Dieter Rams, one of the best known industrial designers, years ago had a concern about what are the things that distinguish a good design and if his own design is a good design. The reason of this concern was because he was seen the world around him changing and he understood that everything as the time pass will change. So he wrote down 10 principles that he believes are the most important for every designer to follow in order to design something good. In the list below you can see which are those 10 principles.
- Good design is innovative
- Good design makes a product useful
- Good design is aesthetic
- Good design makes a product understandable
- Good design is unobtrusive
- Good design is honest
- Good design is long-lasting
- Good design is thorough down to the last detail
- Good design is environmentally- friendly
- Good design is as little as possible
These ten principles, as it is conference by Jonathan Ive; Senior VP Industrial Design of Apple, have been used for many of Apple’s best seller and that whatever they are going to design always they have in mind these principles.
Even thought Dieter Rams was an industrial designer, these ten principles are applied to all kind of designs.
I will give you an example in order to explain to you how we can use those principles on the design of a website or a mobile application.
The mobile application that i have chose to bring as example is Fooducate. Fooducate is a mobile application where it helps and learns you how to eat healthy , track your diet and fitness progress and you can also chat with the community for anything that concerns you. In my opinion the specific application, demonstrates six of those principles. I will mention each one of those principles that have been taken into consideration for the good design of the application and i will you give you some examples in order to prove you that.
- 1. Good Design is Innovative.
This application , is not like all the other health and fitness applications that are just showing to you how many calories you burned while you were working out or how many calories was the food you ate. What is original about this application is that it can REALLY help you and learn to you how to eat healthy. How is doing that? While you are in a supermarket and you are trying to figure out which one of all those similar products is the healthier one, you can just pop out your mobile device and by using the Fooducate application you scan the barcode of the product. Then Fooducate will show you how healthy is the specific product by giving a grade to it. Moreover will provide you with alternatives that may be healthier from your choice.!
It will not show you only the nutritional panel, which is difficult to understand sometimes, but it explains to you with simple words if there is a lot of sugar in it or trans fats etc.
- 2. Good Design makes a product Useful.
This application is not only useful by just showing you all the above that i already mentioned; as i said the calories that you ate or your diet progress and the healthy food that you are eating. It can support you psychologically through the Fooducate community. If you become a member of the community you will be able to write down your worries and concerns about your eating habits and may other people will support you by answering you back and have a discussion with them. Moreover, you can share how proud you are that you lost a pound and they will encourage you. So Fooducate it is not just a simple application, it can support you psychologically as well!!
- 3. Good Design is aesthetic.
While i was researching as to understand clearly the ten principles of a good design, i had read that “The aesthetic quality of an application is the balance between the visual details and the usefulness of it” (http://www.creativebloq.com/netmag/dieter-rams-10-principles-good-web-design-3143872). I believe that Fooducate is a good example of that principle for the reason that is using the right colors according to the message that it wants to give out to the user. An example is that it rates the products by giving to them a grade from A to C. The color that it uses to display an A is green where indicates how healthy is something and then as the grades go down the colors become orange and grey where there indicates how unhealthy is the product.
- 4. Good Design makes a product Understandable.
It is very easy to use. You don’t have to read any instructions in order to use the application, with just a few clicks will understand what you can do with the application. It is very easy for someone to reach his goals. Below there is a video that i found in YouTube were it shows how easy is to use Fooducate.
- 5. Good Design is Unobtrusive
You can reach the information that you want as fast as possible and the reason is that the design of the application is unobtrusive; it has a neutral design so that you don’t get lost in pictures and icons not necessary for you.
- 10. Good Design is as Little as Possible.
The reason that i think that this application support the certain principle is because looking through Fooducate you can see that it has been designed in a way where it concentrates on the essential features of the application. It’s design is simple and clean.
So even thought there are hundreds of mobile apps that they can help you manage with your fitness and health condition, for me the Fooducate is one of the best and most useful as i can understand everything and not struggle with nutritional panels and losing my time searching which product is the best to buy.
If you are interested for your health, which you should, try this application and tell me what do you think about it!