My 11 most important design principles –

Here at eDreams, our UX team have been working collaboratively to define our design principles. In one of the exercises, we were invited to write down individually what should be the design principles that will guide our work. This was what I came with. Although we are still creating the design principles for us as a company and as a team, and the following principles will be joined, grouped or even removed from the final version, I personally think that they also represent me as a professional. And I would love to share it with the community and to hear your thoughts.

So without further ado, here is the list:

1. Research, goals and KPIs are essential

Before starting to design, make sure you have investigated and reviewed all the information about the problem you are solving. Research is an essential part of your work as a designer and you must guarantee that it is done always as possible. Understand what are your business goals and how you will measure that. Remember also, that you must be the balance between the business and the user needs, and you are the one that must guarantee that the user point of view is taken in consideration in the business decisions.

By doing so, you will avoid future rework and will move fast, delivering more assertive solutions.

2. Be data informed

You should be driven by data, but not blind by them. Remember to analyze it and observe users behaviors but take all the user journey and the stakeholders in consideration for your design decisions. Use that as a base, together with experience as a professional and with your team, to formulate hypotheses that are afterwards validated, and by doing this process, you are able to keep innovating.

3. Be lean

On a daily basis, we should try to move as fast as possible, but maintaining quality. You must test, prototype and create MVPs. You should share knowledge with your team, and learn with yours and others mistakes and failures, as they are an important part of a constant improving process.

4. Be innovative

Often, your first solution is not the best one. Allow space in your workflow to discover and iterate your designs. You should think out of your comfort zone. Try to create disruptive experiences, even if at the first sight, they can not be developed. Multiple designs can be iterated or merged with each other in order to create a final solution that fulfill better the project goals.

5. Design should be emotional

Your solutions must express emotions and be perceived as truly and sincere. You must encourage users with positive feedbacks, congratulate them when right decisions are made and friendly warn them when something goes wrong. Users must always feel that they are in control. Remember to increase their sense of empowerment. Try to personalize the experience as much as possible.

6. Users must trust your service and feel secure all the time

Remember that users may share their personal data in your service, such as credit cards, phone numbers, address, etc. You need to guarantee through our designs that you have a reliable service and that each information they share with your product is protected and carefully handled with the maximum security and integrity.

7. Information must be displayed at the right time and context

Do not overwhelm users with excess of information, display it progressively as they may need, and remove what is not important for them (bullshit). If you need to display information from other stakeholders, push them to clarify and reduce the content as much as possible.

8. Design standards must be followed

Ensures that your designs are incorporating the best practices and patterns from the industry in terms of usability and accessibility. Take in consideration that the user’s mental model may differ from your solution and in that case, you must think in how to manage their expectations.

9. Keep consistency in cross device experiences

Users no more access their information in just one device. You should ensure that the elements used in your designs are recognizable through different devices, in different situations. It is important also to reinforce the brand recognition in order to make sure that users understand that they are in the same environment and they can access their data from everywhere.

10. Ensure quality and implementation

As a designer, you must ensure that your team are following and implementing your solutions properly. Remember that you are the one responsible for guarantee that things that are being delivered to users, are fulfilling your specifications and objectives.

11 . Evangelize design through your company

Spread the design thinking process through your company and as a result, you will increase people’s empathy, and will teach them to build strong analysis and creative skills that will help you all to create better solutions and innovate together.

Author: Adriano Trenahi

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