Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design” as Want to Read:
Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  3,390 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Whether a marketing campaign or a museum exhibit, a video game or a complex control system, the design we see is the culmination of many concepts and practices brought together from a variety of disciplines. Because no one can be an expert on everything, designers have always had to scramble to find the information and know-how required to make a design work—until now. Uni ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Rockport Publishers (first published October 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ryan Price
Dec 17, 2014 Ryan Price rated it it was amazing
Only the most useful book I have ever read. Lots of things you may have heard of, applied to modern examples from the world of design - not graphic design, not architecture, not web design or product design, but just plain old design.

The Rule of Thirds, the 80/20 Rule, the Golden Ratio, Okkham's Razor and so many more great articles, and the "links" at the bottom of every page really inspired me to want to include related information everywhere I present text.
Anthoney
Nov 25, 2014 Anthoney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel Designing is a more an applied branch of Psychology then just being about aesthetic, and this book has convinced me all the more. The book by itself so wonderfully realizes all the concepts of designing and to design, in its own format, structure and presentation, that the book's presentation itself can serve as one of the example on a great design. Each design principles are elaborated so clearly, lucidly, concisely with the relevant examples, and then summarised, all of these in just on ...more
Adam Norwood
The alphabetic, single-page-per-topic presentation kept the content simple enough for a wide audience to understand, but it also felt like a hindrance (and perhaps the magic number of '100' was also a contrivance, but maybe that's just coincidence). Some of the entries felt like duplicates, using the same clip art as examples or the same phrasing between topics. Overall it felt like the book needed an editor to enforce better consistency -- after reading the various entries I could pick out the ...more
Scott
Jan 22, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux
Fantastic reference for all designers to keep on their desk. I especially like the question-based reference guide (located just after the table of contents) - this helps guide your study of the principles taught in the book.
John
Apr 19, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned *so* much from this book. It gave names to things I had "felt" before about design, taught me a bunch of new things, and reinforced the little I already knew about design.

Highly recommended.
Mara
Jun 03, 2012 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I go back to this book again and again whenever I feel stalled out.

It's easy for design to get overwhelming- or maybe that's just me, but, in any event, this book is a fantastic resource to page through when you have what I think of as the opposite of designer's block. With so many innovations in programming, UX, design and information architecture coming out all of the time it's easy to lose a sense of how to make things just "feel right." This book is a great way to get back to the basics of
...more
Ben Haley
Sep 16, 2010 Ben Haley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UPD is a short read and if you are doing creative work, it will inspire you.

UPD is a sort of design dictionary, devoting 2 pages to over 100 major design concepts covering a breadth of subjects including psychological traits like cognitive dissonance, design techniques like prototyping, and user interface principals like the signal-to-noise ratio.

Each definition includes a description of the principle, guidelines on how it is applied, and picture based examples of the principle in action. I foun
...more
Mohammad Shaker
Nov 10, 2014 Mohammad Shaker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cracking book! I can read 1000 more pages of this one. Absolute joy while reading it. Surely a reference book that I'll get back to again and again.
Amber Case
Whether a marketing campaign or a museum exhibit, a video game or a complex control system, the design we see is the culmination of many concepts and practices brought together from a variety of disciplines. Because no one can be an expert on everything, designers have always had to scramble to find the information and know-how required to make a design work—until now.

Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated is a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary encyclopedia of design. Richly illustr
...more
Scuppers
Jul 20, 2010 Scuppers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, to-get
Universal Principles of Design reminds me of a book I had when I was younger that had different letters of the alphabet and big, glossy pictures of things starting with that letter.

As with the alphabet book, I'm not sure how comprehensive or useful "Universal Principles" would be as a reference to everything you might expect to ever see, (it's not an encyclopedia or even a dictionary), but the pictures are cool, and the content's interesting.
Diego Petrucci
Mar 24, 2013 Diego Petrucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic. If you are interested in design, but not in any particular area, you should really read this book. Goes trough every major topic, explaining the basics of design and, ad the title says, its principles. Must-read.

(Come da titolo) spiega i principali concetti che stanno dietro alla teoria del design. Di lettura semplice ma efficace, consigliato a chiunque sia interessato di design (senza necessariamente avere in mente una disciplina specifica).
Kim Greenhalgh
May 31, 2014 Kim Greenhalgh rated it it was amazing
Universal Principles of Design is a knowledge base, in encyclopedic form, of all things related to design and function. It covers all sorts of principles we encounter on a daily basis but may not fully appreciate.

For example, desire lines. These are preferred paths, or shortcuts, we tend to take. Best illustrated in any park. If there is a paved surface you may notice tracks that branch from it creating a worn path across the grass. These are the desire lines; the preferred method of getting fr
...more
Swastik Agarwal
Jul 22, 2014 Swastik Agarwal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book.

Although you may know a lot of the concepts, you will probably find a few that you don't. It's an excellent refresher for a lot of design concepts. It's one of those books that you should read even if you're not specifically involved with Design.

It's also a very easy book to go through. I loved its format; I thought it was just right for this kind of a book. A little more detail would have been nice, but once you are introduced to these concepts, you are also given additional link
...more
Logan
Aug 28, 2015 Logan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. This is what I love about (observational) psychology. The authors did an excellent job of breaking the information into small topics of a few pages, with succinct and interesting information and lots of very applicable and quickly understood examples. It seems they took the principles to heart themselves!

In nearly every topic I learned something, even if I'd already observed the tendency before or had heard of the principle before. I found myself looking up things after reading i
...more
Alex Lee
Sep 17, 2015 Alex Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, design
While this book may seem like a motley alphabetical list (because it is) of design "principles" what this book is really about is about how people chunk information. Each of the monikers isolates a "principle" according to the metaphor that logically independent relationships are separate axioms of organization. The book isn't meant to be deep, or tell you why something is, it's simply meant to be an inspiration, a guide to help one organize how to approach a project. The key to this book is tha ...more
Jennifer
Dec 18, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education-work
This is a book I use for my education, so I mostly use this book to look up the things I don't remember so I never really finished it.
It's a really good book about the principles of design. Each term is well explained in a simpel and understanding way, of course the authors use the word you would normally use when talking about design but the explaination is not something abstract you need to use hours on understanding.

The money I used on this book is well used, I'm happy for having this book.
Rebecca
Jun 18, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
While this wasn't really quite what I was expecting, it was definitely interesting.

This isn't a particularly good way to learn design, and it's not really meant to be read straight through. (Although I'll admit, I'm having a little trouble figuring out how it's intended to be used.) What it does is define and provide advice and examples on a number of design terms, in an attempt to universalize the language of design from across multiple disciplines.

So "Desire Lines" take examples from GUIs and
...more
Betty Cheng
Oct 04, 2008 Betty Cheng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-reads
This book has been described as a classic and justly so! Anyone who has to present information, in talks, as graphics, for publications, web design should read this book. I picked this book up from the library to see if it would serve as a reference for a talk on the principles of designing clear graphics. I devoured it on a Friday night and ended up rearranging my talk in order to illustrate some of the points drawn from the book.

The scope of the book spans much more than the presentation of i
...more
Graham Herrli
I've been meaning to review this book for quite a while, because its about design, but I didn't really start reviewing books until after I had read it. The nice thing about reviewing after the span of a couple of years it that I now remember only the book's most salient aspects.

The book is a great resource for anyone (especially any visual learner) hoping to gain a sense of the field of design. Each pair of facing large pages presents a summary of an important design principle. The left-hand pa
...more
Morgane
Oct 02, 2014 Morgane rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
Great overview of common design principles, whether you're interested in UX, city planning, fashion design, whatever. There were some familiar concepts (uncanny valley), concepts I knew about but not by name (horror vacui), and entirely new ideas that made sense once I read the descriptions (biophilia effect). Honestly it's more a psychology book than a design book, but then again, design can be seen as psychology in practice.

Anyway it's fun to read and you'll learn a lil somethin' about human b
...more
Jen
Jan 21, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Universal Principles of Design is an excellent reference book. It helps put names to the different elements and standards used in design. The book is organized alphabetically by topic. Each topic is given 2 pages -- one page of description and (clear) explanation; one page of examples. I'll definitely be keeping this in my library for years to come.
Serge Pierro
Apr 29, 2014 Serge Pierro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, art
This is an outstanding book on the subject of Design. While not particular to any one type (Graphic, Product, Architectural, etc.), the book covers many of the most important topics. The layout is clean and insightful, with the main topic on the left hand page, along with excellent examples on the right. Lots of great information throughout!
Elle
Aug 18, 2015 Elle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is interesting, in that it gave me a list of subjects to read more about, but it's no different than browsing design articles on Wikipedia for an hour. I guess I was hoping for more real-world examples and illustrations. For the $2 or so I paid for it, though, it's a decent reference book.

(Note: I read the Kindle version of this book in my browser. It likely is way less ugly and a much better experience with a physical copy.)
Nia
Sep 16, 2015 Nia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good reference book, somehow both outdated and timeless at the same time. Didn't really learn much new but it's nice to have all of these principles in one handy reference. I would say a physical version of this book might be more useful than the Kindle version.
Dennis Boccippio
Mar 11, 2013 Dennis Boccippio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
I can't say enough good things about this book. Beautiful and inspirational, it has the reassuring feature that a book on foundational principles of design should be exceptionally well designed itself. Each principle gets a two page spread with just the right depth of summary, narrative and citations on one side, and exceptionally well chosen examples on the other.

The principles bridge graphic design, industrial design and engineering and can greatly aid building a common language of design and
...more
Rebecca
Oct 19, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Designers of anything
Shelves: non-fiction
Now I know why I'm creeped out by The Polar Express movie.

An alphabetical exploration of several design concepts made uniquely interesting by the inclusion of the psychology behind those concepts. In addition to having an alphabetical table of contents, the authors helpfully arranged a categorical table of contents if you have a particular design goal, ie "How can I help people learn from a design?".

Each pair of facing pages has a summary on the left with side notes, and illustrations on the r
...more
Randy
Mar 21, 2015 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great wave top view of design principles with suggested readings to dig further into any of them. Each section has academic insight, anecdotes and a full page of color examples demonstrating the principle.
Zdenek Zenger
Feb 27, 2016 Zdenek Zenger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Selected techniques are very universal. The book is very good as a handbook I read again some parts several times. Czech translation is quite funny.
Joshua Smith
Apr 12, 2014 Joshua Smith rated it it was ok
This book was a mile wide and one inch deep. It seems like Lidwell was attempting to write "A Pattern Language" for design.

I was hoping this book could serve as a reference for me, but I don't think it will.
Andy Murray
Apr 11, 2014 Andy Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best reference books for design on the market. A go-to source for shared principles that can be applied to multiple business challenges.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Universal Design Encyclopedia Wiki 1 14 Dec 11, 2012 06:04AM  
  • About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design
  • Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Rules
  • Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People
  • Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun, and Effective User Experiences
  • Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions
  • Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
  • Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services
  • Sketching User Experiences:  Getting the Design Right and the Right Design
  • Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests
  • Designing Interactions [With CDROM]
  • A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
  • The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web
  • Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
  • Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics
  • Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung (German and English Edition)
  • Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book



“The 80/20 rule asserts that approximately 80 percent of the effects generated by any large system are caused by 20 percent of the variables in that system.” 0 likes
“Simplicity is achieved when everyone can easily understand and use the design, regardless of experience, literacy, or concentration level.” 0 likes
More quotes…