Dieter Rams is a world renowned designer.  His influence is unprecedented and has provided inspiration for the next generation of designers including Apple thought leader Jonathan Ive.  Ive has stated that Apple is one of the few companies that follows Rams’ 10 Principles of Good Design.  These principles have influenced almost every major apple consumer product including the iPod, iPad, and macbook lines.  The 10 Principles of Good Design are product leaning, but can also be used for web design and marketing.

10 Principles of Good Design (to help your website and marketing campaigns)

  1. Is innovative – web design innovation is vital for success.  Make sure that you or your marketing team is incorporating the latest standards in web technology.  By focusing on new updates including HTML5 and CSS3, your website will follow best practices and have competitive advantages over competition incorporating archaic technology.  Also remember that google webmaster tools and algorithm updates continue to focus more and more on new technology, faster loading, social integration, etc.  By staying on the forefront of web technology, you insure affinity from google and the other search engines.
  2. Makes a product useful–  This principle seems simple but can quickly become overlooked or lost in the process.  During every step of the creative process in designing your campaign, remember to take time and focus on whether or not the changes and updates you’re making are continuing to make the website useful.  Why are people here? Is it for product? Customer Service? Make sure that what you’re trying to focus on is in fact the focal point of the website.
  3. Is aesthetic– Aesthetics plays a central role to any design project. Making sure your layout and theme are simple and refined is at the basis for any redesign project.  In terms of your website design, marketing campaign, or landing page, it is important to rely on aesthetic principles to help convert visitors in conversions.
  4. Makes a product understandable– Obviously in order for your product to be successful it must be understood.  Implied understanding can be an vital part of your website success.  By showing visitors how the product works and why they may need it, you can increase conversion rates on your web traffic.
  5. Is unobtrusive- Unobtrusive web design can be a daunted task.  Bells and whistles can be a distractor and hurt best practices and the principles of good design.  I am going to go on a limb and say no flash on your website. If you absolutely require flash do it on a limited subtle basis.  Usability and Functionality are far more important than kittens and moving objects.
  6. Is honest- Honesty is the best policy.  Under promise and over deliver.  from ecommerce to client based websites, make sure you’re being completely honest in your design and marketing.  If the public views your products as dishonest, you will not only lose a customer, but you’ll also lose referrals and can even damage your online reputation.
  7. Is long-lasting- Long lasting and reliability go hand in hand.  When designing your campaign, don’t jump on a band wagon.  In Telecom the big buzz word is Cloud.  Many companies, organizations, and products are incorporating cloud based keywords into products with 10-15 year lifecycles.  If the trend changes substantially, the product or brand can become dated very quickly.  Think of brands like Ralph Lauren, and BMW when you focus on long-lasting best practices and you will avoid becoming a fad.
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail- Review, Review, Review.  Without constant review, you will miss vital details that others may fine.  Every time you refine, you must start the review process over.  You want to offer a complete, reliable, and responsive experience.  Without thorough design and thorough review you may miss key requirements for your business.
  9. Is environmentally friendly-  It is easier to create environmentally friendly products than design, but as best practices you can make sure to reduce your footprint as much as possible by using recycled products, going paperless, or even using “green” hosting services.  By reducing our carbon footprint we can all help the environment and future generations.
  10. Is as little design as possible- minimalist, simple, and elegant.  When incorporating Rams’ principles on a product, the designs should be simple.  When using the principles for websites and marketing, the result should be minimalist design that showcases the products.  Your marketing or website be the frame to the product you’re trying to deliver.  Don’t distract potential customers with over emphasis on marketing or design elements.  let the product speak for itself.
By utilizing these principles throughout the entire process you will have a solid product with solid marketing.  Obviously there is room for interpretation in Deiter Rams’ principles, but remember that having a blueprint from the outset will give you a greater chance for marketing success.