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You remember the old commandments right? They are here to guide you past the confusion of forms, colours and noises. Keeping them in mind is like keeping an eye out for your goal at the end of your design project.
1 - Thou shalt make it an art to make a good start
Before you start that new design project, make sure you know all the ins and outs! Think about the all the possibilities, and improvements this project has to offer. Document every question that comes to mind while doing this. Tick 'em off before you start, or rework everything you did not take in count while planning out. Like starting a race, the words go like this ... READY ... SET ... GO!!!
So please ask yourself: Are you ready? Is everything set? GO! And do what you do best!
2 - Thou shalt pick up that pencil
Sketching and wireframing is one of the best ways to visualize your solutions. You can easily explore the right structure and setup for the project. Keep your sketches rough and don't spend too much time on the details. A good tip while wireframing is to apply colors to specific goal and action related areas. This way you can easily connect your wireframes together and spot out the flow presentation.
3 - Thou shalt dream on innovation
Don't forge and copy someone else, this is a new project so you might as well bring something new to this world. Remember everything that is real now started as somebody's dream, so keep that dream alive for your project. One of the perfect quotes for this stage is this one by Walt Disney: It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
4 - Thou shalt write personas and scenarios
If all goes well your project might get some real people to use it, so think about who they are and write down a brief persona and a scenario. If your product has different types of users, make sure you create personas and scenarios for every one of them. Briefly describe the goals and tasks of the user within and throughout your product.
5 - Thou shalt do more with less
Let's all get back to purity and simplicity. Simplifying your designs can be a great solution to navigation and usability problems. By doing this you reduce clutter and the site will load faster. If your design is simple, the code will reflect this. Remove unnecessary elements and decorations. If you need them to tell your story, please stop telling stories! There is one 'golden rule' for success. On every element, you should be asking yourself if it's really necessary.
6 - Thou shalt beware of oversocial:
Most clients need everything that is new and trendy in social media. This is not wrong, but you should test or suggest social stategies, when they really need all this hipster stuff. In fact they don't need these features, they just want them. The difference between needs and wants is simple: To stay alive you need to eat and drink, so that's a need right there. If you decide to grab a drink, you want a cold beer or a soda but water will also do the job of refreshment.
7 - Thou shalt make products intuitive, consistent and responsive
While dreaming along this creation of yours, think of ways to shine your project up with some consistent and responsive features. This allows the your user to interact in a intuitive way, making your product more user friendly.
8 - Thou shalt create immersive experiences
Merely looking good doesn't cut it anymore. Create websites that capture and hold users' attention is what matters most. Attract your users with rich and compelling content. Suck your users into your world and tell them about your story filled with glory. You can only convince your audience if you can get their attention.
9 -Thou shalt not annoy your user
Never make your users feel lost or stupid, if you annoy your users enough they won't ever return to your product. When loading times are slow, most users will tent to press the back or close button and find information elsewhere.
10 - Thou shalt make content king
Last but not least, it's all about content! Your users don't care about the advertisements you have to put up to keep your website up and running. They come to consume your content, so make sure it's good, fast and flavourous! Just like a good restaurant, people tend to come back for another bite, if they enjoyed the previous one.
Keep in mind that there are 2 types of restaurants. There is the fast food ones where you can get your standard byte sized menu burgers, with matched size drinks and fries. You walk into the franchise themed dumpster filled with crying babies and order some bytesized meal. After finishing your meal and its matched size drink and fries, you are still hungry.
You realize you want something better. Something served with a sweet surprise, that brings water to your mouth. Menus change like seasons and you can't go round serving bytesized meals for an entire decade. Change, improve your recipes while upgrading the quality of your tools and the freshness of your ingredients