In our last post we discussed the third principle of Dieter Rams 10 Principles of Design. In that post we talked about the importance of aesthetics in good design. In this post we will be unpacking the fourth principle by Dieter Rams: good design makes a product understandable.
Confusing the customer is perhaps one of the worst things we could do when trying to sell a product. We consider it a cardinal sin in web design. When we confuse the consumer, no matter how great something may look, they’re going to move on to your competitor in the hopes of finding what their looking for.
What this means is we can’t make our designs so confusing that consumer is unable to understand our product. What we create must be so straight forward that it can make our product “talk.”
When it comes to web design one of the most important things to have a user understand is the way they should move through the site. It’s likely someone has stumbled upon your website with the intention of finding information that they’re looking for. In order to solve their problem of not knowing the answer to something, they are using your website as the product to their solution. So with this being said having a clear menu a user can click through or different links going down your home page that direct to other pages makes your website massively easier to understand and navigate.
A website is poorly designed when someone doesn’t know where to go in order to find what they’re looking for.
This principle goes for all elements of design. Think about deodorant. Random object, but the design of this product is so self explanatory to how we use it. You don’t look at deodorant and wonder how you get the deodorant itself to come out. You know all you have to do is twist the bottom and wa-la there it is.
So as weird as it sounds think about deodorant when you’re designing your next product. Ask yourself, is my design easy to understand. Will a consumer be able to interpret my design and therefore in turn know how it use it?
In our next post we will reach our half way point through our series! We will be discussing Dieter Rams fifth principle: good design is unobtrusive. Be sure to check it out!