Design principles

Website design requires a decision-making framework, often called design principles. 

These are the design principles that are currently used for the University website and applications. 

1. Design for the user with data

Each project must start by identifying user needs. If you don’t know what the user needs are, you won’t build the right product or service. Do research, analyse data, talk to users. Don’t make assumptions.

All design decisions are driven by research and data, both qualitative and quantitative, that help us establish user needs.

2. Make it simple

The products and services we build must allow users to accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. A digital product or service that is complex is likely to fail.

Users should always be able to understand our content and complete tasks successfully with satisfaction.

We must strive to write in plain English, and all content should be tailored to the medium as appropriate.

3. Universally accessible

We must ensure our products and services meet the widest range of accessibility standards possible and are device and platform agnostic.

We must ensure that our content is presented well on all devices, and all users must have equal access to our products and services.

4. Consistent digital identity

The University of St Andrews is unique. We strive for a consistent digital identity in our content and design across all channels and platforms.

Content should be driven from central data sources where possible to avoid incorrect information and duplication.

A consistent design style will ensure the transition between our products and services is as unobtrusive as possible.