Dieter Rams, a German born industrial designer, is one of the most influential thinkers of our time. His work, best known for making his way into homes with Braun products, has transformed him into a muse in the design culture. His functional and unobtrusive forms give attention to detail with strict minimalism paving the way for functional design that also has aesthetic appeal. His motto “less is better” is seen in most Braun products that he designed. He often was his own design critic by making sure his work constituted good design. Below is his list of principles that dictated if he was on the right path.
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 Design As Possible
These ten principles are applied all the time whether we notice or not. They can even be seen in one of the latest and greatest additions to the world of technology.
The sleek and practical design of the iPhone 6 embodies Dieter Rams’ second Principle of Design.
Rams said that people buy products to use them, and these products need to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional to the consumer. Good design is also psychological. Even the smallest change in design can affect consumers.
Such a psychological phenomenon occurred when Apple introduced the iPhone 6. When users upgraded from the iPhone 5, they found that the 6’s curved body fit better in their hands. However, the 0.7-inch (diagonal) increase in screen size from the iPhone 5 forced Apple into relocating the iPhone 6’s power button from the top of the phone to the side of it.
This major change took some getting used to for Apple customers. They soon found that the new design made the iPhone 6 easier to use, as the power button was now comfortably in reach when using the phone with one hand. This was a necessary tradeoff for fans of a larger screen.
The change in design was a potential risk for Apple, but the practicality of the iPhone 6 proved to be worth it. Apple wanted its product to be useful for its consumers, so they created the iPhone 6 with Rams’ second Principle of Design in mind.