Emergent Principles: A Rebel Leader’s Secret to Better Team Design Decisions

Jared Spool

September 8th, 2017

In this week’s article, I discuss how “emergent principles” can become tools for teams to make tough design decisions.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

…The principles came about as the team was learning, often deep in the middle of their projects. The list of principles was growing and the teams were embracing each one.

These particular principles emerged. They usually emerged from user research. The team would see patterns of broken things in the existing design. At that moment, a team member would propose they create a new principle to guide their future design work.

Teams latch onto emergent principles like these. They keep bringing them up in design discussions. They frequently have debates, where they argue about the semantics of whether something is or isn’t covered by the principles. Is that a knob or another type of control? Should we give the user an option in this case?

These debates are healthy, as they help the team understand the subtleties and nuance in their designs. Their new understanding of these subtleties helps them solve the real user problems they observed. The principles make it easy to see and agree on what needs to be different in the design.

Read the article: Emergent Principles: A Rebel Leader’s Secret to Better Team Design Decisions

Design principles are best used in conjunction with a solid design system. At UI22, Nathan Curtis will give a full-day masterclass on Building Scalable Design Systems. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn all the essential steps to building a design system that you can deploy across your organization. Get in-depth details on this fantastic workshop.

Are you giving teams the tools they need to deliver great designs every time? Tell us about it below.

Add a Comment