Yosef’s 11 Design Principles

Good design is both comprehensive and ethical.
This is how to do it.

  1. Put Persons1 First
    Be a champion for improving quality of life. Everything else is secondary.
  2. Seek Diversity
    Engage and work with a wide range of people – especially extreme users, positive deviants, the overlooked, and the disenfranchised.
  3. Collaborate Continuously
    Involve and empower stakeholders throughout the entire process.
  4. Keep an Open Mind
    Accept that you don’t know everything and act like you know even less – because the best insights and ideas often come from unlikely places.
  5. Go Deep and Broad
    The internal forces, human psychology, and relationships within an opportunity space are just as important as the larger context, systems, and analogous experiences around.
  6. Plan for the Future
    The only constant is change, so consider where world trends, emerging technologies, and the ever-rising bar of stakeholder’s expectations will be in your intended time period.
  7. Do More, Talk Less
    Create, share, and engage in the real world. First-hand experiences, reactions, and feelings2 are richer and closer to the truth than opinions.
  8. Pursue Truth
    Relentlessly examine and eliminate assumptions.
  9. Iterate Forward
    Embrace failure as a learning opportunity, not a setback.
  10. Stay Optimistic
    Progress is always possible.
  11. Fear your Power
    Recognize that decisions you make determine the kind of world we all live in.3

“You cannot save people, you can only love them.”
—Anaïs Nin

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*Note: These principles did not appear in a vacuum, and I cannot take full credit for them. Most of “Yosef’s 11 Design Principles” were inspired by various design principles already in existence, which were then refined and added to over time with feedback from design colleagues.

  1. This includes “non-human persons”

  2. There is no such thing as “incorrect feelings”

  3. This principle is akin to my quote, “Design is applied philosophy.”

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