10 principles of good design by Dieter Rams in today’s UI design
Design should not dominate things. Not dominate people. It should help people.
You probably heard about Dieter Rams (born 1932) – one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century from Germany. He was the head of design at Braun consumer electronics company, where he designed lots of famous products.
In 1980s Dieter asked himself an important question: is my design good design? Consequently, he defined 10 principles for what he considered was good design. Here are these legendary principles:
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.
His “less but better” approach for design brought Rams a worldwide recognition and influenced the design of lots of products. Jonathan Ive – the man behind Apple’s product design admired the works of Dieter Rams and we can find his inspiration in many Apple iconic products. Here are some of them:
Braun LE1 and iMac
Braun T1000 and Mac Pro
Braun T3 and iPod
Braun ET44 and iPhone
Dieter Rams defined an elegant, legible, yet a robust visual language for his products, that inspired other designers over the years. Some of them even tried to reproduce and incorporate his design principles in modern interfaces. Here is a collection of that kind of design works:
Radio, camera and turntable icons by
Braun UI kit by Adrien Olczak
Dynamic lock screen watches by Luca Banchelli
Podcasts app redesign by tone et type
T3 concept by
Lightmeter App by Anton Repponen
Here is a complete selection of design works inspired by industrial design, architecture, art, and other disciplines. Have a look and get your inspiration!