10 Principles of Good Design

10 Principles of Good Design
  1. Good Design is innovative

The world is constantly evolving with new technologies which offer many opportunities to develop new innovative designs to improve the world we live in.

        2. Good Design makes a product useful

Optimising usefulness stems from functionality and aesthetics. The function of a product is imperative, but the aesthetics reflect and play a large role in our mental and physical well-being.

       3. Good Design is aesthetic

‘Only something that is well made can be considered beautiful’. I believe this to be true and false. We all perceive beauty in different forms and who are we to say what is beautiful in someone else’s eyes. There are many products on the market you would not buy but they could bring joy to one person and that is the reason for design, to bring happiness and purpose to someone’s life.

       4. Good design makes a product understandable

A good product explains itself; it talks through its own design features.

       5. Good design is unobstrusive

Leaving room for the user’s self-expression. I understand the idea of Rams process using a neutral and restrained design however, I feel in the 21st century being different and unusual are what people are trying to do. Does this rule still apply to every designer today when the market may be adapting to a new wave of self-expression by using the product to help define oneself.

       6. Good Deign is honest

The product you design represents its true value without altering its description to make the product appear more or less valuable than it is. I believe this to be a true and inspiring prospect for designers, to believe in themselves and create innovative products without taking a shortcut. 

        7. Good design is long lasting

A long-lasting product helps preserve the environment by reducing the number of products you are buying over a lifetime. Fast fashion is bad for the environment and should be avoided by designers. Design for sustainability not desirability.

       8. Good design is thorough down to the last

Every part of the product should have a purpose and reason for being there. Extra elements can confuse the functionality of the product and lead to the customers not enjoying the experience with the product.

       9. good design is environmentally friendly

This statement should always be remembered by designers. It is our responsibility to design eco-friendly products to help save our environment before it is too late to change the damage that has already been caused by our new age of technology.

        10. Good design is as little design as possible

Back to simplicity, back to purity. Over designing can produce busy and confused products, that have too many unnecessary features that do not contribute to the function of the design. Rams’ design takes a modern reserved style which has translated from 1960 to 2020, an ageless design.


Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of designs have given me a new way to perceive my design process and I am excited to reflect on these points in my projects to come.

21st January 2021.