An excerpt from http://www.sitepoint.com/5-simple-ux-principles-guide-product-design/, by @clarklab
Few things in life are constant: death, taxes, and strangers asking “So what do you do?” within a minute of a handshake.
As a UX designer, I’ve had a lot of practice over the years trying to nail down my answer.
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
It’s my job to be inside a user’s brain. I need to look at design from the mindspace of a user (actually, lots of users) and squash potential problems or confusion.
This never-ending process requires keeping UX present before, during, and after the build is complete. It’s always a challenge to act with the user in mind—influences like due dates and bottom lines sometimes cloud the way.
To help keep your product on the right path, I’ve assembled a list of 5 UX principles I use to guide my design process. Understanding how and why to make UX decisions goes a long way in explaining things to others on the team, which goes an even longer way in getting said UX decisions into the final product.
Good design is easy to digest—the brain shouldn’t have to expend a ton of energy to figure out what the heck it’s looking at. With any luck, people will just “get it” without needing a 6-section explanation.
This goes beyond clear, easy-to-read copy. People sometimes need guidance to make decisions, so a menu with a list of 12 inline items may seem daunting. Organizing with some hierarchy (size, color, icons) can help highlight the more common choices, which allows someone to find what they’re looking for faster.