Design Principles

Design Principles - Pip Decks

What is the Design Principles card?

Empower your team to make design decisions with clear concise principles to apply in everyday work.

Design principles are simple: they enable you to make a design decision. When writing a principle, ask yourself: will this help me make a design decision? If it doesn’t, get rid of it.

For example:
Good: one primary action per screen.
Bad: keep the number of actions per screen to a minimum.

How to use the Design Principles card

1. Use Productivity Blueprint to determine the people who are involved in making design decisions for your project. Invite them to the session.

2. Individually on sticky notes, write down the ingredients required for good design to happen in your organisation

For example: design and test your work with real people.

3. Theme Sort to group the answers and name them.

4. Create a grid with your theme names and answers at the top, and people in the session down the left.

5. Ask your team to write a summary for each theme in their row.

For example: observe behaviour and gather evidence. Work with subject experts and existing research. Do not rely on hunches.

6. Use Private Vote to determine the group’s favoured principles.

7. Use prompts from Write in Plain English to write your final draft, make posters, share in a doc. See how they work in Design Crits sessions, amend and do a Retro.

Tip: make your principles practical. Keep to 6 – 8 principles at most. You can print a good principle on a mug. Keep them short.


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Design Principles is one of 54 team management cards inside the Team Tactics card deck.

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