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Design Principles

Three things to remember in digital innovation.


Ian H Smith

Here are 3 Design Principles when applying Design Thinking to creating next generation Web, mobile or Software-as-Service (SaaS) apps:

  1. Meaningful Journey
  2. Fierce Reduction
  3. Progressive Disclosure

#1. Meaningful Journey

When designing a next generation Web, mobile or SaaS app, the first thing to create is its journey: the path, steps or tasks that users will complete in providing a service, undertaking work or solving a big and important problem.


With Lean Thinking, this means removing steps or tasks that are wasteful or unnecessary. This journey must be a Meaningful Journey: from the login page to logout, when the task(s) or work is done.

#2. Fierce Reduction

When users get confused with Web, mobile or SaaS apps, it's usually because what they are confronted with on a page view offers too many choices of what to do next. Often, there is no obvious place to go or action to take next.


What's needed is a Fierce Reduction mindset: a way to eliminate everything on each screen that distracts from any action at each stage of what should be a Meaningful Journey to complete one or more tasks.

#3. Progressive Disclosure

When designing a Meaningful Journey and applying Fierce Reduction, it is better to have more clicks or swipes through pages of a Web, mobile or SaaS app, than add too many options in any given page or screen view.

This means that with a Fierce Reduction mindset, you will have to engage in a trade-off between simplicity of page or screen view, versus the number of pages or steps on a Web, mobile or SaaS app's Meaningful Journey.

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