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A Checklist for Design Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

A checklist for design

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


This figure is from the wonderful textbook “Universal Principles of Design.” This figure, in turn, is an adaptation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The triangle diagram represents two things: the five criteria of good design and the magnitude of their import­ance. Let's break them down one by one.


The raison d’être. Can the thing do what it is supposed to do? Seriously, check. Did you just build something that can’t do anything? Be warned: being functional does not equate to sparse nor does it mean minimal.


Can it do it multiple times without exploding? Will it work in the enviro­nment it was intended for? Did you create a screen door for a submarine?


Can the intended audience pick it up and start using it? Does it make sense? Does it fit into it’s enviro­nment?


This is where things start to get intere­sting: can your users become experts with it? Can users improve and grow with this object; progre­ssing into mastery?


How can this thing be more? Is it beautiful? Does this thing allow for flexib­ility; for emergent behaviour? Are you limiting people or setting them free?

Hiearchy of Needs