Principles

Overview

Here are the values that guide our decision-making:

Simplicity

Simplicity


Simplify your product in such a way that lets users meet their goals efficiently.

Recognition

Recognition over recall


The more familiar your product is, the less effort and time it would take to learn how to use the interface.

Humanity

Design for humans


Create interfaces that are flexible and forgiving.


DO: Choose the simplest design between designs that have identical functionalities. Simply put, it’s the simplest solution that is almost always the best. (see Occam’s razor)
Example of Occam's Razor
DON’T: Mistake simplicity for lack of visual design. Users perceive aesthetically pleasing designs more usable than its counterparts (see aesthetic usability effect) even if it is not necessarily the case.
Aesthetic Usability example
DO: Simplify the interface and the workflows by reducing the number of alternatives whenever appropriate (see Hick's Law), progressive disclosure, and by making every click or tap bring user closer to task completion.
sample of simplifying the interface and workflows
DON’T: Hide or remove features without valid evidence. Only hide controls to a secondary screen when it is: (1) not critical to current task (e.g. browser history), and/or seldom used or altered (e.g. changing program ‘preferences’).
Sample of secondary tasks
DO: Take inspiration from the real world. The Mental Model law states that it is significantly easier for users to understand and learn something new if they can model it off of something they already understand.
Example of a mental model in UI
DON’T: Innovate for innovation’s sake. Use well-established patterns consistently so that your users will not stop and think each time they encounter something new. (See interference effects and cognitive strain)
sample of following established patterns
DO: Give your user control and freedom. Give them the illusion of being able to manipulate the interface (e.g. allowing zooming, or drag and drop) and make sure your product provides timely feedback.
give your user control
DON’T: Leave your users out of the creation process. Talk to your users. Whether it’s through user interviews, usability testing, surveys, or something else, it is an advantage if you are able to involve your user every step of the way.
user testing

Guidelines

Here are the values that guide our decision-making:

Simplicity

Simplicity


Simplify your product in such a way that lets users meet their goals efficiently.

Recognition

Recognition over recall


The more familiar your product is, the less effort and time it would take to learn how to use the interface.

Humanity

Design for humans


Create interfaces that are flexible and forgiving.


DO: Choose the simplest design between designs that have identical functionalities. Simply put, it’s the simplest solution that is almost always the best. (see Occam’s razor)
Example of Occam's Razor
DON’T: Mistake simplicity for lack of visual design. Users perceive aesthetically pleasing designs more usable than its counterparts (see aesthetic usability effect) even if it is not necessarily the case.
Aesthetic Usability example
DO: Simplify the interface and the workflows by reducing the number of alternatives whenever appropriate (see Hick's Law), progressive disclosure, and by making every click or tap bring user closer to task completion.
sample of simplifying the interface and workflows
DON’T: Hide or remove features without valid evidence. Only hide controls to a secondary screen when it is: (1) not critical to current task (e.g. browser history), and/or seldom used or altered (e.g. changing program ‘preferences’).
Sample of secondary tasks
DO: Take inspiration from the real world. The Mental Model law states that it is significantly easier for users to understand and learn something new if they can model it off of something they already understand.
Example of a mental model in UI
DON’T: Innovate for innovation’s sake. Use well-established patterns consistently so that your users will not stop and think each time they encounter something new. (See interference effects and cognitive strain)
sample of following established patterns
DO: Give your user control and freedom. Give them the illusion of being able to manipulate the interface (e.g. allowing zooming, or drag and drop) and make sure your product provides timely feedback.
give your user control
DON’T: Leave your users out of the creation process. Talk to your users. Whether it’s through user interviews, usability testing, surveys, or something else, it is an advantage if you are able to involve your user every step of the way.
user testing