Design philosophy is the foundation based on which all design decisions are made. It includes the principles and how you use them to achieve the goals.
CXO, Design leaders, Design manager, Senior designers
The design philosophy is a set of beliefs, principles, and values that guide the designs. It’s a way of thinking about design that goes beyond aesthetics and technical considerations to encompass broader ideas about the role and purpose of design in society. Design philosophy helps teams to focus on important things, helps in better agreement on a definition of success, and can prevent misalignment among team members. Having an effective design philosophy will help to make your designs more recognizable and unique to your users.
Design philosophy may vary based on the context, the designer, and the design principle, but some common themes include:
User-centeredness: Putting the needs and experiences of the user at the center of the design process.
Sustainability: Designing with a focus on minimizing environmental impact and promoting social responsibility.
Simplicity: Creating designs that are clear, concise, and easy to use and understand.
Functionality: Ensuring that the design serves its intended purpose effectively.
Beauty: Creating designs that are aesthetically pleasing and emotionally engaging.
The design philosophy is useful in:
providing a framework for evaluating a design while it gets built
ensuring the product/project is going in the right direction
helping team members have the same thought process
building consistent design
ensuring a good quality outcome
Identify your core values: Identify the values that are most important to you as a designer. This could include things like simplicity, functionality, sustainability, or beauty.
Define your goals: Define the goal that you want to achieve through your design work. Define if you’re trying to solve a specific problem, create an emotional connection with users, or communicate a specific message.
Consider your audience: Identify your target audience, their needs, preferences, and expectations. Your design philosophy should be tailored to the needs of your audience.
Look for inspiration: Research other designers or design movements that align with your values and goals. Use their work as inspiration and guidance for your own approach.
Create a mission statement: Summarize your values, goals, and approach in a brief mission statement. This statement should capture the essence of your design philosophy and serve as a guide for all your design work.
Define: Define your design philosophy including:
For an organization or team, define the vision, brand attributes, principles, rules, etc.
For a project, define the goal, principles, and pointers for a design system
Share: Share with stakeholders and design team members.
Enhance: Get feedback from key stakeholders and be open to making a revision.
How to Develop Your Design Philosophy from Draw Backwards
How to Develop Your UX Design Philosophy from UXMatters
What is Your Design Philosophy? from Jesse Weaver
5 Design Principles From The World’s Most Product-Centric Companies from ProductPlan