CX and Design Principles – The basics

Design principles aren’t a new concept, but they do seem to be unpinning a lot of conversations I’m having with clients at the moment. It’s a simple premise – You develop them at the start of a project, or even at a digital brand level and use them when you plan your web, app, store-kiosk, mobile interfaces to always ensure that your design and development choices live up to a baseline standard and create a consistent experience across all interfaces. Simple to say, very difficult to police.

It’s about engineering the experience to be complete, thorough, and polished at every stage. Devoting time and energy to small things that principles denote gives you instant credibility because it’s the small things that are often picked up by users. I love the Microsoft App guidelines;

  • Sweat the details.
  • Make using apps safe and reliable.
  • Use balance, symmetry, and hierarchy.
  • Align your app layout to the grid, the new layout for apps.
  • Make your app accessible to the widest possible audience, including people who have impairments or disabilities.

Fluffy. But simple. SWEAT THE DETAILS – Don’t scrimp. Go sell that one to the PM!

As with any design led organisation, there are certain beliefs we should hold true, certain qualities that we strive for in our work. It’s what enables us to debate whether something “Right” or “Wrong,” it’s what allows us to evaluate whether anything we’re designing could be improved.

In Jared Spool’s article Creating Great Design Principles: 6 Counter-intuitive Tests he has 6 tests that he says you should run your principles through to test their robustness;

  1. Does It Come Directly From Research?
  2. Does It Help You Say ‘No’ Most Of The Time?
  3. Does It Distinguish Your Design From Your Competitors’?
  4. Is it Something You Might Reverse In A Future Release?
  5. Have You Evaluated It For This Project?
  6. Is Its Meaning Constantly Tested?

It’s hugely important to not only have them, but to adhere religiously too them. Here’s 11 great examples of principles courtesy of;

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