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PJ sharing one group's ideas during the Principles exercise
PJ sharing one group's ideas during the Principles exercise

Why Principles?

The answer is simple — they provide a shared framework so we can make better decisions together, faster.

Our principles are the result of an exercise with all of the designers at Liferay during Design Week in January 2018.

Each principle includes additional key-words, a brief summary, as well as a series of questions that are designed to help designers apply these principles in their day-to-day work.

See our Principles page for an interactive version.



Eliminate unnecessary complexity. Be easy to understand, regardless of the person's knowledge or concentration level.

  • Are my designs passing heuristics tests?

  • Are my designs reducing problem complexity by addressing simple and focused tasks?

  • Are my designs achieving the business goal?

  • Are my designs adding value to the system?

  • Can I articulate the value my design is adding to the user?



Design for real people, not stereotyped personas. Reflect reality; use expected, contextual patterns and natural metaphors.

  • Are my designs passing accessibility tests?
  • Am I designing in a non-discriminative way?
  • Am I empowering my users to do their tasks?
  • Are we contributing to the design community?
  • Do I know the groups and the people that my designs are for?



Be clear, transparent, and straightforward. Respect people’s needs and resources, like attention and time.

  • Am I using the correct affordances to solve the problem?
  • Are you testing and validating your designs with people?
  • Am I using dark patterns?
  • Are my designs ethical?
  • Am I working to continuously reduce the cognitive load for users?



Design products that all people enjoy using. Intentionally produce your best, down to the minutiae.

  • Am I spending time with users to understand their emotions?
  • Are people better for experiencing the work we do?
  • Do people find delight and joy when experiencing our designs?
  • Are my designs performant, functional, and usable?
  • Is my design authentic and based in timeless principles?
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