Good Advice in Google Design Principles

Google is a powerhouse basing its work on a neat list of 10 design principles. In reviewing these principles today, I was struck by how appropriate they are not just for technology design, but for life in general.

Take, for instance, number one: “Focus on people—their lives, their work, their dreams.” Life is made better through the relationships we have, but all too often our focus is on work or errands or worrying how you’ll accomplish all your errands when you work all the time. How would your relationship with your spouse, kids, friends, or colleagues change if you spent some time learning more about them? What is going on in their lives? What are they dreaming about? What is important to them at the moment? People love to talk about themselves, so give them an opportunity. You’ll become closer and get a respite from the stress of worrying about your to do list.

Number three on Google’s list is “Simplicity is powerful.” Simplicity can be added to almost every aspect of everyday life. Decluttering your home will not only simplify your cleaning, it will create a calmer atmosphere and perhaps wow your guests. In communication, a simple “please” and “thank you” can make another person feel appreciated. By taking a minute to make your bed in the morning, you will likely lessen your stress as you crawl into bed that night. Where can you simplify?

“Be worthy of people’s trust” (number nine) goes back to strengthening relationships. I remember years ago hearing a speaker who encouraged a group of sales people to “be light to lift.” By trusting people and being able to be trusted, you become someone who others like and are willing to help. If you want to move up in this world, it certainly helps to have people who will back you up or lift you up. Being worthy of people’s trust makes you lighter to lift.

Last on Google’s list is “Add a human touch.” Few things are as powerful as the encouraging touch of a fellow being. A hug may be just what someone needs to brighten their day. Taken less literally, focus on being emotionally connected to the present situation, rather than running around on auto-pilot. You are a human, not a machine. Act accordingly.

At the very least, these straightforward principles have helped Google become a household name. Try applying them to your projects and your life and see what results.

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