UX Design

What Are The 5 Core Principles of Design?

July 2, 2022
Maryna Gerdiy
Credit to Anna Yashina

The 5 Core Principles of Design

Digital designers have two purposes. One is to meet the goals of their business, and the other is to provide their user with a solution to their problem. To achieve these goals, designers use principles which help ensure the user’s problems are addressed without sacrificing the user’s unique approach.

There are many principles to be applied in the designing process, but this article covers the five essential ones.

1. Alignment

Alignment results in a more defined and well-organised design. By aligning pieces, you can make a visual relationship between them. It tightens the design and eliminates the haphazard, cluttered appearance that results from pieces being put at random.

Aligning elements that are not in close proximity to one another creates an invisible link between them.

One of the most fundamental and significant design ideas is alignment. It enables us to bring order and organisation to disparate parts.

2. Order

The way designers organise their platforms is absolutely crucial for their user’s interaction. In the case of websites and apps, users will tend to scroll from top to bottom. This means that the most important information must be located at the top.

One way to help with order is to use an Important Rating System. This is the process of arranging the most-important content at the top, and the less-important details as the page moves down. This organisation can reduce cognitive load and hence create a positive user experience.

3. Scoping

Scoping refers to the size and proportion of your design on the screen it is viewed on. Overcrowded information can make users feel cluttered and can blanket your hierarchy and accentuations. Utilise whitespace to make your page understandable.

Scoping is an important element of human-computer interaction (HCI).

4. Contrast

Contrast refers to the differences between two or more elements. Contrast forms the fulcrum which links other design principles together, since the accentuated element should stand out, or contrast, with the rest of the page.

Utilising contrast is a fantastic way to underscore your hierarchy and emphasise important details. For example, the different subsections on a website page should contrast each other to indicate that new and different information is being conveyed.

5. Repetition

Repetition refers to repeating certain elements of your design. Through a blend of consistent colours and the repetition of icons and style, you are creating a visually-striking product which will help build your brand and trust with the user.

Repetition helps bring cohesion to the entire design.

Conclusion - breaking these principles of design

While designing, it is important to convey your own style and taste. Breaking these principles means straying from the path everyone takes and instead using your own twist. For example, using different sizes and proportions can differentiate yourself from competition. Breaking these principles means shaking your own flavour on your design to be creative and unique rather than practical and mundane.