I used to think design skills and creativity were things a person either had or did not have. People, I imagined, were born good designers or not. And I thought myself unfortunate to be born a bad designer.
I was wrong.
Making websites has taught me that there are many basic design principles that can be learnt. I’ve started reading books on design to get a better appreciation of the subject, and one of the best books on the subject is called “Don’t Make Me Think”.
It’s a good title, but more importantly it’s a pillar of design. Good design is intuitive, it’s easy to figure out.
If your user has to think deeply on how to navigate a website , then you have failed. If a website/app/road/device is not intuitive the users feel stupid.
When users feel stupid they don’t use the product much. No one likes feeling stupid.
So good design, no matter how distinctive or novel, must be familiar. Like an old friend.