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Core design principles

We are by no means assuming design can be reduced to a few tricks and guidelines, but the 4 principles below are key to our design approach;

  • Be deliberate. Meaning & function trump aesthetics, always. Design things for their use and intent, not because they look good or help balance your composition.
  • Less is more. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away”. When challenged, you should be able to make up a rational case for anything that you designed1.
  • Design for the common and build patterns. Don’t start designing things for special cases like landing pages; you want to focus first on the most commonly used features, and from there identify patterns that you can apply systematically to the rest of your design. Fight hard against any modification or addition to these patterns as you work your way up to more specific use cases (aka KISS).
  • Focus on proportions, layout, colors & typography. Balance elements of your designs with the same proportions and avoid designing for pixel perfect situations (that’s a rare luxury with digital mediums). Obsess about finding (and stealing2) great colors and typography, they make the difference between good and great.

1: this doesn’t mean that you should justify everything and anything you do in advance, you have to get stuff done after all. But when challenged about one of your choices, you need to be able to back it up.
2: there are many resources a couple Google searches away: Adobe Color, Coolors, Font Pair, Google Web Fonts Typographic Project