The foundation: a rich platform that exudes calm
A design in which it’s clear how all the elements fit together takes your user by the hand. From the outset, your goal is to create a design that gels, that’s coherent. What you see and what it does form a unified, immersive, and wholly unique experience, generating recognition and authority. Users feel reassured: you can see where you are and how to interact online. You have a basis of trust and a foundation to build on.
Don’t make work more complicated than it is, and don’t leave loose ends. Cherish the details: they are what pull you into the narrative. Remember that the design is a vehicle for the message; your objective is to get that message across loud and clear. Strength lies in simplicity.
Insight starts with understanding – a better understanding of the world around us. Every design requires a firm foundation of research. To get information across, you need to be informed. If you don’t furnish the context, you’re only designing confusion.
The approach: the calm to catalyze
Making strides is a matter of stopping to plot your course. Focus and selection define not only the design process, but also for whom and with whom you work. Think first about whose message you want to send. And if you believe in something, be bold enough to give it all the time, talent, and resources you’ve got.
Facing change with confidence works best if you guard your investments. Protect the talents of your team by making firm agreements in advance about approach, method, and ideas. Ground rules help others to play the game and help guard against foul play.
Every perspective that’s different from your own expands your horizon. And that’s vital. An open mind paired with an abiding curiosity engenders a design calibrated to the user. As well as connecting with users, you inspire your team to strive beyond itself.
Growth: the calm within the storm
No design is ever finished. It’s always changing and evolving in step with your users. And nowhere more so than in the digital environment, with its merry-go-round of screens, devices, and new services. Be enterprising and tap into that growth. By developing for the long run, you enlarge the impact.
Designs are never static. They are augmented and expanded by users. The trick is to build in playing fields that let them do so. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, and discover where changes can amplify the experience. Don’t make your design an end point, but let it pave the way.
Master the formula in order to let it go. Have the courage to think big and to work small, to dive into the details. Explore everything, including your own abilities, and your designs will be fresh and unexpected, surprising even you.
— English translation by Elizabeth Manton and Erica Moore