13 Design Principles - Our manifesto for the future

13 Design Principles - Our manifesto for the future
Tahmid Majid

Tahmid Majid


In this post, I am excited to share the manifesto for futuristic designs at Flagship. These are the core principles we try to live by as we work on building the next generation of world class products.

Important to note that, this list has been shaped both from our own experiences as well as inspiration from open source design frameworks. 

We feel that having a strong set of guiding principles is absolutely crucial for creating modern masterpieces.

Let’s dive in to the 13 principles that made it into my list.

1. Design should be useful

A fundamental principle. Design has to solve real problems and enhance the user experience with every iteration. 

2. Design should be thorough

Good design reflects a deep understanding of both the user's needs and the business's requirements. This means careful research, planning, and detailed execution. 

3. Design should inspire

We believe design should spark creativity and innovation in others. It should invoke positive emotional responses in users, making them feel connected, safe, and inspired. 

4. Design must be meaningful

All design elements should have clear context and purpose. It should serve a clear function, or be tailored to specific environments and user needs. 

5. Design should sprint

Although a creative process, design should not be slow or siloed. It should always be structured, iterative, and invite collaboration. Creativity can be sharpened and optimized with effective product management. 

6. Design should build momentum

Design is an integral part of the success of organizations. Design can and must translate into tangible commercial results as well as contribute to core business strategies. 

7. Design should be honest

Design should be transparent in purpose, function, outcomes, and implications. It should be accessible and must consider a diverse range of user groups. 

8. Design should favor accuracy over speed

Speed & agility are non-negotiable in modern design teams. For the majority of design work, we can and should incorporate solved designs to accelerate while maintaining high accuracy. But for key design decisions that are not yet solved, we must prioritize solutions over speed. This approach ensures balanced execution, high user acceptance, and long-term value.

9. Design should be modular 

Design must be easily extendable, built to evolve with changing user needs. In bigger organizations, design should be flexible to the point it can be easily repurposed or utilized in other verticals within the same ecosystem. 

10. Design should not have bias or false assumptions

Unless specified, without any context, design should avoid stereotypes and acknowledge diverse user perspectives. Design should reject legacy assumptions that don’t work and challenge the status quo. 

11. Design should be innovative

Design should push boundaries and explore new possibilities. It should try to balance novelty with user acceptability, following the MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable) Principle. 

12. Design should require the smallest possible amount of attention

Like good technology, good design should be intuitive, friendly, and straightforward. It shouldn’t make you think too much. 

13. Design should build trust

Design should be consistent and reliable to inspire trust. It should boost user confidence and foster long-term loyalty.

In an ideal world, we would be able to follow every one of these principles for each assignment. But in real world situations, it is very hard to always do so. The good news is, even if only a few of these principles are followed, the outcome is usually world class.

Published on Dec 4, 2023 by Tahmid Majid

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