How I applied my life principles to our company’s design process
I’m a minimalist. These three simple words are individually innocent but collectively powerful.
According to the Hierarchy of Competency, my personal lifestyle of minimalism could be described as “Conscious Competence.” I actively pursue my minimal lifestyle, purposely adopting items that provide worth, and passing by those that don’t. Yet, professionally, I used to embody “Conscious Incompetence” or even “Unconscious Incompetence” when it came to minimalism. My professional actions did not mirror those of my personal life. In other words, for 40 hours every week, I was not a minimalist.
The design field of the past and present has been filled with designers whose success has been determined by their simplicity—by their deliberate decision to produce work void of clutter. Dieter Rams and Jony Ive are two distinguished examples.
Anguished by my contrasting approach, I’ve strived to align my professional design principles with my minimalist lifestyle. Now, included within the internal style guide at our company—a core platform that serves as a foundation for all our product work—lives three simple interface design principles that are aligned with minimalism:
- Value Added. Each new interface component must add value to our customer experience. Every item included on the page that does not provide value has the potential to detract value.
- Be Deliberate. Each design decision must be a deliberate one and include design rationale at its core. We don’t add design elements void of reason.
- Meaningful. Each design feature must be considered; it must serve a purpose, meaning, and reason to exist. Design should describe meaning and intent. It should promote affordance.
Success and value are not defined by quantity, and our company will not be judged by the plethora of features found on our product interface. Instead, our mission is to provide a seamless, effortless, and valuable customer experience. By adopting these three minimalist design principles at the core of all of our work, we achieve this mission and successfully align our lifestyle and professional approaches.
Now, I’m a minimalist all hours of the week.