7 Design Principles That Are Not up for Debate
Of course, to some extent, a design is a matter of taste. The bigger share, however, is solid craftsmanship. It is subject to rules that you can't just knock over because you think you're a disruptive creative. In the following, we'll need to differentiate a bit, as design includes both the visual and the functional aspects of a product. However, in web design, you'll still find the widespread perception that designs have to be individual and have to stand out from the masses. Visually impressive, but barely functional site giants are a common result of this philosophy. It shouldn't take much thought to figure out that this has to be wrong. On the other hand, it is true that design becomes increasingly better the more rules it follows. These principles apply on multiple levels. They have to be kept in mind for the design of the engine, meaning the program logic and the code, as well as for the design of the interface, meaning the layout. This way, they affect both designers in the sense of designers, and in the sense of coders. [caption id="attachment_104180" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The goal has to be the center of attention at all times. (Photo: Pixabay.com)[/caption] The highest tenet should always be that out products help people to solve an existing problem in the best way possible. All design activity has to be thought about from the perspective of the potential user. Trends are only a factor if they serve the goal of user centering of our products. You shouldn't pay attention to purely visual aspects without any practical use. In the following article, we'll take a closer look at the different levels, as well as the according legitimacies.
Design Principles for DevelopersRegarding the code-realization of our designs, we need to follow three basic principles. Design is Accessible Accessibility of design is a very hot topic. The thought that it wasn't economic to put in that much effort for such a low percentage of users is very common, especially since you can't even see the accessibility of the finished site. [caption id="attachment_104184" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Accessibilty Has Multiple Dimensions. (Photo: Pixabay.com)[/caption] Generally, this is a very understandable stance. However, if you think about it, you'll realize that it falls a bit too short. Let's look at a few aspects of the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG 2.0). This should make things clear. The WCAG list up a bunch of simple things to keep in mind to have more accessible designs. And although these points are not complicated, you'll be surprised to see that you don't make use of all of them, although there is no actual reason for that. You just don't think about it. This can start with the basics.
- Always offer text alternatives to non-text content, the good old ALT tag. You know it, but do you use it consistently?
- Make all of your site's features available via keyboard shortcuts. I'd be willing to bet you don't do that.