I just finished watching the documentary Objectified for the second time. The entire documentary is great, but one of my favorite portions is the 10 rules of good design given by Dieter Rams:

  • Good design should be innovative.
  • Good design should make a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic design
  • Good design will make a product understandable
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is long-lived
  • Good design is consistent in every detail
  • Good design is environmentally friendly
  • Good design is as little design as possible

Whether you’re a web, graphic, or industrial designer, we all get stuck in ruts occasionally: blindly following trends, designing for the sake of design, etc. I think its very beneficial to frequently stop and use these rules to evaluate our latest work. It may cause you to realize that something in your design is completely arbitrary and is either unneeded or can be improved.