Review: Universal Principles of Design

Sources_UniversalPrinciplesOfDesignMy Rating: 5/5

About the Book
Using decades of research to support, authors Lidwell, Holden, and Butler address 125 of the most well-established principles in design theory. This book covers principles such as the Red Effect, the Rule of Thirds, Color, Highlighting, Figure-Ground Relationship, Mnemonic Device, the Aesthetic-Usability Effect, and many others. Each principle of design is covered in two pages, one with descriptions, and one with examples.

Authors: William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler
Cost: about $20 on Amazon
Publisher: Rockport Publishers
ISBN: 978-1592535873

What I Liked
This book is a fantastic resource. With just two pages devoted to each principle, the universal principles are easy to grasp and reference. The examples the the authors use hit the descriptions right on the nose. For each principle mentioned, the most prominent research articles and authors are cited right on the page, making for easy reference to the seminal research work in design theory. I have used this book in several of my design courses and students seem to eat it up. This is one of those books that all designers ought to have on their shelves.

What I Didn’t Like
For its intents and purposes, there isn’t much to not like about the book. If I were to give it a critique, though, I might note that the book was written in 2003 and could really use some updates in regards to interactive design. There is little to nothing mentioned about design for the web.

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