This is from Chapter 7 of “The Design of Everyday Things” by Donald A. Norman:
Seven Principles for Transforming Difficult Tasks into Simple Ones
How does the designer go about the task? As I’ve argued the principles of design are straightforward:
1) Use both knowledge in the world and knowledge in the head
2) Simplify the structure of tasks
3) Make things visible: bridge the gulfs of Execution and Evaluation
4) Get the mappings right
5) Exploit the power of constraints, both natural and artificial.
6) Design for error.
7) When all else fails, standardize.
This is the final chapter in Norman’s book, I am not going to break down every single step here because well, you should go out and purchase the book to get his wisdom.
I do want to point out some keywords from his seven steps that I keep throwing around in my head when thinking about laying out different websites I am working on.
Simplify- Just because I can make it fancy doesn’t mean I need to.
Standardize- Give people the icons and the navigation that they are expecting
Visible- By keeping things available and in front of the user without leaving them to guess you get a better site.
Exploit- Take the users for every penny they have… wait just kidding I wanted to see if you were reading still.
I really think that good design is centered around basic logic and with the idea of keeping things simple.
Tomorrow I am going to get more web designed focused instead of general design talk.