Design Tenets

Our design tenets frame the approach we apply to all client engagements:

1. Keep It Simple

Simple solutions are easier to use and offer better performance, reliability and scalability with lower operational costs. But require accepting the trade-off: limitations and/or higher set-up costs. Simple does not mean easy and what is better for something will be worse for something else. We caution against niche demands with questionable value

In short, we say ‘no’ a lot. Because the alternative to simplicity is to build complicated solutions that become rigid and fragile, are more expensive to maintain, harder to use and prone to failure.​ It is an easier route but we are not a fan of that outcome

2. Attention to Details

Projects that start with ‘We need X’ can lead to narrow requirements. They are rarely well-defined. We dig deeper to understand the ‘Why?’ and ‘How do you know?’ Always asking: ‘What is the priority?’ Seeking out hidden dependencies and untested assumptions. Visions can get lost in translation if they ignore critical factors that will influence cost, value and risk

We use conceptual models and prototypes to clarify meaning, demonstrate options and resolve conflicts. Classic reactions include: “Now that we see it, it isn’t what we want,” and “Hadn’t thought of that!” Tackling these issues early can help avoid costly mistakes​

3. Just Enough Design

Whilst lessons can be learned from traditional architecture and design, digital architecture and design benefits from a different approach. The physical world is constrained by material limits that demand careful advance planning to control budgets. In the digital realm, excessive detail in theory rarely works. Software is potentially unlimited – that only becomes a strength when applied to create adaptable solutions rather than planning for perfection

We recommend ‘just enough’ design: create the minimum viable solution and then iterate using evidence-based feedback. The sooner people experience a working solution, testing and adapting it using real data and interactions, the better the final outcome

Our advice and solutions are grounded in principles from human-centred and interaction design. We consider the user experience as pivotal to the success or failure of a project

For more background information, view our Project Methods and Technology Bias