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Published 14 Jul 2017

Principles of product and service design

By Niklaus Gerber

A simple but essential core set of rules to guide us towards better solutions.

We want to uncovering better ways for building user-centered products and services. Our principles provide a framework to align us with our goals and help us invest our time and money wisely. They are a simple but essential core set of rules to guide us towards better solutions.

Source: Manifesto for service and product design

  1. We focus on our user's needs

    We understand their emotions, feelings and aspirations rather than making assumptions on what they want.

  2. We add value and not features

    Every piece of functionality we add to the system should add value for our users.

  3. We test and iterate

    We are aware that our solutions are assumptions unless they are tested with real users. We test assumptions, learn and improve our ideas.

  4. We learn from failure

    We encourage failure, embrace setbacks, and allow to make mistakes. We learn, iterate and grow from them.

  5. We are obvious

    The experiences we craft are obvious, transparent and inevitable. We go the extra mile to make the experience feel like the only way it could have been.

  6. We are consistent

    We are consistent with our designs, the language we use on interfaces, our code and our data. We understand that consistency will make our design better, easier to use, and practically invisible.

  7. We make it usable and attractive

    We care about how our solutions look and feel. We make our work pleasant to look at and a delight to interact with.

  8. We make it accessible and inclusive

    Everything we build should be accessible, responsive and inclusive. We sacrifice elegance over inclusiveness, readability and legibility.

  9. We imbue ownership

    We imbue ownership with reliability, clear privacy and control. We design experiences for the right type of ownership.

  10. We design with data

    We embrace data-driven decision-making. We make sure analytics are built-in and always on.

  11. We collaborate

    We tackle problems together. We listen, we understand and we encourage rather than force solutions. We learn from each other and understand the value of what we are building.

  12. We make it shareable and reusable

    If we have found a way of doing something that works, we share it whenever we can instead of reinventing the wheel every time.

  13. We acknowledge that design never stops

    Design is an ongoing imperative. We listen to user feedbacks and make data-driven decisions to refine and improve our product.

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