When Jan is in design mode, these ten tenets of design principles are never far from his thinking...

Good design...

Good design… Is innovative

Technological development will always provide new opportunities for innovative design which, by necessity, will always develop in tandem with innovative technology: neither never is an end in itself.

Good design… Makes a product useful

The best products have better functionality because the emphasis of their design is focused on their usefulness, first. Whilst good design also considers psychological and aesthetic characteristics of a product, it utterly disregards anything that detracts from its purpose.

Good design… Is aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral and proportional to its usefulness. The more we use something and the more pleasing it is to use, the better we feel about the task the product was designed to help us do. Equally, something that has only the appearance of being pleasing, and is badly executed, can never be beautiful.

Good design… Makes a product understandable

It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Good design… Is unobstrusive

Good design does not strain to be noticed, or purport to be an objet d’art. In fact, it is typically both neutral and restrained; leaving room for the user’s self-expression.

Good design… Is honest

It is not used to puff up a product; to help it claim to be more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is.

Good design… Lasts

It understands the product’s role and is in sympathy with the materials used to make it. It is slavish to functionality never fashion. As a consequence, never being ‘in style’ it can never be out of style. Typically, it also lasts many years even in today’s throwaway society.

Good design… Is in the last detail

It considers every aspect and part of a product, right down to the tiniest detail - even that which will never be seen. Care and accuracy in the design process engenders respect in its manufacturing and a commitment to the consumer.

Good design… Is environmentally-friendly

Technology has progressed far enough to allow the best design to happen in harmony with the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Good design… Is as little design as possible

Less is more. The best design concentrates only the essential aspects and attributes of a product; unburdening it of that which is unnecessary and untrue to its reason for being. Purity and simplicity in harmony equates to a truer purpose.

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