Design principles — or experience principles, as we call them — help teams stay aligned on what we believe great design is at Cuvva. They are a yardstick for quality and help easily unblock hard decisions. This is all the more important when you have multiple teams responsible for contributing to the end experience.
Put simply: design principles are a set of guidelines that express our shared vision for what makes great products.
We wanted to make sure our design principles complement and build on the idea that insurance should be fair, flexible, and fit for the future. It’s all part of our mission of making cars accessible to all.
We hope sharing these with the world and the process for how we got to them might inspire you to do the same for your team — be it leadership, engineering, research, or something else.
We wanted our principles to be short and memorable — a designer should never have to look them up to remind themselves before a critique.
Alongside these, we include a page that includes a checklist of questions to ask and feedback to expect, helping measure designs against each principle.
As we work with these guiding principles we’ll continue to tweak them and re-evaluate whether they maintain a solid reflection of what quality is for us.
Here are the principles we want our design to reflect:
Effortless As in: nailing the basics. Stripping back the noise and creating journeys that let users get the job done. Favouring known patterns over something a little too clever. We’re aware of the broader context and offer clear choices that favour building pace and momentum.
Playful We show our human side and write with warmth, humour and self awareness. Designs with little lifts and dopamine hits. Expressive illustrations that guide you through you (and then invite you in for a cuppa afterwards).
Welcoming We’ll not only cater for you, we’ll make you feel like this app was designed just for you. Being welcoming looks like madly personalised experiences, an attitude of not leaving anyone behind, and encouraging collaboration as we work.
Adaptable We’re aware of how things change — for our customers and for us. We embrace it, making sure our products always fits the needs of who they end up in front of. We do things in a way that is welcome to exploration and fast changes. Always favouring making stuff that is versatile and reusable.
Principles are best created collaboratively. Welcoming others into the process is the best way to get your team onboard and make sure they are lived day-to-day by everyone.
For us, that meant getting our Content Designers, Brand Designer, Product Designers, Head of Research, and Product Director into a hybrid virtual room with our favourite white boarding tool —FigJam — for a 1 to 2 hour workshop.
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