, and has clear messages, people will like it immediately. For example, think of 2 websites selling similar things. One is messy and complicated to navigate, while the other is well-designed and user-friendly.

Most people will select the second one. That's why businesses must invest in good design. It helps them make a great first impression and keeps people interested in engagement and conversions. Moreover, it can establish a positive foundation for the brand and product, setting the stage for long-term success.

Improve Product/service value Perception

To pursue—Many people base their decisions and opinions on brand, product, and service quality. By using precise fonts, shapes, icons, photos, or colours, we can influence how people perceive the value of our products or services.

For example, buying something on a poorly designed website can be frustrating and make you doubt the product's worth.

For example, Amazon's products. They even take more expensive demanders and could be better regarding features. But people still see them as valuable. Why? Because of their innovative design and user experience. Everything looks and feels like premium. And making you think it's worth the price.

Your value perception is already influenced by the product's brand, marketing, and visual design.

Establish Trust and Credibility

A good design can help you connect with customers and audiences if you want to build a unique brand.

Your prior brand colours express the company and the audience. Each colour has speciality and can create individual feelings. Combining different colours and palettes can help you succeed.

It is true that a brand is more than colors & a logo. The visual brand need more elements like-

  • Typography, 
  • Imagery, 
  • Illustrations,  
  • Social media availability,
  • Content marketing,
  • Websites, and
  • Products.

Illustrations has been becomeing very famous day day by because they're visually engaging and make ideas easy to understand. So, use your brand colors to express feelings and make your message and design more memorable.

It's more than Visual Aesthetics

User interface design involves more than looks. It affects how users interact. When people utilise a UI, they're not just looking at the design—they're using it. Good design can make this whole experience better.

You can make things easier for users by placing UI elements that feel natural or redesigning form fields to be more straightforward. This allows people to get their work done faster and more efficiently.

Also, thoughtful design can make your website more available to more people. Using the right colour contrasts and improving readability make it easier for everyone to use your site. A more accessible and user-friendly website keeps users happy. Moreover, it helps your business get more out of its investments in ads and marketing.

This way, great design is more than just lovely to look at—it's a crucial part of success.

Design Drives Business Success

Design principles drive everything from marketing to customer experience. Thus, businesses can see a potent return on their investment.

Having an accessible website is crucial. People always expect simplicity and clarity. If a website is too complex, users will select simple and passable options. Good design can organize the website as the audience wants. Good design makes it easy to use and understand. It creates innovative, attractive, unobtrusive, durable, eco-friendly, and keeps things simple to targeted audiences.

In short, by prioritizing design and usability, businesses can boost customer connections and succeed in a competitive market.

What can Good Design for your Business?

Good design or using the principles of good design can revolutionize how clients engage with your digital product. It recreates a pivotal role in:

  • Customer Interaction & Engagement: By creating automatic interfaces and engaging visuals, good design boosts interactions that keep customers hooked.
  • Customer Experience: Good design provides a smooth and enjoyable journey and helps to maintain satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Brand Consistency:  Good design supports your brand's identity through the constant use of design elements, such as-
    • Colours,
    • Fonts, and
    • Imagery.
  • Increased Conversion:  Useful design captures attention and guides users towards desired actions. That finally leads to higher conversion rates.
  • Improved Loyalty:  When customers have a positive experience interacting with your product, they are more likely to return and suggest your brand to others.
  • Better Brand Recognition:  Memorable design elements, such as logos and visual identities, help your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. They also make your brand more impressive and accessible to your target audience.


Which Principle Of Design Is Most Important?

Hierarchy is one of the most essential principles in design. It is a way to visually rank your design elements. Hierarchy is not based on a design style but instead on the order of importance. A good design leads the eye through each area in priority order.

What determines good design?

Good design is an idea defined by industrial designer Dieter Rams's principles: It creates a product serviceable and easy to use, is innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, stable, thorough to the last detail,  friendly, and include as little design as possible. Designers make great efforts to achieve for good design.

What are the 5 principles of design?

As a designer, it's important to understand and use these principles: balance, contrast, alignment, hierarchy, and repetition. These principles enjoy as the basics for making designs that are not only visually appealing but also functional.

How does simplicity contribute to good design?

Simplicity in design helps in several ways:

  • Reduces Cognitive Load: By removing unnecessary elements, the design becomes more accessible and understandable. Users don't have to process as much information, which speeds up their decision-making and task completion.
  • Enhances Focus: Users can focus on the essential factors of your website or application. This focus can lead to more profound knowledge and better interaction with your product.
  • Improves Accessibility: Simple designs are generally more accessible because they use clear navigation, simple language, and a minimalistic process that benefits all users, including those with disabilities.

How can aesthetics improve the effectiveness of a design?

Aesthetics enhance the design by:

  • Creating First Impressions: Attractive designs can make a solid first impression. Also, it can be critical to user adoption and retention.
  • Encouraging Engagement: Users are likelier to engage with something attractive. Aesthetics can attract attention to specific elements like CTA.
  • Building Trust: High-quality, professional aesthetics can enhance credibility and build trust among users. It is essential in e-commerce and official sites.

Final Thoughts

The principles of Good Design are crucial and fundamental to a successful business. How a product or service looks, functions, and impacts our environment affects how we perceive its use and value. Apply these 10 principles to increase your chances of creating better products and experiences in the future.

Designers should aim to learn how each of these design principles impacts their work. Studying how other designers have executed these ideas to structure their designs is also a unique tool for making better designs.

We use these principles of Good Design to create innovative solutions for our clients. With our expertise, we don't just apply these principles; we push their boundaries. Our goal is to make sure every design we create connects with users and brings success to our partners. If you want to know about our unique and successful strategy, let's collaborate and be winners together in the digital world.