A Few Design Principles That Will Make Your Life Easier

By Maha Noor - Sunday, 1 May 2016 No Comments
This problem-solving principle is used in a variety of fields to get rid of unnecessary information. William of Ockham came up with the Occam's Razor principle which basically means that among rival theses you should select the one that provides the fewest number of guesses and theories.
For web design this assumption can be applied the following way:
For instance, your audience can achieve something in a couple of ways. For example, by taking three and five actions in each situation. In that case, two extra actions should be cut off.
Even though this principle is quite obvious, it is often ignored for some reason. Maybe because designers are too focused on the way the website looks instead of the way it works.
The principle can be equally applied to the content of the website. If visitors don't need this additional information to form an opinion about your company, is this information critical? If the answer is no or you are not sure what to respond, delete this information immediately without any doubt. Keep only essential data and cut all the "trash" off.

The YAGNI Principle (You Ain't Gonna Need It)
This design principle is based on the doctrine that refuses to add functionality when there is no immediate need in it.
Supporters of this principle strongly believe that writing of additional code that is not required now, but may be used in the future, can lead to troublesome effects like:
- complete waste of time that developers could have spent on improvement of an existing functionality
- new features should be tested, debugged, documented and maintained that requires additional time, manpower and efforts
- developers should test new functionality to avoid unpleasant situations when it will be needed because it's hard to predict the behavior of it. They fix bugs in the functions that won't necessarily be implemented in the future (=more time+money)
- software architecture and design become too complex
- new features lead to adding of even more functionality than it was planned in the beginning (and more time and money again)
Therefore, when starting a new project, you should gather your team and discuss what functionality and code you will consider in the first place. Reject the additional features that are not essentially valuable, at least for the first development stage.

The KISS Principle ('Keep It Simple, Stupid' or 'Keep It Short and Simple' or 'Keep It Stupid Simple')
The KISS principle states that the majority of systems work best when they are kept simple rather than complex. As soon as you remove all unnecessary parts using the Occam's razor, it will be a good practice to simplify the things that remained. Users love simple stuff because they can easily understand them.
This principle can be applied to UX design using the following fundamental points:
- do not use complicated structures;
- avoid using non-intuitive elements;
- hide information that your visitors could find redundant;
- choose an appropriate color scheme and limit the number of colors.


The Worse Is Better
This principle advocates for the process of software development where a little functionality is better for usability. Such software can be limited in terms of features, however, it's much simpler to use for the visitors.
How this principle can be explained:
- Clarity: the design must stay simple in terms of interface and implementation. The simplicity of the interface is a bit less important than the way the design is implemented.
- Accuracy: the design must be accurate and correct at all facets. On the other hand, simple design is much more preferable than an accurate one.
- Flexibility: the design should be intuitive and logical. Your visitors need to understand how to interact with a website, so don't complicate it.
- Fullness: the design must include all expected situations. However, it could be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity.
- Uniqueness: the information you want to explore to your visitors should not be repeated. If you duplicate any information, users will start to think that you consider them not too intelligent to understand.

The principle can be applied to the design the following way:
- create only one way for doing any action;
- avoid repetition of information;
- do not force your visitors to go through the same process a couple of times.


Outcome
We introduced four most common design principles of simplicity that can help website owners to improve the user experience they provide to the visitors. The easiest way to derive maximum benefits from having these principles at your site is to apply them immediately. So go ahead and implement them in life as soon as you finish reading this article! It's finished now, time to act.

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