10 Principles of Good Design from Dieter Rams 3 10 Principles of Good Design from Dieter Rams
Review: 3 - 10 Principles of Good Design from Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams gave his famous speech in New York in 1976, which touched upon his design work for Vitsoe, a popular furniture manufacturer. Ten principles of good design Dieter Rams, as an industrial designer were a method of organizing his own design-thinking and an approach to making good designs. Today they are still one of the most important design principles applied in product design. Why not revising them for good?

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Source: Dribbble

According to Dieter Rams principles, good design:

  1. Is innovative
  2. Makes a product useful
  3. Is aesthetic
  4. Makes a product understandable
  5. Is unobtrusive
  6. Is honest
  7. Is long-lasting
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Is environmentally friendly
  10. Involves as little design as possible
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Vitsœ’s designer, Dieter Rams. Photograph by Abisag Tüllmann, Source: Vitsœ

Good design is innovative

The scope for innovation is endless. Thanks to technological advancements, there is always an opportunity to create innovative designs. But innovative design is always associated with innovation in technology you use and is never in it.

Makes the product useful

The product is created to be used. It must meet specific criteria: not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while refusing the features that might detract from its merits. It sounds like a great UX, right?


Dieter rams 10 principles of design are not just about less is more:

“The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.” (Interaction-Design)

 Makes the product understandable

The design clarifies the structure of the product. Better yet, it can make the product speak. Ideally, your product will speak for itself.

Good design is unobtrusive

Products for a specific purpose can be compared to certain tools. These are not just decorative objects or objects of art. Their design should be both neutral and discreet in order to provide space for the user’s function self-realization.

Good design is honest

According to Dieter Rams design principles, the product should not appear more innovative, powerful, or valuable simply because of the design. The design should not manipulate the user by making promises that cannot be kept.

Good design is long-lasting

Long-playing design simply is not in fashion, which means it never gets out of date. It’s timeless. Unlike fashionable design, it stays relevant for many years – even in a consumerist society, where we are used to throwing everything away.

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Rams’ minimalism

Good design is thorough down to the last detail

As per the ten principles of good design, nothing should be accidental. Attention and precision in the design process are a sign of respect for the user. Design should have the meaning, purpose, and function to the last detail.

Good design is environmentally friendly

Environmentally friendly designs are also timeless. As 10 rules of good design by Dieter Rams go, design should contribute to the preservation of the environment. It can conserve resources and minimize physical and visual contaminations throughout the entire create product lifecycle.

Good design is as little design as possible

Minimalistic designs are much sought after. Even modern digital solutions allow minimalistic structure & feature minimal design solutions with maximum functionality.

Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design poster claim that less, but better is better. The minimal design focuses on the most critical aspects without overloading the product with unnecessary features. Back to cleanliness, back to simplicity.

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Created by Fireart designers

Are these Principles Really Work Nowadays?

Even though Dieter Rams good design principles may seem a bit idealistic nowadays, they are still universal to what we do here.  Whether UX/UI or interior designs, still we tend to claim those Dieter Rams principles of good design we need to create something worthy, valuable, and beautiful.

What’s the most incredible is Dieter Rams 10 principles of good design are fundamental rules in product design too. They are quite relevant even in the digital age.

After all, even today we value simplicity, innovation, functionality, and durability in a product. However, the situation is dramatically changing. Now that a new class of products has entered our daily lives, there are design characteristics that Rams could not have foreseen 40 years ago. Today’s digital products may meet Dieter Rams good design requirements and, at the same time, violate them.

At times of Dieter Rams 10 principles, the consumer could decide which products to choose and to what extent to use them. They controlled the situation. Today, such control is shifting from the consumer of the product to its designer, mostly due to the capitalization of cognitive vulnerabilities that are inherent in humans and are especially aggravated by the modern level of technology.

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Check out incredible designs on Dribbble

Besides, the conditions of the market are changing, and therefore the principles must also be revised. And the eleventh amendment to the 10 principles of good design may be – Good design is ethical, which means that a quality product puts the interests of the user at the center of its purpose.

The user-centric approach presupposes design as generally built to serve humans. Any attempt to influence the user’s behavior is carried out within the framework of own well-being and those around.

The trouble is that no one can decide what is ethical and what is not. A client? Or a designer?  Maybe, the end-user? There is no clear answer to this question. Just as it is impossible to define what aesthetics is clearly? Everyone defines their criteria for what is ethical or unethical. The same applies to UX/UI.  These and others remain issues of controversy.

And what are your thoughts? Feel free to share them with us anytime. For high-quality product design solutions, use the top designing company assistance asap.



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