Dieter Rams – 10 Principles of Good Design

Posted by on 15 Jul 2012

Dieter Rams; one of the most influential industrial designers of the last 50 years recently celebrated his 80th birthday. Renowned for his work for clients such as Braun, his user-friendly, minimalist design style has created several iconic products.

This milestone reminded me of the 10 principles of Good Design that he published in the early 80’s in response to the question “What makes good design?”

This is not an easy question to answer. ‘Good design’ can be highly subjective, and our emotional response to objects is often difficult to articulate. However it is a question that designers and clients constantly wrangle with.

What stood out was Dieter’s ability to communicate his view of ‘good design’ with such insight and clarity. His straightforward explanation provides a better understanding of why some products ‘just work’ (and why some don’t!), and also assists designers and new product development organisations to remain focused on the things that really matter.

Even armed with this ‘10 point checklist‘ finding the right balance in any design is not a simple task.  I think people are drawn to and appreciate products that are reliable and functional, whilst being easy to use and understand. Truly great products also make people feel good.

Although technology and markets are continually changing, the way people relate to products remains constant. If you need proof see how Apple’s hugely successful iPod, iPhone and iPad stack up.

Consider running your next new product concepts through Dieter Rams’  ‘Good design’ checklist. You may just end up with the next ‘game changer’ product on your hands!

To see these ’10 Principles of Good Design’ in more detail, and examples of Dieter Rams work click here.