Universal Principles of Design at Five

Butler, Holden and Lidwell’s Universal Principles of Design is five years old. UPOD is a catalogue of one-hundred classic design principles, including Pareto’s 80/20 principle, Fitt’s law, the golden ratio and the serial position effect. UPOD is itself well designed and a joy to read. UPOD presents one principle on each two-page spread: the left-hand page presents a textual description of the principle; the right-hand page presents visual examples. At the end of each principle is a list of related principles.

UPOD provides multiple entry points to the principles: as well as a comprehensive index and an alphabetical table of contents, UPOD also provides four categorical tables of contents which lead the reader to the principles that help influence the way a design is perceived, that help people learn from a design, that enhance the usability of a design, that increase the appeal of a design, and that help designers make better decisions. Every designer should own a copy.

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