Principles of design


Principlesof design

Analysisof universal principles of design

  1. The principle of depth Processing

Thisprinciple concerns a phenomenon that greatly involves memory of anindividual. In this case, any information that is deeply analyzed byan individual is typically better recalled than any other informationthat is analyzed on the surface or superficially (Butler et al,2010). This is one concept that I have come to learn and is of greatinterest in my daily life. This is particularly so because, thinkinghard about certain information normally increases the likelihood ofrecalling that same information at a later time or period. Forinstance, there two groups of individuals asked to perform a task soas to illustrate the principle of depth processing. The first groupof individuals is asked to locate a certain keyword from a long listand circle that keyword. The second group of individuals is asked tolocate the same keyword from a long list of words, circle it andfinally define it (Butler et al, 2003). There will be a higherlikelihood of recollection of that keyword from the second group ofindividuals at a later period of time than the first group.

(Butleret el, 2010)

  1. The principle of design by committee

Theprinciple of design by committee is normally essential in a workingenvironment where most projects are normally quality driven,complexity in requirements, seriousness of consequences of errors andwhere such projects require stakeholder’s buy-in (Butler et el,2003). This principle is highly applicable in an organization thatutilizes highly bureaucratic design processes for most of theirprojects or missions. In such an organization, there are typicallynumerous working groups, layers or reviews and review groups fromhighly specialized teams of individuals when running a certainproject. In this case, the process is seen to be expensive and slowhowever, the complexity of the involved requirements is normallyhigh. It is important to note that in this particular principle,there is seriousness of incurring an error and there is critical needof stakeholder’s buy-in (Butler et al, 2010). Hence, one canconclude that virtually every aspect of on missions is seen as aproduct of design by committee.

(Butleret al, 2010)

  1. Principle of desire lines

Principleof desire lines normally uses wear or traces that indicate aparticular method of interaction with an environment or object(Lidwell, 2015). Desire lines typically refer to those worn pathsthat were previously used by people to walk in. They are the trailoffs sidewalks or beaten paths, which were used by people as ashortcut towards a particular destination. However, these trail offsor beaten paths can be broadly applied to any signs or traces thatrefer to user activity in an environment or object. It is also worthnoting that there is an existing implicit claim that such desirelines generally represent unbiased indication on how a particularobject or an environment is typically used by people (Parks, 2014).This is an important source of valuable information to many cases ofdesign thereby, redesigning a particular object or environment. Animportant example where such a principle was applied was during theredesigning of New York City Park in a couple of years back. Desirelines were a source of information by previous visitors of the parkas well as using the paths that existed at the time in redesigningthe park.

(Butleret al, 2010)

  1. The principle of development cycle

Inthis principle, all design products are assumed to go through adefined series of processes before the final product is successfullyachieved. There are typically four main stages in the developmentcycle such as requirements, design, process development and finaltesting (Butler et al, 2010). In this case, all products’ progressmust undergo in a sequential manner all these processes before afinal product is created or achieved. For this reason, it isimportant for an individual to understand and effectively apply thesepractices in every stage. This activity allows individuals to fullymaximize on their product probability before achieving a successfulproduct creation (Parks, 2014).

(Butleret al, 2010)

  1. The principle of entry point

Theprinciple of entry point may be for attention or physical independing on a particular design. This principle implies that theinitial impression of an environment or a system greatly influencessubsequent attitudes or perceptions of individuals (Hanington et al,2012). Such perceptions or attitudes go ahead and heavily influencesubsequent interactions particularly, its quality. It is important tonote that such kinds of impressions are normally created or formed atthe entry points of a certain environment or system (Hanington et al,2012).

Agood example is when one is searching to enter a certain internetsite. Normally, the individual will have to go through a slow loadingprocess of a particular screen. This is then followed by another slowloading process of the main page to that particular site.Subsequently, the user is then forced to go through a series ofpop-up windows ads. In this case, that particular site may or may notturn out to be helpful with the information needed by the user. Thisessentially means that that particular site may deter or annoy thatindividual in the long run. When this happens, additionalinteractions in that particular site are affected heavily in anegative way. For this reason, the principle of entry entails a pointof entry bearing minimum barriers, progressive lures and points ofprospects all for an entry to be deemed good (Hanington, et al,2012).


Principleof depth processing involves the fact that information that analyzeddeeply is better understood and thus recalled. This applies to my dayto day learning experience. The principle of depth by committeeinvolves those processes based on consensus building as far asdecision making is concerned. This principle applies to myorganizational projects where I am required to participate. Theprinciple of desire by line typically refers using paths or tracespreviously used in creating a new design of redesigning processes.This particular principle is applicable when I am working on previousprojects that may have been incomplete. The principle of developmentcycle constitutes all those four basic stages that are essential inattaining a successful product from processes. This principle hasbeen applied in many projects undertaken either personal ororganizational. The principle of entry points entails creating anentry point with minimum barriers which may increase userinteractions.


ButlerJ., Holden K., Lidwell W. (2010) Universal. Revised and Updated: 125 Ways To EnhanceUsability and Innovation.Beverly. RockPort Publishers.

ButlerJ., Holden K., Lidwell W. (2003) Universal: 100 Ways To Enhance Usability and Innovation.Beverly. RockPort Publishers.

HaningtonB., Hanington M. B., Martin B. (2012). Universal Methods of Design:100 Ways to Research Complex Problems. Beverly. Rockport Publishers.

LidwellW. (2015). The Pocket Universal Principles of Design. Beverly.Rockport Publishing.

ParksA. J. (2014) Universal Principles of Art: 100 Key Concepts. Beverly.Rockport Publishing.