Design principles Checklist

Are you designing for Time Well Spent? 

Find out by running your product through the following checklist of design principles…

1. Life Happens On and Off Screen

Do you design for choices that keep people on the screen? We design to honor all the possibilities, both on and off-screen, that would be most empowering for users at that moment.

2. Enhance Relationships, not Isolation

As designers, we often design products to give users individual, isolating choices – a video to watch, a link to click or a document to work on – by themselves. Without realizing we isolate people from social choices they might have preferred to make that involved others. Design to make it easy for people to make social choices and to access socially support wherever it may be helpful.

3. Easy to Disconnect

When we're done, we're done. Does your product make it hard for users to disconnect? When a user's session is done, are they left with lingering concerns or ongoing worries that bring them back to check? Design so it's easy to disconnect and to minimize unnecessary thoughts (like missing something important) that increase compulsive use.

4. Respect People's Schedules & Boundaries

Are you encouraging use or sending notifications at untimely moments? Encouraging people to bulldoze their ideal time boundaries? Encouraging "one-drip-at-a-time" use over holistic continuous use? We design to respect the timing that works best for people – timely over untimely use, conscious over bottomless use.

5. Life-Centric (10k feet), not Task-Centric

It's often easy to get caught up helping users "get things done" (GTD) while forgetting what would help people "get life well lived" (GLL). We design to empower users to focus on the things that bring them closer to their ideal life.

6. Net Positive "No Regrets"

As designers, we often tell stories about the way we benefit people's lives – but is that the whole picture? And if so, at what cost? Instead identify in your product both 1) the lasting, fulfilling "time well spent" experiences arising from the product, and 2) a list of all the negative costs and consequences (lost time, new unnecessary thoughts or concerns, misinterpretations created, energy drained). How would you redesign your product for the largest  "net positive" difference?

7. Towards Truth & Understanding

Does using your product lead people to misunderstand others or make unwarranted inferences? Does it amplify sensationalism over calm explanation? We design to minimize misinterpretations or misunderstandings, so there's less to correct on the other side.

8. Clear Pathways, No Detours

Are your users getting detoured from their original goals when using their products? Do you care about their goals and not just yours? Design to support whatever intentions and goals people have, and avoid sending them on detours.


Most of all, for every interaction the user has with you, ask:

"What would be Time Well Spent for them, right now, in their life?"



designing this way may not be easy...

Join a community who want to figure out how. 

- future online course

- future design materials

- potential workshops for large companies