Alyce’s Core Design Principles

For the 10th post in our corporate values series, Product Designer Peter Mutascio shares the inspiration behind Alyce’s Design Principles.

Here at Alyce, we’ve spent the last three years working together to strive towards one goal – to make all business relationships more human.

Whether it’s a sales rep trying to book a meeting with a prospect or a C-level executive trying to find a way to make their team more effective, Alyce is there to help bring human emotion and connection to everyday business relationships.

When it comes to our design team, we’re front and center pushing that goal forward. Whether it’s designing a new feature, writing one-pagers, running user tests, or brainstorming, all of our work needs to reflect the core values of Alyce. However, like most small design teams, we’re all wearing multiple hats, moving incredibly fast, and have our own opinions about what we consider to be the benchmark of “good” design.

So after some initial conversations, we blocked off a few days to develop our core design principles. We needed a standard to benchmark our designs against and propel our designs toward a truly delightful user experience, much like when a customer or prospect opens an Alyce invite for the first time. It was also important that our principles were aligned with Alyce’s core values, as these values have become a guide for how everyone thinks, behaves and makes decisions as representatives of our business. 

At the end of the day, we created our design principles to bring everyone together and to allow us to think and design as one team in a way that compliments our company’s vision and mission. 

1. Inclusive and accessible design

Understanding and talking to our users is paramount. By understanding our users, it allows us to approach our designs with a more authentic and relatable mindset. This builds users’ trust and confidence, fosters better productivity, and yields a solution that puts our users’ needs first.

2. Keep it simple

We strive to find a balance between beautiful design and intuitive experiences by utilizing a clear and concise design direction. We always want our users to feel like champions when using the Alyce platform and we do so by delivering all the necessary tools without an overwhelming experience. To quote Dave Schools: “The end game of any design is to reduce everything until you reach the point that satisfaction is not sacrificed.”

3. Design with intention

Consistent design patterns allow us to quickly move from prototype to high fidelity and enables the engineering team to move quickly from staging to production. Brand guidelines and design systems grant us the resources to design with intention but are flexible enough to allow us to change the rules if they become outdated. Simply put, don’t recreate the wheel – there’s a reason why everyone is still using hamburger icons.

4. Surprise and delight

Humans are inherently creatures of habit but we should always be thoughtful of the little things we can add that will break up the monotony. Surprising the user with simple moments that are playful, purposeful, and fun means we embrace the little things while giving them a truly delightful experience.

5. Curious like a cat

Design is a lot like evolution – it’s constantly growing and changing in an organic way. And because of that, it’s in our best interest to question and be curious about ours and others’ approaches. In what ways can this solution be improved? Does it solve the original problem? And if so, do we consider it good? What would make it better? Being curious allows us to push our designs further than we thought to bring out the best possible solutions.

Much like our core values, our design principles have become integral to all of the work we do here at Alyce. They give us a guiding light when approaching design, a standard against which we benchmark our designs, and the ability to work and think in lockstep as a team towards our common goals.

July 16, 2019
Stacy O.