What are Design Principles? Design Principles are a set of considerations that form the basis of any good product. Design Principles help teams with decision making. The Design Principles pose a few simple ideas to help your team ask constructive questions and guide decision-making. Design Principles apply to roles of all types.
UVA Library's Design Principles were originally proposed by the Web Implementation Group, approved by senior leadership for Library-wide adoption, and were launched with a series of webinars that encouraged staff members to think about ways these Principles apply to their work.
- Be welcoming, don’t discriminate, and engage with people. Create different user experiences and make certain they have equally valuable outcomes.
People matter. We value clarity and friendliness over flashy or formal. Accessibility means giving the same opportunities to all, no matter how they access our content. But there may be more than one way to complete a task, and that’s OK.
- Minimal latency
- Easy to understand and follow
- Make it easy for users to avoid and correct errors
Faster experiences are more efficient and feel effortless. As such, site performance is something our users should never notice. Completing tasks is of paramount importance to users. Design should not hamper a user's ability to complete a task or distract them from their goals. Good design is transparent.
- Be consistent, not uniform
- Follow standards, guidelines, conventions, and best practices
- Consistent behavior patterns and functionality
Coherence across platforms as a way to build familiarity and trust. Each piece is part of a greater whole and should contribute positively to the system at scale. There should be no isolated features or outliers. Consistency in design, navigation, labeling, and keywords leads to trust and confidence.
- Maintenance demands should match organizational commitment to a resource.
- Design (visual, technical, etc.) should be forward-looking, taking into account likely future scenarios, and avoid short-term trends.
- Project design should consider costs, both human (such as labor for creation and upkeep) and financial.
Sustainable designs steward Library resources for maximum impact with minimal long-range costs (human or otherwise). Stable, sustainable resources build user trust and help to create calming, pleasant experiences.