The ten principles of good design translated to collaborative work

61iLQkQi7pL._UL1500_This is by no means a commercial for them, but I do love the way Braun used to design their products in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. My Braun wristwatch has a design based on their iconic alarm clocks:

One of the key people behind this design philosophy was Dieter Rams, who became their head of product design in 1961. Rams used the ten principles of good design to guide and evaluate his work. These design principles are interesting in itself, but reading through them, I became increasingly convinced that they can also be directly translated to the work of designing collaborative events. As the principles in themselves are relatively generic, they are not only relevant for product design only but also for other designs. This struck me, and I started to evaluate my work over the past years against these principles.

Not only could I identify flaws in my design work, the principles also made me understand what I could have done differently to make my event (or on a smaller scale, the individual modules) better.

Here are the principles, you can also find them on this site:

1 – Good design is innovative
2 – Good design makes a product useful
3 – Good design is aesthetic
4 – Good design makes a product understandable
5 – Good design is unobtrusive
6 – Good design is honest
7 – Good design is long-lasting
8 – Good design is thorough down to the last detail
9 – Good design is environmentally-friendly
10 – Good design is as little design as possible

The aim here is to periodically take these principles one by one and evaluate them in the light of ‘collaboration by design’… Next week I’ll start with ‘Good design is innovative’!


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