Our Design Principles

Design Principles are a critical tool for creating a better, more consistent experience for our users. They are high level principles that guide the design decisions we make as we are working on the Rebus Ink application. The Rebus Ink design principles are directly informed by our ongoing user research.

  1. Connection: Ink should always try to assist users with making the connections that ultimately lead to rich, well conceived outputs and artifacts. Users should be able to rely on our product to help them make connections:
    1. From sources to their notes
    2. From notes to other notes
    3. From notes to their writings and projects
  2. Context: Users should always understand where they are not just within the app, but where they are within their process or workflow. We must provide clear navigation, structured architecture and clear indications of things like recently touched sources, recently edited notes, etc.
  3. Customization: Users should always feel that Rebus Ink supports their workflow, and we must ensure that the tools we provide are adaptable, scalable and customizable where it makes sense. We should provide a baseline of good functionality that supports best practices for research, with the understanding that our users will always have their own established systems and structures.
  4. Automation: Where possible, our product should always endeavour to do the “heavy lifting” for our users. Creating systems is easy, but maintaining them is hard. Rebus Ink should incorporate functionality like autofill and auto-suggest, assisting users with keeping consistent systems and removing the effort and overhead of data entry, where possible.
  5. Portability: Users are concerned with “lock in” and portability of their data. Ensuring the ability to both bring data into Rebus Ink and also export it will allay a lot of user fear around safety and migration of data, and also extend Rebus Ink’s usefulness and functionality overall.
  6. Inclusion: Rebus Ink is for everyone, and every design and functionality decision should be guided by accepted principles of inclusion and accessibility, ie. having Rebus Ink accessible through use of assistive technology, employing colour palettes and contrasts that are accessible, etc.
  7. Openness: We should share what we are doing whenever we can. With colleagues, with users, with the world. Share code, share designs, share ideas, share intentions, share wins, share failures.

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