Design principles are ideas that guide developers toward certain goals in software design.

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A balanced composition feels right. It feels stable and aesthetically pleasing. While some of its elements might be focal points and attract your eye, no one area of the composition draws your eye so much that you can’t see the other areas.

Effective interfaces are visually apparent and forgiving, instilling in their users a sense of control. Users quickly see the breadth of their options, grasp how to achieve their goals, and can settle down to do their work. Effective interfaces do not concern the user with the inner workings of the system. Work is carefully and continuously saved, with full option for the user to undo any activity at any time. Effective applications and services perform a maximum of work, while requiring a minimum of information from users.

Certainly there are universal truths about what good design is. Good design should solve a real problem. It should be easy to use. It should be well crafted.

20 years later, has the Anti-Mac Interface unseated the original Macintosh design principles?

You’ve just got a web design project. A new product or service is about to show up on the worldwide market and needs your creative help. Then you asked for brand guidelines and heard, “Oh, we don’t have a logo yet. Can you create it?”

There is no such thing as perfect code, just code that works for the needs of today. You can never predict the needs of tomorrow. Nor should you, since that leads to premature abstraction.