I wanted to share this excellent presentation on the theme of user experience axioms, which has been compiled and - in the spirit of the subject - iterated by Erik Dahl.

There are currently 26 UX axioms, and I don't think there is any filler in here at all. It's rare to see such a concise, fat-free, meaningful list like this.

The UX Axioms website outlines these principles along with a brief explanation of the thinking behind each one.

The three that resonated most with me are:

Tame Complexity; don't simplify 

The law of conservation of complexity states that applications have inherent complexity that needs to be dealt with in product development or user interaction. Complexity provides power, but don't make people deal with a complex interface.

Make non-arbitrary design decisions 

Design with purpose. You should have a rationale for every design decision you make. "Because its cool," "Because it's trendy," "Because I wanted to," "Because it's a best practice" is not good enough.

Understand and play with emotion 

Human emotions are at the core of perception and interaction. As a UX designer you must understand emotions and how to design for emotion.

Anyhow, tuck into the slideshare below, and be sure to check out the A-Z of user experience design principles, which I collated last summer.

Pretty much on the money, I'd say, but do leave a comment below if you think Erik missed anything...

Chris Lake

Published 31 January, 2014 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (1)


Matt Lovell, Head of Customer Data, Insight & Analytics at Eurostar International Ltd.

Thanks for these Chris - Really interesting reading.

I think from personal experience one of the biggest for me is 'Don't trust what people say; open your eyes' as the number of times I've seen websites designed on what people say they'd like to see rather than their actual instinctive behaviour is huge...

over 4 years ago

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