In this edition of our 5-part series, we take a look at design innovation and usefulness.

Good Design is Innovative

Innovation is a buzzword that is often thrown around in the world of UX/UI design. But what does it really mean to be innovative in design? According to Dieter Rams, good design should not simply repeat what has been done before, but should instead strive to break new ground and create something fresh and original.

Focusing on Innovation in your design work can lead to a new type of interaction or animation that has never been seen before. This holds truer than ever with the constant advancements in tech – new capabilities of our tools inevitably demand innovative design work and experiences. Alternatively, the designer might experiment with a unique colour scheme or typography to create a distinctive visual style that sets the design apart from others. Innovative design thinking creates memorable differentiation in the market.


Wondering what an innovative website looks like? Since 2009, AWWWARDS has been featuring top websites from professionals on an international level. All site submissions are vetted by a jury body, which then leads to a public voting period by the online community, culminating to annual ceremony to recognize the best of the best.

Good Design is Useful

This is the perfect design principle for putting a spotlight on User Experience (UX) design. The mass adoption of personal mobile devices has changed the way we interact with technology, where tactile buttons, dials, and knobs have evolved into touch screen finger gestures.

Dieter Rams’ principle that “good design is useful” emphasizes the importance of functionality and purpose in the design process. The design should be focused on solving a problem or meeting a user’s need, rather than simply looking good.


In a UI design project, the designer should aim to create a design that is intuitive and easy to use, with clear and concise labels and instructions. The design should be focused on helping the user accomplish their goals, whether that is completing a task, making a purchase, or finding information.

The idea behind this principle is that usability and functionality should be the top priorities in the design process. A design that is beautiful but not useful is ultimately unsuccessful, as it will not meet the user’s needs or solve their problems.


Airbnb redesigned their app in 2022 to feature categories that enhanced a user’s browsing experience. This UX redesign was supported by a marketing campaign that featured memorable places under the “Castles, Amazing Pools, Camping, and OMG! categories.

By focusing on meeting the user’s needs and solving their problems, designers can create designs that are practical, functional, and effective. While aesthetics are also important, they should not come at the expense of usability or functionality. Ultimately, a design that is both useful and aesthetically pleasing will provide the best user experience and be the most successful.