Design Principles

The Robustness Principle
Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept.
The Pareto Principle
80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
The Principle of Least Surprise
When two elements of an interface conflict, or are ambiguous, the behaviour should be that which will least surprise the user.
The DRY Principle
Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.

Personal Design Principles

Tim Berners-Lee

Architectural and philosophical points

These statements of architectural principle explain the thinking behind the specifications. These are personal notes by Tim Berners-Lee: they are not endorsed by W3C. They are aimed at the technical community, to explain reasons, provide a framework to provide consistency for for future developments, and avoid repetition of discussions once resolved.

Principles of Design

  1. Simplicity
  2. Modular Design
  3. Being part of a Modular Design
  4. Tolerance
  5. Decentralization
  6. Test of Independent Invention
  7. Principle of Least Power

Bert Bos

What is a good standard?

Why doesn't HTML include tags for style? Why can't you put text inside SMIL? Why doesn't CSS include commands to transform a document? Why, in short, does W3C modularize its specification and why in this particular way? This essay tries to make explicit what the developers in the various W3C working groups mean when they invoke words like efficiency, maintainability, accessibility, extensibility, learnability, simplicity, longevity, and other long words ending in -y.

An essay on W3C's design principles

  1. Maintainability
  2. Modularity
  3. Minimum redundancy
  4. Accessibility
  5. Device-independency
  6. Internationality
  7. Extensibility
  8. Learnability
  9. Readability
  10. Efficiency
  11. Binary or text format
  12. Implementability
  13. Simplicity
  14. Longevity
  15. Backwards compatibility
  16. Interoperability
  17. Repurposing of content
  18. Timeliness
  19. Use what is there
  20. Design by committee
  21. Expertise
  22. Brevity
  23. Stability
  24. Robustness

Dieter Rams

Ten principles for good design

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long-lasting
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

Evan Williams

Ten rules for web startups

  1. Be narrow
  2. Be different
  3. Be casual
  4. Be picky
  5. Be user-centric
  6. Be self-centered
  7. Be greedy
  8. Be tiny
  9. Be agile
  10. Be balanced
  11. (bonus!) Be wary

Bruce Tognazzini

First Principles of Interaction Design

The following principles are fundamental to the design and implementation of effective interfaces, whether for traditional GUI environments or the web. Of late, many web applications have reflected a lack of understanding of many of these principles of interaction design, to their great detriment. Because an application or service appears on the web, the principles do not change. If anything, applying these principles become even more important.
  1. Aesthetics
  2. Anticipation
  3. Autonomy
  4. Color Blindness
  5. Consistency
  6. Defaults
  7. Efficiency of the User
  8. Explorable Interfaces
  9. Fitts’ Law
  10. Human Interface Objects
  11. Latency Reduction
  12. Learnability
  13. Metaphors
  14. Protect Users’ Work
  15. Readability
  16. Track State
  17. Visible Navigation

Joshua Porter

Principles of User Interface Design

Interfaces exist to enable interaction between humans and our world. They can help clarify, illuminate, enable, show relationships, bring us together, pull us apart, manage our expectations, and give us access to services. The act of designing interfaces is not art and they are not monuments unto themselves. Interfaces do a job and their effectiveness can be measured. They are not just utilitarian, however. The best interfaces can inspire, evoke, mystify, and intensify our relationship with the world.
  1. Clarity is job #1
  2. Interfaces exist to enable interaction
  3. Conserve attention at all costs
  4. Keep users in control
  5. Direct manipulation is best
  6. One primary action per screen
  7. Keep secondary actions secondary
  8. Provide a natural next step
  9. Appearance follows behavior (aka form follows function)
  10. Consistency matters
  11. Strong visual hierarchies work best
  12. Smart organization reduces cognitive load
  13. Highlight, don't determine, with color
  14. Progressive disclosure
  15. Help people inline
  16. A crucial moment: the zero state
  17. Existing problems are most valuable
  18. Great design is invisible
  19. Build on other design disciplines
  20. Interfaces exist to be used

Principles of Product Design

  1. Usefulness is job #1
  2. The experience is the product
  3. Solve existing problems
  4. Look for investment
  5. Model features on real artifacts
  6. Fit and finish matter
  7. Release quality sets expectations
  8. Release a smaller, better product
  9. The last 10% is the hardest
  10. Know who your real competitors are
  11. Actual vs desired use
  12. Personal value precedes social value
  13. Users are not product designers
  14. The behavior you’re seeing is the behavior you’ve designed for
  15. Great products are focused on a single problem
  16. Disruptive products look like toys
  17. Positioning is crucial
  18. Product/market fit is when people sell for you

Sandi Wassmer

The Ten Principles of Inclusive Web Design

Inclusive Design is where innovation and imagination flourish. Meeting the needs of the widest variety of people does not inhibit creativity. It opens our minds and inspires excellence.
  1. Equitable: Be welcoming.
  2. Flexible: Provide options.
  3. Straightforward: Be obvious and not ambiguous.
  4. Perceptible: Don’t assume anything.
  5. Informative: Be timely, predictable, uncomplicated and precise.
  6. Preventative: Provide easy to follow instructions and gently guide users.
  7. Tolerant: Handle errors respectfully.
  8. Effortless: Don’t make demands or place restrictions on your users.
  9. Accommodating: Be approachable, uncluttered and give people room to manoeuvre.
  10. Consistent: Follow standards, guidelines, conventions and best practices.

Paul Robert Lloyd

We can start the work of building this framework, by agreeing upon a set design principles, each working in service of a broader goal, that of building a web that is and remains accessible to all.

Responsive Principles

  1. Start from the point of greatest adaptabiliy
  2. Reflect the diversity of users within our practice
  3. Build using systems that can be reasoned with

Massimo Vignelli

The Vignelli Canon

Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best. It is not the intention of this little book to stifle creativity or to reduce it to a bunch of rules. It is not the formula that prevents good design from happening but lack of knowledge of the complexity of the Design profession. It’s up to the brain to use the proper formula to achieve the desired result.

Part One: The Intangibles

Part Two: The Tangibles

Willem Sandberg

  1. A poster has to be joyous, unless it has to arouse compassion.
  2. Red has to be in every poster.
  3. A poster has to provoke a closer look, otherwise it doesn’t endure.
  4. With a respect for society, designer and director both are responsible for the street scene. A poster does not only have to revive the street, it also has to be human.
  5. Every poster has to be an artwork.

Heydon Pickering

What the Heck Is Inclusive Design?

  1. Involve code early
  2. Respect conventions
  3. Don’t be exact
  4. Enforce simplicity

Jens Meiert

Principles of Web Development

  1. Focus on the User
  2. Focus on Quality
  3. Keep It Simple
  4. Think Long-Term (and Beware of Fads)
  5. Don’t Repeat Yourself (aka One Cannot Not Maintain)
  6. Code Responsibly
  7. Know Your Field

Dave Winer

If we work together on a project based on open tech, these are the principles I will try to stick to.

Manifesto: Rules for standards-makers

Josh Clark

Here are ten design principles for conceiving, designing, and managing data-driven products.

Design in the era of the algorithm

  1. Favor accuracy over speed
  2. Allow for ambiguity
  3. Add human judgment
  4. Advocate sunshine
  5. Embrace multiple systems
  6. Make it easy to contribute (accurate) data
  7. Root out bias and bad assumptions
  8. Give people control over their data
  9. Be loyal to the user
  10. Take responsibility

Lou Downe

So, in the absence of anything else, here are 15 principles on what makes a good service. They’re based on years of working on bad services, and trying to build good ones.

15 principles of good service design

A good service must…

  1. Enable a user to complete the outcome they set out to do
  2. Be easy to find
  3. Clearly explain its purpose
  4. Set the expectations a user has of it
  5. Be agnostic of organisational structures
  6. Require the minimum possible steps to complete
  7. Be consistent throughout
  8. Have no dead ends
  9. Be usable by everyone, equally
  10. Respond to change quickly
  11. Work in a way that is familiar
  12. Encourage the right behaviours from users and staff
  13. Clearly explain why a decision has been made
  14. Make it easy to get human assistance
  15. Require no prior knowledge to use

Brian Eno

Several of the principles were immediately useful, and put straight into practice; they either reinforced an earlier thought or opened up entirely new vistas. Several others are unfurling as we go. A few more are more broadly relevant, well beyond our street-oriented agenda. Here they are:

Design principles for the streets

Organisation­al Design Principles

Ethical Web Principles

The web should be a platform that helps people and provides a positive social benefit. As we continue to evolve the web platform, we must therefore consider the consequences of our work. The following document sets out ethical principles that will drive the W3C's continuing work in this direction.
  1. There is one web
  2. The web does not cause harm to society
  3. The web supports healthy community and debate
  4. The web is for all people
  5. The web is secure, and respects peoples' privacy
  6. The web enables freedom of expression
  7. The web makes it possible to verify information
  8. The web enhances individuals' control and power
  9. The web is an environmentally sustainable platform
  10. The web is transparent
  11. The web is multi-browser, multi-OS and multi-device
  12. People can render web content as they want

Principles for Independent Archives

Reduce the cost of using and acting on the evidence in the archive.
Engage new people in the records.
Preserve access to the evidence for as long as possible in as many ways as possible.
  1. Use open standards
  2. Think long term
  3. Stay small, let others create meta-collections
  4. Strive for universal accessibility, be accessible by default
  5. Store the original record, present its essense over its resolution
  6. Work together
  7. Be wary of other people’s ideas


Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Ten things we know to be true

  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  3. Fast is better than slow.
  4. Democracy on the web works.
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  6. You can make money without doing evil.
  7. There’s always more information out there.
  8. The need for information crosses all borders.
  9. You can be serious without a suit.
  10. Great just isn’t good enough.

Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience

  1. Focus on people their lives, their work, their dreams.
  2. Every millisecond counts.
  3. Simplicity is powerful.
  4. Engage beginners and attract experts.
  5. Dare to innovate.
  6. Design for the world.
  7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business.
  8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
  9. Be worthy of people’s trust.
  10. Add a human touch.

Government Digital Service

These guidelines are intended for people building digital services for the GOV.UK domain. … We believe that the work should do the talking, so underneath each of the principles there are examples of how we have applied that thinking in the work released so far.

Design Principles

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. Build for inclusion
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

Accessibility Principles

  1. Inclusion is better than empathy
  2. Accessible design is good design
  3. Start with what works
  4. If it’s not accessible, it’s not done
  5. This is still for everyone

National Health Service

Design principles

These principles guide all of our design. Use them to get started on a project and to help with making decisions. They're inspired by the NHS Constitution that's steered the NHS for 70 years.
  1. Put people at the heart of everything you do
  2. Design for the outcome
  3. Be inclusive
  4. Design for context
  5. Design for trust
  6. Test your assumptions
  7. Make, learn, iterate
  8. Do the hard work to make it simple
  9. Make things open. It makes things better

U.S. Digital Services

To increase the success rate of these projects, the U.S. Government needs a new approach. We created a playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful best practices from the private sector and government that, if followed together, will help government build effective digital services.


  1. Understand what people need
  2. Address the whole experience, from start to finish
  3. Make it simple and intuitive
  4. Build the service using agile and iterative practices
  5. Structure budgets and contracts to support delivery
  6. Assign one leader and hold that person accountable
  7. Bring in experienced teams
  8. Choose a modern technology stack
  9. Deploy in a flexible hosting environment
  10. Automate testing and deployments
  11. Manage security and privacy through reusable processes
  12. Use data to drive decisions
  13. Default to open


Opower Product Design Principles

  1. Design for how people actually behave
  2. Assume people don’t care
  3. Always lead to action
  4. Aim for lasting relationships, not one-night stands
  5. Build for everyone… who receives a utility bill

Indie Web Camp

Key Principles

British Airways

Digital design principles

Our 8 design principles outline our approach to design for digital channels — they are the foundation of our UI and UX output. Using them will help with decision making and can be used to measure the success of a design.


Design manual: Principles

Our digital design principles reflect how we think about design. They provide a way for us to look at the work we create and how we create it: building the right thing; building the thing right.


Pitch Engineering Principles

At Pitch, we believe that software development is inherently collaborative. After growing to more than 70 engineers around the world, we decided it was a good time to write down our principles to keep us aligned as we scale.

Design Patterns for Mental Health

Browse principles

Principles are high-level values that run through the patterns and examples that sit underneath them.
Listen and respond
People need to be genuinely listened and responded to.
Make it human
Enable access to help from a real person where possible.
Give control
People should be able (where they can) to make informed choices about the support they receive.
Be clear
Mental health services need to be clear in how they are delivered, what they offer and when and how change will occur in order for people to make informed choices.
Adapt to changing needs
Services need to be able to adapt in response to individuals’ requirements changing due to different situations arising.
Create a safe space
People should feel they are able to safely engage in expressing themselves and receive support in a safe manner with appropriate guidance and rules to ensure theirs and others’ safety and privacy is maintained.
Be reliable and consistent
Build reliability and consistency in your service delivery. This ensures the promise you make can be reliably delivered for people to use and retains a level of consistency in service continuity for users, particularly across multi-service provision.

Calm Technology Institute

Principles of Calm Technology

Calm Technology is a process for designing technology that works with human attention, instead of against it.
  1. Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention
  2. Technology should inform and create calm
  3. Technology should make use of the periphery
  4. Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity
  5. Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak
  6. Technology should work even when it fails
  7. The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem
  8. Technology should respect social norms

Format Design Principles


HTML5 defines the fifth major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web, HTML.

HTML Design Principles

  1. Compatibility

    1. Support existing content
    2. Degrade gracefully
    3. Do not reinvent the wheel
    4. Pave the cowpaths
    5. Evolution not revolution
  2. Utility

    1. Solve real problems
    2. Priority of constituencies
    3. Secure by design
    4. Separation of concerns
    5. DOM consistency
  3. Interoperability

    1. Well-defined behavior
    2. Avoid needless complexity
    3. Handle errors
  4. Universal access

    1. Media independence
    2. Support world languages
    3. Accessibility


A set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards.

Microformats principles

  1. Solve a specific problem
  2. Start as simple as possible
  3. Design for humans first, machines second
  4. Reuse building blocks from widely adopted standards
  5. Modularity / embeddability
  6. Enable and encourage decentralized and distributed development, content, services

WCAG 2.0

Understanding the Four Principles of Accessibility

The guidelines and Success Criteria are organized around the following four principles, which lay the foundation necessary for anyone to access and use Web content. Anyone who wants to use the Web must have content that is:
It can't be invisible to all of their senses.
The interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform.
The content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding.
As technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible.

AMP Project

AMP Design Principles

These design principles are meant to guide the ongoing design and development of AMP. They should help us make internally consistent decisions.

Software Design Principles

Front-end Development

I realized that in order to really know whether our work is any good, we need a higher level of principles that can be used as a measuring stick for implementing design. We need something that is removed from a specific language like CSS or an opinionated way of writing it.

The Nine Principles Of Design Implementation

The document is written semantically and logically, with or without styles.
The least amount of markup and assets are used to achieve the design.
Rules for common values are stored and used liberally.
Base elements are separated from a specific context and form a core framework.
Common elements are logically broken into reusable parts.
Customizations to base elements are available through optional parameters.
The code is easily extended and anticipates enhancements in the future.
All elements are described for others to use and extend.
The final output is an appropriate representation of the intended design.

Inclusive Design

They are intended to give anyone involved in the design and development of websites and applications - designers, user experience professionals, developers, product owners, idea makers, innovators, artists and thinkers — a broad approach to inclusive design.

Inclusive Design Principles

Provide comparable experience
Ensure your interface provides a comparable experience for all so people can accomplish tasks in a way that suits their needs without undermining the quality of the content.
Consider situation
People use your interface in different situations. Make sure your interface delivers a valuable experience to people regardless of their circumstances.
Be consistent
Use familiar conventions and apply them consistently.
Give control
Ensure people are in control. People should be able to access and interact with content in their preferred way.
Offer choice
Consider providing different ways for people to complete tasks, especially those that are complex or non standard.
Prioritise content
Help users focus on core tasks, features, and information by prioritising them within the content and layout.
Add value
Consider the value of features and how they improve the experience for different users.

Exclusive Design

Where Inclusive Design is about designing for everybody in every context, Exclusive Design is for those of us who do not know everybody in every context yet.

The Exclusive Design Principles

Study Situation
We work with one real person with a disability, and closely observe how they react to our design.
Ignore conventions
If during our tests it turns out the conventions/guidelines/best practices aren't good enough, we improve them.
Prioritise Identity
We get to know the person we work with closely, and soak our design, our process and our organisations with their identity.
Add Nonsense
We explicitly allow crazy/weird/uncommon/uncomfortable ideas to flourish. That’s where the unknown things are hidden.

Web Development

As web developers, we are responsible for shaping the experiences of user’s online lives. By making choices that are ethical and user-centered, we create a better web for everyone.

Principles of Ethical Web Development

  1. Web applications should work for everyone
  2. Web applications should work everywhere
  3. Web applications should respect a user’s privacy and security
  4. Web developers should be considerate of their peers


I want to introduce 7 actionable principles for websites that want to make use of JavaScript to control their UI.

7 Principles of Rich Web Applications

  1. Server rendered pages are not optional
  2. Act immediately on user input
  3. React to data changes
  4. Control the data exchange with the server
  5. Don’t break history, enhance it
  6. Push code updates
  7. Predict behavior


An open source content management platform

Drupal 7 User Experience Project

  1. Make the most frequent tasks easy and less frequent tasks achievable.
  2. Design for the 80%
  3. Privilege the Content Creator
  4. Make the default settings smart


Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend your favorite dishes and see what others have recommended wherever you go.

About Foodspotting

  1. It’s about dishes, not just restaurants
  2. It’s visual
  3. It’s positive
  4. It’s global


It's what enables us to debate whether something “Is Facebook” or “Isn't Facebook,” it's what allows us to evaluate whether anything we’re designing could be improved.

Facebook Design Principles

  1. Universal
  2. Human
  3. Clean
  4. Consistent
  5. Useful
  6. Fast
  7. Transparent


It’s never too early to talk about principles for your product. They can feel premature because they’re not what we typically consider signs of progress, such as mocks or prototypes. Nevertheless, if written correctly, you’ll be surprised at how often they will come up in conversations, during new employee onboarding, design critiques, and brainstorms.

Creating useful design principles

Direction over Choice.
This principle was often referred to while we were designing the Medium editor. We purposely traded layout, type, and color choices for guidance and direction. Direction was more appropriate for the product because we wanted people to focus on writing, and not get distracted by choice.
Appropriate over Consistent.
This might seem controversial, but when applied across devices, its purpose is clear. We were willing to break consistency if it was more appropriate for the OS, device, or context.
Evolving over Finalized.
This is exemplified in the ability to share Medium drafts, write responses, and leave notes. The content on Medium should be antifragile, improving with use and evolving overtime. We did not want to design printed books for the internet.


After a few weeks sketching and debating, we stepped back and created some simple design principles before moving forward:

Our principles


Is what we’re making a clear expression of what it means to be Firefox? What will make it more Firefoxy? What will we not do because it’s not true to Firefox?

Firefox Design Values

  1. Takes care of you

    • user-sovereignty
    • default to privacy
    • no surprises
    • actionable advice
  2. You help make it

    • research gives a voice to our non-core community
    • start people with smart defaults
    • implicit as well as explicit customization
    • invite people to be more than users
  3. Plays well with others

    • user control and choice
    • simple to use the services you choose
    • suggest ways to get the most out of the web
  4. Exuberant

    • feels like there is a person at the other end
    • fun tools are easier to use
    • humour and whimsy
    • have a point of view
  5. Finely crafted

    • see also our visual design guidelines
    • continuity of look and feel across platforms
    • perceivable quality is vital
  6. Global

    • global means local and local and local
  7. Balances power and simplicity

    • 80/20/2: default to surface minimalism and easy access to the rest
    • user-agency and understanding, not just less
  8. Makes sense of the web

    • focus on real human tasks and contexts
    • many real tasks involve a browser and other tools
    • quick access to your stuff and web
    • no jargon
  9. High user-performance

    • performance is objective, but responsiveness is subjective
    • a happy user performs better


Windows UX Design Principles

Windows Apps

Microsoft design principles


These design principles were developed by and for the Android User Experience Team to keep users' best interests in mind. For Android developers and designers, they continue to underlie the more detailed design guidelines for different types of devices.

Android Design Principles

Android Wear

These design principles provide some simple heuristics about how you should plan and assess your Android Wear app design.

Design Principles for Android Wear

Google Glass

Glass is fundamentally different than existing mobile platforms in both design and use. Follow these principles when building Glassware to give users the best experience.


Harmony by Intuit

Our vision is to create a cohesive, multi-device user experience that unites Intuit’s small business products.

Design Principles

Arch Linux

The following five core principles comprise what is commonly referred to as the Arch Way, or the Arch Philosophy, perhaps best summarized by the acronym KISS for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The Arch Way

Arch Linux defines simplicity as without unnecessary additions, modifications, or complications, and provides a lightweight UNIX-like base structure that allows an individual user to shape the system according to their own needs. In short: an elegant, minimalist approach.
Code-correctness over convenience
Simplicity of implementation, code-elegance, and minimalism shall always remain the reigning priorities of Arch development.
Arch Linux targets and accommodates competent GNU/Linux users by giving them complete control and responsibility over the system.
Arch Linux uses simple tools, that are selected or built with openness of the sources and their output in mind.
By keeping the system simple, Arch Linux provides the freedom to make any choice about the system.

Web Design

What principles do designers need to understand to create better designs?

Front-End Principles for Designers

  1. Let go of control
  2. Avoid too much variation
  3. Keep performance in mind
  4. Understand source order
  5. Know your numbers
  6. Let content determine breakpoints
  7. Maintan consistency
  8. Communicate early and often

I wrote these up just before I left MOO I think.

'MOO.COM UX rules' - circa 2008

Wayfindr Open Standard

Designing for vision impaired people

These principles provide guidance about:
  • The design and development process of a wayfinding and digital navigation system for vision impaired people
  • The high level thinking for creating audio instructions
  • The usage of sound in a wayfinding system for vision impaired people
  1. Involve users in the process
  2. Focus on the environment not the technology
  3. Use simple and concise messages
  4. Use active words
  5. Provide reassurance information
  6. Provide an instruction at every decision making point
  7. Provide different techniques for diagonal directions
  8. Provide auditory cues
  9. Divide the route into clear segments

Malleable Systems Collective


For all of these principles, it is not yet clear how to best achieve them, and there are sure to be many possible solutions with different tradeoffs. We’ll need to experiment as community with various approaches. The collective’s primary goal is to report on such efforts and raise awareness of work in these directions.
Easy to change
Software must be as easy to change as it is to use it.
Arbitrary recombination and reuse
All layers, from the user interface through functionality to the data within, must support arbitrary recombination and reuse in new environments.
Open-ended potential
Tools should strive to be easy to begin working with but still have lots of open-ended potential.
Retain ownership and control
People of all experience levels must be able to retain ownership and control.
Freely sharable
Recombined workflows and experiences must be freely sharable with others.
Modifying in the context of use
Modifying a system should happen in the context of use, rather than through some separate development toolchain and skill set.
Thoughtfully crafted
Computing should be a thoughtfully crafted, fun, and empowering experience.

Hardware Design Principles

The Clock Of The Long Now

These are the principles that Danny Hillis used in the initial stages of designing a 10,000 Year Clock. We have found these are generally good principles for designing anything to last a long time.


With occasional maintenance, the clock should reasonably be expected to display the correct time for the next 10,000 years.
The clock should be maintainable with bronze-age technology.
It should be possible to determine operational principles of the clock by close inspection.
It should be possible to improve the clock with time.
It should be possible to build working models of the clock from table-top to monumental size using the same design.


Guide for Designers

  1. Rather than solving problems from scratch, adapt other people's solutions, and then give them credit.
  2. Design for materials and components which are reasonably cheap to buy, low-carbon and fully recyclable or biodegradable.
  3. Design structures which can be assembled with minimal formal skill or training, and without the use of power tools.
  4. WikiHouses should be capable of being habitable throughout the year, and as efficient as possible in the use of energy and water.
  5. Design in such a way as to offer maximum provision for the safety, security and health (both mental and physical) of the users at all stages of the structure's life.
  6. As a general rule, design for the climate, culture, economy and legal / planning framework in which you live, and you know best. Others will then be able to adapt the design to suit their environment.
  7. Share your work as much and as openly as possible, it might come back better. At very least you'll have contributed to solving a common problem.
  8. “It is easier to ship recipes than cakes and biscuits” — John Maynard Keynes
  9. Design to dismantle. The easier it is to dismantle structures or replace individual parts, the better.
  10. Design for mistakes. Try to design components which either make it impossible for the assembler to get it wrong or are designed in such a way that it doesn't matter if they do.


The Ten Chindōgu Tenets

  1. A Chindogu cannot be for real use.
  2. A Chindogu must exist.
  3. Inherent in every Chindogu is the spirit of anarchy.
  4. Chindogu are tools for everyday life.
  5. Chindogu are not for sale.
  6. Humour must not be the sole reason for creating Chindogu.
  7. Chindogu are not propaganda.
  8. Chindogu are never taboo.
  9. Chindogu cannot be patented.
  10. Chindogu are without prejudice.