4 Powerful Principles Of Effective Design That You Need To Know

Today, more than ever before, product design is playing a critical role in differentiating a company and its offerings from the competition.

In fact, design has become so important that some executives are reporting that it’s one of the biggest differentiators for their company—even above brand and marketing. As a result, companies are investing more time and resources into their design department to create products that are both useful and aesthetically pleasing. But do you know what makes a product stand out?

When it comes to product design, there are certain principles that make certain designs effective while others fall short. While most designers will have their own opinion on what makes great design, there are specific principles that come up time and time again as key indicators of whether or not something has been well-designed.

User Research Is Key

For many, the process of product design starts and ends with the designer’s imagination and creativity. However, great design starts with understanding the user. For product designers, this means immersing themselves in their target audience’s world and needs. This is because a product is only as useful as the people using it are able to use it. You may have the best idea in the world, but if it’s not usable, it will fail.

To do this, product designers should start with both user interviews and user testing. User interviews give you a chance to ask your customers about their needs and pain points and let you get a feel for how they think. User tests, on the other hand, give you a chance to get your product into the hands of prospective customers and see how they use and interact with it. This is especially important when it comes to designing digital products where the customer cannot see the product designer.

Simple Is Always Better

When it comes to design, some companies try to cram as many features and functions into their product as possible. They think that the more their product does, the better it is. However, more doesn’t always equal better. Instead, it’s better to not only create a product that is useful but one that is easy to use as well. A good way to see if your product is too complex is to run a “W-What?” test. This means that after a customer uses your product, you ask them “What?” and “Why?”

Something is wrong when your customer can’t explain what your product does or doesn’t understand why they need it. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to make a simple product the same way every time. Instead, it means making sure to put the most critical features first. If you’re designing a to-do list app, it doesn’t matter how fancy the timeline or reminders function is if your customer can’t even add items to their list.

Be Authentic And Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

When Apple released their first iPhone, they did so with a device that did less than what their competitors were doing. While many critics and customers initially thought the iPhone was too limited, Apple knew that they could expand their offering over time and make up for the initial limitations. One of the advantages of the iPhone was that it was simpler and easier to use than other smartphones at the time. This simplicity allowed the iPhone to do what was most important for their customers.

As Apple was able to expand their product and add more features, they were able to maintain their simplicity. The key to maintaining simplicity, though, is being confident enough to know what you’re capable of doing. When you’re designing a product, it’s important to know what you don’t know. But it’s also okay to not know everything. In fact, being confident enough to know what you don’t know and how to find the answers you do know are two of the most important aspects of product design.

Good Products Are Well-Engineered

Designers know the importance of good aesthetics. However, aesthetics aren’t enough to make a product great. Designers need to think about the engineering of their products as well. While aesthetics are important, they don’t tell the full story. They’re what make the product appealing. Engineering, on the other hand, is what makes the product work.

By understanding the engineering behind your product and the materials and components used to create it, you can make sure that your product is not only functional but also easy to repair and maintain when the time comes. This is especially important for digital products where aesthetic appeal is more difficult. A good engineer will be able to create a digital product that not only looks appealing but also is easy and intuitive to use.


If you’re unsure as to whether or not a product has been designed well, it can often be helpful to ask yourself these questions. If you can answer yes to most of them, then you may have a product that is well-designed. This doesn’t mean that the product needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but it does mean that it needs to be useful. Design can be a difficult process, especially when you’re trying to create something new. However, if you keep these principles in mind, you’ll be better equipped to create a product that is both useful and appealing at the same time.